Spiritual Formation

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost Comments Off on Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Posted by on Oct 1, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Congregational Care, Giving, Pastors' Columns, Prayer, Sermons, Service Opportunities, Small Groups, Spiritual Formation, Sunday Worship, Weekly Calendar


  • Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
  • October 1, 2023, 10am
  • Hybrid Worship
  • Continue scrolling or view the printed bulletin

Order of Worship

Holy, Holy By Jimmy Owens
Kathy Onishi
Welcome of Grace and Greeting
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
*Call to Worship
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
*Opening Hymn
This Is My Father’s World
(UMH #144)

Eugene and Kathy Onishi
Opening Prayer
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
First Scripture Reading
Matthew 21:23-32 (CEB, JLB)
Susan Lee, Tsutomu Nagoya
Children’s Message
Rev. Mia MiKyung Park
Second Scripture Reading
Mark 12:28-34 (NIV, JLB)
Malia Yamamoto, Tsutomu Nagoya
You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos
Dir. of Hispanic/Latinx Ministries, The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church
Hymn of Reflection
One Bread, One Body
(UMH 620)

B.U.G.S. (Blaine Ukulele Group Seattle)
Holy Communion
Revs. Karen, Mia, and Cruz with Tsutomu
Introduction to the Offering
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow
(UMH #94)

Eugene and Kathy Onishi
*Prayer of Dedication
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
Rev. Karen Yokota Love
*Closing Hymn
Here, I Am, Lord
(UMH #593)

B.U.G.S with Eugene and Kathy Onishi
Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos
One God and Father of Us All
By P. Carlson, K. Matthews, J. Carraway

Kathy Onishi
Passing of the Peace
Rev. Karen Yokota Love

Sermon Reflection Questions

  • In what ways can we demonstrate that we love one another?
  • When you look around and see all the people created by God, what do you see?
  • What does the greatest commandment teach us? Jesus told the scribe that he is not far from the kingdom.
  • Why is he closer than the others? What is he still missing?

Daily Lectionary Readings

Monday, October 2, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 42; Exodus 18:1-12; Philippians 1:3-14
Complementary: Psalm 28; Judges 14:1-20; Philippians 1:3-14
Tuesday, October 3, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 42; Exodus 18:13-27; Philippians 1:15-21
Complementary: Psalm 28; Judges 16:1-22; Philippians 1:15-21
Wednesday, October 4, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 42; Exodus 19:9b-25; Matthew 9:2-8
Complementary: Psalm 28; Judges 16:23-31; Matthew 9:2-8
Thursday, October 5, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 19; Exodus 23:1-9; Colossians 2:16-23
Complementary: Psalm 80:7-15; Jeremiah 2:14-22; Colossians 2:16-23
Friday, October 6, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 19; Exodus 23:14-19; Philippians 2:14-18; 3:1-4a
Complementary: Psalm 80:7-15; Jeremiah 2:23-37; Philippians 2:14-18; 3:1-4a
Saturday, October 7, 2023:
Semi-continuous: Psalm 19; Exodus 23:10-13; John 7:40-52
Complementary: Psalm 80:7-15; Jeremiah 6:1-10; John 7:40-52


Choir members needed! • Tues. at 7p, Sun at 9a and 11:45a

The Blaine Choir love to sing to God. Rehearsals are Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings, and provide music for Blaine’s Sunday morning services. Our goal is to develop spiritually and musically through fellowship, singing and through scripture. Join us as we bring musical messages to the Blaine family each week. If you sing, or if you would like to learn to sing, please come join! Whether you sing in public or just in the shower – or are available “full-time” or “part-time”, all are welcome! Contact Eugene Onishi (eaonishi@hotmail.com).

Wednesday Meditation & Prayer • Oct. 4 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?” Our time together continues with a few readings from The Upper Room Magazine September/October edition. Finally, we end our time together with a pastoral prayer. We hope you can join us! 

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Spiritual Formation Center Comments Off on Spiritual Formation Center

Spiritual Formation Center

Posted by on Sep 26, 2023 in Church News & Events, Congregational Care, Prayer, Spiritual Formation

Susan and Jim Tanioka from Merced, CA visit with Anne to explain the labor of love that they dedicate their lives to!

The Farmer

By Anne Arakaki-Lock

We can never say thank you enough. Gratitude is magical. It’s so therapeutic. I will strive to make gratitude my go-to, my pick-me-upper tool as I felt lifted up by simply experiencing thanksgiving first-hand on an almond farm.

One only needs to talk to a hard-working farmer to see the utmost respect and gratitude for God’s creation, as expressed by a caring spirit. The other day I had the privilege of witnessing a farmer’s labor of love. He showed me his 30-year old almond grove, rows and rows of trees painstakingly nurtured. They were healthy and robust, having produced nuts year after year for market. Proudly, the farmer shared the importance of good soil, the need to control weeds, the value of fertilizing (even to the point of including his son’s chemistry knowledge to research a recipe for fertilizer).

