Monday, May 28, 2012

Videos for 5-27-12

The entire 125th Anniversary bilingual worship

“Fire and Followers” - Rev. Renae Extrum-Fernandez

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Celebrating CCUMC’s 125th Anniversary

Looking back, reaching forward:
Be (who you are). See (what you have). Do (what matters to God)!

Over the last 125 years, this church has experienced countless changes and weathered all sorts of ups and downs. Through it all, God’s presence has been steadfast and enabled the church to remain rooted and standing strong. God lead us, challenged us, loved us, and enabled the church to grow. Thanks be to God! May we look back with hearts full of gratitude and reach forward with hope. May we truly be who God has created and called us to be. May we see the abundance of gifts and resources in our midst to make a difference. And may we join together in doing what matters most deeply to God.

Special 125th Anniversary Year Invitations

You are warmly invited to participate in our year-long celebrations.

• July & August – First ever “Mission Exchange”!

We will be hosting two friends from Youth and Child Visionary Ministries in Uganda this summer – Silver Omakenyi & Grace Among. They will be sharing their testimonies and how they are doing what matters most to God by caring for orphans and building a school. Keep your eyes and ears open for all sorts of opportunities to connect!

• Aug. 26th, Sunday – Chinatown Street Fest Children’s Outreach

• Sept. 29th, Saturday – All Church Picnic

• January 19th, 2013 – Thanksgiving Luncheon

• April 2013 – Elders Appreciation Luncheon

Monday, May 21, 2012

Videos for 5-20-12

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "Casting Lots, Discerning Leaders", Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, Pastor Emily

Sunday, May 20, 2012

125th Anniversary Kickoff

Dear Beloved Community - 

Greetings in the love and joy of God!
Today, we marked the final Sunday in Eastertide.
We look forward to welcoming the Holy Spirit to infuse us and fall afresh on us next Sunday at Pentecost.
We are also excited about kicking off our year long celebration of the church's 125th anniversary.
Please come and join in the special joint worship celebration with our very own Bridges District Superintendent, Rev. Renae Extrum Fernandez, bringing the message.
The joint worship celebration will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a simple but festive reception.

You are invited to come and be inspired to "Be (who you are).  See (what you have). And Do(what matters most to God)!"

Grace & Peace,




Emily Lin

CCUMC News and Notes for 5-20-12

*Youth Camping Fund Special Offering - We will be taking a special offering today for our "youth camping fund." Your generous offering today will support children and youth from our congregation to attend summer camps, mission conferences, and other spiritual growth opportunities all throughout the year. You are invited to give with an open heart!

*Kicking Off Our 125th Year! We will be kicking off a year of celebrations next Sunday, May 27th, starting with a joint worship service. Please note that worship begins at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Sunday School (both children's and adult's) next week. You are encouraged to reach out to past members, friends, neighbors as we gather to celebrate! We will host a simple reception following our joint worship. All are welcome!

*You Can Still Join the Choir! Didn't make it on Saturday to choir practice? No problem. You are warmly invited to come this Saturday, May 26th at 10:00 a.m. for a time of singing our hearts out to God. Join in the Pentecost fun!

*Annual Conference Flood Bucket Challenge - You are invited to pitch in and fill the flood bucket kits that will be shared with brothers and sisters experiencing disaster.  Sign up’s are on the social hall table.

*May’s Adventure in Faith Chapel - We’ll be exploring the friendship between Jonathan and David on Wednesday, May 31st with the Homework Club students.  Come and be a part of the seed planting and faith growing!

*Save the Date - Please mark your calendars now for two upcoming happenings:
1. June 10th, Sunday, 2:30 p.m. - Homework Club Summer Program Family Orientation. Stick around to welcome and connect with the families participating in this year's Summer Program.
2. June 16th, Saturday, 9:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Learning to Extend God's Extravagant Welcome, a cultural competency workshop with Shan McSpadden and Rev. Katie Wong Choy in preparation for welcoming Silver Omakenyi and Grace Among.  The whole church is urged to participate.  A simple lunch will be provided.

