Archive for senior pastor

A Lever and a Place to Stand Sermon Series, Sept. 10–Oct. 15

Archimedes famously said, “Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the world.” He was talking physics, but the principle also works as a metaphor. The “lever” is the gathering of people working for good in the world—the Church, committed to following Jesus, building the Kingdom of God on earth. But in order to have the power necessary for this work, the lever must rest on a “fulcrum”—a vertical piece, sunk deep into the ground beneath it, that is firmly embedded, well grounded.

Service in the way of Jesus is about transformation of the world. If our work is going to have the leverage it needs to be an effective instrument for transforming the world, it must be grounded deeply in the life of God, the love of God, and the intention of God. We find our way there through a rhythm of prayer/action/reflection. This rhythm and each of its elements will be the theme of our sermons and worship services for September 10 through October 15. Follow along as we explore “A Lever and a Place to Stand: The Mechanics of Transformation.”

September 10: A Recipe for Transformation – Seek the Welfare of the City Where I Have Sent You
Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give the message based on Jeremiah 29:4-7.

September 17: Grounded in Contemplation – The Practice of Prayer
Pastor Kathi will give the message with Matthew 14:13-23.

September 24: Urged Toward Action – Compassionate Action
Pastor Kathi will preach using the text of Matthew 20:29-34.

October 1 (World Communion Sunday): Altered by Reflection – Humility/Reflection
Matthew 20:1-16 will be used by Pastor Kathi to give the message. Holy Communion will be offered at all services.

October 8 (Compassion Week): We Worship With Our Hands
We will not have any regular worship services in our Sanctuary this week, instead worshipping through our Compassion Week service.

October 15: The World Is Not the Same/We Are Not the Same
This week will focus on a theological reflection and celebration of Compassion Week. Pastor Kathi will preach using collected reflections from Compassion Week participants.

Sign Up for Short-Term Fall Groups

This month the GroupLife team is excited to offer a number of discussion groups, each lasting between five and eight weeks. There are a variety of topics and times to suit everyone! Groups begin the week of August 21. Skim the options below and click on the title of a group for more details and to sign up for that group. You may also visit our Group Finder for a searchable list of groups. GroupLife leaders will be available after worship on August 6–20 to answer any questions and assist with group registration.

Pity Is Not Compassion, hosted by Perrie Erickson
Mondays, Beginning August 21, 7:00pm, Resource Center (no meeting Labor Day)
Watch TED Talks for a careful look at the difference between pity and compassion and discuss what it looks like to be compassionate Christians.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Garden Room
Explore how Narnia can shape our faith in today’s world.

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (for kids), hosted by Michelle Caudle
Tuesdays, 6:45pm, Live Oak Room
This is a one-hour study for children led by our new Children’s Ministry Director Michelle Caudle!

Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, hosted by Rev. Sam Lewis 
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Resource Center
Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 12:00pm, Live Oak Room
We all yearn to share the traits that Jesus lived out: vibrancy, love, commitment, clarity, and joy. Study Jesus to discern how he sees the potential in us to become as he was. Bring your lunch!

Becoming Human, hosted by Rev. Kathi McShane
Wednesdays, 7:00pm, Creekside A&B

Invitation to Romans, hosted by Bob Olah
Thursdays, 7:00pm, Youth Room
This short-term Disciple Bible Study format explores how people have interpreted Romans through the ages as a lens to view the history of Christianity itself.

Science and Faith, hosted by Brian Jones
Sundays, Beginning August 27, 10:45am, Room 8 (no meeting Labor Day weekend)
How do we reconcile the competing worldviews of science and faith? What is truth, and how do the two relate to it?

God Is Still Speaking, Aug. 6 – Sept. 3

The “canon” of the Bible was closed long ago. But neither creation nor God’s word stopped once that original story was told! In this final month of summer, we will explore some of the ways God continues to speak to us, in ways we can hear now. Come for the sermon and worship service at 8:00am or 9:30am, and/or come for a deeper study of the day’s text at 11:15am with Senior Pastor Kathi McShane.

August 6: God Is Still Speaking … In the Words of Poets
Poetry offers meaning on many different levels. Readers can consider the intentions and circumstances of the poet as well as the ways a poem speaks to their own experience. This process of reading poetry parallels the way we read scripture. Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give the message. Holy Communion will be served.

August 13: God Is Still Speaking … In the Stories We Tell
Associate Pastor Sam Lewis will preach.

August 20: God Is Still Speaking … In the People Around Us
Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will give the message, with scripture from Acts 2:5-18.

August 27: God Is Still Speaking … In a Starfire Trip to the United Kingdom
Minister of Music and Worship Arts Dirk Damonte will preach, sharing about the recent trip the high school youth choir took to the UK.

September 3: God Is Still Speaking … In the Work We Do
Pastor Kathi will give the message, themed around Labor Day and with scripture from Genesis 4:1-5 and Galatians 2:19-20. Holy Communion will be served.

Worship Schedule Alteration

Summer is an out-of-the-ordinary time. A little breathing space to try new routes and routines. This summer we’d like to try to bring our congregation all together more regularly for worship. For five Sundays—August 6 to September 3—we will hold just two regular worship services on Sunday mornings, instead of three.

Worship at 8:00am or 9:30am, then stay for extended conversation and study of the day’s text with Pastor Kathi at 11:15am in the Redwood Room. The evening Creekside Crossings service will remain at its regular time of 5:00pm.