Then there were the precious tractors for every need — the mower to contain the grass and weeds, the raker, the fertilizer, the tree shaker, the harvest gatherer (I forgot the name of that one). I learned the value of the rams, lubricants and belts, and duh, the need for a sweeper attachment in front of and behind the big wheels so that the harvested almonds shaken to the ground would not get crushed by the tractor. Of course, there is always attention given to water, too — the wells, the river source, and the climate.

“I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!” Psalm 92:4-5.

Mr. Jim Tanioka explains the balance of nature as he labors to produce almonds for the past 30+ years!

My field trip to the almond farm made me feel and get to know God even more. I saw more humbly the brilliance of His creation and the intricacies of what it takes to maintain and grow Nature. Of course, my little brain cannot even come close to truly, truly understanding all of God’s miracles and His design of our world. But the weekend made me thankful and brought me so much closer to our Master Farmer. I feel like I know God a little more now.

Thank you, Mr. Tanioka, for opening my eyes to the love and work it takes for me to enjoy God’s almond. Rev. Karen’s wonderful uncle from Merced, CA was my weekend farmer-teacher. “I give thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.” Psalm 138:1

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BYG Update Comments Off on BYG Update

BYG Update

Posted by on Sep 26, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Giving, Service Opportunities, Small Groups, Spiritual Formation

Rev. Mia led a group of youth to make sandwiches for residents at Tent City 3.

Blaine Youth Group supports Tent City 3 and bonds during retreat as fall begins

By Kai Yamamoto

Upcoming Events
BYG Night
September 23
Camping Ministries Sunday
October 15

As the summer is wrapping up and fall is coming upon us, the youth are going back to school, and we are kicking off a new year of BYG! We are very excited to get back into the swing of things and meet on Sundays. Our first BYG meeting was on Rally Sunday, September 10. We also hosted a parent meeting after service during coffee hour to introduce parents to our leadership team and kickoff the new year of BYG. Our BYG leadership team has been hard at work, planning and preparing for the new year of BYG.

Throughout the summer, our BYG leadership team continued to meet and brainstorm a variety of activities for our youth to participate in this school year. We are so excited to share these activities with our youth. Our team participated in a retreat on September 9th. We used this time to reflect on this past year of BYG, continue to brainstorm, bond, and prepare ourselves for this upcoming year of BYG. Lynne, Kaylee, and I really appreciate the time and dedication our leaders put in to make BYG successful. Without them, BYG would not be the same! 

We replaced old BYG room ceiling tiles with the help of parents and adult volunteers.

To prepare for the new school year, the youth took a day to help clean the BYG room. We organized cabinets, drawers and cleaned furniture. We also decorated the room with photos and décor to give new life and a refreshed feeling to our space. Additionally, with the gracious help of parents and adult volunteers, we were able to replace old ceiling tiles. The room has never felt so clean and prepared for a new year of BYG!

The BYG youth held our first Bake Sale of the new school year providing delicious treats to help raise funds for our summer camp ministry expenses.

But before the youth return to school, they participated in a few activities. In August, Rev. Mia led a group of youth to make sandwiches for residents at Tent City 3. Along with the sandwiches, the youth helped to deliver goodie bags that were made at the Mission Station during VBS for Tent City 3. The youth also held a bake sale at the end of August. The youth always bring their “A” game, baking delicious treats to help sell at our bake sales. Thank you to everyone who attended the bake sale!

We are very excited to kick off the new school year with the youth and we cannot wait to spend an amazing year with them! We hope to see everyone at future events and cannot wait to share more information about our youth events throughout the year.

BYG meets on Sundays at 10:00 AM. We gather in the sanctuary for the beginning of worship service before transitioning over to the Nishida Room for BYG time after the children’s message.

Blaine Youth Group (BYG) is a place where youth (6th-12th grade) are invited into a loving community and celebrated as they are. BYG provides a safe environment for youth to build lasting friendships, grow spiritually, learn acceptance of self and others, express compassion for the world, and develop a love for God and neighbor. BYG has a space for any person who is interested. 

Director of Youth Ministry: Lynne Onishi, lynneonishi@gmail.com; Associate Directors of Youth Ministry: Kai Yamamoto, kai.yamamo@gmail.com and Kaylee Yokoyama, kaylee.yokoyama1@gmail.com

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

Associate Pastor’s Spiritual Reflection

Posted by on Sep 26, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Congregational Care, Pastors' Columns, Prayer, Service Opportunities, Small Groups, Spiritual Formation

Pastors John and Mia enjoyed the sunset at Deception Pass on one of their Sabbath days in July.

“Never place a period where God has placed a comma!”

By the Rev. Mia MiKyung Park

This quote is attributed to comedian Gracie Allen in a letter she wrote to her husband, which was found after her death. As I reflect on this quote, it recalls numerous occasions when I attempted to impose a period when God was putting a comma. Additionally, I contemplate my intentions of adding commas where God was putting a period.

The Fruitfulness Project Team concluded after about 18 months. They delivered the donations and sandwiches to Tent City 3 and had a final meeting enjoying shaved ice.