Watching and Waiting: Meditation for Ascension Day

Today is the last Sunday in Eastertide.  Next Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Many mark this Sunday as “Ascension Sunday,” a time in which we remember the story of Jesus ascending into the clouds after he had spent 40 days with his disciples following his resurrection.  The following meditation invites us to ponder our posture as we recollect Jesus’ ascension.
Watching and Waiting: Meditation for Ascension Day
21st Century Africana Liturgy Resources
The Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton

Watching and waiting. Is that what it is all about? Before John the Baptist, the people of God were watching and waiting, looking for the Anointed One who would free them from their oppressors, looking for a kingdom in which they would rule. They watched and waited so diligently that many missed it, when anointedness showed up in a man named Jesus.
Watching and waiting. While John the Baptist was in prison, he sent messengers to ask Jesus, "Are you the one we are waiting for? Are you the one we are watching for?" Jesus asked back, "What are you looking for? Do the blind see? Do the lame walk? Were you looking for wholeness?"
Even after Jesus died, the disciples were watching and waiting. Jesus had risen from the dead, eaten fish with them, walked with them up to Mount Olivet. Jesus had continued to teach them from the law, the psalms, and the prophets. Suddenly he was lifted up and carried away on the clouds. Going back to glory! Hallelujah! And those who were with him watched the sky.
They waited and they watched. They watched and they waited. Until the angels asked them, "What are you doing? Why are you gazing into space?" The question still resounds.
Why are we gazing into space? Waiting and watching! Jesus taught us. Jesus showed us. Jesus promised to clothe us with anointedness, Holy Spirit power to do greater things than he did. And indeed, the Holy Spirit came and continues to be present that we might do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Oh yes, he is coming back. But our waiting must include kingdom building, creating a realm where there are no oppressors, where there is abundance for the poor, and healing and wholeness for all the children of God. While we watch, let us look for signs of God's love and grace in the world and share the good news. While we watch and wait today, let us ride high on the cloud of worship. Let the kingdom show up in this place, for Jesus is already here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Videos for 5-13-12

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "I Have Called You Friends", John 15:9-17, Becky Wong

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2012 Mission Exchange Prayer Calendar - MAY 2012

“Accept the prayers of Your people, and in Your mercy,
look with compassion on all who turn to You for help.
Grant that we may find You and be found by You,
and that we may bear witness to Your glory in the world.”
From The Prayers of the People

Week of
May 6 – 12            Pray for spiritual guidance in all aspects of the Mission Exchange visa application process, especially as Silver and Grace seek a second interview with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. Pray that it would bring positive results.

May 13 – 19            Praise and thanksgiving that the itineration calendar is filling up.  (We currently have 6 presentations scheduled.) Pray for creativity and thoroughness that the presentation package will include everything that will tell the story of mission and ministry of YCVM.

May 20 – 26            Pray for the orphans: Raymond, Grace, Stellah, Sarah, Jessica John and Sheillah, as they return from school holidays to commence school again. They send their love to us.

May 27 – 6/2            Pray for our planning with Shan McSpadden and Rev. Katie Choy-Wong who will lead cross-cultural training sessions for us as we welcome, host, and learn about each other.

CCUMC News and Notes for 5-13-12

*Happy Mother’s Day!!

*Stepping Up to the Challenge
- We’ve been challenged to take at least 4 cleaning bucket kits to Annual Conference this year (June 20th - 23rd). These will be sent to the UMCOR West Depot in Salt Lake City for use in all kinds of disaster situations. Will you pitch in? Sign up on the clip-boards circulating.

*Let’s Go to Camp!  Last year, our Board of Administration & Trustees made a commitment to support our children and youth who were interested in attending camps, conferences, and other wider opportunities that would nurture spiritual growth.  To that end, we will be taking a special offering next Sunday, May 20th to fund CCUMC’s “Camping Fund.”  You are invited to be generous!

*Looking Ahead to June - please take a moment to sign up to participate in the LMUMC Food Pantry Ministry Saturday, June 9th. This is a meaningful way to "make love real"!

