Worship & Music – Los Altos United Methodist Church https://laumc.org Touching heaven, changing earth with head, heart, and hands Fri, 21 Apr 2017 22:16:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Resurrection Stories Worship Series, April 16 – June 4 https://laumc.org/resurrection-stories-worship-series/ https://laumc.org/resurrection-stories-worship-series/#respond Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:36:14 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=14490 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.

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Holy Week and Easter Services, April 9–16 https://laumc.org/holy-week-and-easter-services/ https://laumc.org/holy-week-and-easter-services/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:13:31 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=10146 Holy Week services commemorate Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection victory on Easter. Through Jesus, we come to know God. Travel the journey of Holy Week at Los Altos United Methodist Church. 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 through God’s perfect timing on Holy Saturday, and his victorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. As you journey through Holy Week, may you discover a renewed commitment and a richer, more meaningful Easter.

Our services are listed below, or you may download our Holy Week at LAUMC flyer for your reference.

Palm Sunday – April 9
8:00, 9:30, 11:15am, Sanctuary
5:00pm, Creekside
With the procession of palms, we will celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The worship theme is “Look for the King,” with scripture from Matthew 21:1-11. Rev. Sam Lewis will preach at the morning services and Rev. Debbie Weatherspoon at the evening service.

Maundy Thursday – April 13
7:30pm, Sanctuary
Chancel Choir and Morning Glory combine to sing Requiem of Remembrance, written by our own Senior Organist T. Paul Rosas. Come for the special music, contemplation, and Holy Communion.

Good Friday – April 14
7:30pm, Creekside
Experience the stations of the cross. Rev. Mariellen Yoshino will give the message, and music will be by the Creekside Worship Band.

Easter Vigil – April 15
7:30pm, Creekside
Journey through the stories of creation and covenant that prepare us to receive the risen Christ. This service, led by Rev. Sam Lewis, will be interactive, fun, and engaging for all ages.

easter_flowersEaster Sunday – April 16

Sunrise Service, 6:30am, Sanctuary Garden
Hear the Easter message and rejoice with our youth choirs, Lightshine and Starfire Singers. Rev. Dirk Damonte will give the message.

Morning Worship, 8:00, 9:30, 11:15am, Sanctuary
Easter is a time to celebrate all the ways in which resurrection is possible in our lives. Come for festive hymns, special anthems, and a message from Rev. Mariellen Yoshino.

Contemporary Worship, 5:00pm, Creekside
The ultimate message is this: no matter how dead you feel, God has plans for you! Sing and praise in this contemporary service, with music by Creekside Worship Band and a message from Pastors Debbie Weatherspoon and Dirk Damonte.

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Handbell Musicians Wanted https://laumc.org/handbell-musicians-wanted/ https://laumc.org/handbell-musicians-wanted/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:47:23 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=14313 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.

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Lent Worship Series: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places https://laumc.org/lent-worship-series-looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places/ https://laumc.org/lent-worship-series-looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places/#respond Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:53:18 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=14214 Our Lent worship series is “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” The lectionary for Lent this year offers many images of where love, grace, forgiveness, righteousness, healing, can REALLY be found. And usually it is not in the usual places. Isn’t it as true of us today as it was of the scriptural authors? Don’t we often look for wholeness and happiness (love) in places that offer only temporary good feelings and satisfaction? Lent is a wonderfully reflective time to reassess where we are searching for meaning, for redemption. We’ll move through the lectionary to find out who offers the real deal.

March 5: Look for the Resistor

The story at the center of our look for love this week is the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert after his baptism found in Matthew 4:1-11. In this story we see the futility of looking for love in the things that only provide temporary satisfaction, in seeking empty highs, tempting fate, and in mindless adoration. Rather, as Jesus demonstrates, it is in our resistance to evil that we find true communion with God. Resistance to evil starts with our own confession of complicit acts that move us further from love. Our groaning can turn to “glad cries of deliverance” as we choose good over evil time after time—even and especially if it isn’t the popular thing to do.

March 12: Look for the Helper

Oftentimes we believe that we must “deserve” the love we receive. We work, work, work to get approval and to feel like our life is justified—pulling our own weight, thinking that whatever life we create and love we get is only what we ourselves can conjure up. But John 3:1-17 offers the image of God as our “keeper”—always helping, always present. Nicodemus, a Pharisee who comes to Jesus for advice in the middle of the night, has followed all the rules and done everything HE can do, and yet he is still looking for love—for tangible connection with God. Jesus says that he must be born “of the Spirit.” It’s not all up to him! It’s not all up to simply “doing the right thing”! It is about allowing the Spirit to help birth love in our lives, having faith that the Spirit of God is always present and urging us to choose love. For “God so loved the world” that God birthed into the world a Son (Love) that would embody the grace we can count on.

