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.

Meet our new transitional pastor, the Rev. Renée Rico

Dear Members and Friends of San Jose First,

This is my first week with all of you as your new transitional pastor. The boxes arrived last week, and so far I’m about half-way through unpacking in the office. I’ve met some but not all of the staff here, last night I met with the VLT, and I’ll be leading worship and preaching this Sunday. Please come this Sunday if you are in town as we start this new chapter together!

I know that your tradition does not typically use interim or transitional pastors, so I would guess there are at least a few questions about my role with all of you through next June. Let me give you some idea of what I am about as a transitional leader.

1. Pastor.  I am around to do the usual things that pastors do – preach, teach, visit the sick, coordinate staff and committees. I am your pastor during this time, and do all of the regular pastor-like things – from baptisms to weddings to visiting folks in the hospital.

2. Consultant.  Particularly when I first arrive, I am new enough to ask the question, “Why do you do it that way?”  I see things from an outsider’s point of view, and can give some ways of looking at the congregation that might not have been considered.  We will look at a variety of things in the church in the coming months, and together ponder questions like: Who are we as a people of God? Who are our neighbors? What is God calling us to be and do?

3. Coach.  As we identify the work that is being considered for our time together, I play the role of a coach in helping staff, committees and other groups.

4. Transformational Leader. As I play the above roles, I will asking the question of us all, “How might we more fully become the people of God here and now?”

Of course, this time, I am not alone in this work – as we also have the Rev. Kristie Olah also working at 1/8th time during this period. Kristie and I are working out exactly how we will do this work together, but I am confident that she and I will be good partners during this transitional time.

One thing I want to be really clear about – we work in partnership on all of these areas. This will not be Kristie and I telling all of you what you should be doing. First, that would be highly presumptuous of us to do, and second, I am confident that by doing spiritual work to align our hearts with God, we can be led by the Spirit into fruitful ways of living as disciples of Christ.

Finally, I come to you as someone from the Presbyterian tradition who has great respect for the Methodist ways. I served two years ago as the interim pastor at First UMC Vallejo, and in that process learned that we are cousins in the greater tradition of Christ. I celebrate with you and will encourage you to live more deeply into the ways that your tradition offers.

My planned schedule for now is to work Sunday through Thursday, with my day off on Friday. I haven’t figured out yet exactly what my office vs. outside time will be. But to reach me, you can call 408-294-7254 ext. 201 or contact me via email at rrico@aol.com.

Friends, I look forward to our work together!

Blessings and light,

Renée Rico

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.

Silicon Valley Pride Parade & Festival

Sunday, August 27, in downtown San Jose

The South Bay Reconciling United Methodist Churches invite everyone to the Silicon Valley Pride Parade and Festival in downtown San Jose on Sunday, August 27th. The parade begins at 10am. Meet up at St. John and Market Streets at 9:30am to march together.

Right after the parade, there will be a short worship service planned by Rev. Samantha Lewis from Los Altos UMC and Alyss Swanson from Campbell UMC.

The festival begins at 12 noon at the end of the parade route at Caesar Chavez Park (on Market in front of the Fairmont Hotel). 

Weekly Spanish-English Conversation Group

Tuesdays from 7–8pm

The Spanish Conversation Group is a mixture of English, Spanish, and bilingual speakers. For the first 30 minutes, we speak to each other in only Spanish; for the second 30 minutes we speak to each other in only English. Come practice the language you are trying to learn!