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Sunday Recap for October 6, 2019:
The Law of Perfect Freedom

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Steffen, for sharing the mission highlight on District 9.

"Good morning, Christ Church. My name is Steffen and I have been part of Christ Church for the past year and half.

We believe that as followers of Jesus, we are sent out to love, to serve, and to share the good news of Jesus. Each week, we have a Mission Highlight to direct our attention to a specific area where God is at work, and some of these highlights include the various districts within our city.

Today, I have the opportunity to share with you all about District 9, where I spent my first two years living in the city. I recently moved to a new place in the city at the end of the summer, and as I moved, I was able to spend more time reflecting on my experience in District 9 -- what makes this part of the city special and how it made me feel at home in the time that I lived there.

We share about the various districts in the city in order that we might love and serve our city -- in order for us to do so, we must know the city, so I'll start with "What is District 9?" District 9 is comprised of the Mission District, Bernal Heights, and the Portola. The sides of the district are shaped in part by the northbound 101 to the east and Valencia St to the west, stretching from just above 14th St down to Mansell St below the 280. 

District 9 includes a total population of 86,000, with over half of its residents residing in family households. The median year of the structures built in this district is 1956, so much of the physical lay-out of the area has been in place for a number of decades. Nearly 30% of its residents fall in the 18-34 age range, including many SF transplants much like myself. 

Valencia St is perhaps the best example of how the neighborhood has changed and continues to evolve. While you can still find a great hole-in-the-wall taqueria, you will often find it in between a trendy boutique and an artisanal coffee shop, or a hip new bar or restaurant and a tasty ice cream pop-up.

I found my home in this neighborhood in many places: A grand tour of the neighborhood taquerias in search for the best al pastor -- my personal favorites are Taqueria Cancun and Taqueira El Buen Sabor; a weeknight pick-up soccer league at John O'Connell High School; rooftop views from the terrace of El Techo; a cleverly creative indoor mini-golf adventure at Urban Putt; and some of the most beautiful views of the city atop Bernal Heights Summit. 

The district may also be recognizable for the bustling life surrounding the 24th St BART stop, the many shows performed at the Greek-style Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, the popular climbing gym at Mission Cliffs, arthouse cinemas like the Alamo Drafthouse and the Roxie Theater, and multiple Michelin star restaurants -- Lazy Bear, Californios, and Al's Place, to name a few.

In terms of public schools, District 9 has 9 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 4 high schools, and 1 college. The district also has 2 police stations and 3 public libraries. 

The district is estimated to be 24% Asian, 4% African American, 47% White, 36% Latino, and 1% Native. The district's unemployment rate is 7% and its poverty demographic is 12%. 45% of residents hold at least a bachelor's degree, and 35% hold a high school degree or less. 39% of residents are foreign-born. 48% speak only English, and 30% speak only Spanish. 

District 9 holds a special place in my heart, and I pray that each of us would have a heart weighted with a care for this part of the city, asking God to guide our eyes to see the opportunities we will have to love with true sincerity, serve with true humility, and share the gospel with true joy and gratitude. Please join me in lifting District 9 up in prayer now."

Link to this Week's Sermon: “The Law of Perfect Freedom" (Exodus 19:1-20:21)
 
“The Tenth Commandment signals a revolution and prepares the way for it. This revolution comes to fruition in the New Testament. If Jesus never speaks in terms of prohibitions and always in terms of models and imitation, it is because he draws out the full consequences of the lesson offered by the tenth commandment. It is not due to inflated self-love that he asks us to imitate him; it is to turn us away from destructive imitation.” (Rene Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lightening)

“Jesus is a teacher who doesn’t just inform our intellect but forms our very loves. He isn’t content to simply deposit new ideas into your mind; he is after nothing less than your wants, your loves, your longings.” (James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love)

 
Main Idea: True human freedom is only found in God
 
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness
1. Unity Worship Night (Sunday 10/13 6pm) hosted by Cornerstone SF - A night for the churches of San Francisco to gather, to praise God, and to take communion together. Location: Primary Room, Archbishop Riordan High School  - 175 Frida Kahlo Way, SF, CA 94112  
2. Welcome Lunch is on Sunday 10/20. New to Christ Church or want to get better connected? We'd love to take you out to lunch, get to know you, and answer any questions you might have. Interested? Email April
3. Members Gathering, Saturday 11/2, 6-8pm, County Fair Building, an evite will be sent out.
4. Middle school and high school volunteers needed. Serve just once a month. Please contact Mel.
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for September 29, 2019:
Better Together

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Joseph, for sharing the mission highlight on District 8.

"Hi everyone my name is Joseph Ooi and I have been part of Christ Church for the last 2 years.

I’m up here today because it turns out that I am the only one here who lives in District #8, so I am here as the unofficial representative for our monthly “in order to love the city, we must know the city” mission highlight.

Where is District 8? District 8 is in the south central part of SF. As you are heading down Market Street going south and getting to the end of the long straight road, you start to catch sight of a large rainbow flag in the distance. You’re in District 8. The rainbow flag is the Castro, and District 8 covers everything from Duboce Triangle and Buena Vista Park/Corona Heights down to Diamond Heights and Glen Park, picking up Twin Peaks on the west side (best pano-grams of the city) and parts of the Mission on the east side, all the way up to Bi Rite Creamery and Tartine Bakery.

