Dear Siblings in Christ, grace and peace to you.

Did you feel the Spirit? How did God touch you at the Pentecost Merger Celebration? I was deeply touched by God’s spirit moving through your presence, prayer, devotion, hard work, service, joy, and love for your church, for one another, and for God. I came home around 4:30 pm and was still high in Spirit and love from the experience of our spirit-filled Pentecost Merger Celebration. My heart is still full, and I will cherish this day.

As I reflect on our journey together the last two years, I thank God for each of you. In my prayers, I pray with joy because of your partnership in sharing the gospel. I am amazed by what each of our members could do in the name of Jesus and how our churches, Lake Park and Lake Merritt, came together by the Spirit’s movement.

Thank you, siblings, for leading and serving with me. I am deeply touched by your faith, hope, and love, and I look forward to witnessing how God will move among us and bring healing and hope in each of our lives and our community. I believe that God who began the good work at both Lake Merritt and Lake Park will now carry it on to completion with our merged church, Lake Merritt United Methodist Church.

An old rabbi was once asked why so few people were finding God. He wisely replied that people are not willing to look that low. Jesus was born in a stable, and God is especially concerned for the poorest, the lowliest, the lost, and the neglected.

Siblings, let us be humble as Jesus was a humble servant. Let us look low and be with the lowliest, the lost, the poorest, and neglected. As our Bishop Carcaño said at the Pentecost Merger Celebration, Jesus’ promise never fails. She charged us to listen and love. As a new LMUMC, it is my prayer that we continue to be with the lowliest, listen and love, and find God collectively.

Most importantly, may we continue to worship God in spirit in our beautiful sanctuary. May we always wonder prayerfully how we can usher God’s people, the spiritual but not religious, who walk into our church seeking hope, healing and wholeness. May we begin with quiet, intercessory prayer or stillness before God to accompany all our active work. We move from God’s presence to others through us. We are woven into the great fabric of praying souls, and our work as the body of Christ on earth goes on being done.

I would like to share my special gratitude to Bishop Carcaño, DS Sun Hee Kim, Conference Lay Leader Micheal Pope, and Bay District Lay Leader Tyree Johnson for their presence as they spent their whole Sunday traveling a great distance. Special thanks for our worship team and audio/visual team for planning a wonderful Merger celebration. Special thanks to our Trustees for beautifying and cleaning our church inside and out with radical hospitality. Special thanks to everyone bringing their delicious dishes to share and also to the BBQ team for grilling wonderful hamburgers and hotdogs.

Special thanks to our children’s ministry teachers and helpers for taking care of our children. Special thanks to twenty worship leaders and participants for being part of God’s voice in worship. Special thanks to Pastor Dale and four other siblings sharing their stories of our churches. Special thanks to Dr. Taharka and the choir for a very special song. Special thanks to our bell ringers for helping us enter the worship gently and spiritually.

Special thanks to our kitchen volunteers and Judi for organizing and serving abundant food for the fellowship meal and for the beautiful decorations in the fellowship hall. Special thanks to Bernard for setting up for our church and also for YMCO for their graduation concert. Special thanks to John and Nieves for taking an awesome church group picture. Special thanks to all the ushers and greeters. Special thanks to guest pastors, members, friends and family who were there to bless and celebrate this joyous occasion. Lastly, I thank God for His abundant blessings and love to our church. I give God thanks.

Please enjoy our all-church photo below. It came out beautifully.

This is only a new beginning of LMUMC. Let us walk with God and with each other humbly, justly, and love mercy.

Gratitude and grace, Sunae

Rev. Sunae Cho | Lead Pastor

(Click on the image to view in higher resolution)