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Sunday Recap for June 18, 2017:
Heavenly Intrusion

(Left to right, top to bottom: Cristian, Alicia, Paul, Janice, Aidan, Toby, Kellan, Rebekah, Ronan, Leon, Matt, and Ryan)

Mission Highlight: This Sunday, we sent off the Spain team as they are leaving this week. We briefly went over why we are going (if you missed it please look at the Mission Highlight from this archived newsletter), and then Seng led us in prayer. Let's continue to pray for the Spain team!

We pray for:
- their safety, security and a smooth journey,
- their personal and relational growth that will help them bear witness to the reality of Jesus Christ’s redeeming work in and through them,
- them to remember that you are salt and light,
- and that they are his ambassadors, bearing his message of reconciliation -- not only to others, but to one another ...
… especially during difficult moments in the trip.

Mighty God, Loving Father in Heaven,
Thank you for the opportunity you have given Christ Church to serve Església Evangèlica de Vilassar de Mar and the people of that town. Help the team that is going there to build relationships with and within that church and the community it serves, and help them all to reach even others beyond it. Remove and bring to nothing any opposition or obstacles that come in the way. Help them bring a time of refreshing to Steve and Naimé and their children. Watch over these, your servants:
Toby, Rebekah, Aidan, Ronan, and Kellan; Alicia and Christian, Janice and Paul, Ryan and Matt, and Leon, as they travel together. Build a new unity among them.

Father, whether the sense of anticipation is high or low for some of them, work through this experience so that they will come back even more in awe of you, and in love with all those you call to yourself. In their travels, may they be careful, but not afraid, and may they safely arrive at their destinations. May they have days full of wonder, but not be over-tired, and may they start afresh each morning, with generous hearts, quick to forgive, ready to overlook faults, and eager to build one another up even as they go about the work you have called them to.

Grant them a smooth journey, with patience and readiness to think of and see the best in each other, so that they may be free to behold the goodness of your mercies, provision and the creation you have placed them in, to know and love you more, and one another as themselves. Remind each one, Father that they never journey beyond your loving care and presence

in Jesus, our Lord,
Amen
Question #22: Why must the Redeemer be truly human?
 
Answer: That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses.
This Week's Sermon: “Heavenly Intrusion" (Genesis 1:28)
 

“Because we are so fundamentally creatures, being aimed at the Creator, so to speak, is a necessary condition for being fully or properly human.” (James K.A. Smith)
 
“We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most human, is still soaked with the sense of exile.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)
 
“That which is not God can never satiate the heart exclusively created for God’s presence.” (A.W. Tozer)
 
Main Idea: Purpose comes from presence.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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Sunday Recap for June 11, 2017:
Transfigured

Church Family Picnic next Sunday, June 18th, after service!

Please join us at Off the Grid at the Presidio after church for a time to hang out over a meal! You can bring a lunch or buy from one of the many food trucks there. We will be meeting at Rick's Tree, as indicated on this map!

We hope to see you there!
Two Children's Ministry Volunteers needed!!!
(Two of our volunteers are having babies soon!)

One Sunday Coordinator: helps check in kids, greet families, checks in on classrooms to see if they need an extra hand.

One Grade School Assistant: supports the grade school teacher, is an extra adult in the room. 

It is an excellent opportunity to love and support the families at our church, and to pass down to the future generation of saints the same love, care, and discipleship that was passed down to us from Jesus and his apostles. Please email Janice if you are interested!!!
Coming up in two weeks!! We hope you can make it! For more information that Billy shared during his Mission Highlight click here!
Pictured (from top left to bottom right): Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, SF Mayor Ed Lee, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, SF Board of Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer, Mark Farrell, Aaron Peskin, Katy Teng, London Breed, Jane Kim, Normal Yee, Jeff Sheehy, Hillary Ronen, Malia Cohen, Ahsha Safaí, SF Board of Education Shamann Walton, Hydra Medoza-McDonnell, Stevon Cook, Matt Haney, Emily Murase, Rachel Norton, Mark Sanchez)

