Step On It - This Saturday, April 30th, 15 committed cyclists will ride from Vallejo to Livermore raising funds for KCVS. You are urged to hold the cyclists, rest stop churches (a total of 5!), accompanying drivers, and all volunteers in God's care. And, it's never too late to give generously! Great thanks to Burt, Becky, and Ben for their vision, planning, and organizing.
Covenant Relations Sunday, May 1st – We will lift up our Covenant Relationships with missionary Marilyn Chan in Cambodia, and missions partnership with Youth & Child Visionary Ministries (YCVM). It’ll be an important time for updates and deepening. Your special offering goes to support our Relationships.
District Conference - mark your calendars and register now for the Bridges District Conference "In Christ You Are a New Creation: Transformation in times of Transition" on May 7th at Pinole UMC, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, for a day of Annual Conference and General Conference briefing, training for SPRC, Trustee, Finance, and celebrating our victories.
Pentecost is Around the Corner - Mark your calendars for a celebration of the Holy Spirit and our beloved church's 129th anniversary on Sunday, May 15th. We will worship jointly at 10:30a.m. followed by a fellowship luncheon. Please plan to be present!
Don't Miss Out on the New Study of Acts! We gather each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for a time of rich learning and growing.
Lend Your Voice - Yvonne will be leading our joint Pentecost choir in a special acapella piece. All voices encouraged. Practice will be held on 5/7 Saturday at 10:30am and 5/14 at 9:30 am to 11:30am. Please let Pastor Emily or Yvonne know of your participation.
There are numerous
examples of the impact that today’s special offering makes to recipients. Here
is but one example. For more, please visit www.umcgiving.org.
A century ago,
many Native American children were removed from their reservations to be
educated at government and church-run boarding schools. Often, they were
punished for speaking their indigenous languages. By the time they returned
home, many had forgotten their Native languages.
“The core of our culture, who
we are, is centered around our languages. If we lose the language we lose who
we are,” says Native American elder to Kae Wilbert, chair, Upper New York
Committee on Native American Ministries. “As a result, the language skipped one
or two generations,” said Kae Wilbert. “Now there is a desperate awareness that
something must be done or the spoken languages will die out.”
In response to
that concern, the Committee on Native American Ministries recently awarded a
grant to the Seneca Hymn Singers CD Project. The grant supports the learning,
rehearsing and recording of selections from the “Hymns in Seneca” songbook.
Part of the Iroquoian language family, Seneca is a seriously endangered
language spoken in upper New York state and southern Ontario.
The hymn book
contains 150 hymns, songs and prayers in the Seneca language. The project will
help preserve the Seneca language and enable people to worship in their native
The CD project isn’t the only such effort, Wilbert said. Along with
classes on reservation schools, “there are preschools where elders regularly
visit and teach Seneca.”
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of
The United Methodist Church, Native American Ministries Sunday serves to
remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native
Americans to our society. The special offering supports Native American outreach
within annual conferences and across the United States and provides seminary
scholarships for Native Americans.
When you give generously on Native American
Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate
Native American culture in their ministries. You empower congregations to find
fresh, new ways to minister to their communities with Christ’s love. Give now.
You’re Invited to the Party – You are warmly invited to participate in a time of fellowship, fun, and connection following worship today. Our shepherding team has prepared a special luncheon and gathering. All are welcome.
Native American Ministries Special Offering Sunday, Apr. 24th – Your generous offering enable, equips, and empowers Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to do what only they can do: authentically worship and serve Jesus.
Covenant Relations Sunday, May 1st – We will lift up our Covenant Relationships with missionary Marilyn Chan in Cambodia, and missions partnership with Youth & Child Visionary Ministries (YCVM). It’ll be an important time for updates and port our Relationships 5th.
Christmas play at church, I always wanted to be a shepherd. I knew it took less
commitment to be a shepherd because I would have fewer lines than the people
who had to play Joseph or the Magi. But I had no clue what a shepherd actually
did. In real life, shepherding is a hard occupation. The hours are long, and a
good shepherd must give endless care to his sheep.
often uses the analogy of us humans being like sheep. For example, Psalm 100:3
says, “It is He who has made us. ... We are His people and the sheep of His
pasture.” And Isaiah writes, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah
us sheep because He knows human nature. With our mob instinct, our fears and
timidity, our stubbornness and stupidity, and our rebellious nature, we’re very
similar to sheep. Further, sheep cannot survive on their own. They require
constant attention, rescue and care from the shepherd, or they’ll die.
