Sunday, May 26, 2013

English Ministry News and Notes 5-26-13

*We welcome Wendy Lee in sharing her faith today! Wendy will be going on a short-term mission trip to Bolivia this summer (June - July). She was invited to share about where God has been in this whole decision and how we might best support and pray for her.

*Adventure in Faith Year-End Chapel - You are invited to pitch in for the last chapel of the school year on Wednesday, May 29th, at 2:30 p.m. Please connect with Becky or Donna if you're able to be present.

*LMUMC Food Pantry Work Day, June 8th - Pitch in for a morning of meaningful service beginning at 9:30 a.m.. Please connect with Jane for more info.

*Curious About A Trip to Uganda? All interested parties are invited to a short "mission trip info" gathering on Saturday, June 15th, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This time together will enable you to get the information you need to continue discerning the invitation and call. The tentative dates for this Volunteer in Mission (VIM) trip to Uganda are for 2 week in mid-February 2014.

*Family Day Celebrations - We will be celebrating "family" on Sunday, June 16th with our CCUMC and Homework Club children and families. Our time will include a simple BBQ, games, and a promotion ceremony for graduating 5th graders. Please see the sign up sheet to pitch in.

Peace with Justice Sunday

“And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
––Romans 5:3-4, NRSV

The apostle Paul knew firsthand about suffering, but his personal experience with the resurrected Christ gave him hope. And, he said, “hope does not disappoint us.”

It is hard to find hope in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In December 2012, M23 rebels fought to control major cities and villages in the North Kivu Province. Within a few days, more than 200,000 people fled their homes and temporary shelters hoping to escape the violence of war. Many of the refugees are members of United Methodist congregations who were suddenly without shelter, food, water or medical care.

The vast eastern area soon became unlivable. The brutality of the reemerging war resulted in many atrocities and deaths, especially among women and children. These new victims were added to the more than 6 million people who have died in the region since 1998.

Prior to the December violence, United Methodists in the DRC – 2.3 million strong – received two Peace with Justice grants from the General Board of Church and Society.

A $4,790 grant encouraged young people in the Central Congo Episcopal Are to foster reconciliation. Another grant – $4,700 to the South Congo Episcopal Area – engaged youth and their leaders to model ways to overcome violence.

This Sunday is Peace with Justice Sunday, an opportunity to support peace with justice ministries in nations around the world and in our annual conference.

The Peace with Justice Sunday offering will:

  • assist United Methodists in understanding and responding to violence and militarism;
  • support efforts to end conflicts and violent aggression in the world, nation or community;
  • promote just national and international policies and actions seeking to restore communities and respond to the disproportionate effect of injustices on racial and ethnic persons; and
  • support policies that promote systematic economic justice and the self-development of people.

Funds for these ministries are administered by the social-justice agency of our annual conference and the Washington-based General Board of Church and Society.

Last year, the board provided a $4,000 Peace with Justice grant to create an Internet connection between United Methodists and Pennsylvania policymakers. In the first week of operation, the system enabled United Methodists to stop expanded access to alcohol, block predatory payday loans and support programs that help the poor, the sick and older adults.

Peace with Justice Sunday Prayer - Almighty God, we rejoice in your forgiveness and love for us, but we find it difficult to forgive and love those who inflict harm on our loved ones. Teach us how to become instruments of peace and justice as we support programs and projects that model the teachings of Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Videos for 5-12-13
Chinese Choir
Chinese Sermon
English Sermon - “Living the Resurrection VI: Love, Mom” Acts 16: 16-34, Pastor Derek Lang

English Ministry News and Notes 5-12-13

*Happy Mother’s Day!

*Great Thanks for Your Generosity - Between fundraising through outreach in Chinatown and last week’s special offering, we gathered $XXX for earthquake relief in China. Praise God!

*Pentecost Joint Worship Celebration, Next Sunday - We will gather for a joint worship celebration on Sunday, May 19th, at 10:30 a.m. We welcome the Rev. Chun Wai Lam from Hong Kong to bring our message. A joint potluck will be held immediately following worship. For those with last names of A - K, please bring a salad or veggie dish to share. For those with last names between L - Z, please bring a meat or main dish to share.

*Pentecost Joint Choir - All those who enjoy singing are invited to jump in and join the choir. There is one rehearsal remaining, Saturday, May 18th, at 1:30 p.m.
*Pentecost Fellowship Luncheon Support - We need a team to plate food, warm up food, set up food, and generally ensure all our delicious contributions next Sunday get served. Would you like to pitch in? Connect with Pastor Emily.
*What’s Coming Up in Adult Sunday School? Great thanks to Pastor Derek for leading the series, “UMC 101.” 
  • May 26 & June 2nd - Have you ever felt challenged by communicating your feelings and needs? Do you wish you could be a better listener? Pastor Emily and Charlie will be introducing NonViolent Communication (NVC), a powerful process that will transform how we talk and listen. We will dive deeper into NVC during the summer over community weekly meals.
  • June 9th - End of the year reflections. We’ll gather to review, reflect, and share highlights on our year of learning.
  • June 16th & 23rd - No Sunday School. Parallel Worship @ 9:30 a.m.
  • June 30th - Annual Conference Report Back.
You’re invited and encouraged to be a part of the learning that happens each Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m!

