Archive for Compassion Week

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.

Sign Up for Compassion Week Projects, Oct. 3–9

Compassion Week 2015 child painterYou are invited to put our fall “Love Does” theme into action by participating in one or more service and social justice opportunities throughout the Peninsula or on our church campus during our annual Compassion Week, scheduled for October 3–9. Please invite your friends and family to join us! Our goal is to get 2,000 participants from Los Altos United Methodist Church and the community engaged in acts of compassion.

There will be no regular Sunday worship services on October 9. Throughout Compassion Week, our worship will be through our service!

Love serves: hands-on opportunities
Visit the registration site to browse the listings and sign up. Activities appropriate for all age groups have been planned. Space is limited for many of these projects—sign up soon! If you need assistance, contact compassionweek@laumc.org. We look forward to serving with you.

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Compassion Week 2015 blanket makingProjects to do at home or with your small group
Several flexible projects can be done any time you’re free—at home, with friends, or at your regular small-group meeting! These projects are noted on the registration website with “Pick Your Date” in the title. Contact the listed project leader for instructions to pick up supplies for making cards, fleece blankets, knitted hats and scarves, or letters for social justice.

Design your own service opportunity
If you want to get creative, arrange your own service project with family and friends! Please email the Compassion Week team to let us know what you’re planning so we can add your experience to our final tally.

Save the date: Compassion Week Celebration
Sunday, October 16, 12:00–2:00pm, Creekside Center
To share the successes and stories of our service week, Los Altos UMC is holding a lunch celebration the week after Compassion Week. Meet the organizations we served, share stories about your service experiences, celebrate with worship, and watch a slideshow of photos from various projects. We will also have a Nothing But Nets Basketball Shoot-Out Tournament! Watch for details coming soon.

Advent Generosity: Unclutter Christmas

Advent Tradition

Six years ago Los Altos United Methodist Church started changing the way we celebrate Christmas. During the holiday season we practice extravagant generosity by making gifts to specific missions in addition to giving to our church. We can continue the Advent Generosity tradition this year and Worship Fully, Give More, Spend Less, and Love All this Christmas.

By doing so, we can “unclutter Christmas,” as Beth Richardson encourages in our Advent book, The Uncluttered Heart. Advent is often the busiest time of the year, and it is a challenge as Christians to make time and space to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. As the Christmas season approaches, we have the opportunity to reconsider and unclutter the way we approach this most holy of seasons, making space for the arrival of the Christ child.

Invitation

Participating in Advent Generosity is one way to shower love on others in honor of Christ’s birth. Instead of being consumed by the exhausting decorating and preparations, the chaotic clutter of shopping, spending, buying, and wrapping gifts that many of us don’t need, we can instead choose to devote our time to worshipping fully and use our money toward loving all. In addition to our regular giving to Los Altos UMC for our vital ministries, participating in Advent Generosity supports programs that exhibit God’s love to those who need it most.

Please consider donating to the Advent Generosity 2015 programs as a gift to friends and family. Making one donation supports three worthy programs in our community and the world:

hope's corner logoHope’s Corner, Inc., Capital Campaign: Hope’s Corner provides weekly healthy meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Advent Generosity gifts will go toward building a commercial kitchen on site to expand Hope’s Corner’s food service. Visit the Hope’s Corner page for more information.

Compassion Week logoCompassion Week 2016: Compassion Week provides church and community members with an opportunity to put their faith in action by addressing poverty, education, homelessness, hunger, the environment, and more. Advent Generosity funds will purchase supplies for these activities. Visit the Compassion Week page for more information.

UMCORUMCOR Gifts of Hope: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: Around 884 million people lack adequate access to water. More than 2.5 billion people lack basic sanitation. Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (Advance #3020600), Advent Generosity gifts will supply the life-giving gift of water, sanitation, and hygiene education to people around the world. Visit UMCOR’s project page for more information.

How to Participate

Pick up an Advent Generosity 2015 envelope in the Sanctuary, Creekside, or the church office to collect the money you save by not buying unneeded/unwanted gifts. Then return the filled envelope to the church office or place it in the offering plate on or before Christmas Eve. You can also donate online.donate online button

If you want to want to make a gift donation on someone’s behalf, cards are enclosed in the collection envelope that you can fill out and give to them to let them know what you have done. Doing so can help unclutter the Christmas season for both of you! More gift cards are available if you have a long list of recipients.

