As I think about this week, I am mindful of the many pastoral cares and concerns that people in our congregation are facing. School has begun for some, teachers are beginning to engage in the new semester, young adults are getting ready to leave for University, some have health issues and there are employment stresses. And as a community we are adjusting to continued social isolation and learning to be the ‘scattered church’ in these uncertain times.
Recently, I came upon a sermon -a 1930 sermon that the young German Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached. It was during a time of widespread fear, danger and uncertainty. Bonhoeffer wanted followers of Christ to know where to turn – he said this - “God stands above all . . . his Word unstayed,” He preached,
“The overcoming of fear—that is what we are proclaiming here. The Bible, the gospel, Christ, the church, the faith—all are one great battle cry against fear in the lives of human beings. Fear is, somehow or other, the archenemy itself. It crouches in people’s hearts. It hollows out their insides, until their resistance and strength are spent, and they suddenly break down. Fear secretly gnaws and eats away at all the ties that bind a person to God and to others, and when in a time of need that person reaches for those ties and clings to them, they break and the individual sinks back into himself or herself, helpless and despairing, while hell rejoices.” Bonhoeffer 1930.
We are living with a lot of uncertainty and change. But may we never forget that “God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and sound mind.” 1 Timothy 1:7
May we remember the words of the prophet Isaiah who said, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
May we remember the words of Jesus when He spoke to the disciples during a storm in Matthew 14:27 -Jesus immediately said to them: “Take Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
There is much that we can fear. But may we always remember that we are not alone, that God promises never to leave us nor forsake us and that He is the Great “I Am” -and He is with us. Jesus said, "Surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Blessings, Pastor Michele
UNION CHURCH LEADERSHIP BODIES:
We welcomed new members of Deacons’ Court, Committee of Management (CoM) and the Board of Trustees at the AGM on 27 June 2020. Thank you for your service to Union Church! Please read about our leaders on the church website. Kindly note that an error was made at the AGM. Tariq Dennison was in fact voted in successfully to join CoM with more than 50% of the votes of members present—we apologise for communicating inaccurately that he did not have sufficient votes. We also would like to thank Juliana Rotmeyer who has agreed to continue to serve on CoM until the end of her three-year term in March 2021. We welcome all new Union Church leaders in this new season of serving our community!
Youth: During the month of August, Youth are invited to join us on Wednesdays for our Youth Acts Study at 7PM, or on Sundays at 12:30PM as we discuss the scripture and sermon for the week! See our weekly Newsletter for more info.
New Sunday Morning Class: Faith In Trying Times. It's not too late to join!
Join us from 10:30-11:15am on zoom as we discuss how times of uncertainty (like now!) are really opportunities to grow in faith. Using Laurie Short's video series "Fear, Waiting, Hope" we'll look at situations in the Bible where people had to overcome fear, lean into God’s timing and see dark times as an opportunity to increase hope. Register here to get the zoom link. Led by Dan Tupps, Monte Peterson and Pastor Michele. August 16, 23, 30.
If you are unable to be online at the time of our worship services, you can watch them later in the day, again via our website, app or Facebook page. Don't forget that you can still give your offering online via the giving page of our website, or by using the QR code below. You can also send us a cheque, made payable to "Union Church" or "Friends of Hong Kong Charities, Inc" if you are a US taxpayer. Please send them to: 18F, Sunlight Tower, 248 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Think you can't play games online? Think again! Join us as we laugh our way through games like Pictionary, Charades, and Taboo, getting to know our neighbours and our church community better. Sign up HERE
- Join us on Wednesdays as we gather ONLINE for prayer. We meet from 8:00-8:30 pm, and there is time for praise and thanksgiving, for silent confession, for hearing and meditating on God's Word, as well as lifting our concerns before the Lord. A wonderful, peaceful way to end the day. Email Monte Peterson for the zoom link to join.
International China Concern is pleased to invite you to a unique 1-hour experience packed with entertainment, compassion, inspiring stories and cute kids. On 12th September 2020 (Saturday), we will bring you an exclusive performance by a violin impresario, plus Dr. Peter Cheung will share his personal testimony. The joy will be provided by dozens of children who are learning what it’s like to be part of a family that cares deeply about them and strives to meet their needs. At a time when there is so much gloom and stress in the world, we offer you a brief respite and a glimpse into our special world. Tiaras are optional! Smiles and warm hearts are guaranteed. To join, please use these links:
International China Concern (ICC) was founded in 1993 by David Gotts after seeing firsthand the suffering of Chinese children with disabilities who had been abandoned and left without hope in desperate conditions.In the beginning, ICC sent short-term teams into China to provide care in government welfare centres.
