Pastor Sunny is a Korean American fourth-generation Christian descended from her ancestors who were converted into Christianity under the ministry of the Methodist missionary to Korea, R.A. Hardie. She was born in Incheon, Korea, and immigrated to the United States when she was 15. Since then, she was raised in Southern California (Northridge, CA), which made her a “Valley Girl.” After marrying her husband, Sung Ahn, she moved to Chicago, Northern California (Concord, CA), and now she is here in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.
She has a B.A. in Christian Education from International Christian University. She has a Master of Divinity Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Biblical Preaching and Church Leadership as a Beeson Scholar with full scholarship at Asbury Theological Seminary. Her dissertation thesis was “Clergywomen with Spiritual Authority.” She has a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Capella University (MBA in Nonprofit Management). She has finished all her Ph.D. coursework in Business Administration, specializing in Organizational Leadership at National University. Her thesis is “Adaptive Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Qualitative Multi-Case Study of Pastors Serving Local Churches in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.” Currently, she is waiting to defend her thesis. She is also a 1st-year law school student at Northwestern California University School of Law.
She was ordained as Deacon in 2000 and as Elder in 2002. She served the UMC of Westlake Village, Northridge UMC, Toluca Lake UMC, La Canada UMC, Our Redeemer’s UMC, and San Ramon Valley UMC before coming to Kona UMC. Her personal mission statement is “to restore the joy of salvation in the hearts of people.” She desires to have her tombstone say, “Sunny HOPS (Helps Other People to Smile).” She loves green frogs that remind her of her dependence on God (FROG: Fully Rely On God). Her favorite color is green because it gives her a sign of life, growth, and energy. She applies “Play Theory” in life/ministry. She believes that there is no life/ministry without playing together.
According to Myers-Briggs, her personality type is INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judgment). According to the Gallup Strengths Center, her top 5 strengths are Positive, Activator, Arranger, Intellection, and Achiever. According to the Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory assessment, she responds to conflict cooperatively in both calm & stormy conflict situations. According to the Enneagram Personality test, she is a Type 1, Reformer who is rational, idealistic, principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
She loves traveling, music, art, and sports. Whenever she and her husband are able, they are up and go somewhere to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. One of their plans is to travel all over the place to enjoy the beauty of God’s diverse world before they go to their heavenly home. Having a free-flying benefit from her husband’s work (United Airlines) helps them greatly in this enjoyable life they are pursuing. She is a fan of the Celtics and Broncos by marriage. She loves Kumdo (Japanese Fencing) and kickboxing to play. Living in Hawaii has made her enjoy playing golf, also. She loves water paintings and visual art. She loves live theater, musicals, opera, and plays. More than anything else, she loves the Triune God in her, who is her greatest strength.
She is a team player. She cooperatively approaches ministry and life. She sees herself as an empowerer or equipper. Her leadership style is more partnership-based than hierarchical. She prefers to be collegial in ministry and life. She is relational. She is creative and visionary. Capturing the vision in a new circumstance usually takes time, but soon as she captures the vision, she becomes creative in strategizing the steps to actualize the vision. She believes that faith should be practiced both in church and in the public square. She believes collaboration is a must for bringing fruition in life and ministry. She believes the church can grow and get healthier through small groups and caring ministry. She enjoys the celebration of multiculturalism, the diverse expression of faith without uniformity.
Administration and organizational skills are her strong skills. She is disciplined, well-organized, and responsible. With these skills, she has been a consultant and mediator for churches and Los Angeles Unified School District. She has also led the visioning process for churches to strategize the ministry in an orderly manner. In practicing these ministry skills, she connects the giftedness/passion of people with ministry opportunities, which is her joy.