Our Story

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Our vision is to foster inclusion and impact as we build a multi-ethnic, Jesus-centered faith community that represents both the demographic and needs of the East Bay

This is (y)our Story

The story of EMBRACE CHURCH goes back as far as March of 2012 when a small group was formed in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland with a vision of gathering unchurched and dis-churched individuals to explore what “life with God” could look like. At that time, we were absolutely sure that one of the goals of this group would be to NOT start a church! Obviously, God had other plans in mind. And now, we are in our third year as an official new church start.

There has been a lot that has taken place in our community since our launch date of July 2015 and much has changed in what we do and where we are doing it. What hasn’t changed however is our deep, deep passion for the unchurched, dis-churched, disconnected and dislocated people in the Bay area. According to Barna Research, the East Bay is listed as one of the highest “unchurched” areas in the country, with 61% of the people not having attended church in the last six months. Along with that, the reality of the recent migration of individuals from San Francisco into Oakland and nearby areas makes the East Bay a prime region to start and develop new churches and new faith communities – especially ones that will represent both the ethnic and spiritual diversity of this growing demographic in the area.

As such, our vision is now to foster inclusion and impact as we build a multi-ethnic, Jesus-centered faith community that will represent both the demographic and needs of the East Bay, leading to the development of committed followers of Jesus Christ who will bring transformation and hope for its immediate community and the world. Simply put, our direction and pursuit is grounded in and informed by the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).

The strength of the EMBRACE CHURCH community over the past two years have been:

  • the pure hunger to experience and pursue a life with God and life with each other
  • flexibility and experimentation in how we do church (including having worshipped in multiple venues)
  • numerical and spiritual growth that has been very organic – friends inviting friends
  • intentional leadership development that has led to greater accountability that takes into consideration the qualifying and quantifying elements of leadership
  • a solid financial base through the combination of grants and tithes/offerings that resources what God is calling us to do as a disciple making church
  • a commitment to and passion for making a difference beyond the walls of the church; our ongoing collaboration with Covenant House of California is helping some of the “least of these” among us in the Bay area find not just a physical home but a spiritual home as well
  • most recently, our move to Twin Towers United Methodist Church in Alameda has positioned us to have a more central location in the East Bay allowing us to have a greater geographical reach

EMBRACE CHURCH is a United Methodist Church plant in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. As such, we have deep Wesleyan roots that take seriously the vital relationship between personal holiness and social justice. We celebrate diversity and aim for intentional connection with the larger Church, our neighborhood and the needs of the world.

If you would like to make this your story and explore how to do so, Pastor Sam Yun will be glad to connect with you. You can reach him via email: embracepastor@gmail.com.