Acts@22A - 27 Dec 2018
My final sermon at Union will be based on the same Scripture as my first, Philippians 1:6; “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.” In 2019, you will celebrate the 175th anniversary of Union Church. As you look back on your history, thank God for his faithfulness. As you look forward, with the hope we have that God has still got some amazing things in store for this old church.
My almost twelve years at Union have been the most exhilarating and exasperating years of my ministry. I was called to help you move forward with a stalled building project. That project is now moving full speed ahead and the new facility will be glorious. I was called to help you grow numerically and financially so that we would be ready for this new church. But my greatest joys have been to watch people stalled or stunted spiritually grow in Christ. The glory of Union is a place where people who don’t know Jesus can meet him and then grow in grace as they follow him.
Thank you for your many encouraging words—even some of you who slept through my sermons are telling me how much you will miss my preaching. Please remember me as a pastor who loved you and the opportunity to preach to this most eclectic and amazing congregation. Someone told me Sunday, “You don’t realise what you have until you lose it.” I will steal those words to thank you one last time for the way we were able to partner together to know Christ and to make him known. I am thankful for the staff and leaders of Union. Many who have moved have been transforming churches elsewhere and that might be one of Union’s greatest legacies. For those of you who struggled with me, I ask for your forgiveness. You have mine. I leave here with great gratitude for the lessons I have learned from my critics as well as my fans. I leave with my identity more focused on Christ than ever before.
We will be praying and cheering for you as Holly and I end our ministry on 31 December. Please pray for us as we prepare for our next ministry adventure. A bunch of you have asked for our new contact details. We will spend time in London and then with my father in Minnesota. By the summer we will be settled in the Chicago area. Our permanent address is 506 N. West St. Wheaton, IL 60187 USA. My church email will be deactivated but I can be reached at .
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.
December Service Schedule Update
30 December (Sunday) - Normal Service Schedule (No U-Cafe)
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. Weekly 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.
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, 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
"Love Actually" by Pastor Greg Anderson