We hope that this will offer all of the morning worship-goers a chance to see and worship with folks they don’t usually get to see!

This is not a permanent change. At the end of this five-week “pilot project,” we’ll ask you what you thought about this arrangement, and we’ll figure out together what’s best for our church in the long term. Please share your questions or comments with us along the way. We’ll be glad to hear them!

With blessings and hope,

Rev. Kathi McShane, senior pastor
Rev. Dirk Damonte, minister of music and worship arts
Margie Gong, chair of Church Council
Jan Grace, interim chair of Passionate Worship Practice Committee

This I Know for Sure: July sermon series

For the month of July, our sermon series will focus on the topic of “This I Know for Sure.” The preachers will be our newly appointed ministers, Senior Pastor Kathi McShane and Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion.

July 9: This I Know for Sure: Life Is Like a Wedding Banquet
Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give her first sermons at Los Altos UMC. The scripture is John 2:1-11.

July 16: This I Know for Sure: All Shall Be Well
Pastor Kathi will give a message based on Isaiah 43:1-7.

July 23: This I Know for Sure: Faith Is a Journey
Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will give the message using the text of Romans 12:1-2.

July 30: This I Know for Sure: God Comes to You, Disguised as Your Life
Pastor Kathi will preach, using Matthew 4:18-19.

All-Church Dinner: Welcome New Pastors, July 9

Come to the Creekside Crossings service on July 9 at 5:00pm and stay for the All-Church Sunday Dinner (starts approximately at 5:45pm) to welcome our incoming ministers. Senior Pastor Kathi McShane will give the message at the service, and then she and Associate Pastor Jon Visitacion will be available to meet the congregation and share fellowship time. Please register for planning purposes.

Saying Farewell to Our Departing Staff

This month Los Altos UMC makes goodbyes to three departing staff, with several opportunities to share our appreciation for their time and ministry with us. Rev. Mariellen Yoshino has served as the senior pastor for three years. Rev. Debbie Weatherspoon has been one of our associate pastors for 11 years, most recently as the minister for community engagement. Paul Rosas, our senior organist, has played organ, piano, and even composed new works during his 13 years at Los Altos UMC.

Pastors Mariellen and Debbie will share the message time at all four worship services on Sunday, June 11. This will be their final Sunday in worship at Los Altos UMC. The worship services on Sunday, June 25, will be a celebration of Paul Rosas’ musical ministry in our congregation.

All-Church Dinner: Farewell to Staff
Sunday, June 25, 5:45pm, Creekside
Come to the Creekside Crossings service and stay for this month’s All-Church Sunday Dinner, a farewell to Pastor Mariellen, Pastor Debbie, and Paul. Help us celebrate and honor their service to this church. Dinner will be barbecue. Please register online so we know how many attendees to expect. All are invited! We will have a slide show during dinner. If you have photos of the honorees that you would like to share, please send them to the Staff-Parish Relations Committee.

Farewell Gifts
If you would like to make a monetary farewell gift for one or more of our departing staff, checks are accepted in the offering plate or in the church office by June 25. Please make checks payable to Debbie Weatherspoon or Paul Rosas or make a gift in Pastor Mariellen’s honor to “CNUMC UMF Yoshino Family Mission Fund.” Gifts to Pastor Debbie or Paul are not tax-deductible; gifts to the Yoshino Family Mission Fund are tax-deductible.

13 Ways to Welcome Our New Senior Pastor

Rev. Mariellen Yoshino

Rev. Mariellen Yoshino

Los Altos UMC’s new senior pastor, the Rev. Mariellen Yoshino, will come on board on July 1. Her first Sunday with us will be July 6. As we move through this pastoral transition, we can turn to the excellent resources for pastors and congregations provided by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. The following recommendations are for church members welcoming a new pastor.

Prepare

1. Open your hearts and decide that you are going to love your new pastor.

2. Pray daily for the new pastor and family, even as you continue to pray for your departing pastor and family.

3. Send cards of welcome and encouragement to the incoming pastor. Welcoming your new pastor in genuine and effective ways lays the ground work for a healthy and vital relationship and the development of stable, long-term ministries together.

4. Show love, regard, and even grief for your departing pastor. This is one of the best things you can do for the new pastor.

5. Do not invite the former pastor to return for weddings, funerals, or baptisms. This allows your former pastor to engage fully with his or her new congregation and it establishes your new pastor as everyone’s pastor from the beginning.

Welcome to the Church

6. Invite the new pastor to any social events by held by Sunday school classes or other groups in the early months.

7. Make sure the pastor’s spouse is invited to Sunday school and other appropriate small groups.

8. Introduce yourself to the pastor repeatedly! You have one name to learn; your pastor has many names to learn. Even if name tags are not a tradition in the congregation, consider using them for a few weeks to help the pastor learn names.

9. Make sure the pastor has a list of home bound or nursing home members, a list of those struggling with long-term illness, and a list of those still in grief over recent deaths in the family. Better yet, take the pastor and introduce them to each of these households.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

10. Share your favorite local dry cleaners, grocery store, drug store, veterinarian, etc.

11. Give gift certificates to several of your favorite restaurants in the community.

12. Introduce the new pastor to public and community leaders.

13. Take the new pastor to a meeting of any civic clubs you participate in.

 

Excerpted from 50 Ways to Welcome Your New Pastor or Associate Pastor (PDF), © 2013 Lewis Center for Church Leadership.