Church News & Events

Seventh Sunday of Easter Comments Off on Seventh Sunday of Easter

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Posted by on May 20, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Innovation Hub, Prayer, Sermons, Service Opportunities, Small Groups, Spiritual Formation, Sunday Worship, Weekly Calendar


Order of Worship

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness
By James K. Manley
Kathy Onishi
Welcome of Grace and Greeting
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Call to Worship
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
Opening Prayer
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
*Opening Hymn
Sois la Semilla (You are the Seed)
(UMH #583)
Eugene and Kathy Onishi
First Scripture Reading
Acts 1:6-14 (CEB, JLB)
Terri Pittman & Yuki Sofronas
Children’s Message
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
Special Music
O Jesus, I Have Promised
By J.E. Bode, A.H. Mann
Blaine Memorial Choir
Mission Moment: ACRS/Walk For Rice
Michael Byun, Executive Director;
Audrey Hwang and Justine
Second Scripture Reading
John 17:1-11 (NRSVUE, JLB)
Terri Pittman & Yuki Sofronas
The Struggle for Love
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Hymn of Response
Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Eugene and Kathy Onishi (UMH #557)
Reconciling Ministries Moment #3
Arlene Naganawa
Introduction to the Offering
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
(UMH #94) Kathy Onishi
Prayer of Dedication
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Closing Hymn
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
(TFWS #2223)
Eugene and Kathy Onishi
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Across the Lands
By Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Kathy Onishi
Straw Poll
Arlene Naganawa
Not at in-person worship? Send your vote by May 21, 2023 at 2pm to This method is not anonymous.
Passing of the Peace
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Zoom Breakout Room
Rev. Dr. Jeney Park-Hearn

Sermon Reflection Questions

  • What is a stream of Christian spirituality that you feel at odds with?
  • How is the Spirit inviting you to integrate some of their practices into your life?
  • What is a fragment of your story that you are ashamed of?
  • How is the Spirit inviting you to integrate it back into your life?

Upcoming Lectionary Scriptures

Monday, May 22, 2023
Psalm 99; Leviticus 9:1-11, 22-24; 1 Peter 4:1-6
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Psalm 99; Numbers 16:41-50; 1 Peter 4:7-11
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Psalm 99; 1 Kings 8:54-65; John 3:31-36
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Psalm 33:12-22; Exodus 19:1-9a; Acts 2:1-11
Friday, May 26, 2023
Psalm 33:12-22; Exodus 19:16-25; Romans 8:14-17
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Psalm 33:12-22; Exodus 20:1-21; Matthew 5:1-12


Reconciling Ministries Straw Poll

Today after worship

The Reconciling Ministries Team will conduct a straw poll on Sunday, May 21. This poll is not a final vote on affiliation with Reconciling Ministries. The team is simply conducting a poll of our congregation to better understand your thoughts, feelings, and concerns about the reconciling statement. The vote will take place after the service is finished, and your participation is required.

VBS Volunteers Meetings

May 21 & June 4

We will be holding volunteer meetings on the following Sundays: May 21st and June 4th, after the service, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Webb Room. If you are planning to volunteer at VBS this year, please make sure to attend these meetings.

Wednesday Coffee & Prayer

May 24 • 9am on Zoom

Please join Rev. Karen for a time of meditation and prayer on Wednesday, May 24 at 9am. 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?”

Please join us! Brew a fresh cup of coffee or steep some tea. This is a great opportunity to pause in the middle of the week to check in with others. The Zoom link will be sent out prior to gathering on Tuesday.

33rd Annual ACRS Walk for Rice

June 17 • 9am

This year ACRS will hold its in-person Walk for Rice at 9:00 am on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at Seward Park! Team Blaine’s fundraising goal is $7,000. Help ACRS feed AAPI community members who are experiencing food insecurity by joining or donating to Team Blaine! 

Go to: to donate online! Or mail your donation to the Blaine office (checks made out to “Walk for Rice”, memo: “Team Blaine”) . Thanks for your support! Read more.

Blaine Cookbook needs your recipes!

Due May 31

Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church will release a 120th Anniversary Edition of “Let’s Dine!”, the latest in a series of cookbooks produced by Blaine Memorial over the past 70 years. This cookbook will commemorate the 120th Anniversary of Blaine Memorial, with a scheduled release of January 2024. We are seeking submissions for the 2024 cookbook and are calling on you to contribute! Read more.

Ongoing Donations for Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees

Items being collected: At this time, we have an abundance of some items and so we are NOT in need of clothing or children’s toys. Especially needed items are women’s products, toothpaste, personal care items, rice cookers, blenders, mixing bowls, microwave ovens, toasters, mixers, irons, dish sets, towels, and blankets.

