Announcements August 2013

This month
August 4: We will begin our theme for the month, “Talk Story” – an opportunity to get to know one another better. WEAR YOUR ALOHA ATTIRE, PLEASE, and be ready to join in the “Ohana” (“family”) feeling
August 11 and 18: Coke Nakamoto from “Interplay” will help us continue to “talk story” in new and different ways.
August 25: Another fun activity
Hope to see you there!

Worship Leader Role Renewal
In the spirit of renewal, we are re-envisioning the role of the Worship Leader. . .we are requesting that you have an expanded role in creating the atmosphere for worship. To accomplish this, your role is like being a “host:” we hope that you will greet each of the participants in the worship service — ushers and acolytes — and thank them for their service, give the ushers an order of worship, as well as answer any questions they may have about what is happening on this particular Sunday. The names of those persons are included in this email. If by 10:15 or so, the ushers have not arrived, you may have to recruit substitutes. You may want to ask one of the Sunday School teachers or parents present to identify two acolytes and assist them in lighting the candle-lighters.

We are hoping that you, Rev. Naomi and others in leadership will help to create a feeling of unity and joy — as well as ensure that everything runs smoothly. As the email indicates, Rev. Naomi will ask participants to gather for prayer before worship begins.

If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Naomi.

Thank you,
The Worship Committee

If you would like to volunteer to be a Worship Leader, we welcome you! Please contact Kaz Iwahashi, Kathy Uyeno or Mike Friedrich.


Emailed Homevisitor Is Changing
We are phasing out distribution of the Homevisitor through Yahoo groups (as we have been doing for many years.) We will be using MailChimp to send the Homevisitor. MailChimp will look much nicer and have more features, and will come in the form of an email. If you currently receive Yahoo group emails, you will receive the new Homevisitor through MailChimp. Please make sure is in your email’s address book or your Homevisitor might be marked as spam. Nothing else will be required on your end during this transition.

If you are not a BMUC Yahoo group member, but would like to received the emailed Homevisitor, you will be able to sign up through our NEW website, . We will be adding a “subscribe” button soon. You can also sign up on our Facebook page.

We have been tweaking our new website, . Check it out! Our old website, hosted by GBGM, will be discontinued in September. Thanks to Lindsay Hiratzka for initiating our new website and for hiring Simon Tan to design, set up, and train several of us to maintain the new site.

BMUC on Social Media
In addition to our new website, BMU is also on Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, and Pinterest. Join us!

UMC Market
Similar to eScrip online shopping, when you sign up with UMCMarket, and designate Berkeley Methodist United Church as your organization, every time you shop online at the shops will make a micro-donation to our church at no cost to you! Stores include Amazon, Macy’s,, Sephora, Expedia, Southwest and hundreds of other online stores. Details on on the “Support BMUC” page. I hope you’ll join in this new way to help raise money for BMUC.

Of course our existing fundraisers continue, eScrip, eScrip Online Mall, eScrip Dining, and Planet Green phone and inkjet recycling. Links are on our new website,
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Jill Israels, Fundraising Chair

Wednesday Night/Sunday Morning Renewal Bible Studies
The next 4 week Bible Study session began Sunday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. (with continental breakfast provided), and Wednesday, July 24 at 6:00 p.m.

We hope to see those who have been participating — and newcomers are more than welcome. Each series of Bible Studies is a new beginning — no previous experience required!

This series is called, “Growing in Faith and Action” and focuses on the blessings and challenges of being faithful to God! –Rev. Naomi

Stephen Ministry Series will begin on Thursday, August 15, 2013. Come and join our Congregational Care Ministers as we study and practice the principles of caregiving. For more information, contact Rev. Naomi or Jean Hart, Flora Ninomiya, Gail Kirk, Lee Marrs, Naty Uno or Carolyn Soto.

Landscape Project
The presentation of the new church landscape plan was made during church service on Sunday June 30th. The design is by Robert Fukushima, a landscape architect who grew up in this church, who has been working with a committee of church members for several months. You can listen to the presentation on our YouTube channel at this address: (The video is unlisted and not viewable by the public to preserve the architect’s plans.)

The plan is to replace the overgrown old junipers with new attractive plants, and a new Japanese style sign will replace the old sign. To improve access for our older members, a new handicapped accessible path will be built from the front door through the new garden down to the front parking lot.

So far, we have received over half of the funds needed for this project, and new donations have been rolling in; thank you! If you would like to contribute to this project, please send donations to David Fujita, Chair of the Trustees.

Fall Family Retreat

From September 27-29, we will be having a Fall family retreat in Aptos, CA. This is something that our church did annually many years ago. We hope you will join us in starting it up again! Our goal for the weekend will be to “get connected” and share time with each other. For details, contact Lourdes at (510) 685-0123 or