Sunday, September 28, 2014

English Ministry News and Notes 2014-9-28

World Communion Sunday is next Sunday, October 5th. This will be a JOINT Worship, so please come at 10:30AM! Please stay for a luncheon of soup and bread immediately following service!

Our church member, Musa Funtua, can be seen here hard at work at Downs Memorial UMC. His work responsibilities include being a cook’s assistant and helping at their "Clothes Closet" store.

The Bridges District $100K Challenge for Imagine No Malaria

We have accepted the challenge in Bridges District to raise $100,000 for Imagine No Malaria by Annual Conference of 2015.

We know. $100K sounds like a lot. But if you think about it for just a minute what we're really talking about is less than $2 per person per week throughout our District. $45 per Church per week? The answer is….. "WE GOT THIS".

We can beat the other Districts and get there first!


Put a bucket in church and challenge your community! We really can do this!

Bridges District! We will save 10,000 lives through Imagine No Malaria by Annual Conference!
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WHAT EXACTLY IS MALARIA?

Malaria is caused by a parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito. This mosquito flies and feeds at night (which is why bed nets are an effective prevention tool). When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasite enters the bloodstream and heads for the liver, where it multiplies. It then re-enters the bloodstream, attacking red blood cells. Typically, someone with malaria experiences a high fever, chills, joint pain and headaches. Left untreated, symptoms eventually advance to organ failure. Nearly 90 percent of malaria’s victims are children under the age of 5 and pregnant women.

THROUGH PARTNERSHIP, WE HAVE MADE EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESS

In 2007, the World Health Organization estimated there were more than 1,000,000 malaria related fatalities. By 2012, the number had been reduced to 627,000. While that is still a staggering number, a nearly 50% increase in life is worth celebrating! Thanks to the efforts of The United Methodist Church and our partners, we are on our way to beating malaria for good.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

English Ministry News and Notes 2014-9-21

Bidding Pui Fong a fond Farewell! Please join the CM congregation during their 10:30AM tea time today (September 21st) in the annex, as they honor Pui Fong’s time of ministry with CCUMC.

World Communion Sunday is October 5th, 2014. We will be having a JOINT service beginning at 10:30AM in the main sanctuary. Afterwards, we will have a soup and bread luncheon in the annex. If you are willing to contribute a huge pot of soup, please connect with Peggy!

2014 has been a momentous year for our Uganda Mission, as the school, which we have been constructing for more than 5 years, opened its doors for instruction in February! We will be sharing firsthand stories of our 2014 trip to the village of Kumi at our Annual Benefit Dinner, which is slated for Friday, October 24th, just 6 weeks away! We hope you and your friends will join us for this 5th Annual Gala, held at Restaurant Peony in Oakland. Please get your reservations in ASAP, and we promise you won't be disappointed. The evening includes an 8-course Chinese Banquet, a Silent Auction, and a Village Crafts Market. Visit
www.ycvm.org for more information and online ticket purchasing. Tickets can also be purchased in person from Becky Wong. Join us as we "Touch the Heavens and Change the Earth!"
Our Silent Auction for this event is now accepting your pledge of (new) goods or services. Please connect with Peggy or Donna if you are planning to donate. Items can be brought to church beginning October 5th!

A note from our CCUMC Kitchen: We're getting rid of the aluminum & worn Teflon pots. If you’d like to donate usable stainless pots & pans, please do so! Also a reminder to ALL who use the stoves & ovens: Please clean up any spills. Also remember not to leave food in the refrigerator or freezer that won’t be used immediately. Please keep our kitchen spotless!

Farewell to Pui Fong Wong

By Yvonne Chu

When I learned that Pui Fong was leaving CCUMC at the end of September, my heart was a bit heavy and lost. Her departure is not only a great loss to CCUMC, but also a tremendous loss for me personally. It is the loss of a wonderful friend and mentor.

Over the past two years, Pui Fong has faithfully served God and CCUMC. She has been a spiritual mentor (preaching and leading Sunday School/prayer sessions) and an active participant in various church ministries (helping the development of the yearly ministry plan and helping to lead the parenting/shepherding groups). Even the banner in the sanctuary was made by Pui Fong and Pastor Meina.

Pui Fong’s love and enthusiasm for the Lord is exemplified in her unwavering devotion to the various outreach ministries that she has been involved in. Pui Fong also has a special gift of connecting well with people. She provides unconditional care and support to church members whenever they are in need. We thank God for the special gifts and talents that He has bestowed upon her, which have been a true blessing for the CCUMC family.

Pui Fong, Pastor Meina and I have worked closely together for the past few years and have provided mutual support. We have worked very well as a team and it will be difficult to find a replacement for Pui Fong. Personally, Pui Fong has been a valued friend and inspirational mentor to me. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to her.

Hong Kong is Pui Fong’s hometown and is currently facing immense political challenges. Pui Fong has made the decision to relocate back to Hong Kong during this period of political turmoil at the calling of God to serve the needs of the people in Hong Kong. Pui Fong would also like to return home to accompany her family and provide care for her parents. Although I am reluctant to see Pui Fong leave and a bit worried about the Chinese Ministry, I have faith in God that He has the perfect plan and will provide for us.

On Sunday, September 21st, we will have a farewell party for Pui Fong during tea time. I hope that the brothers and sisters in the English Ministry will join the Chinese Ministry in expressing our appreciation and farewell to Pui Fong. May God’s grace and blessings continue to shower upon Pui Fong as she continues God’s work.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reflection by Robert H. Spain

Reflection by Robert H. Spain, a retired bishop in the United Methodist Church, currently serving as chaplain of The United Methodist Publishing House.

