Archive for Compassion Week

A Lever and a Place to Stand Sermon Series, Sept. 10–Oct. 15

Archimedes famously said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the world.” He was talking physics, but the principle also works as a metaphor. The “lever” is the gathering of people working for good in the world—the Church, committed to following Jesus, building the Kingdom of God on earth. But in order to have the power necessary for this work, the lever must rest on a “fulcrum”—a vertical piece, sunk deep into the ground beneath it, that is firmly embedded, well grounded.

Service in the way of Jesus is about transformation of the world. If our work is going to have the leverage it needs to be an effective instrument for transforming the world, it must be grounded deeply in the life of God, the love of God, and the intention of God. We find our way there through a rhythm of prayer/action/reflection. This rhythm and each of its elements will be the theme of our sermons and worship services for September 10 through October 15. Follow along as we explore “A Lever and a Place to Stand: The Mechanics of Transformation.”

September 10: A Recipe for Transformation – Seek the Welfare of the City Where I Have Sent You
Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give the message based on Jeremiah 29:4-7.

September 17: Grounded in Contemplation – The Practice of Prayer
Pastor Kathi will give the message with Matthew 14:13-23.

September 24: Urged Toward Action – Compassionate Action
Pastor Kathi will preach using the text of Matthew 20:29-34.

October 1 (World Communion Sunday): Altered by Reflection – Humility/Reflection
Matthew 20:1-16 will be used by Pastor Kathi to give the message. Holy Communion will be offered at all services.

October 8 (Compassion Week): We Worship With Our Hands
We will not have any regular worship services in our Sanctuary this week, instead worshipping through our Compassion Week service.

October 15: The World Is Not the Same/We Are Not the Same
This week will focus on a theological reflection and celebration of Compassion Week. Pastor Kathi will preach using collected reflections from Compassion Week participants.

Compassion Week: Save the Date, Lead a Project

Last year, Compassion Week surpassed our goal of 2,000 volunteers, and we hope to do the same this year, October 2–8. Save the dates and plan to go beyond our Sanctuary walls and into the world to serve. With more than 100 projects available, everyone has an opportunity to serve, regardless of age or varied abilities. Consider blocking out an afternoon, a day, or the whole week to serve in our community.

Project leaders are an important part of our service! If you are interested in leading a project or learning more about Compassion Week, contact Nadine Tadeo.

Advent Generosity: Be the Light

Advent is arguably the busiest time of the year. Too often we become wrapped up in the trappings of Christmas, and it is a challenge as Christians to make time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. As Adam Hamilton writes in Not a Silent Night, our Advent worship and study book, “Our mission at Christmas is not to get stuff for people to open on Christmas morning. It is to be people of hope who let Jesus’ light shine through them.”

Advent Generosity invites the LAUMC community to share God’s love and grace by making monetary gifts to three worthy causes and—new this year—by participating in service (see service opportunities below). Embracing Advent Generosity this Christmas provides a simple yet effective way to “Be the Light.” Our gifts to Advent Generosity represent our desire to share our love for others by performing acts of kindness, compassion, and goodness. Adam Hamilton tells us, “Grace changes the one who receives it, and it also changes the one who gives it.” We are invited this Advent season to “Be the Light” by emulating Jesus.

Support These Causes

Consider donating to LAUMC’s Advent Generosity campaign on behalf of your friends and family. Or, ask family and friends to make a donation in your honor instead of purchasing a gift for you. By making one donation to Advent Generosity 2016, three worthy programs will be supported:

  • Hope’s Corner, Inc.: Hope’s Corner, Inc., provides weekly meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Advent Generosity 2016 giving will help Hope’s Corner expand its food service, twice-weekly shower program, and additional services for more than 250 weekly guests.
  • Compassion Week 2017: Compassion Week provides LAUMC congregants and community members an opportunity to put our faith in action by performing acts of service. Compassion Week 2016 involved more than 2,000 volunteers addressing poverty, homelessness, education, hunger, the environment, and more.
  • UMCOR International Disaster Risk Reduction (Advance #3021952): This disaster risk reduction program is designed to prepare for and mitigate both death and economic loss and to facilitate community recovery following common natural disasters. The World Bank estimates that each $1 invested in risk management yields between $2 and $11 in benefits/cost savings in the event of a disaster.

