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Acts@22A - 29 Nov 2018

29.11.18 | Acts@22A

     

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    Message from the Joint Leaders

    2019 Church Theme
    After a lot of prayer, the Deacons have settled on the theme: "The Father's Heart, Our First Love" as our 2019 church theme for preaching and small groups. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1). Keep an eye out in the coming weeks and months for opportunities to seek the Father's heart with us. 

    Senior Pastor Search and Acting
    The Joint Leaders will be meeting on 3 December to discuss the search process and timeline for a new senior pastor. In the interim, the Joint Leaders have agreed that Pastor Michele Bland will take on the role of acting Senior Pastor until such time that a new senior pastor is appointed. Pastor Michele has stepped into this role twice before and we have every confidence in her leadership. 

    2019 Preaching and Programs
    2019 will be off to a great start with the preaching schedule set to include a combination of existing Union Church preachers and external preachers. We'll also continue into the new year with compelling services, dynamic worship music, ReCharge on Wednesday nights, children's ministry and Sunday school, youth group, young adults ministry and Stephen's Ministry training along with all of our other ministries. Some new initiatives that we are excited to offer include a lunch time Alpha Course and an All Church Family Retreat at the end of March. Stay tuned for details to come. 

    Farewell Gifts for Pastor Greg
    Please join our church family by signing one of the two scrolls that will be given to Greg to remember the loving relationships he's built at Union Church. Everyone is also welcome to contribute to a Love Gift that we will be collecting for Pastor Greg as he prepares to leave Union at the end of this year. Please make cheques payable to Union Church Hong Kong and marked "Pastor Greg Love Gift" on the reverse of the cheque. 

    U Matters

    Several years ago in Cambridge I heard the great literary theorist, Terry Eagleton, who has returned to his Christian faith, give a talk, later published by Yale University Press, entitled HOPE WITHOUT OPTIMISM. That phrase has stuck with me. As we begin the Advent season, the first focus is Hope. Someone recently told me I was too optimistic. Wish they had said I was too hopeful. The Christian can't be too hopeful because we have a God who makes promises and he keeps them. My dictionary tells me that hope used to mean, "a feeling of trust." Now we use the term to describe "a feeling of expectation and desire for a thing to happen." Growing up - and to be honest, still - I can't wait for Christmas because I know my family will provide keen presents for me. It is that feeling of trust and anticipation that sums up what Advent is all about. 

    The Union Church Choir will bring their Christmas Cantata, "Celebrate the Joy" to us at the 9:45AM and 11:15AM services. We will have a live preacher (me) in the U-Cafe at 11:15AM and we will celebrate communion at 8:45AM, U-Cafe, and at the 5:15PM service. Hope you can make it to celebrate with us!


    Gratefully, 
    Pastor Greg

    This Week

    Advent Calendars
    This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, a season of waiting and preparing. Sometimes it is hard to see how Jesus can possibly enter the darkness in our world and in our own lives and sometimes, the waiting is long. Advent helps to form in us the habit of faithful waiting, reminding us that we serve a God who comes. Advent calendars with a daily Scripture are available at the Welcome Table. Pick yours up this Sunday!

    December Communion, 2 December, Advent I
    The Sanctuary Choir with orchestra, will present "Celebrate the Joy!" at 9:45AM and 11:15AM services. The Sermon and Communion will be celebrated at 8:45AM, 11:15AM U-Cafe and 5:15PM services. 
     

    December Service Schedule Update

    2 December (Sunday) Advent I : HOPE
    9:45AM & 11:15AM - Christmas Cantata: "Celebrate the Joy!"
    8:45AM, 11:15AM U-Cafe & 5:15PM - Communion Services
    12:30PM - Talk" "James Legge, A Driver of Change" (2/F Indigo)

    9 December (Sunday) Advent II : PEACE
    9:45AM & 11:15AM - Children's Christmas Musical: "Bethlehem Newsflash"
    8:45AM - Communion Service
    11:15AM - U-Cafe Live Worship
    5:15PM - Evening Worship

    16 December (Sunday) Advent III : JOY - Normal Service Schedule 
    23 December (Sunday) Advent IV : LOVE - Normal Service Schedule 

    24 December (Monday) Christmas Eve Services
    5:00PM - Jazzy Family Service and Candlelight
    7:00PM - Traditional Carols and Candlelight

    25 December (Tuesday) Christmas Day Service
    10:00AM - Carol and Choir

    *Please note: There will be no U-Cafe on 23 and 30 December.
     

    ReCharge

    ReCharge is a weekly night at Union Church where we fellowship, worship, and study.
    Join us on Wednesdays:
    7:00PM –             dinner (there is a donation box to cover the cost of the food)
    7:30PM –             worship
    7:45-9:00PM –     classes

    3 different classes are offered this Fall:
    Overflow by Monte Peterson
    - Stephen's Ministry Training by Pastor Michele
    - Boundaries by Anto Ficatier (please see Young Adults below for more info) 

    Overflow - new class in November: A Life Refreshed by Generosity, with Monte Peterson
    Jesus says that he has come to bring us "life abundant," but often it feels more like "life-barely-making-it." Join us as we explore life to the full - receiving the blessings and gifts of God and pouring them into others. 

    You can register at the Welcome Table every Sunday, or by filling out the online form HERE.

    Opportunities

    "BETHLEHEM NEWSFLASH" Children's Christmas Musical - Save the Date: 9 December, 2018
    This year, our Sunday School children will be performing the Nativity with the theme "BETHLEHEM NEWSFLASH". Our children will be sharing this wonderful news of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ for all to hear. We invite all children from ages 3 to 10 years old to join us and be a part of this wonderful time of the year. This Sunday we will have our first Dress Rehearsal (without costume) and a pizza lunch will be provided for all the children and volunteers. Children are still required to attend the regular Sunday rehearsal during the 9:45AM & 11:15AM services. We would appreciate it if you could drop your children for the Dress Rehearsal at 12:30PM sharp at Room 3 and kindly pick them up again in the same place at 2:30PM. 