Blaine Memorial UMC Collection Hours: Collection items can be dropped off to the Blaine Memorial Social Hall from Tuesday – Thursday between 10:00AM-4:00PM. Please call the Church Office at (206) 723-1536 prior to dropping off your items. South King County Response Center Collection & Volunteer Hours: The Donation Center is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays from 10am-2pm, same time as the Tukwila Pantry at 3118 S. 140th St. Seattle.

Please text Kim Parks at (206) 683-1707 when you would like to help. Please wear a mask and bring a marking pen and measuring tape if possible. Please contact Donna Sekijima at: and/or Anne Arakaki-Lock at:

This summer’s Camping Ministries and Vacation Bible School schedules are out!

Please save the dates for your children and youth! Summer Camps & VBS 2023!

June 25-30
Jr/High Camp (for incoming 6th-9th graders) Jr. High Camp registration is open now! Please register your youth by May 31!
July 10-14
Vacation Bible School 10am-3pm VBS registration is open now! Visit the VBS 2023 page and bookmark it for updates!
July 23-28
Asian Camp (for incoming 10th grade- 2 yrs. post-high school)

Ongoing Request for Chips and Savory Treats

Thank you all for generously donating sweet and savory treats for post-worship fellowship time. Currently, we need more chips and savory items: wrapped bags of chips (potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos etc.) would be appreciated. Drop off your donations to the Narthex, Church Office, or Social Hall either on Sunday or during Church Office Hours (Tuesday-Friday 10:00AM-4:00PM). Help serve refreshments on Sundays after worship by contacting Julie Lock at:

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Reconciling Statement Vote Comments Off on Reconciling Statement Vote

Reconciling Statement Vote

Posted by on May 18, 2023 in Church News & Events, Innovation Hub, Prayer

Reconciling Ministries Team

Celebrating God’s Gift: Diversity

By Lynne Onishi

Greetings from the Reconciling Ministries (RM) team at Blaine! The RM team is a lay-led group of congregation members who are passionate about LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the church. We are here to help guide this church through a process of discernment as we consider affiliating with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).

To affiliate with RMN, our church must vote to adopt a Reconciling Statement. We want to hear what you think about this statement before we take a final vote, so we are conducting a straw poll on May 21. As we prepare to take a straw poll, we invite you to look at the Reconciling Statement below:

“We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, and family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic, and political inequities. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed.”

Why are you a part of the team?

I am a member of the Reconciling Ministry Team because I know a family whose son is non-binary. I have seen their fear when prejudice and hate were directed toward their child. And I have seen their reaction to be one of honesty, courage, and love. I believe the church can come alongside families like this to provide support and community.

Terri Pittman

I am part of the Reconciling Ministries Team because I grew up in this church and have always felt included, yet also off to the side, and want to see a place that is welcoming and affirming to all.

Dale H. Watanabe

I am a member of the Reconciling Ministries Team because we, as a church, love God and God’s people. We can show our love by openly expressing welcome to our friends who are often marginalized and hurt, even though that may not be our intention. As a teacher, I worked with many youth who suffered pain and rejection because of their sexual identities. Sometimes, the pain was too much to bear. Offering an accepting (Christian?) community can metaphorically and literally save lives.

Arlene Naganawa

Reconciling Ministries Team

Yoshi Kuramoto, Arlene Naganawa, Lynne Onishi, Lawrence Paltep, Terri Pittman, Mariko Ronan, Jarrett Shirouzu, Jenna Tong, Dale Watanabe, Malia Yamamoto

The Reconciling Ministries Team invites all who are interested to join in our work! Visit for more information.

Also read…

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Senior Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection Comments Off on Senior Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection

Senior Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Church News & Events, Innovation Hub, Pastors' Columns, Prayer, Sermons, Spiritual Formation

The Rev. Karen Yokota Love presents a Reconciling Ministry Moment during Sunday Worship.

Pentecost: The Gift of Diversity

By Rev. Karen Yokota Love, Senior Pastor

“When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” Acts 2:1-4

In Acts 2, the disciples are huddled in the upper room. First, there is wind and fire. Then the disciples speak about Jesus, and the author Luke writes, “When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?’”

The image of a dove – a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God, peace, rest and humility, in the context of the symbol of the Holy Trinity.

Pentecost becomes an affirmation of God’s gift of diversity. Luke makes a point of listing all the places that the people had come from to be in Jerusalem. There were many different people from many different places speaking many different languages. Pentecost is a celebration of unity in diversity. Diversity can be difficult. The people of Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church began conversations around LGBTQIA+ inclusion in July 2022. This is an ongoing process of prayer, learning, discernment, and conversation. The process will culminate with a congregational decision. Disaffiliation, or leaving the United Methodist Church as a denomination, has not been a part of these discussions. There is no intention of leaving the UMC. We continue to discuss what this outcome looks like for Blaine Memorial UMC and how this helps us be a more loving community. We might not always understand one another and there might be miscommunication. Social queues could be misinterpreted. Sometimes, understanding one another more effectively or efficiently can be frustrating.

