Pastor's Reflection 2023-09-21

Dear Wesley UMC Community,

A while ago I wrote about a mysterious plant in our backyard, that we thought was dead but suddenly bloomed.   The plant, it turns out, is called Queen of the Night or Tan Hua (for those who watched the movie Crazy Rich Asians).  The flowers bloom at night, and then wilt before dawn.
Because the Queen of the Night blossom is so fleeting, when the flower does bloom, it reminds me to appreciate the beauty of life's experiences, right now. If I were to say to myself, “I don’t have time to admire the Queen of the Night flower this evening.  I will do it tomorrow”,  I would miss the beautiful blossom.  The Queen of the Night flower reminds us to savor the fleeting moments of life and not take them for granted.
When I look at the Queen of the Night plant it, frankly, looks plain. The contrast between it’s plain appearance during the day and the stunning blossoms at night illustrates the idea that beauty can often be found in unexpected places and moments. There is beauty in the unexpected. Wesley Church is similar.  If you were to drive by the church, you would not see anything spectacular.  There would be nothing that would hint at the amazing ministries inside.  No one would guess that this is a place where one would be wholly welcomed, accepted and cherished, unless you attended worship or came to one of our small groups or attended one of our fun events. 
One of the wonderful events coming up, is Bless the Pets, which is a blessing of the animals.  This will take place on October 14th, from 11:00am to 1:00pm right here at the Wesley Church patio area.  We recognize that our families are very important to us and this includes our pets!  We also know that the love of God extends to all of our pets and that they deserve to receive blessings from God for good health, love, and a full rich life. 
Another fun event this Fall is the 2023 Japantown Curry Cook Off on November 18 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm here at Wesley.  This event is being co-sponsored by the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin and Wesley United Methodist Church.  The Curry Cook Off will be a fun competition to see who can cook up the best curry.  All of the proceeds will go to: Yu-Ai Kai Japantown Senior Services and the Nikkei Matsuri Foundation.  There will also entertainment for the evening: Na Kolohe Kane (Hawaiian), the Wesley Ukulele Band and the Wesley Jazz Ensemble. 
We hope you can join us for one or all of these fun events or stop by our worship services or come to one of our small groups!

Blessings, and peace of Christ!
Rev. John Oda