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I am Hoeun Lee. The pronunciation of my first name sounds similar to ‘Owen’: ‘h’ + ‘Owen’ = Hoeun. I am looking forward to being among you and serving in ministry at First United Church. It is an honour and privilege to be called. 

As a child, I dreamed of coming to Canada, thanks to my aunts and uncle who immigrated to Canada in the 1960s. Drawn into this dream, my wife Yoonjoo Shin and I left South Korea to start a new life in Canada in the summer of 2017. As immigrants caught betwixt and between different cultures, we have made a new home here on Turtle Island, embracing both the benefits and challenges of our ‘in-betweenness.’ This has helped us understand (or identify with) the Scripture stories about people on the move. Through our journey, we have been accompanied by our wonderful fellow traveller, Jaye Shin-Lee, who is an almost three-year-old toddler, and fully Canadian and fully Korean.

I was ordained in The Presbyterian Church of Korea in 2012 and admitted to The United Church of Canada in 2020. Since I started to work as a student minister in 2003, I have developed my pastoral and teaching skills by working with a wide range of age groups, from children to youth, adults and seniors in urban and rural areas. After I came to Canada, I spent time working in Saskatchewan, the beautiful land of living skies and most recently at Tisdale where I am serving at present. My intergenerational and intercultural ministry experience has taught me to understand the diversity of the contemporary cultural norms and spiritual needs of each generation and connect and celebrate them together.

Even before the pandemic, I developed my digital creativity skills by directing various projects with St. Andrew’s College, Living Skies Regional Council and Korean Rainbow United as well as my personal YouTube channel, Second Wind Archive. I believe that because “the medium is the message” (McLuhan), digital media has changed and continues to shape how we be part of the Church and the world. I hope my digital ministry expertise can enrich First United Church’s faith journey of “building relationships, living God’s transforming love” in a post-pandemic world. I am thrilled to be part of First United as an Affirming church where I can live out my conviction about God’s radically inclusive love as well as my commitment to social justice.

I named my YouTube channel ‘Second Wind Archive,’ which reflects my desire to witness the wind of the Spirit in people’s lives and stories. I look forward to discovering ‘second winds’ at First and journeying together.

Peace like a river,

Rev. Hoeun