Author Archive for Emily Allen

Mexico House-Building Trip, April 7–14, 2018

Come on one of Los Altos UMC’s Mexico trips and put your faith into action! The next trip is scheduled for April 7–14, 2018. We will build simple two-room houses for working people in Tecate. This trip will change your life as you get to know and fall in love with the people of Mexico who live and work in conditions very different from ours.

No power tools are used and no prior experience is necessary, so these experiences are great for the whole family. You don’t have to participate at Los Altos UMC to come on the trip: if you are interested, you are welcome!

Download the trip overview, FAQs, and registration form or pick up print copies of the informational flyers and registration form in the church entry or Creekside lobby. Completed registration forms and deposits are due January 3, with later registrations accepted if space is available. Financial assistance is available from the Mission Trip Scholarship Fund; please review the scholarship criteria and then submit the application form. For more information, contact Leslie Carmichael.

Advent Generosity: A Voice in the Darkness

Advent is often the busiest time of the year, and it is a challenge to make time and space to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. This Christmas, choose a radical approach not just to Christmas giving, but to your holiday preparations and celebration of Christ’s birth. Advent Generosity provides a simple yet effective way to be “a voice in the darkness,” sharing God’s love by making monetary gifts to three worthy causes and by participating in service.

Support These Causes

Consider donating to LAUMC’s Advent Generosity campaign on behalf of your friends and family. Or, ask family and friends to make a donation in your honor instead of purchasing a gift for you. By making one donation to Advent Generosity 2017, three worthy programs will be supported:

Hope’s Corner, Inc.: For the past six years, Hope’s Corner, Inc., has provided nourishing meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Hope’s Corner is the only local source of free meals on Saturdays for the homeless and needy. Advent Generosity giving will help Hope’s Corner expand its food service, twice-weekly shower program, and additional services for more than 250 weekly guests. With your help:

  • $100 buys a hand wash sink with soap and towel dispenser
  • $500 buys epoxy coated, corrosion-resistant shelving for a walk-in refrigerator
  • $1,000 buys a commercial coffee brewer
  • $5,000 buys a mobile hot food serving counter

Compassion Week 2018: Church and community members have an opportunity to put their faith into action, engaging in worship by performing acts of loving service and social justice. During Compassion Week 2017, more than 2,000 volunteers donated more than 6,000 service hours to perform projects addressing poverty, homelessness, education, the environment, hunger, veterans’ needs, prison support, and more—locally and worldwide. With your help:

  • $50 buys comfort item materials for 7 women going through chemotherapy treatments
  • $100 buys the supplies to fill 10 UMCOR health kits for fire and hurricane victims
  • $500 feeds 100 veterans waiting for important surgeries at the VA Hospital
  • $1,000 buys Rise Against Hunger meal kits to feed 1,360 people on the brink of starvation

Response to 2017 Natural Disasters: A fund for LAUMC’s 2018 mission trips in response to 2017’s U.S. and international disasters. This fund will be available to supplement and provide scholarships for hands-on mission work in, for example, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas, and California. With your help:

  • $50 buys 128 sq. ft. of drywall
  • $100 buys five rolls of insulation
  • $500 buys one volunteer’s round-trip airfare
  • $1,000 buys 1,000 sq. ft. of composition roofing shingles

Service Opportunities

Habitat for Humanity: On December 16, an LAUMC team will be working with Habitat for Humanity at its Fremont Commons building site. Space is limited; please sign up on the Habitat website.

Project WeHOPE: On December 21, LAUMC will host a dinner at the Project WeHOPE shelter in East Palo Alto. There are opportunities to shop for ingredients, prepare food at LAUMC, serve dinner at Project WeHOPE, and share a holiday meal with brothers and sisters who are working to end their homelessness. Contact Jan McDaniel to sign up.

How to Participate

Pick up an Advent Generosity envelope in the Sanctuary, Creekside, or the church office starting November 20. When you choose not to buy an unnecessary gift or decide to forgo a Christmas related goodie, place the money you save in the envelope. Return your envelope to the church office or place it in the offering plate on or before Christmas Eve. (You may donate cash or make checks payable to Los Altos UMC with Advent Generosity on the memo line.) You may also donate online or by texting AG and your gift amount to (650) 229-5200. On Christmas Eve, credit card readers will be available at church if you’d like to put your donation on your credit card. In addition, the offering taken at our Christmas Eve services will go toward our Advent Generosity recipients!

If you pick up Advent Generosity materials at church, gift cards are provided so that you can let your family and friends know you have made a donation to Advent Generosity 2017 and/or have performed a service on their behalf.

Festival of Carols & Lights, Dec. 9

Festival of Carols & Lights 2012Christmas comes to life with words and music at our annual Festival of Carols & Lights concert celebration on Saturday, December 9, at 5:00pm and 7:30pm. Join us in the Sanctuary or watch either performance live online. This year’s theme is “Voices in the Darkness: Do Not Be Afraid.” Our worship choirs (Chancel Choir, Morning Glory, Lightshine, and Starfire Singers) and Creekside Worship Band will be joined by an orchestra as the Sanctuary is filled with the music of familiar carols, Christmas anthems, and readings that will fill your heart with the joy of the holidays.

Let Christmas come to life with the music of the season, and let the Festival of Carols and Lights be a part of your celebration of the mystery and wonder of Christmas. A free-will offering will be taken. Childcare is available during both performances in the nursery.