*Join the Pentecost Joint Choir - Will you lend your voice to welcoming the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as well as celebrating the church's 125th year? Singers of all skill levels are invited to be a part of the joint choir. Practices will be held on two Saturdays, May 19th (9:30 a.m.) and May 26th (10:00 a.m.) Please connect with Aeri or Pastor Emily for questions and to RSVP.

*Looking Back. Reaching Forward: Be, See, Do! We are kicking off our 125th anniversary celebrations on Sunday, May 27th. The festivities will begin with a joint worship at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reception. You are encouraged to reach outward - to family, friends, past members, new neighbors - and invite them to catch a glimpse of what all God has been doing...and is doing at CCUMC.

*Summer Adventure in Faith Invites YOU! Yes, YOU!
The summer is fast approaching and we are inviting the congregation to get involved in this important outreach, seed-planting ministry. Pitch in by being a presence, preparing snacks, leading a small group, helping with crafts and so much more. Please connect with Pastor Emily today to learn more.

A Reflection from General Conference

The General Conference of the UMC met from Apr. 24—May 4th, 2012.  Over ten days of meetings, many pieces of legislation were reviewed, discerned and voted upon.  There were many difficult conversations, especially those about who we love and how we love.  The following reflections comes from United Methodist pastor and writer, Rev. Steve Garnass-Holmes.  His reflections challenge us to struggle with Jesus’ commandment to “love one another as I have loved you” even as we disagree with one another.  How do we can best work through disagreements and friends...with love?

Staying - Rev. Steve Garnass-Holmes

After a big church fight like the United Methodist Church just had, people sometimes ask the losers why they stay in a denomination - or sometimes even with congregations - when they have such deep differences. Why not leave them and join up with more like-minded people? Well, you stay because they're your people. You stay because Jesus' commandment wasn't to agree with each other, but to live with each other.
We are a part of this great, messy organism of the human community, and all the little messy parts of it, like families, and congregations, and denominations. We don't get to opt out. We don't get to pick and choose our neighbors. We don't get to vet whom we love and whom we avoid. That was the issue when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, in response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The answer is, whoever you meet up with, especially the ones you think aren't, and wish weren't, your neighbor. Especially them.
Despite various calls for doctrinal conformity, what binds us together in the church is not our choices but God's. God makes up the church; we don't. What unites us is not our mutual assent to similar ideas, but our love for each other. We participate in God's love for everyone. It's love precisely because it bridges our differences. It is love because it is rooted in God's care for everyone, regardless of how good or right or at home we feel among them. The same is true of our families, and the whole human family: we are One, whether we like it or not. So we might as well practice liking it, and living with each other.
The willingness to extend care and even to embody unity with those who are different from us seems like a challenge-- but isn't that what love is? Love is a commitment to the well-being of the Other, and the deepest love is toward one who is very much other. “Loving” someone who is essentially a projection of myself is hardly love at all. Loving someone who is really, really different—now that's love.
So we stay in families and churches order to love the people who drive us nuts, the people who we believe are betraying Jesus and his love, the very ones he died for. We may not be doing it well. But we're definitely getting a lot of practice. God help us.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Youth and Child Visionary Ministry (YCVM) Update

We received an update and pictures from Silver Omakenyi on May 7th, 2012!  He writes:  Thank you for your solemn prayer that keeps us during this busy schedule.   Our God is rich in grace and mercy, we live by it.
Education - Grace and I did not have good Easter because Stella had an abscess on her forehead and Grace Among also was suffering from malaria.  Both were attended to at FredaCa Hospital in Ngora.
Here, Stella is being happy at home after the surgical operation on her face.
School Construction - The school building has got floors!  All 7 classrooms and 5 offices, and eaves also have been slabbed.  What is a slab? It is getting together a hard floor of a house by putting hard core into the house as shown below, followed by blending and mortar which is the mixer of sand cement and aggregate to form a slab. The whole house has achieved slab except the veranda.