1 11 The Focal Point October 2014

The Focal Point
October 2014
Moderators Corner
There are signs of Fall at UJCC..... as we witness Rally Sunday and the first
day of Sunday School, the annual Craft Faire event on September 20th, and
the Harvest Luncheon on October 19th. Thank you to all the committee
chairpersons and volunteers for your organization, commitment, and devotion
of time to these ministries.
God continues to bless our church with leaders that share their gifts and
talents. To Ernie Kazato and the Property Committee, we are grateful for your
observation and efforts to ensure the maintenance of our church. Mark Muzyka
and the Finance Committee, your knowledge and careful assessment of the
financial position of UJCC is greatly valued. Our new SPRC co-chairpersons,
Arlene Eberly and Jo Katayama, we thank you for quickly stepping into your
new roles and addressing items of importance.
During this transition time of ministry, we wish to express our heartfelt
gratitude to Reverend Kathryn. “Thank you” does not seem sufficient for all you
have given these past two years. You have not only shared your spiritual
wisdom, but you led us on a journey to better understand our church and its
family members, while also paying respect to those who preceded us. We are
better equipped to identify our strengths and short-comings, recognizing our
God-given gifts as you have encouraged us to trust the Holy Spirit with our
destiny. Rather than goodbye, we say “until we meet again”.
With Much Gratitude,
Chris and Tracy
SPRC Meeting
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) is scheduled to meet
October 1st, Wednesday at 6:30 PM.
Members include: Arlene Eberly, Sheryl Elliott, Jody Juteau, Jo Katayama,
Linda Mayebo, Gaylen Thelander and Paul Yamashita.
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Joys and Concerns
“Come, Holy Spirit, pour out of the depths a ray of Your light — that light which
enlightens our minds and strengthens our wills to pursue the light! Come,
caretaker of the poor and the poor in spirit, whom You love to fill with the
fullness of God. You are not only Giver of gifts, but Giver of Yourself, the
supreme Gift — the Gift of the Creator and the Savior. Amen.” May this
translation of Latin hymn “Veni Sancti Spiritus” guide us in praying for…
Elaine Omachi
Elaine Otomo
Foon Lau
Frances Kurushima
Harriet Isogawa
Hisaye Naito
June Kishi
Margaret Archuleta
Marge Sanbongi
Paras Family
Roy Omi
Steve Hirasuna
Tak Tsutsui
Yoshiko Baba
The people of Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 3/11/2011
We pray for concerns in our church community…
• For all struggling with physical health concerns, including Dana Riley’s
father, Hiram Hironaka (Jody Juteau’s father), and Kaye Takemoto;
• For all experience difficult life struggles, including the friends of Maggie
• For all receiving care for cancer, including Rev. John Forrest Douglas
(young UCC pastor in Long Beach), and Lori (friend of Tiffany Reimer);
• For those recovering from surgery, including Mike Yatabe;
• For all on hospice care, including Rev. Mike Morizono and Tak Tsutsui;
• For Charise Masada’s neighbors, Pat and Lisa, who lost everything
when their apartment flooded at the end of August;
• Traveling mercies for all, including Roberta Barton’s son and his
girlfriend on their trip to Asia.
For those who grieve…
• For the loved ones of Danny Ohama who passed away September 6,
husband of Kathleen, brother of Abe Ohama, Irene Domoto, Ruth
Fujinaga, and Marilyn Hasegawa;
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
For the loved ones of Masashi Osato who passed away September 3,
father of Daryl Osato;
For Rev. Ken Iha and his family as they grieve the passing of his 2
For the family and friends of Setsu Hirasuna who passed away August
For the loved ones of Shirley Ihara who passed away August 25;
For the loved ones of Miyo Kiba who passed away August 25, mother
of Chris Morimoto;
For those who grieve the passing of George Hiraga, uncle of Iris and
brother of Kei, who passed away recently;
For the family and friends of Chris Hall, relative of Mrs. Takao;
For Darryl and Jen Dote and family as they grieve her miscarriage of
Emiko Joy at the end of August.