the important point is not that we are just like sheep, but rather that we have
a wonderful Shepherd. That was David’s thought on Psalm 23: “The Lord is my
shepherd.” It was a bragging point. “Look at who my shepherd is! Look at who’s
in control of my life!” As a shepherd himself, David knew that the quality of
life for any sheep depends on the kind of shepherd who takes care of it.
the Good Shepherd is a great shepherd. He sacrifices for His sheep: He
literally gave His life for us. He knows His sheep: He knows us each individually,
intimately and completely—and loves us anyway! He unites His sheep: To the Good
Shepherd, race, sex, ethnicity and nationality are all unimportant. We are all
His flock. He lives for His sheep: He died, but He rose again, and He will
never abandon us. How can you lose with a Shepherd like that?
does abundance describe your life as one of God’s flock? If it does, if you
reflect a satisfaction in life, a real joy in Christ, what an advertisement
that is to follow the Shepherd! Many would line up to follow that Shepherd as
they see the joy of His sheep. But if people hear you constantly complaining
about life, it’s as if you were saying, “Don’t follow my Shepherd, or you’ll
end up just like me.”
often gave names to their sheep based on their personalities. If God were to
give you a nickname on that basis, what would it be? Would it be “Loving” or
“Trusting” or “Hopeful?” Or would it be “Grumpy” or “Wanderer?”
secret to being a happy sheep. If you stay at a distance from your Shepherd,
wander around and find your own way, “Happy” won’t be your nickname. Remember,
happiness and safety are directly proportional to proximity. The closer you
live to your Shepherd, the more you will be nourished and cared for by Him, and
safe because of His protection.
Christ is willing to be your Shepherd, why would you settle for anything less?
Accept no substitute for the good, loving and merciful Shepherd.
We Welcome Deacon Mike Friedrich – Deacon Mike is a 3rd career Deacon, called to ordained ministry after careers in entertainment and union organizing. He graduated from PSR in 2013 and is on track to be ordained this coming June. He is appointed to the Bridges District as an Emerging Ministries Specialist, working primarily on the community micro-loan ministry called “Jubilee Initiative,” working with dozens of congregations in imagining their future through “Resurrection Conversations,” and is active in “Friends of Wadi Foquin,” a beleaguered village in Palestine. He lives in Berkeley with his partner Lee Marrs and 3 cats.
The New Series is Off! Great thanks to Pastor Moon and Leon for leading us in tackling the book of Acts. Come join the learning and growing.
Please Note: Pastor Emily and family will be on vacation starting Mar. 30th - Apr. 16th. For pastoral emergencies and needs, please connect with Pastor Meina. Additionally, Theresa is out of the church office until Apr. 5th.
Shepherding Ministry Sunday - We will celebrate the ministry of care and connection next Sunday, Apr. 17th. Our faithful shepherds - Brenda, Donna, Ed, and Jane - will share in worship. Following worship, please plan to stay for a special fellowship lunch and a time of community building.
The Kumi Benefit Ride is rolling along, and needs your support. Check the bulletin board in the social hall for ways you can help, and encourage your friends to donate online at www.ycvm.org. Help us "Brake the Cycle of Poverty" as we raise $30,000 for Kumi Christian Visionary School in Uganda. For details, see Burt, Ben, or Becky. We will be needing volunteers to transport riders and bikes back to Vallejo from Livermore at 4:30pm.
the spirit of Easter alive during Eastertide can be a challenge. Lent is only
40 days long, but Easter is 50! Somehow we don't seem to have a problem with
keeping the Lenten spirit of penitence and solemnity for 40 days. But 50 days
of joy and gladness and merriment? Maybe for a week or two...or possibly three.
But seven weeks of Easter joy? Hmmm...That can be difficult.
So, I was
looking for suggestions on how to keep the spirit of Easter going and found a
few that are listed below. These suggestions are easy and do-able. I hope these
seen Advent candles around, and so I don't see why we can't have an Easter
Candle in our homes. It can be a simple candle, but reasonably large enough to
last 50 days (it doesn't have to be as big as your Church's Paschal Candle
now). Set in a nice holder. Light it when reading, or meditating, or praying.
Or, set it in your home dining table and light it every Sunday at family meals.