Mission Highlight: Thank you Chad for leading us in prayer for our elected leaders! Thank you for reminding us that instead of purely seeking our elected leaders to govern well for our own personal benefit, it is good to seek good governance for the good of the whole city and community. Also, it was a good reminder to see that all of our elected leaders are human, broken image-bearers of God, just like us, who need God, who need Jesus. Thank you for leading us in prayer for each individual by name, that they may have wisdom and a relationship with God, and for the different needs and challenges of Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. We also prayed for our leaders to look out especially for the oppressed and those who are vulnerable and weak, and for our SF Board of Education that they might act in the interest of all children. Let's continue to pray for our leaders as the Bible commands us to! Thank God he is listening and cares for us!
This Week's Sermon: “Transfigured" (Mark 9:2-13)
 

“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)
 
 “God has spoken clearly and decisively in His Beloved Son . . . For Jesus is the descent of God to our lives, just as they are, not the ascent of our lives to God, hoping he might approve when he sees how hard we try.” (Eugene H. Peterson)
 
Main Idea: If we do not see Jesus as All-powerful God, Ruler over all men, and Supreme Judge, our understanding of Him as Savior is incomplete.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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Sunday Recap for June 4, 2017:
The Jesus We Know

Mission Highlight: Thank you Sameh for sharing your testimony and about your ministry to the Muslim community here in the Bay through the Crescent Project. Sameh was persecuted as a nominal Christian growing up in Egypt in the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood. He struggled with feelings of hatred, anger and bitterness towards God, his family, himself, other Christians and Muslims. Even through losing close friends and family members, enduring arrests and torture in jail, God brought Sameh to faith and saved him into a genuine relationship and love with him, and also allowed Sameh to seek and receive asylum in the United States. God also showed Sameh to love those whom God loves, including Muslims whom Sameh serves and ministers to in the Bay Area. Let's please continue to pray for Sameh, for his ministry, and for Muslims in the Bay Area! Let us pray for God to richly bless and reveal himself to them, and for life abundant in Jesus Christ.
Question #21: What sort of Redeemer is needed to bring us back to God?
 
Answer: One who is truly human and also truly God.
This Week's Sermon: “The Jesus We Know" (Mark 1-8)
 

“The whole Christian gospel could be summed up in this point: that when the living God looks at us, at every baptized and believing Christian, he says to us what he said to Jesus on that day. He sees us, not as we are in ourselves, but as we are in Jesus Christ. It sometimes seems impossible, especially to people who have never had this kind of support from their earthly parents, but it’s true: God looks at us, and says, ‘You are my dear, dear child; I’m delighted with you.’ Try reading that sentence slowly, with your own name at the start, and reflect quietly on God saying that to you, both at your baptism and every day since.”  (N.T. Wright)
 
Main Idea: Discipleship is relationship.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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Sunday Recap for May 28, 2017:
The Resurrection and the Life

Mission Highlight: Thank you Luke for sharing about District 6 where you live! We believe that followers of Jesus are called and sent out to love and serve our city, so we seek to learn and understand to be better equipped to do so. Some facts about District 6:

District 6 encompasses the Tenderloin, SoMa, North Mission, Civic Center, South Beach, Mission Bay, Treasure Island and Downtown neighborhoods. 
  • This is the fastest growing part of the city, with a 35% increase in the last 10 years and a current population of over 90,000. 
  • District 6 is estimated to be 50% White, 25% Asian, 15% Hispanic, and 10% Black.
  • Over 40% of the residents of District 6 were born overseas.
  • About 45% of the residents of District 6 have a bachelors degree or higher.
Ideas for prayer: City Impact, YWAM’s services in the Tenderloin, Epic Church, and the other church plants in the district.

Let's continue to love, serve, and pray together for the people of District 6!
Question #20: Who is the Redeemer?
 
Answer: The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.
This Week's Sermon: “The Resurrection and the Life" (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
 

John Calvin, “There is no element and no part of the world which, being touched, as it were, with a sense of its present misery, does not intensely hope for a resurrection.”
 
Tim Keller, “Jesus is not saying, “I will be resurrected,” though he will be, and he’s not saying, “I will show you how you can live so you will be resurrected.” He’s not saying that either. He’s saying, “I am the resurrection. I am your resurrection. I am the way anybody gets resurrected. My resurrection is yours. I have been raised for you.”
 
