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April 2015 Newsletter

April 2015 Newsletter

Easter in Chinatown

Backed by business, Christmas is a huge celebration but Easter is actually the more significant event for Christians. After suffering and dying on the cross for our sins, we thought that was the end of a short effective ministry of a Rabbi from Nazareth. But along the way, Jesus kept telling his followers that he came to fulfill all of the promises that God has made to humankind going beyond the initially selected Jews but then to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth.

On that first Easter morning after being in the tomb for three days, the followers of Jesus were shocked to find that the tomb was empty. The dead did not stay dead! But the angel said that Jesus Christ has risen and that he has already gone before them into town where they would find him. The dead has always stayed dead until that morning. And from the Resurrection, the course of human history has changed and we no longer believe that the dead stays dead because we believe that we have eternal life in heaven. This truth is what is behind “Happy Easter!”

In Ephesians 2:17-18, we read, “So he (Jesus) came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Before Jesus, we were very far away from God as the result of our disobedience and rejection of God’s plan. But God so loved the world that God send Jesus Christ to become close to us again. Since God loves all of his people, God wants us to love one another too.

Easter in Chinatown is not just celebrating the many Lenten and Easter services and events that we have. And we do have many opportunities for you to join your Christian family on Maundy Thursday, April 2, 7:30 PM when we re-enact the Last Supper in the upper room (Fellowship Hall); CCU Bilingual Good Friday Service, April 3, 7:30 PM when we remember Jesus on the cross; CCU Easter Sunrise Service, April 5, 7:00 AM at the Chinese Congregational Church when both our FCBC youth and CCC youth will be leading; and finally FCBC Easter Services, 10:00 Cantonese and 11:20 Joint English in our sanctuary when we proclaim “He is Risen!”

Easter in Chinatown takes on a special meaning for us because we believe that people in Chinatown also need to hear the Good News of the Resurrection. Jesus Christ came into the world and died on the cross and resurrected from the dead for the sole purpose of God’s love for all his creation. When we celebrate Easter in Chinatown, we are inviting all of the residents, neighbors and even visitors to come to worship and to believe that God saved them with the promise of eternal life. Now that God is near us, the Easter Good News is also for those who are still far off.

Read Related Sermon  January/February 2013 Newsletter

While the world may be run by business interests, Christians believe that without a doubt, the dead does not stay dead anymore because Jesus Christ is risen for you and for me and for all the people in Chinatown and in the whole world.

                                                                                                                        Pastor Don

A Mission Day in Chinatown

Our 2015 theme verse is Ephesians 2:17-18, “So he (Jesus) came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.” We decided to focus on “Mission in Chinatown” in order to “proclaim peace to those who are nearby.” We want to become better neighbors with those who live, work, go to school, and shop in Chinatown. By becoming more familiar with the issues and concerns facing people living in Chinatown, we pray that we would become more faithful in proclaiming the gospel with the people whom God loves making them “no longer strangers and aliens, but…citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).

To dedicate ourselves to God’s work in our community, we invite you to “A Mission Day in Chinatown” on Saturday, April 11th, 9:00-3:15. Rev. Norman Fong, Executive Director of the Chinatown Community Development Center will share what are pressing developments facing our community today. Two-rounds of learning centers led by community resource persons will teach us by sharing their insights, resources and offering discussion to help convey a full understanding of what we need to know. We will have worship times, lunch and beverage breaks to fill out our day together. “A Mission Day in Chinatown” is THE all-church gathering in 2015 and we invite all persons, all fellowship groups, all church boards and committees to come equipping ourselves for the mission of the church in Chinatown!

To register for lunch and for us to prepare for your attendance, call or contact Wendi Lin in the church office.

April Senior Center

Estate planning is just as important as planning for everything else in life. But as the result of our great need for instant gratification, we tend to spend for the satisfaction of the moment, leaving no rainy day fund when our roofs are leaking! On April 8th, the Senior Center will feature Benton Lai, an attorney on estate planning. If your financial plan is in need of a review, plan to come and fellowship with your senior friends over a hot lunch, birthday cake, and a stimulating discussion. Contact Anna Quan and Dick Wong or Jimmy Yee of your attendance.

Pastor Don Ng’s Retirement Celebration

After 17 years as senior pastor, Pastor Don will complete his ministry at FCBC on June 30th. To celebrate together, there will be a luncheon at Far East Restaurant on Grant Avenue after All-Church Worship Service at 10:00-11:30 AM on Sunday, June 21st. More on the cost of the luncheon and other information are forthcoming but please mark the date on your calendar and plan to join in this celebration—Sunday, June 21st!

Read Related Sermon  Crowd Christians

ABCUSA President’s Update

I will be taking a major international trip in April as President of ABCUSA. American Baptist missionaries spread the Gospel not only to Burma (also known as Myanmar today) 200 years ago but they went to faraway places like Northeast India. There are now   Baptist conventions,  Bible schools and  churches associating together as the Council of Baptist Churches of Northeast India (CBCNEI).

Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting a number of Baptist leaders from the different conventions of CBCNEI first at the Baptist World Alliance Congress in Izmir, Turkey and then at International Ministries’ World Mission Conference at Green Lake, Wisconsin. Becoming new friends, we talked about the amazing ways that God is growing the church both in Northeast India as well as in the United States. They were surprised to actually meet an Asian American serving as President of ABCUSA when they have always perceived that the ABC leadership was mainly white or Anglo. At the same time, I was impressed over the incredible work God was doing in Northeast India as the result of American Baptist missionaries over 200 years ago.

This led to an invitation from these new Baptist friends to visit their work and participate at their annual convention. In the last two weeks of April, I’ll travel to Guwahati, speak at the Harding Theological College in Tura, speak twice at the CBCNEI Convention in Garo, visit the Satribari hospital in Guwahati, visit the Eastern seminary in Assam and see the Nagaland site where CBCNEI is planning to build their first Christian university to grant vocational and liberal arts degrees.

Thank you for your prayers for safety and good health as I represent American Baptists in Northeast India and know that wherever I will be, I will be sharing about how God has and continues to mightily work through FCBC in Chinatown and around the world. People in Northeast India will know you through my stories and testimonies.

Family News

Praise God for Bonnie Lim who joined FCBC through Believer’s Baptism on March 29th.  We will continue to share in her Christian service through the Lanna Coffee Project as well as her involvement in the Sojourners.

April

  1. Church Staff, 10:00
  2. Maundy Thursday Service, 7:30
  3. CCU Bilingual Good Friday Service, 7:30
  4. OYYAs, 10:00
  5. Easter Sunday

CCU Easter Sunrise, 7:00, Chinese Congregational

Staff Transitional Sub-committee, 9:00

10:00 Cantonese, P

11:20 Joint English, D

8          Senior Center, 12:00

10        Senior Fellowship, 10:00

11        All-Church—A Mission Day in Chinatown

12        Finance, 8:30

            10—V

            10—P

            11—D

            Deacons, 1:00

            3 on 3 Basketball, YMCA

15        Church Staff, 10:00

18-20  Church Yosemite Trip

19        10—Rev. Augie Bau

            10—P

            11—Rev. Augie Bau

            Regional Affiliation Forum, 1:00

            Senior Retreat Planning, 1:00

26        135th Anniversary Committee, 9:00

            10—V

            10—P

            11—P

            CE, 1:00

29        Church Staff, 10:00

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