Senior Pastor Reflection
The Rev. Karen Yokota Love and Jesse Love celebrate Easter Sunday, placing flowers on the cross at Blaine Memorial UMC.

Hallelujah, rest and renewal during Eastertide

By The Rev. Karen Yokota Love, additional photos by Ryan Kozu

Keiko and Susan Yanagihara anxiously await for Easter worship to begin.

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! Hallelujah! Christ is risen, indeed! I greet you with the miracle of Easter during this Eastertide season. 

Thank you to each of you who attended Blaine’s Easter Sunday festivities this year! For the second year in a row since the pandemic, the Blaine Youth Group (BYG) worked passionately to prepare a delicious Easter Breakfast with all the fixings – scrambled eggs, mini smokies, fruit, cinnamon rolls, and much more.

The Blaine Youth Group served a delicious Easter Breakfast consisting of eggs, fruit, pancakes, and sausages in support of Blaine’s Camping Ministries.

The altar was covered in lilies with white and gold touches. Howard Nakase, Jason Lew and Ron Nobuyama carried in the flowered cross during the processional. It magnified the sanctuary.

Jason Lew and Howard Nakase carry in the Flowered Cross into the Sanctuary during Easter Sunday Service.

Our Church School Teachers and BYG filled and hid 450 Easter Eggs in the Courtyard. The sun was shining and it was a perfect Easter morning – incredibly special with Christ’s love surrounding us with breakfast, the flowering of the cross, a dynamic worship service and an Egg Hunt. Thank you for a special Easter, Blaine Memorial. Christ Is Risen, Indeed!

Yoshi L. gets ready to place a flower on the cross.

During this Eastertide, and after serving full-time as a United Methodist minister for the past 10 years, I am taking a one month vacation with Jesse for rest and renewal in May. This is the first extended vacation that I am taking since my appointed time at Blaine Memorial UMC and it is fully supported and encouraged by SPRC.

Rest and renewal are deeply entrenched biblical principles; Jesus himself would often take time from active ministry to be with God. In the same way, I am grateful that the SPRC Team encourages to provide rhythms of rest and restoration to your spiritual leaders at Blaine. I plan on using this time to let the Holy Spirit teach myself as well as the congregation to guide us and prepare us so that we can be ready to do vibrant ministry for the upcoming year. I ask for your prayers for me and our staff and worship team here at Blaine Memorial UMC. I believe that God has great things planned for us!

Rev. Mia will oversee all duties at Blaine Memorial from May 1-31, 2024. On March 17, 2024 during worship, Arlene Naganawa, our esteemed SPRC Chair, announced that Rev. Mia MiKyung Park is to be appointed to Redeemer United Methodist Church in Kingston, WA as of July 1, 2024. Rev. Mia’s last day at Blaine Memorial UMC will be on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. From now until then, she will focus on wrapping up her work with current ministries that she oversees with the Children and Youth. I’m grateful for all of Rev. Mia’s work and her heartfelt ministry and I ask that we continue to enjoy her gifts, graces and presence. May God grant us faith and love as God leads us through this transition. Please come to her celebration send-off party on Sunday, June 9 with one of Blaine’s famous potlucks! Take a look at page 4 for more information. 

During the month of May, there will not be a June printed newsletter. Our next newsletter will be the July/August issue. Any pertinent news will be emailed through Realm during this time. If you’d like to receive emails, please contact the Blaine Office

In addition to the talented staff and leaders, many others will step in to fulfill areas of my role. I am fortunate that our ministers and staff are more than capable and ready to take on preaching, pastoral care, and administrative responsibilities. SPRC and Ad Board will also be available to support the ministers and staff in whatever ways necessary during this time. Our chairpersons are well-equipped to handle their various ministry teams, and our staff members are ready to help our ministries succeed to the fullest. I appreciate being at a church that cares about my self-care. I know that I can take a month off with a peaceful heart and mind because the church is not only in good shape, it’s also in good hands.

Thank you in advance for your understanding, and for playing your part while Jesse and I are away. May you be blessed every step of your path by the great God of light. I will see you upon my return and I’ll be ready to serve! Peace to you. 

The Rev. Karen Yokota Love serves as the Senior Pastor of Blaine Memorial UMC.


Wednesday Meditation & Prayer • Every Wednesday

The Wednesday Prayer group continues to meet each week. Our time together consists of a check-in question centering around United Methodist Founder John Wesley’s famous question, “How is it with your soul?” Our time together continues with a few readings from The Upper Room Magazine. Finally, we end our time together with a pastoral prayer. Join us!

