Author Archive for Emily Allen

Get Ready for Fall With a Weekend at Church Camp

Fall is a beautiful time at Camp Lodestar, offering turning leaves, cool evenings, and a time to step away from the hectic pace of everyday life in the Silicon Valley. You are invited to join a group of LAUMC folks for the weekend of October 13–15 to worship, pray, share stories, and prepare the camp for fall and winter guests. Since we will be doing service work, we can get a discounted rate of $80/person for lodging and meals for the weekend. Register online or contact Director of Congregational Care Patricia Parfett.

Sign Up for Short-Term Fall Groups

This month the GroupLife team is excited to offer a number of discussion groups, each lasting between five and eight weeks. There are a variety of topics and times to suit everyone! Groups begin the week of August 21. Skim the options below and click on the title of a group for more details and to sign up for that group. You may also visit our Group Finder for a searchable list of groups. GroupLife leaders will be available after worship on August 6–20 to answer any questions and assist with group registration.

Pity Is Not Compassion, hosted by Perrie Erickson
Mondays, Beginning August 21, 7:00pm, Resource Center (no meeting Labor Day)
Watch TED Talks for a careful look at the difference between pity and compassion and discuss what it looks like to be compassionate Christians.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Garden Room
Explore how Narnia can shape our faith in today’s world.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (for kids), hosted by Michelle Caudle
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Live Oak Room
This is a one-hour study for children led by our new Children’s Ministry Director Michelle Caudle!

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis 
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Resource Center
Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Live Oak Room
We all yearn to share the traits that Jesus lived out: vibrancy, love, commitment, clarity, and joy. Study Jesus to discern how he sees the potential in us to become as he was. Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 7:00pm, Creekside A&B

Invitation to Romans, hosted by Bob Olah
Thursdays, 7:00pm, Youth Room
This short-term Disciple Bible Study format explores how people have interpreted Romans through the ages as a lens to view the history of Christianity itself.

Science and Faith, hosted by Brian Jones
Sundays, Beginning August 27, 10:45am, Room 8 (no meeting Labor Day weekend)
How do we reconcile the competing worldviews of science and faith? What is truth, and how do the two relate to it?

Why We Do the Things We Do Worship Series, Aug. 6 – Sept. 3

There are some practices we do over and over in church. Things like communion, prayer, and baptism. Why do we do these things? What do they mean? Let’s dive in and find out! Come to the Creekside Crossings worship service on Sundays at 5:00pm to learn more about why we do these and other practices.

August 6: What Is This Meal and Why?
Associate Pastor Sam Lewis will guide us through the practice of communion, both preaching about the practice and leading the communion service. Her scripture text is Luke 24:28-35.

August 13: The Sixth Sense
Why do we pray? What is prayer? Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will explore the meaning and practice of prayer, using Matthew 6:7-15.

August 20: What Is Your Name?
Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will preach about the practice of baptism and its meaning in our church. The scripture is Mark 1:9-11.

August 27: Standing Tall
Pastor Jon will explore hope and healing and how they are practiced in the church today, using John 8:1-11.

September 3: Witness
Pastor Jon will preach about the practice of witness, or speaking about our faith as Christian disciples.

God Is Still Speaking, Aug. 6 – Sept. 3

The “canon” of the Bible was closed long ago. But neither creation nor God’s word stopped once that original story was told! In this final month of summer, we will explore some of the ways God continues to speak to us, in ways we can hear now. Come for the sermon and worship service at 8:00am or 9:30am, and/or come for a deeper study of the day’s text at 11:15am with Senior Pastor Kathi McShane.

August 6: God Is Still Speaking … In the Words of Poets
Poetry offers meaning on many different levels. Readers can consider the intentions and circumstances of the poet as well as the ways a poem speaks to their own experience. This process of reading poetry parallels the way we read scripture. Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give the message. Holy Communion will be served.

August 13: God Is Still Speaking … In the Testimony of Others Who Have Experienced God for Themselves
Associate Pastor Sam Lewis will preach.

August 20: God Is Still Speaking … In the People Around Us
Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will give the message.

August 27: God Is Still Speaking … In a Starfire Trip to the United Kingdom
Minister of Music and Worship Arts Dirk Damonte will preach, sharing about the recent trip the high school youth choir took to the UK.

September 3: God Is Still Speaking … In Our Work
Pastor Kathi will give the message. Holy Communion will be served.

