Author Archive for Barbara Richmond

UMCOR Sunday, April 30

On Sunday, April 30, you are invited to participate at any service in UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing), an opportunity to touch the lives of those in need across the globe. Your special offering will assist in laying the foundation for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to continue its ministry of relief and hope.

This church-wide offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, covers UMCOR’s costs of doing business, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100 percent of all designated contributions on the many relief efforts it fulfills around the globe, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. Read more about UMCOR’s efforts online. Please give generously on April 30.

Walk to End Hunger, April 23

Join a team from LAUMC on Sunday, April 23, at 1:00pm for the annual CROP Hunger Walk in San Jose. Registration is at Hoover Middle School, located at 1635 Park Ave. in San Jose, with 1- and 3.5-mile options. Invite your friends and family to walk with you, and join the interfaith community’s efforts to overcome hunger and poverty by supporting the efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Service, and Church World Service. You can register for the LAUMC team online or contact team leader Dave Ahn with questions.

Handbell Musicians Wanted

Alleluia Ringers is looking for musically inclined folks to play handbells large and small. Rehearsals are Mondays, 7:00–8:30pm in the Choir Room. Many handbell musicians start on other instruments or come from a vocal background—it is easy to learn the basic techniques for ringing bells! If you are looking for a new way to get involved at church, enjoy fellowship with a wonderful group of people, learn amazing music, and perform it for the congregation, we would love to have you. No commitment is necessary on your first visit: Come try us out for a week. You will be compensated for your time with joy, laughter, playful banter, oranges, and occasionally avocados. Contact Alleluia Ringers Director Scott McGlasson (559-303-8106) with questions.

Animate: Bible Series, April 19–May 31

You are invited to try out a brand new opportunity for adults and youth! Come together for food, fellowship, and a fresh approach to faith. Starting the Wednesday after Easter, April 19, we will gather for seven weeks from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Creekside Center for no-cost dinner and fellowship, watch a short video from the Animate: Bible series, and then engage in discussions around our tables about the Bible.

Through short, creative videos featuring current Christian thought leaders, we will explore the history of the Bible’s sacred texts and what they offer for us today. (You can watch a trailer here.) The series offers centrist Protestant theology, and it focuses more on asking questions for viewers to engage with than on giving all the answers. The video segments feature Eric Elnes, Phyllis Tickle, Rachel Held Evans, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jose Morales, Will Willimon, and Jay Bakker. Participants are invited to sketch, doodle, and create in the provided journals, then share their thoughts.

Come be part of the fun, and invite your friends! Each session stands alone, so you don’t have to commit to all seven. The GroupLife planning team wants to plan how much dinner to provide, how many journals to purchase, and how many childcare staff to schedule, so please register if you plan to attend.

Being Mortal: Screening and Discussion

If you are aging or dealing with aging parents, come to a video screening and discussion about what people really care about when aging. Screenings will take place on Thursday, March 9, 10:00–11:30am and Thursday, March 16, 7:00–9:00pm in Creekside Main. The group will watch Being Mortal, the PBS video of Atul Gawandi’s book by the same name. This thought-provoking video shows the dilemma that we all face, as patients and caregivers, when confronted with the kind of care we want at the end of life. It helps introduce the kinds of conversations we all need to have to ensure that the medical system respects our desires, rather than those of a somewhat impersonal medical system. After the video, there will be a group discussion.

You may come in person or participate online via our livestream page on either date. The discussion will be led by Dr. Bill Buchholz. Contact Bill for more information.

Ash Wednesday, March 1: Looking For Love

This year, we will hold a short service of Holy Communion and imposition of ashes at 5:00pm on Ash Wednesday, March 1, in the Sanctuary, then continue to offer communion and the imposition of ashes to all until 8:00pm. Come when you can; come as you are.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a marker of the beginning of a journey of self-reflection and discernment, originating in the 11th-century church. The journey of repentance is about “turning around” (the origin of the word repentance) so that we might be in right relationship with God—in a sense, we are looking for love once again. The scriptures invite us to spiritual practices of discernment such as praying and fasting, but not for the sake of looking good (for our sake). Rather, we are to do our work for the sake of the world—to loose the bonds of injustice, to let the oppressed go free. When we look to God for love (not simply for approval), and start with our own turning, we participate in the turning around of the world.