That rainbow flag is where my Muni train stops when I get back from work every day. It is also sits right above a massive “Soulcycle” sign. IF I decide to walk back up the hill instead of taking a bus, I would walk past the Philz, where occasionally I treat myself to an iced Mint Mojito, the restaurant Slurp, which has the best garlic noodles ever, and La Tortilla, where a displaced person living in the Golden Gate Park said was his favorite Al Pastor tacos ever.

Two streets up, the hill starts to get real steep and I start to second guess my decision to walk. About 15 minutes later, I get to 22nd St, and if you turn left, you might walk past a house where Joseph lives. 

This is Noe Valley (although we’re technically on the “top-of-the-hill” section not the “valley” section). In the morning, it’s full of dog-walkers in lululemons and parents with young kids. Some head down the other side of the hill to 24th St, where there is a Whole Foods, a Starbucks, another Philz, at least 2 wine stores, and a Saturday farmers market, among a bunch of other stores. During Halloween, our street, 22nd, gets swarms of families and kids decked out in costumes trick-or-treating. 

If I walk northeast down to Mission-Dolo on a sunny Saturday morning, or afternoon once the fog has burned off, it’s usually swarming with 20- 30-somethings sitting on picnic mats, playing spikeball, or patronizing the “truffle guy”.

A few streets from Dolo, Mark Zuckerburg owns a house. He purchased it in 2012 for $10mm, which was 8x what it sold for 15 years before. For the fellow finance minded folks, that’s a 15% annual increase.

District 8 is estimated to be 75% White, 13% Hispanic, 12% Asian, and 3% Black, 20% of the residents of District 8 were born overseas, and 73% of the residents of District 8 have a bachelors degree or higher.

There are no apartment complexes in Noe Valley. I can’t help but think that everyone around looks like a well-off family. But then again, that is frequently reflective of San Francisco.

On some weekends, it feels like a trek to trudge up and down the hill. I can be pretty lazy. Up in Noe Valley, we are pretty isolated from the poverty and the grime in the Tenderloin, the Mission, and even in the Castro. But what is a city on a hill good for, if not to shine its light. That is our mission - to descend into the valleys where there is darkness and despair, shadow and strife, to walk alongside those who are hurting, and to yet fear no evil because of his rod and his staff. Because we are the church, the ekklesia, the assembly that is called out - out of the comfort of our hilltop into the valleys.

I would like to invite you to join me in praying for: the well-to-dos and the displaced, the families with kids, the young adults who are seeking, Reality SF and the role of the church, District Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and the local government."
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Better Together" (Exodus 17:8-18:27)
 
“There is another reason—a more important reason—why God had Moses record Israel’s victory over the Amalekites. He wanted his people to remember what he did for them, so that whenever they came under attack, they would look to him for their salvation. Israel’s warfare was not over. They would have to fight many battles—spiritual and otherwise—before they reached the Promised Land, as well as within it. But if they remembered what happened at Rephidim, it would help them look to God for help.” (Philip Ryken) 
 
Main Idea: God works through community
 
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness
-Spruce Up Day at Roosevelt Middle School is on this Saturday, 10/5, from 9am-noon. 

-Pilgrim Hike, in Marin, is on Saturday, 10/12. Transportation from the Presidio will be provided. More information will go out later, but if you are interested in joining us, please email us.

-Middle school and high school volunteers needed. Serve once a month. Please email Mel if interested.
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for September 8, 2019:
Testing and Trial

Mission Highlight: Our Commissioning Prayers are a part of a series of our Mission Highlights where once a month, we pray for those working in a specific industry, recognizing that all followers of Jesus are sent wherever we go (John 20:21, John 17:18). This week's mission highlight focuses on teacher and government workers.

Thank you, Sara, for taking your time to write and share with us your experience as a teacher in SF:

"Hello my name is Sara Fu and I am here to give our mission highlight for teachers and government workers. I will be giving you an insight to a teacher’s life this morning. I have had the privilege of teaching in the city for the past six years. I started with 3rd/4th grades in a private Chinese Catholic school and moved to public school where I teach kindergarten. Whenever I tell people I am a kindergarten teacher I get 1 of the following three responses. 1. Bless you, I could never do that. 2. “How cute” and 3. Teachers least favorite response of all time...well you get the summer off right?... to which I think yes, to recover from the last nine months. But seriously teaching is my calling and I am grateful for my purpose everyday.

I have nine months to influence and bear witness of Christ’s love to five year olds and their families. A lesson I have learned the last six years that I am sure many of you have experienced, is simply because your profession is your calling it does not make it easy. In fact, looking back to10 years ago when I embarked on my journey to become a teacher I never could have predicted the experiences and learning curves I have gone through today. As an educator I wear many hats I have had no formal training for such as being a nurse, actress, therapist, social worker, conflict mediator, and a comedian on stage. Teaching has been the most fulfilling and rewarding thing I have ever done as many teachers in this room could probably attest to. It has also been the most challenging.

The beautiful thing of public schools is how we educate everyone who walks through our doors. Children with disabilities, trauma, children without homes, new immigrants, and undocumented families living in daily fear of deportation. Some of the struggles teachers face make me think of the heartbreaking children I have taught whose names will forever be tattooed on heart. I think of calls made to Child Protective Services because my gut told me something was wrong with a five year old in my class, only to find out they were being sexually abused by a guardian in their home and had to be removed from the county. I think about a student who experienced significant trauma, neglect, witnessed domestic violence, and a guardian who recently became incarcerated and they brought that heavy burden to my classroom everyday. But simply because it’s your calling doesn’t make it easy. I take delight in Corinthians 10:13 “God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” If you are a government worker or a teacher in public, private or home school can you please stand so that we can pray for you.

