Hardy Hyoung Nyun Kim
A second generation Korean-American, Hardy was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, with his parents as an infant. When he was ten years old his family moved to Detroit, Michigan. His family found a solid foundation of community and stability in Korean immigrant churches. In Detroit his family joined the Korean Presbyterian Church of Metro Detroit and soon thereafter the church called a woman as the pastor of their English ministry. The authenticity of her faith and her guiding questions challenged Hardy to reexamine his faith and to develop a vibrant, sustaining faith for the entirety of his life. He became very involved in congregational life, participated in mission efforts around the country, and attended denominational and ecumenical events.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University in 1996, he enrolled in law school at the University of Michigan, believing that a career in law would enable him to change society and express his faith by helping others. However, after serving a year as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer in Mission in Belfast, N. Ireland, Hardy confirmed his calling was not to a career in law. The joy he experienced in his ministry and in the connection with the community of faith around him convinced him that he needed a faith community to sustain him and ground him in his work.
In 2007 Hardy received a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. In September of 2008 he completed a two year program at Fourth Presbyterian Church as a Lilly Pastoral Resident. While a resident at Fourth, he was able to participate in a large multi-staff diverse urban church. His ministry there was particularly focused on new members, young adults and mission. It was during this time that he received a sense of call to be in relationship with persons in periods of transition and discernment regarding their relationship with church communities. Hardy continues this ministry today as Associate Pastor for Church Growth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, GA.
Hardy lives in Decatur, GA, with his spouse Hyunjung, a fashion designer who has worked for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. They have a dinosaur and Star Wars obsessed son Joonil Jonah, who turned 5 years old in April; and all together, this past August, they welcomed into their family a wonderful baby girl named Haeil Johannah.
I must make a confession. I have never really liked Paul. I say this realizing that I am about to preach about Paul and that I may be risking my credibility as a Protestant minister.
But when I think about Paul, I usually focus on his major epistles. I know that his letters to the churches in places like Corinth, Galatia, and Rome are some of the most important Christian documents in existence. They tell an amazing story of faithful persistence and outline key principles of faith that define our tradition to this day. I know all of this. Still, sometimes, I just can't get past the tone of Paul's speech. I know I should get past this, but consider the introductions to Paul's letters in The HarperCollins Study Bible: Pauline experts describe Paul as "ironic and argumentative" and "bitterly polemical." First Corinthians is called "a letter of exhortation and pastoral counsel," yet the commentator states, "[Paul] reinforces his argument with reprimands, irony, threats, and (less frequently) praise." Charming, yes? I often wonder how this PAUL was able to spread the good news of Jesus Christ into the Roman world bringing so many to faith.Read full transcript...