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‘Living, Dying, Rising’ conference leadership spotlight: Jeya and Daniel So

Innovative church planters to speak on the theme of ‘Dying’ at 2017 national gathering

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – The Revs. Jeya and Daniel So, lead pastors of the Anchor City Church, a new worshiping community in the Presbytery of San Diego, will lead Tuesday evening worship and give the Wednesday morning plenary address for “Living, Dying, Rising,” the 2017 national gathering for 1001 New Worshiping Communities.

Living, Dying, Rising,” which takes its scriptural basis from John 20:19–23, will be held August 7–10 at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The 2017 national gathering will outline the story of the life of Christ and the life of the church.

Jeya and Daniel So. Photos provided.

Jeya So, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Southern California, met husband Daniel while both were pursuing their MDiv degrees at Princeton Theological Seminary. Daniel So, who was born and raised in Michigan, says that he is honored to serve alongside his wife Jeya as co-lead pastors of the Anchor City Church, a “third culture church called to reflect the joy and creativity of Jesus in our diversity.” Daniel also serves on the Advisory Board of Justice Ventures International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and modern-day slavery and to bringing freedom, justice, and restoration through partnership.

Jeya and Daniel So recently shared with the Presbyterian News Service their excitement about being a part of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative and its 2017 national gathering. 

PNS: What will you preach, teach or present at the Living, Dying, Rising conference?

DS & JS: We are looking forward to leading both the Tuesday evening special art and reflection worship service with [conference worship leader and coordinator] Abby King-Kaiser and speaking together for Wednesday’s plenary session on the theme, “Dying.”

PNS: Why are the theme and the content of this national gathering important for today’s church?

DS & JS: We live in a culture determined to pursue comfort and avoid pain at almost any cost. We struggle with the fear and pain of denominational and congregational decline. Following Jesus means that we don’t attempt to gloss over the reality of sin, brokenness, or death. Rather, we follow the One who defeated death through it.

As the Book of Order states, “The Church is called to undertake this mission even at the risk of losing its life, trusting in God alone as the author and giver of life, sharing the gospel, and doing those deeds in the world that point beyond themselves to the new reality in Christ.” Starting new Kingdom initiatives is inherently risky, but absolutely worth it!

PNS: What in your own personal, professional and/or pastoral experience drew you to the leadership of this conference?

DS & JS: When we planted Anchor City Church three years ago, we did not fit the profile of church planters as entrepreneurial, assertive, etc. And yet, throughout this adventure, we’ve seen God at work in so many powerful ways, both in and through our unique mix of talents, interests and experiences.

PNS: What features are unique to this conference?

DS & JS: As church planters ourselves, we know how isolating and discouraging the work of planting and pastoral ministry can be at times. Connecting with this tribe reminds us that we’re not alone and what an incredible thing it is to join God’s mission of redemption in the world around us.

PNS: What’s one thing you want each person who attends this conference to come away with, share or implement in his or her daily life? 

DS & JS:

We hope our story can encourage others to see that venturing forward into uncharted territory will require new, diverse and creative experiments.

We’re honored to be a part of this conference and look forward to learning and growing alongside everyone who is participating!


For complete information and to register online, visit the national gathering website.


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