Sunday, May 29, 2016

English Ministry News and Notes 2016-5-29



*Supporting Peace with Justice Sunday Today enables our church to speak up for justice issues and empower communities to advocate based on United Methodist Social Principles. It enables The UMC to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conference and through the General Board of Church and Society. Thanks for your generosity!

*Special Charge Conference Today, 12: 30 p.m. - We will gather in the Annex for the world's fastest Charge Conference!  

*Pitch In - An all church work day will be held on Saturday, June 11th between 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Everyone elbow grease is necessary.  Please see Steve for more info.

*Celebrating Family Day - Please reserve Sunday, June 19th, to celebrate endings and beginnings with our Homework Club community.  We will hold parallel worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by preparation for this outreach ministry. Sign up today to pitch in!

*Do you love worship? Enjoy being creative? Aeri will be hosting a summer "worship planning institute" to equip folks to plan meaningful, relevant, inspiring worship.  Please connect with Aeri or Pastor Emily to learn more.

Calling and Working for Justice, Righteousness, and Peace




Today we begin a 10 week, 2 part worship series that helps us to engage with the Hebrew (Old) Testament prophets: Elijah, Amos, and Hosea, and invites us to reflect on our call to work for justice, righteousness, and peace in the world.  It seems most appropriate that we begin this series on Peace with Justice Sunday!

Here is a briefer than brief introduction to prophets:

Called by God and filled with God's Spirit, a prophet spoke God's word to people who had in one way or another distanced themselves from God. In one sense, a prophet is a preacher. But in marketplace terms, a prophet is often a whistle-blower, particularly when an entire tribe or nation has turned away from God.

The prophets peopled the pages of Israel's history. Moses was God's prophet used to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, then to lead them to the land God had promised them. Again and again, these people turned away from God; Moses was God's mouthpiece to bring them back into a just relationship with God. In the Old Testament history books (Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), prophets like Deborah, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Huldah and others came forward to speak God's word to a backslidden people.

Israel's religious worship was organized around the labor of priests, first in the tabernacle, later in the temple. The day-to-day job description of priests lay in slaughtering, butchering and roasting the sacrificial animals brought by worshipers. But a priest's tasks went beyond the heavy physical work of dealing with thousands of animal sacrifices. A priest was also responsible to be a spiritual and moral guide to the people. While the priest was often seen primarily as the mediator between the people and God in the temple sacrifices, his larger duty was to teach God's law to the people.

In Israel's history, however, the priests themselves often became corrupt and turned away from God, leading the people in the worship of idols. Prophets arose when the priests failed to teach God's law to the people. In a sense, God called and spoke through prophets as whistle-blowers when the whole enterprise was on the brink of self-destruction.

One of the stunning tragedies of the people of God was their persistence in pursuing the worship of the many gods of their pagan neighbors. The common practices of this idolatrous worship included offering their children in the fires of Moloch and ritual prostitution with every imaginable lewd practice "on every high hill and under every green tree" (2 Chronicles 28:4). But an even greater evil in forsaking Yahweh came in forsaking God's structure for living in community as a distinct and holy people of God. Concern for the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the land was replaced by oppression. Business practices overturned God's standard so that extortion, taking bribes, and dishonest gain became commonplace. Leaders used power to destroy lives, and religious leaders despised God's holy things. Far from enriching the nation, these ungodly practices led to the downfall of the nation. The prophets were often the last voices in the land, calling people back to God and to a just and healthy community.

In most cases, the prophets were bi-vocational. God tapped them for special duty while in the midst of other professions. Some prophets (e.g., Jeremiah, Ezekiel) were priests with the duties described above. Others were shepherds, including Moses and Amos. Deborah was a judge adjudicating issues for the Israelites. Huldah was probably a teacher in the university sector of Jerusalem. The task of "prophet" overlaid their other jobs.

English Ministry News and Notes 2016-5-29

  • Supporting Peace with Justice Sunday Today enables our church to speak up for justice issues and empower communities to advocate based on United Methodist Social Principles. It enables The UMC to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conference and through the General Board of Church and Society. Thanks for your generosity!
  • Special Charge Conference Today, 12: 30 p.m. - We will gather in the Annex for the world's fastest Charge Conference!
  • Pitch In - An all church work day will be held on Saturday, June 11th between 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Everyone elbow grease is necessary. Please see Steve for more info.
  • Celebrating Family Day - Please reserve Sunday, June 19th, to celebrate endings and beginnings with our Homework Club community. We will hold parallel worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by preparation for this outreach ministry. Sign up today to pitch in!
  • Do you love worship? Enjoy being creative? Aeri will be hosting a summer "worship planning institute" to equip folks to plan meaningful, relevant, inspiring worship. Please connect with Aeri or Pastor Emily to learn more.

