Silicon Valley Circuit connects communities in mission

May 04, 2023 | by JB Brayfindley

Silicon Valley Circuit connects communities in mission

Silicon Valley Circuit, led by Circuit Leader Rev. Jay Parr, is comprised of five churches in the Santa Clara Valley in the southern Bay Area below San Jose, California. The circuit cities form a triangle 5.5 miles by 4 miles by 9.3 miles. The churches are all located in an area famous for its technology industries known as Silicon Valley.

The Good Samaritan UMC in Cupertino is a multicultural congregation led by pastor Rajiv Pathik. The 9 a.m. English worship services are accessible both in person and online. Mandarin worship services follow at 10:30 a.m. and Korean worship services follow at 11:45 a.m. The church offers Bible study in various languages. Small groups include a special “Cultural Bridge” group that seeks to be the bridge between cultures through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship by exploring scripture through the eyes of various cultures. Another group, “The Inclusion” group, is a discussion/study group focusing on issues related to inclusion in the church and society. The congregation partners with Harvest Food Bank and Resource Access For Teachers (R.A.F.T.). Good Samaritan Preschool is located on site. Over the years, the church has offered English language classes to help non-native speakers obtain citizenship.

Santa Clara UMC is served by Rev. Chris Sanders. In person worship is also available on Zoom. The church theme is “Love God, Love Others, Serve the Lord.” Small groups include Bible study, Coffee with Pastor Chris, and “Faith Friends,” an online thematic discussion group. In person worship is also available via Zoom. The congregation is involved in community outreach from quilt making to weekly community wide story time. Other ministries include offering free yoga to the community through Yoga Chapel and supporting Second Harvest of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties through food barrels.

Bethel Korean UMC in Santa Clara is served by Rev. In Hee Han. The church service is at 12:10 on Sundays, with youth and children’s services at the same time. The daily morning prayer service is at 6:00 a.m. and a Wednesday evening service at 7:30 p.m. The church also holds small group meetings every other month with a Bible reading once a year. There is a Korean school on Fridays. The church has a ministry to aid missionaries and other churches in financial need.

Sunnyvale UMC, is served by Rev. Jay Parr. Sunday hybrid worship features a variety of styles throughout the month including, traditional with chancel choir and contemporary format with a praise band and on the fourth Sundays with a youth band. Sunday school and youth group are a regular part of Sunday activities. There are five weekly small groups that meet hybrid (both in-person and via zoom). Outreach ministries include a food pantry partnered with West Valley Community Service, twice a month volunteering to pack groceries at Sunnyvale Community Service and community organizing with Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Silicon Valley.

Valley Faith UMC in Sunnyvale is served by Rev. Arnel Clemente. The church offers hybrid worship on Sunday with livestreaming on YouTube. Adult Sunday School is both in person and on Zoom with the theme of “come in to learn, go out to live.”

JB Brayfindley is a freelance journalist.