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Rev. Dr. Hwa-Young Chong Installed

Posted: September 27 2023 at 11:00 AM
Author: Lisa Smith, NIC Communications Specialist

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On Sunday, September 24, laity and clergy joyfully joined in celebration at the Installation of Prairie North District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Hwa-Young Chong, at Grace UMC in Rockford.

Rev. Dr. Hwa-Young Chong was appointed by Bishop Dan Schwerin, to the Prairie North district as the District Superintendent, effective July 1, 2023. The installation service is the formal service and recognition of DS Chong's ministry.

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The NIC Korean-American Pastors singing the anthem "He Leadeth Me" in Korean.

The moving service incorporated many voices from around the district and parts of DS Chong's Korean Heritage. The service started out with the playing of the Ching by Rev. Jeremiah Lee. The Psalm of Praise was accompanied by the singing of "O So So (Come Prince of Peace)". Under the direction of Rev. H. Kim, the NIC Korean-American Pastors beautifully sang the anthem "He Leadeth Me" in Korean.

The Presenataion of the Signs of District Superintendency reminded all present of the roles of the position and how they connect us all. The items presented were a stole (Bishop Schwerin), a bible (Rev. Arlene Christopherson), water (DS Audrea Nanabray), bread & cup (Rev.  Brin Gilbert), towel & basin (Rev. Martin Lee), Book of Disipline (Pastor Audrey Rochet) and globe (Deaconess Joy Hayag). After the presentation, the members in the pews raised their hands to join with the cabinet members and PN District Superintendency Committee in the Prayer of Installation.

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DS Rev. Dr. Hwa-Young Chong shared a photo of her Paternal Grandmother, who was a preacher, standing in front of a once small church in Korea.

DS Chong started her faith witness by showing us a photo of her grandmother, who also was a Methodist Preacher. DS Chong comes from a long line of Methodist preachers on her father's side, including a great aunt who was one of the first Methodist women ordained in Korea. On her mother's side, she brings her family's Buddhist faith. DS Chong shared how she had experienced discrimination because of the blended faith of her family and racism in the United States because of her heritage.

Bishop Dan Schwerin provided a message on grace, reminding all present that it is our job to love others and bring them into God's grace.

An offering of $1600 was collected for eyeglasses for students in Tanzania. The cause was chosen by DS Chong when she talked Rev. Young Seon Kim and learned there are students with poor eyesight, but the glasses are very expensive. Rev. Kim is an elder from the Northern Illinois Conference and now a Global Ministries missionary in Tanzania serving at the Methodist Middle School. Glasses cost about $160 a pair, about the average monthly wage in Tanzania. Pastor Brenda Morris challenged those gathered to support 10 students, and they generously stood up to the challenge! Rev. Kim joined the celebration via video where she shared joy and a blessing song accompanied by Tanzanian students. (Watch the video here)

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Grace UMC in Rockford's Bell Choir

Many throughout the district participated in the service providing prayers, hymns, anthems, messages, food and more. Liturgical music was provided by the Prairie North District Praise Band (Rev. Kim Chapman,  Rev. Dr. Tercio Junker, Rev. Heewon Kim, and Debbie Rogers). The Bell Choir from Grace UMC performed the prelude "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" and the offertory music "Let There Be Peace on Earth". 

After the service, all were welcomed to dine in fellowship. The service bulletin noted it was a light dinner, but the wonderful people of Grace UMC provided all with a feast. Rev. Sejoon Jang reminded the diners that it was their own fault if they left hungry.

The event was livestreamed on the Rockford: Grace UMC You Tube Page. Watch the recording here.

View the installation bulletin here.

View the gallery below for photos from the event. Thank you to Russ Stonebeck of Rockford: Grace for sharing some of his photos.

Thank you to the Installation Service Participants

(listed in order of appearance)

Prairie North District Superintendency Committee

  • Pastor Brenda Morris, Chair (Shannon:Bethel UMC)                          
  • Kurt Beystehner, CLM (Alden UMC)
  • Rev. Kim Chapman  (Genoa: Faith UMC)
  • Pam Herriott (Rockford: Centennial Multicultural UMC)
  • Rev. Heewon Kim (Rockford:New Life/Evans/Harlem) 
  • Diane Olds (Mount Carroll UMC)
  • Pastor Audrey Rochet (Rockford: Centennial Multicultural UMC)
  • Rev. Dave Yim (Savanna: First UMC)     
  • Prairie North District Music Team
    • Rev. Kim Chapman (Genoa:Faith UMC, Genoa IL )
    • Rev. Dr. Tércio Junker  (Poplar Grove UMC)
    • Rev. Heewon Kim (Rockford:New Life/Evans/Harlem)
    • Debbie Rogers (Prairie North District, NIC UMC)
  • Rockford: Grace UMC Bells Choir
  • Rev. Jeremiah Lee (Addison: Good Shepherd UMC)
  • Rev. Sejoon Jang (Rockford:Grace UMC)
  • Pastor Alex Lee (Harvard UMC)
  • Rev. Jenny Weber (New Morning Retreat Center)
  • David Hilton (District UMM Pres.)
  • Rev. Melwin Alagodi (Lena UMC/Stockton: Wesley UMC)
  • Rev. David Daegyu Yim (Savanna UMC)
  • Kim Emery (Rockford: Beth Eden UMC)
  • Pastor Eddie Eddy (Freeport: Harmony UMC)
  • Karen Andrus (District UWFaith Pres.)
  • Pastor Brenda Morris (Shannon:Bethel UMC)
  • Bishop Dan Schwerin
  • Rev. Arlene Christopherson (NIC Assistant to the Bishop)
  • Rev. Dr. Audrea Nanabray (Lake South DS)
  • Rev. Brian Gilbert (Prairie South DS)
  • Rev. Martin Lee (NIC Director of Congregational Development & Redevelopment)
  • Pastor Audrey Rochet (Rockford: Centennial Multicultural UMC)
  • Deaconess Joy Hayag (Rockford: Christ UMC)
  • NIC Korean-American Pastors (Director, Rev. H. Kim)
  • Rev. Young Seon Kim & Students
  • People of Grace United Methodist Church

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