Archive for give

Donate Books for Men’s and Women’s Jails

The United Methodist Women are now collecting books for both men and women at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Would you donate books to those with a little extra time to read? Please bring your book donation to the church office, where there is a collection box. Biographies, inspirational books, good fiction, and historical novels are preferred. Donations will be picked up and delivered by CIC Ministries, which responds to the spiritual needs of incarcerated youth and adults in Santa Clara County.

African Students Graduate

On June 10, four of the ten young women known to LAUMC as “our students” graduated from Africa University in Zimbabwe, fulfilling what was once only a dream of an education. This dream became a reality for these women due in part to the scholarships they received from LAUMC.

Our African Student Education Fund provides half-tuition scholarships of $2,800 to qualifying students each year until they graduate. We strive to provide this benefit to 10 recipients at a time. As students graduate, we add new students in need. Recipients must be African women who intend to use their education in Africa.

Pambi Jatutu, one of our graduating students, wrote: “You have made a great impact on my life. Having the scholarship was such a great blessing to me and my family. I believe that as I move out of AU, it will have such a great impact on my community as well. Thank you so much for every prayer made for me and for showing me God’s love in many ways. I love you all.”

Six of the remaining ten scholarship students at Africa University need our continued financial support to make their dreams of an education come true. Your donation can help make their dreams become a reality. Make checks payable to LAUMC and denote “African Student Education Fund” on the memo line. Visit the United Methodist Women’s page for the history of this fund.

Outreach Connection: Community Services Agency, June 11

Our Outreach focus and offering this month is Community Services Agency (CSA). Tom Meyers, executive director of CSA, will speak at our worship services on June 11 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 11, 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, April 30

On Sunday, April 30, you are invited to participate at any service in UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing), an opportunity to touch the lives of those in need across the globe. Your special offering will assist in laying the foundation for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to continue its ministry of relief and hope.

This church-wide offering, along with other undesignated gifts made throughout the year, covers UMCOR’s costs of doing business, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100 percent of all designated contributions on the many relief efforts it fulfills around the globe, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. Read more about UMCOR’s efforts online. Please give generously on April 30.

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.

Annual Rummage Sale, May 19–20

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 16, or Wednesday, May 17. 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 during 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 15–18, 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 19, 8:00am–5:00pm and Saturday, May 20, 9:00am–2:00pm. Categories will include men’s and women’s clothing, children’s clothing, kitchen, home, office, garden, sports, books, artwork, games, toys, and more!

Starfire Benefit Concert and Auction, April 1

All are invited on Saturday, April 1, at 6:30pm in Creekside to Masquerade, the biggest fund-raiser Starfire Singers will hold for its summer tour to the United Kingdom. Donations and proceeds from the live auction will help defray the cost of the tour. Donations may be made online or at the concert.

The concert will feature the Starfire Singers (Los Altos UMC’s high school choir) and Starfire alumni. Guest musicians include members of our own Creekside Worship Band; Nebula, a Bay Area-based jazz group that includes Scott Jespersen and Dylan Damonte (both Starfire ’08); and Orange County-based musician Steven Maggiora (Starfire ’03), who works primarily as a session musician and live musician.

During the auction there will be opportunities to bid on some very exciting trips and parties, including:

Fabulous getaways: Puerto Vallarta, Maui, Palm Desert, St. Helena, Donner Lake, Northstar, Lake Tahoe, and Maine.

Fun party events: elegant dinner party, Cinco de Mayo party, prayer bead making with Carol, mystery luau party, drumming circle with Dylan Damonte & Bill Golden, Memphis BBQ, outdoor summer wine party, poker party, stargazing party, and primp and poker for teens.

The doors will open at 6:30pm for bidding to begin, and the concert will start at 7:00pm. This event happens only once every four years, so you don’t want to miss it! For more information, contact Cindy Golden or Denise Robinson.

February Outreach Connection: House of Grace

Cityteam House of Grace

Cityteam House of Grace is a uniquely comprehensive program where addicted, abused, or homeless women can rebuild their lives, without being separated from their young children. It is a 12- to 14-month residential program. As part of the program, the women participate in classes to complete their high school education, vocational and life skills classes, counseling, and 12-step meetings. House of Grace is a community-based model, stressing personal responsibility, shared goals and support, mentoring, and empowering. It is a place where women are taught how to join the mainstream of community life so that they can become productive citizens, supporting themselves, their families and their community. This program has a proven track record of making a lasting difference in the lives of the women who have successfully completed the required phases.

We will have an opportunity to give a special offering to the House of Grace Recovery Program during all services on February 12, or you may give online. For more information, visit www.cityteam.org/san-jose/house-of-grace.

Africa Sunday, Jan. 29

Come to worship services this Sunday for our annual celebration of our church’s ties to Africa. The guest preacher at our services on January 29 is James H. Salley, the associate vice-chancellor for institutional advancement for Africa University. We will also have special music from our choirs, a special offering, and the United Methodist Women’s Sale-Abration fund-raiser.

