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That's a Wrap! Day Camp 2015 Concludes

daycamp directors2015Six weeks of Day Camp concluded today. Great job to all the counselors and volunteers who worked and played so hard with the campers! Awesome job by directors Samuel Mak and Kevin Tan on running a fun and inspiring camp. From "The Legend of Kevin" to learning Bible stories about Joshua and Judges to exciting field trips and activities, this day camp was a high point for many of the campers. daycamp2015

 

[CCU Basketball] Heading for the Finals!

Our SFEFC guys pulled out a close win on Wednesday night on their road to the Bronze Championships! This is a big improvement from last year and a testament to hard work and teamwork. jason2 (2)Although the guys took a commanding 11-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game, Sunset Church would not go down without a fight. SFEFC hit a dry spell that allowed Sunset to catch up and the score at halftime was 14-10.

Sunset came out strong in the second half and took the lead. It went back and forth through the whole second half until SFEFC clinched it at the end, greatly helped by four clutch free throws by Kevin Bowman. They won the hard fought game, 34-27.

bowman (2)Kevin "Birthday Boy" Bowman had an epic game with 17 points, hitting two 3-point shots, 3 baskets and 5 free throws, four of them coming at the last minutes of the game to close the lid on the win. NICE! He also grabbed 8 rebounds, 2 steals and had one assist.

Jason Ching also had a great game with 3 baskets and an "AND 1" plus two free throws for a total of 9 points. He had 3 steals and one rebound.

Rounding out the scoring, Matthew Kwong, Jacky Guan, Jason Chen and jonathan (2)Jonathan Ching each hit a basket. Matt had one rebound and one steal, Jason Chen got one rebound, Jonathan had 2 rebounds, 2 steals and one assist. Jacky pulled down 4 rebounds.matt2

jacky (2)Defensively, Yulin Deng grabbed 2 rebounds, one steal and had one assist. Emmu Zhou got one rebound, Zihao Zhen (Alex) pulled down 2 rebounds. Avery Kwan contributed 3 rebounds, one steal and one assist. Calvin Ho stole the ball 3 times and got one rebound.

DSC_1402 (2)This game had all of us fans on the edge of our seats. We are proud of our team and looking forward to next week! Keep it up!DSC_1568 (2)

jeffl

The Championship game will be held Thursday at 7:30p at Mercy High.

[CCU Basketball] Teamwork Prevails!

calvinOur guys played another great game this past Saturday with a decisive 56-17 win over Cumberland. Almost everyone scored at least 2 points and everyone contributed to a big win. This game had a team record of 9 assists, with Calvin Ho leading the way with 3 assists. Calvin also grabbed 3 rebounds and scored two points. Zihao Zhen (Alex) had a solid game with 2 assists along with 3 steals, 2 rebounds and 4 points. yulinYulin Deng was the shooting machine and high scorer this game with 6 buckets for 12 points! He also grabbed one rebound and had one assist. It was great to have Kevin Bowman back in the lineup and he contributed 10 points, 3 rebounds, one steal and one assist.bowman

Kevin Chow came back to life this game and hit 3 buckets and a free throw for a total of 7 points. He also had 3 steals and one rebound. Emmu Zhou had a great game with 2 buckets and 2 free throws, while grabbing 4 rebounds and one steal.

jasonchenOur lone 3 point shot came from Jason Chen who also hit a bucket for a total of 5 points. He also had 2 steals and one rebound. Matt Kwong hit two buckets and grabbed two rebounds. Jacky Guan was the rebound machine this game with 7 rebounds, one basket and two free throws.

Avery Kwan had another solid defensive game with 4 rebounds, 4 steals and one assist, and also scored two points. Tao Huang grabbed 2 rebounds, 2 steals and had one assist.

kcThese guys are so fun to watch! There is one more regular season game on Wednesday July 15th at 8:30p at El Camino High. Hope to see you there!

