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MSN m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-12 published
Lindsay Erin ENGLAND and Regan Shane NEUDORF -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 12, 2005, Page M4
Regan Shane NEUDORF had that sinking feeling he had missed the boat, although it was in fact a jet that whisked Lindsay Erin ENGLAND off to New Zealand in 2001. The winsome Ms. ENGLAND, a leader of worship services at the Unionville Alliance Church, had stirred his heart, yet he was too circumspect to make a first move before she left the country to begin six months of study at Capernwray Torch Bearer Bible School. "I got to know her family, but never actually got to know her," he says.
He remained involved with the church while working toward his fine arts degree at York University, but when Ms. ENGLAND returned to Canada, she took a job at a summer camp in Muskoka, so the two didn't bump into each other. By September, she had begun an honours science degree at the University of Guelph, concentrating on family and social relations.
Their random encounter in front of the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street defied probability, yet in October, 2002, each arrived there with a different group of Friends, drawn by the reputation of the evening's entertainment: the spiritually magnetic band Pedro the Lion.
Mr. NEUDORF summoned his courage and struck up a conversation. "I was attracted. I thought, 'This girl's really cool, I'd like to get to know her,' so we just hung out that night," he says.
That December, her parents hosted a musical fete for church volunteers where the riveted couple were soon comparing their eclectic musical backgrounds. (She had been a vocalist for 10 years and he had played guitar and bass in a punk band.) A barrage of e-mail and MSN conversations that led to phone calls morphed into romance. After a first date in March, 2003, the two were soon exclusive. "I think [our attraction] was rooted in our Friendship at the beginning and through our common interests in music and faith," she says. "The person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with needed to appreciate the same things, so we really clicked."
A friend's wedding in Alberta the next spring prompted thoughts of a timely engagement by Mr. NEUDORF. The realization that Pedro the Lion was scheduled for an encore at the Horseshoe settled the place. He optimistically fired e-mail messages to the band's management, and an enthusiastic response shot back. Nervous with anticipation, on June 24, 2004, he fingered the ring in his pocket as Ms. ENGLAND and other Friends squeezed among the 400 fans. Several songs into the set, lead vocalist Dave Bazan announced that the next song, Start Without Me, one of Ms. ENGLAND's favourites, would be dedicated to her.
Suddenly, surprise turned to shock when Mr. NEUDORF bounded on stage, delivered heartfelt accolades about Ms. ENGLAND to the audience, beckoned her to join him and proposed.
The couple's planned Sunday, August 14, wedding would be "a step away from the traditional," Ms. ENGLAND explains. But the libertine couple's choice of the York Event Theatre as a wedding venue yielded a ceremony enveloped in faith and spirituality nonetheless. Ms. ENGLAND approached the dais to the accompaniment of Josh Grogan's You Raise Me Up, performed live by a vocalist, with piano, violin and guitars. The bridegroom's father, Reverend Eugene NEUDORF, officiated the moving service. The bride, who wore a slim-fitting ivory cowl-necked gown accented by hot pink shoes, a matching netted cocktail hat and a bouquet of pink gerberas, says with a laugh, "I would have gone for a pink dress if I'd seen one."
Mr. NEUDORF, 25, is now the creative arts director at Unionville Alliance Church, where he produces and runs student ministry teams that involve youth in lighting, graphic and Web design, and video editing for weekly presentation programs. Mrs. NEUDORF, 22, hopes to work in youth counselling and development. Espousing their idealism, she enthuses, "We both really like to see passion in youth. A vibrant generation living honestly, and loving other people peacefully."

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MSN m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-08 published
Christine CHO and Jamie PARK -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
For Christine CHO and Jamie PARK a platonic test cruise soon had their transmissions in overdrive.
They met at church, where she played softball on a co-ed team that he coached. Eventually they became part of a group that explored the Toronto scene.
On Valentine's Day, 2002, their paradigm tilted. "About four of us were all single at the time and decided that we'd hang out, have a nice dinner and enjoy each other's company," recalls Ms. CHO.
The following day when the pair, who rarely chatted on MSN, connected, she confessed that as a girlfriend she would be difficult -- high maintenance, and with lofty expectations. Risking a wounded ego but looking for validation, Mr. PARK suggested a week-long experiment, in which he "would play her boyfriend."
Despite misgivings about spoiling a great Friendship, Ms. CHO agreed: "Both mature adults, we'd test the waters and wouldn't tell any of our Friends. Because if we broke up they might feel awkward having to choose sides."
Early that summer, Mr. PARK recalls, "I meant to say I like you," but instead his heart spoke, "I love you." Two weeks of torment ensued as Ms. CHO pondered her response. "I didn't want to say it unless I really meant it," she explains, adding, "Jamie was extremely patient, understanding and concerned with my being happy."
Born in Etobicoke, Ms. CHO, who is a prodigious violinist with virtuoso potential, exhibits many exceptional attributes. She was Canada's representative in the Miss World competition in 2000, and as the first woman of Asian descent to win the Miss Canada International title in 2001 she was feted here and in Korea.
After an honours B.A. in English from the University of Toronto, she considered a masters degree, but pursued a certificate to teach English as a second language instead. "Teaching new adult immigrants made me more appreciative of being Canadian and the immigrant struggle."
Meanwhile, when her mother began O'Happy Day Daycare, Ms. CHO again switched direction and became its administrator. Accustomed to rendering support to family enterprises, she observes: "You plan your future, but you have to be flexible."
A financial planner at Scotia McLeod, born in Korea and with a Bachelor degree in Science from York University, Mr. PARK, 35, says, "I knew Christine before and after she ran for the pageants. It was an accomplishment for her, her family and the Korean community, but never a deciding issue as to why I was attracted to her." Their philosophical interconnectedness includes respect for their Korean heritage, faith as their bedrock and volunteering at Mil Al Church and the Woodgreen Red Door Shelter.
Playing on her empathy for the underdog, Mr. PARK concocted a tale about sharing a lonely friend's birthday, luring Ms. CHO to a table set for four at the Fairmont Royal York's Epic restaurant on June 10, 2005. Asked to critique the spelling on the birthday card, which included the question "Will you marry me!," she noted he'd used an exclamation mark in lieu of a question mark -- and then accepted the proposal.
On May 20 at Garden Korean Church, personal vows were exchanged before Rev. Danny CHUNG. "It was a good exercise to think about why you are marrying and what you promise. It wasn't just to ourselves but to God, as well," says the bride, 27, who designed her ivory lace gown and the yellow silk charmeuse bridesmaids dresses.
After a luncheon at the Mandarin restaurant, dinner at Kleinberg's Copper Creek Golf Club was revved up by the Lady Kane band and surprise pyrotechnics. "Initially, we both thought that it wouldn't work. But when a relationship is meant to be, a lot of things just fall into the right place," says Mr. PARK.

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