Day of remembrance: Sunday Feb 24, 2013

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A Word from Our Pastor 2012 December Hopes and Fears

December Message from Reverend Dr. Naomi Southard "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. . ." Do these words sound familiar? They come from the old favorite Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem." It's a poetic way of saying that in the birth of Jesus, all our hopes and fears are present. More than just "present," but "met." "Met" means something like "come together," or even more, are "in conversation" with each other. When Jesus was born, Bethlehem was a place filled with many fears – it was under foreign occupation, by a brutal and some would say, tyrannical government. Rome made sure that even simple peasants far away from the center of the Empire knew that their only safety lay in complete loyalty to the power that oppressed them. Disloyalty … [Read more...]

Who is BMUC?

Dear Friends, I grew up in this church back in the 50’s and 60’s. My parent’s generation, known as the Nisei, and their parents, the Issei, had just relocated to Berkeley after their internment during the war. Japanese-American communities sprang up all over the west coast and for the next 30 years, provided a community for their children, my generation. Many churches sponsored boy scout troops, basketball teams, Japanese language schools, and most of them held an annual summer festival that continue to this day. Just as my parents experienced exclusion for being of Japanese ancestry, we understand the need to reach out to those who have been excluded because of they way they look, their national origin, their sexual preference and many other reasons that make people feel different … [Read more...]