Archive for worship

Important Updates About Worship and Church Events

We have made a hard decision this week. Please click or tap to watch the video below, or keep scrolling for a written message if you cannot watch a video right now.

For the next three weeks—through end of March—we will worship online only. At 8:30 and 10:00am and 5:00pm, worship will be broadcast online. You are invited to connect online and participate from the comfort and safety of your home.

It was Santa Clara County’s advisory this week that convinced LAUMC’s leadership that we can serve our congregation and community best by making it easier for you to decide to stay home and avoid contact that might present a danger to your health.

Not everything around the church is being canceled, but we are, for the time being, canceling or postponing all activities that involve people who are deemed at risk—meaning people over 60 and people who have other health risks.

So—for the time being, we’re pausing events like School of Christian Living, Conversational Church, on-campus Bible studies, and senior adult activities and meetings. Check our calendar for information about which other meetings and events have been canceled.

This time might have the effect of isolating us from one another, taking away a community that we love and need. And so, we’re going to make an effort to stay in touch in every way we can. The pastors and Congregational Care team are prepared to make extra visits and phone calls. You are encouraged to be in touch with one another—to check in with the people you see regularly at church, just to talk. Remember that there are likely to be people around you who are lonely and who would really appreciate a kind or thoughtful gesture.

And if you need something from your church, please call or send an email, and the pastors and staff will get back to you right away.

Mostly—take good care, in this strange, difficult time.

Our God is bigger than every danger, even this one. Pray this week for regular reminders that God’s mercy and justice and compassion can outrun all the needs and fears of this world. Trust that, and rest in that trust.

Christmas Eve Services

Join us in the Sanctuary for one of our special Christmas Eve services on Tuesday, December 24. You can also watch any of them livestreamed online at Descriptions of each service are below.

3:00pm – This will be a traditional family service. Nursery care is available for children up to age 2, but all children are welcome in the service. Come early to have your picture taken in our photo booth!

5:00pm – This will also be a traditional family service. Nursery care is available. Come early to try our photo booth!

7:00pm – This will be a contemporary family service. The youth choirs will sing. Nursery care is provided. Come early to take a picture in our photo booth!

9:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service. The adult choir will sing.

11:00pm – This will be a traditional candlelight service with communion and instrumental music.

For more information about our services, please contact the church office at (650) 948-1083.

The Longest Night Service, Dec. 19

Hands holding candle

For many of us, days leading to Christmas are not filled with joy and celebration as much as feelings of sadness or longing. If this sounds familiar, or if you simply want a peaceful space, we invite you to join us for a candlelight service of reflection, The Longest Night, a Service of Solace, held on Thursday, December 19, at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary.

The Longest Night is a special service for those who need a place where they can be welcomed into the season exactly as they are, without having to put on a holiday face. It is also a service for anyone who would appreciate a little calm, reflective time of peace and worship in the midst of the hectic pace of the season. God comes to us wherever we are—even in our grief, even in our pain—and there is a place for you in this season, too.

Come Now and Set Us Free: Advent Worship Series

There is an arc to the whole, grand narrative of God’s connection with human life. It is always about freedom, a consistent and repeated movement to liberate us from the troubles that humans make for one another and the chains with which we bind ourselves. The story of God’s coming to be with us in Jesus is the story of God’s yearning for us to be set free, so that we might live fully. How is God setting you free?

December 1: Freedom From Oppression (Exodus 3:1-12)

December 8: Freedom From Settling the Score (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

December 15: Freedom From Striving (Luke 1:46-55)

December 22: Freedom to Become (John 10:7-10)

December 29: On the Sunday following Christmas, we will have just one worship service at 10:00am. There will not be Conversational Church or an evening service that Sunday. Come for this special service as one church family, then we will return to our regular worship schedule in the new year.

In the Shelter, Sept. 15

Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama teaches and speaks internationally about conflict transformation, religion, and the power of storytelling. He travels widely, lecturing and leading retreats, and he publishes both poetry and prose. Come hear him preach and lead an evening of story and song with singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine on Sunday, September 15.

Stay With Me: The Power of Sustained Connection

8:30 and 10:00am, Sanctuary

Pádraig Ó Tuama will preach and Bobby Jo Valentine will offer special music.

