Archive for children

Children’s Center Preschool – Open House Week

Los Altos UMC’s Children’s Center Preschool will kick off November with its annual Open House for families considering enrollment for the 2018–19 school year. On Monday through Thursday, November 6–9, 9:00–11:30am, families are welcome to tour and observe our preschool in action. Please help us spread the word in the community: Invite your relatives, friends, and neighbors with small children to consider making Children’s Center their preschool home. Call the Children’s Center office (650-941-5411) to schedule a tour. Interested parents can apply to our programs for the 2018–19 school year. Visit the Children’s Center website for further details.

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.

Sign Up for Short-Term Fall Groups

This month the GroupLife team is excited to offer a number of discussion groups, each lasting between five and eight weeks. There are a variety of topics and times to suit everyone! Groups begin the week of August 21. Skim the options below and click on the title of a group for more details and to sign up for that group. You may also visit our Group Finder for a searchable list of groups. GroupLife leaders will be available after worship on August 6–20 to answer any questions and assist with group registration.

Pity Is Not Compassion, hosted by Perrie Erickson
Mondays, Beginning August 21, 7:00pm, Resource Center (no meeting Labor Day)
Watch TED Talks for a careful look at the difference between pity and compassion and discuss what it looks like to be compassionate Christians.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Garden Room
Explore how Narnia can shape our faith in today’s world.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (for kids), hosted by Michelle Caudle
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Live Oak Room
This is a one-hour study for children led by our new Children’s Ministry Director Michelle Caudle!

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis 
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Resource Center
Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Live Oak Room
We all yearn to share the traits that Jesus lived out: vibrancy, love, commitment, clarity, and joy. Study Jesus to discern how he sees the potential in us to become as he was. Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 7:00pm, Creekside A&B

Invitation to Romans, hosted by Bob Olah
Thursdays, 7:00pm, Youth Room
This short-term Disciple Bible Study format explores how people have interpreted Romans through the ages as a lens to view the history of Christianity itself.

Science and Faith, hosted by Brian Jones
Sundays, Beginning August 27, 10:45am, Room 8 (no meeting Labor Day weekend)
How do we reconcile the competing worldviews of science and faith? What is truth, and how do the two relate to it?

Family Fun Nights Aug. 8 & 15

Families are invited to enjoy some summer fun together! On two Tuesdays, August 8 and 15, bring your dinner and a picnic blanket, and join us from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on the grassy area by the Youth Room and Resource Center. Invite your friends and neighbors to experience how welcoming our church family can be! This is a great way to meet and get to know other families in our community, as well as the new director of Children’s Ministries. Please note: Parents are responsible for supervising their children at all times during this event, and all items brought in must be taken home at the end of the evening.

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.

Hero Central Vacation Bible School: June 19–23, 2017

Los Altos UMC’s Vacation Bible School 2017 will be an amazing week of adventure, games, science projects, crafts, community service, music, snacks, and more! Using the Hero Central VBS curriculum, we will inspire and empower kids to “Discover Your Strength in God” as we move, act, care, follow, and share God’s love.

Super Heroes: This VBS session is for 3 ½-year-olds* through 3rd graders. The fun begins at 9:30am and goes until noon. The cost is $95 for the week.

Caped Crusaders: This VBS session is for 4th through 6th graders. The fun kicks into gear at 9:30am and goes until 2:30pm. This group will go on an off-site field trip one day! The cost is $125 for the week.

Online registration is now open. Registration closes May 19 or when classes are full.

*Children must have turned 3 by December 1, 2016, and must be toilet-trained to participate.

If you have any questions about VBS, please contact Erica Carlstrom, coordinator of Vacation Bible School.

Book Drive for African Library Project, Jan. 15–29

Los Altos UMC’s Bold Service and Social Justice Committee is sponsoring its second book drive in partnership with the African Library Project. The African Library Project changes lives by starting libraries in rural Africa that serve to improve literacy, education, and self-empowerment. Our book collection efforts will support a new primary school library in Swaziland, so please donate books appropriate for children in preschool through fourth grade. Drop off your donated new and gently used books in the red barrels in either the Sanctuary entry or Creekside lobby between January 15 and January 29. Here are the types of books needed:

  • Baby board books
  • Children’s picture books
  • Children’s fiction (e.g., chapter book series such as “Junie B. Jones” or “Magic Treehouse”) and nonfiction
  • Early readers
  • BIG books
  • Teacher resource books for school libraries
  • Children’s dictionaries/picture dictionaries
  • Children’s encyclopedias/picture encyclopedias less than 15 years old
  • Children’s thesauruses
  • Paperback textbooks in math, English, geography, health, and science at appropriate levels (kindergarten to fourth grade). Send no more than two copies of any textbook; these will be used for teacher resources.
  • Books with universal themes, such as friendships, animals, or love
  • Children’s books teaching life skills about health, hygiene, adolescence, and careers
  • Accurate, up-to-date atlases
  • Books about Africa or African-Americans
  • Educational children’s science and literary magazines in good condition
  • Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games, and puzzles

You can also participate by contributing to the cost of shipping the books. Please make checks payable to Los Altos UMC with “African Library Project” in the memo line.

For more information, contact Janice Maggiora (650-857-0454).

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.

Ideas and Resources for Lent

Lent crossWelcome to the church season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. Many people take this season as an opportunity to deepen their relationship with God through adding new spiritual practices and/or letting go of (fasting from) habitual indulgences.

If you are looking for ways to add meaning to your Lenten season, consider one of these devotions, reflections, or activities. Remember, you don’t have to start these at the very beginning, or continue them all the way through to Easter. Try one out for a day or a week and see how it helps you.

 

  • Rethink Church: Lent – Each week, ponder a theme and question, then post your responses and reflections on social media. Be as creative as you like!
  • 40 Ideas for Lent – Blogger Rachel Held Evans has gathered a list of 40 resources for different ways to observe Lent.