An important aspect of our Africa Sunday celebration is raising money for the African Student Education Fund. What started in 2005 as a decision by our United Methodist Women to help a young African woman with university tuition payments has developed into a major commitment for LAUMC. Twelve years later, we have helped 53 women to pursue a higher education! The cost to educate one student at Africa University (a United Methodist institution) is $5,645 per year (including tuition, room and board, and other fees). Our fund supports each of our students with a partial scholarship of $2,823. This school year we are supporting 10 women at Africa University. Once we begin supporting a student, we hope to continue our support through her graduation.

To continue to provide 10 partial scholarships for the next academic year, we need to raise $28,230. You can contribute to this important effort by giving generously during our special collection and/or by shopping at the Sale-Abration. Please make checks payable to LAUMC with “African Student Education Fund” on the memo line or donate online, designating your donation to the African Student Education gift fund.

Living Generosity: January Worship and Stewardship Theme

Have you noticed the huge heart posters that have been displayed in our Sanctuary entry and the entrance to Creekside, each heart filled with sightings of generosity? Last fall, our Extravagant Generosity Practice Committee asked us to notice moments or experiences of generosity and write these “generosity sightings” on cards that were placed inside the big hearts. It has been inspiring to see these hearts become filled with cards, each with an example of generosity, of loving and caring actions.

Since we have noticed and shared these generosity sightings, the heart posters are overflowing. We can’t help but feel drawn to the stories of extravagant giving, sharing, living, and loving. As our faces light up and our hearts are warmed, we realize that we were made for this. Our generous God designed us to be generous people. If you found joy and inspiration in reading the cards, and if you found your own heart overflowing with the desire to be more generous, maybe this is God’s way of growing your heart of generosity.

We will further explore these concepts in our next worship series on stewardship and generous hearts, “Living Generosity.” This stewardship season will include three Sundays focusing on Living Generosity and three gatherings to talk about stewardship in different ways, culminating in Commitment Sunday on February 5, when we will make our commitments to the 2017 LAUMC Operating Fund. As we prepare to commit to a plan of financial giving for the coming year at LAUMC, consider how God is nudging you to give extravagantly and imagine the impact of sharing your resources with our church and our world. Perhaps the next time we are asked to reflect on generosity sightings, it will be your own story that comes to mind.

Living Generosity Worship Series

January 15: Living Generosity: Responding. The scripture story from Luke 9:12-17 is of Jesus feeding the crowd of five thousand with five loaves and two fish.

January 22: Living Generosity: Realizing. The scripture from Mark 8:14-21 is of Jesus talking to the disciples, who do not understand the significance of his feeding miracle.

February 5: Living Generosity: Rejoicing. The scripture from 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 10-15 reveals that God gives us gifts that God wants us to use generously. We will make our commitments to LAUMC’s Operating Fund as part of our living generosity. Holy Communion will be served.

Stewardship Gatherings

To support our stewardship focus, there will be three informational and participatory gatherings, designed to help us “live generosity” in 2017. Please consider attending at least one gathering.

Generosity: Gifts and Graphs
Thursday, January 26, 7:30pm, Creekside C/D
Would you like to understand the congregation’s giving patterns and the underlying demographics? Would you like to know more about how we invest our operating funds to support our ministries? Through our stewardship, we provide resources that enable LAUMC to live out generosity for our congregation and our community while, at the same time, we cultivate our own living generosity. Come learn more about the financial state of our congregation as Extravagant Generosity committee member Tonya Treble and Finance Chair Derek Nam host a discussion of how our stewardship can ensure a healthy future for LAUMC.

Generosity Across Generations
Friday, January 27, 6:00pm, Creekside Center
It’s tough to raise a family in the Bay Area. How can we be generous to the church and still pay for tuition, sports, extracurriculars, and a home, all while trying to pay off debt and save for retirement? What do we teach our kids about giving, and how do we set examples of living generosity for them? How can our practice of giving draw us closer to God and give us peace? Hear Brian Jones and other church leaders share their experiences, and then discuss what living generosity might look like for us. Come for a pizza supper at 6:00pm, followed by childcare for young children, stewardship activities for older children, and interactive conversation for adults. If you are bringing your child(ren), please RSVP to childcare@laumc.org with the number of children and their age(s) so we can plan an appropriate number of childcare providers.

Generosity Sightings and Giant Sandwiches
Saturday, January 28, 12:00pm, Creekside C/D
Were your heart touched and spirit inspired by reading about or witnessing an act of extravagant generosity over the holidays? Phil Pompei will lead the gathering in sharing stories of “generosity sightings” over lunch and reflecting on how we might be inspired to respond with our own living generosity. Come with your stories and reflections and leave with full hearts and stomachs.