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Acts@22A - 14 Feb 2019

14.02.19 | Acts@22A

     

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    U Matters

    Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, and written Valentine’s cards became popular in the 1400’s. Today, it is estimated that 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, which makes it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (Greeting Card Association).

    For some, today can be a difficult day. Whether you received a Valentine’s card or not, we need to remember that we have regular access to the greatest book of love ever, the Bible. The Bible is a tremendous love story between God and His people, and provides a tremendous opportunity for us to be reminded of how deeply loved we are. We need to know the depth of God’s love. There are so many ‘cards’ to choose from, consider these:

    • See what great love the Father has lavished on us (you). That we (you) should be called children of God! And that is what we (you) are. 1 John 3:1
    • God demonstrates his own love for us (you) in this; while we (you) were still sinners, Christ died for us (you). Romans 5:8
    • The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
    • For God so loved the world (you), that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
    • There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18

    On behalf of the Staff and Leaders at Union Church we want to say Happy Valentine’s Day. It is our hope that you know the deep deep love that God has for you and your family, and may you know that you are loved and are an important part of the family at Union Church.

    With love,
    Pastor Michele
     

    Minutes Available

    If you would like to read the minutes from the Special General Meeting they are available at the foyer desk. 
     

    This Week

    Parents in Prayer, 17 February, 12:30PM to 1:00PM, in the Sanctuary
    We would like to invite all Union Church parents to join us for an opportunity to pray for our children immediately after the 11:15AM service. Please join us on Sunday as we lift up our children (adult children too) and families in prayers. All are welcome for this time of prayer. Meet in the Sanctuary immediately after the 11.15AM service.

    Message from the Joint Leaders

    Psalm 133 says: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!...For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life evermore”.
     
    The name “Union” was given to this Church. However, the enemy always seeks to sow “Dis-union” and divide us. We have all fallen short, we have all made mistakes. Martin Luther King Jr said “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” The apostle Paul says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Only in Christ is this truly possible. Only He who loves and dwells within us is our hope; in Him we are more than conquerors. He promises that when we confess our sins and repent He is faithful and will forgive our sins and restore us to fellowship with Him. He “re-Unions us”! We therefore should confess, repent and seek restoration so as to be “re-Unioned” with Him and with one another.
     
    This starts with “me”, that is with each one of us!
     
    The Special Meeting last Sunday was a time when we came together as a body and shared views, opinions and heartfelt feelings. While there was a diversity of views expressed, there are many who feel we left with a greater sense of unity than when we arrived. Many have said that it was a positive “watershed moment” for Union Church. There was also a strong sense of the need to look forward, to journey “onward and upward” in seeking, with God’s help and inspiration, to become a more Christ-centred and loving community of faith. Let us not leave these “good feelings” there. Let us indeed seek to move forward in “re-Union”, reflecting authentic unity in the midst of our rich diversity, with Christ as our true centre.
     
    The vision statement of Union Church is “making mature followers in all nations for Christ, through our united lifestyle, witness and mission” May this be so. Although we are many, in Christ we are one! 
     
    May we always cherish and give thanks for the love and grace of God which we receive so freely, yet at such great cost to our Saviour, and which bind us together more closely than the differences that can ever separate us.
     
    The Leaders of Union Church
     

    February Service Schedule Update

    17 February (Sunday) - "The Father's Heart, Our First Love: God is Self-Sacrificing" by Revd Canon Dr G. Howard Mellor
     
    24 February (Sunday) - "The Father's Heart, Our First Love: God Transforms" by Monte Peterson
     

    BUFF

    BUFF – Update Report for January 2019
    Union Church moved from its previous location in Kennedy Road to Sunlight Tower in September 2017 in order to allow the redevelopment of its site at 22A. Foundation work is now underway and the superstructure contract is due to begin in October 2019. The Occupation Permit for the development is scheduled for June 2022 and we anticipate moving into our new church premises at 22A Kennedy Road in late 2022 / early 2023.