Let us pray. Dear God I thank you for all the work you are doing in the city of San Francisco especially in our public schools where we can not freely speak your name. I thank you for all of the public servants who work in the government sector. I pray you continue to give us strength to endure and give us joy in our daily work. I pray you give us resilience to deal with vicarious trauma, patience with the people we encounter, and compassion when we are fatigued. I pray for the families who attend these schools and that they can come to know you through our witness. And in your name we say, amen."
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Testing and Trial" (Exodus 15:22-17:7)

God’s glory is his reputation. It is his honor, the weightiness of his character, the sum total of all his divine perfections … God was glorified in sending the manna and the quail. His miraculous provision added to his reputation as the God who hears and the God who cares. Every time God provides for his people, it is for the praise of his glory. (Philip Ryken, Exodus – Saved for God’s Glory)

Main Idea: God's Tests Are For Training, Not Troubling Us

Sermon Slides / Sermon Application Questions
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness
-Theology Uncorked is on Sunday, 9/29, 5pm at The Plough and the Stars (116 Clement Street). Please RSVP.

-Spruce Up Day at Roosevelt Middle School is on Saturday, 10/5, from 9am-noon. 

-Pilgrim Hike, in Marin, is on Saturday, 10/12. Transportation from the Presidio will be provided. More information will go out later, but if you are interested in joining us, please email us.
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for September 15, 2019:
The Power of Remembrance

Video montage by Ellen.
Link to this Week's Sermon: “The Power of Remembrance" (Joshua 4)
 

During this special 10th anniversary service, we heard Toby preach a message on Joshua 4, and had the privilege of hearing from Randy, Sam, Jeff, Renee, and Jon. All of these ministry partners played an important part in shaping us into who we are today, and they continue to be an integral part of our Gospel ministry.
 
(Joshua 4:1-7) When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’ ” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” 
 
Main Idea: Remembrance Empowers

Sermon Slides

This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

Sermon recording by Jeff.
-Spruce Up Day at Roosevelt Middle School is on Saturday, 10/5, from 9am-noon. We've been blessed to be able to use this space, so let's use this clean up day as a way to show our appreciation.
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for September 8, 2019:
Servant Song

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Jason and Jen, for sharing your experience from the Spain Missions Trip with us.
From Jason:

"In June, Jen, Vivienne, and I, went to Spain with a group from the church. We were there to help a local church in a town called Vilafranca, near Barcelona. Our role was to help put on an English camp for kids at the church and in the community.

Part of the goal of the English camp was to legitimize the church in the community. To give a bit of context, the main religion in Spain is Catholicism, but most people do not actually believe. They just go for weddings and funerals for cultural reasons. The Evangelical church is actually seen as a kind of cult. So the point of doing the English camp is to get people to see the church as an okay place where normal people go.

Since it was our first missions trip with Vivienne, I was a little worried about how she would do. But when we got there, it was so great to see how well all the kids treated her. She fit right into our class of 4-6 year olds, participating and helping out in the classroom. She especially liked Rafa, who picked us up from the airport. Even now, she sometimes tells me that she misses Rafa and wants to go back to Spain. We do hope to go back in the future and continue to develop our relationships with the people there."

From Jen:

"Some of the most common questions I’ve been asked about our missions trip to Spain have been: “What was your biggest takeaway? How has the experience changed your life since returning home?” And the answer for me was their hospitality. 

We had the privilege of staying with a host family on this trip, a couple (Marga and Mark) and their three young daughters. By American standards they lived in a small apartment, even compared to those of us who live in San Francisco. The five of them lived in a space smaller than the two-bedroom that Jason, Vivienne and I currently live in. And yet on the first night they welcomed us with the words “our home is your home.” The next morning I woke up to realize that the statement was not merely lip service – the couple had given up their master bedroom for us while they slept on the ground of their daughters’ room.

The next day they told us to invite anyone from our team over for lunch. “But we have over 20 people on our team,” Jason said, concerned. His comment was answered simply with “No problem.” Back at home I worry that people won’t be comfortable if we have over a dozen guests, and our common area is almost double theirs. 

Every morning our host prepared us a breakfast of three different types of ham, eggs, a variety of toasts, pastries, and freshly made drinks. It felt like a banquet compared to the daily oatmeal or cereal we typically have back at home. When we tried to thank our host family for their generosity and sacrifice, we were reprimanded that no thanks was needed. When we made lunch plans in an effort to be easier house guests and to give them a break, we were met with disappointment that they couldn’t do more or cook more for us.

The experience reminded me of the familiar bible story of Jesus feeding five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. A lot of times we believe that we don’t have enough to offer to others, that our house is too small, that we don’t have enough money, or that we simply don’t have time. In truth we usually do have enough to share, as long as we are willing to give it our all, just as Christ has done for us. 

Thank you for allowing us to share about this trip. Most of all, we are grateful for your prayers and support."
Question #36: What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?
 
Answer: That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Servant Song" (Isaiah 42:1-9)
 

"Besides, when the Lord promised deliverance to the Jews, he wished to raise their minds higher, that they might look for greater and more valuable gifts than bodily freedom and a return to Judea; for those blessings were only the foretaste of that redemption which they at length obtained through Christ, and which we now enjoy." - John Calvin
 

Sermon Slides
This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

-Our church's 10 year anniversary celebration is next weekend (09/14-09/15): 

1. On Saturday, the 14th, we will go to the Giants game together. The game starts at 6:05pm and those of you who have responded "yes" to joining us that day, we already have a ticket for you. If you haven't responded yet but would like to go, we can still get you a ticket, but please email us as soon as possible. 