Thanks to Tim Wai for the great photos

God is Great! (Even When We Aren't) Deuteronomy 8, 3, 9

WebWe've come to the conclusion of our series on the Israelites journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The past few weeks we've seen that after God's powerful and miraculous rescue, the people were not magically transported to the Promised Land. Instead it took about two years for them to be prepared. During that time, God gave clear direction to the people through a pillar of cloud and fire and gave Moses the Law and they built the Tabernacle. Then finally, when they get to the edge of the Promised Land they send out 12 men to spy out the land. The inhabitants of the land are huge! Ten spies sway the people toward the path of fear. Only Joshua, Caleb, Moses and Aaron believe that God can give them victory. But fear wins out. And the consequences of their sin is that they are exiled into the wilderness.

After 40 years of wandering, they are again poised to take the land. The faithless generation has passed away. So now in Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the current generation and recounts the history of what God has done for the people of Israel, reminds them of the Law and cautions them not to repeat the mistake of their parents.

Today we will look at three ways God is great (even when we aren't).

1) God is great even though the Israelites weren't. Even though God rescued the Israelites from slavery and Egypt in a mighty and powerful way, they complained incessantly and even kept accusing God of rescuing them in order to kill them in the wilderness!

In Deuteronomy 8:2-5, 15-18 Moses reminds the people that even though they had to wander in the wilderness for their sin of disobedience and unbelief, God never left their side. He fed them with manna and quail, provided them with water, their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell the whole time. He was faithful to bring them to the Promised Land (2 Timothy 2:13).

2) God is great even though Moses wasn't. In Deuteronomy 3:21-28 is an interesting conversation between God and Moses. It seems that Moses isn't going to set foot in the Promised Land. What happened?

In Numbers 20, Moses was tired and frustrated and instead of speaking to the rock for water, he struck the rock twice. What was so bad about this? In Numbers 20:10 Moses said, "Listen you rebels, must WE bring you water out of this rock?" Moses and Aaron took the glory for themselves that was meant for God alone. For this reason, Moses and Aaron were denied access to the Promised Land.

But even though Moses failed, Hebrews 11 tells us that Moses' hope was in another Mediator who would not fail. Mathew 17:1-3 shows us that God is great, even though Moses wasn't. God did allow Moses to enter the Promised Land along with Elijah and Jesus.

3) God is great, we are not. In Deuteronomy 9:1-6, Moses makes it a point to remind the Israelites that they will be conquering the Promised Land not because of their righteousness or goodness. In fact, Moses calls them out as a stiff-necked and stubborn people. It is not because of their greatness but because of the wickedness of the other nations that the Lord will drive them out.

In 2 Timothy 1:9, Paul reminds Timothy that in the same way Christ has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but for His own purpose and grace.

The great comfort that we have from the end of the journey for Moses and the people of Israel is that God is great even though they weren't. It reminds us that after we received Christ, we weren't magically transported to heaven. In a similar fashion, we are on a journey to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God until Christ returns. It gives us hope that even when we falter and fail, God will never abandon us as long as we keep returning to Him!

 

[CCU Basketball] Back in the "W" Column!

62915aAfter their last loss, our team was able to regroup and win by 20 points over Hope Lutheran with a score of 46-26. Jacky Guan had a MONSTER game with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. Jacky was just firing on all pistons, making 3 baskets, one 3-point shot and sinking 3 free throws. Nice! 62915bTong Wong also contributed 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal, with 5 points coming from free throws. Actually, the team scored 16 of their 46 points on free throws alone with "AND 1's" for Tony Wong and Jacky Guan. That's the way to do it.

Jason Ching continued to master his free throws hitting 3 of 4, Emmu hit 2 free throws, Yulin made one free throw and a basket, and Calvin Ho sank 2 free throws and a 3-point bucket and also grabbed 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

62915dRounding out the scoring, Tao Huang and Jonathan Ching scored 2 baskets, and Zihao Zhen (Alex), Jason Chen each hit one basket. Avery Kwan continued playing great defense with 3 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Matthew Kwong and Kevin Chow got one rebound and one steal.

