Archive for Give

Sale-Abration Goodies Support Africa Sunday

saleabration basketAs part of our celebrations for Africa Sunday, the Los Altos United Methodist Women have organized their annual Sale-Abration fundraiser. Stop by Creekside Center on Sunday, January 29 or February 5, between 9:00am and 1:00pm or 4:30pm and 7:00pm to browse a variety of hand-made gifts, crafts, and baked goods. Gift baskets, gifts for your valentines, and various baked chocolate treats will be hard to resist. Floral arrangements will give you the feeling of spring in the air. Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday or any day of the week will be waiting for you. And don’t forget to get the bean soup mix, which is always a best-seller!

All profits from Sale-Abration go to the African Student Education Fund to support tuition scholarships for African women. Thank you for your support!

Living Generosity: January Worship and Stewardship Theme

Have you noticed the huge heart posters that have been displayed in our Sanctuary entry and the entrance to Creekside, each heart filled with sightings of generosity? Last fall, our Extravagant Generosity Practice Committee asked us to notice moments or experiences of generosity and write these “generosity sightings” on cards that were placed inside the big hearts. It has been inspiring to see these hearts become filled with cards, each with an example of generosity, of loving and caring actions.

Since we have noticed and shared these generosity sightings, the heart posters are overflowing. We can’t help but feel drawn to the stories of extravagant giving, sharing, living, and loving. As our faces light up and our hearts are warmed, we realize that we were made for this. Our generous God designed us to be generous people. If you found joy and inspiration in reading the cards, and if you found your own heart overflowing with the desire to be more generous, maybe this is God’s way of growing your heart of generosity.

We will further explore these concepts in our next worship series on stewardship and generous hearts, “Living Generosity.” This stewardship season will include three Sundays focusing on Living Generosity and three gatherings to talk about stewardship in different ways, culminating in Commitment Sunday on February 5, when we will make our commitments to the 2017 LAUMC Operating Fund. As we prepare to commit to a plan of financial giving for the coming year at LAUMC, consider how God is nudging you to give extravagantly and imagine the impact of sharing your resources with our church and our world. Perhaps the next time we are asked to reflect on generosity sightings, it will be your own story that comes to mind.

Living Generosity Worship Series

January 15: Living Generosity: Responding. The scripture story from Luke 9:12-17 is of Jesus feeding the crowd of five thousand with five loaves and two fish.

January 22: Living Generosity: Realizing. The scripture from Mark 8:14-21 is of Jesus talking to the disciples, who do not understand the significance of his feeding miracle.

February 5: Living Generosity: Rejoicing. The scripture from 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 10-15 reveals that God gives us gifts that God wants us to use generously. We will make our commitments to LAUMC’s Operating Fund as part of our living generosity. Holy Communion will be served.

Stewardship Gatherings

To support our stewardship focus, there will be three informational and participatory gatherings, designed to help us “live generosity” in 2017. Please consider attending at least one gathering.

Generosity: Gifts and Graphs
Thursday, January 26, 7:30pm, Creekside C/D
Would you like to understand the congregation’s giving patterns and the underlying demographics? Would you like to know more about how we invest our operating funds to support our ministries? Through our stewardship, we provide resources that enable LAUMC to live out generosity for our congregation and our community while, at the same time, we cultivate our own living generosity. Come learn more about the financial state of our congregation as Extravagant Generosity committee member Tonya Treble and Finance Chair Derek Nam host a discussion of how our stewardship can ensure a healthy future for LAUMC.

Generosity Across Generations
Friday, January 27, 6:00pm, Creekside Center
It’s tough to raise a family in the Bay Area. How can we be generous to the church and still pay for tuition, sports, extracurriculars, and a home, all while trying to pay off debt and save for retirement? What do we teach our kids about giving, and how do we set examples of living generosity for them? How can our practice of giving draw us closer to God and give us peace? Hear Brian Jones and other church leaders share their experiences, and then discuss what living generosity might look like for us. Come for a pizza supper at 6:00pm, followed by childcare for young children, stewardship activities for older children, and interactive conversation for adults. If you are bringing your child(ren), please RSVP to childcare@laumc.org with the number of children and their age(s) so we can plan an appropriate number of childcare providers.

Generosity Sightings and Giant Sandwiches
Saturday, January 28, 12:00pm, Creekside C/D
Were your heart touched and spirit inspired by reading about or witnessing an act of extravagant generosity over the holidays? Phil Pompei will lead the gathering in sharing stories of “generosity sightings” over lunch and reflecting on how we might be inspired to respond with our own living generosity. Come with your stories and reflections and leave with full hearts and stomachs.

Outreach Connection, Jan. 8: Day Worker Center

Day Worker Center Mountain ViewOn Sunday, January 8, our featured Outreach Connection agency will be the Day Worker Center in Mountain View, which serves men and women working as day laborers in our community. Representatives will tell us about the center during each worship service, and we will have an opportunity to donate money in support of its operation. The Day Worker Center provides for its members critical economic and emotional support, a sense of community, a clean, safe, warm and dry place to gather, and education and training.

