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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.

Report on Pack-a-Back Drive

pack-a-back-drive-backpacksIn July the Outreach Team and the Children’s Center held a drive to gather school supplies and backpacks for the Sacred Heart Community Service Pack-a-Back Drive. Together, we collected:

  • 14 full backpacks
  • 49 empty backpacks
  • $230 in gift cards for shoes
  • 15 scientific calculators
  • Numerous boxes of crayons, pencils, paper, glue, scissors, and more

This amounts to more than two complete classrooms of students who started this school year prepared to learn! Thank you for your generosity. This year, we were part of an effort to deliver a record 3,088 backpacks to K–12 children whose parents could not afford to purchase all the necessary supplies to help them succeed.

Sacred Heart is one of the agencies that our congregation supports with volunteers and funds. If you are interested in helping Sacred Heart in its efforts to eradicate poverty in Silicon Valley, sign up to volunteer during Compassion Week.

September Outreach Connection: Project WeHOPE

Dignity on Wheels shower trailerThis month, our featured Outreach Connection agency is Project WeHOPE. Project WeHOPE started as a homeless shelter in East Palo Alto in the winter of 2009. Since then, the organization has grown its scope of service to include job training, transition to permanent housing, and mobile shower units. Pastor Paul Bains, the founder of Project WeHOPE, describes its mission as helping the homeless and those at risk in rebuilding their lives through services that are customized to the needs of each client.

An Outreach Connection offering will be taken for Project WeHOPE on Sunday, September 18, at all services. You may give in person or online. Pastor Bains will also be the guest preacher at the evening Creekside Crossings service that Sunday, and all are invited to attend. We have also partnered with Project WeHOPE to offer several service opportunities at the agency during this year’s Compassion Week.

August Outreach Connection: Hope’s Corner

Our featured Outreach Connection agency this month is Hope’s Corner, Inc. People in our community are hungry. Even if employed, people earning minimum wage cannot afford both rent and food. In addition, people who are unhoused need a place to feel welcomed. Hope’s Corner, Inc., addresses these needs every Saturday by providing a nutritious breakfast and bag lunch. Hope’s Corner now serves 250 breakfasts per week on average. The organization also offers free showers and recently expanded the shower program to be open on Thursday mornings as well as Saturday mornings. On Thursdays, Community Services Agency has a social worker on site to help connect guests with the services they need.

On Sunday, August 14, Hope’s Corner board member Kevin Thompson will speak at the morning services and board President Leslie Carmichael will speak at the evening service with updates about what Hope’s Corner offers. You will find donation boxes outside the entrances to the Sanctuary and Creekside. Please give generosity to this growing program.

Fill a Backpack, Fulfill a Dream

girl with pack squareMany families in Silicon Valley are struggling to make ends meet. Often families have to choose between paying for basics like food and utilities and buying school supplies for their children—yet a good education can be their path out of poverty. When children arrive at school without the school supplies critical to their success, they are already behind their classmates.

Sacred Heart Community Service, an agency LAUMC has supported for several years, wants to ensure that children of struggling families don’t miss out on a quality education. A large component of Sacred Heart’s dedication to helping children succeed is its annual Pack-a-Back drive. This year the goal is to send 3,300 K-12 children to school with a new backpack filled with grade-appropriate supplies. Help change lives by donating school supplies and backpacks for distribution to local students. Bring donations to the red barrels in the church sanctuary on July 24 and 31. Visit Sacred Heart’s website for more information about the drive, including a list of requested supplies and a form for online financial donations. Together, we can change a child’s life!

Most-needed items:

  • New backpacks (not red or blue)
  • Scientific calculators
  • Safety scissors
  • $20 shoe gift cards (to any store where shoes are sold)

Outreach Connection: Community Services Agency, June 12

Our Outreach focus and offering this month is Community Services Agency (CSA). Harvey Dixon, former president of CSA’s Board and a long-time member of LAUMC, will speak at our morning worship services on June 12 regarding CSA’s programs. CSA provides vital social services for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, from young, working poor families to elderly persons. The agency provides a safety net so independence and self-sufficiency can be maintained through Emergency Assistance, Senior Assistance Services, and Services for the Homeless.

LAUMC has long been a generous supporter of CSA, and we hope you will give generously. Collection boxes will be set out at church on June 12, or you can give throughout the month by writing a check to LAUMC with “CSA” on the memo line or using our online giving platform.

UMCOR Sunday Offering, May 29

This month we will take part in a special UMCOR Sunday offering, laying the foundation for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to continue its ministry of relief and hope.

UMCOR Sunday, formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing, is a denomination-wide offering that, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, covers UMCOR’s costs of doing business. This makes it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all designated contributions on the many relief efforts it fulfills around the globe, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs.

UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without your offerings, UMCOR would not exist. Among its many current aid projects, UMCOR is helping in recovery efforts from the devastating April earthquake in Ecuador, providing emergency food kits and water purification filters; providing assistance to displaced Syrians, both within Syria and to those who have fled to Europe; and in drought-stricken Cambodia, offering local farmers climate-oriented food security technical training that focuses on how to adapt to a changing climate pattern.

Through the UMCOR Sunday special offering, we have an opportunity to touch the lives of those in need across the globe. Please give generously on May 29.

Annual Rummage Sale, May 13–14

The annual Rummage Sale is just around the corner, and the Los Altos United Methodist Women and Starfire Singers are ramping up to get ready! Creekside Center will be filled with bargains for adults and children, and the Youth Room will feature a large selection of antiques and vintage collectibles. This is your opportunity to clean out your closets and garages and donate useable items, then pick up new-to-you bargains. Profits from the sale will support local, national and international missions of the United Methodist Women and assist our Starfire Singers youth choir in covering the costs of their summer tour.

Would you like to help? Here’s how:

DONATE to the sale. Bring your treasures to Creekside on Tuesday, May 10, or Wednesday, May 11. If you have larger furniture items in good condition, a pick-up can be arranged within 5 miles of the church. Contact Patricia Parfett (650-906-6265) to schedule. If you can’t donate on those dates, contact Karen Van Buren about scheduling an early donation. Donations of handled grocery bags or other large shopping bags are also needed.

VOLUNTEER to work before or after the sale. It’s fun! People of all ages can help sort, price, and sell. You don’t need to preregister to help sort and price items; just show up on Monday through Thursday, May 9–12, and we will find a place for you. Lunch and snacks will be provided. We will schedule helpers for Friday and Saturday during the sale. Contact Kay Zitzner if you are willing to work one or more shifts as a cashier or some other needed position.

SHOP at the sale on Friday, May 13, 8:00am–5:00pm and Saturday, May 14, 9:00am–2:00pm. Please note our new hours! Categories will include men’s and women’s clothing, children’s clothing, kitchen, home, office, garden, sports, books, artwork, games, toys, and more!

April Outreach Connection: Habitat for Humanity

habitat_logoThe Outreach Team supports agencies within our community and the world that promote human dignity by supplying the basic needs of food, shelter, or education. Each month, the Outreach Team highlights one of the agencies our church supports by inviting us to participate in an Outreach Connection with a special offering at all worship services.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley provides safe, affordable homes for hard-working families that might not otherwise be able to enter the housing market, and these families work alongside community volunteers to construct their new home. Through construction work days and financial support, LAUMC is a longtime partner with this local Habitat chapter.

On April 10, we will have a chance to hear about the work that Habitat does locally to fulfill its vision that every person should have a decent place to live. At the 8:00am and 5:00pm services, Don Varney from Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley will speak about the work Habitat is doing locally, including opportunities to volunteer on a site or at a Restore. At 9:30 and 11:15am, a recipient family will share about the impact on their lives of receiving a Habitat home.

You can contribute to the special offering for Habitat by writing a check payable to LAUMC with “Habitat for Humanity” in the memo line or using our online giving page any time this month.

Africa Sunday, Jan. 31

All are invited to our annual celebration of our church’s ties to Africa on Sunday, January 31! In all worship services we will have a guest preacher, special African music from our choirs, and a special offering. A special African dinner will follow the evening service. The United Methodist Women’s Sale-Abration is a fund-raiser for our African Student Education Fund. New this year is an information fair with materials and hands-on activities.

Los Altos UMC’s current focus on Africa started in 2005, when the Los Altos United Methodist Women learned that the daughter of an African mission worker desperately needed tuition support to complete her education. The UMW used $1,000 of its general funds to create an official fund to support higher education for African women who intend to use their education in Africa. We have held an annual Africa Sunday ever since. To date, more than $300,000 has been raised and 50 women have received scholarships from LAUMC.

Grace ImathiuGuest Preacher

Our special guest preacher this year at all four Africa Sunday services will be the Rev. Dr. Grace Imathiu. Dr. Imathiu was born in Nairobi, Kenya, the daughter of Bishop Lawi Imathiu, and was educated in Kenya, Israel, the United States, and England. Dr. Imathiu is a prominent speaker and Bible study leader across world Methodism and is currently the lead pastor of Community UMC in Naperville, Ill.

African All-Church Family Dinner

To continue our Africa Sunday celebration, Director of Food Services Fred Mayo will prepare a special All-Church Family Dinner to be served in Creekside Center on Sunday, January 31, at 6:00pm, immediately following the Creekside Crossings worship service with guest preacher Grace Imathiu. If you’ve ever wanted to taste bobotie (a South African dish similar to meatloaf) or savor a warm bowl of spicy African yam soup or simply experience some of the flavors of African cuisine, be sure to come. Chakula chema! (Swahili for bon appetit!)

Scholarship Fund

An important aspect of our Africa Sunday celebration is raising money for the African Student Education Fund. This school year, we are supporting 12 women at Africa University (a United Methodist institution) with half-tuition scholarships. Once we begin supporting a student, we hope to continue our support through her graduation. To continue to provide 12 half-tuition scholarships for the next academic year, we need to raise $34,000. You can contribute to this important effort by giving generously during the special offering on January 31, using our online giving page, sending a check to LAUMC (with “African Student Education Fund” on the memo line) any time this month, and/or shopping at the UMW’s Sale-Abration on January 31 or February 7.

Information Fair

Learn about how Heifer International, BeadforLife, Sole Hope, and the African Library Project are working to improve living conditions in Africa. Try a hands-on project like making butter or return on February 7 for a shoe-making party!