Invite a Friend to Give in Your Name

As you unclutter your Christmas and focus on preparing for the birth of Christ, consider contacting someone who usually gives you a gift and let them know that you would like to work together with them to redirect the money that they would have spent on a gift for you to Advent Generosity instead, to help feed the hungry, put faith into action, and provide clean water. You will be uncluttering your own life and Christmas celebration and, in the process, inviting someone who cares about you to join you in making a difference for others in need.

This Christmas, let’s choose to unclutter our expectations, our preparations, and our celebration of Christ’s birth through Advent Generosity giving. Together, let’s unclutter our Christmas season and Worship Fully. Give More. Spend Less. And Love All.

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).

Advent Generosity: A Different Approach to Christmas

As the Rev. Mike Slaughter writes in Christmas Is Not Your Birthday, “Christmas is a celebration of a miracle, but we’ve edged the miracle worker out of his own birthday. It is time to take it back by planning new traditions that focus on Jesus’ presence, rather than the often-forgettable presents we expect to receive” (page 5).

Advent Conspiracy Is Now Advent Generosity

Four years ago, Los Altos United Methodist Church started a new tradition at Christmas time called Advent Conspiracy. This year, we are again given the chance to grow our spiritual practice of generosity by embracing a new twist on the vision of Advent Conspiracy, which we are now calling Advent Generosity: Worship Fully, Give More, Spend Less, Love All, and Let Go. As the Christmas season approaches, it’s time to Let Go of the exhausting preparations, the chaotic clutter of shopping, spending, and buying stacks of gifts that most of us don’t need. We can transform our focus on receiving into a focus on giving what Jesus would want. “Feed the hungry, invite in the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned” (Matthew 25:31-36).

LAUMC is offering a simple way to Let Go this Christmas and put Jesus back in the center of our celebration. Throughout Advent, we suggest that you spend less so that you can worship fully and give more to honor the One whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. Instead of buying unneeded gifts for everyone on your list, donate on behalf of your friends or family to our Advent Generosity campaign. By making one donation, you will be supporting four worthy organizations in our community and the world. The four organizations/programs are:

Hope’s Corner provides weekly, healthy meals to people in need in the Mountain View area in a warm, friendly and supportive environment. Funds will go toward renovating the kitchen and bathrooms. Learn more here.

Compassion Week 2015 will provide LAUMC congregants and friends with an opportunity to worship through volunteer service in a variety of areas, including poverty, homelessness, education, hunger, the environment, and many more. Funds raised will purchase supplies for these activities. Learn more here.

Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved young men and women in Los Angeles with numerous services and social enterprises with the objective of sharing compassion and God’s love to restore lives and build community. Learn more here.

Hagar International restores to wholeness the lives of women and children in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Vietnam who have been torn apart by human rights abuse. Hagar walks the whole journey of protection, recovery, empowerment, and integration with each individual. Learn more here.

To participate, pick up an Advent Generosity envelope at the church office, in the Sanctuary, or in Creekside Center. Put the money you save by not buying unneeded/unwanted gifts in the envelope and return your envelope to the church office or place it in the offering plate by Christmas Eve. (The offering collected during all of our Christmas Eve services will also go to these four programs.) Fill out a gift card for each person you are honoring in this way to give to them for Christmas, letting them know you have made a donation in their behalf. Two gift cards are included in the envelope, and more gift cards are available if you have a long list!

Invite a Friend to Participate in Your Behalf

As you Let Go this Christmas, decide that you will give one of your Christmas gifts to Jesus for His birthday. Choose someone who usually gives you a gift, and talk to them before Christmas. Use an Advent Generosity gift card to let them know that you would like to work together with them to redirect the money that they would have spent on a gift for you to instead feed the hungry, or welcome a stranger, or care for the sick. You will be letting go of that gift and, in the process, inviting someone who cares about you to join you in your practice of Extravagant Generosity, and impact others in need.

This Christmas, experience the peace of knowing that God is truly with us, the joy of giving sacrificially, and the love of a Savior who gave everything he had for us. Let Go of the old ways you have celebrated Christmas and be transformed in the process. Together, let’s Worship Fully. Give More. Spend Less. Love All. And Let Go.

Merry Christmas!