Calling and Working for Justice, Righteousness, and Peace

Today we begin a 10 week, 2 part worship series that helps us to engage with the Hebrew (Old) Testament prophets: Elijah, Amos, and Hosea, and invites us to reflect on our call to work for justice, righteousness, and peace in the world. It seems most appropriate that we begin this series on Peace with Justice Sunday!


Here is a briefer than brief introduction to prophets:


Called by God and filled with God's Spirit, a prophet spoke God's word to people who had in one way or another distanced themselves from God. In one sense, a prophet is a preacher. But in marketplace terms, a prophet is often a whistle-blower, particularly when an entire tribe or nation has turned away from God.
The prophets peopled the pages of Israel's history. Moses was God's prophet used to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, then to lead them to the land God had promised them. Again and again, these people turned away from God; Moses was God's mouthpiece to bring them back into a just relationship with God. In the Old Testament history books (Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), prophets like Deborah, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Huldah and others came forward to speak God's word to a backslidden people.
Israel's religious worship was organized around the labor of priests, first in the tabernacle, later in the temple. The day-to-day job description of priests lay in slaughtering, butchering and roasting the sacrificial animals brought by worshipers. But a priest's tasks went beyond the heavy physical work of dealing with thousands of animal sacrifices. A priest was also responsible to be a spiritual and moral guide to the people. While the priest was often seen primarily as the mediator between the people and God in the temple sacrifices, his larger duty was to teach God's law to the people.
In Israel's history, however, the priests themselves often became corrupt and turned away from God, leading the people in the worship of idols. Prophets arose when the priests failed to teach God's law to the people. In a sense, God called and spoke through prophets as whistle-blowers when the whole enterprise was on the brink of self-destruction.
One of the stunning tragedies of the people of God was their persistence in pursuing the worship of the many gods of their pagan neighbors. The common practices of this idolatrous worship included offering their children in the fires of Moloch and ritual prostitution with every imaginable lewd practice "on every high hill and under every green tree" (2 Chronicles 28:4). But an even greater evil in forsaking Yahweh came in forsaking God's structure for living in community as a distinct and holy people of God. Concern for the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the land was replaced by oppression. Business practices overturned God's standard so that extortion, taking bribes, and dishonest gain became commonplace. Leaders used power to destroy lives, and religious leaders despised God's holy things. Far from enriching the nation, these ungodly practices led to the downfall of the nation. The prophets were often the last voices in the land, calling people back to God and to a just and healthy community.
In most cases, the prophets were bi-vocational. God tapped them for special duty while in the midst of other professions. Some prophets (e.g., Jeremiah, Ezekiel) were priests with the duties described above. Others were shepherds, including Moses and Amos. Deborah was a judge adjudicating issues for the Israelites. Huldah was probably a teacher in the university sector of Jerusalem. The task of "prophet" overlaid their other jobs.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016-5-22 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

English Ministry News and Notes 2016-5-22

  • We welcome the Yu-Martzen Family today - Chin Cheak, George, and Walter! Rev's Chin Cheak and George conclude their 15 years as missionaries in Singapore and return to serve the Cal-Pac Annual Conference this July. Today is graduation day for Rev. George and he will officially become Rev. Dr. George! We celebrate this with him and his family. We give thanks for the word that Rev's Chin Cheak and George bring to CCUMC today!
  • What's Happening in Nepal? You are warmly invited to stay for refreshments followed by mission sharing by UMC missionary Katherine Parker at 1:00 p.m. Katherine has served in Nepal since 2013 and before that in Cambodia for 9 years. Come, learn and be inspired!
  • Peace with Justice Special Offering Sunday - We join with our UMC family in lifting up peace with justice nationally and internationally on May 29th with our special gifts.
  • Special Charge Conference called for May 29th - Our ministry leadership is called to attend a special charge conference to be held at 12:30 in the Annex next Sunday to approve the newest compensation packages of Pastors Emily and Meina.
  • Mark Your Calendars - Family Day Outreach Sunday, June 19th: We will celebrate Family Day with our Homework Club families - both old and new. Worship will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by preparation for welcoming our neighbors! Sign up sheets will be available next Sunday.

