Joe Kim

Ethnic Background: Korean-American

Conference: Pacific Northwest

Probationary Date: 06/17/2017

Full Membership Date: 06/09/2019

Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 7


Education:
CLAREMONT SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY Claremont, CA
Master of Divinity, May 2017
2017 Korean Alumni/ae Associate Award

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Princeton, NJ
Master of Divinity candidate, 2013 – 2015

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Ann Arbor, MI
College of Literature, Science & Arts
Bachelor of Arts, April 2007, Concentrations in English and Political Science

Ministry Experience:
BOTHELL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Bothell, WA
Lead Pastor, 2018 to present

BOTHELL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Bothell, WA
Associate Pastor, 2015 to 2017

ALDERSGATE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Bellevue, WA
Consultant, 2015

SALEM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH New York, NY
Student Minister, 2013-2015

THE GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY (GBCS) OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Washington, DC
Director of Children's Rights Advocacy, 2011-2013

SPARK12, A UNITED METHODIST SOCIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY INCUBATOR
Director of Community Care, 2011-2013

THE GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY (GBCS) OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, UNITED NATIONS OFFICE New York, NY
Program and Administrative Assistant, 2008-2011

EAST OHIO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Annual Conference Laity Address, 2007

KOREAN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF ANN ARBOR Ann Arbor, MI
Youth and Young Adult Volunteer, 2004-2007

Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
THE CONFERENCE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN CONSULTATIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED NATIONS (CoNGO) New York, NY
Senior Associate, Membership Development and Services, 2008-2011

THE GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY (GBCS) OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Washington, DC
Ethnic Young Adult Intern, 2005, 2006

Other Relevant Experience:
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Ann Arbor, MI
Division of Student Affairs Advisory Board, 2006-2007
National Residence Halls Honorary President, 2005-2007
Resident Advisor, 2004-2007


Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
I have an imagination, a vision where the Church re-centers local ministries in and among communities. My heart has been with the communities where people live, learn, work and play, to move towards healing brokenness. We are being called into a renewed relationship with God and with one another so that communities might experience life and life abundantly.

Our Church disconnected, shouldering burdens of ministry in siloes rather than trusting in the abundance of support we could offer one another. We are living into fear instead of grace’s freedom, all while our hopes of God’s preferred future seem so distant.

What might it look like to lead boldly, reimagining the ways we do life so that we can authentically journey with all God’s people?

These past few years have been a time of learning, reflection, evaluation, and innovation rooted in the local church. Serving as Lead Pastor in one of the largest United Methodist Churches in the Pacific Northwest has kept me grounded and connected to real lives of people rooted in communities, while my experiences of working with systems and institutions in New York, DC, and around the world keep the broader perspective of Beloved Community ever nearby. I believe centering people and taking risks need not be mutually exclusive, while still honoring Wesleyan traditions that have brought us this far.

I’m reminded of the Prophet Isaiah’s words – See, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert – and I wonder if we are ready to journey with God and with one another through the wilderness and the desert. For sure, through the challenges facing our denomination and Jurisdiction right now, God is doing a new thing!

Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
These years have been challenging as we have all wrestled with the meaning of “church”. For me, “church” has always been defined as “Biblical communities of worship gathered and sent” – Biblical communities meaning people connected by the story of God’s faithfulness throughout the Scripture, worship describing our connection to God today through prayer and song and lament and praise, gathered and sent.” But what happens when the concept of gathering keeps changing?

From gathering in sanctuaries to gathering exclusively online to now gathering online and on-site, we had to re-define what it means to gather in community. While we grieved the loss of lives and the ways of life, this was also an opportunity for intentional imagination. We valued connection to community that we created new ways to gather. We played with Menti and met in the parking lot; we opened up our yards and the trunks of our cars to welcome families; we took risks and tried new things and we learned to give ourselves grace.

We also connected to different communities! We collaborated with churches for Holy Seasons, sharing resources and sharing leadership. We launched a podcast that was recognized by UMCOM and invited guests from different stages of life to share how we can do life through a lens of faith. We joined in solidarity during the Black Lives Matter movement, honoring the experiences of our Black siblings in marches, hosting the initial gathering for the Black Lives Matter Bothell Run Club after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, learning from our siblings and doing the hard work of confession and repentance.

The past two years have been an incredible challenge, and through it, my ministry and my understanding of church and community have expanded and excited me to continue living into God’s preferred future.


Endorser: Rev. Jasper Peters

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

I was first able to appreciate Joe Kim‘s ministry in the public context during a jurisdictional session for dreaming and imagining several years ago. At that time he impressed me as a bold and innovative leader who was able to listen well and synthesize innovation with wisdom. In a time when many were stunned at the fragile nature of the church, I heard Joe speak with hope and fresh ideas for a healthy and renewed connection.

Often, dreamers and innovators can also be brash, trampling over those around them (think Steve Jobs).

In our work as clergy colleagues and on the WJ Team of 10, I have been impressed to see Joe consistently offer supportive leadership that is empowering to others, rather than disempowering. He is happy to be imaginative around mission and ministry, even as he keeps his feet on the ground.

Working with him offers evidence that the Holy Spirit has tempered him with wisdom and grace.

I am proud to offer my personal endorsement of his candidacy for the Episcopacy in the Western Jurisdiction.


Endorser: Skylar Marston-Bihl

Relationship to Candidate: First-elected lay delegate, PNW Conference

I have had the privilege of getting to know and work alongside Rev. Joe Kim through Pacific Northwest Conference Delegation and Western Jurisdiction work. Joe exemplifies a range of gifts and leadership skills I hope to have guiding our Jurisdiction and denomination. He is a thoughtful and reflective leader who listens deeply and a leader who speaks up and takes action. Joe’s deep, Christ-centered values of justice and equity guide him. He applies those values to his work on the delegation and when asked to step up for the whole jurisdiction, working collaboratively with the Team of Ten to reimagine our denomination for our contemporary realities and to lead us into the future. He is a critical thinker who doesn’t shy away from hard realities. [As an LGBTQ Child of God, I have experienced him to be both centered and passionate, able to manage and guide others and bring a prophetic voice calling us back to the example of Jesus. He brings gifts of forward-thinking leadership and an awareness of when and how to empower others to step up.  He will lead us in the Western Jurisdiction to truly live out our calling to be a place where love lives.


Endorser: Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

Among the many good candidates for the episcopacy, Rev. Joe Kim is one that stands out. I met Joe when the WJ called together the Team of Ten. As a fellow colleague in collaborative inter-jurisdictional work, I immediately came to understand his passion for the future of The United Methodist Church, and willingness to see things in new ways. Deeply Wesleyan, Joe has an ability to layer the old with a new lens. He is not afraid to question what is not working. He boldly imagines what can be. He knows when to throw out new ideas, and when to sit back and watch them either take fruit or fade to the background.

The variety of service has increased Joe’s leadership skills. Currently leading one of the larger United Methodist Churches in his conference has deepened his understanding of large systems. Prior to parish ministry, Joe worked at the General Board of Church and Society at the United Nations, and as Director of Children’s Rights Advocacy. This breadth of experience in justice work and the international scope of his work, gives him a unique view on the church.

I endorse Joe Kim for the WJ episcopal election.

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