2. On Sunday, the 15th, we plan to have a shorter service, followed by dim sum from Billy's restaurant, lunch by Chairman Bao's Food Truck, and dessert from SusieCakes. We will be handing out a menu that morning to help you get an idea of what to order at the food truck. There will also be a bounce house set up as well as some outdoor games for everyone to enjoy. Parents, a bounce house waiver will be available for you at check in that day if you would like your kids to participate.

-As we announced a couple weeks ago, our new ministry directors are Melissa Jantz and Yiqian Barba. Though they handle different areas of operations, to make the transition easier for everyone, please email both of them when you have a question, and the one responsible for that particular area will respond to you. Their emails are: mel@christchurchsf.org / yb@christchurchsf.org

-Spruce Up Day at Roosevelt Middle School is on Saturday, 10/5, from 9am-noon. We've been blessed to be able to use this space, so let's use this clean up day as a way to show our appreciation.
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for September 1, 2019:
The Water and the Blood

Mission Highlight: Thank you, George, for sharing with us an update on Louisa's work with the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a Muslim people living for centuries in Buddhist Myanmar. They are denied citizenship and there have been waves of mass exodus over decades of persecution. 

It's been a month since Louisa left her home in Philadelphia, and adjusting to new cultures and a new language has been challenging emotionally and spiritually. Also during this time, she unexpectedly lost a friend. As she grieves the passing of her friend from far away and tries to get acclimated to her new environment, we can pray for her in the following ways:

"Pray against spiritual attacks. I still feel waves of sadness and grief for my friend and those who mourn his absence. Pray that these don't lead to depression or panic attacks. I hope to start seeing a counsellor next week.

Pray for my relationship with my Rohingya language teacher and her family. Pray for our friendship to grow. Pray that we would both have clear communication, discernment and patience in the language learning process. 

Pray for our local church as we decide how to proceed in serving a new Rohingya community. Pray for wisdom and unity as we consider partners and strategies. Pray that we would be good stewards in Christ's Kingdom work."
 
Link to this Week's Sermon: “The Water and the Blood" (Exodus 12-15)
 

“The essence of sin is we human beings substituting ourselves for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for us. We put ourselves where only God deserves to be; God puts himself where we deserve to be.” (John Stott, Cross of Christ)

 Main Idea: God is always bringing forth new life.

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness

-This year is our 10 year anniversary. On the weekend of September 14-15, we will be celebrating God's faithfulness and goodness to us.
 
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for August 25, 2019:
Plagues and Passover: Judgment and Grace

Mission Highlight: Our Commissioning Prayers are a part of a series of our Mission Highlights where once a month, we pray for those working in a specific industry, recognizing that all followers of Jesus are sent wherever we go (John 20:21, John 17:18). This week's mission highlight focuses on students. Thank you, Aidan, for taking your time to write and share with us your experience as a student in SF: 

"Good morning Christ Church, today I will be sharing about my personal experience as a high school student in San Francisco. Now, I know I cannot speak for every student’s experience when it comes to high school, so I won’t. This is my experience, my story, and my challenges. However, I do hope my fellow students will be able to find some connections to my experiences. 

Last time this mission highlight was given it was by Hannah Momsen who was an incoming freshman at the time talking about her hopes for the next four years. This time I am a Senior who will be reflecting on my last three years in high school. 
I am currently attending Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep., a private catholic school in the heart of the city. Now when I say that I have usually found that people automatically assume I go to some super religious school where most people are christians. Which is okay, I actually thought that was how it was going to be before I came here. However, that is not the case. While a good amount of SHC students are good Catholics who attend mass on easter and christmas, I am one of very few christians at my school. Whenever I tell people I am christian they automatically assume I’m catholic and often look at me funny whenever I don’t receive the eucharist. When I tell my peers, my father is a pastor they think priest and ask why he was able to have a family. Both of these end in a very thorough conversation on the difference between a Roman Catholic Priest and a Protestant Pastor. We also talk about the differences in rituals, traditions, and customs.
 
I have been challenged around what I believe and why, but I have also found many places where my faith was strengthened. Most people in our country seem to believe that a kid that goes to high school in a place like San Francisco cannot hold on to their faith. Partying and sex are considered normal activities, especially in this city and with my peers. So there can be some peer pressure there, but I have never experienced bullying and have always felt free to say “That’s not really my thing.” And people have been okay with that and respectful. The reason I share this is because from what I see in the media, it can seem like all these things are inescapable and high schools are just crazy now. This is not the case from my experience. I think high school looks a lot like the rest of our world. There are always a mix of all kinds of people and things going on. I share all this partly to tell you middle schoolers and freshmen, along with your concerned parents, that you don’t need to be afraid of one’s high school years. God is big enough to help you through and you can find friends that support who you are.
 
It has not always been easy for me to be one of the only Christians, but I have found a group of supportive friends that respect where I am coming from. My time at SHC has been an all around really positive one. Through our Performing Arts department I have found an outlet in Theatre and Choir that lets me express myself and be who I want to be without judgement from others, because we really are a big family. My counselors, teachers, and friends have always been there when I needed them to help me get back up off the ground. Our retreats that the school provides have been truly life-changing, especially this last August when I attended our Senior retreat called Kairos. Kairos was a deeply spiritual experience that I will never forget and it will be something that I will carry with me throughout my life. 

