On Sunday, January 12th neighbors, friends, and four elected officials with long-standing personal connections to San Jose First Church joined our congregation to help celebrate our Community Grand Opening.
US Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, representing California’s 19th District, provided a historical perspective of the strong connection between San Jose First Church and Horace Mann where her children attended elementary school. She reminded everyone of the continuing mutual support for each other through many phases of our respective building programs and the constant nurturing of the downtown community. Congresswomen Lofgren presented the Church with a Congressional Proclamation (read it) honoring this special day.
State Senator Jim Beall, representing the 15th Senate District, noted the long-standing history of our Church and the rebound following the fires in 1889 and 1991. He pointed our that San Jose First United Methodist Church was the first Methodist Church in California. Senator Beall then presented Shinya and Jonathan with a proclamation (read it) linking the Church and community.
County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, representing the Second District, thanked the Church for their outstanding efforts to rebuild the Church while at the same time providing a platform for community development and social activism around the Church. She singled out Cindy Manley our operations director and Jim Crawford our pastor for 22 years for their tenacity and faith in making today’s community grand opening possible.
City Councilman Sam Liccardo, representing San Jose’s downtown District 2, congratulated our Church and congregation for never giving up and for providing new energy to the downtown neighborhood.
Following the presentations from our local officials Priya became the first baby baptized in the new Sanctuary. The ceremony was especially significant and happy for Pastor Jonathan as this was the first baby he’s baptized. Pastor Shinya’s sermon – the second in a series on the book of Genesis – was thought provoking, meaningful and delivered a powerful message on languages and culture spanning thousands of years . . .Special music for the day included “And on This Rock” by the First Church Singers and “Song of Gladness” by juBELLation. If you are interested in joining either our vocal choir or handbell choir please contact the office and they will put you in touch with the appropriate director.