What Do You Do When God Calls? By Eradio Valverde Jr.

Our God works in some wonderful and unexplainable ways. A Savior nailed to a cross, then buried, comes back to life in 3 days as Jesus had predicted. For the disciples then, and believers now, nothing could be more wonderful or unexplainable. Indeed, the Easter story didn’t end there. The risen Christ visited Saul of Tarsus and, in one of the Bible’s most dramatic conversion stories, turned Paul from captain of the opposition into captain of the home team. Today we visit a passage from the Bible that confirms this encounter. We will discover that most of what we consider blessings are visits by God. Some visits we receive and enjoy; others trouble us. Further, some visits we cannot explain and simply say it must have been the hand of the Lord. Such was the case some years ago when I was serving in a city near the U.S.-Mexico border. My congregation had several lay teams in mission work who would, on their own, gather clothing, supplies, Bibles, materials, and the like, and go to Methodist churches south of the border. Their ministry was rewarding to them and a frequent source of refreshment and inspiration for me.
One particular couple from my church loved to leave on the spur of the moment, led by God, they said, to visit pastors or members of churches along the Mexican side of the border. On one particular day they called me and invited me to come along for the ride to deliver some goods to a pastor I had met some months earlier. He served a tiny church and was a recent newlywed, full of energy for the work of the Lord in this small village, eager to spread the gospel. As we approached his home at the end of a long, dusty road, there seated on the porch was this young minister, head bent over an open Bible. He glanced up, immediately recognized the van, and began running toward us, waving and jumping with excitement. He opened my door and hugged me as he explained, “I just finished a prayer asking the Lord to send you to visit me!” I asked very innocently, “Me?” And he said yes and explained the why of his request. I talked with him about the situation he was facing in hopes that it might bring a blessing, and we enjoyed a great visit, closed our time with prayer, and I returned home. Only the Lord knows what purpose I served that day, since all I did was to say yes to an invitation to travel to Mexico, expecting only to help unload things from a van; not to help a fellow pastor with a load he was carrying.
What do you do when God visits? Paul would instruct, “Say yes” to whatever God leads us to do. Paul was visited with a vision, one night as he slept, of a man from Macedonia imploring Paul to “come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Paul, convinced it was God calling him, obediently began making plans to travel to that region and fulfill this call. God visits us regularly and, whether through dreams, visions, or recurring thoughts, plants seeds in our minds that, if followed, may result in special blessing for the work of God even today.
What do you do when God calls? Have we considered that every obedient step we take may guide us to the place where a wonderful seed is planted for fruitful ministry? Dare not to limit God’s power to share exactly what is needed to be faithful. Dare even to imagine that God may provide exactly what we thought we didn’t need, as was the case with the disciples on that first Pentecost Day. God visited them in a mighty way and continues visiting today. Where is God leading you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

General Conference Live Stream

General Conference Begins This Week! You are invited to watch the live stream below, where you will be able to watch the voting, worship, speeches, and celebrations happening on the floor of General Conference.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

2016-5-8 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

General Conference 2016 - What Does GC2016 Mean to My Church?

As a United Methodist, you are probably aware that General Conference, the once-every-4-years official meeting of the church is happening in Portland, Oregon, May 10-20, 2016. What may be far less clear, however, is what happens there and what it means to your local congregation.

Work
The best-known aspect of General Conference is the legislation. General Conference is the body that determines direction and speaks officially for our denomination. 864 delegates elected by their annual conferences (including Burt Yin and Rev. Jeffrey Kuan) will consider 1044 petitions. Half the delegates are clergy and half are laity. Bishops lead the sessions, but have neither voice nor vote.

Amendments to The Book of Discipline that guides the work of local churches, pastors, annual conferences, general agencies, and bishops, are adopted. Delegates also vote on resolutions that give the official positions of The United Methodist Church on social issues which are published in our Book of Resolutions.

The General Conference covers a wide array of issues that affect all levels of our church. A small percentage of them receive a great deal of attention. Others will pass or fail without much fanfare, but will have lasting impacts in the life of our local churches.

At the 2016 General Conference legislation will be presented and debated on human sexuality, the budget of the general church for 2017-2020, a more global church structure, the ordination process for our pastors, formation of a hymnal revision committee, and more.

Whether widely publicized or not, General Conference legislation directs our work globally, regionally, and locally in our congregations.

The General Conference sessions are the only time The UMC gathers from across the globe in a single location. In that sense, it is something akin to a family reunion—albeit a ridiculously large one. When we come together every four years, we take the opportunity to worship, remember, and celebrate.

