Archive for Worship & Music

A Service of Gathering and Holding Our Losses

Sunday, June 27, 2021 – 8:30am, 10:00am & 5:00pm / 10:00am In-person

A Service of Gathering and Holding Our Losses - Sunday June 27 at 8:30am, 10:00am and 5:00pm

On Sunday, June 27, all of LAUMC’s worship services – online and in-person – will be gathering to remember the people we have lost since the beginning of the pandemic. These are not only people who died directly because of the virus but all members of our community who have died since March 2020. Many of those deaths, of people dear to us, we were not able to mourn together. If you are attending our in-person worship on June 27, you are invited to bring a photograph of a person whose memory you would like to include in our service. If you are unable to attend, you may send a name and digital photo via email below, and we will be sure to include you in our prayers. This is part of this congregation’s important work in this time: to gather around our losses too, as we begin our new life together.

Holy Week and Easter

Updated April 1: Please read through the service descriptions below, as some of the times have changed. Links to the livestream to watch each service are included.

The ways in which we spend the days leading up to Easter, and Easter Sunday itself, will look a little different this year. We will miss gathering together to experience the symbolism of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and the joyous celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. But we believe the services of Holy Week speak to us even in this time of sheltering in place. Perhaps you have seen the jokes circulating about the disciples gathering in the “Upper Zoom” or Mary and the resurrected Jesus practicing social distancing.

You are invited to walk through Holy Week in a new way this year, both with LAUMC and with the California-Nevada Annual Conference. May these services bring you meaning, comfort, and hope.

Holy Week services commemorate Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection on Easter. Join Jesus in his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his last gathering with his disciples on Maundy Thursday, his sacrifice and sorrow on Good Friday, his time of waiting on Holy Saturday, and his astonishing resurrection on Easter Sunday. As you journey through Holy Week with LAUMC, may you discover a richer, more joy-filled Easter.

Palm Sunday – April 5, 8:30am, 10:00am, & 5:00pm

Celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. This livestream service will feature a special celebration video featuring photos and videos from the congregation waving palms at home.

Maundy Thursday – April 9, 7:00pm

Led by Pastor Dirk Damonte and Pastor Jeong Park, this special livestream service is not to be missed.

Good Friday – April 10

At noon, Bishop Minerva Carcaño and Conference Lay Leader Micheal Pope will lead a Good Friday Memorial Service on the California-Nevada Annual Conference’s Facebook page. The 30-minute service will commemorate the lives of those who have succombed to complications from COVID-19.

At 7:00pm, LAUMC’s Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will lead a meaningful livestream service.

(There will be no Easter Vigil service this year.)

Easter Sunday – April 12

Sunrise Service – 6:30am

Pastor Dirk Damonte will lead this special service on Facebook Live.

Another option is the 6:15am Sunrise Service led by Bishop Minerva Carcaño on the California-Nevada Annual Conference Facebook page.

Traditional Services – 8:30am, 10:00am, & 5:00pm

Celebrate Easter on our livestream page at our regular Sunday service times.

Sermon Podcast Now Available

LAUMC is pleased to offer a podcast of the sermons from our weekly Sunday morning worship. The podcast is produced by the youth members of the Tech Ministry. Listen on our website, or subscribe to the podcast channel from your favorite podcast host (there is a list on the podcast page). If you enjoy the series, leave a review so that other podcast listeners can find them!

Important Updates About Worship and Church Events

We have made a hard decision this week. Please click or tap to watch the video below, or keep scrolling for a written message if you cannot watch a video right now.

For the next three weeks—through end of March—we will worship online only. At 8:30 and 10:00am and 5:00pm, worship will be broadcast online. You are invited to connect online and participate from the comfort and safety of your home.

It was Santa Clara County’s advisory this week that convinced LAUMC’s leadership that we can serve our congregation and community best by making it easier for you to decide to stay home and avoid contact that might present a danger to your health.

Not everything around the church is being canceled, but we are, for the time being, canceling or postponing all activities that involve people who are deemed at risk—meaning people over 60 and people who have other health risks.

So—for the time being, we’re pausing events like School of Christian Living, Conversational Church, on-campus Bible studies, and senior adult activities and meetings. Check our calendar for information about which other meetings and events have been canceled.

This time might have the effect of isolating us from one another, taking away a community that we love and need. And so, we’re going to make an effort to stay in touch in every way we can. The pastors and Congregational Care team are prepared to make extra visits and phone calls. You are encouraged to be in touch with one another—to check in with the people you see regularly at church, just to talk. Remember that there are likely to be people around you who are lonely and who would really appreciate a kind or thoughtful gesture.

And if you need something from your church, please call or send an email, and the pastors and staff will get back to you right away.

Mostly—take good care, in this strange, difficult time.

Our God is bigger than every danger, even this one. Pray this week for regular reminders that God’s mercy and justice and compassion can outrun all the needs and fears of this world. Trust that, and rest in that trust.