For concerns in our wider community and world…
• For FIRM (Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministry) as they
recover from a break-in and theft;
• For adults who were wounded as children now seeking fullness of life;
• For those affected by the landslides in Hiroshima City on August 19;
• For peace in our world, including Iraq, Gaza, Egypt, and Ferguson,
• For those impacted by the earthquakes in Napa and Chile;
• For wise use of water in our state of CA and all farmers, crops, and
people affected by drought and fire.
For God’s goodness in our community…
• Gratitude for Dr. Helena Chang Chui and her research on dementia
• For our youth as they reflected on their summer Camps and Mission
Trip August 24 and as they begin a new school year;
• For the life of Hahn Phan Tilley, Fresno Unified teacher who passed
away last year, and for her legacy which continues in newly-opened
Hahn Phan Tilley Elementary School;
• Prayers for all churches, organizations, and pastors in transition,
including Rev. Sophia DeWitt (and FIRM) and Rev. Stephanie BinghamDoss (and Tulare UCC).
• Continued prayers for our Senior Pastor Search and Youth Director
Search Committees.
If we have made any errors, we apologize and would appreciate any
corrections! If you have any changes or additions to our list, please let Akiko
know (322-0701 or [email protected]).
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Meetings of the Search Committee have become more frequent as we near the
completion of the Local Church Profile, the document that prospective
candidates for the Senior Pastor of the UJCC will be studying to apply for the
position. We wish to thank you for your participation in filling out
questionnaires and meeting with us in groups to answer key questions
that are relevant to our church and how you feel about its mission.
At the close of September, all results were tabulated and inputted into the
Church Profile. The Committee will continue to complete the Church Profile in
October and have the draft form ready for perusal by the congregation and
leaders via online access and hard copies at the Church. We are diligently
working towards our goal to complete the final Local Church Profile within the
next several months.
If you have any questions or comments about our process and what we are
doing, please do not hesitate to talk to any of us on the Committee. We
appreciate and seek your advice throughout this work in progress. Thank you
for praying for God’s Spirit to give us wisdom and vision during this time.
Committee Members:
Jack Coon, Joyce Dessert, Macy Elliott, Lori Hamada, Kiyoko Nosker,
Janelle Saito, June Sakaguchi, Vivian Takeuchi, Victor Takeda,
Sean Uchima, David Wong
Congregational Care
The next meeting of the Lay Visitation Team will be Thursday, November 20 at
6:30pm. We are hoping to begin mini-trainings at each meeting on how to
care for our elders spiritually and support them. If you have any suggestions
on possible topics or issues, please contact Akiko ([email protected] or
322-0701). All are welcome to attend the meetings! Also, if you know of
anyone who would appreciate a visit, or if you are interested in joining in
visitations, please contact Akiko. Thank you!
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Community Care/ UJCC and BMU Family Mission Project
UJCC Community Care Team is delighted to invite you to our 1st Annual Family
Mission Project! With our sister church from The Bay, Berkeley Methodist
United Church (BMU), we will work together to support another local sister
church, Grace UMC! We are blessed to have this opportunity to work together
and to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community. Here are the details:
Saturday, October 25, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
At Grace UMC (3362 E. Balch, Fresno)
Our Mission Project
This Fall, we have the opportunity to serve one of our sister churches, Grace
UMC, together!
Some of the ways we will serve:
-preparing their building for use and partnership with other community groups
by painting and cleaning;
-sprucing up their landscape and tending to the grounds;
-offering our cleaning and maintenance skills at Grace UMC’s sober living
environment ministry, House of Grace
For the kids!
All ages are invited to be the hands and feet of Christ and serve!
In addition to the opportunity to serve, the kids are invited to UJCC’s Halloween
Carnival on Saturday; 3-5pm! Please bring your costumes!