There are two more games in the regular season before playoffs. Hope to see you at our next game on July 11th at 9a at Washington High School!

62915c

Who is God? What is God Like? What is God Asking of Me? (Numbers 14:10-45)

150622_GodI believe that when we approach the Bible, it answers at least three questions about God: Who is God? What is God like? What is God asking of me? Today's passage from Numbers 14:10-33 gives us insight into these three questions and challenges us as to how we will respond to the answers.

Last week, we saw that as the Israelites are at the edge of the Promised Land, they had a decision to make. Would they be ruled by fear or by faith? Unfortunately it was a battle between four men filled with faith and 600,000 plus filled with fear.

God was not pleased. Now it's God's turn to complain. "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?" (Numbers 14:11)

Who is God? God is Creator and the Sovereign Lord. He is the God who called out a people to be His own, who chose Abraham to be a blessing to the whole world and promised him descendants, a relationship with God and a land.

Every step of the way, God has been faithful to His promise. But the people refuse to believe, trust and obey. Then Moses and God have a very interesting conversation. God declares that He's going to strike down the people and start over with Moses. (Numbers 14:12)

What? Is this what God is like? Yes and no.

Moses can't believe it either. To his credit, Moses doesn't say, "Yes! They deserve to be wiped out and let's start again." Instead Moses, who has walked with God for decades, repeats what He knows God is like. In Numbers 14:16-19, Moses recounts the fact that God is faithful, strong, patient, loving and forgiving.

God agrees to forgive the people. However, God is also holy and just. Their sin deserves punishment. And it will be severe. Although the Israelites will eventually conquer the Promised Land, it won't be through the current generation (except for Caleb and Joshua). Instead that generation will wander for forty years and meet their end in the wilderness (Numbers 14:35).

How do the people respond to this judgement? Numbers 14:39-45 tells us that they "mourned bitterly" and realize their sin. But regret is not the same as repentance. Although they confess their initial sin, they are blind to their continued sin: they are still not obeying God.

Again there is no sense that the people cry out to God in prayer for mercy regarding their sin and its consequences but they decide in their own minds the best course of action.

What is God asking of them? God wants their obedience! He wants their trust and faith to be in Him, in what He is like and who He is.

1 Corinthians 10:6 tells us that the experiences of the Israelites were examples to "keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did." Do you know who God is? Do you know what God is like? Do you know what God may be asking of you?

[CCU Basketball] You Win Some, You Lose Some

DSC_0948This week we had a double header of basketball on Monday and Tuesday night. The team had a win on Monday night against Berkeley Chinese Baptist Church but a loss against San Bruno Chinese Church on Tuesday. DSC_0814On Monday the guys played great and everyone contributed. They led for most of the game and won 35-26. The top three scorers were Kevin Bowman (6 points) with an "AND 1" plus 3 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist. Next was Jason Ching (6 points) with FOUR of his points coming from free throws at the end of the game (Andre Iguodala could learn a few things from Jason!). Jason also had 2 steals. Lastly Matthew Kwong hit a 3 point shot and a basket for 5 points and 1 steal.

DSC_0876Tony Wong and Jason Chen both contributed 4 points, each with a 3 point shot and a basket and one rebound. Jonathan Ching hit a 3 point shot, Yulin Deng and Emmu Zhou both combined for 2 points each but had monster rebounding games with 4 rebounds a piece. Zihao Zhen (Alex) had one steal and Lemuel Chan had 2 rebounds. Avery Kwan also had a good defensive game with 2 steals and 2 rebounds.

DSC_1133Tuesday's game was a little different. Not sure if the guys were too tired from the night before or too distracted with the Warriors playing at the same time, but they couldn't keep pace with San Bruno Chinese Church. There were multiple chances for them but they couldn't pull it out this time and they lost 23-27.

DSC_1035Matthew Kwong had a big night with 7 points (one 3 point shot, a basket and 2 free throws) as well as grabbing 3 rebounds. Jonathan Ching made two 3 point shots for 6 points. Tony Wong and Jason Ching had a quiet night with only 2 points each. But they made up for it defensively with Tony grabbing 4 rebounds and 1 steal and Jason with 3 rebounds.

