Updated: Jun 13, 2022
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
- Galatians 5:22-23a
Dear Friends and Family of Centenary UMC,
The summer season is about to begin, and I hope we remember to keep planting healthy relational and spiritual seeds which will grow “fruits of the Spirit.” We journey towards October to celebrate 125 years of mission and ministries at Centenary UMC. Some of us focus on planting one seed, such as the seed of patience. Some of us may plant more than one seed. Whichever seed you are being led to plant for Jesus, when I think about our church and faith community planting many seeds to reflect the image of God in our lives, I can sense God’s smile.
During this year’s 50 days of the Easter season, I enjoyed experiencing the fruits of endurance, diligence, and joy. Thanks to the leadership of Ted Yamada and vice-chairperson, Michele Nagata in leading us through the return of the Arigato Bazaar in person, it was memorable and fun. I can still feel the heartbeat of the taiko drums played by our very own Chikara Daiko. I can still smell the smokiness from the BBQ grill in the back, hear the laughter and chatter from those trekking in and out of the church, and even witness some of the tears of many who were reuniting with friends they have not seen since the 2020’s start of the pandemic. Easter season reminded us of new life, new hope, and a fresh perspective on what we already know about God’s vision for the church. We are still about making disciples for Jesus for the transformation of hearts and lives. God is good!
As we enter the season of Pentecost, celebrating the birth of Christ’s Church, may God touch our hearts to bring joy and laughter to one another in Jesus’ name. As we are a small part of the Little Tokyo area, let us all recognize, we are exactly who God wants us to be right now - a community of believers in Christ Jesus, who trust that even when we have faith as small as a mustard seed, God will use us to move mountains. I encourage us to keep planting seeds that will grow into the fruits of the Spirit. By the time we get to October, thinking metaphorically, I pray we have a garden, a church, a village filled with folks offering one another, fruits which can be nurtured by a faith community, but can only be grown by God who sees the blessings of the fruits of the Spirit.
With a Heart of Thanks,
Rev. Ki Choi
Centenary United Methodist Church
West District Conference