Archive for sermon series

Guest Preachers Lead Creekside Crossings Toward Compassion Week

The Bold Service and Social Justice Committee and the Creekside Crossings worship team have arranged a series of guest preachers at our evening services this month to help us thoughtfully prepare for Compassion Week.

September 11: Rod Cardoza, founder and executive director of the Abrahamic Alliance International
The Abrahamic Alliance is a faith-based, nonprofit organization uniting Jews, Christians, and Muslims for active peace building and poverty relief. Rod Cardoza is a cultural, theological, and linguistic anthropologist who has extensively researched Muslim culture and lectures internationally on Muslim-Christian dialogue. His sermon topic will be “Loving Your Muslim Neighbor.”

September 18: Paul Bains, senior pastor at Saint Samuel Church and founder of Project WeHOPE
Pastor Bains is a third-generation clergyman who grew up with a spirit of hope and a heart for the homeless. He founded Project WeHOPE in 1999 with his wife, Cheryl, with the initial goal to strengthen the East Palo Alto community by developing transformational leaders to address the critical issues facing the community. Our Outreach Connection offering this Sunday will be for Project WeHOPE.

September 25: Dave Robinson, executive director of Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (CIC)
CIC offers love to incarcerated children and adults in Santa Clara County through a prison ministry that brings church into local jails and youth correctional facilities, giving inmates hope for and guidance toward a better life with Jesus Christ. By sharing worship, testimonies, and gospel messages, CIC chaplains and volunteers minister to individual needs and present the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen.

Love Does Fall Worship Series

Our fall morning worship series is based on the book Love Does, by Bob Goff. Each week’s theme follows one of the book chapters highlighted in the study curriculum that small groups will be using to discuss how to “do love” in our everyday lives.

September 11: “I’m With You” (Welcome Home Sunday)
Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will give the message, using the scripture text from Matthew 1:18-23. Choirs and Sunday school classes start up for the new school year.

September 18: “Free to Fail”
Pastor Mariellen will preach from John 21:15-19.

September 25: Guest preacher Bob Goff
Love Does author Bob Goff is delivering the message at our three morning worship services. Bob will share how Love in Action is how he lives his life. Invite your family and friends to this inspiring experience! Afterwards, we have the opportunity to join Bob for lunch in Creekside at 12:30pm. We will chat with him and ask him our burning questions. Space is limited, so please register to attend the luncheon.

October 2: “Audacious Love”
Pastor Mariellen will give the message, using 1 John 4:7-12. Holy Communion will be served.

October 9: Compassion Week
There will be no regular worship services on this day. We will be worshipping in our community by “doing love” through hands-on service opportunities! Visit the Compassion Week registration site to learn more.

October 16: “Be Not Afraid”
Pastor Mariellen will preach from Mark 6:45-52. After morning services, a Compassion Week Celebration will be held from noon to 2:00pm in Creekside to highlight our volunteers and partner agencies. Family fun activities are planned.

October 23: “Follow Me”
Pastor Mariellen will give the message. The scriptures are Matthew 4:18-20, Matthew 16:24, and Luke 18:18-22.

Worship Series: To Begin Again

This month, the Creekside Crossings evening worship service (Sundays at 5:00pm) has its own worship series. “To Begin Again: Preparing for New Seasons in Our Lives” follows the prodigal son story of Luke 15:11-32 and explore these topics: wandering from the path, wondering if there’s something better, God’s whisper of “Come back!” and God’s loving welcome. Come explore the story with us!

August 14: Wandering
Our new beginnings often arise out of wandering away from the path we want to be on. Pastor Sam Lewis will give the message.

August 21: Wondering
We wonder if perhaps there is something better, if a new beginning might be possible. Pastor Debbie Weatherspoon will preach.

August 28: Whispering
The voice of God whispers to us, “Come back, come back, come back!” Pastor Dirk Damonte will give the message.

September 4: Welcoming
God welcomes us with open arms and a loving heart, saying, “Welcome home!” Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will preach. Holy Communion will be offered.