DSC_0994Yulin Deng contributed 2 points and 1 steal, and Zihao Zhen (Alex) hit 2 points and 2 steals. Kevin Chow made two free throws for 2 points and grabbed 4 rebounds and 1 steal.

Defensively Jacky Guan picked up 3 rebounds, Lemuel Chan one rebound and one steal and Tao Huang got one steal and one assist. Avery Kwan had another great defensive game with 4 rebounds and a steal.

Although the point of the game is to win, the attitude with which you play and how you respond when you lose are just as important. OK guys, we're looking forward to seeing how you will learn and adjust!

[CCU Basketball] Another in the "W" Column!

If there's one thing I can say for our team, they like to keep it exciting! Friday's game the guys played exceptionally well. They were playing hard and putting up some great defense and led the whole first half 15-9. In the second half, Millbrae Bible Church staged a pretty strong comeback, closing the gap to 1-2 points toward the end of the game. Talk about torture! But with a key steal by Yulin Deng and some clutch free throws by Kevin Bowman, Tony Wong, and Kevin Chow near the end of the game, the team was able to pull out the win 37-31.

20150612lThere were a lot of highlights in the game but I have to say that Jonathan Ching played like an all-star with the high score of 16 points, including FOUR three pointers! He also contributed 5 rebounds and 2 steals. His brother Jason also played well, scoring 6 points with 3 rebounds and 1 steal.

Kevin Bowman put in another strong game with 5 points, 3 of them being free throws when the pressure20150612zi was on. He also grabbed 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Another standout this game was Kevin Chow. He played like a beast scoring 5 points and grabbing two rebounds. He also had a blocked shot that was called a foul (zoom in on the picture!). Tony Wong was a little quiet offensively this game but still contributed 4 points and 4 rebounds and 1 assist. Tao Huang hit one free throw to round off the scoring.

20150612sThe team played terrific defense with Jacky Guan getting 3 steals and 1 rebound, Emmu Zhou grabbing one rebound and Zihao Zhen (Alex) with 2 rebounds. Everyone contributed to a great game. Looking forward to the double header next week on Monday and Tuesday!

20150612uThanks for the great fan support!

Fear vs. Faith (Numbers 13:21-14:9)

150609_fear faithThese past few weeks, we've been looking at the journey of the Israelites after being rescued from Egypt by the Lord God. We saw that right after the dramatic and miraculous escape, the people were led very clearly by a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud (Numbers 9). God led them to the base of Mt. Sinai for close to year, where Moses received the Law and they built the Tabernacle. We saw next that from the very start of the journey, the people complained (Numbers 11). We learned that they had a complaining spirit because they questioned God's love and care for them, they discounted God's power to provide and they did not trust God's purpose and plan for them.

And today they have made it to the very edge of the Promised Land! In Numbers 13:1, the Lord tells Moses to send 12 men to explore the land, which they do for forty days. Afterwards, in Numbers 13:26-27 the men return back to the Israelite community. Their report is that the land is good BUT...

Ten of the men only fix their eyes on the bad: the people who inhabit the land are stronger and bigger than we are. That's it. Forget it. Let's go back to Egypt.

After an astounding rescue from Egypt and two years of faithfully following God to their destination (notwithstanding the complaining), what does the community of God's people do? Actually it might be better to point out what they DON'T do - they don't pray or cry out to God for help, instead Numbers 14:2-3 reads, "All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?...Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?'"

Ouch. Two years of seeing firsthand God's power, provision and presence and their fear swallows their faith in heartbeat.

Except for four valiant souls: Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb. Four versus more than 600,000  fearful men, women and children. But the four are steadfast in their faith: "If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them." (Numbers 14:8-9)

Fear is focusing on the obstacles whereas faith is focusing on the One who can overcome the obstacles. So which side are you on? In the battle between fear vs. faith, where will you stand?