    The model of the development is currently on display on the Reception table and indicates the disposition of our new Sanctuary, church premises in the podium with the residential block above it. This is a working model and may be subject to amendment as detailed design progresses. BUFF will keep you up to date with the progress of the project and also inform you when the next prayer meeting will be held at 22A site to which everyone is invited to attend.

    We are about to start the detailed interior design work for the church. If you would like to be involved in this, or if you have any questions regarding our redevelopment, please contact me at

    Patrick Wilson
    BUFF team member
     

    ReCharge

    ReCharge is a weekly night at Union Church where we fellowship, worship, and study. 

    Join us on Wednesdays:
    7:00PM - dinner (suggested donation towards the cost of food: $100)
    7:30PM - worship
    7:45PM-9:00PM - classes

    The Father's Heart for Justice
    20 Feb: Justice for Women with Brittney Tsang from Sons and Daughters. Sons and Daughters is a ministry that seeks to reach out to the men and women in the red-light districts of Hong Kong, with a mission to interrupt the darkness by sharing God's love with those trapped in or vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
    27 Feb: Justice for Refugees with Dr. Isabella Ng, co-founder of Hong Kong Society for Asylum-Seekers and Refugees. Dr. Ng is an academic working with the Department of Asian and Policy Studies in The Education University of Hong Kong. Her research areas are gender and migration in Asia, and she is currently working on Thailand and Burma's displaced population. Through both her research and her activism, she works to better inform the public and the policy-makers on what the real picture is with asylum-seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.

    The Good and Beautiful God
    In this study we will put our ideas about God to the test and see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God, and engage in spiritual practices that can help us grow. Books available at the Welcome Table. Weekly reading is encouraged to get the most out of this study, and it's not too late to join!

    Opportunities

    Welcome Lunch
    New here? Been attending for a while but looking to meet more people? Join us for lunch on Sunday, 3 March, at La Cucina Italiana, 29/F, QRE Plaza. 12:30. Contact or for more information.
     
    Lent is coming soon!
    Lent is a wonderful opportunity for deeper study, reflection and action as we prepare for the celebration of Jesus' resurrection at Easter.
    Ash Wednesday, 6 March, 2019: dinner at 7:00PM, worship at 7:45PM. This is in place of our regular ReCharge programming.
    The Crucified Life: a study of Jesus' last seven words. Offered at ReCharge, beginning 13 March, and Sundays after the 11:15AM service, beginning 10 March.
     
    Union Family News
    Union celebrates 175 years this year.
    If you would like to be part of the planning team we would love to hear from you. Please see Pastor Michele.
     
    "Child, Disrupted”
    Sunday, 24 March, 12.30PM to 2.15PM
    Kingdom Kids presents "CHILD, DISRUPTED”. A documentary film about how time spent using technology specifically impacts children’s behaviors and offers insights into how parents/guardians can curb its influence while equipping children to develop healthy relationships with technology. In CHILD, DISRUPTED, experts from the fields of neurological development, psychology, occupational therapy, sociology and addiction reveal the truth behind every parents worries about screen time and child development. It will be followed by a short talk on Biblical Perspective on Technology and a Q&A at the end with our own Young Adult Director, Anto Ficatier.

    CHILD, DISRUPTED is appropriate for children aged 8 years old and above, parents, educators, caregivers, professionals and adults who wish to learn more about the impact of the overuse of technology on children. There is a suggested donation of HK$50 per adult and a light lunch will be provided. Sign Up now at the Welcome Table or email us at  with the number of people joining, on or before 20 March 2019.
     
    “The Marriage Course” is being offered again on Tuesdays, from 26 February to 9 April 2019 (7 weeks)!! Whether you are newly married or have been married for years, this course offers a lifetime of practical ideas and tools to help keep your relationship strong. The course is designed for couples who want to invest in their relationship and to continue to strengthen their marriage or who are looking to address specific challenges. The course is based on Christian principles but is designed for ALL couples with or without a church background. There is NO group sharing with other couples in the course; each couple is seated in their own table of 2 so they can go through the materials, chat and enjoy a meal together between themselves privately. Time: 7:00PM – 9:30PM. Cost $1,800/couple including course materials, meals and drinks during each session.

