Onaway & Millersburg UMC
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Pastor's Letter

Beloved Onaway/ Millersburg UMC families,

Happy New Year!!New year, 2020 is here!

How did your Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations go? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, all of which Jesus has given to us in abundance. Don't be sad because you think Christmas is over. Christmas is never over, because Jesus, who came to us to save us is within us forever. Whenever and wherever we receive God's sacrificial love, whenever and wherever we pass it on to others, whenever and wherever God's love is accepted and shared, the spirit of Christmas becomes tangible once again because Christmas is Jesus and Jesus is love!

In fact, I am writing this letter on the morning of Christmas. That feeling of unbridled joy and hope of Christmas Eve servicecan still be felt in my heart. It was really a great service because we celebrated Jesus' birthday with a spirit of love and togetherness. Above all, it was that time of the year when we reminded the fact that Jesus Christ, the light of the world and our lives, remains with us, something that we must keep in our mind at all times joyfully and gratefully. In this letter, I would like to say: thank you for attending the service and celebrating Jesus' birthday together! I would particularly like to thank all members of our Joint choir and drama team. I think one of the most significant parts of our Christmas Cantata with living nativity was that it was intergenerational: we celebrated Jesus' coming TOGETHER, for all ages and generations (remember our cute baby sheep in the nativity~).

Also, I want to tell you how "LOVE" I have felt, especially during this season of Advent/Christmas. Both churches have participated in many Christmas outreach projects and their loving hearts have filed the church everywhere. When I saw the gifts that you brought for the needy, I could see your love in the gifts.

The reason why I've talked a lot about the reflection of Christmas Eve service and Advent in the new year letter is because I find some hopes and visions for our church next year with them. I wish our church is overflowed with love, so that we are able to freely share love the inside and outside of our churches and people can see Jesus through us. This is something all of us must be aiming for, without any exception. I know you have done great, so let us keep loving more and more! I also wish our church and services to be more intergenerational. I am thinking whether there are some new cross-generation programs, where everyone can come and have some fun together. It would be really great if we had such a program. I will plan that with prayer. If you have any great idea, please let me know. I sincerely hope that our church continues to be more loving and emerge as a harmonious community in the coming year and forever. 

With the imminence of New Year, this is the time of year when we all make resolutions.  Do you make any? Looking back at my last resolution, I couldn't make many parts of them. But New Year is approaching us! I hope you (and I) make a great, holy, and realistic resolution for the coming year with heartfelt prayers. Especially, as a pastor, I hope you would put any of your own spiritual practice and/or time in your resolution to focus on spiritual growth as we continue to walk with Jesus next year as well. Also, remember that God has a special plan for all of us in every New Year that God blesses us with!

I can't wait to open Christmas gift wrapped under the tree. I think it may help induce the feeling of the imminence of the new year with togetherness, which makes it a great gift unwrapping. I hope and pray for this New Year comes with a lot of happiness, extreme love and blessings. Happy New Year!!!

P.S. Personally, I really want to thank everyone for your beautiful and wonderful Christmas gifts~

With Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love,
YooJin

 

Pastor's Challenge:
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)