When the Rev. Jinwoo Chun was a little boy of 5 or 6 in Korea, he had a playmate who was epileptic. Several times when his friend had a seizure, Chun’s father, a Methodist minister, picked up the boy without hesitation and took him to the hospital. Looking back, he said wanting to be like his father had been the beginning of his desire to be a pastor himself.

His father’s influence loomed large in his life, Chun said. “If he had been a policeman, I would probably be a policeman; if he had been a doctor, I would probably be a doctor,” he said. Chun’s grandfather was also a Methodist pastor.

Eventually he entered the Methodist Theological Seminary in Korea, and later came to New England to earn his master’s in divinity. Since his ordination in 2001, he has served churches in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; July 1, he started as the new pastor at Belfast United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Hyeweon Hwang, have a 7-year-old son, Eunseo.

Chun said his ministry is focused on relationships – with God and with other people. He referred to the concepts of loving God, our neighbors and ourselves as “the love trinity.” Too often, he said, people forget the third part of the trinity, the importance of a loving, compassionate attitude toward ourselves.

He said he hoped the Belfast church would be “a sanctuary for everybody who needs it,” a place where all could feel safe and find divine healing.

He used the phrase “wounded healer,” coined by the spiritual writer Henri Nouwen, to express how our wounds can help us learn to touch others with compassion. Chun said when he was preparing to leave his Rhode Island church, several members of the congregation told him he had shown them God’s healing power. He added that he wants to share that same power with people in this community.

As to his specific vision for the church, he said it was too early to address it, as he and the congregation are still learning about each other.

In closing, he recounted how, after his ordination, he had talked to his father on the phone. His father said, “I’m very proud that you have become a pastor. My prayer for you is that you will keep your choshim.” Choshim, Chun explained, is a Korean word that means something like, “the heart you had when you first started a job or a relationship,” perhaps akin to “dedication,” “enthusiasm” or “inspiration.”

His father’s prayer has now become Chun’s own prayer for himself.