Breakfast will be provided by Grace UMC before we begin work.
Lunch will be provided by BMU Missions Committee and UJCC Community
Care Team.
Dinner will be provided (details TBA—if you are interested in helping, please
contact Akiko. Thanks!).
A freewill donation will be collected at each meal.
UJCC families, we need your help! If you would be willing to host our friends
from BMU Church on Friday and Saturday nights, we would be most
appreciative! Besides a bed and a shower, please provide Sunday breakfast
before church. Please contact Akiko ([email protected] or 322-0701) if you
are able to help in this way. Thank you so much!
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
To Sign Up
All abilities and know-how are welcome and needed for this Mission Project!
All are welcome! Please contact a member of the Community Care Team ( Al
Juarez, Dr. Ken Kurokawa, Stan Morita, Fay Nakaguchi, Dana and Larry Riley,
Akiko Miyake-Stoner) to sign up and if you have any questions! Many thanks!
Food Distribution Reminders
Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 8-10am @ Pinedale Community
Fellowship (7061 N San Pablo Ave, Pinedale, CA 93650)
You are invited to come help pack and distribute food boxes for our friends in
Pinedale. This is a service of the Community Food Bank. We will be
partnering with Good Neighbor Center, Inc., an organization which supports the
community of Pinedale through relationships, mentoring, food, and clothing.
For more information, please contact Akiko (322-0701 or [email protected]).
Tuesdays October 14 and 28 @ 12-2:30pm @ Grace UMC (3362 E. Balch,
Fresno, CA 93702)
This food distribution serves 160 families in Grace UMC’s neighborhood and is
a partnership with the Community Food Bank. You are invited to help out
every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays. For more information, please contact Akiko (3220701 or [email protected]).
Interested in Community Care?
All are invited to our meetings; we gather once every two months. Next
meeting will be Friday, December 5; 6-8pm. Please contact a Team member
for more information or with questions. Thank you!
Pinedale School Supplies’ Drive: Thank you!
We have such a generous congregation with a caring heart! On behalf of
Pinedale Elementary students and teachers, the Community Care Team wants
to thank you all for the donations you brought in. Together, we collected 52
notebooks, 29 boxes of Kleenex, 44 boxes of crayons (both large and regular
size), 68 dry erase markers, 158 glue sticks, 30 flash drives, 12 pencil boxes,
and 48 pencils! Your donations will go a long way and make a difference for
our friends at Pinedale Elementary! Thank you!
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Tomodachi Seniors Group and Friends
Ongoing Activities
Fitness Class – Monday’s 9:30-10:15 AM – Luvena Jacobsen, Instructor
We’ll meet every Monday in October. We hope that you can take
advantage of this great opportunity to keep yourself in good physical condition.
Luvena is an awesome instructor!
Knitting Circle: Two Mondays—October 6th and October 20th at 10:30
Come and knit with us—we share and teach our designs...so don’t be
shy! We knitted, created and sold many of our creations at our Asian Craft
Fair to benefit the Church.
Game Days: Two Wednesdays this Month
We’ll meet on October 15th at 10 AM and on October 29th at 1 PM.
Feel free to join us for games and fellowship.
Future Events
We’re Back! We took a break in September and we’ll begin our Autumn (and
beyond) activities. We invite everyone to join us (bring a friend!) when you can
(you don’t even have to be a “senior”)—we welcome all!
Wednesday, October 22nd at 10 AM
Movie “42” and Lunch
We’ll be watching the inspirational movie “42”, the 2013 biographical
sports film about the racial integration of American professional baseball by
player Jackie Robinson, who wore the jersey number 42 through his Major
League career. The movie has received positive reviews; Jackie Robinson’s
widow was involved in the production of the film and has praised the end result.
Join us for the movie, followed by lunch and dessert. A sign up form is
located in the Church fellowship hall or contact the Church office to sign up.