How can we help?

  • Donate money on our online giving site and selecting the Outreach Connection gift fund or by writing a check to LAUMC with “Day Worker Center” in the memo line and putting it in the offering plate.
  • Volunteer to lead a job training workshop (painting, pruning, house maintenance, etc.), help teach English, computer literacy skills, or resume writing, or tutor students at homework club.
  • Donate tools and equipment such as sewing machines, painting supplies, buckets, hard hats, measuring tapes, leaf blowers, drills, vacuums, etc.
  • Employ a day worker to help you move, weed your garden, paint your house, repair your fence, or prepare for a party.
  • Post a positive review of your experience on Yelp.

For more information, visit the Mountain View Day Worker Center website, visit the center at 113 Escuela Ave, Mountain View, or call 650-903-4102.

Advent Generosity: Be the Light

Advent is arguably the busiest time of the year. Too often we become wrapped up in the trappings of Christmas, and it is a challenge as Christians to make time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. As Adam Hamilton writes in Not a Silent Night, our Advent worship and study book, “Our mission at Christmas is not to get stuff for people to open on Christmas morning. It is to be people of hope who let Jesus’ light shine through them.”

Advent Generosity invites the LAUMC community to share God’s love and grace by making monetary gifts to three worthy causes and—new this year—by participating in service (see service opportunities below). Embracing Advent Generosity this Christmas provides a simple yet effective way to “Be the Light.” Our gifts to Advent Generosity represent our desire to share our love for others by performing acts of kindness, compassion, and goodness. Adam Hamilton tells us, “Grace changes the one who receives it, and it also changes the one who gives it.” We are invited this Advent season to “Be the Light” by emulating Jesus.

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 2016, three worthy programs will be supported:

  • Hope’s Corner, Inc.: Hope’s Corner, Inc., provides weekly meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Advent Generosity 2016 giving will help Hope’s Corner expand its food service, twice-weekly shower program, and additional services for more than 250 weekly guests.
  • Compassion Week 2017: Compassion Week provides LAUMC congregants and community members an opportunity to put our faith in action by performing acts of service. Compassion Week 2016 involved more than 2,000 volunteers addressing poverty, homelessness, education, hunger, the environment, and more.
  • UMCOR International Disaster Risk Reduction (Advance #3021952): This disaster risk reduction program is designed to prepare for and mitigate both death and economic loss and to facilitate community recovery following common natural disasters. The World Bank estimates that each $1 invested in risk management yields between $2 and $11 in benefits/cost savings in the event of a disaster.

Service Opportunities

  • Project WeHOPE: On December 22, LAUMC will host a Christmas dinner at Project WeHOPE. Those who sign up will facilitate dinner services, and share a holiday dinner with brothers and sisters who are working to end their homelessness. Project WeHOPE is a nonprofit organization in East Palo Alto that provides overnight shelter, food, financial literacy, and other services to clients in its transitional program. Dignity on Wheels, the mobile hygiene and outreach program, provides showers and laundry to people living in encampments, rotating shelters, and out of their vehicles. To sign up to help with the dinner, contact Jan McDaniel. Space is limited.
  • Hope’s Corner: Another option for serving our community as part of Advent Generosity is to volunteer with Hope’s Corner. Volunteers help prepare and serve meals, clean up, or check in shower guests. Visit the Hope’s Corner website for more information about volunteer opportunities and to sign up.

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 by Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you could make your Advent Generosity donation online. Also, please use the provided gift cards to let your family and friends know you have made a donation to Advent Generosity 2016 and/or have performed a service on their behalf.

This Christmas, choose a radical approach to giving, and your celebration of Christ’s birth. Together, let’s worship fully, give more, spend less, and love all through our Advent Generosity giving. If you have questions about Advent Generosity, please contact Valarie Arnesen.

November Outreach Connection: Salinas First UMC

The focus for this month’s Outreach Connection is Salinas First United Methodist Church, a longtime partner of Los Altos UMC. The Salinas church’s Neighborhood Ministry serves breakfast and lunch six days a week to more than 100 homeless and hungry people in Salinas Salinas Outreach Connectionas well as providing a safe, inviting place for the homeless to gather during the day, clothes closet, weekly mobile health clinic, support groups for veterans and those with addictions, job counseling, and more. At our services on Sunday, November 13, we will get to watch a new video updating us on this program.

Under the direction of head pastor Steve Lundin, the mission of FUMC Salinas is to “put love into action and live our faith.” Please put your love into action and give generously to this Outreach Connection partner, which is truly acting on Jesus’ admonition to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger as if they were Jesus himself. If you would like to contribute to this ministry, you can donate online or by check made payable to LAUMC with “Salinas” in the memo line.

The Outreach Team at LAUMC organizes special monthly collections for outreach organizations 10 times per year. Each month the congregation learns about the highlighted organization and how it addresses the basic needs of people in our community, nationally, or internationally. A special donation is taken one Sunday, usually the second Sunday of the month, but donations designated to Outreach Connection are accepted throughout the month.