Living the Resurrection

What does it mean to not just believe in resurrection…but actually to live it…to practice it?! We celebrate resurrection each Easter Sunday…but what about all the other days of our lives? These are the questions we explored during the
Eastertide Season. We give thanks to our faith sharers over the Easter season: Donna, Derek, Becky, and Charlie.
Here are some final thoughts to take us into Pentecost:

Megan McKenna, the prolific and profound Catholic writer, saw resurrection as a verb, a spiritual practice in every day life when she was leading a Bible study. She shares the following vignette in her book Not Counting Women and Children: Neglected Stories from the Bible.
"Once in a parish mission when I was studying this scripture (Luke 7: 11-17) with a large group, someone called out harshly, 'Have you ever brought someone back from the dead?' I had been saying that life happens when we are interrupted, and that some of the most powerful acts of resurrection happen to the least likely people; that we are the people of resurrection and hope, called to live passionately and compassionately with others, to defy death, to forgive, and to bring others back
into the community, to do something that is life-giving, that fights death and needless suffering. And then this challenge from the back of the church.
"My response was 'Yes.' I went on to say, 'Every time I bring hope into a situation, every time I bring joy that shatters despair, every time I forgive others and give them back dignity and the possibility of a future with me and others in the community, every time I listen to others and affirm them and their life, every time I speak the truth in public, every time I confront injustice — yes — I bring people back from the dead.' "
Here are a few suggestions for how you might continue to live the resurrection in your daily life:
  • Give your full attention to whatever you are doing, and you'll recognize the constant renewal of life all around you.
  • Walk the path of beauty and notice the spiritual radiance in people, places, and growing things — more signs of rebirth.
  • Whenever you with compassion open your heart, mind, and soul to the pain of the world, you help bring suffering beings back into the land of the living.
  • When you cultivate the art of making connections, the walls of separation come crashing down and new life can spring up out of the rubble. 
  • When you regularly pray for others as part of your devotional activities, you are practicing resurrection.
  • Every time you forgive someone, another resurrection is in the making.
  • When you can welcome guests and alien ideas with graciousness, you are participating in a new world of hospitality.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Videos for 5-5-13

Chinese Choir
Chinese Sermon
English Sermon - “Living the Resurrection IV: Breaking Down Walls” Acts 11: 1-18, Pastor Emily

English Ministry News and Notes 5-5-13

*Great thanks to the congregation's generosity! We received $920 towards the Camping Fund last Sunday. We look forward to sending our young people to camp!

*China Earthquake Relief Special Offering - You are invited to go a second mile today by giving to earthquake relief work. Your offering today will be forwarded to The Amity Foundation, UMCOR's local partner in the region. Thank you for your generosity and to all those who supported the outreach fundraiser
on Saturday!

*Pitch In! There are two opportunities to pitch in this upcoming Saturday:
1. CCUMC All Church Work Day - come spruce up the church, do some light maintenance, and help get ready to pass our fire inspection. You are welcome to come any time between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
2. LMUMC Food Pantry Ministry Work Day - this is an ongoing ministry partnership opportunity. We make a HUGE difference as we uniquely connect with the elderly Chinese clients. Please connect with Jane for more info.

*Last Chance! Next Sunday, May 12th, is your last chance to catch a session with Derek who teaches all about United Methodism. Sessions begin promptly a 9:30 a.m.

*Pentecost Joint Worship Celebration - We will gather for a joint worship celebration on Sunday, May 19th, at 10:30 a.m. We welcome the Rev. Chun Wai Lam from Hong Kong to bring our message. A joint potluck will be held immediately following worship. For those with last names of A - K, please bring a salad or veggie dish to share. For those with last names between L - Z, please bring a meat or main dish to share.

Living the Resurrection - Charlie Ho

What does it mean to not just believe in resurrection…but actually to live it…to practice it?! We celebrate resurrection each Easter Sunday…but what about all the other days of our lives? These are the questions we are exploring during the Eastertide Season which carries us from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday! Members of the congregation have been invited to share their thoughts and experiences about resurrection and how they have attempted to live it. This week’s faith sharer is Charles Ho

It’s been decades since I thought about college and what to major in. If memory serves, it was a major decision during my late teen years. My heart then was interested in looking at what’s important in life, and pursuing that. I thought of majoring in philosophy; I remember having a conversation about it, and the advice was that I will have to read a lot. Seemed simple enough. But other concerns got in the way. More truthfully, I never had the courage to follow my heart. Instead of pursuing philosophy or even pursuing a liberal arts
education, I eventually majored in accounting and finance. In the following years, the focus on what’s important died as what seemed real made sense at the time and earning a living absorbed my attention.

About 4 years ago Pastor Derek asked me to join the English Ministry Council (EMC) in the role of coordinating congregational nurture and development. As we revived small groups and adult Sunday school, I found that what little I know DOES matter. As I started to read books and articles that might help, the decades old yearning to search for what’s important was resurrected.

Some may say, “That’s simple, what’s important is JESUS!” And that may suffice for many. For me, it has been more convoluted. I have needed to question and satisfy my doubts along the way. It is only now that I have come to realize the journey to build faith – to me, that’s trust in the Creator as Jesus did - does make more sense as more steps are taken. While it may seem late to come to this realization, I think this is right for me.

I am grateful to the church, especially the Sunday School class, for encouragement and support; I am especially appreciative of the feedback that gave light for positive change. Thank God for all sources of inspiration. It is wonderful to feel alive!