Dr. Choongho Kwon
"I look for inspiration through my meditation, prayer, questions, study, experiences, relationship and conversation with others. Interpreting the life of our community is as important as reading the biblical text. Our neighborhood is a multicultural, multi-religious community. I believe God calls our church to the ministry of love and reconciliation with those who are different from our congregation. We are all lambs of God."
"As the Director of Congregational Care Ministry, it is my responsibility to establish, organize, educate, and communicate with the care team to visit shut-ins, nursing homes, assisted living members, and any member of AUMC as needed. It is my responsibility to lead a Connectional Ministry Team to provide support and connection to our members, visitors, and new members. Also, I support and assist the senior pastor, make hospital calls, and support familiar during illnesses, life transitions, death, weddings, and the birth of babies. I publish the Community of Caring message on email each Friday. As the CCM Director, I organize small groups such as Meet and Greeter, Welcoming, Renewed Hope, and future small groups as need arises. My goal is to show God's love to others, provide comfort and support, deepen our faith in God, and bring a smile or laugh to those in need. "
"I started at Avondale UMC in 1998 so my 20th anniversary is coming up. I had been working for a local family-owned newspaper, it was sold, and most of the employees, including me, lost their jobs. I wasn't quite ready to retire, so I was looking for something to do for just a few more years... The people make Avondale UMC so special to me. They are loving, kind, generous, and dedicated Christians. I've seen people in this church rally together many times to help those in need, in so many different ways."
Dr. Johnathan Ray
"I am so blessed to be able to use the gift of music that God has given me and share it with the world. Whether it's singing, teaching voice, or directing a choir, vocal music is my passion in life and I am so pleased to be able to share this gift with my family at Avondale."
A native of Hong Kong, Charles is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City under Alon Goldstein.
He received an MMus and BA at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and Hong Kong Baptist University respectively. He also holds the Licentiate of Trinity College London. Charles is currently the pianist in the Topeka Symphony. He
recently appeared in the Kansas Public Radio to collaborate with the soprano, Jennifer Forni. Last summer, Charles had a performance Tour, traveling from KC to San Antonio with the Youth Choir of Church of the Resurrection Leawood.
Besides playing the piano, he enjoys spending time with his two cats.
"The children often enjoy reading, playing on the sensory table, pretending in the kitchen area, playing with baby dolls, and age-appropriate art activities. As staff, we help the children develop skills such as leading prayer before snack, manners, and appropriate behavior in the Sanctuary. Each child chooses their own job each week. Some favorite jobs include "snack helper" and "line leader". We strive to create a safe and fun environment that is child-centered and child-led."
"Over the past 6 years I have taught children in Pre-School to 5th grade. I have also worked many years with younger children. I enjoy helping a child explore the world around them and learn new things each day! Working in the nursery at Avondale is a great opportunity to help young children learn and grow!"