LAUMC Team Joins San Jose Walk to End Alzheimer’s

2015 Alz Team Photo low quality webThe LAUMC Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team has a lot of news this year! The LAUMC Team has switched from participating in the San Francisco Walk to the San Jose Walk and joined LAUMC’s Compassion Week in the process. The Team also has a special focus on caregivers.

The San Jose Walk is on Saturday, October 8, at 9:30am. The Walk is a great activity for all ages. There will be a huge children’s play area, including a bounce house, face painting, jungle gym, and other fun activities—maybe even a visit from Sharkie, the San Jose Sharks mascot! Even if you can’t walk with the Team, you can still sign on as a show of support.

Since the San Jose Walk falls during LAUMC’s Compassion Week, the Walk Team has partnered with Compassion Week! If you volunteer to help the Team or do the Walk, your participation will count toward Compassion Week’s volunteer total. Go to the team page to join the team and/or donate.

This year, in addition to supporting those with Alzheimer’s disease, the LAUMC Team is raising up caregivers: the spouses, children, relatives, and friends who care for loved ones with this disease.

Let the end of Alzheimer’s start with you. Help us to achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Report on Pack-a-Back Drive

pack-a-back-drive-backpacksIn July the Outreach Team and the Children’s Center held a drive to gather school supplies and backpacks for the Sacred Heart Community Service Pack-a-Back Drive. Together, we collected:

  • 14 full backpacks
  • 49 empty backpacks
  • $230 in gift cards for shoes
  • 15 scientific calculators
  • Numerous boxes of crayons, pencils, paper, glue, scissors, and more

This amounts to more than two complete classrooms of students who started this school year prepared to learn! Thank you for your generosity. This year, we were part of an effort to deliver a record 3,088 backpacks to K–12 children whose parents could not afford to purchase all the necessary supplies to help them succeed.

Sacred Heart is one of the agencies that our congregation supports with volunteers and funds. If you are interested in helping Sacred Heart in its efforts to eradicate poverty in Silicon Valley, sign up to volunteer during Compassion Week.

September Outreach Connection: Project WeHOPE

Dignity on Wheels shower trailerThis month, our featured Outreach Connection agency is Project WeHOPE. Project WeHOPE started as a homeless shelter in East Palo Alto in the winter of 2009. Since then, the organization has grown its scope of service to include job training, transition to permanent housing, and mobile shower units. Pastor Paul Bains, the founder of Project WeHOPE, describes its mission as helping the homeless and those at risk in rebuilding their lives through services that are customized to the needs of each client.

An Outreach Connection offering will be taken for Project WeHOPE on Sunday, September 18, at all services. You may give in person or online. Pastor Bains will also be the guest preacher at the evening Creekside Crossings service that Sunday, and all are invited to attend. We have also partnered with Project WeHOPE to offer several service opportunities at the agency during this year’s Compassion Week.

August Outreach Connection: Hope’s Corner

Our featured Outreach Connection agency this month is Hope’s Corner, Inc. People in our community are hungry. Even if employed, people earning minimum wage cannot afford both rent and food. In addition, people who are unhoused need a place to feel welcomed. Hope’s Corner, Inc., addresses these needs every Saturday by providing a nutritious breakfast and bag lunch. Hope’s Corner now serves 250 breakfasts per week on average. The organization also offers free showers and recently expanded the shower program to be open on Thursday mornings as well as Saturday mornings. On Thursdays, Community Services Agency has a social worker on site to help connect guests with the services they need.

On Sunday, August 14, Hope’s Corner board member Kevin Thompson will speak at the morning services and board President Leslie Carmichael will speak at the evening service with updates about what Hope’s Corner offers. You will find donation boxes outside the entrances to the Sanctuary and Creekside. Please give generosity to this growing program.

Fill a Backpack, Fulfill a Dream

girl with pack squareMany families in Silicon Valley are struggling to make ends meet. Often families have to choose between paying for basics like food and utilities and buying school supplies for their children—yet a good education can be their path out of poverty. When children arrive at school without the school supplies critical to their success, they are already behind their classmates.

Sacred Heart Community Service, an agency LAUMC has supported for several years, wants to ensure that children of struggling families don’t miss out on a quality education. A large component of Sacred Heart’s dedication to helping children succeed is its annual Pack-a-Back drive. This year the goal is to send 3,300 K-12 children to school with a new backpack filled with grade-appropriate supplies. Help change lives by donating school supplies and backpacks for distribution to local students. Bring donations to the red barrels in the church sanctuary on July 24 and 31. Visit Sacred Heart’s website for more information about the drive, including a list of requested supplies and a form for online financial donations. Together, we can change a child’s life!

Most-needed items:

  • New backpacks (not red or blue)
  • Scientific calculators
  • Safety scissors
  • $20 shoe gift cards (to any store where shoes are sold)