Archive for homeless

Advent Generosity: Be the Light

Advent is arguably the busiest time of the year. Too often we become wrapped up in the trappings of Christmas, and it is a challenge as Christians to make time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. As Adam Hamilton writes in Not a Silent Night, our Advent worship and study book, “Our mission at Christmas is not to get stuff for people to open on Christmas morning. It is to be people of hope who let Jesus’ light shine through them.”

Advent Generosity invites the LAUMC community to share God’s love and grace by making monetary gifts to three worthy causes and—new this year—by participating in service (see service opportunities below). Embracing Advent Generosity this Christmas provides a simple yet effective way to “Be the Light.” Our gifts to Advent Generosity represent our desire to share our love for others by performing acts of kindness, compassion, and goodness. Adam Hamilton tells us, “Grace changes the one who receives it, and it also changes the one who gives it.” We are invited this Advent season to “Be the Light” by emulating Jesus.

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 2016, three worthy programs will be supported:

  • Hope’s Corner, Inc.: Hope’s Corner, Inc., provides weekly meals and showers to people in need in the Mountain View area. Advent Generosity 2016 giving will help Hope’s Corner expand its food service, twice-weekly shower program, and additional services for more than 250 weekly guests.
  • Compassion Week 2017: Compassion Week provides LAUMC congregants and community members an opportunity to put our faith in action by performing acts of service. Compassion Week 2016 involved more than 2,000 volunteers addressing poverty, homelessness, education, hunger, the environment, and more.
  • UMCOR International Disaster Risk Reduction (Advance #3021952): This disaster risk reduction program is designed to prepare for and mitigate both death and economic loss and to facilitate community recovery following common natural disasters. The World Bank estimates that each $1 invested in risk management yields between $2 and $11 in benefits/cost savings in the event of a disaster.

Service Opportunities

  • Project WeHOPE: On December 22, LAUMC will host a Christmas dinner at Project WeHOPE. Those who sign up will facilitate dinner services, and share a holiday dinner with brothers and sisters who are working to end their homelessness. Project WeHOPE is a nonprofit organization in East Palo Alto that provides overnight shelter, food, financial literacy, and other services to clients in its transitional program. Dignity on Wheels, the mobile hygiene and outreach program, provides showers and laundry to people living in encampments, rotating shelters, and out of their vehicles. To sign up to help with the dinner, contact Jan McDaniel. Space is limited.
  • Hope’s Corner: Another option for serving our community as part of Advent Generosity is to volunteer with Hope’s Corner. Volunteers help prepare and serve meals, clean up, or check in shower guests. Visit the Hope’s Corner website for more information about volunteer opportunities and to sign up.

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 by Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you could make your Advent Generosity donation online. Also, please use the provided gift cards to let your family and friends know you have made a donation to Advent Generosity 2016 and/or have performed a service on their behalf.

This Christmas, choose a radical approach to giving, and your celebration of Christ’s birth. Together, let’s worship fully, give more, spend less, and love all through our Advent Generosity giving. If you have questions about Advent Generosity, please contact Valarie Arnesen.

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.