Sunday, August 13, 2017

2017-8-13 English Ministry News and Notes


*Adventures in Faith (AiF) Sunday, Aug. 20th – We will lift up and celebrate the AiF ministry on this day with special music and faith sharings.  We give enormous thanks for the heart and commitment shared through the summer.  Another wonderful 9 weeks of the Homework Club summer session comes to a close this Friday, the 11th.

*The HomeWork Club will be starting a new school year soon!  Write a blessing for a HomeWork Club student!  Red Hearts will be passed out during service and you can place your blessing in the offering plate or give to Donna.

*Street Fest Outreach Sunday, Aug. 27th - Joint worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a time of preparation and organizing for opening wide our doors to the children in the Homework Club and community.  This is an all hands on deck ministry opportunity.  Please sign up to pitch in today.

*Everything Kumi Benefit Dinner -Connect with Jane to purchase your tickets or to buy a table...today!

*Silent Auction Items for our Annual Kumi Benfit Dinner  are needed!  Please connect with Peggy Woon if you have new, desirable goods to donate, or if you would like to donate gift cards or services. 


2017-8-13 Worship Videos

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017-7-16 Worship Videos

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2017-7-16 English Ministry News and Notes


Help Scatter Seeds of Care Today!  We have 70 wonderful students in our summer program this year.  You can see who they are by checking out their "all about me" pages around the sanctuary and in the hall.  Please scatter seeds of care by writing a brief note of greeting and care and dropping it in their mailbox today!

We just visited Cana and are off to Nablus next week!  Join in the fun of a "virtual" Holy Land tour each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Bonus: you get to hang out with all ages!

Holy Land Reflections & Possibilities - The pilgrims invite our circuit for a special time of reflection and sharing of possibilities on Saturday, July 22nd, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Twin Towers UMC.  This time includes a delicious Mediterranean dinner, sharing, and wonderful photography.  Please RSVP today!
Upcoming Working Worship - Let's gear up for a day worshiping God in the community! We'll be "picking it up" and pulling weeds.  Worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at noon with lunch.

Save the Date: Please mark Sunday, Aug. 6th in your calendar for a very important English Ministry Town Hall following worship.  The English Ministry Council (EMC) will be sharing some observations about where we are at as a congregation and inviting responses and input.  Your presence is vital - this cannot be emphasized enough!  Thank you!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017-7-9 English Ministry News and Notes

*Exploring the Holy Land Together! Intergen Summer Sunday School Series is underway and will continue for the following 5 weeks. Travel together from Nazareth to Nablus, Cana to Beit Sahour, and more! Please gather promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex.

*Holy Land Reflections & Possibilities - The pilgrims invite our circuit for a special time of reflection and sharing of possibilities on Saturday, July 22nd, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Twin Towers UMC. This time includes a delicious Mediterranean dinner, sharing, and wonderful photography. Please RSVP today!

*Summer AiF is Off and Running - special appreciation to our amazing team of aunties and uncles, tutors, and always wonderful Ms. Li. Please re member this ministry in prayer.

*Did You Know? We are sending 6 youth to camp this year! Included in these youth are Cloud (returning as a Leader in Training), Vincent (1st timer), and 4 Homework Club participants/alumni (Cindy, Emily, Raymond, Wan Ying.) Please pray for a special and transformative experience for each. They head out next Sunday, July 16th. If you are willing to write a note to them while they are away at camp, please let P. Emily know!

*Our Next Working Worship is Sunday, July 30th—Worship begins at 9:30 a.m. and includes time in the community! Don’t forget your working gloves!

*Save the Date: Please mark Sunday, Aug. 6th in your calendar for a very important English Ministry Town Hall following worship. The English Ministry Council (EMC) will be sharing some observations about where we are at as a congregation and inviting responses and input. Your presence is vital - this cannot be emphasized enough! Thank you!

2017-7-9 Worship Videos

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

2017-7-2 English Ministry News and Notes

*Holy Land Reflections & Possibilities - The pilgrims invite our circuit for a special time of reflection and sharing of possibilities on Saturday, July 22nd, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Twin Towers UMC. This time includes a delicious Mediterranean dinner, sharing, and wonderful photography. Please RSVP today!

*Exploring the Holy Land Together! Intergen Summer Sunday School Series began today and will continue for the following 6 weeks. Travel together from Nazareth to Nablus, Cana to Beit Sahour, and more! Please gather promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex.

*Please Note: The church office is closed Tuesday, July 4th. Pastor Emily returns to the office on Thursday, July 6th.

