Archive for adults

New Ministry Tools at Work

A crew of Los Altos UMC staff and volunteers have been working hard to change our electronic membership database system to better support our ministries. The switch to the new system was officially made on June 1, although it will take a while to fully implement and integrate all of the new tools available to us.

One new tool is an online portal being integrated into our website. The portal shows upcoming events, active groups, opportunities to serve, and more. (Some of these areas will take a few more months to be fully updated.) If you create a user account, you can also see personal information such as events and groups you are signed up for, your giving history, and a church directory. If it looks like any of your personal information is wrong, contact Membership Services Assistant Kyle Aiken-Forderer (650-948-1083 x121). If you are a group host or church event planner, watch for more information on how the new database system will help you.

The transition team continues to tweak and improve all of the processes and applications involving our new database. If you have any questions, contact Project Manager Lisa Shemwell (650-575-7807).

Walk to End Hunger, April 23

Join a team from LAUMC on Sunday, April 23, at 1:00pm for the annual CROP Hunger Walk in San Jose. Registration is at Hoover Middle School, located at 1635 Park Ave. in San Jose, with 1- and 3.5-mile options. Invite your friends and family to walk with you, and join the interfaith community’s efforts to overcome hunger and poverty by supporting the efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Service, and Church World Service. You can register for the LAUMC team online or contact team leader Dave Ahn with questions.

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.

Animate: Bible Series, April 19–May 31

You are invited to try out a brand new opportunity for adults and youth! Come together for food, fellowship, and a fresh approach to faith. Starting the Wednesday after Easter, April 19, we will gather for seven weeks from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Creekside Center for no-cost dinner and fellowship, watch a short video from the Animate: Bible series, and then engage in discussions around our tables about the Bible.

Through short, creative videos featuring current Christian thought leaders, we will explore the history of the Bible’s sacred texts and what they offer for us today. (You can watch a trailer here.) The series offers centrist Protestant theology, and it focuses more on asking questions for viewers to engage with than on giving all the answers. The video segments feature Eric Elnes, Phyllis Tickle, Rachel Held Evans, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jose Morales, Will Willimon, and Jay Bakker. Participants are invited to sketch, doodle, and create in the provided journals, then share their thoughts.

Come be part of the fun, and invite your friends! Each session stands alone, so you don’t have to commit to all seven. The GroupLife planning team wants to plan how much dinner to provide, how many journals to purchase, and how many childcare staff to schedule, so please register if you plan to attend.

Being Mortal: Screening and Discussion

If you are aging or dealing with aging parents, come to a video screening and discussion about what people really care about when aging. Screenings will take place on Thursday, March 9, 10:00–11:30am and Thursday, March 16, 7:00–9:00pm in Creekside Main. The group will watch Being Mortal, the PBS video of Atul Gawandi’s book by the same name. This thought-provoking video shows the dilemma that we all face, as patients and caregivers, when confronted with the kind of care we want at the end of life. It helps introduce the kinds of conversations we all need to have to ensure that the medical system respects our desires, rather than those of a somewhat impersonal medical system. After the video, there will be a group discussion.

You may come in person or participate online via our livestream page on either date. The discussion will be led by Dr. Bill Buchholz. Contact Bill for more information.

Invitation to Pause for Lent Together

Are you interested in connecting with a small group during the six weeks of Lent and engaging in intentional spiritual time to center your heart and mind in preparation for Easter? Several new and existing groups are available for you to participate in, starting the week of March 5. Just show up – no sign-ups needed!

  • Sundays, starting March 5, led by Jeff Jenks (men’s group)
    12:15pm, Live Oak Room
  • Mondays, starting March 6, led by Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino
    9:30am, Resource Center
  • Mondays, starting March 6, led by Pastor Mariellen
    12:00pm (bring your own lunch), Resource Center
  • Tuesday mornings, starting March 7, online group (details in process)
  • Wednesdays, starting March 8, led by Perrie Erickson
    7:00pm, Resource Center

All groups will use the daily devotional Pauses for Lent by Trevor Hudson. The book includes 40 theme words (one for each day of Lent), each one paired with a scripture and short meditation. Read/do the daily devotional on your own, then meet with your group on campus for six weekly sessions to discuss the words and experiences of the past week, going deeper in faith together. Contact GroupLife with any questions.

Conflict Resolution Class, Feb. 26

We all find ourselves with differences of opinion or outright conflict at times: with work colleagues, kids, friends, or spouses. On Sunday, February 26, at 11:15am in the Resource Center, come take a one-time class with Sue DeLong, who will present a process for safe and respectful conflict resolution, whether in business or personal relationships. This process is useful for everyone and keeps down the drama so that you can handle conflicts in a more positive way. If you need childcare during the class (ages 0–4), it will be provided in the church nursery. Contact Adult Ministries Chair Bob Olah for more information about the class.

GroupLink to Find a Group for Lent, Feb. 26

Are you interested in joining a small group during Lent and engaging in intentional spiritual time to center your heart and mind in preparation for Easter? You have an opportunity to link with others and form a small group right on the spot! GroupLife is hosting a GroupLink event on Sunday, February 26, at 9:30am in Creekside. This event is designed to help people interested in a group to find each other based on availability, agree to a time, and reserve a room on the church campus to meet each week. No complicated sign-ups needed!

All groups will use the daily devotional Pauses for Lent by Trevor Hudson. The book includes 40 theme words (one for each day of Lent), each one paired with a scripture and short meditation. Individuals will read/do the daily devotional on their own and meet with their group on campus for six weekly sessions to discuss the words and experiences of the past week, going deeper in faith together. If you are unable to attend the GroupLink event on February 26 but wish to be in a six-week Lenten group, contact GroupLife or check back on this website starting February 27 for a list of the groups formed during GroupLink and choose one to join.

Surviving the Holidays Workshop, Dec. 1 or Dec. 4

If you are grieving a loved one’s death, you may be wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Christmas. Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can’t be recreated? Los Altos UMC’s congregational care team invites you to find some help and hope as you navigate the holiday season, offering a workshop on surviving the holidays at two different times: Thursday, December 1, 7:00–9:00pm in the Youth Room or Sunday, December 4, 9:30–11:30am in the Resource Center.

This two-hour seminar with video and discussion is designed so that anyone grieving the death of a loved one can get some tips for navigating the holidays. You’ll learn:

  • How to deal with the many emotions you’ll face during the holidays
  • What to do about traditions and other coming changes
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • How to discover hope for your future

Contact Director of Congregational Care Patricia Parfett (650-383-9322) to register for either session and receive course materials.

Compassion Week Celebration, Oct. 16

Compassion Week logoWhether you participate in Compassion Week or not, come celebrate the great things we can do when we work together to “do love” in our community! A week after Compassion Week, on Sunday, October 16, 12:00–2:00pm in Creekside, we will have a celebration lunch with food and games for the whole family. The complimentary lunch will include burgers hot off the grill, veggie burgers, salad, fruit, and macaroni and cheese. For dessert there will be shave ice in 10 flavors.

There will be videos and photos highlighting some of the service opportunities during Compassion Week. Kids can play on an inflatable “Chuggy Choo-Choo” playground, play a life-size game of Pac-Man, or shoot basketball free throws. Other entertainment options for adults include listening to music by the Creekside Worship Band, browsing and purchasing fall and holiday crafts sold by the United Methodist Women, and cheering on your favorite competitors in the Nothing But Nets basketball championship tournament, benefiting Imagine No Malaria.