Acts@22A - 20 Dec 2018
“God is guiding you, like it or not.” I received that message from a friend this week and I have been pondering it ever since. Shortly, I will leave this wonderful church and its even more wonderful people. Like Paul in Acts 20:22, “And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way…not knowing what will happen to me there.” Holly and I appreciate your prayers as we begin this new adventure. We have been overwhelmed by your generosity, friendship, and care. Some of the most significant conversations of my life have happened in the last few weeks and I only wish I could spend time talking to each one of you. God has guided me through you, and I like it and will miss you greatly.
Speaking of God guiding us, like it or not, think of Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The Christmas story shows how God leads ordinary people to do his will. As we celebrate Christmas, here or far away, with family or with friends, let us be grateful for a God who guides as we seek to follow his Son in the power of his Spirit.
See you Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as we worship together. (Don’t get to write that very often.) Those of you who make Sunday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day services will receive a special present.
Message from the Joint Leaders
Joint Leaders Love gift for Pastor Greg
As Union Church prepares to say goodbye to Pastor Greg at the end of the year, we are thankful for the love he has shown us as a congregation and as individuals. As is customary for a departing pastor at Union, we are inviting any members who feel led to contribute generously to a love gift offering. Please put envelopes marked 'Pastor Greg love gift' into the offering before the end of the year.
To launch the 2019 Church Theme "The Father's Heart, Our First Love", the entire Union Church family is invited to participate in a church-wide study entitled “The Good and Beautiful God”. Join the study through a small group, Wednesday Recharge, or by following along through independent study. Sunday sermons will reflect each week’s message. To participate in the study or connect to a Small Group, sign-up at the Welcome Table on Sunday or e-mail . While the preaching schedule is full to the end of February, pick up your book at the Welcome Table ($70 per copy), we jump into January with the following preachers:
Sunday 6 January - Communion Sunday - Pastor Michele Bland
The Father's Heart, Our First Love 1: What Are You Seeking?
Sunday 13 January - Prayer Sunday - Reverend Howard Mellor
The Father's Heart, Our First Love 2: God is Good
Prayer Sunday will include a special prayer service at the 22A Kennedy Road church redevelopment site at 2:00PM. Join us to help grow spiritual roots as the big machines prepare the next stages of our church home redevelopment.
Union Church’s 175th Birthday
As we enter 2019, Union Church prepares to celebrate its 175th year! Throughout 2019 there will be special events to commemorate this important and wonderful milestone. If you would like to be part of a commemoration team please let us know.
Community Outreach, St. Barnabas, Saturday 22 Dec, 3:00PM to 6:00PM
St. Barnabas Society & Home Christmas Program, Saturday 22 Dec, 3:00PM to 6:00PM. Join us as we celebrate Christmas with the wonderful people under the care of St. Barnabas Home & Society. St. Barnabas Home & Society cares for the underprivileged families and homeless people in Hong Kong. We will meet directly at St. Barnabas Center at 2:30PM. To sign up, please email us at or contact us at 2101 0414.
HOLF CHRISTMAS OFFERINGS
This year’s Christmas Eve services Offering will be dedicated to bless “The Home of Loving Faithfulness” (HOLF), a place of hope, joy and belonging for over 60 special needs children and adults. Those who serve at HOLF, serve purely by faith. Their strength is drawn through a promise from God , “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3). We pray for provision to HOLF so that hurting lives will continue to be rescued and cared for. Please join us in giving generously to those who serve selflessly for God’s work at HOLF. If you are unable to attend our Christmas Eve services, you may still join us in this act of kindness by dropping in your contributions during this Sunday church services. All cheques are to be addressed to Union Church and kindly mark HOLF at the back of your cheque or on the envelope. Thank you so much for your generous support towards HOLF.
December Service Schedule Update
23 December (Sunday) Advent IV : LOVE - Normal Service Schedule
24 December (Monday) Christmas Eve Services
5: 00PM - Jaz zy Family Service and Candlelight
7:00PM - Traditional Carols and Candlelight
25 December (Tuesday) Christmas Day Service
10:00AM - Carol and Choir
30 December (Sunday) - Normal Service Schedule (No U-Cafe)
*Please note: There will be no U-Cafe on 23 and 30 December.
ReCharge is a weekly night at Union Church where we fellowship, worship, and study. We are taking a break for the holidays, but are so excited about the new line-up for 2019.
