Rev. Beate Chun
- Union City, CA
Pastor at St Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA
What brings you joy in your ministry?
Kids! Being around kids always puts a smile on my face.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
The many saints before me and beside me (although mostly not recognized as such).
What are your interests outside of ministry?
Hiking. Singing. Chocolate. Watercolors. Cooking for friends. Playing canasta.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Tomatoes from the garden with olives and fresh bread, together with wine and strawberries, all eaten on the beach on one of those rare days when it was actually warm enough on the Pacific coast to have a beach picnic.
I grew up in Germany, but have now lived longer in the United States than in Germany. I studied theology at Bethel near Bielefeld and at the University of Hamburg, Germany. I have served congregations in Texas, Wyoming, and California.
Did you always want to be clergy?
When I was 9 years old I read the story of Gladys Aylward, a young English woman who traveled as a missionary to China. Her initial application to the China Inland Mission was turned down, but her sense of call was so strong that she decided to go on her own. In order to get there she took the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Russia and China all the way to Vladivostok. It was a dangerous and complicated journey, and as a young girl I was totally captivated by it. I wanted to become a missionary myself and go to China, but most of all I wanted to grow up and be just like Miss Aylward, so strong, so fearless, so determined.
I have yet to ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad, but in an interesting twist of fate my Internship Supervisor here in the US had served as a missionary in Taiwan, and had at one point met Gladys Aylward!