*Sending the Wu's Off - Next Sunday, July 9th, is Kendrick, Isaac, and Joseph's last Sunday with us before moving to Arcadia. We'll share a special send off for them following worship. Please hold the family in God's light and care.

*Did You Know? We are sending 6 youth to camp this year! Included in these youth are Cloud (returning as a Leader in Training), Vincent (1st timer), and 4 Homework Club participants/alumni (Cindy, Emily, Raymond, Wan Ying.) Please pray for a special and transformative experience for each.

*Save the Date: Please mark Sunday, Aug. 6th in your calendar for a very important English Ministry Town Hall following worship. The English Ministry Council (EMC) will be sharing some observations about where we are at as a congregation and inviting responses and input. Your presence is vital - this cannot be emphasized enough! Thank you!

2017-7-2 Worship Videos

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017-6-25 English Ministry News and Notes


*Today is Shepherding Sunday!  Great thanks to the thoughtful planning of our amazing team of shepherds: Brenda, Donna, Ed, and Jane, and for their ongoing ministry of care.

*Summer Intergenerational Sunday School Series starts next Sunday: Let's Explore the Holy Land!  You're invited to come and get to know the Holy Land through the stories and experiences of children.  The series begins on July 2nd and will start promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex. You are invited!

*We Have a New Pastor Onboard: This summer we invited Deacon Cheryl Garlick to support our summer Adventures in Faith program.  She currently serves as the Pastor to Families and Children at Christian Layman Church in Oakland.  We give great thanks to God's provision in Pastor Cheryl. To learn more about her, please visit: http://www.christianlayman.org/church/cheryl

*Please Note: Pastor Emily will be on vacation June 26th - July 4th and return to church on July 6th.  She is available via phone or email during this time.

*Save the Date: Please mark Sunday, Aug. 6th in your calendar for a very important English Ministry Town Hall following worship.  The English Ministry Council (EMC) will be sharing some observations about where we are at as a congregation and inviting responses and input.  Your presence is vital - this cannot be emphasized enough!  Thank you!
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

2017-6-18 Worship Videos

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2017-6-18 English Ministry News and Notes


*Great Thanks to all who pitched in last Sunday and enabled a celebratory Family Day Party.  Over 50 children and parents attended!

*Happy Father's Day to all who are fathers and to all who have fathered, coached, and mentored others.  We give thanks for your presence, care, and faithfulness.

*Annual Conference Special Giving Sunday - The Annual Conference Offering this year is designated for Africa University located in Zimbabwe as it celebrates its 25th year. This is a highly regarded university founded by the UMC serving all of Africa to raise up faithful, skilled leaders. Thanks for your generosity!

*Cal-Nev. Annual Conference, June 21st - 24th, Burlingame - We have two elected delegates this year: Burt and Becky, and one alternative: Richard (Only Burt will be attending.)  Pastor Meina will be commissioned during the Service of Ordination and Commissioning on Friday, the 23rd, at 7:30 p.m.  We will be organizing carpools for those interested in attending.

*Celebrate Shepherding Sunday, June 25th - We'll gather to celebrate the ministry of loving, caring, and supporting one another as community.  Please plan to stay for a fellowship meal and conversation following worship!

*Summer Intergenerational Sunday School Series: Let's Explore the Holy Land!  You're invited to come and get to know the Holy Land through the stories and experiences of children.  The series begins on July 2nd and will start promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex. 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017-6-11 Worship Videos

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2017-6-11 English Ministry News and Notes


*Pitch In - Following worship today, we'll begin prepping for our Family Day Party that begins at noon.  Your presence enables us to welcome our Homework Club families and students, provide them with a fellowship meal, and engage them in fun and meaningful team work games.  Thank you!

*Annual Conference Special Offering, Next Sunday, June 18th - The 2017 Annual Conference Session offering will benefit Africa University as the school celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Your generosity invests in young people to create a better future for Africa.  Thank you! You can learn more about their wonderful work at www.support-africauniversity.org

*Cal-Nev. Annual Conference, June 21st - 24th, Burlingame - Our annual Annual Conference session is just around the corner.  We have two elected delegates this year: Burt and Becky, and one alternative: Richard (Only Burt will be attending.)  Additionally, Pastor Meina will be commissioned during the Service of Ordination and Commissioning on Friday, the 23rd, at 7:30 p.m.  We will be organizing carpools for those interested in attending.