[CCU Basketball] First Win!

Hey sports fans! It's that time of the year again with our CCU Basketball season underway. We started the season off with an exciting win against Holy Spirit, 29-27! ccu3It was back and forth the whole game but SFEFC was able to hold onto the lead in the last few minutes for our season's first win. This year we have 15 players on the roster and it is a tough job for any coach to be able strategically get players minutes but also put the right players in at the right time. Coach Jimmy Chan was able to have a good balance this game.

ccu1The high scorer this game was Tony Wong with 9 points (including one 3 point bucket). Yulin Deng (6 points) and Kevin Bowman (5 points including one 3 point bucket) were a close second. Bowman had a great defensive game with 3 rebounds and another monster blocked shot that is always fun to see. Matthew Kwong added a 3 point shot and Jacky Guan and Jason Chen each added a basket.

ccu2The next game is Friday June 12th at 6:30pm at Mercy High School (please do not park on the school grounds but use the public streets around the gym). Come and cheer them on!

How to Complain (Numbers 11)

150525_How to Complain_newIf you noticed the title of this sermon you may be thinking to yourself, "Is this a typo?" Shouldn't the title be, "How Not to Complain"? Even though complaining is second nature to us, in order for us to have a complaining spirit, there are specific attitudes we must hold. The purpose of the message today is to help bring these to the light of the Holy Spirit, where we can truly be transformed! Last week we talked about what happened after God miraculously rescued the nation of Israel from slavery and oppression in Egypt in order to bring them to the Promised Land.

We saw that it didn't happen immediately. In fact, their journey took longer than they expected. But during that time God was clearly and directly guiding them with a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud and Moses was teaching them the Law that God revealed. And at that point, they obeyed God and followed Moses.

But what was the attitude with which they obeyed? A quick look at Exodus 15, 16, and 17 shows us that from the very beginning, they complained.

In our passage this morning (Numbers 11), things haven't changed at all!

In this story, there are three attitudes that the Israelites had that led to a complaining spirit:

1) They questioned God's love and care for them. In almost all the instances of their complaining, they asked, "Have you brought us out in this desert to kill us? Did you bring us out here to die of thirst? I wish I had the wonderful food that I got free of charge in Egypt..."

2) They discounted God's power. When the Israelites were grumbling about not having any meat, God proclaimed in Ex 16:12 "At twilight you will eat meat and in the morning your will be filled with bread. then you will know that I am the Lord your God."

Even Moses complained to God when it got too much for him. Numbers 11:21-23 reads: But Moses said, "Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot and you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!' Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?" The Lord answered Moses, "Is the Lord's arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

3) They did not trust God's plan. In many of these passages, the Israelites complained that they regretted the decision to leave Egypt. "Why did we ever leave?"

Although it is very easy to be critical of the Israelites, don't we do the exact same things when we complain?

What are the things that we most complain about? I'm sure at one time or another we've thought, "Why are you doing this to me Lord?" This may mean that we question whether or not God really loves and cares about us. Or we may ask, "Why is this happening? Why aren't you doing something about this?" This can mean that we are discounting God's power to help. Or we think, "What is God doing here? I don't understand this. Why should I do things God's way?" which means we don't trust God's plan and purpose.

God's purpose for the Israelites was to rescue them from slavery and oppression and have a relationship with them based on His promise to Abraham in Genesis 15. God did not transport the Israelites to the Promised Land after their rescue because their journey was meant to teach them God's love, presence, provision and power. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 tells us that they were examples for us, a foreshadowing of Christ to come.

God's plan and purpose is not the pursuit of a comfortable and happy life, free from suffering. If that is what you are seeking, you are following the wrong god. Jesus Christ showed us that sometimes the path of God involves the willingness to enter into suffering.

The purpose of God is to rescue us from sin and death and be in relationship with us forever in His kingdom. The good news is that there is a God who loves us, who forgives us and brings us into relationship with Himself when we believe and trust in Christ!

