Minister: Rev. Dr. Nam Ok Yoo (유남옥 목사)

Nam Ok was born in Nam Won, South Korea. She obtained her BA, MA, and Ph. D. in Korean Language & Literature at SookMyung Women’s University in Seoul and taught Korean language and literature for a decade. After arriving in Canada in 1998, she worked as a Research Associate at the Faculty of Education in UBC, where she spearheaded the first province-wide initiative to develop an accredited Korean Language Curriculum for BC high schools.

 

She felt God’s call in 2010 and subsequently entered the Master of Divinity Program at the Vancouver School of Theology. She graduated from VST with a Presbyterian background and shortly after she transferred to the United Church of Canada. She started her ministry at the Hardisty-Hughenden Pastoral Charge in east-central Alberta

and she was ordained in 2018 by the BC Conference. While living and worshipping with the people in the two agricultural areas Nam Ok deepened her understanding of the vital role that rural churches play in their communities. This was a transformative experience that significantly expanded the horizons of her ministry.

She started her new ministry in May 2020 at the Willingdon Heights United Church in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with adapting to the challenges of remote worship, she saw WHUC’s potential as a model intercultural church that embraces diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages, and yet, is united as one as a worshipping community, Christ’s hands and feet. She envisions WHUC is a holy space for all people, regardless of all the differences we may have, where we understand and serve with one another, and where everyone feels respected and safe to worship as they are, to gather for God’s mission and fellowship. She is excited to share her vision with those who are drawn to the community that is Willingdon Heights United Church.

 

Nam Ok is a life-long learner and seeker of truth with a passion for faith, hope, and justice. She has two grown-up daughters, Jenny and Michelle. Nam Ok enjoys reading, walking and cooking, especially making kimchi, a traditional Korean cabbage dish, during her spare time.