Invite a friend!
Wednesday, November 19th
Lunch Outing and Thanksgiving Fellowship
We’re planning to have lunch and fellowship to celebrate the season of
Thanksgiving. Be on the lookout for more information as to where we’ll gather
for lunch.
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Save the Date
Annual Christmas Party and Luncheon
Wednesday, December 10th
7:00 pm
October 14, 2014
“Let’s Talk Clovis”
Satoshi “Fibber” Hirayama
Lake Sequoia Retreat Reunion
Saturday, November 8 at 4:30pm
at Aldergate UMC
4243 Manuela Ave, Palo Alto 94306
Informal, potluck, just for fun.
Contact Brad Shirakawa 408-368-8587 or [email protected]
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Children and Youth
We’re excited that Sunday School is back into full swing! We give thanks for
our Sunday School teachers, for their dedication, for their faithfulness, and for
the ways they pass on the love of Christ to our children and youth:
Pre-School/Kindergarten: Tina Chan, Cathy Emler, Jean Yang
1st and 2nd Grades: June Sakaguchi, Kathie Sakamoto, Bea Tsutsui
3rd and 4th Grades: Lisa Ervin, Lori Hamada, Melanie Sembritzki
5 and 6th Grades: Michael Swezey, Mary-Kay Watkins and Becky Wong
7 and 8th Grades: Maddy Hamada, Taryn Morita, Evan Yamashita, Rawb Yang
9th through 12th Grades: Maddy Hamada, Taryn Morita, Rana Yamamura, Evan
Yamashita, Rawb Yang
Substitute: Macy Elliott
Sunday School Superintendents: Mary-Kay Watkins and Rana Yamamura
This year’s curriculum is “Grow, Proclaim, Serve!” which covers the Bible over a
three-year period as they kids learn about the wonders of God’s love.
Presentation of Bibles
On Rally Sunday, September 7, UJCC was honored to present these children
their Bibles:
Madison Chung
Ezekiel Crowder
Mariah Decker
Jude Juarez
Makenna Naoe
Alex Nii
Hannah Nii
Mia Urabe
Luke Wong
October Upcoming Youth Events At A Glance
(Check your email for details! If you’d like to be added to the email lists,
please contact Akiko: [email protected] or 322-0701. Thanks!)
NINJAS (5th and 6th Grades): Halloween Party (date TBA)
FISH (High School): Halloween Lock-In and trip to Hobb’s Grove: October 25
and 26
FROG and FISH, come help at the Harvest Meal on October 19 and Halloween
Carnival on October 25!
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
October reminds us all of fall harvest of Halloween pumpkins, sweet potatoes,
yams and those wonderful kabocha squash! Please mark your October
calendar for our Friday, October 10th Friend’s Care delivery.
Thank you Friend’s Care volunteers for your time and effort that makes our
mission possible throughout the year.
Thanks for Kitchen Donations
Old Mother Hubbard would be envious of us as our cupboards are being filled
with donations of supplies. Thanks to Tomoko Naito for her gift of luncheon
plates and zip lock sandwich bags and to Jane Shoji for dessert plates. And
Jack and Pearl Coon continue to supply us with hot and cold cups. Reminder
to all who serve in the kitchen: Please do not fill more cups and plates than
needed as it results in waste which we are trying to avoid. Thank you from your
kitchen supply purchaser.
American Legion Auxiliary
Annual Luncheon & Boutique
Saturday, October 25, 214
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Clovis Memorial Building
5th & Hughes
Clovis, CA
(Please see Mine Ikeda or Maggie Pendleton for tickets)
Mochi Machines
The UJCC Sunday School and Japanese School will host a mochitsuki for the
kids on Saturday, November 8. If anyone has a mochi machine we could
borrow for that one day, we would really appreciate it! We are looking for
several to help make this event a success. If you or anyone you know has a
mochi machine you are willing to loan us, please contact Akiko
([email protected] or 322-0701). Many thanks!