I hope my highlight has been able to provide some insight into a high school experience. Some things you can pray for throughout the year are: 1. College applications process, these can be very stressful and time consuming especially on top of a student’s day to day life, 2. Being able to find a balance between school and god, this can become harder especially at a catholic school where we feel like religion class is enough and we don’t need to do personal devotions because “too much Jesus”, and 3. We would be able to show Christ’s love to others, which can be a challenge sometimes when it comes to high school drama etc...

If you have any questions about high school or about my experiences, please feel free to ask!

Thank you."

Let's continue to pray for all the students as they start this new school year! 
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Plagues and Passover: Judgment and Grace" (Exodus 7-12)
 

“What God is saying in the plagues even is that to be in his presence is to be fully alive. To obey him is to unleash the forces of life and to push back the forces of death. Only there will be there be complete flourishing. To move away from his healing power is to unleashed disintegration and chaos in your life and in the lives of those around you.” ⎯ Timothy Keller, “The Gospel According to Moses”

 Main Idea: Sin Disintegrates, Grace Restores

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness

-Middle school discussions have resumed, and high school discussions will start on 9/1. 
-This year is our 10 year anniversary. On the weekend of September 14-15, we will be celebrating God's faithfulness and goodness to us.
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Sunday Recap for August 18, 2019:
The Problem of Evil
 

Mission Highlight: Throughout the year, people in our congregation from various districts across the city share information and highlights about their districts. This is a great way to learn about the city because, as followers of Jesus, we are sent out to love and serve and to share the good news of Jesus with the city.

Thank you, Mel and Jamin, for sharing the Mission Highlight this week on District 7. Neighborhoods in this district include Twin Peaks, West Portal, St. Francis Wood, Balboa Terrace, Ingleside Terrace, Stonestown, Lakeside, Park Merced, and Mt. Davidson Manor. An estimated 73,000 people live in these neighborhoods, and 53% are white, 34% Asian, 11% Latino, and 3% black. 30% were born overseas and 63% have bachelor’s degree or higher.

In this part of the city, any attempt at a grid breaks down and roads twist and turn around Twin Peaks, Mt Davidson, Sutro Forest and smaller parks like Golden Gate Heights, Hawk Hill, Grandview and Rocky Outcrop. Here, neighborhoods have a small town feel and the wild and un-city like parts are great places for urban hikes.

Jamin led us in prayer for District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee as well as those serving the neighborhoods through their occupations and businesses. Let's continue to pray for, love, and act in the interests of the best welfare of the city!
Link to this Week's Sermon: “The Problem of Evil" (Exodus 5:1-7:7)
 

"My thesis is that the practice of non-violence requires a belief in divine vengeance. If God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make a final end of violence, that God would not be worthy of our worship." (Miroslav Volf)

“If you have a God great and transcendent enough to be mad at because he hasn't stopped evil and suffering in the world, then you have (at the same moment) a God great and transcendent enough to have good reasons for allowing it to continue that you can't know. Indeed, you can't have it both ways.” (Tim Keller)

 
Main Idea: God loves, so we love

Sermon Application Questions
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness

-Church Family Picnic next Sunday, 8/25 after service at Off the Grid at the Presidio Please feel free to bring a lunch or buy from the many food trucks there! It will be a time of fellowship and everyone is welcome.

-Theology Uncorked next Sunday (8/25) at 5pm at The Plough and the Stars. Email us if interested! 

-Christ Church’s 10th Anniversary Weekend is approaching! We will go out for a Giants’ game on 9/14 and have a special service and celebration with food on 9/15. Hope to see you there!
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Sunday Recap for August 11, 2019:
Slavery to Sonship

Mission Highlight: Praise God for our new members, Matthew, Carlo, and Daniel! 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. John Paul, 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 #30: What is faith in Jesus Christ?
 
Answer: Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth of everything that God has revealed in his Word, trusting in him, and also receiving and resting on him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel.
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Slavery to Sonship" (Exodus 3:1-15)
 

“I AM: There’s never been a time in which the word “was,” and never will be a time in which the word “was” has any reference to me. There never was a time in which I was not. There never will be a time in which people can talk about me in the past tense. Which means, I have no beginning; I have no ending. I am my own condition. I am my own cause. I depend on nothing for my existence. Everything depends on me for its.”  – Tim Keller, “The Lord of Salvation,” 2002 Sermon  

Main Idea: Fear Enslaves, Faith Empowers

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness

We will be meeting at Chapel of Our Lady (in the Presidio, 45 Moraga Avenue) on Sunday, August 18th ONLY, 10:30am - 12pm. 
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We will be meeting at Chapel of Our Lady (in the Presidio, address on slide) on 8/18 ONLY (to let Roosevelt prepare the day before school starts), at the same time 10:30am-12pm (two Sundays away). There is plenty of paid parking, but we encourage you to come early, and perhaps you can even find a free spot.

Sunday Recap for August 4, 2019:
A New Beginning

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Michelle and Marc for sharing this week! Michelle, who was a long time member of Christ Church and baptized at Christ Church became a full-time volunteer at Hands at Work, our partners in Africa, along with her husband Marc. We are blessed to partner with them, and as they were visiting the States, here is what they shared if you missed it:

MICHELLE: Good morning, Christ Church family. My husband Marc and I are both long term volunteers with Hands at Work. We are currently based in Zambia, where we live and serve together in community with other international volunteers as well as local Africans. Each time we’re back in San Francisco, we’re grateful for the opportunities to worship with the Christ Church community, and we appreciate your continued love and support.
 