March 19: Look for the Thirst-Quencher (Confirmation Sunday)

The Samaritan woman at the well found out that the water she came for was not really the water she needed so desperately. This woman had looked for love in many places, in many faces and when finally offered a soul-quenching love by Jesus, she became a powerful messenger of Good News. Just as the water given by God that flowed in the desert for the Israelites offered new life, the desert of our lives can be refreshed if we look for love regularly at the well of living water and offer life-giving water to others. This Sunday, we will also celebrate with those eighth graders who joined as members of the church at the previous evening’s Confirmation Service. Holy Communion will be offered at all services.

March 26: Look for the Shepherd

We too often look for security (love) in powerful figures, sure that they can “fix” things for us. It was no different for the people of the First and Second Testaments. They were looking for kings, saviors, or liberators who would offer peace and security in uncertain times. And they often looked “in all the wrong places.” The story of Samuel looking for God’s appointed ruler among the sons of Jesse is a case in point. The youngest son, a “ruddy” boy out taking care of the sheep, turns out to be the one (David). So, too, the Pharisees just can’t believe that this trouble-maker, rule-breaker named Jesus is the One, the Son of God and Savior. Time and again Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd to teach us how we ought to love and care for each other. No wonder: the Shepherd does what is needed, when it is needed, regardless of the “rules.” Our scripture will be Psalm 23.

April 2: Look for the Liberator

Sometimes the things we think offer love actually seek to bind us, preventing us from being full and whole and offering our best love to the world. In John 11:32-45, the story of Lazarus, whose funeral shrouds trail him out of the tomb, offers us a metaphor of new life as we recognize that true love is that which unbinds us, that which wants for us more, not less, freedom and life. Jesus says to us, “Come out!” Walk! Live! Love! Shed your funeral clothes and offer your deepest self, your deepest love, for the world. Of course this kind of love can be dangerous, as we will see as the events of Holy Week loom closer. But the price of continuing to look for love in the wrong places is higher than the blessing of life lived boldly. Come out! Walk! Live! Love! Note: Holy Communion will not be offered this week.

April 9: Look for the King (Palm Sunday)

We will celebrate Palm Sunday with the traditional palm processional, as we enter into Holy Week together. The scripture will be Matthew 21:1-11.

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Ash Wednesday, March 1: Looking For Love https://laumc.org/ash-wednesday-march-1/ https://laumc.org/ash-wednesday-march-1/#respond Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:58:43 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=14127

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.

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Scout Sunday, Feb. 12 https://laumc.org/scout-sunday/ https://laumc.org/scout-sunday/#respond Tue, 07 Feb 2017 18:06:52 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=10054 A Scout Is ReverentOn Sunday, February 12, we will honor our affiliated Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops along with all scouts during our worship services. All scouts are invited to wear their uniforms to one of our worship services. Services are at 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:15am, and 5:00pm.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be giving witnesses of faith and serving in worship in various ways. At the morning services, the sermon will be a dialogue on “What Is Required?” between Pastor Debbie Weatherspoon and Eagle Scout Nicholas Trautman, an active youth member of our church. The scripture basis of their joint message is Micah 6:8. At the evening service, Pastor Dirk Damonte’s sermon will be about “Convergence.”

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Africa Sunday, Jan. 29 https://laumc.org/africa-sunday-jan-29/ https://laumc.org/africa-sunday-jan-29/#respond Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:41:33 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=13987 Come to worship services this Sunday for our annual celebration of our church’s ties to Africa. The guest preacher at our services on January 29 is James H. Salley, the associate vice-chancellor for institutional advancement for Africa University. We will also have special music from our choirs, a special offering, and the United Methodist Women’s Sale-Abration fund-raiser.

An important aspect of our Africa Sunday celebration is raising money for the African Student Education Fund. What started in 2005 as a decision by our United Methodist Women to help a young African woman with university tuition payments has developed into a major commitment for LAUMC. Twelve years later, we have helped 53 women to pursue a higher education! The cost to educate one student at Africa University (a United Methodist institution) is $5,645 per year (including tuition, room and board, and other fees). Our fund supports each of our students with a partial scholarship of $2,823. This school year we are supporting 10 women at Africa University. Once we begin supporting a student, we hope to continue our support through her graduation.