Inner City Ministries focuses on helping the ethnic minorities and their families in Hong Kong. One special group of people that Inner City Ministries help are recovering drug addicts. After a year of rehab, many of these individuals cannot find employment, and they quickly slip back into drug abuse. If you know of any job opportunities that are open to hiring rehabilitated individuals, please contact emmanuel@
Another exciting opportunity is to volunteer and help in their children’s program. Learn more about how to keep kids safe or to mentor them at innercityministries.org/
Sons & Daughters, our neighbours in Wan Chai, share God's love with the women and men of the red light districts throughout Hong Kong. Calling all bakers! Your baking skills can help open doors and transform lives in the red light districts. Email info@sonsanddaughters.
Pour out your love 傾福行動 - https://fundrazr.com/pouroutyourlove: We invite you to share the blessings and contribute one-tenth of your $10,000 government subsidy for the ICC children.
The Marriage Course: please contact Joanna Yau for more details.
Pastoral Care Support, if you are looking for some support and prayer please let our staff know. Contact Ministry leaders directly or admin at: or call 6225 5042.
Sunday School 2020/2021 Registration IS NOW OPEN: All children enrolling in our Sunday School and Creche Centre MUST BE REGISTERED by filling in and signing the Registration Form HERE. For safety reasons, only children officially registered in our Sunday School program will receive the Zoom link to our Online Bible Study. For more information, please visit Union Church's website or contact us at CHILDREN or 21010414.
Creche, Sunday School and Kids Summer Programs are SUSPENDED until further notice. In order to safeguard the health and safety of all of our families and staff and to help curb the spread of the Covid-19, we have SUSPENDED all of our Children’s Ministry Programs such as Creche, Veggie Tales Movies showing, Kids and Aunties (3-5 years old), Arts & Crafts (6 years old above) and U-Singers (9-13 years old) until further notice. We encourage the children to join our Online Sunday School Lessons. Thank you for your patience and kind understanding, we look forward to sending you all an update once we are able to meet in person again.
ONLINE SUNDAY SCHOOL:
- 3-5 years old students: Fruit of the Spirit Bible study, starting this Sunday via Zoom, from 10.45 am - 11.15 am.
- 6 years old and above students: How to Study Your Bible for Kids, every Sunday via Zoom, from 10.45 am - 11.30 am.
Kingdom Kids Sunday edition, through Union Church website, app and Facebook, at the end of the 9.45 am and 11.15 am services.
No Friday Youth Group
We are taking a break from Friday Zoom Calls until our Fall Kick Off in September. There are a bunch of other options for youth however - see below for more details!
Wednesday Youth Acts Study - August 19
During the month of August we are jumping into the book of Acts - Youth are invited to join us as we read Scripture, watch the video series from Joe Boyd on Acts, and discuss together about the founding of the early Church
- What: Youth Acts Study
- When: Every Wednesday, 7-8PM
- Details: Zoom Link HERE. Please note that Youth need to have a Rightnow Media Account to watch the videos with the group - use this LINK to register for free through Union Church.
Sunday Discussion – Sunday August 9
Youth are invited to join a small group discussion on the Sunday sermon at 12:30 on Sunday. Zoom link is available HERE
Meeting as a small group in this time is challenging, but the support from each other is more important than ever. There ARE online options - please reach out if you need help figuring this out! If you aren't currently in a group, we encourage you to try it out. There are groups for women, men, couples, day-time, night-time, etc. Interested? Contact Monte Peterson.
+ Friday group discussion via Zoom, from 1-2 pm.
+ Anyone interested please WhatsApp Andrew Lo @ 9864-5999
A Stephen Minister can help. Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation who listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support to people going through a crisis or a difficult time. Please contact Pastor Michele if we can help ( )
Fertility & Pregnancy/Infant Loss Support Group - Struggling and could use some fellowship, friendship and support? Contact Sonia Lee.
Family in Need (FIN):
If you would like to help support our family in need ministry, which helps people monthly with basic needs, please mark your envelope "FIN".
"Turning The World Upside Down With Integrity" Pastor Michele