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Who We Are And Who We Are Becoming
(Scroll all the way down for staff)

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Community

We are a congregation with deep connections and often refer to ourselves as a family.  We bear one another’s burdens through our prayers, listening, visits to hospitals, and supportive friendships. We celebrate the joys of each other’s lives and how we see God working through us.  We are a core group with layers of family, friends, and neighbors who join in different parts of our ministries.  We are learning new ways to grow in belonging as we share meals together, share deep struggles of our lives, and share our skills, time and resources with each other. We seek wisdom and guidance from each other and are working on listening and understanding across difference. During the pandemic we stayed connected through zoom church services, monthly “porch drops”, sending notes/cards/letters to each other and making phone calls.  Being in community gives us courage and willingness to try new things and be “bigger than who we are”.

Learning/Studying/Reflecting

Study and reflection are an important part of our faith journey. We are a learning community that seeks to study scripture, theology, our lives, our history, and surrounding culture in order to more faithfully live the ways of Jesus. Reading and studying about the lives of Christians and church communities helps us to examine our own lives and to live more faithfully.  We understand sermons to be an ongoing conversation that is initiated by our pastor or another member and continued by our whole church as the Spirit guides us with questions and encouragement and new convictions. We study the scriptures together each mid-week in order to know God’s Story and live within that Story.  To extend the warmth and closeness of our study group we sometimes share a meal with our studies.  

Mission

We draw energy and joy when we look for and join what God is doing beyond the walls of our church building in our neighborhoods and city.  Here are some ways in the past we've carried out this mission:

 

We began our own food pantry which was instrumental to connect with and assist our Hispanic congregation during the pandemic and other vulnerable members of our community and are opened us to hearing the complexity of needs and life stories.  By partnering with the daycare at our church campus we provide holiday support to single mothers.  A partnership with the Hispanic church plant helps us to connect to our increasing Spanish speaking neighbors. We empower members to learn, and grow through missional education such as study trips to the CA/Mexico border and Missouri trip and delving into social justice studies. We share and listen to each other’s experiences. We provide space and participate in local community organizing efforts to support renters, new immigrants, and the most vulnerable within our community.  Locally, we participate in “Winter Nights” by providing meals to families sheltering in host churches. Internationally we sponsor KIVA loans, assist a church rebuilding in the Philippines and collect used prescription glasses to fill overseas needs.   We are adept at finding ways to serve with the limited financial and human resources we have.   We hunger to find ways to serve, and grow closer together and are fueled through these actions to live out our faith in the ways we love our neighbors.  We celebrate the times we are able to move from ‘giving to’ to ‘serving with’ our neighbors and hope to share life and community with them.

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Worship Gatherings

The height of our Sunday morning worship gatherings is when we pass the peace of Christ and we welcome each other into God’s family.  One can sense the energy and excitement of our community being together with singing, special music, dramatic reading which brings the stories to life.  Even though we enjoy traditional hymns we also like learning new and untraditional music.  We share the leadership of our worship gatherings as an expression of the importance of each person in the church.  The entire community offers prayers, gives testimony of what God is doing in our lives, and with questions/comments look for ways that the scripture connects to our daily lives and the systems we live in.  We participate in creative movements and expressions of confessing, lamenting, praying, giving, and responding to scripture in order to reflect on our lives and ways of living.  We believe that each part of our gathering is a template for our lives during the week.

OUR LEADERS

Ygnacio Valley is made up of men and women who serve in many ways and have significant responsibility within our congregation. These leaders play crucial roles in what happens each week in the life of our church. 

In addition to Rev. Steve Hong, our worshipping community is also led by Elders and Deacons

Elders 

Elders are elected by the congregation, and they set the spiritual tone of the community, acting to make our space a sacred and safe one and partnering with our pastor in the spiritual care of our community members.  Our current ruling elders, elected by the congregation include: Kathy Youngson,  Paula Ash, Mike Thompson. Sylvia Chatagnier is the clerk of session.

Deacons

Deacons help organize concrete ways in which we respond to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of church community members and those outside who ask for help. The Deacons organize, collaborate and address emerging needs.  Our current Deacons, elected by our congregation include: Lucie Skourup, Carrie Waters

Worship 

We seek to celebrate the goodness of God, and simultaneously be transformed in worship. When you come to join our YVPC community, you’ll find a casual atmosphere, led by a variety of people with different styles and life experiences. Our current worship leader is liturgist is Kathy Youngson, and once a month pianist is Lee Borden.  We are currently searching and praying for a new music leader.

Our Pastor: Rev. Steve Hong

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Education:

BA in Sociology - UC Irvine

MDiv - Bethel Seminary San Diego

DMin (in progress) - Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Residency completed in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) - The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Thank you all for coming to check out our little church. Though we might not be more than 12-15 people on Sundays, our message is mighty.  

When you come to a worship service or a Bible study, you will you hear the Gospel as it ought to be: a message of radical liberation.  It's a place where we affirm you as you were created and preach against anything that would say you are less. No matter who you love or what you look like, you will hear a message that proclaims you are free and deserving of safety and opportunities as any white heterosexual man.  You will hear a message dictated by the spirit of abundance rather than scarcity that tragically defines so much of American Christianity.  

You will hear an interpretation of Scripture that comes from the long tradition of liberation theology.  My messages owe a debt especially to Black liberation theology and Korean liberation theology (minjung). 

For some personal things about me...

I love the San Diego Padres (SD native).
I love the NBA.
I love black black coffee.
I love movies. 
Right now, I love the new Zelda game. So good.
I also work as a hospital chaplain at Kaiser. 

Please let me know if you'd like to grab a cup of coffee or if you want to set up a ZOOM call with me to see if our church could be a fit for you.

davyhong07@gmail.com
858-382-6258

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