*Summer Homework Club Begins - our summer program begins Monday, June 12th.  Please hold this vital ministry, its staff and students in God's light.  We give thanks for the hiring of Deacon Cheryl Garlick who will be working with the summer Adventures in Faith Program.  Volunteers are invited!  Please connect with P. Emily for more info.

*Shepherding Sunday, June 25th - Save the date to celebrate and learn more about our shepherding ministry, the ministry committed to developing spiritual relationships, extending care, and supporting accountability here at CCUMC!  Please plan to stay for lunch and fellowship too.


The Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jason Sansbury

Celebrating the Holy Spirit at Pentecost 
Pentecost is celebrated by Christians globally because we want to remember Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit would come and work in the world. We also celebrate Pentecost because we want to remember that the Holy Spirit is at work in us as followers of Jesus. 
In today’s world, anxiety charts at record levels in younger students. A 2000 American Psychological Association study states that the average teen has higher levels of anxiety today than did psychiatric patients in the 1950’s; the levels of stress exhibited by teenagers continues to rise. The Holy Spirit at work in the world and within us is a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness and the intimacy we can share with God as followers of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit at Work in the World
Sometimes we fail to notice the Holy Spirit faithfully at work in our lives and the world. Pentecost creates a natural pause in our liturgical rhythm and reminds us that the Holy Spirit is present and at work all around us. Part of the Christian tradition is to examine the world and identify the places we see the Holy Spirit at work, along with the people the Holy Spirit is using to do the work. That dedicated practice reminds us and helps us to understand that while the world may make us anxious, we have hope because God’s Spirit is at work and that hope helps us build spiritual endurance and keeps us moving forward in faith.
The Holy Spirit at Work in Us 
Similarly, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit is working in our individual lives. Sometimes it is difficult for us to recognize in ourselves what others around us see—the fruit of the Spirit. The result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our personal lives is often hidden from us. Pentecost is a reminder to take a break, examine our lives, and notice where the Spirit is teaching, guiding, encouraging, and convicting us. 
Question of the Day: Who is someone whose life you’ve seen changed by God?
Focal Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13, 37-47; 1 Corinthians 12–13


Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017-5-28 Worship Videos

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2017-5-28 English Ministry News and Notes

*Celebrate the Holy Spirit and Our 130th! We will gather for Pentecost worship on June 4th at 10:00 a.m. followed by a celebration luncheon at Cinnamon Tree at noon.  You are invited to RSVP through Becky at $15 / person (Children between 5 and 10 are $7.50, 5 and under are free).  Please don't let cost get in the way - all are welcome (please touch base with P. Emily.)

*Changes are Afoot! This is the last Sunday of the Messenger as it has been known!  Pastor Emily plans to “retire” from selecting relevant devotional material for the first page on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th, prompting a redesign.  If you are interested in lending leadership in this way, please connect before June 4th.

*Pitch In! - We will be celebrating Family Day and the successful closing of another Homework Club ministry year on Sunday, June 11th.  Parallel worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a party at noon.  Your presence makes the difference.  Please sign up to pitch in today!
We are collecting the following for Family Day Party - toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, egg cartons, empty water bottles, newspaper.  Please bring what you have on the 11th.

*Did You Hear? - This year’s Kumi Benefit Ride met its goal: $40,000.  We are astounded by and grateful for the outpouring of generosity and collaboration.  Huge thanks!

*Please Note: The Church Office will be closed on May 30th in observation of Memorial Day. Pastor Emily will be out of the office through June 1st.


