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Mission Trip to El Maguey

Mexico Mission TripIn December, Pastor Gerardo, Jeff Huget, Kristeen Pemberton and Ray Castellon will be making a return trip to El Maguey.

The goals of the trip are to purchase more books for the library, with additional shelves, and to make major upgrades to the equipment used in the ESL program. Right now, Kristeen uses a tiny screen which makes it difficult to see the students.

We’re asking you to support the trip with prayer and financial donations. The estimated cost of the trip is $4,000. We’ve collected $740 so far!

If you would like to make a financial donation, you can put it in the offering on Sunday. Be sure to mark it “Mission Trip.” After donations are collected on October 13, the group will consider possible fundraising.

Questions? Talk to Kristeen, Gerardo, Ray or Jeff Huget.

Spring Worship Topics

Here’s what’s coming up in the month ahead during worship!

May 19 – Reconciling Sunday
We commemorate the third anniversary of the church being a fully-inclusive community. Celebrate with us as we look to the future. This is our bilingual service for May!

May 26 – Conversion as a Continuing Experience
We often think that conversion to being a Christian is a one-time altar call, but more typically, conversion is a life-long journey. We’ll look at what our journeys are, and how we embrace our individual spiritual journeys.

June 2 – On earth as in Heaven
Our New Testament tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven, leaving the disciples to wonder what they are to do next. How can we understand this story faithfully (but not necessarily literally) as a call for us to be the church.

June 9 – Pentecost Sunday!
It’s appropriate for us to worship bilingually on this day when the Holy Spirit helped everyone to understand one another in one’s own tongue.

LGBTQ Youth Space

A New Partnership with the LGBTQ Youth Space – you can help!

Youth Space is an organization in our neighborhood that provides services to LGBTQIA youth, and we are working to establish a relationship with them. They need toiletries, and our Inclusion Team would like to invite everyone to bring items to the bin near our Welcome table outside the Sanctuary:

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Dry shampoo
  • Skin lotion

Holy Week 2019

Sunday, April 14: Palm Sunday with Procession
Bilingual Service 10:00am
Communion and Commitment Card Dedication

Thursday, April 18: Maundy Thursday
Bilingual dinner and service with St Paul’s UMC
7:00pm in the Atrium

Friday, April 19: Good Friday
“The Seven Last Words”/”Las Siete Palabras”
Bilingual service at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary

Sunday, April 21: Easter
Easter services in English and Spanish at 10:00am

Lenten Book Study

During the season of Lent, we’re going to study the book Short Stories by Jesus: the Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Amy Jill-Levine. This book by a Jewish scholar of New Testament and Jewish studies seeks to “un-domesticate” the parables of Jesus. This will go hand-in-hand with our Lenten worship theme of the Ways of the Kingdom because the parables are window into how Jesus taught the kingdom of God was like.

Here’s a review of the book!

Class will meet on Sundays at 11:30am following worship on these dates: March 24, March 31, April 14 and April 28. Sign up on the clipboard at church or contact us.

Lent: The Ways of the Kingdom

Our lenten series will focus on what Jesus came to bring about – a new rule by God in the form of new relationships and values. In this series, we will be looking at how God’s rule is different from that of the world: in the time of Jesus as he saw the Jewish faith twisted, and a Roman empire firmly in the camp of violence and retribution; and in our own day, as authoritarian regimes are finding a foothold in our world, and a church struggles with being inclusive and open to a hurting world.

March 6: Ashes To Go
Pastor Renée will be out on the corner of 5th and Santa Clara streets to offer ashes as part of the traditional beginning of the season of Lent. Times: 12noon–1:00pm and 5:00–6:00pm

March 10: Ash Sunday “The Way of Forgiveness”
Matthew 18:15-35 The Unforgiving Servant

March 17: “The Way of Enough”
The Rev. Renée Rico
Matthew 20:1-16 The Laborers in the Vineyard

March 24: “The Way of a Bigger Table”
The Rev. Renée Rico
Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Banquet

March 31: “The Way of Living into Possibility”
The Rev. Renée Rico
Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Talents

April 7: “The Way of Caring for the Least”
The Rev. Renée Rico
Matthew 25:31-46 When Did We See You?

April 14: Palm/Passion Sunday
Bilingual Service with Pastor Gerardo Vazquez
Matthew 21:1-17

April 17: Maundy Thursday Dinner

April 21: Easter Sunday
Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20

Special Services During the Advent Season

Longest Night Service

Monday, December 17, 7:00pm

Let us gather, just a few nights shy of the Longest Night of the year, in quiet song, peaceful prayer, and silent meditation. Not everyone feels all HO HO HO at Christmastime. For many of us, this season especially can bring melancholy, sadness, depression. By coming together in a thoughtful and meditative service that meets us where we are — not where everyone says we should be — we are reminded that God loves us and is with us no matter how we feel. Invite those in your life that might need this calm, but hopeful, service.

 

La Posada

Thursday, December 20

At 6:00pm we will gather at Wesley UMC for a light snack and presentation of prayer before we begin the walk to San Jose First at 6:30pm. The service at San Jose First will start at 7:00pm. After the service dinner will be provided by San Jose First. Wesley UMC will provide dessert.

Please join us as we celebrate this Latin American tradition.

 

Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24

Message: Into This World: Light in a Time of Darkness
Scripture: Luke 2:1-14, John 1:1-5

Come share in special music, carols, juBELLation choir, and candles as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. At this service we will be looking at how we are called to be the messengers of light. What might God be doing in us and with us to share light with those around us? Or it might be a season where we need others to help us see the light of God – how might we surround ourselves with those fellow journeyers who can walk with us in grace?

