There is a word called "식구(Shik-gu)" in Korean. It means family, but if you transliterate this word, it means "people who eat together." Family means sharing food together. This concept applies equally to the church. You can join in communion together and those who join and participate in the Lord's Supper together can be called a family.
In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus heard that His family had come and He said, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" and He then said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother." At first glance, it feels like Jesus rejects and denies His family, but Jesus is not a man of such character. Jesus is speaking of the family of the kingdom of God, not the fleshly family. Jesus has come to make a family of God who lives according to God's will.
Our Korean community group members have left their family in Korea. Some have left their parents to immigrate and some have left their beloved husbands to give their children a chance to study in a different environment. Whether it is long-term, or short-term, it is people who have come far away from their family. They come from different cities and different occupations, but all of them came to South Delta and joined our community group.
The SDBC Korean community wants to become a family to people who come here from Korea. We are sharing God's love with them because a family shares good things. Last May, we went on a retreat to Victoria. It was a meaningful time. We laughed a lot, talked a lot, and comforted and encouraged one another. I felt we had such a wonderful family time away from our busy life. After the retreat, someone told me that she could not stop thinking about the time we all had together during the retreat, and it always made her smile. She didn't expect that she could meet new people and feel as if she was part of a family, while being away from home. This helps us realize that whenever new comers come to the church, we should view them as a new family member, rather than just a new person coming to church.
The churches that Paul mentioned in the New Testament were all house churches. In Romans 16, we see that the churches were gathered in the homes of Prisca and Aquila, several Christians, including Asyncritus, gathered elsewhere in the house churches, and several others, including Phiologus, also gathered in the house churches. The most basic aspect of the church was the home, like our community groups. We will be able to understand and be more mindful in our missional life when we are together and love as a family.
At the end of the school year, many people go back to their families in Korea. It's always hard to see people leave when we started to form a strong bond together. However, I pray that they will find good churches and become family members of God in Korea and I look forward to welcoming more new family members here in South Delta.