Worship
When the United Methodist family gathers, we come from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. We come together as one in our faith in Jesus Christ and our love for The UMC. There are, however, a variety of languages and cultures represented. The worship of General Conference celebrates our unity and diversity.

Eleven worship gatherings and nine opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion are offered during the 11 days.

The worship reminds us that we are part of something much larger than our local congregation. We are a connectional church, united to do wonderful work across the globe. We will share on billboards, trains, and elsewhere around Portland that united in faith, millions serve God and our neighbors.

Celebration
On Wednesday, May 18, at 9:48 a.m. (PDT), The UMC will celebrate one of those ministries by which we have helped millions. Imagine No Malaria has greatly contributed to a coordinated international effort to eradicate this preventable disease. Through the efforts of this amazing ministry, more than 1 million mosquito bed nets have been distributed and more than 250,000 people have been diagnosed and treated. That is reason to celebrate.

The 2016 gathering will also take time to celebrate important milestones that have had tremendous impact in our congregations. This General Conference marks the 60th anniversary of the ordination of female pastors. The 1956 General Conference of The Methodist Church granted full clergy rights to women. The gathered church will also begin celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Disciple Bible Study in 2017, and the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women in 2019. Both of these ministries have been instrumental in the spiritual growth of so many members of United Methodist congregations.

Remembrance
General Conference is also an important time to remember our history. At General Conference 2016 United Methodists will pause to remember Francis Asbury. Asbury was the first bishop in our Methodist heritage. Born in England, he came to America to form and lead this new church. Under Asbury’s leadership Methodism grew. This year is the 200th anniversary of his death on March 31, 1816.

While we celebrate Asbury, we also remember painful parts of our history, of which we are called to repent. At General Conference 2012, The UMC participated in an Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous People. General Conference 2016 will receive a report of one of those specific acts known as the Sand Creek Massacre.

In 1864, a regiment of the US Cavalry, led by Methodist preacher Colonel John Chivington, killed nearly 200 people living in a Peace Camp at Sand Creek in the Colorado territory. Together we condemn these events, pray for forgiveness, and seek to repair relationships with the families of the victims.

Therefore, go…
The activity of General Conference can seem far removed from our home congregations, but that could not be farther from the truth. The work, worship, celebrations, and remembrances at General Conference are the activity of all the people of The UMC.

“The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.” General Conference meets every four years to facilitate this work happening in each of our churches.


To follow along with General Conference, log on to GC2016.UMC.org…and remember to pray for Burt, Jane, Pastor Jeffrey, and all those who gather.

English Ministry News and Notes 2016-05-08

  • Celebrate Pentecost, Celebrate Our Birthday! We welcome the Holy Spirit next Sunday, May 15th, during a joint worship at 10:30 a.m. Worship will be followed by a potluck fellowship lunch. If you're able, please bring a main or side dish to share. The church will be providing dessert.
  • Reaching Out to Ecuador: On Apr. 16th, Ecuador experienced a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left 650+ dead, 16,600 injured, 280 schools were damaged affecting more than 120,000 children, over 29,000 placed into shelters due to damage to their homes. You are invited to open your hearts and give generously in response during a special offering on May 15th. Your donations will be given to UMCOR who is working with the Evangelical United Methodist Church of Ecuador (EUMCE) to provide emergency supplies of food as well as potable water to the most vulnerable. Great thanks!
  • Remembering Aeri: Today, Aeri heads to Kumi. She will be meeting with our YCVM and KCVS friends and partners before returning to the US on Friday, the 13th. Please hold her in God's light!
  • Missionary Sunday, May 22nd - We are happy to welcome back Rev's George Martzen and Chin Cheak Yu to CCUMC later in May. Rev. George is in the Bay to celebrate his graduation from the Doctors of Ministry program. They will be preaching in the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. service. At 1:00 p.m., we welcome missionary Katherine Parker serving in Nepal. Please plan to be present!
  • General Conference Begins This Week! You are invited to watch the live stream. Whenever the conference is in session, GC2016.UMC.org will feature live streaming video where you will be able to watch the voting, worship, speeches, and celebrations happening on the floor of General Conference. The feed will be available in English, French, and American Sign Language. See this week's General Conference post for more information.

Mothers Are Special by Edd Sterchi

On this day set aside to celebrate mothers, we lift up all mothers: biological ones, adoptive ones, step and foster moms, people who mother but have no children of their own, and mothers in law! May all mothers experience God's great love, sustaining strength, and deep well of joy in their great work of mothering.

