Joana Choi at NUMA CHURCH is ordained as a Teaching Pastor. She is also a participant of PastoraLab Orange County Cohort:
NUMA church is a predominantly Asian American community of about fifty people. Many of us have walked through life together since its inception in 2010. We experienced the loss of a member within our community to cancer, we celebrated our graduations, the start of our careers, marriages, and now families. A dear friend of ours described the culture of NUMA best: “It’s a place you’re not told what to do, but you do it anyway.”
Joana Choi shared about this milestone:
My ordination day was a culmination of the years it took for me to fully embrace ministry as my calling. I accepted Christ when I was fifteen and at eighteen left my home church because I felt there had to be more to faith than what I was experiencing at the time. I met my pastor, John Park, about a year later and have been under his leadership ever since. Through his encouragement and guidance, I served on teams and eventually was given the leadership role I was ordained into: teaching pastor.
My commitment as a teaching pastor is not only to our church but also to this world. It is to pass down a more genuine, beautiful, and authentic expression of faith that bears witness to the truth of who God is starting within our community. These past few years the Church has been rightfully called out in ways it has contributed or been complicit in advancing political agendas, Christian nationalism, structural racism, patriarchy, and more. My commitment is to break the notion that churches remain silent and complicit as others around us struggle. My deepest hope is that we remain uncomfortable in superficiality, work tirelessly for justice, remain empathetic, and have enough foolishness to believe we can do what others claim cannot be done.
Lead Pastor John Park at NUMA Church added:
The church cannot be a beacon of chauvinism and intolerance — but it often is. Our best days, as the church, are ahead, if we allow the work of the Spirit to dismantle our Pharisaical ways (patriarchy, pandering and pride) and empower leaders, especially women, who live, speak and do what Jesus did. Joana is the first ordained pastor in our community and her focus as the Teaching Pastor will give her the ability to shape the direction of our church with insight that keeps us centered on truth, justice and community. No looking-over-her-shoulders to see if someone approves; her lane is the whole highway. From meeting her as an 18-year old college student to officiating her wedding to her recent ordination, I’ve had front row seats to see her life and journey in faith. I can’t wait to see and support what’s next.”