A Word from Our Pastor 2018 January

A new year begins, again.

As I grow older each year seems to pass more quickly. Each year, it seems, there are more endings than beginnings. Friends and family have more physical limitations, the eyesight or hearing goes, we have to give up certain activities, or even driving. And, of course, there is
serious illness and death. What will this new year bring? As we know that loss is part of the future, what can we focus on to claim God’s promise that there is always a new beginning?

Isaiah 43 is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible, written to people who were in exile. They had gone through the worst possible losses of home, family members, nation, everything familiar, and were deported to a far away place where everything was alien. To these people, the prophet Isaiah spoke the word of God:

Isaiah 43:18-19 
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

I love verse 19: “I will make a way (a path) in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” This verse does not deny the difficulties of the present or the future: yes, it can be a desert. The desert is a frightening place, with little food or water, with predatory animals, with searing heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night. It is a place where one might not survive.

Perhaps you cannot see the way forward to healing or home, perhaps your life seems like that desert. Perhaps the only thing you can imagine in the future is that things will get worse. But God’s promise to us is that God will make a way for us through this frightening land.

There are times when we have to push ourselves to step out onto the path that God makes for us. If we are grieving or depressed, if we have trouble getting around, if we can’t hear the conversations around us, we may have to force ourselves to get out and about, to stay in contact with people, to see where the God’s path will lead.

I have often said, as a statement of faith, that death is not an ending, it is a doorway to another life. Perhaps we can view all the changes in our lives, even the most challenging ones, as doorways to a new way of living.
Cont. on back
As the new year turns, I pray that you will find many reasons for joy: that you will seek out the company of people who treasure the gift of simply being alive, that you will find comfort in the blessings of everyday: the first plum tree that brings signs of spring, the daffodil and the crocus; the morning light that warms us all. May you savor the hot cup of delicious tea, the warmth of a blanket, the call or visit from a friend. May you bless the people around you with a smile, a word, a pat on the hand. May you may sit in conversation or in silence with people you care about, and with God. There is much to look forward to in 2018: let’s keep our eyes and ears open, and stay on the path! Have a happy New Year!

–Rev. Naomi

Let’s Watch Some Hoops!
Here’s the basketball schedule for the BMU D (coached by Jason Yamashiro) and BMU C (coached by Aaron Nakahara) teams. D team includes Revin Yamashiro and C team includes Lucas Hatae (May’s grandson).

BMU C Gold1 (Nakahara)
1/6/2018 7pm TICE3 Ohtani C Gold1 BMU C Gold1
1/13/2018 7pm TICE1 BMU C Gold1 Diablo C Gold1
1/20/2018 8pm TICE3 EBFM C Gold1 BMU C Gold1
1/27/2018 7pm TICE2 SACBC C Gold1 BMU C Gold1

BMU D Gold1 (Yamashiro)
1/6/2018 8pm MUIR Ohtani D Gold1 BMU D Gold1
1/13/2018 6pm TICE1 Ohtani D Gold2 BMU D Gold1
1/20/2018 6pm TICE1 Eden D Gold1 BMU D Gold1
1/21/2018 4pm MUIR BMU D Gold1 Ohtani D Gold1
1/27/2018 6pm TICE1 BMU D Gold1 Diablo D Gold1

Tice: 2055 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek 94595
Muir: 1444 Williams St, San Leandro 94579
For more info contact Jaime Fukumae