Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017-2-26 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir


Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

English Ministry News and Notes 2017-2-26

*Today is Transfiguration Sunday and the final Sunday in Epiphany!  We begin Lent on Wednesday, Mar. 1st at 7:00 p.m..  You are warmly invited to a simple, reflective worship to begin your journey to Easter.  

*Hearts Full of Gratitude - Today marks the close of Aeri's time with us in her official worship leadership role and the beginning of a time of renewal and seeking.  Aeri has lent her significant gifts, skill, and deep love of God to the planning, organizing, and carrying out of worship here for more than 10 years.  We are so grateful.  Please note: Aeri is not leaving us! She is still very much a part of our community.  However, in order to help us transition away from leaning on her for everything worship related, and to nourish her desire for being on the receiving end of worship, she will be taking a break in attendance through the season of Lent...and possibly beyond.  Please share your thanks and hold her in prayer!

*SOUP Lite - We will share in Sundays of Uniting Prayer "Lite" following worship each Sunday in Lent.  Rather than heading for the Annex, we'll gather in the social hall for a bowl of warm and hearty soup and some intentional conversation with those at our table.  Great thanks to each soup maker that has already signed up (Arlene, Becky, Brenda, Donna, Jane, Jennie, Laura) and our indefatigable bread provider, Peggy! We are looking for 3 more soup makers!  Pleas connect with Pastor Emily.

*How Can We Become Better Listeners...to God, to Others, to Ourselves?  Let's figure it out together!  We begin a new series around listening on Mar. 12th.  You're urged and encouraged to gather for a time of growing and practicing each Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

*Sunday, March 26th, 2pm: Russell Jeung’s Presentation!  Invite your friends!


Blinding Light into Lent, Clifton Stringer

The harshest and most unwelcome light I can recall woke me up at 6 AM in Brownsville, TX during the mission trips on which my church sent the middle school youth group. Lights abruptly flipped on, my youth director's voice came crashing down upon our heads in the words of a too-cheerful song: "Rise, and shine, and give God the glory, glory!" That was quite a horrible and jarring way to wake up, and because of the early cataclysm it caused in my teenage psyche I will always love that song about Noah and the "arky arky." And I will always remember that wonderful unwelcome light.
On Transfiguration Sunday, we hear the voice of the Father speak out of a cloud: "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" This, as the Light of Jesus' divinity shines before Peter, James, John, and us, blinding.
The theme of light came before on Christmas Eve, as the Light of our God incarnate shone on a people in deep darkness. The Father's voice in Jesus' transfiguration bookends this theme of the light of the revelation of the Son of God, which also received an emphatic introduction in Jesus' baptism, when the Spirit descends and the Father's voice speaks: "This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased."
Transfiguration is the culmination and (temporary) end of this season of Light.
The light is not precisely gone. There is a light brighter even than the light of Jesus' transfiguration, a light which is the Church's sole reason for existing: the Light of Jesus' resurrection. But between the light of the Transfiguration and the light of the Resurrection there is a great chasm to be traversed.
This chasm we call Lent. Lent is a season of penance, fasting, and spiritual preparation for the feast of our Lord's resurrection. It seems the light of Christ's incarnation reveals much, too much, of us: it reveals the sins we would rather keep hidden, and it reveals the paths by which we avoid looking too closely at ourselves and our choices. Standing before the radiance of the Son of God, the ways in which we have become creatures of darkness are all the more clear.
And so we need Lent. We need the desert. We need the ashes on Ash Wednesday. We need the desolate places of the spiritual life, in order to journey from grace unto grace: from the grace of our creation, unto the double-grace of God's holy redemption.
So let us reach up, and let Jesus take us by the hand, and go where we do not wish to go. The desert beckons. The Spirit drives us out. And we will find, as we approach the terrible mystery of Good Friday, that even wandering in the desert, we are not without divine fire and cloud—just enough light—to guide us.

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017-2-19 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

English Ministry News and Notes 2017-2-19

*What's Your Story?  Adults will gather to read and reflect on Russell Jeung's spiritual memoir, At Home in Exile, even as we consider our own stories of life and faith.  Gather at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex for a time of rich reflection and Spirit-prompted growth.
*Pick It Up Pauses - Great thanks for all who participated in our first two "Pick It Up Chinatown" efforts.  Due to upcoming conflicts with our own schedule (Lent, Mother's Day, HC Family Day Party, etc.) we will pause our participation until the summer.  
*Lent is Right Around the Corner - Ash Wednesday kicks off the season of Lent on Mar. 1st.  We will gather for a reflective time of worship at 7:00 p.m.  We will hold “SOUP Lite” this year following worship each Sunday (a time for nourishing bowls of soup with intentional conversation and prayer.)  Soup makers are sought for each week starting Mar. 5th!  Please sign up today! Thank you.
*Save the Date - Sunday, Mar. 26th at 2:00 p.m. Russell Jeung presents: "Following Jesus in a Trump Empire: One Asian American Christian Perspective."  Invite community circles and friends!  All proceeds from his book sale go to refugee ministries.
*2nd Annual Kumi Benefit Ride & Walk, Apr. 29th - Commit now to ride, walk, or volunteer! Reach out to your circles to raise funds for capital needs of KCVS.  All donations made by Apr. 1st will be doubled by a generous matching grant!  Let’s do this!
*CCUMC Wi-Fi access:  CCUMC-guest.  Password : chinesecommunityumc

Law and Love, Rev. John van de Laar


The law is easy, Jesus,
lists to be made,
items ticked as each is fulfilled;
Love is messy,
people to be heard and seen,
consequences and compassion to be considered;

But we’ve lived too long by law –
the law of the sword
taking lives to achieve our goals;
the law of the market
seeking gain without thought of the impact
the law of religion
handing out judgment in your name;

