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May 2015 Newsletter

Interdependent Baptists

We have said, “An independent Baptist church is an oxymoron!” What this means is that the very heart or core beliefs of a Baptist church is that it associates with other Baptist churches to do mission together.

In the book, The Family of God by Douglas Beyer which is the handbook that I use for my Inquirers Class for persons considering Baptism and church membership, the writer wrote, “Because each congregation of Baptists is self-governing, Baptist churches are said to be autonomous. Congregational autonomy is not the same thing as independence, however. Baptist congregations are autonomous but not independent. Because there are many things we can’t do alone, we choose to work cooperatively through denominational and ecumenical bodies” (p. 51).

For close to 20 years now, our church has not enjoyed fellowshipping and cooperating in ministry and mission with other American Baptist churches in our area like what we have done before. There used to be annual conventions when seminars are offered for our delegates and business matters are conducted. Our region had one of the best lay leader training event known as Leaders Faire where Sunday school teachers, church officers and board members would come and receive helps and training. And locally, FCBC was involved in an association of Baptist churches when we would help elect members to serve on the region’s board of managers. Such active Baptist life disappeared when the regional organization known as Growing Healthy Churches (formerly ABC of the West) started moving away from these priorities and Baptist principles.

Today, we now have another option to re-engage in our Baptist life by changing our regional affiliation to the American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast with about 80 churches located in northern California and Oregon. While FCBC with its tremendous resources of faithful and gifted leaders and teachers, financial means, and transformative programs that we can be as “independent” as we choose, it’s not Baptist! We want to cooperate and associate with other American Baptist churches that share our historic Baptist witness and principles to advance God’s kingdom work on earth in the name of Christ Jesus. We want to become “interdependent” when we freely choose to associate with one another in the things we can’t do alone.

The Deacons invite you to attend the fourth forum on Sunday, May 17th, 9:00 AM to discuss this matter with a resource that describes the comparison between our present region with the ABC—Central Pacific Coast so that on May 31st at the Special Membership Meeting, we might entertain the motion to officially change our regional affiliation to the American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast.

Read Related Sermon  March 2013 Newsletter

Doug Beyer said, “One snowflake isn’t much by itself, but it takes a plow to move the snowdrift when the flakes get together.” We invite you to help our church become that huge snowdrift even during our fourth year of historic drought in California to be a powerful Baptist witness associating with other ABC churches to do God’s work in the world.

                                                                                                                        Pastor Don

Special Membership Meeting

The Deacons have called for a Special Church Membership Meeting to be on May 31, 1:00 in the sanctuary to consider the following items: Changing FCBC’s regional affiliation, an Update on Staff Transition, and Approval of the Transitional (Interim) Senior Pastor. Please plan to attend this important church meeting.

Senior Center

The “Streets of San Francisco” are forever immortalized in Hollywood but they are also the same streets that we travel on to go to school, commute to work, go out for the evening and come to church. Pedestrian safety has become a major issue as there are more people crossing the streets, more bicyclists weaving through traffic and as we become a bit slower, there are more of us trying to be safe! The next Senior Center, Wednesday, May 13, 12:00 will feature our own, SF Traffic Officer Albert Chin who will be talking about “Parking and Traffic.” Join us for a healthy lunch, great fellowship and a few tips on being safe on the “Streets of San Francisco!” Contact Jimmy Yee, Dick and Anna Quan Wong to register.

Transitional Staff Sub-Committee Update (Nelson Wong)

FCBC Golf Tournament

This year’s annual FCBC Golf Tournament will once again be at the Metropolitan Golf Course in Oakland, near the Oakland International Airport. In addition to having lots of fun with your buddies and enjoying an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, the tournament is to raise scholarships for our summer ministry programs: Day Camp, Youth Camp and Youth Sports. If you can’t join us this year, we still invite you to consider making a donation to provide scholarships for our children and youth to participate in summer programs. See Joel Jang or Byron Chan for more information and to register!

Read Related Sermon  December 2012 Newsletter

ABCUSA President’s Update

In early May, I would just be returning from a long trip to Northeast India that I reported in the April issue of the newsletter. Envisioning how tired I may be after such a long visit away, I am very happy to say that for the most part, I will not be traveling that much during the month of May! I will be with you on Mother’s Day, on Pentecost, at the Special Membership Meeting scheduled for May 31st as well as at all the other Sundays in May!

On June 7th, however, I will be in Boston to speak at my home church’s 350th Anniversary! First Baptist of Boston will have a special organ/choir concert, reception and service. I can just imagine and pray for First Chinese Baptist as we celebrate our 135th anniversary on Oct. 24-25 later this year that we have 215 years to catch up!

Thank you again for your constant prayer for me as I serve as the president for our ABC family and as your senior pastor particularly during this time as I also prepare for my retirement after 40 ½ years of fulltime ministry at the end of June. May God bless you as I know that God blesses all faithful and devoted servants.

Family News

On April 12, Bernice and Erwin Yeh presented their son, Dylan Alexander Yeh to be dedicated to the Lord! May God bless Dylan and his family as he grows up in God’s household to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Our sympathy to Don Fong and his family upon the passing of his father, Soo Fong, age 92 on March 29th. With confidence and hope, the Easter Good News of Christ promises us everlasting life.


2          OYYAs

3          10-V



            Trustees, 12:30

            Sojourners Retreat begins, ends 5/5

8          Senior Fellowship

9          EFG

10        Mother’s Day

            Finance, 8:30




13        Church Staff, 10:00

            Senior Center, 12:00

16        Xplorers

17        Regional Affiliation Forum, 9:00




            Deacons, 1:00

            CE, 1:00

24        Pentecost

            Music Committee, 8:00




25        Holiday

27        Church Staff, 10:00

31        10-V



            Special Membership Meeting, 1:00

6/1      FCBC Golf Tournament

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