When God made mothers He made a very special creature indeed. The un- conditional love God gave mothers for their children is probably the closest thing on earth to His incredible love for us. The gentle tenderness a mother expresses in handling her newborn child is so reminiscent of the tender loving care God promises to the faithful. The sincere sympathy mothers show for hurt elbows and hurt hearts is not unlike the compassion God has for us. The sacrificial unselfishness mothers demonstrate time and time again towards their children reminds us of how benevolent God has been to us. The soft special kisses and the always sweet smiles that mothers so generously give can help us to understand and appreciate the joy God has designed for families in the here and now and for Christians forevermore. God bless loving mothers for showing us many important things about God.
  • Edd Sterchi preaches for the Jackson Church of Christ in Jackson, MO.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016-5-1 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

English Ministry News and Notes 2016-5-1

  • Great Thanks for a Wonderful 1st Bike Benefit - thank you for your generosity in time, presence, gifts, and service! We're well on our way!
  • Missionary Sunday, May 22nd - We are happy to welcome back Rev's George Martzen and Chin Cheak Yu to CCUMC later in May. Rev. George is in the Bay to celebrate his graduation from the Doctors of Ministry program. They will be preaching in the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. service. At 1:00 p.m., we welcome missionary Katherine Parker serving in Nepal. Please plan to be present!
  • 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 Potluck fellowship luncheon. Please plan to be present!
  • 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.
  • Kitchen Towel Washing Rotation ~ CM and EM members are taking turns bringing home the kitchen towels to wash each month. Please sign up in the kitchen if you’re willing to help! We thank Leily and Walter Chew for their many years of having done this for us!

Supporting Missionaries

We tend to assign missionaries very extraordinary reputations—like “Varsity Christians” or “Gospel-centered Special Forces.” But, of course, they are just ordinary people. And while we may think of them solely as missionaries, they are not missionaries first. They are people first; ordinary believers who just happen to be missionaries.
Their role in the Great Commission is to go and take the gospel to other nations. For the rest of us, our role is to send them. They go, we send. And as John the Apostle says in 3 John 6-8, we are to “send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.” John continues, “For they have gone out for the sake of the name...Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
As fellow workers, there are two key ways we can help send and sustain missionaries: by caring for the person and by supporting their work.

Caring for the Person
Because missionaries are ordinary people, we can care for them just like we do any other person. We can encourage them, love them, pray for them, spend time with them, contribute to their needs, celebrate with them and weep with them.
But, while their identity may be ordinary, the context of their life is not. The extraordinary call on their life to leave the comforts and close community of home and move to a spiritually neutral or even spiritually unwelcoming people for the sake of the gospel means their ordinary day is not like any ordinary day. This means we’ll be extending very ordinary care to people in very extraordinary environments. We will constantly need to ask, “How do we love and support someone in a high-pressure environment 10,000 miles away?”
Here are a few suggestions:
Get acquainted. Share yourself even as you learn about them.
Ask. Ask them how you can best care for them. Sometimes what we think would be helpful may not fit their context.
Communicate often. How about sending a quick prayer or a quick hello over email?
Respond to their newsletters. It’s tremendously encouraging. Your response doesn’t have to be long, just respond.
Pray with them and encourage them. Pray for their strength, for their affections and for fearless love for those they’re ministering to. Pray for God to move mightily. Encourage them in the Word. Remind them of God’s faithfulness.
Send care packages.
Visit. Few things are more loving and encouraging than face-to-face. Consider a short-term mission trip to see and support their ministry firsthand.

Supporting Their Work
We can support the work of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances by two essential practices: praying and giving. Prayer is essential, as only God can bring people from death to life. Finances are essential, as sending a missionary to live in another country and providing for their ministry costs money.

Final Thoughts
John the Apostle goes so far as to call missionary supporters “fellow workers in the truth” (3 John 6-8). The apostle Paul calls them, “partners in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5, 4:15-20). Be encouraged that your role among the nations as a missionary supporter is never second-class. Support your missionary well, in a manner worthy of God. Finally, remember that a happy, healthy missionary is not the only goal of missionary care. A well-cared for and fully supplied missionary is our hope, but our greater hope is that by partnering with our missionaries as fellow workers, we will make more disciples together than either of us could on our own. May God use our ordinary efforts to build an extraordinary partnership between those who send and those who go.