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Advent Generosity: A Voice in the Darkness

Advent is often the busiest time of the year, and it is a challenge to make time and space to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. This Christmas, choose a radical approach not just to Christmas giving, but to your holiday preparations and celebration of Christ’s birth. Advent Generosity provides a simple yet effective way to be “a voice in the darkness,” sharing God’s love by making monetary gifts to three worthy causes and by participating in service.

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 2017, three worthy programs will be supported:

Hope’s Corner, Inc.: For the past six years, Hope’s Corner, Inc., has provided nourishing meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Hope’s Corner is the only local source of free meals on Saturdays for the homeless and needy. Advent Generosity giving will help Hope’s Corner expand its food service, twice-weekly shower program, and additional services for more than 250 weekly guests. With your help:

  • $100 buys a hand wash sink with soap and towel dispenser
  • $500 buys epoxy coated, corrosion-resistant shelving for a walk-in refrigerator
  • $1,000 buys a commercial coffee brewer
  • $5,000 buys a mobile hot food serving counter

Compassion Week 2018: Church and community members have an opportunity to put their faith into action, engaging in worship by performing acts of loving service and social justice. During Compassion Week 2017, more than 2,000 volunteers donated more than 6,000 service hours to perform projects addressing poverty, homelessness, education, the environment, hunger, veterans’ needs, prison support, and more—locally and worldwide. With your help:

  • $50 buys comfort item materials for 7 women going through chemotherapy treatments
  • $100 buys the supplies to fill 10 UMCOR health kits for fire and hurricane victims
  • $500 feeds 100 veterans waiting for important surgeries at the VA Hospital
  • $1,000 buys Rise Against Hunger meal kits to feed 1,360 people on the brink of starvation

Response to 2017 Natural Disasters: A fund for LAUMC’s 2018 mission trips in response to 2017’s U.S. and international disasters. This fund will be available to supplement and provide scholarships for hands-on mission work in, for example, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas, and California. With your help:

  • $50 buys 128 sq. ft. of drywall
  • $100 buys five rolls of insulation
  • $500 buys one volunteer’s round-trip airfare
  • $1,000 buys 1,000 sq. ft. of composition roofing shingles

Service Opportunities

Habitat for Humanity: On December 16, an LAUMC team will be working with Habitat for Humanity at its Fremont Commons building site. Space is limited; please sign up on the Habitat website.

Project WeHOPE: On December 21, LAUMC will host a dinner at the Project WeHOPE shelter in East Palo Alto. There are opportunities to shop for ingredients, prepare food at LAUMC, serve dinner at Project WeHOPE, and share a holiday meal with brothers and sisters who are working to end their homelessness. Contact Jan McDaniel to sign up.

How to Participate

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 on or before Christmas Eve. (You may donate cash or make checks payable to Los Altos UMC with Advent Generosity on the memo line.) You may also donate online or by texting AG and your gift amount to (650) 229-5200. On Christmas Eve, credit card readers will be available at church if you’d like to put your donation on your credit card. In addition, the offering taken at our Christmas Eve services will go toward our Advent Generosity recipients!

If you pick up Advent Generosity materials at church, gift cards are provided so that you can let your family and friends know you have made a donation to Advent Generosity 2017 and/or have performed a service on their behalf.

November Outreach Connection: Salinas First UMC

The focus for this month’s Outreach Connection is Salinas First United Methodist Church, a longtime partner of Los Altos UMC. The Salinas church’s Neighborhood Ministry serves breakfast and lunch six days a week to more than 100 homeless and hungry people in Salinas Salinas Outreach Connectionas well as providing a safe, inviting place for the homeless to gather during the day, clothes closet, weekly mobile health clinic, support groups for veterans and those with addictions, job counseling, and more. At our services on Sunday, November 13, we will get to watch a new video updating us on this program.

Under the direction of head pastor Steve Lundin, the mission of FUMC Salinas is to “put love into action and live our faith.” Please put your love into action and give generously to this Outreach Connection partner, which is truly acting on Jesus’ admonition to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger as if they were Jesus himself. If you would like to contribute to this ministry, you can donate online or by check made payable to LAUMC with “Salinas” in the memo line.

The Outreach Team at LAUMC organizes special monthly collections for outreach organizations 10 times per year. Each month the congregation learns about the highlighted organization and how it addresses the basic needs of people in our community, nationally, or internationally. A special donation is taken one Sunday, usually the second Sunday of the month, but donations designated to Outreach Connection are accepted throughout the month.

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.

Hope’s Corner Offers Additional Day of Showers for the Homeless

Hope’s Corner, a mission outreach program of LAUMC, has added a second day of free showers for the homeless and needs volunteers to check in/out homeless guests and ensure cleanliness of the shower facilities. LAUMC member Bob Lee is organizing the volunteer recruitment (ages 18 and older; volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult) for Thursdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. For more information and to sign up, visit the Hope’s Corner website.

Hopes Corner shower volunteersHope’s Corner offers showers on Thursday and Saturday mornings. Case workers from Community Services Agency are also present at these times to meet with shower guests and connect them to other services. An informal survey found that for almost half of the people who use the showers, Hope’s Corner is their only option for getting a shower. These guests greatly appreciate the opportunity to safely shower, which contributes to their comfort, health, and self-esteem.

MoGlo Rock Concert 2, May 21

Come hear our Morning Glory adult choir and the Creekside Worship Band perform on Saturday, May 21, at 7:00pm in Creekside Center! Tunes will include:

  • Kansas’s “Carry on Wayward Son”
  • Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” featuring Chris Bauman
  • Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”
  • Bruno Mars’ “Uptown (MoGlo) Funk”
  • Songs from U2, the Doobie Brothers, and Sarah McLachlan

Morning Glory and Creekside Worship Band will rock the house!

Admission is free. A free-will offering will be taken benefitting the homeless program at Salinas First United Methodist Church and the Starfire Singers high school choir’s 2017 international trip.