Do Not Be Afraid: Advent Worship Series

Our December worship and sermon series is “A Voice in the Darkness: Do Not Be Afraid.” The angels that appear in the story of Jesus’ birth would have been very comfortable in our world of tweets and hashtags. Their messages were short and to the point. And every message began with the same words: Do not be afraid, even in the darkness. All through Advent, our sermons will mine the angels’ messages to Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the magi for what they say to us. You are invited to worship with us this season and consider where you can confront the darkness in your own life with #morehope, #morepeace, #morejoy, #morelove, and #morelife.

December 3: Make Ready a People: #morehope – Luke 1

December 10: He Will Save His People: #morepeace – Matthew 1:18-25

December 17: Nothing Is Impossible: #morejoy – Luke 1:26-56

December 24*: This Will Be a Sign: #morelove – Luke 2:1-20

December 31*: Get Up and Go: #morelife – Matthew 2:1-23

*Note: There will be one morning service on December 24 at 10:00am. On December 31, morning services will be at 8:30am and 10:00am and a Watch Night Service at 5:00pm.

Advent Small Groups

GroupLife has scheduled two short-term small groups to meet during Advent to discuss excerpts from the Advent devotional and/or weekly sermons. All are welcome to participate.

  • Tuesdays (December 5, 12, and 19), 10:00–11:30am in the Resource Center, led by Jan McDaniel
  • Thursdays (December 7, 14, and 21), 7:00–8:30pm in the Resource Center, led by Bob Olah

Growing deeper together is how we do life in all seasons! Please contact grouplife@laumc.org with any questions.

On the Other Side of Ruin: A Season to Ready Us for Advent

The work of the prophets was to tell the truth, which was not always easy to hear. The prophets’ message often was, “Under the surface, everything is not as it appears. We are not what we should be.” But the truth also brought new life and new hope. Sometimes life forces us into situations and places we do not want to go. If we are paying attention, we may see that they are also calling us into becoming another, better version of ourselves.

What do we do as we prepare for a new challenge? We renew our commitment to the disciplines that make us strong, ready, and equipped. Come hear and respond to our sermon series exploring this topic.

November 12: Finding Ourselves Far From Home – The Story of the Exile

November 19: Out of the Valley of Dry Bones – Ezekiel 37:1-6

November 26: Everything Has a Crack in It … That’s How the Light Gets In – Jeremiah 31:31-34

Fall Worship Themes

We will cover several themes in worship over the next month. All are welcome to worship with us in the Sanctuary at 8:00, 9:30, or 11:15am or in Creekside at 5:00pm.

October 22: The Best Is Yet to Come
Pastor Dirk Damonte will preach at all four services, using scripture from Philippians 3:12-16. At the 9:30am service, we will present Bibles to our third grade Sunday schoolers.

October 29: Are You Smarter Than Jesus?
Pastor Jon Visitacion will give the message at the morning services, based on Matthew 22:34-46. Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will preach at the evening service.

November 5: All Saints Sunday
Pastor Sam Lewis will preach at all four services on Revelation 7:9-17. Holy Communion will be served.

All-Church Dinner With Rev. Brian Adkins, Oct. 22

The United Methodist Church is in the middle of deliberations on whether and how it can proceed as a unified denomination, in light of its intractable division over full inclusion of LGBTQ persons. The Commission on a Way Forward is about halfway through its work. A young pastor from our California-Nevada Conference, the Rev. Brian Adkins, is a member of that Commission. He’s the only “out” gay clergy in that group of 32 lay and clergy members. His story of his experience—of the relationships that are forming across what seemed like hard dividing lines, and of how his hope for the Church is changing—is powerful and moving.

Pastor Brian will join us for our October All-Church Dinner on Sunday, October 22, at 6:15pm in Creekside and be in conversation with us about the work of the Commission and his experiences with that group. Everyone is invited to the Creekside Crossings service at 5:00pm and the dinner that follows.

Dinner is $12 for adults, $8 for children 10–17, and free for children under 10. You can pay in advance or at the door, but we ask that in either case you RSVP online for food and childcare planning purposes.

Check Out the New Harvest Craft Faire, Oct. 14

For 38 years, the Los Altos United Methodist Women have held a Harvest Craft Faire to raise funds benefitting families in need within our community and beyond. This year, the UMW have changed the format a little and reached out to other cultures within our community. Come check it out on Saturday, October 14, 9:00am–4:00pm in Creekside.

Turkish Muslim women from the Pacifica Institute will be selling baked goods, women from India will be selling spices to help us learn to make delicious dishes, and handcrafts been ordered from the UMC to support artisans from Cambodia, Cuba, Fiji, Africa, India, the Lakota Sioux, and many others. There will be more than 40 artisans participating, including our beloved “Pastor Potter” and former senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Mark Bollwinkel.

In addition, Starfire alumni will be offering demonstrations on D.I.Y. succulent gardens and beekeeping. And, of course, the UMW will have their incredible gourmet and garden shops as well as wonderful hand-crafted wares. To give the whole day a festive atmosphere, there will be live entertainment throughout the day, including international dancers and musicians. You can even participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on campus, if you prefer not to drive to San Jose that day. Lunch will be offered from 11:30am to 1:30pm, and a coffee/snack bar will be available all day.

If you have baked goods, jams, jellies, etc., to donate for sale, please bring them to Creekside on Friday, October 13, between 10:00am and 1:00pm. Contact Sandi Kreft (408-257-8640) with questions.

Vigil for Hope After Las Vegas, Oct. 5

All are invited to a community-wide candlelight vigil on Thursday, October 5, at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. This will be a vigil of prayer and sorrow and healing for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting this week. A vigil of hope and courage for all who live for the promise that this need never happen again.

Bring your family, your friends, your neighbors. Use our Facebook event to invite local folks to come. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed.