Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church, The Garden Church

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.

Stewardship 2023: Gratitude Campaign

Online Pledge Card: Click Here

Stewardship Letter: Click Here

“What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop. ”2 Corinthians 9:6, CEB

Welcome back, friends! We know the Holy Spirit has been with SJUMC as we have thrived through all the adversity of the past two plus years! The “Praise Gods!” keep coming with too many chance moments and lucky breaks to be natural. Last year we asked all of you to open your hands and hearts and give with gratitude to the church. You came through as we very nearly met our budgetary needs. This year, as the scripture above states, because the church has sowed so bountifully, we have absolute faith in God’s promise that we will reap bountifully and surpass our needs!  Please fill out this online Gratitude card by Nov. 5 for its blessing during the Sunday, November 6 worship service. Thank you for your 2023 pledge!

Blessings from the Stewardship Committee




B Division:       10th to 12 Grade
C Division:       7th to 9th Grade

D Division:       5th to 6th Grade

E Division:        3rd to 4th Grade

Instructional:  Kindergarten to 2nd Grade

  • Applications will be accepted by email at:
  • Application will also be accepted by mail at: SJUMC Basketball
    6929 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento, CA  95823

*We can begin the B, C, D, and E practice as early as the last week of October through mid March.  Instructional practices are on Fridays and begins in November and can end at the end of February.  Traditionally, it used to end mid February.

For more information: please email

Basketball registration Click Here

Basketball Head Coach and Assistant Coach Application Click Here

Friday Night Live, 3/17 (3rd Friday of month) Free Dinner

6pm Dinner (free)

After Dinner – activities/open gym, love your neighbor project, crafts, movie

The Sacramento Japanese UMC Sports Ministry invites you to Friday Night Live on Friday. Please join us for an evening of food, fun, movies, games and sharing of thoughts and ideas for the future of the ministry! Free dinner! Our Sports Ministry wants to know how today’s families want to RECreate in as we strive to grow our community!  

March Sign Up Here

Open gym is run by Mr. Sam Luong (!

Lent 2023

You can pick them up on Sundays or during the office hours (9am to 2:30pm)

– Lenten Commitment Card—give up something, add something and/or do something for the community to be a better disciple. Start to think about what you will do! Click Here

– Lenten Daily Devotion booklet 

Combined Ash Wednesday With SSIP  

March 22 at 7pm In-person at SJUMC & Online (YouTube)

We would like to invite everyone to our joint Ash Wednesday service, with SSIP churches.
If you are participating online, please have ashes (or water) available to make the sign of the cross on your forehead or on your hand when we get to that part of the service.
Our preacher will be Rev. Bobby Jones – Florin United Methodist Church.
an offering can be made at Give — SSIP Food Closet

January is Wellness Month!

Every January at SJUMC, we like to start the New Year with Wellness Month. Below are a list of events that will take place throughout the month.

January 8, Sunday
– Spiritual Wellness” with Rev. Jennifer Goto

Mondays 4:305:30pm Grades 3rd5th Children Exercise Workshop

Mondays 5:306:30pm Grades 6th – 8th Youth Exercise Workshop

January 13, Friday 6-8pm. Dad’s Basketball

January16 9am – noon Grades 3rd – 8th Basketball Clinic MLK Day Skills Clinic

Tuesdays 10:30am – Line Dance, 

Wednesdays 10:30am – Advanced Line Dance 

Thursdays at 10:00am – Senior Exercise

Thursdays, January 5th – 26th at 10:30am – 1:30pm. Pickleball

January 22, Sunday 1:00pm. Movie – Bobbi Jo : Under the Influence, see preview here

Advent/Christmas 2022 at SJUMC

Advent/Christmas 2022 Worship

“Do not be afraid.” — As we look at the stories of the angels to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds and their reactions to them, we will contemplate what messages we can offer!

See the preview here

November 27
 “Make Ready a People: #morehope“
 Luke 1: 5-25, 57-80 

December 4
 “Nothing Is Impossible: #morepeace”
 Luke 1: 26-56

December 11
 “Do Not Be Afraid: #morejoy”
 Matthew 1: 18-25 

December 18
 “This Will Be a Sign: #morelove”
 Luke 1: 26-56

December 24
 Luke 2:14 

December 25
 “Entertaining Angels: #morehospitality”
 Hebrews 13: 1-2

Angels Among Us small group has been cancelled.