Spring Reconciling Ministries Book Study • Every Thursday

The Reconciling team will begin hosting a new book study this Spring. We’ll read and discuss the book Outside the Lines by author and pastor Mihee Kim-Kort. 

Kim-Kort’s book explores the relationship between queerness and spirituality. Queerness is not only an identity that many of us hold but a lens through which we can begin to understand God’s love for us. 

Books can be purchased at the Church office for $16. 

This book study is open to anyone who would like to participate! The Book Study Group will meet every Thursday evening at 7:00 PM on Zoom. We will read and discuss one chapter per week and open up space for questions, reflections, and sharing with one another.

Zoom Christian Parenting Webinar • Thursday, May 9, 2024

Join us for a special Zoom Christian Parenting Webinar on Thursday, May 9 at 7 pm. Our guest speaker is Rev. Dr. KilJae Park from the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church. Contact Rev. Mia for more details.

Mother’s Day Brunch • Sunday, May 12, 2024

Join us as we honor the women and those who identify as women at Blaine Memorial UMC on Sunday, May 12 from 8:30am-10am and then again, after worship. During this time, we will honor, remember, and show our love to our mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, wives, teachers, mentors, and all the women in our lives that have influenced and shaped us into the people who we are today. We need your help all men and those who identify as men at Blaine Memorial to prepare the breakfast beginning at 6am. Thank you to Howard Nakase for chairing this year’s Mother’s Day breakfast!

BYG Bake Sale, T-Shirt Sale for Camping Ministries • Sunday, May 12, 2024

Bake Sale on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12) in the Social Hall and T-Shirts (each $30) Pre-order Available till Sunday, May 12 Please email our BYG Directors for any questions. Thank you for your continued support!

Educational Scholarships 2024, Apply Now! • Due May 15, 2024

The Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church Educational Scholarships are designed to support the mission of the church through supporting a multitude of educational opportunities. We are proud to have helped students in their pursuit of continuing education since 1968. We encourage all applicants; from those just entering their next phase of education to those returning to complete or pursue continued education.

We are blessed to offer the following scholarships:

  • Vera Ing Scholarship
  • Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church Scholarship
  • Yasuda Scholarship
  • William S. Yorozu Scholarship
  • Robert and Lucy Sato Scholarship

Applications are available through emailing Blaine Scholarships or through the church office. All scholarships will consider, but are not limited to, elements such as grades (if applicable), personal essay, church participation and finances. Applications and two (2) letters of recommendation must be received no later than May 15, 2024 for consideration.

We are looking forward to applicants excited about pursuing their education.

34th Annual ACRS Walk for Rice • June 29, 2024

The ACRS will host the Walk for Rice on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Seward Park starting at 9:00 am. Please visit (you’ll be directed to the ACRS WFR event page) and search for “Team Blaine” to donate online! Alternatively, you can mail your donation (checks made out to “Walk for Rice”, memo: “Team Blaine”) to the Blaine office. Thank you for your con-tinued support! Please contact Justine Ing for more details. Read more.

Everyone smiles for a whole Asian Camp photo in the camp T-shirt! This photo is from Asian Camp 2023. Contact BYG leadership for to register for this year’s Asian Camp!

Summer Youth Camps Schedule • See Dates

Jr. High Camp • June 23-28, 2024

Incoming 6th-9th grade

Camp Lodestar

6135 Blue Mountain Rd.

Wilseyville, CA 95257

Asian Camp • July 14-19, 2024

Incoming 10th- 2nd year college

Camp Gilmore

26801 Dorothy Drive

Calabasas, CA 91302

VBS 2023 provided quality time with our young people and adults alike. What are you looking forward to at VBS 2024?

Vacation Bible School 2024 • Four Sundays Save these Sunday dates for VBS!

  • July 28
  • August 4
  • August 11
  • August 18

Theme: Operation Restoration – Mending God’s World Time: 10 am to 12 pm, including lunch.

Registration: $20 per Sunday per child. Location: Blaine Memorial Church School Classroom.

Email: to enroll now!

“Letters of Suresh” with Dr. Stephen Sumida! • April 24-May 18

Dr. Stephen Sumida will be performing in what may be his last center-stage role! In “Letters of Suresh”, Sumida will play Father Hashimoto mentoring the main character through life and spiritual matters. Contact Dr. Sumida for more info!

View the April 2024 Calendar

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