The Holy Spirit Comes As Promised, Krista Williams

Jesus gave His disciples explicit instructions to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promised Holy Spirit, the Helper, to come. He promised the Holy Spirit would teach them and help them remember all He had said. (John 14:26) Jesus made it clear the Holy Spirit would empower them to be a witness for Him.
And so they waited. About 120 believers in all gathered together to wait and pray. (Acts 1:15) Think about how hard it must have been to wait and not get impatient, discouraged, or give up. To wait and not run ahead of God. To take Jesus at His Word. To know the truth and be willing to yield to God’s leading in their life. To trust Him and obey Him even when nothing seemed to be happening.
Then, at God’s appointed time, the promised Holy Spirit came and indwelt all of Christ’s followers.
The Holy Spirit is a person. She is God. She is the third person of the Holy Trinity. She comes to dwell inside every person who receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. The Holy Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts and moves us from death to life. (Romans 5:5Romans 8:11) She confirms in our hearts that we are God’s children. (Galatians 4:4-7Romans 8:16-17)
The most important characteristic of the filling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was power. When the Holy Spirit came and filled all the disciples, they were no longer cowering in fear behind locked doors. Suddenly, this little band of believers boldly began to declare the glory of God. It was a REAL change. Change from the inside out.
In Jerusalem that day, there were men and women from every nation under heaven present in the crowd.  Fifteen different regions and dialects to be exact. And every single person present heard what the disciples were saying in their native language, in their own tongue. (Acts 2:6-8)
The Holy Spirit had filled the disciples, and She would empower them to be witnesses for Jesus in the world. Now, they would go and tell. 
The Holy Spirit is the only source of life and power in the believer today. You and I cannot live out the Christian life without the Holy Spirit’s power. Only the power of God can completely change a person’s emotions, thoughts, words, and actions. When the Holy Spirit lives in us and works in us, She enables us to be obedient to God, She helps us fulfill the Great Commission, and She empowers us to make an impact on our generation. 
Prayer: Holy God, thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell personally in me and in all who believe. Holy Spirit, I confess I have no strength, energy, or power on my own to fulfill God’s call on my life. I need Your enabling today and every day. So come and live Your life through me. Use every part of my being—my emotions, my thoughts, my will, my actions, my words, and my time as Your own. Fill me with Your power. Set my words on fire so I will declare Your glory and point others to You. In Jesus’ name, amen. 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017-5-21 Worship Videos

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The Fellowship of the Spirit, Shane Raynor

Remember the three backwoodsmen from the 1980’s TV show Newhart? These guys were brothers, and whenever they’d enter a scene, one would announce, “Hi, I'm Larry; this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.” Darryl and Darryl never spoke, they just tagged along with Larry. Larry was the spokesperson for the group. If you dealt with him, you dealt with all three of them. But for all practical purposes, the two Darryls were mostly human props. Larry was the only one who could be interacted with, at least verbally.
Now before I make the ridiculous attempt at illustrating the Holy Trinity with three sitcom characters, rest assured that I haven’t lost my mind, and I haven’t run out of topics to write about. There’s a point here, I promise, and here’s hoping I can make it without putting my foot in my mouth.
Sometimes I think Christians see the Holy Spirit as the “other brother Darryl.” The last one mentioned. Second runner up. The member of the Godhead we understand (and talk about) the least.
God the Father and God the Son are a little easier for us to process, because we see fathers and sons in everyday life, and we also have our own family relationships. But God the Holy Spirit? (Holy Ghost if you use the King James Bible or sing the Gloria Patri.) Spirits and ghosts seem way out there.
So some of us don’t mention the Holy Spirit much. Or we talk about him like he’s a force or energy. An it, not a she. That’s unfortunate, because the Holy Spirit is the member of the Godhead we interact with at the deepest level—with our own spirits. Paul closes 2 Corinthians with this blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:13 CEB. Fellowship is the English translation of the Greek word koinonia, which can also mean communionintimacy, or even joint partnership. The word communication also shows up in one of the definitions I found. This kind of language is used for a personal being, not an abstract force.
We can talk directly to the Holy Spirit, and experience her presence. We can hear her voice. The one who worked in our lives to bring us to Christ is with us all the time, always indwelling us. And she’s able to fill us and equip us for carrying out the missions that God gives us—we only need to ask. The Holy Spirit will warn us when we’re about to go down the wrong path, gently convict us if we do, and offer us assurance of forgiveness when we confess our sins and repent.
The Holy Spirit possesses an infinite amount of knowledge and insight. 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, “The Spirit searches everything, including the depths of God.” (CEB) That’s mind-blowing to me.
The Holy Spirit can be trusted to tell us what we need to know, when we need to know it. She helps us to understand the Bible and apply it. Once we begin to tune in to the Spirit, even the most familiar passages of Scripture seem to have new things in store for us. And crazy supernatural stuff happens too, sometimes in the most natural ways.
If we don’t resist her, she even messes with our theology from time to time. Few things are more invigorating (or frustrating) than being prompted by the Holy Spirit to rethink some of our sacred cows.
We almost always mention her last, but the Holy Spirit isn’t just “the other member of the Trinity.” She’s essential to living an effective Christian life.
http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/4414/the-fellowship-of-the-holy-spirit


2017-5-21 English Ministry News and Notes

*Celebrate the Holy Spirit and Our 130th! We will gather for Pentecost worship on June 4th at 10:00 a.m. followed by a celebration luncheon at Cinnamon Tree at noon.  You are invited to RSVP through Becky at $15 / person (Children between 5 and 10 are $7.50, 5 and under are free).  Please don't let cost get in the way - all are welcome (please touch base with P. Emily.)