Last night, I arrived home at about 7:30 p.m. Awaiting dinner with my wife, I perched myself in my well-worn, comfortable chair on my back porch. From this comfortable setting I often watch the moon emerge from the lower branches of the tree on its nightly pilgrimage across the sky - its presence influenced by the fullness or absence of cloud cover, and its shape determined by its solar trajectory. Over the years I have watched its path change with the seasons. As if directed by some divine choreographer, this earth companion tiptoes across the sky in orderly fashion displaying a swath of light everywhere it goes.

Last night it was different. I was alerted to the something different even before the moon made its appearance. There was no thunderous sound, no announcement but something big was about to burst upon the earth. I watched as this enormous full-circle ball of light unhurriedly edged its way through the branches penetrating the darkness with a celebrating brightness. It was huge. It lit up the sky as it rose from the horizon. There was something unwavering about its path. It knew where it was going. Last night, the Harvest Moon was queen of the heavens. It reigned in regal glory.

I sat and watched its climb. Little by little it cleared the trees, and my entire backyard was covered with its beauty.

As I watched I was drawn into a deep reflection as to what was going on. Moonlight is everything the poets and singers make it out to be. But the moon has no light. What I saw last night were rays from an earth-spent sun bouncing off the surface of the moon toward the earth. The moon is a reflection of something else. Far behind the moon is a power and life-giving something expressing itself through one of its solar travelers.

How like us. We are the reflection of forces and powers beyond ourselves. For sure, we trot our personal assets before the public with confidence and hope. But like the moon, we have been gifted with a light from above. The character of our presence and the brightness of our abilities are not self-generated commodities, but we can allow a life-changing light to bounce off us onto the world.

There are not a lot of Harvest Moons. Most of us are not of the red carpet folks, but we have been invited to be participants.

English Ministry News and Notes 2014-9-13

Thank you to all who participated yesterday at our Church Work Day! There were many chores that needed to be done to insure that our building remains a welcoming space and a vital outpost for ministry.  "Many hands make light work!"

The Middle School Group will be having a GAME NIGHT at church on Friday, September 19, from 7:30pm to 9pm. Bring a friend and a board game to share. Adults are welcome to join in the fun!

2014 has been a momentous year for our Uganda Mission, as the school, which we have been constructing for more than 5 years, opened its doors for instruction in February! We will be sharing firsthand stories of our 2014 trip to the village of Kumi at our Annual Benefit Dinner, which is slated for Friday, October 24th, just 6 weeks away! We hope you and your friends will join us for this 5th Annual Gala, held at Restaurant Peony in Oakland. Please get your reservations in ASAP, and we promise you won't be disappointed. The evening includes an 8-course Chinese Banquet, a Silent Auction, and a Village Crafts Market. Visit www.ycvm.org for more information and online ticket purchasing. Tickets can also be purchased in-person from Becky Wong. Join us as we "Touch the Heavens and Change the Earth!"

Our Silent Auction for this event is now accepting your pledge of (new) goods or services. Please connect with Peggy or Donna if you are planning to donate. Items can be brought to church beginning October 5th!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

English Ministry News and Notes 2014-9-7

Christian Education for Children and Youth~ Classes Began today! Sunday, September 7 at 9:30 a.m. Thanks to our coordinators, Charlie Ho and Pastor Brenda. Many thanks to the dedicated teachers: Gloria, Leily, Charlie, Steve, Laura, Rich, & Michelle; and to our substitute teachers: Peggy, Becky, and Veronica

Small Group Ministry~ Small group meetings resume the week of September 7th. Small groups gather weekly or bi-monthly for a time of encouragement, reflection on scripture, and prayer. You do not need to be an expert on the Bible to join a small group. Small groups offer welcoming, non-judgmental spaces for participants to explore their faith in a meaningful way. If you are not already part of a small group and are interested in participating, please see Pastor Brenda for more details.

There will be a short planning meeting next Sunday, Sept. 14th, after service for our 5th Annual fundraising event for YCVM (Youth and Child Visionary Ministries). The event is slated for Friday, October 24th! You can reserve your table now by connecting with Becky or Ben. Tickets are $50 per person or $500 per table of 10.

Our Silent Auction for this event is now accepting your pledge of (new) goods or services. Please connect with Peggy or Donna if you are planning to donate. Items can be brought to church beginning October 5th!

Ben Fong has passed away

Rev. Ben Fong passed away on August 19th. He was 87. Pastor Fong retired from our church in 1993, and later moved back to Shanghai, China, with Margaret, where he continued to tirelessly work for our Lord teaching in seminaries and preaching in churches. In March he started to feel discomfort in the stomach. After being diagnosed of cancer by the medical professionals in China, he decided to come back to the US and stayed with his youngest son's family in Austin, Texas. In his last days, he was surrounded by his 3 sons and their families, along with Margaret. We will miss Pastor Fong and ask God's blessings on Margaret and their family. If you would like to send Margaret a card, her address is 13012 Coriander Drive, Austin, TX 78729.

Back to School!

For those who are students, parents of students, teachers, or school administrators, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. It is time to hit the books again! Along with math, science, and reading, its also time to for our youth and children to start another season of Sunday School classes and for our adults to return to another season of small groups. What about you? What may the Spirit have to teach you in this new season? How will you be intentional about your spiritual growth? I’m sure you agree that learning is a lifelong process. The Spirit is never done with us! Why not commit yourself to a new season of challenge and discovery by attending our Sunday morning Adult Sunday School, one of our small groups, volunteering at church or in the community, or perhaps personal devotions and scripture reading. Join the ‘Back to School’ movement!

Pastor Brenda