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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.

Sign Up for Compassion Week Projects, Oct. 3–9

Compassion Week 2015 child painterYou are invited to put our fall “Love Does” theme into action by participating in one or more service and social justice opportunities throughout the Peninsula or on our church campus during our annual Compassion Week, scheduled for October 3–9. Please invite your friends and family to join us! Our goal is to get 2,000 participants from Los Altos United Methodist Church and the community engaged in acts of compassion.

There will be no regular Sunday worship services on October 9. Throughout Compassion Week, our worship will be through our service!

Love serves: hands-on opportunities
Visit the registration site to browse the listings and sign up. Activities appropriate for all age groups have been planned. Space is limited for many of these projects—sign up soon! If you need assistance, contact compassionweek@laumc.org. We look forward to serving with you.

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Compassion Week 2015 blanket makingProjects to do at home or with your small group
Several flexible projects can be done any time you’re free—at home, with friends, or at your regular small-group meeting! These projects are noted on the registration website with “Pick Your Date” in the title. Contact the listed project leader for instructions to pick up supplies for making cards, fleece blankets, knitted hats and scarves, or letters for social justice.

Design your own service opportunity
If you want to get creative, arrange your own service project with family and friends! Please email the Compassion Week team to let us know what you’re planning so we can add your experience to our final tally.

Save the date: Compassion Week Celebration
Sunday, October 16, 12:00–2:00pm, Creekside Center
To share the successes and stories of our service week, Los Altos UMC is holding a lunch celebration the week after Compassion Week. Meet the organizations we served, share stories about your service experiences, celebrate with worship, and watch a slideshow of photos from various projects. We will also have a Nothing But Nets Basketball Shoot-Out Tournament! Watch for details coming soon.

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.

Annual Rummage Sale, May 13–14

The annual Rummage Sale is just around the corner, and the Los Altos United Methodist Women and Starfire Singers are ramping up to get ready! Creekside Center will be filled with bargains for adults and children, and the Youth Room will feature a large selection of antiques and vintage collectibles. This is your opportunity to clean out your closets and garages and donate useable items, then pick up new-to-you bargains. Profits from the sale will support local, national and international missions of the United Methodist Women and assist our Starfire Singers youth choir in covering the costs of their summer tour.

Would you like to help? Here’s how:

DONATE to the sale. Bring your treasures to Creekside on Tuesday, May 10, or Wednesday, May 11. If you have larger furniture items in good condition, a pick-up can be arranged within 5 miles of the church. Contact Patricia Parfett (650-906-6265) to schedule. If you can’t donate on those dates, contact Karen Van Buren about scheduling an early donation. Donations of handled grocery bags or other large shopping bags are also needed.

VOLUNTEER to work before or after the sale. It’s fun! People of all ages can help sort, price, and sell. You don’t need to preregister to help sort and price items; just show up on Monday through Thursday, May 9–12, and we will find a place for you. Lunch and snacks will be provided. We will schedule helpers for Friday and Saturday during the sale. Contact Kay Zitzner if you are willing to work one or more shifts as a cashier or some other needed position.

SHOP at the sale on Friday, May 13, 8:00am–5:00pm and Saturday, May 14, 9:00am–2:00pm. Please note our new hours! Categories will include men’s and women’s clothing, children’s clothing, kitchen, home, office, garden, sports, books, artwork, games, toys, and more!

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.

Invitation to All-Church Family Dinner, April 24

Our monthly All-Church Family Dinners on Sunday evenings have been a huge success! The meals are delicious, and Creekside has come alive with fellowship and celebration. Next up is dinner on April 24 at 6:15pm, when Chef Fred Mayo will prepare a Mexican feast to celebrate the completion of LAUMC’s most recent Mexico house-building trip and to highlight all the areas of service supported by our Bold Service & Social Justice Committee (BSSJ).

The Mexican menu will include favorites such as: carnitas, frijoles, salsas, hibiscus punch, and a dessert of churros and ice cream. BSSJ committee members will be on hand to share stories of LAUMC mission projects, social justice efforts, and agency outreach connections. They will be available to help YOU connect to opportunities for service with our local and global communities!

April Outreach Connection: Habitat for Humanity

habitat_logoThe Outreach Team supports agencies within our community and the world that promote human dignity by supplying the basic needs of food, shelter, or education. Each month, the Outreach Team highlights one of the agencies our church supports by inviting us to participate in an Outreach Connection with a special offering at all worship services.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley provides safe, affordable homes for hard-working families that might not otherwise be able to enter the housing market, and these families work alongside community volunteers to construct their new home. Through construction work days and financial support, LAUMC is a longtime partner with this local Habitat chapter.

On April 10, we will have a chance to hear about the work that Habitat does locally to fulfill its vision that every person should have a decent place to live. At the 8:00am and 5:00pm services, Don Varney from Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley will speak about the work Habitat is doing locally, including opportunities to volunteer on a site or at a Restore. At 9:30 and 11:15am, a recipient family will share about the impact on their lives of receiving a Habitat home.

You can contribute to the special offering for Habitat by writing a check payable to LAUMC with “Habitat for Humanity” in the memo line or using our online giving page any time this month.

Making Shoes for Children in Uganda, Feb. 7

Sole Hope LogoFor lack of adequate footwear, children in Uganda suffer from jigger bites and related infections. Instead of (or before) Super Bowl Sunday, come to Super SOLE Sunday! We will meet on Sunday, February 7, 10:30–1:00pm in Creekside to recycle old blue jeans and plastic jugs into the materials needed to construct simple shoes and save lives. The shoe parts we produce will be shipped to Africa by Sole Hope, where local tailors and shoemakers create the finished shoes. Bring an old pair of blue jeans, empty plastic laundry detergent, milk or liter soda bottles, and a pair of sharp scissors. Some extra supplies will be available. For more information, contact Jan McDaniel.

 

Respite Night Offered, Jan. 15

Respite NightDonovan’s Door, our special-needs ministry, is pleased to offer a Respite Night on Friday, January 15, 6:00–8:30pm. Special-needs kids and their siblings will be cared for in a warm, safe environment so their parents and care-givers can take a break. To register your children or to volunteer, contact donovansdoor@laumc.org.