Taking Jesus Seriously: The Sacred Practice of Neighboring

When Jesus was asked to reduce everything in the Bible into one commandment, he said: Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. What if he meant that we should love our actual neighbors? For these six weeks of Lent, we will practice together doing what Jesus said:  creating community with the people who live near us. Because maybe … just maybe … this is exactly what Jesus meant.

March 1: Why Not? Time

March 8: Why Not? Fear

March 15: Why Not? Energy

March 22: Why Not? Respect

March 29: Why Not? Boundaries

April 5: Palm Sunday

April 12: Easter

Ash Wednesday Services, Feb. 26

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a journey of self-reflection and discernment which positions us to more fully understand and live into the miracle of Easter. The journey of repentance is about “turning around” so that we might be in right relationship with God.

You are invited to attend an Ash Wednesday service on February 26. You have two opportunities this year: Come before work or school to the 7:00am service in the Chapel at the Mountain View campus, or come at the end of your work day to the 7:00pm service in the Sanctuary at the Los Altos campus.

The 30-minute service will provide time for you to reflect and pray as well as the opportunity to receive the imposition of ashes on the forehead—a sign that reminds us that we have not always gotten things right, that life on this earth is fragile, and that we have the opportunity, in the person of Jesus, to live another way.

Invitation to Write a Statement of Faith

In February, our worship theme will be “This I Believe.” We’ll explore ancient and contemporary statements of faith. We’ll talk about the beliefs that are timelessly true, beliefs we’ve given up along the way, new convictions we’ve learned from experience. This month, Senior Pastor Kathi McShane has an invitation: help her prepare for this series by writing a statement of your own faith—the values that rule your thought and actions. This is very much like what is asked of our eighth graders going through Confirmation.

Here are some guidelines for your statement (adapted from NPR’s “This I Believe” project):

  • Write honestly and intimately—say something that no one else could write for you and in familiar words.
  • Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, it might be a sermon rather than a belief. Rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one or two core beliefs.
  • Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe.
  • Be personal: Make this about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.”
  • Be honest: Consider a belief you once held and you’ve discovered you were wrong about.
  • This is not a debate. You don’t have to back up your beliefs with proof, or disprove other beliefs. This is not about your views on the American way of life, democracy, or free enterprise. I want to know what you live by.
  • Think about it this way: What has faith asked you to say “yes” to? To what have you said “no”?

Give yourself time this month to settle into this invitation. Have fun with it. There’s no expectation or limit on length—it can be a sentence or an essay, whatever feels true and valuable to you. Send your statement to the communications department. Unless you tell Pastor Kathi otherwise, she’d like to share these statements. Let her know if you’d rather that be done anonymously.

Conversational Church Invitation

Theologian Karl Barth is famous for having said, “Christians should live holding the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other.” Maybe it has always felt this way, but today it seems that every news story invites us to rush to judgment—about people, policies, and actions we really don’t know much about. We need a thoughtful, conscious, respectful, and maybe even kind voice in our heads, reminding us that there is another perspective to consider.

Conversational Church, which meets on Sundays at 11:15am in the Live Oak Room, is a place where we practice respectful listening across differences, work out our beliefs with one another, and listen together for God’s voice. Each week this winter, we’re starting with a news article and holding it up next to a piece of wisdom from the Bible, letting one cast light on the other. You can find each week’s topics in the Wednesday E-Note (subscribe here) or in the Conversational Church Facebook group.

Know someone who is skeptical about church, and maybe even about Christians? Conversational Church is a great place to invite them to see that your church is different.

Standing in the Bright Light: January Worship Series

January 5 (Epiphany Sunday): Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will preach on “Home By Another Way.”

January 12: Our special guest preacher will be the nationally known author and consultant Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean. She will speak on the responsibility of raising faithful young people.

January 19: The theme will be “We Are Always Just Catching Up,” using Isaiah 49:6-7. Come ponder how God’s heart is bigger than ours is, always. We will also take a special offering for Human Relations Day.

January 26 (Africa Sunday): Our guest preacher will be James Salley from Africa University. He will talk about the spirit of Ubuntu: “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.”

Christmas Eve Services

Join us in the Sanctuary for one of our special Christmas Eve services on Tuesday, December 24. You can also watch any of them livestreamed online at Descriptions of each service are below.

3:00pm – This will be a traditional family service. Nursery care is available for children up to age 2, but all children are welcome in the service. Come early to have your picture taken in our photo booth!

5:00pm – This will also be a traditional family service. Nursery care is available. Come early to try our photo booth!

7:00pm – This will be a contemporary family service. The youth choirs will sing. Nursery care is provided. Come early to take a picture in our photo booth!

9:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service. The adult choir will sing.

11:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service with communion and instrumental music.

For more information about our services, please contact the church office at (650) 948-1083.