A Word from Our Pastor 2010 September Activities

September Activities

It’s been a bit of a sleepy summer at BMUC — at least after the happy hubbub of Daruma no Gakko. Lots of folks have been away on vacation, so it was exciting to see all the young people present last Wednesday for the potluck and choir rehearsal. There are lots of things planned for fall.

The first Saturday in September — the 4th– we will have our potluck with our Muslim friends from the Pacific Institute. This event will be taking place during the month of Ramadan, the most important Muslim celebration of the year. In addition to getting to know our neighbors, we will have an opportunity to participate in a Muslim prayer service (we will have an orientation so everyone will feel comfortable), and enjoy some Turkish food. In addition, we will have a cultural exchange — our Muslim friends will make a short presentation about Ramadan, and the BMUC choir will sing.

As to the potluck, Muslims, like Jews, have special regulations regarding meat. (Jews eat meat that has been specially prepared in a “kosher” way; for Muslims, their meat is prepared in a “halal” way). Therefore, we are asking that BMUC folks who attend bring vegetarian dishes only. Sushi would be welcome (any fish is OK). Please be sure to check if you purchase something that it does not include any dried animal products, such as gelatin. An easy greeting during the month-long celebration of Ramadan is “Ramadan Mubarak!” (“Have a blessed Ramadan”). Our President’s name, “Barak,” comes from the same root of this Arabic word, whose meaning is related to “blessing” or “blessed.”

Rally Day and Welcome Back Potluck will take place on September 12. Our special guest speaker on that Sunday will be Rose Iwahashi (and possibly a friend or two), to report on their mission trip to the Philippines that took place early this summer. Of course, we will have the usual fun events for Rally Day.

As many of you know, we are in transition regarding Youth Ministry. Jake Takahashi has generously offered to fill as Youth Minister (at least) during the month of September. Depending on how the Youth Minister responsibilities fit with his school schedule, he may consider extending his commitment with us. We are so excited to have Jake “on board,” and are grateful that we will have a continuity of leadership for our young people.

This fall, we are continuing our emphasis on building community. On August 28, the caregiving group will discuss how we can strengthen our bonds, particularly with the slowly growing number of folks who are no longer able to get to church. If you are interested in being part of a visitation committee, working with the BMUCers who live at Piedmont Gardens, or just wanting to know more about how you can help, please attend the meeting on August 28, or contact me. At this meeting we will also (re)schedule the Grief Workshop for a Saturday in September or October. If you are interested in attending, please let me know.

And finally, on September 25th and 26th we will have our annual Choir Blast and Food Sale. The theme this year, is “The Seasons,” and will feature our Adult and Junior Choirs, Okazu and a harp soloist. Attendance was wonderful last year — all of you tried so hard to invite friends and family. The seats were full for the concert, and the food sold out! We are counting on you to invite even more people this year.

I look forward, with all of you, to having many opportunities this fall to thank God for the blessings of being part of a community — of children and elders, of people of extravagant hospitality and deep commitment. May this season inspire your faith and warm your heart!
–Rev. Naomi