In the Shelter

5:00–7:00pm, Creekside

Poems, stories, and songs about losing shelter, finding shelter, and being shelter to one another, by Pádraig Ó Tuama and Bobby Jo Valentine. Light dinner and conversation to follow. Dinner is $10/adult, $5/child, or $25/family. Please register by September 12 so that sufficient food quantities can be prepared.

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”

A Lot Can Happen in Three Days: August Worship Series

The very brief Old Testament book of Jonah is layered with meaning. This is the comical story of a guy who winds up inside a big fish for three days before he comes to his senses and listens to God. It’s the premonition of three days inside a tomb that separated death and resurrection for Jesus. And it’s a narrative that contrasts God’s universal, always-forgiving nature with the small jealousy of the human heart. In three Sundays in August, come hear the story and dig into the genius that makes it a story for today.

August 4: Chapter 1 – Rev. Sam Blewis will preach on Jonah running the other way when God calls him.

August 11: Chapter 2 – Jonah in the belly of the fish

August 18: Chapter 3 – Ninevah

Weaving Our Common Future

“Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.” —Herman Melville

Please join our church community as it expands to include the historical Trinity UMC congregation at a merger celebration on Sunday, June 30! This will be a major event moving us forward as a church. The program will start with a shortened worship service at LAUMC at 10:00am (no 8:30am service), then everyone will be invited to carpool (or bike!) to Trinity UMC in downtown Mountain View for a brief noon worship service there, followed by a big celebration luncheon and games for children. The event will end by 2:00pm. Plans are being led by two LAUMC members and two Trinity UMC members. You won’t want to miss it!

With One Voice: An Evening of Worship and Song, March 10

In solidarity with those whom churches have sometimes pushed to the margins, Los Altos United Methodist Church and members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus raise our voices together for an evening of worship and song on Sunday, March 10, 5:00–6:15pmiCreekside. The evening features special guest Bobby Jo Valentine. Bobby Jo is a multi-faceted songwriter and storyteller who grew up on the seaside of Northern California. He’s given a Ted Talk, been awarded WCSA Song of the Year three times, is an out gay advocate for equal rights for all, and has performed thousands of times around the globe. 

The United Methodist Church’s decades-long disagreement over whether and how to include LGBTQ persons in the life of the Church comes to a decisive moment at the end of February. Los Altos United Methodist Church has long been committed to full inclusion. In fact, we’ve taken steps to underline that commitment in new ways in the last year. We don’t know how the decisions of this global Conference will come out—so whether this concert will be a celebration or an act of resistance is a little unclear right now. But we are absolutely certain that no matter what the result of the Conference, this United Methodist church will remain a partner in the work of making the Church a safe and welcoming and at-home place for every person, regardless of sexual or gender orientation. – Senior Pastor Kathi McShane

For more than 40 years, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has courageously served as the international standard bearer for a powerful and accomplished mix of performances, human rights and community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBTQ organizations. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC has established a heightened level of performance standards bringing renewed audience and choral industry acclaim.

It is a treat to have Bobby Jo and members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus under one roof at LAUMC. Join us for an inspiring and powerful evening!

The Good and Beautiful Life, Feb. 3–24

“Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.  We do this best, not by protest or political action, but by enacting a beautiful presence within the world.” – Brian Zahnd, Beauty Will Save the World

In our February sermon series, we will explore the beauty of a life of faith, not only for personal satisfaction, but as a way of changing the world. Our scripture text for the series is Colossians 3:12-17.

  • February 3: Humility
  • February 10: Gratitude
  • February 17: Forgiveness
  • February 24: Kindness

The Hopes and Fears of All the Years: Advent Sermon Series

People—all people—stand, always, in a mix of hopes and fears. It was as true in the year Jesus was born as it is in this turbulent year. This is the world that God enters, just as it is. God pitches a tent right in the middle of that mix and lives alongside of us. What is it that the coming of Emmanuel—God with us—brings to help us find our way? You are invited to worship with us this Advent season as we examine our hopes and fears.

December 2: Hoping for Order, Fearing Uncertainty

December 9: Hoping for Approval, Fearing Failure

December 16: Hoping for Safety, Fearing Vulnerability

December 23: Hoping for Justice, Fearing Its Costs

December 30: Wear Love

Our services are at 8:30am and 10:00am in the Sanctuary and 5:00pm in Creekside. We also hold Conversational Church at 11:15am in the Live Oak Room.