Sunday, October 27, 2013

Videos for 10-27-13

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "What if Church...were inside out?" - Luke 18:9-24 - Jamie Micheals

English Ministry News and Notes 10-27-13

*We welcome Jamie Michaels as our guest speaker today. Jamie serves as Campus Minister for UC Merced and Merced College. A recent graduate of Pacific School of Religion and candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church, Jamie served the church as a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries for two years as a US-2. She worked with the General Board of Church and Society in Washington DC, as well as with the United Methodist Committee on Relief as it opened its new Relief Kit Depot site in Salt Lake City. Jamie's passions lie in worship and the arts, Young Adult ministry and leadership development, and moving the UMC towards policies that embody God's desire for justice for all people.

*Quinn turns 2! Join Quinn and his parents, Rudy and Sophie, for a light lunch in celebration of Quinn’s 2nd Birthday immediately following worship service!

*New Sunday School 8 week series led by Steve Chan and others! The book title is “What’s the Least you can Believe and still be a Christian” by Martin Thielen. You are welcome to come and join the discussions!

* We’re Going to Uganda! We are in the midst of forming a Volunteers in Missions (VIM) team to Uganda in May 2014. The first orientation retreat will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 9am to 1pm. You are invited to go on the journey as a volunteer or part of the home team. For more info, connect with Aeri, Donna, or Becky.

*Adventures in Faith Chapel ~ You are invited to participate in this vital ministry of sharing faith with our Homework Club students. Our October chapel will be held on Wednesday, October 30th, with a gather time of 1:30pm. For more information, please connect with Donna or Becky.

What if Church was Less about Sunday & More about the Other days? by Steve Chan

I think churches and Christians need to be more about the other six days along with Sunday. Most churches are alive and vibrant on Sundays, but the middle of the week is quiet and somber. Churches are inclusive on Sunday(appearance of), but closed during the weekdays (except for the occasional meetings). In fact we encourage the congregation to hold most of their meetings outside away from church.

On Sunday; there is music, laughter; sharing and fellowship. People are generally on their best behavior on Sunday. Conversation is easier on Sunday; because we know God is listening. We are more tolerant and generous on Sunday. It seems we even smile more on Sunday. We are expected to leave our worries and problems at the door when we enter church to worship. So when we leave we then pick up our worries and problems to deal with them during the other six days. Is that how God intended it to be?

I truly believe that Church and the Christian life should be active everyday of the week. The concept of being a Sunday Christian is so real. Without the background of the cross and gospel music at church on Sunday; we head back to our busy lives. By Monday the church feeling has worn off and we revert back to the ways of the world. I would venture to say that we need church more on Wednesday or Thursday; when the worries of the world have over taken us.

It is vital to get involved with small groups, bible studies, mission work, fellowship with other members during the week to get refreshed to deal with the stress of everyday life. Church is also not confined to the building; but should be carried with us every where we go and to every thing we do. Be church, live church and find church everyday.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Videos for 10-20-13

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "What if Church...were in the Streets?" - Luke 9:16 - Rev. Deborah Lee

"Show Me" by Benjamin Wong

I have to confess, I haven’t been keeping a Sabbath lately. In fact, it’s been the total opposite - continuous work. Every couple of years, there is a big push to complete the current project, and everyone works furiously until it’s done. Fortunately, the 24/6 Sunday School study has really got me looking forwards to when I can get back to a normal schedule, and one that includes holy rest. Maybe it will happen before the end of the year - we’ll see.

Many of you know that I live and work in Silicon Valley. Some years back, I had a co-worker who was in charge of assembling the smaller pieces of the design into the completed artwork (yes, computer chips are actually drawn). Due to the precision and accuracy involved, he would often not trust verbal communications about the pieces being handed to him. He was skeptical, because people frequently told him inaccurate information - not because they were lying, but because they simply didn’t report correct information. He would often say, “I’m from Missouri - show me.” (he is actually from New York, and has a noticeable accent, which made the statement mildly amusing).

He gave that reply because the unofficial nickname of the state of Missouri is the “Show Me” state (I’ll let you do the research, and come to your own conclusion of how and why it got that nickname). Because he didn’t trust the verbal information, people would have to bring up the data on-screen, so he could see it for himself. Only then, would he believe what people were telling him. Fortunately, the completed design was correct, and the products were very successful in the market.

We live in a skeptical world. I’m sure you’ve seen dozens of supposed miracle products, heard of conspiracy theories, and received emails saying that you’ve inherited a large sum of money from another country. Along side that, practically every time I see a church making national news, it doesn’t paint a picture of “the most loving place in town.” It’s no wonder that people are skeptical of churches and their beliefs.

Wouldn’t you like to demonstrate what CCUMC believes? The world may not believe what we say, and they may not even want to hear it in the first place. If I’m a non-Christian, do I want the church to “tell me” a set of beliefs? Maybe they would rather have the church “show me” what the church believes.

