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Korean episodes of ‘A Matter of Faith’ now available

Podcast touches on immigration, social justice and women’s issues

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

There is now a Korean version of “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast.”

LOUISVILLE — A husband and wife who serve as mission co-workers in South Korea have paired up with a seasoned online personality to co-host a Korean-language version of “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast.”

The Rev. Hyeyoung Lee and her husband, the Rev. Kurt Esslinger, will co-host the episodes with the Rev. Dr. So Jung Kim, who’s familiar to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members and friends as host of “Everyday God-talk” produced by the Office of Theology and Worship.

The new program, which is out now and available here, will be delivered in Korean for Korean speakers, and there are no plans to translate episodes into English, said Simon Doong, a co-producer of the “A Matter of Faith” family of podcasts. New episodes of the Korean iteration will come out quarterly, typically on Mondays.

“We anticipate that Korean-speaking Christians, especially Presbyterians in the U.S. and Korea, will listen to this podcast,” Lee said via email. “In the podcast, we will be focusing on talking about women’s leadership within the church, immigration issues and social justice-related issues by interviewing people who have been working on those issues, both in the U.S. and in Korea. These topics are not typically covered within the Christian community, especially Korean American churches, so we would like to make space for these conversations and raise awareness of these issues in conversation with people who have been working on them.”

The first episode, which opens with a brief segment on Korean culture, will feature the Rev. Eun Joo Kim and the Rev. Ann Menzie, who are members of the Korean American Presbyterian Clergywomen. In addition to discussing how that organization got started, they will talk about challenges that people of color, including women, face within the church.

The podcast dovetails with the work of Lee and Esslinger, who’ve been mission co-workers since 2013.

“As mission co-workers living in Korea, we often work with partners who are working with marginalized people or are addressing reconciliation amidst conflict like the Korean War,” Lee said. “This would be a great opportunity to let other Christians and Presbyterians in the U.S. and in Korea learn more about what kinds of partners we work with. It will be an opportunity to share stories of Korean Christians doing work that connects a social justice mindset to their faith, and we hope that will encourage other Christians to live their faith with action.”

The Rev. Dr. So Jung Kim, who is an Associate for Theology in the Office of Theology & Worship, is familiar with the digital world thanks to “Everyday God-talk,” which she’s been hosting since the pandemic started. Already a friend to Lee and Esslinger, she approached them about creating a Korean-speaking platform at almost the same time as the “A Matter of Faith” team, and they decided to proceed with this collaboration.

“We hope that this pilot project could become a good start to offer changes to Korean-speaking constituents in PC(USA) to have more exposure to social justice issues in both Korea and the USA and the position of PC(USA) about those issues,” she said via email.

The debut episode will be available on typical podcast platforms and on the podcast’s website. The “A Matter of Faith” family also includes monthly Spanish episodes (Una Cuestión de Fe: Un Podcast Presbyteriano).

“A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” is a joint effort between the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).


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