However, the “birth” of the church is more than simply understanding one another more effectively or efficiently. The reign of God depends on diversity. The more we can widen and deepen our awareness of where the holy is at work among us, the more possibilities become reality for the peaceable kin-dom to come near.

Sometimes this work of deepening understanding and stretching our perceptions is the opposite of efficient. But it is worth the effort because we are talking about the dream of our hearts, initiated and fulfilled by our God. Sometimes we are tempted to confuse our own experience of “normal” with being faithful.

The Pentecost experience reminds us that God always is willing to break up and expand our perception of the norm to welcome every blessed variety of God’s beloved creation. The more we can hear, see, and experience the Spirit at work in the incredible diversity of our world, the more we receive the deep invitation to full life in Christ.

We are re-centered in God’s love as the ultimate “norm” for all life, and we begin to see the world anew. When we truly are baptized into Christ, we become a part of a new creation.

Every Pentecost is the re-birth of the church anew into a particular time and place and context, each with its own joys and sorrows. The visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost today may be very similar to the first Pentecost: reaching across boundaries to understand those who live differently, speak differently, experience reality differently. Our Spirit-given diversity challenges singular and dominating forms of power that dehumanize, and that ignore the breath of divine life, the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all creation, in every human being. This gift offers us countless and bold ways to build communion and inclusive community where diversity breathes life. Pentecost then is not so much the birth of the church, but a snapshot of the church in action through the power of the Holy Spirit: where diversity is chosen over division, where dialogue is chosen over conflict, and where all are cared for, not just the people of our tribe or clan. Pentecost screams the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ: all are invited and all are welcome here. May it be so.

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Assoc. Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection Comments Off on Assoc. Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection

Assoc. Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Church News & Events, Pastors' Columns, Prayer

The Rev. Mia MiKyung Park leads Blaine Memorial UMC in prayer during Sunday Worship.

Grounded in faith, trusting in God

By Rev. Mia MiKyung Park

One of my reflective practices is to write a letter to my future self, expressing my hopes and prayers for myself. This practice has proven to be beneficial to me in many ways. Not only does it encourage and support me, but it also helps me view my situations and myself from a more objective perspective. When I write this letter, I imagine myself as one of my friends or neighbors and pour out my thoughts, encouragement, affirmation, and suggestions. Over time, I have accumulated many letters from myself that not only inspire and uplift me, but also provide moments of chuckles as the situations often turn out differently than I had anticipated.

Recently, I came across a letter I had written to myself about 20 years ago while on a plane during my very first trip to the U.S. I could feel the nervousness and anxiety I had experienced about flying into a place with an uncertain future. I remember vividly how my thoughts were wandering around without any rational connections, and I couldn’t sleep for the entire 10-hour flight. In the letter, I talked to myself in Korean, acknowledging my worries about my baggage, how to contact John if he wasn’t there to receive me, and the stress about John’s seminary acceptance and possibly moving in the near future. However, I reminded myself that God, who had led me on this journey of living in a foreign country, was already there to provide everything I needed. I also expressed my hope that I would get a chance for further education in the U.S. before returning to Korea.

Although the letter doesn’t apply exactly to my current situation, its message of grounding myself in faith and trusting in God still resonates deeply with me.

As I write this article, I am filled with both excitement and nervousness about my family’s upcoming visit in June. My mother, three older sisters, and one brother-in-law will be visiting me for the first time, and I am grateful for this opportunity. However, I also feel anxious about the logistics of their trip, particularly since my ordination service will take place in Meridian, Idaho on Sunday, June 11th. They will arrive in Seattle on June 5th, and John and I are prayerfully and carefully planning the trip with my family from Korea to Idaho and back to Seattle. After my family’s visit, our Jr. High campers will leave for camp, and in July, we will have Vacation Bible School for our children from July 10th-14th, from 10 am-3 pm. Additionally, our high schoolers will attend Asian Camp from July 23rd-28th. These are just a few of the events scheduled for my family and church.

I am praying for strength, guidance, and wisdom to make this spring and summer amazing. I already know that God will continue to deepen my faith and trust during this time, even when things sometimes turn out differently than what I anticipated. As I continue to write letters to myself, I hope to be able to look back on them with fondness and gratitude for how God has guided me through my journey. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am also excited to share that the Church School in May will be memorizing the Lord’s Prayer, so I ask the families to support our children to memorize the Lord’s Prayer at home as well.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Church School teachers, BYG leadership, and the entire congregation for your dedication and commitment to our ministries. May will be an amazing month, and I look forward to experiencing it together.