Many churches - even CCUMC - are hoping that the world will walk into the sanctuary on Sundays and find out what we believe. Is that an effective way to demonstrate what we believe? Our sanctuary only seats about 80 people, and on most Sundays it isn’t even close to full. The world is not breaking down our doors to get inside and see what’s going on.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

English Ministry News and Notes 10-20-13

*We welcome Rev. Deborah Lee to the pulpit this morning! She is the Project Director of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, part of the statewide organization Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice-California.

Deborah was ordained in 2005 as a United Church of Christ minister and has worked in the field of faith and social justice as a pastor, educator and organizer.

She has led pilgrimages to the Manzanar Relocation Center, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and the Angel Island Immigration Station. She is the coproducer of two films: In God's House and Living Along the Fenceline, and the coeditor of the book : Unfaithing US Colonialism. She is also a mother and a dedicated tai chi practitioner.

*New Sunday School 8 week series led by Steve Chan and others! The book title is “What’s the Least you can Believe and still be a Christian” by Martin Thielen. You are welcome to come and join the discussions!

* We’re Going to Uganda! We are in the midst of forming a Volunteers in Missions (VIM) team to Uganda in May 2014. The first orientation retreat will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 9am to 1pm. You are invited to go on the journey as a volunteer or part of the home team. For more info, connect with Aeri, Donna, or Becky

*Adventures in Faith will be gathering on Wednesday, October 30th! Please connect with Donna if you are available to pitch in!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Videos for 10-13-13

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength" - Nehemiah 8:1-3, 9-12 - Meina Ko

English Ministry News and Notes 10-13-13

  • We Welcome Meina Ko to the EM Worship Service! Meina has served as the Minister of Discipleship for just over a year. More recently, Meina expressed her intention to step into discernment about ordination. We are so excited to be able to accompany and support her on this journey! Let us keep her in our hearts and prayers as she courageously takes each step.
  • Please Note: The church office will be closed on Monday, October 14th in celebration of Columbus Day.
  • Hosting Hospitality Hour ~ Our time immediately after service is an important time of fellowship. This is where we catch up with friends and meet new ones. Food is an important way we extend hospitality. If you are willing to pitch in by hosting and sharing food, please sign up on the big board in the social hall . The last quarter of the year is quite open at this time!
  • Watch for news about VIM training beginning in November!

What If Church ....? By Pastor Emily

In September, we explored renewal on an individual and personal level. The case for renewal was made, we reflected on how listening to and for God undergirds our renewal, and how the renewal of God’s image within us was one of the “fruits” of the process. The series concluded with a revisiting of the faith practice of rest or Sabbath as a key cornerstone to renewal.

We give thanks to both our preachers, Becca Cramer and Burt Yin, as well as our wonderful faith sharers in the Messenger: Charlie Ho, Derek Lang, and Jane Yin.

This month, we turn to renewal in a communal context. We ask the questions: What might it mean for us, as a church, to be renewed? Where might we need to be renewed as a body? How do we go about renewing ourselves as a community?

We have invited a dynamic group of preachers and pastors to be with us over the next 5 weeks. Each brings a unique perspective and practice of church that may look nothing like we are used to. For some, church happens in the streets and at the gates of immigration detention centers. For others, it unfolds on college campuses and in the midst of missional service. For still others, church comes alive in partnerships of transformation and shalom. Each preacher will help us wonder together about who and what God has called us – Chinese Community UMC – to be, here in Oakland Chinatown, and now in the 21st century. Our hope for the series is that it will spark our imaginations, urge us into discernment, and to start some great conversations about possibilities. We want to be renewed!

Here, for further reflection, is an excerpt from the website What if church were not just a building? Not a noun, but an action verb? Jesus gave the Great Commission, and told us to “Go into the world” doing the things that he did: teaching, healing, feeding hungry people, speaking out about
injustice, and calling the world to more faithful living. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples to begin a movement.

The early Christians did not see themselves as "church." Until Paul and Peter agreed upon a division of labor, one attending to Jewish followers of Jesus and the other taking the gospel to the Gentiles, the followers of Jesus spoke of themselves as the people of "the way."

In too many places, we have lost that sense of being a movement and have convinced ourselves it was enough to gather in our buildings and wait for people to come and find us. Jesus sent the disciples, and sends us, out to meet the world. We do that when we encounter the world at its points of greatest need.

The term we might use for these touch points is “doors.” Jesus consistently used a door as a metaphor to present opportunities to engage and invite his listeners to be part of the building of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Just as the early church then was on the move, so too, we are calling churches to move beyond bricks and mortar to engage a world longing for love, compassion and hope.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Videos for 10-6-2013

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon - "Homily - Holy Persistence; Don't Give Up!"