Snapshots into Journey Forward: The Reference Council

Mennonite Church USA is building upon the work of the Future Church Summit at #MennoCon17 in Orlando. A dynamic group of writers has been called together to produce a concise description of MC USA’s shared values and guiding theological foundations. We’re calling this process Journey Forward. Over the next few weeks, the Menno Snapshots blog will be featuring interviews with the Journey Forward Writing Team and Reference Council, giving you a peek into the diverse life and faith experiences that are coming together in this moment in MC USA’s history.

Hyun Hur is co-director of ReconciliAsian, a peace center in Los Angeles that equips leaders in Korean and Asian American communities to promote unity, justice and peace towards reconciliation. He is a member of the Journey Forward Reference Council.

Tell us one interesting or fun fact about you – something we wouldn’t already know.

I have stage fright. Sometimes when I get really nervous, I am unable to read my sermon notes.

Tell us about one of your spiritual heroes / heroines. How have they been influential in your faith journey?

First of all, Jesus is my hero. His life, teaching, and ministry have shaped my life above any others. Second, most of the people that I have had fellowship with are my spiritual heroes/heroines. Each step of my faith journey has been shaped by their stories.

What is your favorite worship song or hymn? Why?

I have many favorite songs, but the one that I often hear myself singing is “Christ Be Our Light” in the Sing the Journey. The song centers around Jesus being our light giving us hope to courageously live out the gospel. It is an anthem song of people on the way.

What draws you to this work with Mennonite Church USA and Journey Forward — why did you say yes to this invitation?

Since I learned the stories of 16th century Anabaptists from the church history class in my sophomore year of college, I identify myself as Anabaptist. I joined the Mennonite Church to learn the ways of practicing the beliefs that have been refined through history for last five hundred years. I said yes to learn ways of practicing Anabaptist beliefs in a deeper way and perhaps be a small help to our denomination following Jesus in the 21st century as Anabaptists.

Our Journey Forward core values document will reflect what we think is most important as Anabaptists, specifically as MC USA. When you think about your identity as Anabaptist-Mennonite, what value, belief or idea most excites you — what grounds you in your faith?

I have always been drawn to the spirit of the 16th century Anabaptist movement which is one of the largest counter-Christendom movements in church history. In Christendom, the Church received wealth and power from the empire because of her support of the state. Anabaptism was a non-violent communal act of speaking truth to power. Intentionally and unintentionally, Anabaptists were following Jesus with their marginalized political and social position, proclaiming that Jesus, the image of invisible God, was above all — above government and the state church. This radical spirit of discipleship is needed in the Christian life today. I work with many Korean churches and I think such a faith witness rooted in 16th Century Anabaptism can both challenge and encourage the Korean church as well as Mennonite Church USA.