All-Church Summer Barbecues Return

You are invited to enjoy fellowship, good food, and excellent entertainment! Bring your family and neighbors, or just come hang out with your church family at our All-Church Summer BBQs. They are scheduled for two Thursdays, July 27 and August 10, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in Creekside. Tickets are available online or at the door for $8/general, $5/children under 6, or $22/family with school-age children. Don’t worry if you can’t come right at 6:00—dinner will still be available for late arrivals! There will also be entertainment for the whole family, including basketball, water balloons, games, prizes, and more.

Thursday, July 27: Dorita Strotman, a well-known pianist at local restaurants, will provide music during dinner. The Wesley Jazz Ensemble will perform a variety of big band hits, jazz, blues, and more tunes after dinner—dancing and singing are encouraged! Water balloons and games will be organized for youth. You may purchase your ticket online or pay at the door. Child care is available for children 4 years old and younger with advance reservation to Pat Osborne (650-948-7955) by July 21.

Thursday, August 10: Dorita Strotman will once again provide piano music during dinner. Magician Phil Ackerly will perform, a delight for both children and adults, as he has entertained audiences off-Broadway in New York City and at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Following his act, our own ever-popular Star Geezers will play for us, offering lively musical selections and antics. You may purchase your ticket online or pay at the door. Child care is available for children 4 years old and younger with advance reservation to Pat Osborne (650-948-7955) by August 4.

This I Know for Sure: July sermon series

For the month of July, our sermon series will focus on the topic of “This I Know for Sure.” The preachers will be our newly appointed ministers, Senior Pastor Kathi McShane and Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion.

July 9: This I Know for Sure: Life Is Like a Wedding Banquet
Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give her first sermons at Los Altos UMC. The scripture is John 2:1-11.

July 16: This I Know for Sure: All Shall Be Well
Pastor Kathi will give a message based on Isaiah 43:1-7.

July 23: This I Know for Sure: Faith Is a Journey
Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will give the message using the text of Romans 12:1-2.

July 30: This I Know for Sure: God Comes to You, Disguised as Your Life
Pastor Kathi will preach, using Matthew 4:18-19.

Borderless Home Shows, July 21–22

Starfire Singers, our high school choir, is hard at work preparing to give two home performances of Borderless here at LAUMC before taking the show on tour! Come see the show on July 21 or 22 at 7:30pm in Creekside. Admission is free, and an offering will be taken for Willka T’ika Children’s Fund – C’haskaNina Project (Quechua for “Starfire Project”), supporting trade education for Quechua high school graduates in remote Andean villages.

On July 24, Starfire Singers will take off for the UK, performing the show at local churches and collecting offerings for justice ministries selected by the host churches.

Borderless is a multimedia musical production written by Dirk and Carol Damonte about breaking through the barriers and borders that keep us from an authentic, deep, growing relationship with Jesus. Inspired by Bishop Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Living, Borderless is a fresh perspective on the five practices of discipleship. Come confront the places where we feel stuck in life and find a path toward living in a real and growing relationship with God. Once we step out beyond the borders, we find hope, faith, and love beyond our wildest imaginations. The shows at LAUMC and some tour performances will be streamed live. Visit the Starfire Singers website for more details.

Saying Farewell to Our Departing Staff

This month Los Altos UMC makes goodbyes to three departing staff, with several opportunities to share our appreciation for their time and ministry with us. Rev. Mariellen Yoshino has served as the senior pastor for three years. Rev. Debbie Weatherspoon has been one of our associate pastors for 11 years, most recently as the minister for community engagement. Paul Rosas, our senior organist, has played organ, piano, and even composed new works during his 13 years at Los Altos UMC.

Pastors Mariellen and Debbie will share the message time at all four worship services on Sunday, June 11. This will be their final Sunday in worship at Los Altos UMC. The worship services on Sunday, June 25, will be a celebration of Paul Rosas’ musical ministry in our congregation.

All-Church Dinner: Farewell to Staff
Sunday, June 25, 5:45pm, Creekside
Come to the Creekside Crossings service and stay for this month’s All-Church Sunday Dinner, a farewell to Pastor Mariellen, Pastor Debbie, and Paul. Help us celebrate and honor their service to this church. Dinner will be barbecue. Please register online so we know how many attendees to expect. All are invited! We will have a slide show during dinner. If you have photos of the honorees that you would like to share, please send them to the Staff-Parish Relations Committee.