Also read:

Coram Deo: In the presence of God

Rev. Mia MiKyung Park serves as the Associate Pastor of Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church.

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Senior Pastor News Comments Off on Senior Pastor News

Senior Pastor News

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Giving, Innovation Hub, Pastors' Columns, Prayer, Service Opportunities, Small Groups, Sunday Worship, Weekly Calendar

Blaine Church members meet-and-greet with Bishop Cedrick D. Bridgeforth. From (L-R): Sharon Maeda, Bishop Cedrick D. Bridgeforth, Ron Nobuyama and Rev. Karen Yokota Love

We are resurrection people!

By Rev. Karen Yokota Love, additional photos by Lawrence Paltep and Jesse N. Love

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

Members and friends of Blaine wrap the rice balls with anko. The rice balls were prepared the night before. Anko is a sweet red bean paste made from adzuki beans and sugar.

I’m thrilled because Blaine Memorial’s Sukiyaki Take Out benefit ministry event was an absolute success. After three years of being suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a great team of leadership resurrected Sukiyaki this year. Thank you for your generous support. This event can only be successful when folks like yourselves are willing to give your time, energy and commitment. Take a look at “Sukiyaki Photos 2023” to see all of the fun.

The Blaine Youth Group prepared a delicious breakfast for Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023.

To top that off, Easter Sunday at Blaine Memorial was magical this year. Our Blaine Youth Group (BYG) resurrected the Easter Breakfast! The BYG prepared and cooked a delicious Easter breakfast with all the fixings – scrambled eggs, mini sausages, fruit, cinnamon rolls, haupia, and so much more!

Steve Sofronas and Joseph Adriano set the flowered cross in the sanctuary.

The Worship Committee decorated the sanctuary on Holy Saturday. The altar was covered in lilies with white and gold touches. Joe Adriano, Steve Sofronas and Michael Corsilles carried in the flowered cross during the processional which magnified the sanctuary. Our Church School Teachers and BYG filled and hid 300 Easter Eggs in the Social Hall and Kono Chapel for our children. Even though it rained all morning, Easter was still 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!

George Yates and Shig Nishida serve breakfast on Mother’s Day as Rev. Karen Yokota Love partakes in a hearty meal.

Speaking of eggs, our Mother’s Day Breakfast made a comeback! We honored the women and those who identify as women at Blaine Memorial UMC on Sunday, May 14. We showed 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. The men of Blaine Memorial prepared breakfast early at 6am. Thank you to Howard Nakase for chairing this year’s Mother’s Day breakfast!

Team Blaine represents at the ACRS Walk for Rice!

May signals the importance of Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. On Sunday, May 21, we will celebrate our long-standing relationship with Asian Counseling and Referral Services. Executive Director Michael Byun will join us in our worship service and share stories with us about ACRS’s long history with Blaine Memorial. ACRS promotes social justice and the well-being and empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities – including immigrants, refugees, and American-born – by developing, providing, and advocating for innovative, effective, and efficient community-based multilingual and multicultural services. We’ll also hear from Audrey Hwang and Justine about the upcoming Walk for Rice event in June. Visit “Walk for Rice 2023” for more info.

The Rev. Karen Yokota Love presents a Reconciling Ministries Moment during Sunday Worship on May 7, 2023.

Also on Sunday, May 21, we will take a straw poll after worship. This poll is to identify if we can become a reconciling congregation. It will also give us an opportunity to measure our progress and to discuss further scripture texts, intentionally facilitate dialogue, and answer any questions that one might have to become a reconciling congregation. Please look at “God’s Radical Love: Diversity”, where Lynne Onishi discusses the process more in depth.

Earlier last month, I had the honor of meeting our new Greater Northwest Resident Area Bishop, Cedrick D. Bridgeforth at a Meet-and-Greet with the SeaTac District. We also had the chance to meet his spouse, Christopher. Bishop Cedrick expressed his great passion with a wide range of social justice issues, including restorative justice, homelessness, and hunger. He articulated in his sermon that one of his goals while he serves the Greater Northwest Area is to eradicate racism and discrimination of all kinds. I look forward to Bishop Cedrick’s leadership and where he will take this conference with his vision and innovative ideas.

As we move towards Pentecost, which signifies the birthday of the church, may you feel and know the power of the Holy Spirit this season. May you celebrate and be renewed with God’s Spirit. May you use this time of deep reflection and a renewal of faith. May God be with you. Blessings to you during this season!

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The latest issue of the Beacon newsletter is ready for viewing! Printed versions are available in the office, sanctuary, and social hall!

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