Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017-5-14 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

2017-5-14 English Ministry News and Notes


*Warm Blessings on All who Mother - We celebrate the special ministry of mothering, whether it be our biological or adopted children, whether it be to those in our extended or chosen family.  We also pray God's gentle care for all those who long to mother or who have had painful experiences around mothering.  

*Special Giving Today - Camping Fund - You are invited to give generously in funding the children and youth of our church and extended community in attending faith forming opportunities through summer camps and more.  Thank you for your generosity!

*Save the Date - Our 130th anniversary will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Plans are underway for a special celebration. Please plan to be a part of it!

CCUMC's 130th Anniversary Celebration is only 3 weeks away! On Sunday, June 4th, we will begin with a joint worship service at 9:30 AM. This will be followed by a Gala Lunch at Cinnamon Tree Restaurant, 708 Franklin Street. Please see Becky to sign up today! Cost is only $15 to reserve a place, and includes a special souvenir. You may invite friends and guests, but be sure to get your reservations in no later than May 28th. 

Changes are Afoot—The Messenger will be undergoing some rethinking and redesign.  Pastor Emily plans to “retire” from selecting relevant devotional material for the first page on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  If you are interested in lending leadership in this way, please connect before June 4th.


Five Facts of Famine, International Rescue Committee

For the first time ever, the world is facing the very real possibility of not one, but four simultaneous famines—in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. Thirty million people are facing starvation and living on the brink of what could become the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Famines are not a new phenomenon, but they are preventable. So how are they still happening today? It’s time to take a closer look at what you think you know. Read our five facts:

Fact 1: Famine has nothing to do with having too many mouths to feed
Many people think that famine is a result of overpopulation. The reality is much more complicated: The semi-arid areas of South Sudan, Somalia and other East African countries that are now in the grip of famine are lightly populated compared to many other parts of the world. The solution has to do with early action—before an official famine declaration—to address and mitigate the true sources of hunger crises: conflict and drought.

Fact 2: Famine isn’t always caused by natural disaster
While the severe drought now sweeping across East Africa is making the situation worse, the hunger crisis in the region and beyond is actually man-made.
Violence and conflict in South Sudan and Somalia are cutting off supply routes, causing food prices to skyrocket and hampering the delivery of aid. In South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, five years of civil war have led to widespread hunger. Around half of harvests have been destroyed, food deliveries have been blocked, and aid workers have been attacked—leaving as many as a million people facing starvation. 
Beyond East Africa, conflicts in Nigeria and Yemen have created famine-like conditions for millions more.

Fact 3: We need to act BEFORE famine is declared
The famine early warning system known as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, or IPC, looks for all three of these criteria to be met before it declares a food crisis “Level 5”— a famine:  
     1. 1 in 5 households in a certain area face extreme food shortages; and
     2. more than 30 percent of the population is acutely malnourished; and 
     3. at least two of every 10,000 people die each day. 
This means that by the time a famine is declared, as in South Sudan’s Unity State, people are already dying. For them, it is already too late.
What is even more worrisome is that there are many more areas that are already at Level 3 and 4 that need help right now. Without immediate humanitarian aid, these will grow to Level 5 and people will continue to die. 
We have been here before, and we can prevent this from happening again, but we must act now—before it is too late.
To read about the final 2 facts, please visit www.rescue.org.  You can find the article under the “Latest” tab.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017-5-7 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon


English Sermon

2017-5-7 English Ministry News and Notes

 *Great Thanks for the united effort of this community in "Picking It Up" last Sunday.  Let us continue to make every effort to get to know, care for, and invest in our neighborhood.

*Praise Be to God!  We celebrate and give thanks for the amazing turn out and generous participation of so many at Saturday's Kumi Benefit Ride/Walk II.  At last count, we raised $38.858 towards our goal of $40,000!  God is good!

*Where in the World Are Our Pilgrims?  Today, our pilgrims will be visiting the deeply divided city of Hebron and having their first moment of free time.  Please continue to remember them on their journey.  They return Friday, May 12th.  Pilgrims will share informally during the Sunday School hour next Sunday, May 14th.  

*Please Note: For any pastoral emergencies, please contact Pastor Meina (meinako12@gmail.com or 510.452.1020)

*Special Giving: Camping Fund - We will invite a special offering next Sunday, May 14th, to support our young people to attend camping and missional opportunities.  Please consider giving generously.  

*Save the Date - Our 130th anniversary will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Plans are underway for a special celebration. Please plan to be a part of it!


The Story of Stephen

(from Acts 6:5-8:4)
This is the story of Stephen, a follower of Jesus Christ, and a man filled with God’s grace and power. He was one of a group of 7 believers set apart as leaders in the Christian community in Jerusalem.
Through the power of Holy Spirit, Stephen was able to perform amazing miracles and signs among the people in Jerusalem.  But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves started an argument with him. The Holy Spirit gave Stephen such wisdom in his responses that the men felt humiliated. And so they started a vicious rumor against him, telling others that they had heard Stephen speak blasphemy against Moses and God.
Soon rumors against Stephen were flying, and everyone was angry—the people, the elders and the religious leaders.  So Stephen was arrested and brought before the high council.  His enemies persuaded people to lie about him:  “We’ve heard him speak against the Temple and the law of Moses,” they said. “He’s even said that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy our Temple and change the customs we received from Moses.”
Everyone looked at Stephen, wondering how he would respond to such serious accusations. And they were amazed, because his face began to shine, as if he were an angel.
The high priest asked him, “Are these accusations true?”
Stephen looked around at them all, and began to speak.“Brothers, fathers, please listen to me.” 
And he reminded them how God had been at work in their own history. How God had appeared to Abraham, and entered into a lasting covenant with him.  How Abraham’s descendants found themselves slaves in Egypt, and how God had sent Moses to free the people from the clutches of Pharaoh.  How God had freed the people from slavery in Egypt, and led them into the desert. How, despite God’s love and provision, the people often turned away from God. How they had constructed a movable Tent in which to worship God, and later built a permanent Temple.  Stephen reminded them that God doesn’t actually dwell in buildings made by people—that nothing can contain God.
And then he looked right at them and said, “You stubborn people! You call yourselves Jews, but you are deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”
The Jewish leaders were furious--so furious that they couldn’t contain themselves. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, didn’t even seem to notice.  Instead, he gazed up into heaven.  And as he looked, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  This is where our scripture reading picks up today.
It would be important to know: After Stephen’s death, a great wave of persecution against the Christians swept through Jerusalem.  Many of the believers fled for their lives to Judea and Samaria—the very places where Jesus had said his disciples would be his witnesses.
The young man, Saul, eagerly joined the persecution, going on a rampage from house to house, dragging all the Christians he could find to prison.
But despite the danger, the believers continued to preach the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.