February 2016: A Word from Pastor Sun Hee


At the end of this month, several amazing leaders from our FamilyMatters Ministry along with myself and Pastor Sam Yun from EMBRACE Church will be hosting and leading an enriching, faith-filled weekend for couples. In a two day program taking place in our Ministry Center on February 27-28, couples will gather to examine their lives together, to share their feelings, hopes, disappointments, joys and frustrations so that they can improve and enhance their relationship with a greater awareness of God in their lives.

Inspired by the direct experience and blessing that Eric & Rennie Bautista and Chris & Kristine Welcher had from their participation from a marriage encounter weekend sponsored by the Catholic church, this weekend aims to both emulate and further customize that experience to bless couples in our church.  This weekend will involve a series of talks that are given by Pastor Sam and myself on ways that couples can communicate better and look deeper into various elements of their relationship. The couples will engage in personal and interpersonal, reflective exercises leading to the building up of intentional and healthy relationships.

One of the foundational values that undergird this weekend experience is the belief that God desires healthy and whole relationships between couples. In God’s design, we are meant to be in mutual, loving, and complementary engagement with one another. And we know that does not always come easily. There is always stuff we need to learn, and there is always room for growth in every relationship. Our hope for this weekend is that couples will walk away from this experience with greater love, passion and intention for one another. There is a greater purpose for couples to be together and to be in love with one another than just romance. God wants to use every couple in the context of a greater calling. And that’s why we are investing in CouplesMatter. Because ultimately, couples matter to God.

If you are interested in joining this weekend experience, contact me or Rennie Bautista for more information.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend… I hope that you will consider joining us or being in prayer for the couples who will participate.

Praying for enrichment and love,

Pastor Sun Hee

February 2016: A Word from Pastor Anne

A New Season at SAINT PAUL!

What will this new year of 2016 hold for us at SAINT PAUL? So many give generously of their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness of what God is doing in their lives. It already feels so full of possibility and God’s promises. It would be easy to quickly fill the new rooms of the Ministry Center with activities, ideas and stuff! (So similar to our own homes.) 

We want to be good stewards of what God has provided for us. Let’s discern and pray, talk together and listen for God’s Spirit that is leading us together. 

Our mission as part of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Those disciples include people inside and outside the church – to come to know and follow Jesus and go deeper with him. Where is God calling each of us to follow Jesus deeper with our lives? Where do we find joy with Jesus and where do we long for more of him? Who are the people nearby that we have opportunities to share God’s love with through service and/ or words? 

Our theme this year is More Jesus. Over the years, SAINT PAUL has been a diverse people welcoming others into community to have a vital faith in Jesus Christ. We are called to be an intergenerational community of faith. 

Who can we invite to join in following Jesus? How and where will we explore and take new steps to prepare the way for more of God’s fruitfulness among us? I am sure some things will work and some will not. That is part of the journey. Let’s find out together!

How has your faith and trust in Jesus changed in the past twelve months? 

My faith and trust in God have been changed by God’s generosity as we faced multiple construction changes and cost increases and saw God lead the way through. I had no answer but to pray and lean on God and saw Him answer again and again far more generously than I thought possible. What a God we worship! And I believe that God has even more of us. (Pastor Sun Hee spoke of having a cup or bucket to collect God’s blessings when instead we can forget about the container and fall into God’s ocean of blessings!)

I will be on vacation in February. I am grateful for the time to rest and recover from the work that has gone into the new Ministry Center. We all desire a safe community to worship, to care and be cared for and grow in our relationship with God and one another. 

I trust that you will support Pastor Sun Hee while I am away to continue building a part of God’s community that is worth being part of.

I hope that soon we will all be saying, I used to pray but now I am talking to and communing with God. I used to read the Bible and now I understand more and am changed by it.

May we pray together, “God let us do what you are blessing. Help me and help us have More Jesus!”

January 2016: A Word from Pastor Anne

More Jesus

Pastor Sun Hee and I were talking and realized that we have been in this recent push towards our new Ministry Center for about 6 years! (I know many of you that have been at SPUMC longer have earlier memories of hopes for this completion.) 

We began with our need for space as our ministries were at their limits and unable to expand with our previous physical space.  We began to explore potential designs and costs. This led to exploring how much money we could raise and thus how much building we could afford. Our Capital Campaign teams worked hard to raise pledges for a 3 year $500,000 building campaign. The Building team began the process of selecting a design and architect and contractor. When that happened they worked with us on our design and permits. We blessed the land and construction started in spring 2014. After changes and inspections, we consecrated the building in September 2015. We finally received our building occupancy in December 4, 2015!

I give God thanks for each and all of you! This project has taken the combined effort of the whole church being flexible, praying and encouraging with generous spirits all along the way. Our UMW paid the majority of cost for kitchen appliances. Our UMM has donated a large TV monitor for the new conference room. They also assembled the new playground equipment and moved things in from the storage sheds. Others are helping the Preschool assemble and pick up new items. Our Building team persevered with all the changes and decisions along the way. The Finance Committee advised and supported throughout. 

Currently the Preschool has submitted their application to licensing for the new space. Licensing will let us know what our student capacity will be for the new first floor classrooms. The Preschool had their Christmas play in the sanctuary with a surprise magic show and potluck lunch in the new classrooms. Families were able to see the new space and children played in the new playground. The Precious Time community is also very excited!

The last item for our construction is a requirement from the City to do some landscaping along Alvarado Blvd which will be shared with our ISEB neighbors. We are still getting bids for this work and will schedule as soon as possible. It is such an exciting time here at SAINT PAUL! I still am a bit stunned that we are done with construction and moving in. Agape choir is practicing upstairs before worship. 

Many others are asking to use the space. Please contact Patty in the office for all Building space requests for meetings, events and classes in order to go on the master calendar. Please email stpaulfmt@gmail.com or call the office at 510-429-3990 between 8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., Tuesday to Friday.

This new Ministry Center is for expanding God’s ministry through our congregation and to the community. It seems appropriate that our 2016 theme will be More Jesus! To keep our focus on the one who calls us and led us this far and is guiding us to what is still ahead. 

How do our ministries lead to More of Jesus for us and others? What do we need help with to have More of Jesus? What is in the way of us sharing More of Jesus with family, friends and others? Where does our community and world need More of Jesus? God has so much more for us. He will prepare us to receive more of Him! Let us seek 

Him together and follow where He leads!  As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. 

Colossians 1:11-12 The Message