Main Ideas: The world is fallen and that should break our hearts. There is hope as we anticipate resurrection.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

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Sunday Recap for May 21, 2017:
The Christ

Mission Highlight: Thank you Malia for sharing about Because Justice Matters and the upcoming summer social (link to tickets here)! If you missed it, please check out the video! Also, here is information about the summer social. We hope to see you there!

"The theme of this year’s event is CREATED, celebrating the diverse ways that creativity builds community as we actively participate in God's vision for transformation. 

Savor inspired culinary delights, hosted wine, beer and other beverages while experiencing a free-flowing variety of short performances, dance, music, spoken word, photography and live painting, highlighting the local arts community and some special BJM participants.

Hear uplifting testimonies from women and girls whose lives are being transformed through your partnership with BJM. 

The event is conveniently located South of Market at the SOMArts Cultural Center, a vibrant exhibit space and theater. 

In addition to being a great way to connect, have fun and be inspired, the Created Summer Social is BJM’s strategic fundraiser for 2017. Proceeds support vitally needed programs at The Well, BJM’s center for women and girls in the Tenderloin. 

These diverse programs include dance classes and mentorship for girls, ESL for Arabic-speaking women, Mother’s Brunch, Nail Day, Chit Chat Café and so much more!

Purchase your tickets today and get this extraordinary night on your calendar. Share the link and invite friends, co-workers, family and community group members to the perfect after-work, socially conscious mixer. But please do it quick before the event is sold out!

Thanks for being a great supporter of Because Justice Matters."
Question #18: Is there any way to escape punishment and be brought back into God's favor?
 
Answer: Yes, to satisfy his justice, God himself, out of mere mercy, reconciles us to himself and delivers us from sin and from the punishment for sin, by a Redeemer.
This Week's Sermon: “The Christ" (Mark 8:27-38)
 

“Self-denial is not giving up sweets for Lent. Our cross is not some painful personal trial that we have to bear. Self-denial is to turn away from the idolatry of self-centeredness… Self-denial is denying myself to myself. It is repudiating the idolatry of self-preoccupation. This is what it means to deny yourself and take up your cross…A true disciple involves a change so radical that that no imagery can do it justice other than death and resurrection. A life of love and unselfishness in the service of Christ.” (John Stott)
 
“Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.” (Augustine)
 
Main Idea: Who Christ is shapes who his followers are.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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In Memory of Scott Johnston

We were shocked and saddened to learn last week that Scott Johnston had passed away suddenly.  

Some of you will remember him - a tall, polite, gentle figure, unassuming, quiet and soft-spoken. He first came to Christ Church in the middle of December 2016. After receiving rehabilitative care at Walden House, he moved back to Vallejo in the middle of March. We prayed for him as a congregation on March 11th, just before he left.

To anyone who knew Scott for even a short time, his deep yearning and love for God would have been evident. Scott believed that it was because God first loved him, and he very much wanted his young family to know this love by being a good husband and father to them. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Thursday, May 25th, at The Church on the Hill in Vallejo. Please let us know if you would like to attend. The family welcomes anyone who knew Scott or would like to just be present with those he loved.

If you'd like to express support, encouragement, and offer help in a different way, additional details are at this link. Mandy has initiated a gofundme campaign on behalf of his family.

Sunday Recap for May 14, 2017:
Relationship Requires Trust

Mission Highlight: Thank you Toby for sharing more about our church's upcoming trip to Spain this summer! The people going this summer are Toby, Rebekah, Aidan, Ronan, Kellan, Eduardo, Tania, Lucas, Ryan, Matt, Leon, Alicia, Cristian, Paul, and Janice. We will be teaching and/or volunteering at an English Camp in Vilassar de Mar, at a church plant that Steve Phillips, our ministry partner, and we support. We had initially planned on going to a different city, at Steve's new church plant, but because of the success of the previous years' English camps and their effectiveness in ministering to the community, they asked us to help with English Camp again. Toby went over the perception of Christianity in this region--the suspicion towards it and its followers as cultish and self-centered. By going over and providing a great English camp--that is extremely well done and fun and warm to be at--as greatly improved the reputation of Christianity and the in the area. Though it is extremely hard or almost impossible to have an impact on a community in such a short time period of time, going over and supporting this church's English Camp has been effective in building relationships, creating bridges, and changing perceptions, giving our sister church opportunity to welcome more neighbors and give them a chance to respond to the gospel. 
Spain Fundraiser!!! Paella Dinner!!!! Please Come!!!

