Last Sunday, many in our congregation enjoyed hearing the children’s musical “Under Construction.” We are grateful to Jacklien Lee, Ting Liu, the Sunday School teachers and the children who presented an inspirational telling of the Christmas story.
The theme is a wonderful reminder that we are all under construction. We are all a work in progress. God is working on each of us as individuals and He is working on us as a corporate community. Philippians 1:6 states that, ‘he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ God is not finished working on us and by His grace we will grow into more of His likeness.
Sometimes we go through challenging circumstances and it can be difficult to find a way forward. Sometimes we are being ‘refined by the fire.’ (1 Peter 1:7) This is a phrase used in various places throughout the Bible. A refiner's fire is not a consuming fire, rather it is a type of fire that purifies. It is a fire that melts the bar of gold or silver, separating the impurities but leaving the gold and silver intact. John Piper said, “The furnace of affliction in the family of God is always for refinement, never for destruction.” Construction can be messy and painful.
It has been said that while chipping away at a shapeless rock, Michelangelo was once asked what he was trying to create. He replied, “I am liberating an angel from this stone.” I wonder and am excited to discover, what God is chipping away in each of us.
We hope you can join us this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, as we welcome Dr. Michael Lindsay president of Gordon College at the 8:45, 9:45 and 11:15 services and for a quiet reflective service - Selah at 5:15.
For US Taxpayers wishing to make tax-deductible donations for the 2019 tax year, please ensure that cheques are made payable to “Friends of Hong Kong Charities, Inc.” and are dated before 31 December 2019.
Please send your cheques to our Church Accounts Department latest by 31 December 2019, otherwise your donation will not be recognised in the 2019 tax year. Thank you for your ongoing support to Union Church.
Lutheran Theological Seminary Raffle
Congratulations to the buyer of lucky ticket number 061. Please come to the Church office with your ticket to claim your beautiful picture. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket
CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY OUTREACH
HOLF, Saturday 14 Dec 2019, 1PM to 5PM
Join us as we bring the joy of our Christmas Musical to the residents and staff at Home of Loving Faithfulness (HOLF). We will meet at Sunlight Tower at 12.45PM and a bus will take us to the HOLF Center at 1:00PM and we should arrive back at Union Church around 5:00PM. To sign up, please email us at CHILDREN ( ) or contact us at 2101 0414.
St. Barnabas Society & Home: Sunday, 15 Dec 2019, 3PM to 5PM
Kingdom Kids will be leading a Children’s Christmas Program with the children under the care of St. Barnabas Society. Families are invited to join us and share Jesus’s love with the underprivileged families. We meet directly at St. Barnabas Society & Home Centre, 21 Fung Mat Road, Western District at 2.45 PM. To sign up, please email us at CHILDREN ( ) or contact us at 2101 0414.
Carols on the Green at 22A Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels with Brass Quartet for family and friends - December 22, Sunday at 3:00pm
In January we will be launching a study of Peacemaking, including a sermon series, ReCharge class and small group materials. We experience conflict in all areas of our lives - families, work, church and city - it's to be expected. But how do we resolve it faithfully, in a way that honours God? If you aren't in a small group currently, this is a great time to join one, or come on Wednesday to ReCharge.
ReCharge is taking a break and will resume Wednesday, January 8. Join us as we look at Peacemaking: Resolving Everyday Conflicts, an Alpha follow-up, as well as opportunities for youth and young adults.
A new year is a great time to make a new commitment to fellowship and growth with other Christians! If you aren't currently in a group, we encourage you to try it out. There are groups for women, men, couples, daytime, nighttime, etc. Interested? Contact Monte Peterson to start the new year off right!
Men's Dinner - Save the date - Monday, 13th January. Details to follow.
The 5th Annual Ladies Retreat will be held in Penang on Friday February 28th to Monday March 2nd. There are early and late flights available to accommodate individual preferences. Hope you can join us. Please sign up at the welcome table and complete your formal registration by completing your details online using the QR code or the link - https://forms.gle/5Z9vdgVmDsMQUTiX9. Deadline for sign up and payment is 31 January 2020.
Join the Union Team:
We are looking for an Assistant Youth Director, and a Crèche Coordinator. Please contact stating which role you are interested in. We will contact you with more information about the role.
Prayer at Union
All are welcome to join us for weekly prayer.
Tuesday Morning Prayer - 7:30 AM
Wednesday Prayer and Discernment for Union Church - 6:15 PM to 7:00 PM
Discernment & Prayer Group:
Thank you for joining us in prayer and discernment for Union Church, both individually and corporately. Now that several weeks have passed and as previously mentioned, we would welcome the opportunity to hear what the Union Church community is discerning. In the coming weeks there will be opportunities to share as we would like to hear from you. If you would like to send any comments, please look for a box at the Welcome Table. Additionally, the Deacons will continue to meet with small groups and other pockets of the congregation. If you are not in a small group and would like to meet up with any of our Deacons, please look for opportunities to do so next week and in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us.