Farewell Gifts
If you would like to make a monetary farewell gift for one or more of our departing staff, checks are accepted in the offering plate or in the church office by June 25. Please make checks payable to Debbie Weatherspoon or Paul Rosas or make a gift in Pastor Mariellen’s honor to “CNUMC UMF Yoshino Family Mission Fund.” Gifts to Pastor Debbie or Paul are not tax-deductible; gifts to the Yoshino Family Mission Fund are tax-deductible.

Outreach Connection: Community Services Agency, June 11

Our Outreach focus and offering this month is Community Services Agency (CSA). Tom Meyers, executive director of CSA, will speak at our worship services on June 11 regarding CSA’s programs. CSA provides vital social services for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, from young, working poor families to elderly persons. The agency provides a safety net so independence and self-sufficiency can be maintained through Emergency Assistance, Senior Assistance Services, and Services for the Homeless.

LAUMC has long been a generous supporter of CSA, and we hope you will give generously. Collection boxes will be set out at church on June 11, or you can give throughout the month by writing a check to LAUMC with “CSA” on the memo line or using our online giving platform.

Resurrection Stories Worship Series, April 16 – June 4

The Easter Season is a time of celebrating all the ways in which resurrection is possible in our lives. We can be in need of rising out of the depths of imprisonment, addiction, poverty, illness and oppression—not just physically and literally, but also spiritually. What holds us back from the joy of life? What binds us, keeping us from the fullness of who God created us to be? What keeps us down? Join us for powerful testimonies–Resurrection Stories–from those who have found “resurrection” in their lives. It might just inspire you to your own rising up!

April 16 (Easter): Resurrection From Death

The ultimate message is this: no matter how dead you feel, God has plans for you! Easter kicks off our “Resurrection Stories” series with the Story of all Stories and the reason why there is always hope. Can you turn your life around? Can you find new life when everything feels lifeless? Can light shine in what feels like a dark tomb? Yes. Yes. Yes! Our scripture is John 20:1-18. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino gives the message at the morning services and Pastors Dirk Damonte and Debbie Weatherspoon at the evening service.

April 23: Resurrection From Addiction

In 12-step programs, the first step is admitting powerlessness over anything that threatens to destroy our connection to God, to ourselves, and to others. Rev. Sam Lewis will give the message at all four services, helping us celebrate the Good News that we can refocus our lives onto things that lead us to life and connection to the Holy. Our scripture will be John 20:19-31.

April 30: Resurrection Stories: The Joy of Children

Come join us for Children’s Celebration Sunday! We will give thanks for the life-giving and life-affirming presence of children in our church and in our lives. Our scripture will be Nehemiah 8:10. Pastor Debbie Weatherspoon will give the message at all services.

May 7: Resurrection From Oppression

This country is made up of so many who escaped to the “promised land” from oppressive regimes. Throughout history people have had to flee situations of horror. Even within our country and in our own time, there are those who live with oppression and fear. We will listen to three inspirational Resurrection Stories to widen our understanding of what we must do to continue to work for liberation on so many fronts. Our scripture will be Exodus 3:1-15.

May 14: Mother’s Day

We will celebrate mothers and the ways they embody resurrection. Pastor Mariellen will give the message at the morning services and Pastor Debbie at the evening service.

May 21: Resurrection From Imprisonment

We may be imprisoned by many things. Jesus’ declaration that he had come to “set the prisoner free” can be interpreted for all of us, whether we’ve ever experienced being behind literal prison bars. We will hear the powerful Resurrection Story of someone who was incarcerated and is now living a truly free life, thanks to the help of a new-found faith. We will reflect on how we can each step into freedom from whatever binds us. The scripture is from Acts 16:16-34.

May 28: Resurrection From Illness

Illness of mind, body, or spirit can sap us of our life passion and energy. Sometimes illness can change the course of our lives forever, asking us to adapt in ways we never imagined. A Resurrection Story of rediscovering a passion for life after a devastating illness will offer us a different perspective on how we deal with any life-altering situation. The scripture is Genesis 32:24-32.

June 4 (Pentecost): Resurrection Spirit

The Spirit is alive and moves among us as it did in the early church! The end of our series will offer us an opportunity to commit ourselves to some important and concrete goals for our mission in the world. We are a church that can mobilize to alleviate suffering and proclaim resurrection hope through the power of the Holy Spirit! The scripture is Romans 12:1-16.