March 25, 2020

Dear Home of Christ Family,

This past week, I along with thousands of other pastors and church leaders have wrestled with what "shelter-in-place" means for our church family. One verse that came up often during this time comes from the letter to the Hebrews 10:25.

...not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


I'm sure for some of you, like me, the pain of being absent physically from the rest of the church family has been felt acutely. We are fortunate however that we have technology that mitigates some of this pain, but even with the best Zoom and live-stream feeds, we feel a hole in our hearts knowing that we are apart from one another.


However, although we are not able to meet together, as a church, we are still carrying on what the author of Hebrews intended. Verse 25 is actually only a part of the sentence, and part of the larger thought. The preceding verse gives us a little more context.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...


Just this past week, I have heard, seen, and witnessed our young people care for others by bringing groceries, and other essentials to those who are more vulnerable. I have seen brothers and sisters lend devices so those without can still stay connected and watch our live-streams. Others have thoughtfully dropped off games and activities to young families to help them have some sanity during this time. Many have collectively committed to fasting and praying for our dear brother David Jou as he struggles in the hospital. And dozens of individuals, along with our church, have donated N95 masks to local hospitals in our region.


All that to say, I am proud of our family for coming together when we can't come together. Let me encourage all of us to continue thinking of new and creative ways to "stir up one another to love and good works." Great job HOC5 family!

  • One way you can do that is by sending me (dean.yuan@hoc5.org) a 10 second video introducing yourself sharing 1 thing you are grateful for.
  • Another way you can help others is if you're willing pick up groceries, sign up here.  And if you need help with groceries, sign up here.
  • If you are willing to donate N95 (KN95 is acceptable as well) masks, our church will be collecting them and distributing them to local hospitals. They must be in unopened packaging. The church will be opened from 11AM-Noon on Weds 3/25, 4/1 and 4/8 for you to drop them off.
  • Commit to praying and/or fasting for Dave Jou, sign up here. (You can add your name on the first page, and read the prayer needs on the second page)

We would love to pray for you as a church family - send your prayer needs and requests to prayer@hoc5.org


Keep up with the readings, and watch the livestream here. Go to the link and hit "subscribe" for the latest updates.


Dean

March 22, 2020

Dear Home of Christ Family,

Thank you all for joining us this morning for our livestream service. We praise God that despite so many challenges and obstacles this week, technology allows us to continue to meet in ways that are not so different from our normal routine, albeit in pj's and at separate locations.


For those of you were not able to join during the livestream, watch the replay here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REtnOQYhrC4


We appreciate your patience as we sort through all the technical hiccups of the livestream process. As the Youtube platform continues to have some issues, we may switch to a different platform, to be determined. Please keep a look out for more information this week coming to your email inbox.


Other than email, there are a few ways to keep updated with the Sunday Service information. Please see these options below:

Church Website  hoc5.church

Facebook Page Home of Christ IN Cupertino


Wishing you all a blessed week, and encouraging you all to consider how God is calling you to move in faith this week!

March 20, 2020

Dearest Church Family,


As we slowly settle into the new views and rhythms of a more stilled life, I pray that you would find shelter and hope in God's unchanging word.

May we abide in Him as our true abode, a quiet and cozy nook of security and comfort when the world outside feels chaotic and frightening.


I wanted to share a resource that has been a huge comfort to me personally, the Dwell Bible app, and more specifically, their curated "Faith Over Fear" playlist of Scripture.

The folks at Dwell have generously offered us a complimentary two month subscription to their Bible listening app, and I highly recommend a daily soak in Scripture to saturate your mind and heart when you feel blown and tossed by the rolling billows of the seas all around.

The Dwell listening experience can be customized with different narrators and musical accompaniment, allowing you to craft an ambience that most ministers to you.  


There is power in hearing the promises and truths of God's Word spoken over you, and I pray you will find Dwell to be a refuge for your soul.