For us in Hands at Work, we have committed ourselves to continually learning and growing. We think that we, and all of us, are at our best when we are open to continually learning, recognizing that we do not have it all figured out. That is to say, we recognize that we are on a journey. We are not wanting to stand still and protect the ground we are on. Rather, we know that we have been called by Christ to follow Him. And, like we see in the Gospels and throughout scripture, it is through the journey itself that we will learn what it means to live in the presence of God, trusting in His goodness. It is through the journey that we deepen in our hope for where we are going, that it is where the fullness of the presence of God dwells and where all of our and the world’s deep wounds will be healed, where there will be no more tears. And through this, we will be transformed to fully receive and to give love and care. We have the privilege to serve in a ministry full time. But, even still, it is so easy for us to turn inwardly and focus in on our own ambitions, desires, and plans or to put at the center of our lives the loss, pain, and suffering that we and others experience.
 
MARC: This turning inward is such a natural response. ‘Journeying’ with God and others sounds great, but I have problems that are right in front of me and need immediate attention. So we return to the patterns of our culture and how we are made up and we strive to take control and to find solutions. This can happen so subtly that we are often even unaware of it until we step back and realize that we are being consumed by fear, anxiety, doubt, and despair.
For Michelle and I, it has been a challenging year and challenging to keep our eyes on God and outwardly focused. Out of this, we want to share with you this morning a story of a young boy whose response to our visit to him has been teaching us a lot.
 
We don’t often get to go into the community together, but we had the opportunity a few months ago when we visited a community called Kamakonde, which is on the outskirts of a large city called Kitwe. Kamakonde is a township with high unemployment and a lot of challenges.
 
While we were there, we visited a 5-year-old boy named Lazarus. He lives with his mom, two siblings, and his niece. Life is very difficult for the family. There are a lot of broken and unhealthy relationships in the family. His mom works very hard: transporting 150 pounds of sand in a wheelbarrow half a mile for the equivalent of 15 cents per wheelbarrow. She makes a dollar twenty-five a day. Their mud-brick house is slowly breaking down and requires a lot of repairs each year to make it through the rains. The family sleeps on a few old rice sacks with only a couple blankets to keep warm. Life is difficult. In the midst of this, my mind goes immediately to all the things that need to be solved: the house repairs, the counselling that his family needs, getting better schools in the community, what needs to happen to develop the economy so that his mom can provide better for the family… The list goes on…
But I took some time just to spend with Lazarus, playing in the dirt, drawing pictures (though not very well) of cars and elephants, and whatever else I could think of. After our visit, we walked with Lazarus and his sister to the care point. As we were walking, he kept looking up at me with a big smile and saying something in Bemba (which is the local language). My Bemba is terrible, so I asked my colleague Michael what he was saying. And Lazarus was inviting us all back to his home village, which is alongside of a big lake, so that we could eat fish together. That simple gesture of welcome, hospitality, and generosity from a 5-year-old boy, him inviting us to participate in something he cherished so much, it broke me. I wish I could adequately describe our surroundings where he asked me this: in the middle of Kamakonde surrounded by drunkenness and despair. And here is this ray of light piercing that darkness. Here is this simple act of goodness that cuts through all the challenges that he and his family face and all the things that I think need to be solved by my efforts. 
 
I think these kinds of moments happen frequently, but we often miss them because we are so full of our desires, worries, and hurts. I don’t say this to make us feel guilty. Part of our journeying well is to learn how to empty ourselves, to give all of these to Christ, trusting them with Him, to become vulnerable, and to be open to being shaped by God, through our encounters with others. And in this, to not respond as much from our instinct of, ‘there is something here to be solved’ but towards receiving and giving love and care.
 
MICHELLE:  Please pray with us. Heavenly Father, we thank you for your unfailing love and compassion. We thank you that you sent your son to the poor and marginalized, to the broken and sinful, to bring hope to all of humanity. And we thank you for the continued presence of your Spirit in us and among us. We pray that you would help us to be caring people and a caring community – to be willing to empty ourselves to participate in each other’s pain and to share in our brokenness and suffering; not with the intention to solve problems or to find cures, but to give witness to your presence, your faithfulness, and your hope in our lives. We pray for your church this morning - we pray for our brothers and sisters in Africa and in Mcheneka – the Care Workers, Care Givers, and Children, we pray for those in this city who are suffering and going through difficulties, and we pray for each person gathered here today: that your presence will be felt near to them, that your blessing will be over them, and that you will use your people, that you will use us, to love and care for those around us. We pray all of these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
This Week's Sermon: “A New Beginning" (Exodus 1:1-14)
 

“The last thing to say about our approach to interpreting Exodus is that it must be practical. In order for Israel’s journey out of Egypt to become part of our own pilgrimage, we must apply its spiritual lessons to our own daily walk with God. God has given us the book of Exodus, as he has given us every book in the Bible, for our practical benefit.”
—Philip Graham Ryken, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory
 

Main idea: We all need to be reshaped

Sermon Slides / Sermon Application Questions
This sermon series: Finding God in the Wilderness

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Sunday Recap for July 21, 2019:
Crossing Lines

Mission Highlight: Thank you Hamilton for sharing the Mission Highlight on District 6. In order to love our cities as Jesus has taught us to do, we must know our city. Hamilton has lived in District 6 for a little over one year. District 6 includes Union Square, Tenderloin, Civic Center, Mid Market, SoMa, South Beach, Mission Bay, Treasure Island and Alcatraz. Some facts are:

In the last 5-10 years, some of the big changes in District 6 have been bringing transit to San Francisco
Total population approximately 66,430
Predominately White/Caucasian - households at 42%
Asian is second largest group at 37%

Then Hamilton led us in prayer for District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney to have grace and strength to effectively carry out his responsibilities. Let's continue to pray for, love, and act in the interests of the best welfare of the city!
 
