Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church, The Garden Church

Health and Wellness Team Updates

The “new normal” has arrived! As we return to in-person facilities usage of SJUMC, the Health and Wellness Committee met to develop guidelines and protocols for the period from June 15 through August 31, 2021. It is imperative that we continue to ensure the health and wellness of all members and facility users to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and avoid a resurgence of the virus. As such, we will only return to rental and usage of facilities by church members and previous known users and renters. The State of California and the County of Sacramento requirements are considered in our decisions:  


INDOORS:  50% occupancy of indoor spaces will be allowed. Masks are required to be worn at all times indoors.  No eating is allowed indoors. Food may be individually packaged and distributed indoors for outdoor consumption. No buffet-style service allowed.

OUTDOORS:  No masks are required outdoors.  Maintain three-foot social distancing as much as possible. Eating outdoors is allowed if food is pre-packaged

WORSHIP:  May respond to Call and Reponse and say the Lord’s Prayer through mask. No singing is allowed as of yet.

FELLOWSHIP:  Gathering outside for fellowship after worship will begin June 20, 2021 without food or drink, observing three-foot social distancing.

ACTIVITIES:  Exercise and other groups can choose to stay outdoors and do activity without masks or move indoors and wear masks. Maintain the three-foot social distancing outdoors without masks.

FOOD SALES:  Food service/sales will be limited to take-out, individually packaged servings. No exchange of money is allowed. Payment in advance online or by mail.


  • Hand washing/sanitizing and face masks shall be required when gathering indoors.  As vaccination is a personal decision that we cannot require or ask people to disclose or prove, we must err on the side of safety, especially for those not yet able to get vaccinations or the vulnerable.
  • Temperatures may be taken upon entering for indoor or outdoor activities. Participants should monitor their own temperatures and choose not to attend if it is above normal.
  • Sign-in for contact tracing may be taken.

In an attempt to anticipate health and safety situations for the known upcoming activities, the above guideline is but a template.  Should a COVID-19 surge occur, all events and activities will be re-examined and protocols likely tightened.

We look forward to seeing you in-person again! 

Your Health and Wellness Committee: Eric Hirata, Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor, Sue Coddington Allen, Kimi Ronay, Gloria Imagire, Elaine Maeda, Dale Fong, Kathy Marquardt, Jayne Muraki Rasmussen

Join us for the in-person Service!

In person worship has started on Ma 16
We are able to worship together in the Sanctuary/Fireside Room (25% capacity, up to  75 people).  This is a modified service because we are observing the following protocol approved by our District Superintendent and our Health and Wellness group:

  • Please wear a mask at all times
  • The pews will be marked so we can maintain social distance between families/households
  • No singing out loud (singing in your heart is always welcome!)
  • No fellowship time before/after (no food allowed in the church at this time)
  • The worship service will be 30 minutes long
  • The Pastor will be speaking at the pulpit behind a plexiglass shield, and will remove her mask so you can hear her more easily

Although you do not need to make a reservation for the inside seating (like you did for the outside service), we are asking that you please register (one time only) either online Click Here or fill out the form at the Welcome Table.  There is new information on the registration form, so everyone will need to register the first time attending an inside worship service, including those who have been attending the outside worship services.

The Guidelines   

The registration form includes a word about risk and responsibility when you come to the church.  Please take a moment to read this before entering the church.

    If you or a member of your household has symptoms of any illness (cough, fever of any level, difficulty breathing), seek medical assistance and STAY HOME.

    The receptionist will check your temperature when you arrive, and will ask you a few questions related to COVID 19 symptoms.  After this, an usher will escort you to your seat.

    Restroom facilities will not be open except for emergency use only

    Plan to wear a face mask and maintain 6 feet of social distancing at all times.

    Unless children can sit still on a chair for 30 minutes during the service, we discourage children from attending at this time to keep the social distance.  


