Archive for Hope’s Corner

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.

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.

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.

Advent Generosity Results Top $100k

The Los Altos UMC finance office reports we raised a preliminary total of $101,155 in Advent Generosity donations this Christmas season—thank you for helping us break through the $100,000 mark! We also saw an increase from last year’s giving of nearly $11,000.

The message of this year’s “Christmas Is Not Your Birthday” Advent Generosity campaign to worship fully, spend less, give more, love all and let go inspired an amazing response throughout Advent. At our five Christmas Eve services, for the third year, the entire offering went to the Advent Generosity campaign.

The donated funds will be divided among four organizations: Hope’s Corner, Compassion Week, Homeboy Industries, and Hagar International. Thank you to all who participated.

Volunteer at Hope’s Corner This Summer

Summer vacation is just around the corner—a great time to volunteer at Hope’s Corner! Several of our regular volunteers are going on extended trips over the summer, and we could use your help. Hope’s Corner is a joint ministry of LAUMC and Trinity UMC in Mountain View that serves a free breakfast to hungry people every Saturday. Volunteers are needed every week to make Hope’s Corner happen. All ages are welcome. There are several volunteer shifts available every week:

  • Friday afternoons, 4:00–5:30pm in the LAUMC kitchen: Cook hard-boiled eggs and roasted potatoes; count out the ingredients for the bag lunches.
  • Friday evenings, 9:45–10:45 pm: Pick up donated pastries from Panera Bread at El Monte and El Camino Real and take them to Trinity UMC to cut and bag.
  • Saturday mornings, 6:45–7:15am: Deliver food from LAUMC to Trinity UMC.
  • Saturday mornings, 7:00–9:00am at Trinity UMC: Help set up and serve the breakfast buffet.
  • Saturday mornings, 9:00–10:30am at Trinity UMC: Help serve the breakfast buffet and clean up.
  • Saturday mornings, 10:15–11:00am: Deliver leftovers from Trinity UMC to LAUMC.

To sign up, visit our Hope’s Corner page and click on Volunteer Now.

If your small group is looking for a fun group activity, consider preparing a “special dinner” for Hope’s Corner guests. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Contact Leslie Carmichael for more information.