Ministeries of Buena Vista

Church School

The BVUMC church school uses curriculum from the ecumenical resource, Seasons of the Spirit. Classes are currently organized for the following grade groups: toddler, K-2nd grade, 3-5 grades, middle school, and high school. Each week, the curriculum follows the highlighted scripture text from the lectionary using age appropriate activities tailored for multiple learning styles. The highlighted text is also the focus for the morning worship and sermon. Church school classes are taught by a team of volunteers who are parents, educators, and members of the church who love working with children.

Church & Society

The United Methodist Church embraces the Wesleyan notion of “social holiness” where faith is engaged in understanding the critical social issues of the day. The BVUMC Church & Society Committee discusses and prioritizes social issues for the attention of the congregation. The Church & Society Committee receives resources from the UMC Board of Church and Society which is headquartered in Washington D.C. Go to the following link for more information: www.umc-gbcs.org

On Sunday, January 15, 2017, the Rev. Deborah Lee spoke at Buena Vista for Human Relations Day reflecting on Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s infamous speech "A Time to Break Silence (Declaration Against the Vietnam War).  Please click here for a transcript of the speech.

During the Lent season of 2017, we had a series of messages on our outreach ministries.  For a link to Michael Steiger's message on Reconciling, please click here.

Small Groups

Through our Membership Committee, small groups provide opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship. Among the current groups meeting are: Adult Bible Study (Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.), Family Bible Study (2nd Saturday of the month), Spanish Bible Study (Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m.), Nichigo (Japanese language) and Fellowship (meets once a month).  For more information on these groups, please call the church office at (510) 522-2688.

Healing & Wholeness

One section of the BVUMC mission statement reads, “God’s hope, love, justice and healing are embodied in the life of Jesus.” Physical healing was one of the gifts that Jesus brought to the world. Reiki is a healing system with roots in Japan. BVUMC member Judy Furuichi, along with the Reiki team, are Reiki practitioners who provide this healing practice to members in need. They also conduct training sessions for those who are interested in learning the art of Reiki.

Membership

The BVUMC Membership Committee is responsible for developing programs to engage current members in the active life of the church, as well as to encourage new members to join the church.

The Membership Committee organizes hospitality lunches on the first Sunday of every month after worship service. These lunches are an opportunity for fellowship and social engagement between longtime members and newcomers.

The Committee organizes a Circle of Care to provide support for those in special situations--new parents, those who are ill, individuals recovering from hospitalization, and others.

The Membership Committee also provides information to newcomers about baptism and membership through individual conversations and organized Hospitality Hours.

Music

BVUMC embraces multiple styles of music in its worship including traditional United Methodist hymns to jazz renditions and contemporary songs of faith. Our instrumentation includes an electric guitar, saxophone, drums, and electronic keyboard. Our Music Director Ben Luis is an accomplished and well-known jazz bass player. For more about Ben Luis and to sample his music, click here: www.cdbaby.com/benluis

Nichigo

Nichigo is the Japanese language fellowship group at BVUMC. With the church’s rich Japanese American history, Nichigo is a valuable opportunity for fellowship and cultural nurturing of our members from Japan and for those who speak the Japanese language. Through Nichigo, BVUMC currently participates in a monthly joint Bible Study with the Lake Park United Methodist Church and Pine United Methodist Church.

Reconciling Committee

“Reconciling” is the unique language of the United Methodist Church for the movement to fully include LGBTQ persons into the life of the United Methodist Church. BVUMC became a Reconciling Congregation in 2006 to acknowledge the history of exclusion of LGBTQ persons by the Christian faith. The BVUMC Reconciling Committee meets monthly to plan and organize educational programs and advocacy activities to help make our church a truly welcoming and open congregation.  Please visit our Reconciling tumblr page for more information and photos: bvumcreconciling.tumblr.com/

This video was put together by members of the Reconciling Committee at Buena Vista United Methodist Church. The video documents the history of the Reconciling Ministry at Buena Vista, including the educational series and discernment process of the congregation. Interviews were conducted for 3 months prior to the showing at Buena Vista's Annual "Coming Out Sunday" Worship in 2014. Interviewees include: Pastor Michael Yoshii, Jill Shiraki, Lynda Fong, Sally McIntyre, Lois Mark, Lauren Quock, Kira Salde-Azzam, and Nikki Salde-Azzam.  To view the video, please click here.

Buena Vista UMC member Kira Salde-Azzam gave the message at Sunday service on "Coming Out Sunday" on October 19, 2014 that addressed the connections and intersections of three different ministries that BVUMC has been a part of, including work in the Philippines, Palestine, and Reconciling ministries. Her reflection gave insight into her own participation in each of these ministries and the role in which our faith community plays. To read her message, please click here.

Network on Religion and Justice (NRJ) Coordinator Lauren Quock preached at BVUMC on "Coming Out Sunday" on October 20, 2013.  In a question and answer session following the service, the congregation had the opportunity to ask questions about API LGBTQ people of faith.  Questions and answers were published in a monthly column in the BVUMC Newsletter, The Buena Vista Bulletin, from November 2013-June 2014.  To access these past monthly columns, click here: NRJ

United Methodist Women

The United Methodist Women (UMW) is a national organization with local chapters in each congregation. The Buena Vista UMW organizes activities and programs for our congregation and also participates in larger activities of the district and conference. The conference UMW sponsors mission education events annually where key issues are highlighted. This past year a mission study was held on “Haiti earthquake recovery” and another on the theme of “Forgiveness”

Youth

BVUMC has an active youth program for junior and senior high school students, with activities organized and led by a youth leadership team. The 2014-2015 leadership team includes:

  • Tomi Eijima, Mikey Lee, Jane Ancheta, Isaac Doi, Ryan Furuichi Fong and Joni Lee

The leadership team meets weekly to plan activities to engage the youth of BVUMC and to develop their own leadership skills. Each member of the leadership team sets their own leadership and learning goal for the year to help guide their participation.

BVUMC youth also participate in summer youth overnight camps sponsored by the Japanese American Caucus of the United Methodist Church. Senior High students can attend Asian Camp, and Junior High students can attend Junior High Camp. These camps are opportunities for youth to explore their faith with their peers in a fun setting.

Junior High Youth Group meets at least once a month for a fellowship Sunday that includes lunch and activities filled with fun, fellowship, service and learning.

 

United Methodist Women is an opportunity for fellowship, support and enlightenment.

Keeping our Extending Connections members active! 

 Meal time is as important as exercise time!

The choir shares the gift of music! 

Our youth program provides faith exploration, fellowship, and leadership opportunities in a safe setting. 

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