Beginning 9 January: Stephen's Ministry, “Word Made Flesh” (see the Young Adults section below for details), Good and Beautiful God (our church-wide study) and Prayer: Connecting to the Father's Heart.
Join us on Wednesdays:
7:00PM - dinner (suggested donation towards the cost of food: $100)
7:30PM - worship
7:45PM-9:00PM - classes
Prayer: Connecting to the Father’s Heart
"Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty." - E.M. Bounds Sometimes we all get into a rut, and need encouragement in recovering “the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4). Join us as we start off the new year with a series on prayer, including meditative prayer, Jewish prayer and prayer journaling.
The Good and Beautiful God
We all have ideas we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true - but many are false. In this study we will put our ideas 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 in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God. Books available at the Welcome Table. Preparatory reading is encouraged to get the most out of this study!
Crochet Beginners Class on Wednesday, 16 January at 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Union Church is hosting a “Crochet Beginners Class” on 16 January (Wednesday) at 10:00AM-12:00PM. Join us to learn to make Granny Squares. Yarn, hook and notes included in donation fee $150 per head. All proceeds go to support the homeless at ImpactHK. Please contact Melody Landes or sign up at the welcome table.
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.
Starting on 8 January 2019, we're launching a lunchtime Alpha, geared towards workers in Sunlight Tower and Wan Chai. Interested in attending, bringing a friend, or helping out? Get in touch with Anto or Monte. Pray that God works through this opportunity to bring Christ's light into Sunlight! Tuesdays at 12:30PM-1:30PM.
“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!
Husbands in Prayer - Sunday, 20 January (30min)
Join Anto and the other Men of Union Church for a “Husband in Prayer” session. We will pray for our wives after the 11:15AM service. It’s the Ladies’ Retreat that weekend, so it’s perfect timing to pray for our wives! Make sure to mark down the date in your calendar and spread the word around you. All men are welcome for this time of prayer.
Date: Sunday, 20 January, 2019
When: 12:30PM to 1:00PM
Where: Main Sanctuary
Ladies Retreat: Chiang Mai, 17 - 20 January, 2019
A collection box is at the Welcome Table for payment by cheque.
Approximate costs (incl. flights, accommodation and meals) $4,900 per pax.
Membership - if you are not a member and would like to be, please download application forms here or collect a peach coloured application form at the Welcome Table and/or see Pastor Michele.
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.
New to Union? Been here awhile 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! We know there are a lot of you wanting to connect or looking for the right group, and we will be laun ching new groups in 2019! What a great way to start off the new year! If you are looking to join a group, or have felt God nudging you into leadership, please contact Monte Peterson.
No Friday or Sunday Youth Group During Christmas Break
We will not be having Youth Group during the Christmas Holidays, but will jump right back in starting Friday January 4!
ICC Hengyang Mission Trip – April 14-21
In partnership with ICC, Union Youth will be traveling to Hengyang in Hunan province, where we will be helping provide holistic care and nurture to abandoned and disabled children and young adults. Sign ups are now open and we need to put our team together as soon as possible! Please sign up here.
Confirmation is a chance for youth to confirm their faith in Jesus Christ with the support of the Congregation. This year’s course will be over 4 months starting in February. All youth age 12+ are invited, and if interested please contact us at .
Sunday, 23 December, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children are invited to join us for a Veggie Tales Movie show in Room 2 & 3.
Sunday, 30 December, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children are invited to join their families for worship in the sanctuary or join us for a Veggie Tales Movie show in Room 2 & 3.
Sunday, 6 January 2019, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children’s Sunday School Resumes
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.
Local mission in Tung Chung
We are partnering with a local church in Tung Chung to run a weekly English program on Saturday mornings in Nov & Dec. The students will be Primary 2-3 children from Ying Tung Estate - a new public estate in Tung Chung. We will be teaching the children English through songs, Bible stories and fun activities. Please contact Crystal Lo.
Family in Need (FIN)
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.
For US Taxpayers wishing to make tax-deductible donations for the 2018 tax year, please ensure that cheques are made payable to "Friends of Hong Kong Charities, Inc." and are dated before 31 December 2018.
Please send your cheques to our Church Admin Office latest by 31 December 2018, otherwise your donation will not be recognized in the 2018 tax year. Thank you for your continuous support to Union Church.
Last Week's Sermon"The Joy of Leadership" by Pastor Greg Anderson