Congratulations Rev. Motoe!

Congratulations Pastor Motoe Yamada Foor!

On behalf of SJUMC, we congratulate our Pastor’s promotion as the new Director of Discipleship beginning March 1st 2023. She will be working remotely from Sacramento ; however, the job’s home base is in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the meantime, Reverend Barbara Horikoshi-Firebaugh will be temporarily filling in for pastoral care and delivering some Sunday worship sermons. On March 1st we will receive an interim pastor until June 30th and on July 1st we will receive our permanent pastor.

After our pastor accepted her new position, SPRC had met with the District Superintendent to start the transition process. Please note, that when pastor Motoe leaves, the United Methodist Book of Discipline states that we will not be able to communicate with her and her family for an entire year.

Thankfully, we have some time to say our good-byes, prayers, and give her well wishes as our Pastor moves into her new assignment. She will be at the greeting line today until the River Bells Concert. Next week, the pastor will be in the SJUMC office on Thursday and Friday, December 22nd and 23rd; she will also be preaching Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our SJUMC Executive Board leaders will also be available to answer questions about the transition process from now until July 1st 2023.

Before pastor Motoe leaves, she and her family will be on vacation right after Christmas and she will observe a Spiritual Renewal leave from January 22nd to February 28th. At which time, she will not be available by text or by email.

Therefore, the pastor’s last preaching date is Sunday, February 26th. SPRC will host a casual fellowship and possibly a farewell reception later that afternoon (TBA).

Please send any farewell cards and gifts to the office. We will present them to her at the last worship service.

We will miss you, Andy, Kai, and Kimiko! May God be with you always! Thank you for everything your family has brought to SJUMC these past 14 years!

From Susan Otani-Curtis, SPRC chairperson, current SPRC members (2022), and SJUMC Executive Board



12/20&21 Pastor visiting home bound people

12/22&23 9am to 2:30pm Pastor in the office (you are welcome to visit her)

12/24 Christmas Eve Service (6:30pm Concert, 7pm Service (Pastor preaching)

12/25 Christmas Sunday (Pastor preaching)

12/24-1/2 The church office closed (12/26-1/12 Pastor on Vacation)

1/17-20 9am to 2:30pm Pastor in the office (you are welcome to visit her)

1/22-2/28 Pastor on Spiritual Renewal Leave

2/26 Special Sunday (Pastor preaching) and farewell fellowship 

Message From Rev. Motoe

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah the Lord.  Luke 2:10&11

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.“ Jeremiah 29:11

I love Jesus!  I have always wanted to serve him in any way to bring people closer to Christ. For 20 years, this has been as a pastor of a local United Methodist Church. However, God is the one who directs our path, and I am writing to tell you about a change in my role as your pastor. The Interim Bishop Sally Dyck and the cabinet of the California Nevada Annual Conference appointed me to work as the Director of Adult Discipleship, General Board of Discipleship Ministries, as of March 1, 2023. 

Some of you may remember that during the Women’s Month 2022, “Celebrating Women of Color in our Methodist Lineage” was created, and twelve women were listed. It was my great surprise to find my name there. Seeing my name listed with great woman like Sojourner Truth made me want to discern and listen to God to see what God wanted me to do with the rest of my life to make a difference in the world. This new opportunity came up during my time of listening to God. 

As the Director of Adult Discipleship, I will be working with 30,000 churches and 6 million UM members, including bishops and district superintendents, to help people/churches deepen their relationship with Christ and reach out to new people to tell them about Jesus.  I believe it is my calling to focus on this ministry, and I am very excited to serve Jesus in a different way.  

At the same time, I am sad to leave SJUMC which I love so much.  The last 14 years have been full of blessings in my life.  The theme of our current advent worship series is “Angels Among Us.” Many of you have been angels in my life and I will be forever grateful.  I am especially thankful for your love and prayers for me and my family.  I came to the church as a single young woman, adopted a dog, got married and had two children. The SJUMC parsonage has now become the place I have lived the longest in my life.  

We give thanks to God that the church grew spiritually and missionally during the past 14 years.  We have done many different worship series, we started a mission committee, welcome team, spiritual renewal group, Japanese speaking play group, LGBTQ team, Health and Wellness (COVID) team, Hybrid worship team, sports and activities ministry team and many others.  We welcomed 100 new members (by baptism and transferring membership) and we also lost 165 members by death (we continue to pray for their family and friends).

SJUMC is blessed with great leaders and you are in good hands.  Our leaders come to worship, they are grounded in faith and they discern what God wants the church to do.  The next six months will be a good transition time before the next full-time pastor starts on July 1, 2023.  As the scripture above says, God has plans for this church, a future with hope. In 130 years of history at SJUMC, multiple things have happened, yet our saints continued to serve God and God’s people.  I am so proud of you and I know that God will bless you.  Please continue to have faith in Christ and grow closer to him.

I will be praying for you.  May God bless you. 

Grace and Peace, 

Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor 

P.S. If you want to discuss this more, please feel free to contact me at my email, or my cell 916-832-1055 until January 22, 2023.  I hope you can join me for the last worship service I will lead on February 26, 2023 and the fellowship time afterwards to say our greetings.

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