Onaway & Millersburg UMC
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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May 30th, 2021


Welcome & Invitation to Worship

Call to Worship                         
Holy God, the Father of us all, we gather to worship you 
and to reaffirm our shared relationship as children of God.
With fatherly care, God welcomes us to our shared experiences of worship,
fellowship, prayer and praise.

Renewing God, we gather to be re-invigorated in our worship,
and in the witness and relationships that flows from worship.
Together and individually, we will be cleansed and
refreshed by the holy winds of God’s Spirit, as it blows around and within us.

The Lord our God gives new life and new blessings as we come together
in the unity of one purpose – to praise and glorify God.
Blessings, honor, glory and power belongs to our God,
Father of all humanity – who claims us all as beloved children. 
Hallelujah, Amen.         

Worship in Song              Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee                           89

Gospel Reading                                                                       Matthew 28:16-20

Worship with Tithes & Offerings


Prayer of the People

New Testament Reading                                                       Galatians 3:23-29

Special Music                   Always Be a Child / Panis Angelicus              Jung Du Paik

Message                                  In God's Hand: Go forth                    Psalm 37:3-5

Good morning Church!!!

Today is my last Sunday at Onaway/Millersburg UMC. Of course, I won't move out until June 22nd but because of many other schedules such as the annual conference, my ordination, and our transition period. But this Sunday is my last Sunday with you. To be honest, I am having so many mixed feelings. I have thought about this moment, standing at the pulpit during my last Sunday for my last sermon for a while. I have worried about what I should give for the last message to my beloved Onaway/Millersburg family. I have so many things I want to say.

These days, JD and I are doing a jigsaw puzzle. You may think it is a little weird timing - packing and doing the puzzle together. This is what actually happened. There is a 1000 piece puzzle on our coffee table. We started it at the beginning of this year, but because we have been so busy, we couldn't work on it over the last couple of months at all. It is unfinished, but it is more than half done, so it seems like a waste not to finish it before moving. Doing the puzzle is part of our packing job.

Anyway, while I did the puzzle, I remembered my second sermon in this church - I used the illustration of a jigsaw puzzle. Doing the puzzle reminds me of my feelings when I first moved here. Looking back, what I felt when I came here on the first Sunday is the same as what I am feeling now, on my last Sunday, as God leads me to other ministry. Everything was new and unfamiliar.

What is the title of our message today? Yes, " In God's Hand; Go forth." I want to tie these two themes together. Let us read today's passage, Psalm 37:3-5, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act."

1) In God's Hand

We believe that everything is "in God's hand" when we trust in God. As I mentioned, life is like a puzzle and many things come up that make us contemplate the moments of growth in our lives. Our lives are much more complicated than puzzles, and God is the one who has the big, completed picture of our lives because God created us and leads us. Even though we can't understand everything that happens in our lives, God looks at the big picture. God knows us more than we know ourselves.

When I got appointed here, of course, I was excited but also nervous for a new environment that I had never been. Also, when I researched the area there were very few other Asian people and no Asian restaurants. However, looking back, it was a blessing for me to be appointed here - God led to meet many great people, all of you, gave me many church family members, and taught me many things with you and from you. And, as a bonus, my cooking skills, especially with Asian food, have improved a lot!!!  Sometime we find God's work and leading hands only in retrospect. However, trusting in the Lord is following the Lord and moving forward as God leads us even though we can't see or understand immediately.

Now we are facing a new adventure, we do not know yet what will happen next. In this moment, what we most need is trust in God, who is loving and good. And, remember that God, who loves you so much, has a plan for you and this church, and sees the big picture.

2) Go forth!

Now, it is time to go forth into our new future with the hope and love of Christ. Back to the scripture from psalm, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security" There is a saying about what we should do as people who trust in God; To "do good," to "delight yourself in the Lord," and to "commit your way to the Lord" are all actions of obeying God's Word. As people who trust in God, the Word instructs us in the right ways to think and live, and to respond with obedient actions.

Additionally, like God has the big pictures for our lives, God also has the big picture and plan for this godly community. We are a piece of God's puzzle. And we are one in Christ. That is today's second scripture reading from Galatians. We are one in Christ. One of the main characteristics of Methodism is connectionism. That part gave me comfort. “Yes, even though I am leaving, we are connected in the Methodist conference. No, no matter the denomination, we are one in Christ. Wherever we are, we are one in Christ." So, what we need to do is move forward for the Lord!

I have emphasized "we are one in Christ." I used to strongly focus on this church and this community. As I am leaving now, the meaning of oneness in Christ is extended. Wherever we are, we are serving our God as God leads for God's kingdom together. "We are one" in Christ. I will keep praying for you and Onaway/Millersburg UMC with love. I believe that I will be prayed for by you. That proves we are one in Christ because we have one hope and love in Christ.

In Paul's farewell preaching to the Ephesians, he said, "In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." I may not a good example like Paul, but that is what I also want to tell you, keep loving others, help others, and read and remember the words of the Lord and live with it. Additionally, in today's Gospel reading, which is the great commission of Jesus' last words, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you."

Go forth! share the love of God!
God forth! Share the word of God! Let people know Jesus through you in this world!

As I said, God has a special plan for you and Onaway/Millersburg UMC that is really beautiful and grand. That also means that we need to go forth and move forward as God calls us.

Put your trust in our Lord, who has the big and beautiful picture of our life. And, let God go along with you. Especially as we transition into the future, with trust in the Lord, excitingly and joyfully looking forward to seeing God's new work for us. And go forth with doing good in and for our communities and share the good news in the world so that let people know the love of God through you!

Remember that God has the big picture of your life and always trust God. I pray that your faith is not shaken but instead grows with you. Always read and trust God's words and be joyful; Pray constantly; give thanks in all circumstances.... and... and... oh.. my so many things I want to tell you. But.... I need to wrap up today's message... I know... as the last message I would like to conclude "remember that God loves you so much." I hope you can see and feel God's love at every moment of every day and share it with others.

Let us pray,
Loving and gracious God, thank you for allowing us to be one in Christ. Thank you for your guidance in our lives. Also, we believe that you have a special plan for us and this community. Thank you for that. Help us trust in God alone in our lives. We pray in Jesus name, AMEN.

Communion Hymn                One Bread, One Body (vv.1,2)                    620


Farewell to Pastor YooJin

I thank you, the members and friends of Onaway/Millersburg United Methodist Church,
for the love and support you have shown me while I have ministered among you.

I am grateful for the ways my leadership has been accepted.
I ask forgiveness for the mistakes I have made.
As I leave, I carry with me all that I have learned here.

We receive your thankfulness, offer forgiveness,
and accept that you now leave to Wacousta Community UMC.
We express our gratitude for your time among us.
We ask your forgiveness for our mistakes.
Your influence on our faith and faithfulness will not leave with your departure.

I accept your gratitude and forgiveness, and I forgive you,
trusting that our time together and our parting are pleasing to God.
I release you from turning to me and depending on me.
I encourage your continuing ministry here
and will pray for you and for your new pastor, Pastor Corin McDonald.

Let us pray.
Eternal God, whose steadfast love for us is from everlasting to everlasting,
we give you thanks for cherished memories
and commend one another into your care as we move in new directions.
Keep us one in your love forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Special Music                                                           YooJin Kim & Jung Du Paik

Worship in Response                   Go Forth for God                           670


Prayer of Dismissal & Blessing