Sunday, March 29, 2015

English Ministry News and Notes 2015-3-29

Schedule for Holy Week
  • Today, March 29 ~ Palm Sunday
  • Friday, April 3rd ~ Ecumenical Good Friday Service 1:00 PM
    • Fellowship time begins; 2:00 PM Service Chinese Presbyterian Church
  • Friday, April 3rd, 7PM  Good Friday Evening Service at CCUMC
  • Sunday, April 5th: EASTER SUNDAY
  • Sunrise Service in Courtyard at 7:30AM
  • Wa Sung Pancake Breakfast at Lincoln Sq (English Service 11:00 AM)

  • There will be a joint choir of 3 churches for the Ecumenical Joint Service on Good Friday, April 3rd.  Please connect with Yvonne if you would like to be a part of this uplifting experience!  Rehearsal times would be at 1pm TODAY and at 12:30pm on 4/3.
  • AIF Family Night.  A dinner and FUN night is being planned for Friday, April 24th. Please save the date, and come to our planning meeting on Sunday, March 29th, after SOUP Sunday at church, so we can put forth the best ideas to make this a welcoming event.

Playing to Lose? by Melissa Slocum

The referee had never seen anything like it. Both teams tried to draw fouls, miss free throws and avoided taking shots at their own basket. Starters from both teams sat on the bench during the first half of the tournament game. Why? Both teams knew that the winner of the game would advance and be seeded to play the No. 1 team in the region, which would likely mean a loss and failure to advance to the next level. As we head into March Madness, it’s hard to believe that two basketball teams would intentionally try to lose the same game. Fortunately for college fans this was not college-level play and the brackets are safe. But two Tennessee high school girls’ basketball teams were banned from the rest of the tournament and placed on probation during next year’s season for trying to lose their game.

A losing strategy
Local school officials, parents and fans responded with disappointment that those coaches and players would intentionally try to lose a game in order to avoid playing a better team. Teens might not see any harm in such strategy, thinking that the end justifies the means. But in competitive sports, “throwing” a game is cheating. Adults have the experience to know challenges are part of life and simply cannot be avoided. Christians are called to prepare ourselves for and navigate through inevitable life challenges, including facing tough opponents, losses or seemingly impossible situations.

By the Book
Scripture has a lot to say about confronting challenges head-on instead of hiding our talents. Remember the story of the boy David who faced the giant warrior Goliath with nothing more than his faith in God and a slingshot? Also, what about Esther who risked her life to appear uninvited before her husband, the king, in order to save her people. Even the story of Jonah, who at first fled from the work God had for him, points us to how God continually calls and uses us despite our size, education, experience, abilities or fears. Hiding ourselves or our talents and shrinking from challenges never glorifies God. Regardless of the challenges that come our way, we can face them confidently using our God-given gifts and knowing that God will be with us every step of the way.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

English Ministry News and Notes 2015-3-22

  • There will be a joint choir of 3 churches for the Ecumenical Joint Service on Good Friday, April 3rd. Please connect with Yvonne if you would like to be a part of this uplifting experience! Rehearsal times would be at 1pm on 3/29 and at 12:30pm on 4/3.
  •  AIF Family Night. This is a new ministry to build community with the children and families of our students in the Homework Club. A dinner and FUN night is being planned for Friday, April 24th. Please save the date, and come to our planning meeting on Sunday, March 29th, after SOUP Sunday at church, so we can put forth the best ideas to make this a welcoming event.
  • Summer Camp registration is open NOW! Our Cal-Nevada Conference will again be hosting an exciting, God-filled week for students in grades 3-6, 7-9, as well as a Leader In Training session. Dates are July 19 -25. CCUMC will be providing camperships to help defray part of the $315 cost. Check the website at www.cnumc.org/camping for more information and to register online. Let Pastor Brenda and/or Becky know if you are interested in participating.
  • Meals for Pastor Emily. Thanks to everyone who has been providing a weekly meal for Pastor Emily since she became a new mother last May. She and Steven are most appreciative to receive this gift, as their days and nights are filled with caring for the twins, Milo and Imani, who are now almost 10 months old! We are starting a new calendar for the months of April, May and June, so please sign up with Becky (rebeccawong8@gmail.com) if you can provide a meal for two that is free of gluten, peanuts, shrimp, and soy products. Meals can be delivered on a Sunday to their home in Alameda, and you may even get a glimpse of the twins in action!
  • Have you ever wanted to trace the very footsteps of Jesus and his disciples? CCUMC has been invited by Rev. Elizabeth McVicker to join the UM churches in Wyoming and Montana on a journey to the Holy Land in January, 2016. An informational meeting will be held at CCUMC on Sunday, April 12th, 12:30 PM. Come and learn more about this inspiring opportunity.

