Archive for grief

The Longest Night, a Service of Solace

For many of us, Christmastime isn’t the Hands holding candlehappiest time of the year. The loss of a loved one (recent or not), financial stress, life transitions, depression, and many other factors can contribute to our not feeling cheery, expectant, or like we believe we “should” feel during this time. But Advent and Christmas are not seasons only for the joyous – there is space and a place for everyone in this sacred season.

Those who are suffering in their hearts during this season are invited to join us on Monday, December 19, at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary for The Longest Night, a special service for those who need a place where they can be welcomed into the season exactly as they are, without having to put on a holiday face. It is also a service for anyone who would appreciate a little calm, reflective time of peace and worship in the midst of the hectic pace of the season. God comes to us wherever we are – even in our grief, even in our pain – and there is a place for you in this season, too.

Childcare will be available during the service, and refreshments will be served afterward. For more information, contact the church office at 650-948-1083.

Surviving the Holidays Workshop, Dec. 1 or Dec. 4

If you are grieving a loved one’s death, you may be wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Christmas. Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can’t be recreated? Los Altos UMC’s congregational care team invites you to find some help and hope as you navigate the holiday season, offering a workshop on surviving the holidays at two different times: Thursday, December 1, 7:00–9:00pm in the Youth Room or Sunday, December 4, 9:30–11:30am in the Resource Center.

This two-hour seminar with video and discussion is designed so that anyone grieving the death of a loved one can get some tips for navigating the holidays. You’ll learn:

  • How to deal with the many emotions you’ll face during the holidays
  • What to do about traditions and other coming changes
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • How to discover hope for your future

Contact Director of Congregational Care Patricia Parfett (650-383-9322) to register for either session and receive course materials.

Women’s Service of Loss, May 7

Butterflies flowersOn the Saturday evening before Mother’s Day, Los Altos United Methodist Church will offer a Women’s Service of Loss. This is a service for all those who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or a child of any age. The death of a child, whether held by our bodies, in our arms, or already grown, is a loss that we forever carry. No matter the age or how recent the death, it may be healing and helpful to have a space to name and honor that loss among other women who are sisters in loss.

You are invited on Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary for an hour of holding our hearts gently as we acknowledge and honor this experience of motherhood. The Rev. Cate Noellert will lead the service. The church is located at 655 Magdalena Ave (cross street is Foothill Expressway; go here for maps and directions). For more information, call the church office at 650-948-1083.

January Adult Study Opportunities

Los Altos UMC has several opportunities for study and fellowship starting in January. Members of the community are welcome! You do not have to go to this church to participate. Read more about each class or group below.

Being Mortal: Screening and Discussion
Wednesday, January 13, 1:30–4:30pm, Creekside
Wednesday, January 20, 7:00–9:30pm, Creekside

Come see the PBS documentary Being Mortal, about how doctors and patients approach the end of life, then Dr. Bill Buchholz will facilitate a discussion about how we can help the medical system respect our own end-of-life wishes. You may come to either date. Contact Bill for more information.

DISCIPLE 1 Bible Study
Wednesdays, 7:00pm, Starting January 20

Want to know more about God as revealed through the Bible to the people in Bible times and to us today? DISCIPLE 1 is a program of Bible study aimed at developing an understanding of the wholeness of the Bible, spending 12 weeks on the Old Testament and 12 weeks on the New Testament. DISCIPLE includes personal Bible reading and study, a video giving overview and insight, and dynamic group discussion. For more information, contact Adult Ministries Chair Bob Olah. Space is limited, so please register your intent to participate on our small groups site.

Five Languages of Love
Sunday, January 24, 11:15am–12:45pm, Resource Center

We all hope for good relationships with important people in our lives. This one-session class will give very important information to improve all our relationships. Sue DeLong will facilitate, and childcare will be available. Contact Bob Olah for details. Register our small groups site.

Good Grief Recovery Group
Sundays, Jan. 24 – Feb. 28, 7:00–8:30pm, Redwood Room

Loss can be very painful. While there are no right or wrong ways to grieve, there are practical/useful ways to cope with the pain. Come explore the ways we grieve and healthy ways of navigating through that experience. Contact Director of Congregational Care Patricia Parfett with questions or register online.

Financial Peace University
Wednesdays, 7:00–8:30pm, January 27 – March 23

Do you need a plan for your money? Financial Peace University (FPU) can help you make that plan! FPU teaches God’s ways of handling money and biblical, practical steps to take to move from where you are now to where you’ve dreamed of being. Through video teaching, class discussions, and interactive small group activities, FPU will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and more. Sign up at our small groups registration site.