The Big Questions Worship Series

Our next worship series starts July 31 and continues through September 4 at all morning services. We will examine some of the biggest questions of our faith and try to respond in a way that makes sense for this time and this place. Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino has invited people in our congregation to join her in speaking on many of these topics. See the details below.

July 31: What Is the Point of Living?
Pastor Sam Lewis will give the message, using Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14, 2:18-23.

August 7: (How) Should We Live Together?
Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino and GroupLife Chairperson Kim Jones will present a dialogue message. The scripture is Colossians 3:14-17. Holy Communion will be served.

August 14: Why Should I Do Anything About Poverty?
Pastor Mariellen and Bold Service & Social Justice Cochair Jan McDaniel will have a conversation about poverty and faith, reflecting on Matthew 26:6-13. Our featured Outreach Connection agency will be Hope’s Corner.

August 21: So What About Hell?
Pastor Mariellen and Steve Moyer will speak together about the concept and meaning of hell. The scripture is Mark 9:43-50.

August 28: Why Do Bad Things, Like Alzheimer’s, Happen to Such Good People?
Pastor Mariellen and Bonnie Bollwinkel will present a dialogue about Alzheimer’s and other life struggles. The scripture text is Proverbs 3:5-6.

September 4: What Happens When We Die?
Pastor Mariellen and Dr. Bill Buchholtz will offer a conversation about death and what happens to us, using Luke 23:42-43. Holy Communion will be offered.

Bob Is Coming Sept. 25!

Get out a pen or your electronic calendar and highlight September 25. No, really: Do it now before you forget. On that Sunday, we will have Bob Goff as our guest speaker in all three morning worship services. Who is Bob? He is a crazy guy who loves Jesus and tells incredible stories. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Love Does. He is a lawyer, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States, and founder of a nonprofit that helps children in Uganda and India. He has an office on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland (read his book for more details). And he is coming to share with us at Los Altos United Methodist Church. The back of his book puts it best: “When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance to make faith simple and real.” We hope you will come on September 25 to hear Bob speak, explore Love Does with us this fall, and invite friends to come, too!

Living Beyond the Borders Worship Series

Five Practices GroupLife medallion largeOur latest worship theme is “Living Beyond the Borders,” a five-Sunday series about how the five practices of discipleship can transform our lives. We will get back to the basics and look at each discipleship practice, as well as how they all integrate into our lives.

June 26: Radical Hospitality
Pastor Debbie Weatherspoon will preach at the morning services and Pastor Dirk Damonte at the evening service. The scripture texts are 1 John 4:19 and Romans 15:7.

July 3: Passionate Worship
Pastor Sam Lewis will give the message at all four services, based on Luke 10:27 and Psalm 84:1-2. Holy Communion will be served at all services.

July 10: Deepening Faith
Pastor Dirk will give the sermon at all four services. The scripture passages are Hebrews 10:24-25 and Acts 2:42.

July 17: Bold Service & Social Justice
Senior Pastor Mariellen Yoshino will preach from Matthew 16:24-25 and 25:40.

July 24: Extravagant Generosity
Pastor Mariellen will give the message, using 2 Corinthians 9:11.

Therefore Go: Resurrected Hearts Lead to Action

Following up on our April worship theme of Resurrected Hearts, we have several opportunities over the next few weeks to listen to and participate in some possible “next steps” of having Resurrected Hearts. Read more below about a letter-writing opportunity and a short series called “Therefore Go” (based on Matthew 28:16-20) at our Creekside Crossings evening worship services.

Bread for the World Letter-Writing
Sundays, April 24 and May 1, 9:00am–12:30pm, Redwood Room
Sundays, May 1 and May 8, 6:00pm, Creekside
Come write letters to Congress advocating for policies that help end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. Sample letters and addresses are provided. Learn more about this national campaign on Bread for the World’s website. The letters will be blessed during communion at the May 1 morning services and May 8 evening service.