> Sign up for your free 2 month account here

Praying that you will be held and steadied by God's presence both with and within you - He our true Shelter in this place.

Love to you all,

Sumiko

March 17, 2020

Dear Home of Christ Family,

These are some crazy times. 

I'm typically a champion at sleeping. I've slept through earthquakes, fire alarms, and possibly while my wife was in labor. Once those lights are out, I'm out like a log. But this week, sleep has been harder to come by. Thoughts of Sunday worship mishaps run through my mind, wondering how these next few weeks will go as we all shelter in place. 

As someone with an underlying respiratory condition, and a father to someone who has the same, I wonder if all of this has increased my anxiety levels. The fear of the unknown, the lack of control, not knowing when this latest order will end, or even if it will get more stringent. And maybe you feel the same.


I've taken comfort in the "love this book" reading for today from Joshua 4 (DO YOUR READINGS!)

21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”


The purpose of these stones is to remember that God had provided a miraculous delivery for his people. These stones, later called ebenezer (eben meaning stone and ezer meaning help - same as the title given for Eve) were to be a visual, physical and spiritual reminder that God had saved his people once before, and he would continue to prove his faithfulness.


So in the light of these chaotic times, I want to raise up our Ebenezer.


We remember when a handful of faithful men and women decided to start the Home of Christ in Cupertino. Against formidable enemies of government, multimillion dollar tech companies, influential land developers, these faithful believers must have looked like grasshoppers in their eyes.

And yet God was faithful.

We remember how these faithful men and women raised the capital in order to convert the building into a place of worship - the financial figure seemed astronomical considering many of these immigrants were also raising their own families.

And yet God was faithful.

We remember that first worship service, just over 25 years ago, a smattering of youth and young adults, one of the first english-only congregation in the south bay.

And God has been faithful.

We remember the many baptisms over the years, the number of times the gospel has been shared, lives have been reached, families have been saved, marriages have been restored, friendships that have been formed, the tears and laughters, the births and deaths.

And through it all God has been and will be faithful to us.


So in this time of uncertainty, take some time to raise your ebenezer and remember how God has helped you.

Keep up with your readings. God's word will speak to you.


This week we will be trying something a little different with the livestream, so stay tuned for more information. Go to the link and hit "subscribe" for the latest updates.


Sign up here if you need help with groceries, and if you're willing to help others pick up groceries, sign up here.


We would love to pray for you as a church family - send your prayer needs and requests to prayer@hoc5.org


Take some time to worship God. I've found these two songs to especially minister to my soul this past week.

Faithful Now - Vertical Worship

Peace Be Still - Hope Darst


And pray for one another, encourage one another, reach out to others, whether through facetime, hangouts, text, phone calls. 

In the words of Paul, If God is for us, who (or what) can be against us!


Dean

March 12, 2020

Dear Home of Christ Family,

As we continue to face uncertain times and feel the fear, stress, anxiety and overwhelm in and around us, I want to encourage you all with this song of David: 

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

   whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

   of whom shall I be afraid?

I’m reminded that no matter what we face, we have a God who is our source of strength, a strong fortress to run to and take refuge in. Since we have a God like this, or more accurately, because God has us, of whom shall we be afraid?  

Be encouraged, dear brothers and sisters, that in the face of uncertainty, in the face of disease, in the face of whatever you might be dealing with, God is our light and salvation. He is the ultimate source of our hope and security.

On Wednesday, 3/10, our elder board met to discuss our next steps in light of the additional directive given by the CDC . Our goal in cooperating with the county public health officials is to slow the spread of the virus to allow health workers and hospitals the ability to treat those who have been impacted by this virus adequately. Our church serves many high risk individuals, and we want to love and care for them as well. 

Until further notice, here are the additional steps we will be taking-


Sunday Services

We have decided to cancel all in-person events that meet on our church campus. 