We have already sent out a couple of emails, but in case you forgot or wanted the Eventbrite link again, please come to our Paella Fundraiser Dinner! It is a great way to support our team and participate in our church's global ministry while eating some delicious food with church family!!!
This Week's Sermon: “Relationship Requires Trust" (Mark 8:1-26)
 
 “We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we can always trust God’s heart.” (Charles Spurgeon)
 
“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.” (Augustine)
 
Main Idea: Trust Jesus.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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Sunday Recap for May 7, 2017:
Man's Ways vs. God's Ways

Mission Highlight: Thank you Alicia for sharing the Mission Highlight this Sunday about going to Spain with a team from our church this summer! Alicia is 15 years old, a current sophomore in high school, and a part of our youth group. This summer she will be traveling to Spain with other volunteers from our church at our sister church's English camp in Vilassar de Mar. Throughout her entire life, Alicia has always been inspired to travel, meet new people from different ethnic backgrounds, and experience cultures unfamiliar to her. She decided to go on this trip because she knew it will be an amazing opportunity and she believes it is very important to help other people grow in language as well as grow in language herself. This trip is meaningful to her because she wants to know that she can help people and be reaffirmed in her abilities, gain confidence and be able to teach others. Although she doesn't know what God might want to do in her heart and life through this trip, she hopes that God will guide her and show her how to live her life for him. She asks that we pray for the team's safe journey and that they get the most spiritually out of this experience, and also for our friends in Spain that we are intending to teach and get to know. 
Question #18: Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?
 
Answer: No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against his righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in his just judgment both in this life, and the life to come.
This Week's Sermon: “Man's Ways vs. God's Ways" (Mark 7:1-37)
 

“He is not saying that if we get in touch with our deepest feelings, or learn to listen to what our heart is truly telling us, we will find our real identity and thereby discover happiness, fulfilment, or whatever. He is insisting that good and bad external and physical actions come from internal and spiritual sources, and that therefore the poisoned wells of human motivation are the real problem to which the purity laws are pointing.” (N.T. Wright)
 
“The Messiah would be ordained to expel and subdue the Gentiles, not to visit and embrace them…From a socioreligious perspective, Jesus’ visit to Tyre universalizes the concept of Messiah in terms of geography, ethnicity, gender, and religion in a way entirely unprecedented in Judaism.” (James Edwards)
 
Main: Hear and understand Jesus.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

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Sunday Recap for April 30, 2017:
The One Thing I Didn't Know I Had to Endure

Mission Highlight: Thank you Billy for sharing the Mission Highlight this week! Here is some of what Billy shared: "My cousin Benson Chiu went on his first missions trip to Thailand in 2006. He and a few friends felt called to keep going back. Eventually, I was able to go with him and a team in 2010 to an orphanage named Khaodee (over 100 kids) and I have been supporting a ministry they started called ReActs in one way or another ever since. It’s a powerful testimony of 4 ordinary men who grew up in San Francisco and saw a need on a short term trip and felt called to help. ReActs has been an amazing testimony of faithfulness over the years despite these guys having their own families with many kids and jobs here in San Francisco. In fact one of the boys they helped, Yo (amazing testimony) now runs their Children’s home.

How you can get involved or help?
  • ReActs is holding their 7th annual charity dinner that has grown to over 250 people. Featuring band Tim Be Told #christianfamous 
  • Those with kids there is also babysitting at $10 a kid (pretty good deal for parents for 4 hrs) 
  • 99% of proceeds go directly to the kids in Thailand for basic needs, education, and  equipping them with the gospel 
  • They will also raffle off Hamilton tickets and other items, last year was warriors playoff tickets 
Website: http://www.reactsministries.org
Contact: Billy Chiu bhoskers@gmail.com 
Question #17: What is idolatry?
 
Answer: Idolatry is trusting in created things rather than the Creator for our hope and happiness, significance and security.
This Week's Sermon: “The One Thing I Didn't Know I Had to Endure" (2 Timothy 4:1-8)
 

Thank you, Pastor Curt, for sharing with us the Word of God with us on Sunday. If you did not have a chance to listen, please listen to this recording of his sermon about what it means to endure the sound teaching of God!