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Boy Scout Troop 199
Jack Inouye - Historian
On Saturday, August 16th, UJCC held their annual luau. Troop 199 was asked
to help guide traffic and assist with parking. At the end of the event they
escorted people to their cars and offered to carry their purchased items. Nine
scouts volunteered that night.
Eagle Project
On August 23rd, Darren Moriyama completed his eagle project for the Fresno
Dharma Center. Railroad ties were used to build a fence around the western
edge of the FDC. This was made to prevent people from driving over the
property line. Lots of heavy machinery were required for this massive project.
Fourteen scouts (including some past Eagle Scouts) and 8 adults helped with
the project, which took about 6 hours. Congratulations Darren on a job well
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
World Communion Sunday
Sunday, October 5 is designated as World Communion Sunday wherein
Christians around the world of many denominations affirm their unity in the
body of Christ by participating in the holy sacrament of Communion (also
known as “The Lord’s Supper” and “The Eucharist”).
For us at UJCC, a special offering is collected which seeks to offer resources
and services on a more far-reaching national and global scale through our
denominational ties (the United Methodist Church and the United Church of
Christ). Please consider giving generously toward this special offering.
For our United Methodist portion (50%), your World Communion Sunday
donation will provide scholarships for US (racial and ethnic minority students)
and international students on both undergraduate and graduate levels. The
other 50% will go to support the general fund of the UCC Northern California
Nevada Conference toward ministry and mission. Thank you for your support!
8/25/14 thru 9/21/14
M/M Ronald Horii: In Memory of Kazuye Osaki
Eujeanne Kawasaki: In Memory of Miyo Honda
Amy Kiritani: In Memory of Bill Kashiwase
Eiko Kunitake: In Memory of Kazuye Osaki
D/D Michael Nakamura: In Memories of Don & Lena Nakamura
M/M Daryl Osato: In Memory of Mas Osato
M/M Jaime Visitacion: In Memory of Danny Ohama
Robert Yasuhira: In memory of Yoshiko Yasuhira
Brenda Nagata: In Celebration of the Birth of Grandson Zackary Kimra-Nagata
Sally Nagata: Community Garden Fund
M/M Bob Okazaki: Community Garden Fund
M/M Yukio Tani: Thank You Donation
Helen Fort: Donation
Sara Hamilton: Donation
D/M Kevin Nii: Donation
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Debra & Joyce Hiraoka
M/M Hiroshi Inouye
M/M Yo Katayama
M/M Yukio Tani
M/M Jaime Visitacion
M/M Henry Yasuda
Debra & Joyce Hiraoka
Toshio Ihara Family
R/M Saburo Masada
M/M Dick Mayeda
Tom Miyake
Sally Nagata
M/M Yukio Tani
M/M John Tateyama
M/M Jaime Visitacion
Roberta Welk
M/M Bob Okazaki: Building Maintenance Fund Donation
Sally Nagata
M/M Norman Ocampo
Fibber Hirayama
M/M Hiroshi Inouye
Tomoye Kitano
M/M George Kiyomoto
Kazuo Komoto
M/M Robert Kooda
Haruye Nagata
Sally Nagata
Hisako Nakamoto
Lawrence Ontsuka
Mary Tanaka
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
Joyce Kaufman
Rev Akiko Miyake-Stoner
M/M Michael Swezey
M/M Bob Okazaki
M/M Leo Oliver
M/M Gregg Saito: In Memory of Shirley Ihara
M/M Bob Okazaki: Rummage Sale Donation
M/M Scott Inoye
M/M Dan Eberly
M/M Scott Inouye
Mae Morita
M/M Bob Okazaki
M/M Yukio Tani
M/M Brian Wong
United Japanese Christian Church
The Focal Point
October 2014
United Japanese Christian Church