Starting this Sunday, only those who are essential to the livestream worship service will be asked to come to church. Everyone else is encouraged to watch our livestream service, which begins at 9:30 am. 

I highly encourage you to participate in the live chat as you begin the livestream. Though this will not replace the actual in-person feel, hopefully it will create a sense of community as we gather remotely.

If you are unable to watch concurrently, the video will be on our YouTube channel as well as our church website at hoc5.us.


Small Groups and other Ministries

All in-person small groups, regardless of size, will be canceled and asked to meet online. Leaders will be given directions on how to host online meetings through Zoom or similar platforms. 

If you would like to host a meeting and have not been approached by a church staff, please feel free to contact grace.wang@hoc5.org for instructions.


Financial Giving

Please continue to remember your financial generosity to Home of Christ during this difficult and unique season. Needless to say, not only has attendance taken a hit, so has our financial giving. We continue to trust the Lord to meet our financial needs, and we strongly encourage everyone to give online. 

Online giving is available at hoc5.us/giving.  


Those in Need

Undoubtedly, there will be those who are in need of both physical help and spiritual help. The first point of contact should be your small group leaders (or family group leaders). We are still developing strategies and ideas for caring for one another as God’s family during this time. 


Prayers

As a community, we believe that our Heavenly Father loves to hear from us and loves to answer our prayers. 

It is our joy and blessing to be able to pray for our church family, so please send your prayer requests to prayer@hoc5.org

If you would like to join our weekly online prayer meeting, let me know at dean.yuan@hoc5.org. If you would like to receive the prayer newsletters so you can pray individually for the church, please let me know as well.

And finally, we ask that you continue praying for the leadership team of the Home of Christ Church. Over the past few weeks, we have had to make some unprecedented decisions, wrestling with our faith in Jesus, and our responsibilities as members of society. We trust that we are acting in faith with these new measures, but we continue to need your prayers for continued wisdom and discernment.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact myself (dean.yuan@hoc5.org), or Elder Irving Chung (irving.chung@hoc5.org). 

-Pastor Dean

March 6, 2020

Dear Home of Christ Family,


We know many of you are concerned with the developing news and spread of COVID-19, and some of us have already been impacted by this virus, whether directly or indirectly. 

In a time of uncertainty and anxiety, when we feel a collective sense of fear and helplessness, remember and take hope in the truth that we belong to a God who has conquered death itself.  

As we navigate these changing circumstances, we can trust that God is in control and respond in faith - however you feel that God might be leading you in this current situation.

Today at noon, our Elder Board met to discuss our next steps in light of the most recent guidelines and recommendations from Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The Elder Board will be closely monitoring the situation and will continue to give updated guidance as more recommendations are given by our county and state officials.


Sunday Services

Until further notice, we are encouraging everyone to worship online. We can still worship together and gather virtually through our livestream service which will begin at 9:30 am (remember that daylight savings begins this weekend!). Recordings of the service will be available shortly after, and can be accessed on the church’s website at hoc5.us. This will be our first livestream of a Sunday service, so please pray that the experience will be smooth for everyone.


Small Groups and Fellowship Groups

We are asking all small groups to replace in-person meetings with virtual gatherings. The pastoral staff will assist small group leaders in finding solutions as we navigate these fluid circumstances and challenges. Unfortunately, this also means that our youth group will be canceled for the time being. Pastor Yuji will be giving further instructions in upcoming communications.


Financial Giving

Please continue to remember your financial generosity to Home of Christ during this difficult and unique season. As always, we trust the LORD to meet our needs. Online giving is available at hoc5.us/giving .   


Those in Need

If you are in need, please let us know - whether you are ill or have been advised to stay home because you are at higher risk. We are developing strategies and ideas to care for one another as God’s family during this time.

Please contact Irving Chung (irving.chung@hoc5.org) or Dean Yuan (dean.yuan@hoc5.org


Stay Informed

Santa Clara County Public Health Department COVID-19

CDC Novel Coronavirus