What have you been complaining about lately? Instead of complaining, will you remember and be thankful that God does love and will provide for you? Will you remember and be thankful that God is powerful? Will you remember and be thankful that God has a plan and purpose that will not fail?

 

Are We There Yet? (Numbers 9:15-23)

Are We There YetAs a kid or a parent, "Are we there yet?" is a common question we ask or hear, especially on a long trip. The question highlights the excitement, anticipation and anxiety for the journey. Today I will be starting a three sermon series through some stories in the book of Numbers regarding the nation of Israel's journey from the Egyptian exodus to the brink of the Promised Land.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have God clearly guide you as to exactly where to go and what to do? How many of us have prayed, "Lord if you would just tell me exactly what you want me to do, I will do it"?

In Numbers 9:15-23, the nation of Israel is given clear and specific guidance through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Great! They knew exactly when to go and when to stay put. But the difficult part is they never knew how long they would stay or how long they would travel. It could be two days, a week or a month!

Can you imagine what it would be like to travel like that? How hard it would be to wait for the pillar of cloud/fire to move! What is God doing?

This passage in Numbers comes after the grand story of the exodus. The Israelites had been dramatically rescued from slavery and oppression in Egypt by the mighty works of God through Moses. First it was through the 10 plagues and then later through a miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. They were on their way back home, to the land that God promised to their ancestor Abraham.

Interestingly enough, after the dramatic and grand rescue from Egypt, God didn't miraculously transport them to the Promised Land. Instead the journey took days and weeks and months and years. Numbers 9:1 tells us it is the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. They have been travelling for over a year.

God has been faithfully guiding them but their journey was long and God was teaching the people patience, trust, obedience and God's provision.

Where are you at in your journey with God? Just as God did not transport the Israelites to Egypt after their rescue, Jesus doesn't beam us up to heaven once we receive Christ.

Instead after we have been rescued from sin and death and hell by the precious blood of Christ, we remain here. And in our journey through this life, God is teaching us patience, trust, obedience and God's provision.

Are we there yet?

 

Where Everyone Knows Your Name (John 17:20-26)

150428_timwai"Cheers' was a popular television show in the 1980's that featured a cast of characters who frequented a bar in Boston. What made the show endearing was the community and caring they had for each other. The familiar verse of the theme song encapsulates what the TV show was all about: "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came; you want to be where you can see, troubles are all the same; you want to be where everybody knows your name." Have you ever longed to have that kind of group of friends or be in that kind of loving community? We all have because God built us with a desire for relationship. But sin destroys and hinders our ability to have healthy relationships. In this broken world, there is only one perfect relationship - the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I highlighted this relationship in a sermon last year.

In John 17:20-26, Jesus prayed that we could fully receive the blessings of being invited into that perfect relationship.

In this short passage there are two key topics in prayer: 1) unity and 2) witness

In John 17:21, 22 and 23 Jesus prayed for unity. But what kind of unity was Jesus praying for? A unity of theological viewpoints? of religious practices? Jesus prayed for a unity of relationship as reflected in the Trinity.

John 17:21...that all of them may be one Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us...

Two important points about this type of unity: 1) Because Jesus prayed for unity, it gives us a clue that the power for unity must be rooted in prayer; 2) the model of unity is the relationship between the Father and the Son.

A second key topic in this passage is witness.

The church is able to show the world who God is because of their unity.

John 17:21 May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me...I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

The main tools that Jesus equipped the church for the purpose of sharing the good news is the Holy Spirit (John 14-16, Acts 1) and our love relationship with God in Christ and with each other!

The church has oftentimes failed in unity because it has merely been focused on an outward unity of theological knowledge or religious practices rather than a unity focused in the love between God the Father and God the Son.

How do we begin to build relationships that model this love? Three things are necessary in building relationships: time, experiences and transparency. Each of these things takes time and energy and effort. But as we make time for each other, as we experience events and life together and as we open ourselves to share what is really going on in our lives, the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for will start to happen.

Can we be committed to becoming a congregation that can show the world who God is by our unity?