We have been in Eastertide. That is, the 50 days between the resurrection of Jesus and Pentecost.
A.B. Simpson reminds us that, “Easter is the New Year’s Day of the soul.” I like that and this statement has been with me all season. That being said, in a conversation with a colleague I was reminded that this might not be helpful for everyone - for some people New Year’s Day is met with a hangover. True - and sometimes our soul can get a little worn.
We must never forget that God made all things new through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Easter and the start of every new year and season gives hope. We can be thankful for new opportunities and experiences at the start of every school year. Even AGMs can feel like the start of something new.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit fell upon the early church and the church was dramatically changed and transformed. We read, “those who accepted the message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Acts 2:41
The Holy Spirit was sent as the comforter. The Holy Spirit renews, and the Holy Spirit unites - “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6
Easter ~ the New Year’s Day of the soul!
Blessings, Pastor Michele
WORSHIP SERVICE UPDATES
Thank you for your patience with the capacity restrictions on in-person worship. For this coming Sunday we still have a limited number of seats at the 8:45am service. If you register and then need to cancel or adjust your numbers down, please notify us as soon as possible before Sunday so we may offer your space to someone else. For the following Sunday, remember to jump on the registration on Monday at 10am. https://www.unionchurchhk.org/sunday-worship-service-registration/
In addition to the in-person 8:45am (Family Communion), 9:45am (Traditional Worship) and 11:15am (Contemporary Worship) services, we also livestream 9:45am and 11:15am services on our church website, Facebook page, church app and YouTube.
For our online worshippers, please join the Zoom Coffee Hour hosted by the Deacons! We want to connect with our online friends every Sunday in between services, 10:45am - 11:15am. Contact the church office to get the Zoom link.
Annual General Meeting (AGM): It's 2 days away! Everyone is invited to join in-person on Saturday, 22 May, 7:00pm at Union Church - no need to register. You can vote if you have been a member of the church for at least six months. For the annual meeting, we do not face the same capacity constraints as we do for worship services. Please come with the expectation of celebrating the Lord at work in our church family - worship and communion, church business and updates, and visioning our ongoing journey with Jesus.
Our family is growing! Three Alpha courses are in progress for Youth, Young Adults and Adults. Please join us in prayers for all the participants and leaders. We give thanks that people are asking great questions about Jesus.
The Grace Race: It's nearly here! The Grace Race starts on 24 May and runs through the 30th. We can do this - together - cumulatively walking, hiking or running the distance between the Rev. James Legge's birthplace - Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland - and 22A Kennedy Road. All you need to do is get people to sponsor you and then use the Strava app, join the Grace Race club and record all your activity. We've even organised walks and hikes during the Grace Race week for fun, fellowship and lots of kms. It all starts with the FAST START event on Monday, 24 May at 7:00am at 22A Kennedy Road. Check out the list of walks on https://www.unionchurchhk.org/the-grace-race/. 100% of your registration fee, sponsorships and donations will go to building Union for the future!
OK, I’m in. What next?
- Register here
- Pay the $150 registration at church or here (and get the awesome shirt - pick it up any time at church or at the FAST START)
- Download the free Strava app for iOS here or search for the Strava tracker for Android in the Play Store, and create your account
- In the app, join The Grace Race Club in Strava Groups (so your kms between 24 - 30 May are added to the cumulative 9,888km we’ll achieve together!)
- In the app, set your walks, hikes or runs to RUN so that your kms count!
- Find sponsors - to sponsor you per km or donate (sponsorship form here)
- Join us for the FAST START and plan another stroll or hike for your family, friends and colleagues - check out our suggestions
- Clock your kms in Strava every day!
The Justice Conference Global: This is an online global gathering on justice spanning a 24-hour period between 22 - 23 May. Topics dive into the life of Jesus and explore the biblical narrative of restoration as it relates to the work of justice in our society. Learn more and register at www.thejusticeconferenceasia.com. (Good news! You can come to our Union Church AGM at 18/F on 22 May, 7:00pm, and then return to an online conference session at 9:30pm.)
Young Marrieds Lunch: This Sunday, we're getting together with all our young, married couples for a special lunch on Sunday, 23 May. Please contact Dan Tupps for more information.
Union Church Book Group: Our next book is Black River, by S.M. Hulse, a story of “one man’s struggle to find forgiveness in the wake of evil.” Books are available at church for $100, and we will meet on Tuesday, 25 May, 7:30pm. Join us! Questions? Contact Monte.