*Changes are Afoot-The Messenger will be undergoing some rethinking and redesign.  Pastor Emily plans to “retire” from selecting relevant devotional material for the first page on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  If you are interested in lending leadership in this way, please connect before June 4th.

*Save the Date - We will be celebrating Family Day and the successful closing of another Homework Club ministry year on Sunday, June 11th.  Parallel worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a party at noon.  Your presence makes the difference.

*Prayer Invite - Let us hold our brother Ed Lang in prayer as he continues his chemo treatment in the coming weeks.  May God surround him and Arlene with strength and healing.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017-5-14 Worship Videos

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2017-5-14 English Ministry News and Notes


*Warm Blessings on All who Mother - We celebrate the special ministry of mothering, whether it be our biological or adopted children, whether it be to those in our extended or chosen family.  We also pray God's gentle care for all those who long to mother or who have had painful experiences around mothering.  

*Special Giving Today - Camping Fund - You are invited to give generously in funding the children and youth of our church and extended community in attending faith forming opportunities through summer camps and more.  Thank you for your generosity!

*Save the Date - Our 130th anniversary will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Plans are underway for a special celebration. Please plan to be a part of it!

CCUMC's 130th Anniversary Celebration is only 3 weeks away! On Sunday, June 4th, we will begin with a joint worship service at 9:30 AM. This will be followed by a Gala Lunch at Cinnamon Tree Restaurant, 708 Franklin Street. Please see Becky to sign up today! Cost is only $15 to reserve a place, and includes a special souvenir. You may invite friends and guests, but be sure to get your reservations in no later than May 28th. 

Changes are Afoot—The Messenger will be undergoing some rethinking and redesign.  Pastor Emily plans to “retire” from selecting relevant devotional material for the first page on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  If you are interested in lending leadership in this way, please connect before June 4th.


Five Facts of Famine, International Rescue Committee

For the first time ever, the world is facing the very real possibility of not one, but four simultaneous famines—in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. Thirty million people are facing starvation and living on the brink of what could become the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. Famines are not a new phenomenon, but they are preventable. So how are they still happening today? It’s time to take a closer look at what you think you know. Read our five facts:

Fact 1: Famine has nothing to do with having too many mouths to feed
Many people think that famine is a result of overpopulation. The reality is much more complicated: The semi-arid areas of South Sudan, Somalia and other East African countries that are now in the grip of famine are lightly populated compared to many other parts of the world. The solution has to do with early action—before an official famine declaration—to address and mitigate the true sources of hunger crises: conflict and drought.

Fact 2: Famine isn’t always caused by natural disaster
While the severe drought now sweeping across East Africa is making the situation worse, the hunger crisis in the region and beyond is actually man-made.
Violence and conflict in South Sudan and Somalia are cutting off supply routes, causing food prices to skyrocket and hampering the delivery of aid. In South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, five years of civil war have led to widespread hunger. Around half of harvests have been destroyed, food deliveries have been blocked, and aid workers have been attacked—leaving as many as a million people facing starvation. 
Beyond East Africa, conflicts in Nigeria and Yemen have created famine-like conditions for millions more.

Fact 3: We need to act BEFORE famine is declared
The famine early warning system known as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, or IPC, looks for all three of these criteria to be met before it declares a food crisis “Level 5”— a famine:  
     1. 1 in 5 households in a certain area face extreme food shortages; and
     2. more than 30 percent of the population is acutely malnourished; and 
     3. at least two of every 10,000 people die each day. 
This means that by the time a famine is declared, as in South Sudan’s Unity State, people are already dying. For them, it is already too late.
What is even more worrisome is that there are many more areas that are already at Level 3 and 4 that need help right now. Without immediate humanitarian aid, these will grow to Level 5 and people will continue to die. 
We have been here before, and we can prevent this from happening again, but we must act now—before it is too late.
To read about the final 2 facts, please visit www.rescue.org.  You can find the article under the “Latest” tab.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017-5-7 Worship Videos

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2017-5-7 English Ministry News and Notes

 *Great Thanks for the united effort of this community in "Picking It Up" last Sunday.  Let us continue to make every effort to get to know, care for, and invest in our neighborhood.

*Praise Be to God!  We celebrate and give thanks for the amazing turn out and generous participation of so many at Saturday's Kumi Benefit Ride/Walk II.  At last count, we raised $38.858 towards our goal of $40,000!  God is good!