Service Opportunities

  • Project WeHOPE: On December 22, LAUMC will host a Christmas dinner at Project WeHOPE. Those who sign up will facilitate dinner services, and share a holiday dinner with brothers and sisters who are working to end their homelessness. Project WeHOPE is a nonprofit organization in East Palo Alto that provides overnight shelter, food, financial literacy, and other services to clients in its transitional program. Dignity on Wheels, the mobile hygiene and outreach program, provides showers and laundry to people living in encampments, rotating shelters, and out of their vehicles. To sign up to help with the dinner, contact Jan McDaniel. Space is limited.
  • Hope’s Corner: Another option for serving our community as part of Advent Generosity is to volunteer with Hope’s Corner. Volunteers help prepare and serve meals, clean up, or check in shower guests. Visit the Hope’s Corner website for more information about volunteer opportunities and to sign up.

Pick up an Advent Generosity envelope in the Sanctuary, Creekside, or the church office starting November 20. When you choose not to buy an unnecessary gift or decide to forgo a Christmas related goodie, place the money you save in the envelope. Return your envelope to the church office or place it in the offering plate by Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you could make your Advent Generosity donation online. Also, please use the provided gift cards to let your family and friends know you have made a donation to Advent Generosity 2016 and/or have performed a service on their behalf.

This Christmas, choose a radical approach to giving, and your celebration of Christ’s birth. Together, let’s worship fully, give more, spend less, and love all through our Advent Generosity giving. If you have questions about Advent Generosity, please contact Valarie Arnesen.

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.

LAUMC Team Joins San Jose Walk to End Alzheimer’s

2015 Alz Team Photo low quality webThe LAUMC Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team has a lot of news this year! The LAUMC Team has switched from participating in the San Francisco Walk to the San Jose Walk and joined LAUMC’s Compassion Week in the process. The Team also has a special focus on caregivers.

The San Jose Walk is on Saturday, October 8, at 9:30am. The Walk is a great activity for all ages. There will be a huge children’s play area, including a bounce house, face painting, jungle gym, and other fun activities—maybe even a visit from Sharkie, the San Jose Sharks mascot! Even if you can’t walk with the Team, you can still sign on as a show of support.

Since the San Jose Walk falls during LAUMC’s Compassion Week, the Walk Team has partnered with Compassion Week! If you volunteer to help the Team or do the Walk, your participation will count toward Compassion Week’s volunteer total. Go to the team page to join the team and/or donate.

This year, in addition to supporting those with Alzheimer’s disease, the LAUMC Team is raising up caregivers: the spouses, children, relatives, and friends who care for loved ones with this disease.

Let the end of Alzheimer’s start with you. Help us to achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Los Altos UMC Receives National Grant for Compassion Week

Compassion Week logoWe are pleased to announce our Compassion Week planning team has received a grant from United Methodist Communications’ Rethink Church Community Events to help shine a light on our outreach efforts. Through this grant, we will expand our communication efforts to invite the community to join us in a week of service. The grant covers radio and digital advertising, a new online registration platform for our service projects, promotional t-shirts, and more. The Compassion Week team will also consult with the Rethink Church staff on best practices for drawing seekers into contact with our church, as we aim to surpass 2,000 volunteers this year.

Rethink ChurchAlthough Rethink Church has offered Community Event grants for a few years, the scope widened only this summer from offering grants for multi-church events to include single-church events. Los Altos UMC is one of the first to receive a single-church grant as well as one of the first to use a new online registration system that Rethink Church has rolled out. We look forward to working with Rethink Church and the difference it will make in planning, promoting, and running Compassion Week 2015 (October 5–11).