Starfire Benefit Concert and Auction, April 1

All are invited on Saturday, April 1, at 6:30pm in Creekside to Masquerade, the biggest fund-raiser Starfire Singers will hold for its summer tour to the United Kingdom. Donations and proceeds from the live auction will help defray the cost of the tour. Donations may be made online or at the concert.

The concert will feature the Starfire Singers (Los Altos UMC’s high school choir) and Starfire alumni. Guest musicians include members of our own Creekside Worship Band; Nebula, a Bay Area-based jazz group that includes Scott Jespersen and Dylan Damonte (both Starfire ’08); and Orange County-based musician Steven Maggiora (Starfire ’03), who works primarily as a session musician and live musician.

During the auction there will be opportunities to bid on some very exciting trips and parties, including:

Fabulous getaways: Puerto Vallarta, Maui, Palm Desert, St. Helena, Donner Lake, Northstar, Lake Tahoe, and Maine.

Fun party events: elegant dinner party, Cinco de Mayo party, prayer bead making with Carol, mystery luau party, drumming circle with Dylan Damonte & Bill Golden, Memphis BBQ, outdoor summer wine party, poker party, stargazing party, and primp and poker for teens.

The doors will open at 6:30pm for bidding to begin, and the concert will start at 7:00pm. This event happens only once every four years, so you don’t want to miss it! For more information, contact Cindy Golden or Denise Robinson.

Reconciling Sundays – February 19 and 26

Reconciliation: February 19

Matthew 5:38-48 was a passage that Martin Luther King, Jr., often quoted and expanded on. The concept of loving our enemies and praying for those who harass us was an essential principle in the nonviolent civil rights movement. How does it speak to us today, both in terms of our tendency to think of those who are different from us as “the other,” and our call to denounce racism and exclusion?

Reconciling Sunday: February 26

Celebrate what it means for LAUMC to be a Reconciling Church with the Rev. Kristin Stoneking as our guest speaker at all services. Rev. Stoneking is an ordained United Methodist elder and the executive director of Fellowship of Reconciliation. She was previously the executive director and pastor of the ecumenical campus ministry at University of California, Davis.

Advent Generosity 2016 Report

For the seventh consecutive year, our congregation participated in Advent Generosity as a way to share God’s love with others and be a source of light in the world. Your 2016 Advent Generosity giving totaled $99,889 and supported three programs:

  • Hope’s Corner, Inc., is the only local (Mountain View) source of free meals on Saturday for the homeless and needy. In addition to providing hot breakfasts and bag lunches for more than 250 weekly guests, Hope’s Corner also offers shower facilities and helps guests connect with other available services.
  • Compassion Week 2017 provides LAUMC congregants and community members with an opportunity to put our faith in action by performing acts of service. Compassion Week 2016 involved 2,034 volunteers addressing poverty, homelessness, education, hunger, the environment, and more throughout the Bay Area.
  • UMCOR International Disaster Risk Reduction (Advance #3021952) is a program designed to mitigate death and economic loss by preparing ahead for common natural disasters and to facilitate community recovery following such disasters.

LAUMC’s extravagant generosity during the Advent season over the last seven years has resulted in a total of $534,016 being put to work to save, nurture, and enrich the lives of others.

This season, we were invited to participate in hands-on service projects in addition to making monetary gifts. More than 30 people helped to plan, prepare, and serve a Christmas dinner to homeless guests at Project WeHOPE in East Palo Alto. Others served at Hope’s Corner in December and beyond.

Thank you for practicing extravagant generosity through your contributions of time, service, and financial resources. In doing so, you let the light of Jesus shine through you by showering love on others.

Conflict Resolution Class, Feb. 26

We all find ourselves with differences of opinion or outright conflict at times: with work colleagues, kids, friends, or spouses. On Sunday, February 26, at 11:15am in the Resource Center, come take a one-time class with Sue DeLong, who will present a process for safe and respectful conflict resolution, whether in business or personal relationships. This process is useful for everyone and keeps down the drama so that you can handle conflicts in a more positive way. If you need childcare during the class (ages 0–4), it will be provided in the church nursery. Contact Adult Ministries Chair Bob Olah for more information about the class.