    For registration and more information, please visit the Union Church website (http://www.unionchurchhk.org/event/1278119-2019-02-26-the-marriage-course-feb-2019/) or contact Joanna Yau.

    2019 Family Retreat:
    Save the Date: 29th - 30th March 2019. Union Church is inviting everyone to join us at the Methodist Retreat Centre on Lantau for a Family Retreat. There will be lots of fun, worship and connecting activities. More details will follow, but if you are interested please contact or complete the form at the Welcome table. Please note that places are limited, so they will be allocated on a "first come, first served" basis.
     
    "One" Hong Kong 2019 Hearing the Word Campaign
    We are excited that churches in Hong Kong will be acting in unity to run a Bible listening campaign from 6 March to 21 April, 2019. During this time, anyone can download a phone app called “One Hearing the Word” and listen to or read one scripture, one testimony, one devotion and one prayer in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. We invite you to participate in the Campaign. For details and registration with the Campaign, please visit: http://go.onehongkong2019.asia/
     
    Lecture at St John's Cathedral
    Dr Denis Alexander, Emeritus Director of the Faraday Institute, Cambridge, UK will be giving a lecture entitled “Genetics, God and the Future of Humanity” in the Li Hall, St John’s Cathedral at 1:00PM on Tuesday, 19 February.
    Dr Alexander preached at Union on 5 December 2017 on “Science and Faith – Friends or Foes” and was struck by the high level of interest in this kind of topic from Union members. All welcome. 
     
    Christians at the Conflict of Israel and Palestine - The Situation and Pastoral Care
    Organizer: Hong Kong Christian Council
    Date: 20/2/2019 (Wed)
    Time: 7:30PM -9:30PM
    Venue: Chinese Methodist Church, Wan Chai
    Speaker: Rev. Alex Awad & Mrs. Brenda Awad
    Content:
    • The situation, challenge and difficulties of Christians in Israel and Palestine
    • Pastoral care of the churches and the education of Bible College
    • How Bethlehem Bible College & Shepherd Society approach and support the people in need in Palestine and Jordan etc.
    • How brothers and sisters in Hong Kong can support these ministries of pastoral care and combatting poverty

    The program is presented in English with simultaneous Cantonese interpretation.
    Enquiry: 2368-7123 (Mr. Wan)
     
    ‘GOD IN THE MOVIES’
    Christians affirm that we live a life defined by the experience of the Triune God: The Father who creates, the Son who rescues and the Spirit who animates and draws us together into community and action. This is the gospel-the Story into which we are living, witnessed to in our Bibles and our experience. But how might this Story be expressed in four contemporary ‘secular’ films that are NOT designated ‘Christian’ nor have a particular ‘Christian message?’
    When: Fridays,1, 8, 15 March
    Where: Gospel Community Church Ministry Centre, East TST
    $100HKD per person for three weeks
    For registration and details, please email Bob at

    Adult Education

    Sunday Lunch Study
    Join us as we read and discuss The Good and Beautiful God together (our church wide study) after church on Sundays. 12:30PM-2:00PM, youth room. Books available at the Welcome Table ($70). This Sunday we'll be discussing chapter 7, "God is self-sacrificing."
     
    Save the Date!
    NT Wright will be offering a series of public lectures at St. John's Cathedral in March. Click HERE for more information.

    Men

    Union Men's Dinner
    Join the men of Union Church for an evening of fellowship and Christian brotherhood, with drinks and a good dinner at The Hong Kong Club. A great opportunity to meet the other men who are active at Union Church! Our own Robert Barker will deliver an encouraging talk. Please RSVP as soon as possible - there are only 35 seats!

    Date: 2 March, 2019
    Time: 6:30 - 9:00PM
    Location: The Hong Kong Club, 1 Jackson Road, Central
    Cost: $400 or $600 (to sponsor others)
    Dress code: Smart Casual (The Club has very strict rules)
    Please RSVP: Antonin Ficatier (deadline for registration is February 28)

    Sign-up available at the Welcome Table and online registration HERE.