    Adult Education

    Talk: “James Legge, A Driver of Change” – 2 Dec, 12:30PM
    We are very blessed to have Christopher Legge with us on December 2! Christopher Legge is one of the great-grand-children of James Legge, the founder of Union Church. He will deliver a short talk about the legacy of James Legge. Please join for this great opportunity to learn more about the roots of our church!
    Date: 2 December, 2018
    Time: 12:30PM-1:30PM
    Location: Indigo Hotel, 2/F (Function Room)
    Light lunch will be provided
    RSVP needed: please email admin@u nionchurchhk.org

    Lunchtime Alpha
    Starting in 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, beginning 8 January.
     

    Men

    Cigars under the Stars – Sunday, 2 December
    The concept of Cigars Under The Stars is to sit out, enjoy good conversations with a glass of whisky in one hand, and a cigar in the other (and try to watch the stars!). It was an important part of the Men’s Ministry a few years ago and it will be a great farewell from the Men of Union Church to Pastor Greg. The Landes have generously opened their rooftop in Repulse Bay for the night. Mark the date in your calendar! Guests are expected to have had dinner beforehand. The event is of course open to non-smokers and non-drinkers.
    Date: Sunday, 2 December - 8:00PM - 10:30PM
    Place: Landes’ rooftop, Repulse Bay (the exact address will be given to you once RSVP)
    Contact: Please RSVP to Anto Ficatier 

    A Walk on Bowen Road with Pastor Greg – Thursday, 6 December
    You know how Pastor Greg always mentions Bowen Road in his sermons? Well, here is a chance to do the actual walk with him!
    We’ll meet at 8:00PM at Bowen Road Park (junction between Bowen Road and Bowen Drive), and walk the road down and back. There’s parking available. The walk will take about 90 minutes. A great opportunity to exercise and spend some time with Pastor Greg!
    Date: Thursday, 6 December - 8:00PM
    Place: Bowen Road Park (junction between Bowen Rd and Bowen Drive)
    Contact: Anto Ficatier 

    Young Adults

    Boundaries: a new study for Young Adults
    Boundaries is an exciting new course for Young Adults. The study is designed to help us develop healthy habits and maintain personal boundaries in all areas of our lives. Join Anto to practice how to say yes and how to say no!
    Every Wednesday Night, as part of ReCharge 7:00PM dinner, 7:45PM - 9:00PM 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! 
     

    Ladies

    Ladies Retreat: Chiang Mai, 17 - 20 January, 2019
    Only 3 seats left for the ladies retreat. Don’t be left behind. Join us Thursday 17-20 Jan in Chiang Mai - worship, fun, speakers, new friends, prayer, and more fun. Great opportunity to get connected! More details and formal sign up can be found at the link using the below QR Code. Signup sheets are also available at the Welcome Table, and a collection box is there for payment by cheque. 
    Approximate costs (incl. flights, accommodation and meals) $4900 per pax. 
    *Final deadline for sign-up and payment is 25 November. 

     
     
     
     
     

    Membership

    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

    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 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
     

    Youth

    Christmas Banquet – Friday, 30 November 30
    Tomorrow (Friday) is the annual Christmas Banquet! We are so excited for members of the congregation to be joining together to support Youth Missions. Guests please arrive at 6:00PM.
    Youth have received instructions for their roles during the evening. Dress Code for Youth is Black and White smart casual.

    Sunday Youth Group – Sunday, 2 December
    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. If you have any questions please email us at or whatsapp Hunter at 6466 5080.

    RESOUND – Friday, 7 December
    RESOUND is a fantastic night where Youth Groups from around Hong Kong come together for a night of worship and fellowship together in Jesus Christ!
    Union Youth is excited to be a part of this year’s RESOUND meeting, which will take place at the Vine Church nearby. Juniors and Seniors will meet first at Union at 6:00PM and then return at 9:00PM.

    Kingdom Kids

    CHRISTMAS MUSICAL IMPORTANT DATES:  
    *Final Dress Rehearsal (with costumes): Saturday, 8 December from 8:30AM to 11:30AM.
    *Performance Date: Sunday, 9 December at 9:45AM & 11:15AM services. 

    Christmas Musical Costume Pick Up Arrangement: 
    Please pick up your child's Christmas Musical costume this coming Sunday, 2 December, after church service and/or Saturday, 8 December before the Final Dress Rehearsal from Room 4.

    Community Outreach
    *HOLF Mini Christmas Musical Saturday 15 December, 9:30AM to 1:30PM. Join us as we bring the joy of our Chrildren's Christmas Musical to the residents and staff at Home of Loving Faithfulness(HOLF). We will meet at Sunlight Tower at 9:00AM and a bus will take us to the HOLF Center at 9:30AM and we should arrive back at Union Church around 1:30PM.
    *St. Barnabas Home & Society Christmas Programme, Saturday, 22 December, 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 for above outreach, please email us at or contact us at 2101 0414.
     
    Sunday School 2018/2019 Registration
    In order to help us plan our program well and serve your family better, please register your children HERE. All children enrolling in our Sunday School and Creche Center MUST BE REGISTERED by filling in and signing the Registration Form. For more information, please visit Union Church's website or contact us at CHILDREN or 21010414.
     

    Mission

    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. 
     

    U.S. Taxpayers

     
    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

    "For-Profit Giving" By Pastor Greg Anderson