Sermon Application Questions
This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

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Sunday Recap for April 23, 2017:
The Compassionate Shepherd

Mission Highlight: Community Groups at Christ Church
 
To Know and Be Known
 
Community Group (CG) participants are called to do an important part of the ongoing work of our church.
 
We encourage everyone to purposefully engage in this work of knowing and being known by others: learning one another’s life story and sharing what’s significant to us.
 
That’s why our small groups are called ‘Community Groups.’ Communities are where deeper, long-term relationships are built. They don’t happen overnight or without intentionality. They do provide the foundation on which we can speak the gospel into each other’s lives and remind one another of the acceptance, security, purpose, and worth that each one has in Jesus Christ.
 
How do CGs fit into the broader purpose of the church?
 
Purpose of Community Groups
 
In Christ, the church is called and preserved by God as a community elected for eternal life. Our heavenly father unites his people – his family – by faith, to love, follow, and worship him together. God sends this community to proclaim the gospel and represent Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.
 
The quality of life we have – or give to others – depends on the quality of our relationships. Not only that, the spheres of the city we inhabit – including our family, neighborhood, school, workplace, and social spheres – all these are likewise impacted by the quality of the relationships we build and inhabit.  
 
At Christ Church, we believe that God uses relationships to transform us – to sanctify us – as we obey the great commandment to love God with all that we are, and our neighbor as ourselves. According to Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church, God chose us to be saved through sanctification by the work of the Spirit and our belief in the truth (2 Ths. 2:13).
 
Community Groups are the vital fulcrum of the church – the support on which the Holy Spirit moves like a powerful lever. They are an important setting in which people   experience (hear, see, feel and know) the love of God. They are a safe place where our members can remind one another of the gospel and help one another walk through life in faith, hope, and obedience to Christ. In other words, Community Groups are where people get cared for – whether in celebration of one part of their life story, or in prayer and support for a challenge, setback, or struggle they’re facing in another.
 
That’s why we want to be a church of Community Groups, not a church with Community Groups added on. Sunday services at Christ Church do the big work of reminding us of who God is, that we are loved by him and invited to join his mission. But between and beyond Sundays, it is a particular group of brothers and sisters who know you, your motivations and struggles, and who can speak in specific ways into your heart.
 
You need this from them, and they need this from you: to be exhorted, encouraged, shown mercy, cared and prayed for, and engaged in deeper ways. Community Group is the place where particular relationships grow to support this work. So if you want to be in a church to attend a service, you’ll come on Sundays. But if you want the church to be in your life, you’ll come to a Community Group.
 
Participation
 
Membership in a Community Group is never about whether someone is “in” or “out”. We want people who are trying out Christ Church, and need to take time, to do that in a way that’s comfortable for them. We want to respect whatever choice they make without any judgment. They can visit any Community Group that’s open without joining it.  
 
People may sometimes find that they get asked more than once whether they would like to visit a Community Group. We want to exercise sensitivity and apply good judgment. If people do get invited more than once, our hope is that they will see that not as insistence on our part, but as an emphasis, an acknowledgement that they are present in our midst, and as an offer of fellowship. We do not want anyone to ever feel ignored or left at the margins. We want to make it as easy as possible for anyone to join in.
 
How They Work
 
Our Community Groups are not built on a cookie-cutter model, and do not follow a common curriculum. Each group decides the content and activity it wants to pursue at a given time, according to what best suits the needs of its members and allows them to discover and express their gifts. They may follow along with the sermon series, or study specific issues (like marriage or finances), or particular sections of Scripture.
 
But their common DNA is made up of three main components: Care, Discipleship and Mission, corresponding to our vision to live as a community that’s being transformed in Christ, together, for the city.
 
Our meetings follow a two-semester rhythm: August to December, and January to May, so there are two major ‘on-ramps’ for people to join. But anyone can come in anytime into any group that’s open. We want to keep growing and multiplying our CGs and not be a top-down church, but a church of believers who are living out and acting on their faith to extend God’s kingdom, starting in their own homes and reaching further into the city.
Question #16: What is sin?
 
Answer: Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law--resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.
This Week's Sermon: “The Compassionate Shepherd" (Mark 6:34)
 
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
(Mark 6:34)
 
“God loves us more than a father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves.” (John Chrysostom)
 
“We have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because the Lord is my shepherd.” (Charles Spurgeon)
 
Main Idea: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.


Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

Don't Forget!
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  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for Easter, April 16, 2017:
The Jesus You Don't Know

Good Friday Service (4/14), Prayer Book Cross, Golden Gate Park.
Preschool/toddler kids sing "Alive! Alive!" and Grade school kids sing "Christ Arose."
Seng is installed as elder!
This Week's Sermon: “The Jesus You Don't Know" (Mark 6:1-6)
 
"What is beyond dispute is that in the ministry of two or three years Jesus attracted and infuriated his contemporaries, mesmerized and alienated the ancient world. Unleashed a movement that has done the same ever since and thus changed the course of history forever." (J.P. Meyer)
 

Main idea: How you see Jesus shapes how you see yourself.


Sermon Slides This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

Praise God for the baptisms and the new lives in Christ they signified! And for stopping the rain briefly for them!! :) And thank you Jeff J. for taking all of these beautiful pictures!!!
Don't Forget!
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  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for April 9, 2017:
Lord of All

Mission Highlight: Thank you Amanda for sharing about tutoring at City Academy! If you are interested in learning how to get involved, please email her! And if you missed what she shared, it is copied below:

Most of you are familiar with City Impact and the work they do in the Tenderloin, which is ultimately focused on bringing the light of Jesus into one of the darkest places in the city. City Academy is the K-8 private school for students living in the Tenderloin. City Academy’s vision is to revitalize the Tenderloin through education, recognizing that these children’s best way out of a perpetual lifestyle of poverty and crime is through education. SFCA’s mission statement is “to empower urban children and release them to excel academically, physically, spiritually, and socially.” And they have been doing just that - since 2008, 83% of the graduates have attended or are attending college.
 
City Academy relies a lot on volunteers and donations. I started volunteering with the Homework Club in March of last year. This was a time for students to stay after school once a week to catch up on their homework or receive help and there would be a few volunteers available to work with the students as needed.
 
This program sort of disappeared/morphed into something new at the beginning of the new school year when I was the only volunteer. So I was partnered with a first grade student, Amayran, who needed some help with reading. In the midst of working on her academics, we also became friends, sometimes spending the last few minutes before her parents came playing together. It is exciting to see her making progress in school.
 
This semester and especially over the past month, the program has expanded to between 5 and 7 kids, ranging in age from first to fourth grade, needing help in primarily math and reading. The first grade teacher, Mrs. Chea, organizes this after school tutoring program and she is amazing.  It is an inspiration to see her pour herself into the kids even when she has had a long day and still has lesson planning to do. Even still, we’ve gotten to the point where she and I cannot give the students the one-on-one attention they really need.
 
Will you prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to volunteer with inner city kids? Not only is it making a difference in the lives of the kids - being a steady adult influence and helping them succeed academically - I know it is impacting me too. I am growing in dependence on God and he is expanding my heart for his people in all situations. Right after we took these pictures, one of the students prayed for me, about my sharing with all of you, and in her prayer she asked God to help me understand that they love me as family. I know that God is pleased with our efforts and he is at work in this place.
 
Logistically, the tutoring program is after school on Wednesdays from 3-4:30pm. A commitment up front is not required although ultimately, we are looking for people that could commit to a semester or a year at a time. Experience is definitely valuable but not necessary. I had never tutored before starting out with City Academy. All we are looking for is people who have a heart to love these students and a desire to see them grow. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me or Rebecca Hsu, SFCA’s Development Coordinator. Some other opportunities connected with City Academy include student sponsorship, which involves financial support for their tuition; mentorship; and the City Impact Conference coming up this summer.
Question #15: Since no one can keep the law, what is its purpose?
 
Answer: That we may know the holy nature and will of God, and the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts; and thus our need of a Savior. The law also teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our Savior.
This Week's Sermon: “Lord of All” (Mark 5)

“The gospel does say that through it you find your life, but that first you must lose your life. I must say to people, “Christ will 'work' for you only if you are true to him whether he works for you or not. You must not come to him because he is fulfilling (though he is) but because he is true. If you seek to meet him in order to get your needs met, you will not meet him or get your needs met. To become a Christian is not to get help for your agenda, but to take on a whole new agenda—the will of God. You must obey him because you owe him your life, because he is your Creator and Redeemer.”
(Timothy Keller)
 
Main Idea: Jesus is the Lord of all (Spiritual and Physical Worlds).

