Archive for Church Events

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?

Celebrating Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead, is a tradition and cultural celebration. In Mexico and other Latin countries, it’s a time when families honor their relatives who have passed away. They make an altar and put flowers, pictures, religious objects and favorite foods the relatives liked. Day of the Dead is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans happily and lovingly remember their loved relatives that have died.

San Jose First is recognizing and celebrating The Day of the Dead with two special events:

Movie Night: “Coco”
Saturday, October 27, 7:00pm
All ages are welcome to this FREE screening of the heartwarming and family-friendly movie “Coco.” Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Día de los Muertos Service
Friday, November 2, 7:00pm in our Sanctuary
All are welcome!

 

After-Party Pride Dinner

San Jose First has planned a LGBTQ Welcome Dinner on Sunday, August 26th at 7:00pm, after the San Jose Pride Festival. The dinner is free, food will be provided by Stanford University cafeteria. All are welcome! Please RSVP to Pastor Gerardo (408-854-3013 / gerardov@sanjosefirst.org) if you will be able to attend. I hope to see many of you there.

La Primera Iglesia Metodista de San Jose. que se ubica en la esquina de la calle 5 y Santa Clara. Tiene planeada una Cena despues d de la fiesta gay pride LGBTQ Domingo 26 de Agosto a las 7:00 pm. La cena es gratis y donada por la cafeteria de la Universidad de Stanford si quieres asistir llama al Pastor Gerardo al 408 854-3013. gerardov@sanjosefirst.org para que te registres y esperamos mirar a muchos de ustedes a qui.

Details on the Pride Parade & Festival
San Jose First will join several other United Methodist congregations in walking in the San Jose Pride Parade in downtown San Jose on Sunday, August 26. We will also take turns staffing a booth at the Pride Festival that afternoon. The parade is 10-noon, and the festival is 12-6. If you would like to participate in the parade or take a shift staffing a booth at the festival, please contact Melissa Diaz at mstevensondiaz@outlook.com

Spring Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Pentecost Jazz Sunday Service!

Sunday, May 20, 10:00AM

Our service will be swinging as we celebrate the Christian Holy Day of Pentecost with a jazz ensemble, led by our very able Kirk Tamura! We’ll celebrate the birthday of the Church, the giving of the Holy Spirit, and our call to cross cultural divides in the name of Jesus. Invite your friends!

 

City Circuit 1st Annual Picnic

Saturday, June 2, 2:30-6:00pm
Emma Prusch Park, Rose Garden section

The eight churches in the City Circuit are gathering together to enjoy a day of old-fashioned fun, games, food and meeting new and old friends.

The committee will provide BBQ hot dogs and hamburgers and all the fixings, plus lemonade and iced tea. We are asking everyone to bring a simple potluck dish to share.

 

Community Meeting with Ed Garcia, San Jose Chief of Police

Thursday, June 7, 7:00pm
San Jose First UMC

Our latino members have expressed concerns about gangs and their affect on the children in our neighborhood. We’ve invited Ed Garcia, the SJ Chief of Police, to attend one of our Thursday evening dinners to build bridges with the police department and for us to learn how to partner with the police. Chief Garcia was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and speaks Spanish.

Church Work Day: Volunteers Needed

On Saturday, April 14, we’re having a workday to bring the pieces of the old pipe organ down from the attic, and into the multi-purpose room. We need strong hands, and at least a few people who are willing to go up and down attic stairs. We’ll start at 9:00. Lunch will be provided.

La Posada

Posadas are an important part of Mexican Christmas traditions. These community celebrations take place on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th. The word posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, and in this tradition, Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay is re-enacted. 

Posadas are held in neighborhoods across Mexico and are also becoming popular in the United States.

The celebration begins with a procession in which the participants hold candles and sing Christmas carols. Sometimes there will be individuals who play the parts of Mary and Joseph who lead the way, or occasionally images representing them are carried. The procession will make its way to a particular home (a different one each night), where a special song (La Cancion Para Pedir Posada) is sung.

Asking for Shelter

There are two parts to the traditional posada song. Those outside the house sing the part of Joseph asking for shelter and the family inside responds singing the part of the innkeeper saying that there is no room. The song switches back and forth a few times until finally the innkeeper decides to let them in. The hosts open the door and everyone goes inside.

Celebration

Once inside the house there is a celebration which can vary from a very big fancy party to a small get-together among friends. Often the festivities begin with a short Bible reading and prayer. Then the hosts give the guests food, usually tamales and a hot drink such as ponche or atole. Then the guests break piñatas and the children are given candy.

The nine nights of posadas leading up to Christmas are said to represent the nine months that Jesus spent in Mary’s womb, or alternatively, to represent the nine days’ journey to Bethlehem.