Youth Christmas Party - Friday, December 13
This Friday is our Christmas Party! We have a bunch of fun activities planned. Food will be Potluck style - bring a dish/snacks to share. There will also be a vote for best Christmas Sweater so come prepared. Seniors and Juniors are invited to come at 6:00PM and dismissal is at 8:30PM with Senior hangout until 9:30PM.
Youth Christmas Party - Sunday, December 15
This Sunday is also our Christmas Party! We have a bunch of fun activities planned. Food will be Potluck style - bring a dish/snacks to share. Youth will also have a chance to decorate their own Gingerbread Houses!
SUNDAY SCHOOL ARRANGEMENTS
Sunday, 15 December, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children’s Christmas Party - Children aged 3 to 10 years old are invited to join us in the Fellowship Hall for our end of year Christmas Party.
Sunday, 22 & 29 December, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children are invited to join their families for worship in the sanctuary or join us for Children’s movie show in Room 2 & 3.
Sunday, 5 January 2020, 9:45AM & 11:15AM: Children’s Sunday School Resumes.
Sunday School 2019/2020 Registration
All children enrolling in our Sunday School and Creche Center MUST BE REGISTERED by filling in and signing the Registration Form HERE. For more information, please visit Union Church's website or contact us at CHILDREN or 21010414.
In keeping with the history of our church and the Great Commission, Mt. 28:18-20, we are excited about missions.
We are excited about the many ministries we support annually, both locally and internationally, and we hope you take advantage of opportunities to get involved. Each week, there will be a missions committee member at the welcome table; please ask them how you can participate or if you have questions. Additionally, please tune in to the video in the foyer to learn more.
We hope you welcome the many Lutheran Theological Students from Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand who are attending Union.
Sons & Daughters
Sons & Daughters share God's love with men and women in the red-light districts of Hong Kong. They have asked for our assistance with providing practical items, such as food, toiletries, and household items, for use in their drop-in centre and family home. If you are willing to donate items, please see the list of items needed at the Welcome Table.
To get involved with these and other ministries, please talk to any member of the missions committee: Nick Appel (Chairman), Kathy Foley (Secretary), Dennis Hopton, John Jamison, Melody Landes, Jeff Cheung, KK Ip, Yan Yu (Deacon), Catriona Woodrow (Deacon), Michael Birley (COM). Additionally, David Ashton-Howorth and Pastor Michele attend meetings.
1:00PM - 1:50PM Congregational Prayer
2:00PM - 2:50PM Bible Study Groups
3:00PM - 4:00PM Worship Service
Every 1st Sunday of the Month from 9:00AM to 12:00PM Outreach & Evangelism.
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.
Baptism and Membership
If you have been attending Union Church for a while and have never gone through the official process to become a member, now is your chance! Please collect a green form and make it official!
If you have never been baptised and are interested, please see Pastor Michele.
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".
Last Week's Sermon
"Mighty God" by Hunter Purvis
In the light of the recent protests and their impact on Hong Kong, we need to ensure the safety of our congregation and staff. We will always try to hold our services as normal, but we will implement the following procedures for our Sunday services when needed:
• All services will proceed as normal as long as there is no protest planned for the area directly around Sunlight Tower.
• In case of spontaneous events that might impact our congregation coming to Church, then our staff will make a decision on whether to suspend services. An email will be sent to all of our members to inform them of which services will be suspended.
We will try wherever possible to give as much notice as possible should we feel the need to suspend any service. Please make sure that you check your email before setting off for Church. You can help us by ensuring that we have your most up to date contact information. If you think your information may be incorrect, please contact
At this time, we would also like to remind you of our Typhoon/Severe Weather policy:
All Church activities remain unchanged when tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 or 3 is hoisted. They will also be unaffected by the amber or red rainstorm warning signals.
When the Hong Kong Observatory issues a ‘Pre No.8 Typhoon Warning Signal’ on a Sunday, we will complete any service taking place and ask people to leave the Church and make their way home. Services planned for after this will be suspended. When the black rainstorm warning signal or tropical cyclone warning signal number 8 or above is hoisted on a Sunday before 07:30AM, all Church activities (Worship services, Classes, Youth and Children’s programs etc.) scheduled at 9:45AM or before will be cancelled. If the signal is subsequently lowered 2 hours before the 11:15AM service, the 11:15AM service will be held as scheduled. If the signal is lowered after 1PM, the Church will remain closed for the rest of the day.