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Crossing Lines" (Matthew 22:34-40)

Thank you, Pastor Derrick, for visiting us from Chicago and sharing the word of God with us! 

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
-Matthew 22:34-40


“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
-Matthew 22:37-40

 
Sermon Slides

This sermon series: Stand Alone Sermons

-Set-up and break-down volunteers needed, especially for the summer. Help set-up and break-down once a month. Contact Nancy if you're interested. Recruitment of volunteers for set-up and breakdown is specifically because they’re short handed this summer

-Theology Uncorked next Sunday (7/28)! Come and grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a beer and be ready for some lively conversation. We are working through Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology over the course of the year. If interested, please email us or let someone with a green lanyard know if you're interested in going!

-Interested in membership? Membership is a way to publicly and mutually commit to loving one another and carrying out the mission of this church, which the mission of Jesus Christ, together. Member applications are due on Sunday 8/4 for the Member Affirmation on 8/11. Email us if interested! 
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for July 14, 2019:
Blessed are the Peacemakers

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Diane, for sharing with us both the challenges and rewards of the medical and scientific research fields! For those of you who missed it, here is what she shared:

"Beautiful morning, Christ Church. My name is Diane, and my husband Nathan, and I have had the joy of being married for six months and members of Christ Church for the past year. We are both fourth-year medical students at UCSF, and Janice asked me to share briefly about the opportunities and challenges as Christians in medicine and scientific research. I thought I would first give a few snapshots as a composite of what the day-to-day can be like. 

On the best days, patients get better and are safely discharged. Fifteen-minute visits happen like a dream. Rounds are efficient, and ideas and research grants flow like milk and honey. My patients and their families are grateful, and I feel gratified to be a healer and moved to witness people’s lives and stories.

On the worst days, patients continue to suffer and the electronic medical system stops working. Clinic visits pile up. Colleagues bicker; papers are rejected; papers pile up. My elderly patient vomits blood and is wheeled to the intensive care unit. My other patient tells me I have failed her; I feel overwhelmed and helpless. That day, none of my notes get done. 
 
At this point, I have to ask God to humble my heart and remind me that I am not in control. I have to ask God to give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that hopes in who He is and what He is doing because sometimes all I can see is the brokenness: that death and suffering were not part of His plan; that power, privilege, and racism shape the hierarchy of academic medicine and research; that people do the right things (serving others) for the wrong reasons (to serve ourselves); and that we are broken-hearted patients and often burnt-out providers in a system where meaningful change can seem impossible. 

So this bleakness, where is there room for grace, redemption, or hope? Thankfully God clears the scales from my eyes and the hardness around my heart. And I think part of the answer is this: is my identity in the work that I do or in the God who loves me and gives me the capacity to love and to serve others? Brothers and sisters in medicine, in health, in research and in science: today, will you re-examine with me the heart motivations for why we do what we do? That our hope would not be in the works of our hands, our productivity, a promotion, not even in our ability to meaningfully impact or change the lives of others, not in the gratitude of patients nor the approval of colleagues, but in God alone whose compassion and mercy know no end and in whom there is the truest healing for our hearts, minds, bodies, families, communities, structures, and systems. And by grace alone, we are challenged each day to lay down our expectations, our education—our sense of worth, our purposes, plans, even our dreams and disappointments—to say that God is more than enough. To follow Jesus then is to follow the best example of loving, healing, forgiving, and reconciling that I know, and for His sake I can endure and hold on to the promise that He is moving and shaping not just my life but of those around me.  

Please join elder George and me in praying for those in medicine including Becky, Gary, Michelle, Clifford, Catherine, Melody, Nathan, and those in research/science including Jacob, Rebecca, and Stephanie."

Let's continue to pray for those in this field and remember and act as if we are called to be wherever we are spending our time and working and serving in!
Question #29: How can we be saved?
 
Answer: Only by faith in Jesus Christ and in his substitutionary atoning death on the cross; so even though we are guilty of having disobeyed God and are still inclined to all evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of our own but only by pure grace, imputes to us the perfect righteousness of Christ when we repent and believe in him.
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Blessed are the Peacemakers" (Matthew 5:9)
 

“God made us to be like him—to reflect his character back to him and to refract his character out to the world. Which means that it’s also much more than a theological statement. It’s also a philosophical statement. A political statement. A sociological statement. A missional, pastoral and ecclesiastical statement. This is not just head knowledge. If we’re made in God’s image then every human being—no matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter what they have done or have had done to them—possesses dignity. This profound truth is meant to capture our hearts and give good work for our hands.”  -Joe Henegan
 

Main Idea: See people as Jesus sees them

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

-Welcome Lunch next Sunday (7/21)! New to Christ Church or want to get better connected? We'd love to take you out to lunch, get to know you, and answer any questions you might have. Interested? Email us: info@christchurchsf.org

-Set-up and break-down volunteers needed, especially for the summer. Help set-up and break-down once a month. Contact Nancy if you're interested. Recruitment of volunteers for set-up and breakdown is specifically because they’re short handed this summer

-Sound and slides volunteers needed! Help set up and run the audio or visual technology during the worship service. No experience needed as we will train you. Email us if interested!