New Bible Study for Men: Men are invited to join a new study on John 4-6, led by Andrew Lo. In this online study you will take part in:
- a 30-minute daily study including Bible reading, questions & study notes
- Friday group discussion meetings via Zoom from 11 June to 9 July at 1:00pm - 2:00pm (note the date change)
Register here. If you have questions, please contact Andrew at
Creche & Sunday School Arrangements for this Sunday and until further notice: The Creche Centre will be open with restricted capacity. For children ages 3 years old and above, Veggie Tales movies will be shown in rooms 2 & 3 with strict hygiene measures, in accordance with the government guidelines. Services fill up quickly and your family must be successfully registered. Thank you for your patience during the occupancy restrictions.
Online Sunday School, Sunday 23 May - Children ages 3 to 10 years old are invited to join us for our Online Sunday School.
- 3-7 year old students: Joseph Forgives His Brothers (Genesis 42-46) via Zoom, from 10:45 am - 11:30am
- 8-10 year old students: Is God Okay With Me Getting Angry? (Ephesians 4:26-27), via Zoom, from 10:45am - 11:45am
The link to the Zoom classes will be emailed to families with children registered in our Sunday School programme for the year 2020-2021.
Friday Youth - 21 May - Tomorrow we're moving into the 2nd session of our Alpha Youth Series. Juniors are invited to join 6:00pm - 7:30pm, while Seniors can join from 7:30pm-9:00pm. If you have friends who would like to come along please invite them! Please contact for further information
Sunday Youth - 23 May - Youth are invited this Sunday to join us at Ps. Michele’s home for our weekly session. Juniors are continuing with their series on asking bold questions and Seniors are jumping into a bible study of the book of Philippians. Please contact Hunter (6466 5080) if you have any questions.
Wednesday Youth - 26 May - Next Wednesday we'll be switching it up! All youth are invited to join us as we participate in Union Church's Grace Race - a fundraiser to help build our new church building at Kennedy Road. We will meet at 18/F (Union Church) at 6:30pm and then walk all the way to Kennedy Town (about 1.5 hours) and grab a snack while we are there. Contact Hunter if you're able to make it!
Saturday Beach Cleanup - 22 May - Youth are invited to join us as we head to Po Toi Island to do a beach cleanup this Saturday. You can find more information and our sign up sheet HERE. Please note that there are only 12 spots available - make sure to sign up as soon as possible.
Worshipping together, apart with prisoners in Hong Kong: Our prison ministry team at Union is working with our Missions partner, The Hong Kong Christian Kun Sun Association (prison ministry) to record a worship service on 25 May at Union Church that will be shown throughout Correctional Services Department facilities in Hong Kong. Please pray that everyone involved in this service is blessed. Lord, we pray that through these pre-recorded Kun Sun worship services lives are transformed at correctional institutions - that men, women and youth will have eternal hope in Jesus.
Inner City Ministries needs children’s masks! Our ministry partner serves ethnic minority families in Kowloon. Since wearing masks is mandatory at school, Inner City Ministries is looking for donations of children’s masks to give to these low income and underprivileged families. Our ministry partner serves over 100 kids, but any quantity of children's masks is appreciated. Sizes needed are 12cm x 7.5cm and 14.5cm x 9.5cm. Please drop them off at Union Church by 23 May and we will coordinate with Inner City Ministries for the delivery. Thank you!
Union Missions partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), has delivered over 300 million seeds in ultra-poor communities in the Philippines since the pandemic began - in addition to 14 million meals provided. Here is a story from Pastor Pacifico who received seeds.
Prayers for Light of the World Church (LoTW), Myanmar: Thank you for praying week after week for the dire situation in Myanmar. God is in control! Pastor Vum and his family ask that you pray for the economy which steadily worsens as banks close and people cannot withdraw funds; for the people of Mindat City in Chin State (a region with many Christians) - citizens have been killed and girls and women raped; for young believers to be strengthened in their faith. In addition we pray for a church member who is in the hospital to give birth. We pray for everyone's protection and give thanks for new life.
Meeting as a small group at 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.
Families in Need (FIN)
Our Families in Need ministry helps people with their basic monthly needs. If you can help, we are grateful for your generosity. Please mark your envelope "FIN".
Pastoral Care and Prayer
We provide high-quality, confidential care to people who are hurting through our Stephen Ministry programme. Contact Pastor Michele if you would like to know more about the programme or meet with a Stephen Minister.
Last week's sermon
“The Resurrected Life...inspires” Rev Dr Michele Bland
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