But, the poor and the weak,
the diseased and the lonely,
the rejected and the sinful
find no healing in our laws;

So teach us to love, Jesus, as you do,
enough to defend the helpless
and overturn the tables of the powerful;
enough to sacrifice ourselves
so others may live

Teach us to love, Jesus, as you do.
Amen.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

2017-2-12 Worship Videos

Chinese Choir

Chinese Sermon

English Sermon

English Ministry News and Notes 2017-12-2

*What's Your Story? Adults will gather to read and reflect on Russell Jeung's spiritual memoir, At Home in Exile, even as we consider our own stories of life and faith. Gather at 9:30 a.m. in the Annex for a time of rich reflection and Spirit-prompted growth.
*Pick It Up Pauses - Great thanks for all who participated in our first two "Pick It Up Chinatown" efforts. Due to upcoming conflicts with our own schedule (Lent, Mother's Day, HC Family Day Party, etc.) we will pause our participation until the summer.  
*Lent is Right Around the Corner - Ash Wednesday kicks off the season of Lent on Mar. 1st. We will gather for a reflective time of worship at 7:00 p.m. We will hold “SOUP Lite” this year following worship each Sunday (a time for nourishing bowls of soup with intentional conversation and prayer.) Soup makers are sought for each week starting Mar. 5th! Please sign up today! Thank you.
*Save the Date - Sunday, Mar. 26th at 2:00 p.m. Russell Jeung presents: "Following Jesus in a Trump Empire: One Asian American Christian Perspective." Invite community circles and friends! All proceeds from his book sale go to refugee ministries.
*2nd Annual Kumi Benefit Ride & Walk, Apr. 29th - Commit now to ride, walk, or volunteer! Reach out to your circles to raise funds for capital needs of KCVS. All donations made by Apr. 1st will be doubled by a generous matching grant! Let’s do this!
*CCUMC Wi-Fi access: CCUMC-guest. Password : chinesecommunityumc

Law and Love, Rev. John van de Laar

 The law is easy, Jesus,
lists to be made,
items ticked as each is fulfilled;
Love is messy,
people to be heard and seen,
consequences and compassion to be considered;

But we’ve lived too long by law –
the law of the sword
taking lives to achieve our goals;
the law of the market
seeking gain without thought of the impact
the law of religion
handing out judgment in your name;

But, the poor and the weak,
the diseased and the lonely,
the rejected and the sinful
find no healing in our laws;

So teach us to love, Jesus, as you do,
enough to defend the helpless
and overturn the tables of the powerful;
enough to sacrifice ourselves
so others may live

Teach us to love, Jesus, as you do.
Amen.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

English Ministry News and Notes 2017-2-5

*Huge Thanks for All on a great start to 5th Sundays Working Worship!  Appreciations for your generosity in bringing all the items needed, for your effort in putting together the care packages, and for sharing them as a sign of God's love.  We now have a supply for you to take from to give out regularly!
*Special Offering for the National Chinese Caucus Today - As a church affiliated with the Chinese Caucus of the UMC, we are invited to contribute to their ongoing ministry of seeking to equip, empower, and advocate for us in the larger arenas of the Annual Conference and General Conference.  Your generosity is appreciated. 
*We Celebrate the Lunar New Year Today - Following worship, please join in for a time of fellowship and feasting. You are encouraged to  build connections with our CM brothers and sisters during this time!
*New Adult Study Launches - We start our growing and learning time with a study of At Home in Exile, the spiritual memoir of Dr. Russell Jeung.  He tells a moving and inspiring story weaving together his family's history, his faith, and his life work.  Signed copies are available today for $13.  Dr. Jeung will be with us on Mar. 26th!  Mark your calendars and invite friends.
*New Hospitality Schedule Starts Next Sunday, Feb. 12th - Please check our online worship servant schedule to see when you're scheduled! www.chinesecommunityumc.org -- members tab -- English worship schedule.
*Prayer Invite -
-The new school year for KCVS launches tomorrow, Feb. 6th!  Let’s hold the staff, the students, and the families in God’s care.
- We will hold a Family Night for Homework Club families on Friday, Feb. 10th.  Please pray for those who will come and for the possibility of forming a family fellowship.  We give thanks to the leadership of Pastor Meina and Christine Li.
*CCUMC Wi-Fi access:  CCUMC-guest.  Password : chinesecommunityumc


Be The Light, Melissa Bane Sevier

As we continue to move into a different political reality in the United States, the church finds itself in shifting theological territory. Change is not something that the church, a giant multifaceted institution, handles very well. One good thing about change of any kind, though: it helps us reassess our values.

In the few chapters we call the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches about the church’s values. Here’s a clip:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [from Matthew 5]

Individuals and faith communities are searching out where to go from here. Jesus’ wisdom? Be the light.
How are we the light? Depends on whom you ask, doesn’t it? But when we are the light, says Jesus, others will notice. No matter how we vote or what our political affiliation, we are still the light.

So:
· We do what we know is right. We follow Jesus.
· We remember that truth is our currency. We speak, share, and write the truth. Once we shrink from telling the truth, what do we have?
· We honor those who are most vulnerable: the poor, the sick, the very young and very old, those with disabilities.
· We welcome the immigrant, the refugee, and the stranger as if we were welcoming Jesus himself.
· We work for fairness and justice. We lift up people of all races, nationalities, religions, people of different genders.
· We live in hope.
· We are always listening, always aware that we may be wrong, always looking for the best in those with whom we disagree.
· We say—not just to those like us, but especially to those different from us—“we have your back.”

This is what Jesus did. This is what Jesus taught.
The world is watching us.
Be the church. Be the light.