Advent Begins: Into This World

God does an unexpected thing – God sends a son into this world to show the world the joy, peace, hope, and love that God has for the world. In this story, we find the unexpected treasures of grace, connection with God, and light for our journeys in this world. Jesus comes as the long-expected savior, but he comes not as a king, but a humble one from a small town, a place where the forgotten gather, the margins of a world where the powerful will be upended and the lowly will find their recompense. In a time of transition for San Jose First UMC, what about this journey into this world provides guidance for our future? What hope/peace/joy/love/light is God birthing among us today?

December 2: First Sunday of Advent
Into This World: Hope in a Time of Despair
Matthew 24:36-44, Isaiah 2:1-15
God’s people are asked to hope when all the reality says that things can’t change, that things won’t change. God calls to us to live differently, to live as agents of hope against powers that say that the things are the way that they are.

December 9: Second Sunday of Advent / Bilingual Worship
Into This World: Peace in a Time of Unrest
Isaiah 11:1-10, Matthew 3:2-12
We will look at what it means to have shalom – that’s the Hebrew word that we translate as “peace.” It’s much more than a concept of living without war. A shalom community offers up an alternative vision to what the world offers– a place and rule of equity and concern for all people. This is a vision that is worth working for – a way of living that is deep and connected.

December 16: Third Sunday of Advent
Into This World: Joy in the Face of Cynicism
Luke 1:45b-55, Isaiah 35:1-10
In a time when those at the bottom seem to be in for more shaming by those who have too much wealth and power, the Word of God coming to look at, no, not just look at, but be with the lowly with favor is all the more important. What might the world look like if when we are low ourselves that we remind ourselves how beloved we are? And that we do it for our friends that are low as well?

December 23: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Into This World: Love in a Time of Apathy
Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:10-16
God does an amazing thing – God decides to come down to be with us in a humble, loving way. When hard times hit, we need to experience the love of God and avoid the dangers of becoming apathetic, without passion.

December 24: Christmas Eve at 8:00pm
Into This World: Light in a Time of Darkness
Luke 2:1-14, John 1:1-5
Special music, carols, juBELLation choir, and candles. At this service we will be looking at how we are called to be the messengers of light. What might God be doing in us and with us to share light with those around us? Or it might be a season where we need others to help us see the light of God – how might we surround ourselves with those fellow journeyers who can walk with us in grace?

A Bigger Table

We’re hoping everyone will participate in our next book study! It begins December 2nd and goes into the New Year,

No one likes to eat alone; to approach a table filled with people, only to be told that despite the open chairs there isn’t room for you. The rejection stings. It leaves a mark. Yet this is exactly what the church has been saying to far too many people for far too long: “You’re not welcome here. Find someplace else to sit.” How can we extend unconditional welcome and acceptance in a world increasingly marked by bigotry, fear, and exclusion?

Pastor John Pavlovitz invites readers to join him on the journey to find—or build—a church that is big enough for everyone. He speaks clearly into the heart of the issues the Christian community has been earnestly wrestling with: LGBT inclusion, gender equality, racial tensions, and global concerns. A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, Hopeful Spiritual Community asks if organized Christianity can find a new way of faithfully continuing the work Jesus began two thousand years ago, where everyone gets a seat. Pavlovitz shares moving personal stories and his careful observations as a pastor to set the table for a new, more loving conversation on these and other important matters of faith. He invites us to build the bigger table Jesus imagined, practicing radical hospitality, total authenticity, messy diversity, and agenda-free community.

We’re inviting everyone to read the book so you can part of the conversation, even if you don’t choose to participate in a study/discussion group.

Groups will meet:
Sundays, December 16 and 23, January 6 and 13 after worship
Wednesday, December 5, 12, and 19, and January 9 or 16. 

But if coming to a group is not your thing, we will be having posts in the Facebook group as well. Feel free to participate whether or not you are in a group!

In paperback, the book costs $12, and we’ll order one for you if you like. It’s also in Kindle format for less than $8.

Sign-up at the welcome table to let us know you want to read the book. Signing up doesn’t mean you commit to a study group, but it does mean you commit to reading the book. 

Living Faithfully in God’s Promises

God has made a covenant with the Israelites at Mount Sinai, providing instructions on the ways to live that bring life to all and promising to be with them. Joshua and Solomon remember God’s covenant and seek to serve God wisely. Their example helps others to live faithfully in God’s covenant as well. Living faithfully and trusting God creates opportunities to share God’s power with others, as Elisha did in healing Naaman. Yet, because of sin, it can be a struggle to live in the ways God desires. David reveals that we can often stray from God, making decisions that bring pain instead of life. Still, no matter what we do, God is always faithful, and always offers forgiveness and love.

October 21: Crossing Boundaries and God’s Promise
2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9
Nathan and King David

October 28: All Saint’s Sunday — The Promises of Living as Saints
John 11:32-44, Revelation 21: 1-6a

November 4: Healing for All
2 Kings 5:1-15a
Elisha Heals Naaman

November 11: Visions of Mercy, Justice, and Peace
Micah [1:3-5] 5:2-5a; 6:6-8

November 18: God’s Plans for Peace
Isaiah 36: 1-3, 13-20, 37:1-7

November 25: Jeremiah’s Call
Jeremiah 1:4-10, 7:1-11