New Worship Series, Psalm Reading Program & Summer Prayer Partner

New Worship Series God is Holding Your Life

 “The works of God’s hands are faithful and just.” – Psalm 111

Life is a series of exclamations from “O No!” to “Help!” to “Oh Yeah!” We can swing between disappointment, helplessness, and gratitude on a daily basis. There are also seasons of our lives when we feel inundated with more of one than the others. As we enter the new year, we had hoped we would be past the “O No!” of the last several months. Instead we find ourselves with ongoing prayers for “Help!” The Book of Psalms knows all about this. Written over a span of time from exile and isolation to the rebuilding of the community, the poetry of the Psalms will accompany us in this series, reminding us that through it all, we can trust and even give our thankful “Oh Yeah!” because God is, indeed, holding our lives.

June 20: “These Lives are Precious” – Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14  
June 27: “Awe and Wonder” – Psalm 29
 July 4: “Where Can I Go?” – Psalm 139: 1-18 
July 11: “In God Alone” – Psalm 62: 5-12
 July 18: “The One is Shining Forth” – Psalm 50:1-6 

Sign up for the Daily Psalm Reading Program
 (June 21 to Sept 9)

We are starting a new series, “God Is Holding Our Life” from June 20. One key aspect of this series is a Psalm reading program, which anyone can do! We will plan to read 2 Psalms a day (every day except Sunday), and you can join any time. Once you sign up, you will receive a daily email with the 2 chapters. We hope everyone can participate, at least some of the time, so we can together learn the Psalms as a church. 

You might be surprised at the depth of emotion and difficult circumstances experienced by the psalmists. They wrote about very real circumstances and prayed heartfelt prayers to God from the depths of their soul. We can probably all relate to something that we read in the Psalms. Once you get started, you will be richly blessed as you read and ponder these psalms!

Click here to sign up

Please sign up to for a Sumner prayer partner! 

Some of the examples for prayer partners are: getting together with your prayer partner (by phone) to find out the needs and concerns of your prayer partner. Pray for your prayer partner. Summer Prayer Partner is NOT mandatory.  However because of time like this, we really need prayers!

Some of the examples for prayer partners are
 1. Getting together with your prayer partner to find out the needs and concerns of your prayer partner. 
2. Pray for your prayer partner

Please sign up here (or let Rev. Motoe know that you are interested) 

Hear Our Stories, Social Justice webinar series

Sponsored by the Sacramento Pentecost Circuit, California Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Date:  June 16, 2021  Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Register here

Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
All are welcome as we continue along our journey of becoming Anti-Racist.

Reflection about Social Justice – Rev. Ryan Dunn“For social justice is achieved when one person comes alongside another to ensure mutual welfare and well-being. To come alongside another human being does not necessarily mean that we get to invite into our place of comfort. Rather, it means entering in to another’s suffering. We cannot experience a shared sense of justice until we have recognized where injustice occurs — until we have recognized where inequality exists because of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, education, legal status, economic background, and mental or physical ability.”

For questions, contact Mary Nakamura at

Sign up for Weekly e-Devotionals!

Devotionals are a great place to find inspiration on your spiritual journey. Different readings and authors encourage you to reflect on the Word of God and make Him a part of your day. You draw near to God, grow spiritually, learn His Word, and gain strength and fellowship. Click HERE to view a sample e-Devotional

To receive e-devotionals each Wednesday, email Mindy Takechi at and provide your email address.

Opportunity to grow deeper: Optional Zoom meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6-7pm to discuss devotionals, share prayer requests, and grow as a community of faith. Facilitated by Mary Nakamura and Mindy Takechi.

Rocky Railway In-Person VBS/Kids Camp this year!

Hello SJUMC Families!

Please save the dates for our IN-PERSON Rocky Railway VBS/Kids Camp this year! 

· Dates: July 19-23

· Time: 9 AM to 11:30 AM

· Where: SJUMC Garden Church (6929 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95823)

· Tuition: $25 per child (The actual program fee is $200 per child, but SJUMC will cover the difference)

· Age: 3 years to incoming 6th grade

The space is very limited due to COVID restriction, so the preference will be given to our SJUMC church families as well as returning families.  Registration is due ASAP.