Imagine No Malaria




Remember to bring your donation for our collection bucket! We will be collecting up until our General Conference!

The Hope I Found by Deborah Ann Belka

When my spirit is spent,
and my heart is discontent
it's when the hope I found
turns everything around.

It renews and refreshes,
my soul it replenishes
each day, new mercies flow
till no longer unrest grows.

When my days are dreary,
and my life is weary
it's when the hope I found
in my heart, leaps and bounds.

If fills me with inspiration,
praise and adoration
for my God, my Lord, my King
my devotion to Him, I sing.

When my strength fails,
and my trust pales
it's when the hope I found
turns my heart around!

Copyright 2015
Deborah Ann Belka
bdebby@hotmail.com
www.hiswingsshadow.com

Sunday, March 15, 2015

English Ministry News and Notes 2015-3-15


  • Today is the last day to place your order for Easter Lilies. Each plant is $10.00. Connect with Helena or Peggy to place your order.
  • There will be a joint choir of 3 churches for the Ecumenical Joint Service on Good Friday, April 3rd. Please connect with Yvonne if you would like to be a part of this uplifting experience! Rehearsal times would be at 1pm on 3/29 and at 12:30pm on 4/3.
  • AIF Family Night. This is a new ministry to build community with the children and families of our students in the Homework Club. A dinner and FUN night is being planned for Friday, April 24th. Please save the date, and come to our planning meeting on Sunday, March 29th, 12:30 PM at church, so we can put forth the best ideas to make this a welcoming event.
  • Summer Camp registration is open NOW! Our Cal-Nevada Conference will again be hosting an exciting, God-filled week for students in grades 3-6, 7-9, as well as a Leader In Training session. Dates are July 19-25. CCUMC will be providing camperships to help defray part of the $315 cost. Check the website at www.cnumc.org/camping for more information and to register online. Let Pastor Brenda and/or Becky know if you are interested in participating.
  • Meals for Pastor Emily. Thanks to everyone who has been providing a weekly meal for Pastor Emily since she became a new mother last May. She and Steven are most appreciative to receive this gift, as their days and nights are filled with caring for the twins, Milo and Imani, who are now almost 10 months old! We are starting a new calendar for the months of April, May and June, so please sign up with Becky (rebeccawong8@gmail.com) if you can provide a meal for two that is free of gluten, peanuts, shrimp, and soy products. Meals can be delivered on a Sunday to their home in Alameda, and you may even get a glimpse of the twins in action!
  • Have you ever wanted to trace the very footsteps of Jesus and his disciples? CCUMC has been invited by Rev. Elizabeth McVicker to join the UM churches in Wyoming and Montana on a journey to the Holy Land in January, 2016. An informational meeting will be held at CCUMC on Sunday, April 12th, 12:30 PM. Come and learn more about this inspiring opportunity.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Your gift creates safe places for children

An estimated 2.5 million people have fled to Syria's immediate neighbors of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011. In Turkey alone, about 1 million Syrians have arrived.

The burgeoning conflict in Syria has also caused some 2 million children to drop out of school. Not only are children missing out on their education, they also are being traumatized by the violence.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with partner International Blue Crescent (IBC) to address the special needs of 400 Syrian refugee children in Turkey. Through the creation of Child-Friendly Spaces, children receive psychosocial care and education to help them deal with the anxieties of war in safe, protected spaces.

More than 3,000 schools have been damaged or destroyed since the conflict in Syria began. Child-Friendly Spaces offer war-affected children a safe place to learn and grow.

UMCOR is assisting displaced Syrians, working together with international partners and exploring ways to meet their needs.