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

Don't Forget!
  • Sign up for the online newsletter! You can go to christchurchsf.org/#newsletter!
  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for April 2, 2017:
The King

Church Family Picnic next Sunday, April 9th after service!
Please join us next Sunday for a Church Family Picnic at Off the Grid at the Presidio! Bring a lunch or buy from a food truck there! We will be meeting by Rick's Tree (map above). It will be a great time of fellowship as a church family and we hope to see you there!
Special Announcement: We are transitioning to a giving platform called FinchGive over the next number of weeks for our online giving. We will not fully transition off the City, our current giving platform, until we have helped everyone transition over. We have been using a platform called The City for the last 6+ years, but their giving platform is no longer cost competitive.

We also no longer use The City for church-wide communication and planning events because it has not been updated and is too cumbersome and costly. 

The FinchGive platform will be embedded into our website at christchurchsf.org/give. It is very quick to set up an account for recurring giving if you would like to do so. FinchGive will save us about 1.5% of our total online giving as well as about $1,200 a year in additional fees associated with The City. FinchGive is also maintained by our outside accounting firm Finch & Company, so it will be more efficient for Finch to manage our finances. 

Since about half of our giving is done online, we are making this move because we believe it is better stewardship of the resources God has called us to steward. If you would like to know more about how Christ Church views Financial Stewardship there is a handout on the Resource Table in the lobby.

We are grateful for the generous giving of this congregation and for the many ways that has enabled us to serve our church, this city, and our international ministry partners.
Question #14: Did God create us unable to keep his law?
 
Answer: No, but because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all of creation is fallen; we are born in sin and guilt, corrupt in our nature and unable to keep God's law.
Please check out the next Veritas Forum, which Pastor Toby has been a part of. It will take place on Wednesday, April 19th at the SF Jazz Center, and it will be a great opportunity to have respectful, loving, peaceful discourse and build bridges of understanding between Muslims and Christians. We hope to see you there!
This Week's Sermon: “The King” (Mark 4:21-41)
 
“How you arrange the plot points of your life into a narrative can shape who you are—and is a fundamental part of being human.” (Julie Beck, The Atlantic)
 
“Everything that we believe is filtered through our plausibility structures — belief-forming apparatus that acts as a gatekeeper, letting in evidence that is matched against what we already consider to be possible. Plausibility structures filter out claims that we believe cannot be reasonable or potentially true.” (Joe Carter)
 
“Despite inauspicious beginnings and the absence of human involvement, the seed contains within itself fruit-bearing potential. The seed, like the gospel, prospers of itself, and once sown sets in motion a process that leads to harvest…The faith that Jesus requires of disciples is to sleep and rise in humble confidence that God has invaded this troubled world not with a crusade but with a seed, an imperceptible [subversive force] that will grow into a fruitful harvest.” (James Edwards)
 
Main Idea: The Kingdom of God is the only governing reality for life.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know

Don't Forget!
  • Sign up for the online newsletter! You can go to christchurchsf.org/#newsletter!
  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for March 26, 2017:
The Sower

Mission Highlight: Praise God for our new members, Kevin, Riva, Sara, Andrew, Phil and Wendy! They affirmed their intention, with God’s help, to live loving and holy lives that reflect Christ; to maintain unity with and mutually encourage others in the body as they serve together; to commit themselves to growing in the truth of God’s Word, and to pray for our church and all in it, as well as those who have not yet put their faith in Christ. Pastor Toby, on behalf of existing members, affirmed the commitment of all to love, encourage, teach, admonish, comfort and exhort them to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ and His Word.
Question #9: Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?
 
Answer: Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.
This Week's Sermon: The Sower” (Mark 4:1-20)
 
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:9)
 
“In the details about the soils there is reflection on the diversity of response to the proclamation of the Word of God, but this is not the primary consideration. The central point concerns the coming of the Kingdom of God. God is in the center of the action.” (William L. Lane)
 
“The Christian should neither withdraw from the world, nor be lost in the midst of the world. Instead, the Christian should bring the reign of God and the world into collision.” (Jacques Ellul)
 
Main Idea: Jesus is always sowing.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: The Jesus We Know