I am grateful that God placed a period on my ordination process, the Fruitfulness Project, all the summer activities at the church, and a couple of projects with the family during this summer. These events are now closed with a resounding period. Additionally, I experienced a situation where God placed a comma where I thought there was a period.

I lost contact with one of my good seminary friends who had supported me greatly during my time in seminary. One night, probably in my second semester, a few of us were preparing for final exams and writing final papers together in the downstairs lounge of the dormitory where we used to study, talk, play ping-pong, and have late-night snacks. That night, I was feeling discouraged by the constant pressure from studying away from the family more than usual. My friend not only prayed for me with other friends but also proofread one of my papers voluntarily before he completed his paper for the same class, enabling me to move on to the next assignments. I was deeply moved by his friendship.

However, some difficult challenges arose for him, preventing him from completing his studies. He left the campus during our last semester, but we lost contact with him. It was deeply heartbreaking for us to disconnect from our dear friend and couldn’t help him. I thought it was the end of our friendship. Surprisingly, we reconnected with him in the middle of August when he reached out to one of our group friends. We will soon set up a Zoom meeting to see each other, including my friend, who hadn’t been in contact for over four years. What a surprising gift of a comma! What I had thought was the end of our friendship turned out to be just a comma, and I am very grateful for God’s comma.

When I think it’s time for a period, God’s comma opens my mind if it’s God’s timing for a comma. This punctuation pause allows me to take a deep breath, inhale the freshness and excitement of the moment, and oxygenate my mind. Also, God’s period helps me to move on from the previous situations, knowing and grounding in confidence that God will take care of every situation. Sooner or later, I come to realize from all those experiences of periods and commas that God has other plans that are way beyond my thoughts and expectations. Those experiences have taught me to open my mind and ground myself in the affirmation of the Bible verse, “My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

For the September’s Bible memorization in the Church School, we’ll be focusing on Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me, and I will answer you and reveal to you wondrous and hidden things that you have not known.”

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Innovation Hub Update Comments Off on Innovation Hub Update

Innovation Hub Update

Posted by on Sep 26, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Innovation Hub, Prayer, Spiritual Formation

Blaine congregation members visit Kubota Gardens in a contemplative silent walk to mindfully reflect on the symbolic significance of the beautiful Japanese garden before them.

Kubota garden walk & RM drop-in usher fall season of innovation!

By Lynne Onishi

As the summer winds down and we get ready for fall, the Innovation Hub continues (in true innovative fashion) to create spaces for new expressions of ministry. We hope you enjoy some of these photos from our most recent events and the things we’re trying!

Kubota Garden Walk

On August 12, a group of congregation members carpooled to Kubota Garden and enjoyed a peaceful morning walk through the park. We talked about the spiritual significance and symbolism in a Japanese garden and then set out for a time of silent reflection. When we came back together as a group, it was interesting to hear what stood out to folks most. We each experienced the silent reflection time in different ways!

Some mentioned seeing wildlife like turtles and blue jays, while others reflected on the peace that accompanied a few minutes of slowing down. I took notice of the flowers blooming around the garden and the way some of them were growing in unexpected directions. I think we all gained something meaningful from setting aside that intentional time for silence and reflection. It made me wonder about how I might find ways to have a snippet of this kind of silence in my everyday life.

Reconciling Ministries drop-in Q&A session.

Reconciling Ministries Fellowship Hour Drop-In

The Reconciling Ministries team hosted a drop-in activity and Q&A session during social hour on July 30. The team offered resources, delicious (and beautiful) treats, and space to discuss questions about the reconciling ministry journey. We also asked folks to contribute their hopes for an inclusive future at our church and created a colorful poster with all their responses. We encourage you to check out this poster next time you’re in the Social Hall and read about all our hopes and dreams for Blaine Memorial!

The IH team and RM Task Force are always looking for new folks to join us. Please contact Lynne or any of the other team members for more information.

Contact Lynne Onishi with questions about the Innovation Hub team or Reconciling Ministries lynneonishi@gmail.com

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Senior Pastor News Comments Off on Senior Pastor News

Senior Pastor News

Posted by on Sep 25, 2023 in Blaine Youth Group, Church News & Events, Congregational Care, Giving, Pastors' Columns, Prayer, Sermons, Service Opportunities, Spiritual Formation

Celebrating the reappointments of our pastors for the 2023-2024 year. From (L-R): Deacon Rev. Dr. Mark C. Hearn, Associate Pastor Rev. Mia MiKyung Park, Senior Pastor Rev. Karen Yokota Love and Deacon Rev. Dr. Jeney Park-Hearn.

New beginnings

By Rev. Karen Yokota Love, additional photos by Marina Furuta, et. al.

One of the fun things about this time of year is seeing the “first day of school pictures” that are being taken in my neighborhood as I walk for my daily exercise. The children are gathered on the front step or in the driveway of the home, sometimes with the family dog, and mom or dad has the cell phone in hand capturing a few pictures of the “first day” that will likely end up on Facebook or Instagram.

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