*Where in the World Are Our Pilgrims?  Today, our pilgrims will be visiting the deeply divided city of Hebron and having their first moment of free time.  Please continue to remember them on their journey.  They return Friday, May 12th.  Pilgrims will share informally during the Sunday School hour next Sunday, May 14th.  

*Please Note: For any pastoral emergencies, please contact Pastor Meina (meinako12@gmail.com or 510.452.1020)

*Special Giving: Camping Fund - We will invite a special offering next Sunday, May 14th, to support our young people to attend camping and missional opportunities.  Please consider giving generously.  

*Save the Date - Our 130th anniversary will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Plans are underway for a special celebration. Please plan to be a part of it!


The Story of Stephen

(from Acts 6:5-8:4)
This is the story of Stephen, a follower of Jesus Christ, and a man filled with God’s grace and power. He was one of a group of 7 believers set apart as leaders in the Christian community in Jerusalem.
Through the power of Holy Spirit, Stephen was able to perform amazing miracles and signs among the people in Jerusalem.  But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves started an argument with him. The Holy Spirit gave Stephen such wisdom in his responses that the men felt humiliated. And so they started a vicious rumor against him, telling others that they had heard Stephen speak blasphemy against Moses and God.
Soon rumors against Stephen were flying, and everyone was angry—the people, the elders and the religious leaders.  So Stephen was arrested and brought before the high council.  His enemies persuaded people to lie about him:  “We’ve heard him speak against the Temple and the law of Moses,” they said. “He’s even said that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy our Temple and change the customs we received from Moses.”
Everyone looked at Stephen, wondering how he would respond to such serious accusations. And they were amazed, because his face began to shine, as if he were an angel.
The high priest asked him, “Are these accusations true?”
Stephen looked around at them all, and began to speak.“Brothers, fathers, please listen to me.” 
And he reminded them how God had been at work in their own history. How God had appeared to Abraham, and entered into a lasting covenant with him.  How Abraham’s descendants found themselves slaves in Egypt, and how God had sent Moses to free the people from the clutches of Pharaoh.  How God had freed the people from slavery in Egypt, and led them into the desert. How, despite God’s love and provision, the people often turned away from God. How they had constructed a movable Tent in which to worship God, and later built a permanent Temple.  Stephen reminded them that God doesn’t actually dwell in buildings made by people—that nothing can contain God.
And then he looked right at them and said, “You stubborn people! You call yourselves Jews, but you are deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”
The Jewish leaders were furious--so furious that they couldn’t contain themselves. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, didn’t even seem to notice.  Instead, he gazed up into heaven.  And as he looked, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  This is where our scripture reading picks up today.
It would be important to know: After Stephen’s death, a great wave of persecution against the Christians swept through Jerusalem.  Many of the believers fled for their lives to Judea and Samaria—the very places where Jesus had said his disciples would be his witnesses.
The young man, Saul, eagerly joined the persecution, going on a rampage from house to house, dragging all the Christians he could find to prison.
But despite the danger, the believers continued to preach the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017-4-23 Worship Videos

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2017-4-23 English Ministry News and Notes

*2nd Annual Kumi Benefit Ride/Walk, Saturday, Apr. 29th - it takes a village...... and while we are enormously grateful for the outpouring of generosity, it would be great to have the congregation join the celebration at 2 PM. If people let Ben or Jane know TODAY, they can taste the wonderful meal prepared by chefs at CVUMC for only $10.  There is also still room for a driver and photographer volunteer on April 29th. Celebrate the Risen Lord, Kumi-style, and support the kids at KCVS
Please hold this event in prayer as the bikers bike, the walkers walk, and the many volunteers join together to support.  Deep gratitude for your generosity and care!  It's not too late to give!

*We Join Together for 5th Sunday Working Worship Next Sunday, Apr. 30th - Worship begins at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary.  We will spend a part of of our worship time cleaning up our neighborhood.  You are encouraged to bring your own work gloves, we'll supply the rest!

*AO Circuit Holy Land Pilgrims head out May 1st through 12th!  Pastor Emily will be out of contact during that time.  If there is a pastoral emergency, please contact Pastor Meina (meinako12@gmail.com, 510.685.9621)
*Adult Sunday School "Rests" Sunday, May 7th and resumes on May 14th. 

*Save the Date - Our 130th anniversary will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th.  Plans are underway for a special celebration. Please plan to be a part of it!