    Young Adults

    “Word Made Flesh”: The Gospel of John as a one-man show!
    A new 6-weeks Bible study for Young Adults.
    Actor Joe Boyd explores the mysteries of the Gospel of John in a one-man show that utilizes his unique balance of comedy, sincere drama, and historical insights crafted over decades of studying the text and performing on stages across the US.
    Join Anto for this new study that will take place every Wednesday, starting in January, for 6 weeks.
    Every screening will be followed by a group discussion.
    Wednesday Night (as part of ReCharge), from Jan.9 to Feb.20, 2019 (with break on Feb.6 for CNY) 7:00PM dinner, 7:45-9PM study Email Anto Ficatier for more information!

    New to Union?

    Are you a Young Adult new to Union Church? Make sure you meet our Young Adults Director, Anto Ficatier, at the Welcome Table every Sunday. You can also email Anto for more information about Young Adults at Union!  

    Baptism and Membership

    Three Baptism classes will be offered on Sunday 24 February, and 3 and 10 March from 12:45PM-2:00PM. If you are interested in baptism or membership please sign up in the foyer, collect a form and submit it or see Pastor Michele for details.

    Serve

    Union Church is always looking for people to serve. If you would like to be an usher, greeter or bible reader, please see Pastor Michele.
     

    Small Groups

    New to Union? Been here a while but haven't connected yet? Small groups are where we dig into the nitty-gritty of following Jesus, and connect with each other. Studying the Bible, reading topical books, praying, laughing and eating together - it's good! New groups are forming now - in Kowloon, in North Point, and on the South side! If you are looking to join a group, or have felt God nudging you into leadership, please contact Monte Peterson or sign up at the welcome table.

    Youth

    Friday Youth Group – 15 February
    Juniors (11-13) are asked to arrive from 6:00PM - 7:30PM Seniors (14-18) are to arrive from 7:00PM - 9:00PM with ‘hangout’ in the Youth Room from 9:00PM -10:00PM.
    This Friday will be a Mission Night, and the Youth will be decorating cookies for Sons and Daughters, an organisation in Wan Chai that works with victims of sexual exploitation.

    If you are willing to help bake cookies for the Youth to decorate, that would be fantastic! You can find the recipe HERE. We would need cookies delivered by 6:00PM on Friday.
     
    Sunday Youth Group – Sunday, 17 February
    Youth can attend at either 9:45AM or 11:15AM.
    Juniors (11-13) and Seniors (14-18) will meet in Indigo Hotel 29/F, and seniors will head out after prayer to have a biblical discussion.

    Kingdom Kids

    Sunday School Teachers
    Kingdom Kids is seeking additional lead teachers for our 8 to 10 years-old group at the 11.15 am service. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to share the gospel with the young ones and it will bring so much joy to your life and the lives of the children and their family. If you are interested to join our amazing team of Sunday School teacher volunteers please reach out to us at . Training is provided.
     
    Sunday School 2018/2019 Registration
    In order to receive updates regarding Children Ministry program and for the safety of all children attending our Sunday School and Creche Program, we asked that parents to please register their children by filling in and signing the Registration Form available on our church website and also at the Welcome Table. Register HERE and for more information, please visit www.unionchurchhk.org or contact us at or 2101 0414. Thank you.
     

    Filipino Ministry

    12:00 – 1:00PM Intercessory Prayer
    1:00 – 1:50PM Corporate Prayer
    2:15 - 3:15PM Group Bible Study
    3:30 – 4:30PM Worship
     
    Pray for: the healing of Ailyn Gico who had a stroke and is half paralyzed.
     

    Family in Need (FIN)

    Family in Need (FIN): Sometimes life throws us challenges and we need to reach out for help. If you need spiritual, emotional, physical, and/or financial help, please contact Pastor Michele and/or members of the FIN Team, Charles Schmitt and Isabel Morrison. To maintain accountability, we ask that requests come through this group. If someone in need approaches you for financial assistance, please refer them to the Pastors or the FIN Team at .
     
    We have been praying for Gavin Shui as he battles cancer. Please check out this link on how you can register as a donor for Gavin and others who need a bone marrow transplant. 
     

    Last Week's Sermon

    "God is Holy" by Antonin Ficatier