To continue to provide 10 partial scholarships for the next academic year, we need to raise $28,230. You can contribute to this important effort by giving generously during our special collection and/or by shopping at the Sale-Abration. Please make checks payable to LAUMC with “African Student Education Fund” on the memo line or donate online, designating your donation to the African Student Education gift fund.

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Christmas Eve Services https://laumc.org/christmas-eve-services/ https://laumc.org/christmas-eve-services/#respond Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:00:40 +0000 http://wp.laumc.org/?p=1435 Join us in the Sanctuary at Los Altos United Methodist Church for one of our special services on Christmas Eve (Saturday, December 24). You can also watch the live Christmas Eve services online. Descriptions of each service are below.

Christmas Eve service times at LAUMC

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. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will have a special gift for the children.

5:00pm – This will also be a traditional family service. This service will be interpreted for the deaf. Nursery care is available. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will have a special gift for the children.

7:00pm – This will be a contemporary family service. The youth choirs will sing. Nursery care is provided. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will have a special gift for the children.

9:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service.

11:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service.

Christmas Sunday

Since Christmas day is on a Sunday this year, we will also have one service on Christmas morning, at 10:00am in the Sanctuary. This will be a fun and casual service with lots of Christmas music!

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

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The Longest Night, a Service of Solace https://laumc.org/the-longest-night-a-service-of-solace/ https://laumc.org/the-longest-night-a-service-of-solace/#respond Mon, 05 Dec 2016 23:15:09 +0000 http://laumc.org/?p=7480 For many of us, Christmastime isn’t the Hands holding candlehappiest time of the year. The loss of a loved one (recent or not), financial stress, life transitions, depression, and many other factors can contribute to our not feeling cheery, expectant, or like we believe we “should” feel during this time. But Advent and Christmas are not seasons only for the joyous – there is space and a place for everyone in this sacred season.

Those who are suffering in their hearts during this season are invited to join us on Monday, December 19, at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary for The Longest Night, a special service for those who need a place where they can be welcomed into the season exactly as they are, without having to put on a holiday face. It is also a service for anyone who would appreciate a little calm, reflective time of peace and worship in the midst of the hectic pace of the season. God comes to us wherever we are – even in our grief, even in our pain – and there is a place for you in this season, too.

Childcare will be available during the service, and refreshments will be served afterward. For more information, contact the church office at 650-948-1083.

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Not a Silent Night Advent Worship Series https://laumc.org/not-a-silent-night-advent-worship-series/ https://laumc.org/not-a-silent-night-advent-worship-series/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2016 01:50:00 +0000 https://laumc.org/?p=13657 Our Advent and Christmas worship series this year is taken from Adam Hamilton’s book Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem. The series looks at Jesus’ life through the eyes of his mother, Mary, working backwards from the resurrected Christ to the birth of a baby in a humble setting. This reverse focus will help us examine the significance of Jesus’ birth through the lens of his life, death, and resurrection.

November 27: Beginning With the End
In Acts 1:8-14, Mary is named among those who formed the community of Jesus’ disciples after his ascension. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will give the message at the morning services and Rev. Sam Lewis at the evening service.

December 4: The Piercing of Mary’s Soul
Pastor Mariellen will preach from Luke 2:33-35 at the morning services and Pastor Dirk Damonte at the evening service. Holy Communion will be offered at all services.

December 11: Amazed, Astounded, and Astonished
One of the few stories of Jesus as a child is found in Luke 2:41-51, where Jesus visits the teachers in the temple without his parents’ knowledge. Pastor Mariellen will give the message at the morning services and Pastor Debbie Weatherspoon at the evening service.

December 18: Mary, Full of Grace
In Luke 1:26-33, the angel Gabriel brings a message to Mary. Pastor Mariellen will preach at the morning services and Rev. Sam at the evening service.

December 25: It Was Not a Silent Night
This year Christmas falls on a Sunday! Come spend an hour with your church family to celebrate. We will hold one service, at 10:00am, in the Sanctuary (no evening service). Pastor Mariellen will give the message from Luke 2:1-7, the telling of the Christmas story.

January 1: Now What?
Christmas and the baby are here, the new year is here, but has anything really changed? Isn’t the world just as troubling as it ever has been? Christmas is here – now what? Rev. Sam will preach from Matthew 2:13-23. On New Year’s Day we will also have only one service, at 10:00am in the Sanctuary.

January 8: Epiphany
Pastor Mariellen will give the message, using Matthew 2:1-12.

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