Archive for adults

The Longest Night: A Service of Solace, Dec. 18

On the threshold, come through the door to what matters after a year of bad news, disasters, anxieties, pain, and sadness. For many of us, the days leading to Christmas are not filled with joy and celebration as much as feelings of sadness or longing. If this sounds familiar, or if you simply want a peaceful space, we invite you to join us for a candlelight service of reflection on Monday, December 18, at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary. The service will be led by Pastor Cate Noellert and our Congregational Care Ministers.

This service is 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. Refreshments follow the service.

Childcare is available by request to Megan Carroll (650-948-1083) by December 10.

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.

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.

Surviving the Holidays: Help and Hope As You Navigate the Christmas Season

Are you wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and 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 is offering a two-hour Surviving the Holidays seminar with video and discussion on four dates: November 12, November 19, December 3, and December 10, each at 12:30pm in the Resource Center. The seminar is designed so that anyone grieving the death of a loved one can attend and learn how to navigate 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 and receive course materials.

Post-Disaster Early Response Team Training, Nov. 18

Are you interested in learning how to provide a caring, Christian presence to communities affected by a disaster? Come to a training for Early Response Teams (ERTs), which do light clean-up and mitigation tasks, all with a spirit of Christian presence; this is not a rebuild and repair team. Work includes cleaning out flood-damaged homes, removing debris, placing tarps on homes, and helping to prevent further damage.

Trained instructors will provide basic training and certification for interested participants on Saturday, November 18, 8:00am–5:00pm in Creekside. If you are interested in leading a group,  ERT Leader Training will be held on Sunday, November 19, 1:00–3:00pm in the Garden Room. Los Altos UMC is hosting this training for the California-Nevada Conference. Registration is required, and the cost is $50 per person, which includes lunch and a training manual. For details and to register, go to www.cnumc.org/VIMregistrations.

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.

Reboot Sunday All-Church Dinner, Sept. 10

Come to the Creekside Crossings service on Sunday, September 10, at 5:00pm in Creekside and stay for an All-Church Sunday Dinner at 6:15pm, with our new District Superintendent Shinya Goto as our special guest. He will lead a “fishbowl” conversation with our ministry team leaders about their hopes and dreams for their work here at Los Altos UMC.

The dinner menu includes French onion bruschetta, lemon chicken piccata, Brazilian rice pilaf, green bean and sweet potato medley, salad, and blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. We have updated the pricing to better reflect the cost to the church to put on All-Church Dinners. Dinner is $15 for adults, $10 for children 10–17, and free for children under 10. Children will have a separate program during the panel conversation. You can pay in advance or at the door, but we ask that in either case you RSVP online by September 5 for food and childcare planning purposes. All are invited!

Note: Registration has been extended. Please register if you plan to come!

Get Ready for Fall With a Weekend at Church Camp

Fall is a beautiful time at Camp Lodestar, offering turning leaves, cool evenings, and a time to step away from the hectic pace of everyday life in the Silicon Valley. You are invited to join a group of LAUMC folks for the weekend of October 13–15 to worship, pray, share stories, and prepare the camp for fall and winter guests. Since we will be doing service work, we can get a discounted rate of $80/person for lodging and meals for the weekend. Register online or contact Director of Congregational Care Patricia Parfett.

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.