Our Posada celebration will not be for nine days, but for just one evening on Thursday, December 21. We are inviting the Wesley UMC Church to participate in this beautiful celebration in order to contribute to a more unified community in the heart of downtown San José.

We will start the festivities at 6:00 P.M. at the Wesley UMC Church, located at 566 North 5th Street, in a procession with candles. We will sing Christmas carols during our walk to San José First UMC, where we will perform our beautiful tradition for the third year in a row. Everyone in our Methodist congregations are invited, as well as all the people in the downtown neighborhood.

Participants will experience the Mexican representation of Christmas with its traditional costumes, Biblical readings, and songs. And finally, everyone is invited to enjoy a dinner cooked by Gerardo—authentic Mexican Pozole—accompanied by coffee, tea, and water. If anyone one wants to bring something for dessert or a dish to share, they are welcome to do so. We thank you and hope to see you on December 21st.

Attend and have fun!

— Gerardo Vazquez-Padilla

Do Not Be Afraid: Living a WholeHearted Life

We’re planning reflection groups based on what we heard at the listening sessions, and you’re invited!

Do Not Be Afraid: Living a WholeHearted Life

5 Week Small Groups in December and January

Gathering for discussions, reflection and prayer considering how to live fully into hope, peace, joy and love.

Each session: 1 hour and 15 minutes
To be held at the church or perhaps, someone’s home or community room

Two groups:
one led by Pastor Renée
and one, by Pastor Kristie

Sign-up here

Día de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos is a tradition and cultural celebration.

In Mexico and other Latin countries these events happen on November 2. It’s the time the families honor their relatives who have passed away. They make an altar for themselves and they put flowers, pictures, religious objects and favorite foods the relatives liked. It is a sad day for them. This is very special ritual since it is the day in which the living remember their departed relatives. Sometimes, when people of other cultures hear for the first time about the celebration of the Day of the Dead, they mistakenly think it must be: gruesome, terrifying, scary, ugly, and sad. Nothing is further from the truth. Day of the Dead is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans happily and lovingly remember their loved relatives that have died. Much like when we go to a graveyard to leave some lovely flowers on a tomb of a relative.

I give thanks to the church for opening the doors for other cultures, to find a place to grieve and honor their families. Please welcome them and enjoy the time together with them. This is the time to introduce our church and the American culture to them. If you want to participate please feel free to do so. If you have questions, please feel free to ask me.

There will be light refreshments after the service.

—Gerardo Vazquez
gerardov@sanjosefirst.org
408-854-3013

October Upcoming Events

Listening Gatherings with Renée and Kristie

As part of our process of getting to know the community of San Jose First, we are scheduling some small group listening sessions. These session are designed for us to hear you – the stories of what makes this place a faithful community, your stories of involvement, and what values are important to you. We’ll have snacks and refreshments, and we will be doing these with an attitude of joy and play. Come join us – we’d love for you to sign-up ahead, but if you can’t, just come.

Times and Dates
Sunday, October 15, 11:30am–1:00pm
Thursday, October 19, 9:30–11:00am
Sunday, October 22, 11:30am–1:00pm

 

RunRockNRoll means road closures Sunday, October 8th – Plan ahead!

Be aware that due to this run, several streets will be closed downtown this Sunday. For the map and roads closed, go to: http://www.runrocknroll.com/san-jose/the-races/road-closures/

 

New Member’s Class – Sunday, October 29

Renée is looking to hold a new member’s class, and is thinking of Sunday, October 29th beginning at 11:30am at the church. Lunch would be included. This class is for anyone wanting to explore membership at join San Jose First. Email Renée to let her know if this date works.

 

Day of the Dead Service – Thursday, November 2 at 7:00pm

San Jose First will be hosting a Day of the Dead service. This service is for prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died. Doors open at 6:00pm. You are invited to bring photos of friends or family members who have passed, candles and flowers to create a mini-altar. There will be a party/reception following the service.

Service of Installation for Rev. Shinya Goto

This last July, our former senior pastor, Rev. Shinya Goto, was appointed as the new District Superintendent of the El Camino District (our district). Since then, Pastor Shinya has been working diligently getting acclimated to this new job, planning charge conferences, and getting to know the church communities in the district. Now, we also have a job! As his new district, we are called to have a Service of Installation, beginning his tenure among us with worship and good wishes.

You are invited to Shinya’s Service of Installation on Sunday, September 17th at 2pm, held at Los Altos United Methodist Church. A reception will follow. All are welcome! We hope you will be able to share this time of welcome and worship.

Los Altos UMC is located at 655 Magdalena Ave, Los Altos 94024, at the corner of Foothill Expressway and Magdalena Avenue.