Therefore Go: Mexico
Creekside Crossings, April 24, 5:00pm
The returning team members of our recent Mexico House-Building Trip will lead the way as we transition from the Resurrected Hearts: Testimony theme of the morning services to our new Creekside Crossings worship series. They will share testimonies about their experiences of going to Mexico to build not just a house but community. After the service, enjoy a Mexican feast and learn about opportunities to serve in our local community from our Bold Service and Social Justice Committee.

Therefore Go: Nepal
Creekside Crossings, May 1, 5:00pm
Katherine Parker, a global missionary of The United Methodist Church, will speak about her experiences as a health and community transformation advisor with the ecumenical United Mission to Nepal. Katherine has a unique perspective on transforming Nepali society into the healthy, dignified, and hope-filled communities God intended. Since 2013, she has worked on issues surrounding water, sanitation, and hygiene in remote areas of Nepal. This work was especially critical after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Prior to her tenure in that country, Katherine was posted with the emerging Methodist Church in Cambodia, where she helped communities with food security, livelihood projects, and access to clean drinking water. (Note: Communion will not be served at this service.)

Therefore Go: Nicaragua
Creekside Crossings, May 8, 5:00pm
For Mother’s Day, we will lift up Casa Materna in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, an organization striving to decrease maternal and infant mortality in rural Nicaragua that LAUMC has long partnered with. Jana Powell will share a reflection about her recent immersion experience there. The Bread for the World letters will be presented as an offering to God as we celebrate Holy Communion.

Resurrected Hearts Worship Series, April 3–24

In April, our worship theme will be about dedicating ourselves to being Easter people, people with resurrected hearts. We will reflect on how as Easter people we can develop servant hearts, using our time, talents, treasure, and testimony to serve a living Christ.

  • April 3: Time, Psalm 90:12-17
  • April 10: Talent, 1 Peter 4:8-10
  • April 17: Treasure, Matthew 6:19-21
  • April 24: Testimony, John 15:26-27

Come find out more about developing the heart of a servant and using the gifts God has given us.

The God Story: Lent Worship and Small-Group Theme

Can you see your place and purpose in God’s story? Throughout Lent, we will examine God’s story as shown throughout the Bible and find our own place in the narrative. Our worship themes each Sunday will focus on classic story elements. Small groups are invited to use Jacob Armstrong’s The God Story as their study guide in this season, helping each other find our roles to play in the story of God’s people.

Worship Themes

Sunday, February 14: Introduction (Genesis 1:1-2, 26–2:4)

Sunday, February 21: Suspension of Disbelief (Genesis 18:1-15)

Sunday, February 28: Rising Action (Exodus 16:2-4, Numbers 11:4-6)

Sunday, March 6: The Inciting Incident (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

Sunday, March 13: Soundtrack (Zephaniah 3:14-17)

Sunday, March 20 (Palm Sunday): Waiting for Resolution (John 12:12-19)

Sunday, March 27 (Easter): Twist Ending (John 20:1-18)

Small Groups

Several small groups welcome new participants to join them in studying The God Story for Lent, and at least one new group is forming especially for Lent! If you are interested, check out one of these options:

Mondays, 9:30am, Resource Center: Back to the Bible

Mondays, 12:00pm, Resource Center: Brown Bags and Bibles

Wednesdays, 7:00pm, Resource Center: The Big Questions

Mondays, 7:00pm, Garden Room: A new Lent group is forming.

Another weekday morning group may form for Lent, depending on interest. For more information about finding a group, contact GroupLife Intern Kristen Wandryk.

GroupLife Workshop for Lent, Feb. 6

TheGodStory_CoverGraphics smallGroupLife invites current small-group leaders and anyone interested in potentially leading a small group for Lent to a workshop on Saturday, February 6, 9:00am –12:00pm in Creekside C/D. Jacob Armstrong, the author of our Lenten study book, will join the workshop by video call to inspire leaders in their own spiritual practices for Lent and equip them to use his book, The God Story, in small groups. The workshop is free, but please RSVP to GroupLife Intern Kristen Wandryk so the organizers know how much breakfast to provide.