Your gift today matters

Your generous gift provides immediate assistance in the wake of conflict like this one in Syria, and supports ongoing ministries of food, shelter, health and peace. Giving today to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering ensures that UMCOR can respond anywhere in the world.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

English Ministry News and Notes 2015-3-8

  • Easter Lilies can now be ordered to help decorate our sanctuary for Easter. You can specify in who’s honor you are dedicating the lilies to and it will be announced in the bulletin. Each plant is $10.00, and you should connect with Helena or Peggy to place your order. Last Sunday to order will be March 15th!
  • There will be a joint choir of 3 churches for the Ecumenical Joint Service on Good Friday, April 3rd. Please connect with Yvonne if you would like to be a part of this uplifting experience! Rehearsal times would be at 1pm on 3/29 and at 12:30pm on 4/3.
  • Looking for Soup Makers for our S.O.U.P. (Sundays of Uniting Prayer) Sundays . We are still in need of 1 soup maker for March 15 and March 22th. Please sign up on the Hospitality Sign Up sheet in the Social Hall.
  • Schedule for Lent/ Holy week
    • February 22 - March 22, Sundays: Lenten Worship followed by reflections shared over a simple meal of Soup and Bread.
    • March 29, Palm Sunday
    • April 3, Ecumenical Good Friday Service, 2:00 pm, location: Chinese Presbyterian Church. Fellowship begins at 1:00 pm
    • April 5, Sunday: Easter Early Morning Service, time TBA
          • Easter Sunday Worship at 11:00 a.m.

Imagine No Malaria Bridges District Challenge 2015

The churches of the Bridges District have been challenged to raise $100,000 for the Imagine No Malaria Campaign.
Let's do our part!
Church members of all ages are encouraged to participate!

Here is what you can do to help the campaign:
Imagine that jar of change that you keep in the kitchen...
Imagine all the loose change that has fallen between your couch cushions...
Imagine all those nickels and dimes rattling around in the bottom of your purse...
Imagine those extra quarters that you keep in your car...
Imagine giving up one cup of coffee from your local shop per week or forgoing that can of soda....
Are you imagining?
Now....imagine bringing that extra forgotten change to church and donating it to the Imagine No Malaria Campaign!
Now...imagine this...

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.

The campaign will be celebrated at the Cal/Nevada Um Conference in June. While the church will continue to accept donations through May, you are encouraged to make a special effort to participate during this season of Lent.

Pastor Brenda

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Good Friday Worship Service, April 3, 2015


English Ministry News and Notes 1-3-2015

  • Looking for Soup Makers for our S.O.U.P. (Sundays of Uniting Prayer) Sundays which begins today. We are still in need of 1 soup maker for March 15 and March 22th. Please sign up on the Hospitality Sign Up sheet in the Social Hall.
  • Schedule for Lent/ Holy week
  • February 22 - March 22, Sundays: Lenten Worship followed by reflections shared over a simple meal of Soup and Bread.
  • March 29, Palm Sunday
  • April 3, Ecumenical Good Friday Service, 2:00 pm, location: Chinese Presbyterian Church. Fellowship begins at 1:00 pm
  • April 5, Sunday: Easter Early Morning Service, time TBA
        • Easter Sunday Worship at 11:00 a.m.

Pope Francis’ Guide to Lent: What You Should Give Up This Year

Christopher J. Hale @chrisjollyhale
(Hale is a senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and the co-founder of Millennial.)
Christians around the world mark the beginning of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. This ancient day and season has a surprising modern appeal. Priests and pastors often tell you that outside of Christmas, more people show up to church on Ash Wednesday than any other day of the yearincluding Easter. But this mystique isn't reserved for Christians alone. The customs that surround the season have a quality to them that transcend religion.
Perhaps most notable is the act of fasting. While Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during the Lenten season, many peoplereligious or nottake up this increasingly popular discipline during the year.
 
But Pope Francis has asked us to reconsider the heart of this activity this Lenten season. According to Francis, fasting must never become superficial. He often quotes the early Christian mystic John Chrysostom who said: “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”
 
But this isn’t to downplay the role of sacrifice during the Lenten season. Lent is a good time for penance and self-denial. But once again, Francis reminds us that these activities must truly enrich others: “I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”
So, if we’re going to fast from anything this Lent, Francis suggests that even more than candy or alcohol, we fast from indifference towards others.
In his annual Lenten message, the pope writes, “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”

Describing this phenomenon he calls the globalization of indifference, Francis writes that “whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades." He continues that, "We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own."

But when we fast from this indifference, we can begin to feast on love. In fact, Lent is the perfect time to learn how to love again, Jesus - the great protagonist of this holy season - certainly showed us the way. In him, God descends all the way down to bring everyone up. In his life and his ministry, no one is excluded.

"What are you giving up for Lent?" It's a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol and candy is the way to go. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed. This narrow road is gritty, but it isn't sterile. It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free.

Now that's something worth fasting for.