-Interested in membership? Membership is a way to publicly and mutually commit to loving one another and carrying out the mission of this church, which the mission of Jesus Christ, together. Member applications are due on Sunday 8/4 for the Member Affirmation on 8/11. Email us if interested! 
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for July 7, 2019:
Offensive Jesus

Mission Highlight: Thank you Jason and Ellen for being the first people to report back on the Spain Trip last month!  Here is what they shared:

A group of 21 people from Christ Church partnered with Iglesia Evangelica Bautista – a local church in Vilafranca del Penedes – to put on a week-long English Camp to serve the neighborhood and surrounding community. The age of the students that attended the camp ranged from ages 3-16, and Ellen and Jason worked with the oldest group – the teenagers. Though there were cultural differences, God orchestrated both teams to grow to trust each other over shared meals, downtime, and several conversations that we had.
 
One highlight was interacting and connecting with their host family from the church, Elena, Josep, and their 3 children Ruth, Sophia, and Genis, and celebrating Elena's birthday with them. During the English Camp, they stayed at Pastor Gabi’s home, which was also an animal sanctuary, displaying his diligent stewardship of God’s creation and his love for people and nature.

This was their first mission trip, and they learned to trust in God’s provision. They initially felt called to go but hesitated due to financial reasons. But thanks to the support and counsel from the church and community, they were able to take part, and it was a blessing to see God work in their hearts and in the hearts of believers across the world as well. They are also thankful to have grown closer to the other team members from Christ Church, and it was a great experience that filled their hearts with joy. 

They were so grateful to continue our partnership with our brothers and sisters in Vilafranca. They pray for the church in Vilafranca to be a light in the community as they continue to show Christ’s love in tangible ways to their local community and surrounding areas. They were also excited to find out that Iglesia Evangelica Bautista is a launching a church plant in a neighboring town called El Vendrell. Please pray for their growth as well.

Then they led us in prayer, thanking God for the opportunity to be connected with believers around the world and within our church, and for the church to be fruitful and experience a genuine spiritual season of growth. They prayed that many more people would experience the love of Christ from the work of churches in Vilafranca and Vendrell and that those people might come to know God and place their faith in him.

They prayed for Pastor Gabi, Anna, Dani and the rest of the leadership of the local church in Vilafranca, for wisdom and guidance as they lead their congregation and the church plant in Vendrell to blossom and grow. Tey prayed for our members that are still traveling that God guide them back home safely. Praise God for his goodness!
Top to bottom, left to right: Teens that Jason and Ellen taught (along with Gene, Ronan and Jonah from our team), Ellen and the host family they stayed with, Ellen and Gabi (and Toby) and one of the animals Gabi helps care for
Link to this Week's Sermon: “Offensive Jesus" (Luke 4:14-30)
 

"If you have never been hurt by a word from God, it is probable that you have never heard God speak.” — Amy Carmichael, missionary
 
“Sadly, people who will break their necks to get to Jesus the physician will scarcely move to reach Jesus the Redeemer.” — Kent Hughes
 
Main Idea: We are all offended enough by something Jesus said to kill Him for it.

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

-Set-up and break-down volunteers needed, especially for the summer. Help set-up and break-down once a month. Contact Nancy if you're interested. Recruitment of volunteers for set-up and breakdown is specifically because they’re short handed this summer!

-Sound and slides volunteers needed! Help set up and run the audio or visual technology during the worship service. No experience needed as we will train you. Email us if interested!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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Sunday Recap for June 30, 2019:
Wisdom and Life

Mission Highlight: Thank you, Daniel, for leading us in our prayer for our leaders in the spirit of I Timothy 2:1-4.
 
"To our Father, who sits upon the throne, whose robe fills the temple and is the Lord of hosts. To You all will bend the knee, and we acknowledge that you are the true, living God in who all authority has its source. 

We pray for our leaders today starting with those having spiritual authority over us. We lift up our pastors Toby and Seng, that as they lead our church they would be continually filled by Your Spirit, to protect them from the attacks of the Evil one, to grant them wisdom as they shepherd and minister to the needs of sheep, and to give them revelation as they navigate and plan the life of this body. We pray for our elders, deacons, and small group leaders to know how much they are cared for by you so they can model love to us. Help us to encourage them in their tasks, often unacknowledged but seen by You. May their reward be many fold in Heaven.

We pray for those in professional authority over us for most of our waking hours. We know that the workplace can often have intertwining motives, with those in authority over us having their own authorities over them, and the pressures to deliver results cascading throughout or even overriding the humanity of the workplace. Lord, many of us here are even in that position of authority and so we pray for those that know you in the workplace for grace. Grace and patience for us who claim Christ to recognize the imago dei in those above and below, to help them see more to life than the world offers and to sympathize with the cross pressures above and below.

We pray for those in civil authority over us, for mayor London Breed, Governor Newson, and President Trump. We pray they would know you, that would trust in you, lean on you to make decisions that will bring in greater justice, greater equity, and yes, Lord even greater prosperity so that we may all live lives that are peaceful and quiet, dignified and godly. Give them wise counselors, who can offer clarity and expertise when so much nuance can be lost along the way.

And finally Lord, I pray for us as those under these authorities, I pray that we can trust in your Word more, to pray for our leaders more regularly, to live in ways that call people out to the knowledge of truth as Paul writes in Timothy. Help us to submit well, wisely, and as Peter writes, Honor everyone, love the brotherhood. To You belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Let's continue to pray for our leaders!
This Week's Sermon: "Wisdom and Life" (Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1)
 

"Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things tGod will bring you into judgment. 

Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.”   --Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1

Main Idea: Invest in Life--Remember and Rejoice

This sermon series: Pursuing a Meaningful Life