Be on the
lookout for hidden blessings in unexpected places as you go about your day at
work or at home, with friends or co-workers. An Easter "egghunt"
shouldn't just be for eggs, but for moments of blessings and grace throughout the
nice, catchy, upbeat tune? Let that be the "background" music in your
head as you work, or drive, or run errands, or go shopping. If it's a favorite
song or hymn of yours, the better: Go right ahead and "play" it.
the "good news" out there. The papers and TV news are full of dreary,
sad newsbits. But search for news items that catch your attention and which
raise your spirits: stories that affirm your belief in the nobility of every
person and of the hidden hand of God.
the times in your life when you had to overcome adversity and trials and worry.
Remember how you overcame those. Easter is all about overcoming death and
defeat. Cut blooms from your garden to enjoy in a vase indoors.
Bring new life into the world. Go to your backyard or front yard and plant
something. If you live in an apartment with no yard of your own, buy a potted plant
and take good care of it.
creek or river and enjoy the moving water. During a rainstorm, make the house
quiet, sit, and listen to the rain. Recognize Christ on your daily journey of
faith, the way the disciples encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to
Emmaus. This encounter changed the disciples! Allow Christ to change you by
taking the time to listen, being present and "breaking bread" with
those on your journey.
*Next Sunday, we welcome Deacon Mike Friedrich to CCUMC. Deacon Mike is a member of our circuit and works closely with DS Schuyler. He will invite us to consider Jesus’ leadership.
*The New Series is Off! Great thanks to Pastor Moon and Leon for leading us in tackling the book of Acts. Come join the learning and growing.
*Blessing Aeri – Please hold Aeri in your prayers as she travels to Uganda this Wednesday. She will teach at Reformed Theological College (RTC) for the next month, concluding her time there with a visit to Kumi and KCVS.
*Please Note: Pastor Emily and family will be on vacation starting Mar. 30th - Apr. 16th. For pastoral emergencies and needs, please connect with Pastor Meina. Additionally, Theresa is out of the church office until Apr. 5th.
*Shepherding Ministry Sunday - We will celebrate the ministry of care and connection on Sunday, Apr. 17th. Our faithful shepherds - Brenda, Donna, Ed, and Jane - will share in worship. Following worship, please plan to stay for a special fellowship lunch and a time of community building.
*The Kumi Benefit Ride is rolling along, and needs your support. Check the bulletin board in the social hall for ways you can help, and encourage your friends to donate online at www.ycvm.org.
Help us "Brake the Cycle of Poverty" as we raise $30,000 for Kumi Christian Visionary School in Uganda. For details, see Burt, Ben, or Becky. We will be needing volunteers to transport riders and bikes back to Vallejo from Livermore at 4:30pm.
We hope to ramp up the use of the crowdfunding site. Let people know we are at the $8,000+ mark, and encourage sharing on Facebook and other social media. Churches that are participating along the route are: Wayside UMC, EastBay Formosan UMC, Grace UMC, Lynnewood UMC and Asbury UMC. If people want to come cheer on the riders at the lunch site (San Ramon) or the closing celebration at 3:30-4:30 in Livermore, they are most welcome!
As the Lenten fast ends, we can either applaud or chastise ourselves on how well we did with whatever we took on or gave up. Many of us have been trained to give Lent a lot of attention. For centuries the Christian family has been drawn into the via negativa dimension of Lent – engaging in the classic disciplines of prayer, fasting and self-denial.
That is all turned around at Easter. With the Resurrection, we enter into the season of via positiva. And strangely, we tend to drop whatever sort of discipline we put together for Lent and simply live into Easter. Many are exhausted from their Lenten project and are unwilling to take on anything more. Still others tend to think that the power of the Easter message obviates the need for intention or discipline.
Easter is pure gift, but it takes some discipline to live into that gift. First we need to receive the gift, which requires more than restoring some Alleluias into our lives, celebrating the return of baseball and basking in the blossoms of Spring. We are given fifty days – which, tellingly, is longer than Lent – to allow the Easter gift to be absorbed into the depth of our souls. Absorbed deeply enough so we can get beyond merely proclaiming the words of Easter to be more completely transformed by the new life that Easter brings.
The holy habits provide the foundational discipline for us to fully receive the abundance of the Easter blessing. The holy habits involve worship, prayer, study, and giving of self and treasure. Engaging the holy habits provides an Easter spiritual practice of via positiva – a practice which requires its own discipline challenging us to become bearers of God’s abundance.
We have a lot of work to do; life-giving and transforming work.
--The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith is Bishop of the Diocese of Newark.