Pastor Kate has a message in light of the events in Washington on Wednesday. And she invites you to join her in prayer for our nation and our leaders.
From Our Pastor
There is one week left to make your voice heard in the LGUMC congregational survey! As Pastor Kate said on Sunday, we really want to learn as much as possible about our people and the perspectives we bring to our fellowship.
If you haven’t already completed the survey, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGUMC1 by December 15.
If you have completed the survey, thanks!
Today I want to give you an update about life at LGUMC. It is an encouraging one. Even though we may be quite a way from being able to worship in person – it does not mean that things are staying the same. Our online worship experience continues to improve. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Greg Cook for all of his research into how we can provide the best possible experience. We now have three high qualities cameras in the sanctuary for live streaming. Bless Greg and Pam, who from day one have made sure that we were connected through our worship service.
On Sunday, thanks to Shelley, we had Messy Church for the first time since the pandemic hit. Ten children and six parents gathered for worship, crafts and socially distanced, masked fellowship. On Monday, Grace Pre-School resumed class – both online and in person. On Tuesday, Glenn Stansbury, the chair of Trustees who is working hard on our behalf, Doug Evans and I met with two representatives of the Los Gatos United Soccer League to talk about the details of the league returning to campus. Their protocols for return have been signed off on by our district superintendent, Rev. Samuel Hong. It was a great meeting and at the end, one of them asked, “now what can we do for Los Gatos UMC?” I love that! We are also anticipating the imminent return of the San Jose Youth Symphony, minus brass and woodwinds, in small ensembles. Their protocols have also been approved by Rev. Hong.
So, my friends, I pray that each of you can find something to be grateful for or hopeful about today. Today, I am deeply grateful to get to be here with you – and for palm trees. I will say more about palm trees at a later date. Let’s just say, that for a Midwestern kid, to get to see palm trees every day feels like the most exotic, thrilling thing! J
In ministry with you,
There was a time when I heard people “bragging” about how little sleep they got because of how busy they were and how hard they were working. (Mind you, these were not people who were having to work multiple jobs just to be able to survive.) I am not hearing that nearly as much anymore as we are seeing an increasing number of studies on the deleterious effects on our health, both physical and mental, if we do not get enough sleep.
An increasing number of you have told me that sleep has been elusive right now. There is so much to process as we have the confluence of COVID, fires, a Presidential election on top of the normal, everyday stresses and strains of life. It definitely can affect our sleep. And, there is something about the middle of the night that seems to amplify our fears, anxieties, and worries.
Our current sermon series is based on The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, which chronicles a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about joy. The author Douglas Abrams writes “I had once asked the Archbishop how he handled worry and insomnia, and he said that he thought about people all around the world who also were awake and unable to sleep. Thinking about others and remembering that he was not alone lessened his distress and his worries, as he would say a prayer for them.” I love this because when we pray for others, we find ourselves feeling less alone and more connected. This feels especially important in the middle of the night. I have my prayer list right by my bed. I know I find it comforting to start praying through it when I cannot sleep. For those of us who are having trouble sleeping, whether it be occasionally or chronically, this can keep us feeling more connected and help mitigate our sense of anxiety and isolation.
In ministry with you,
P.S. I am so looking forward to seeing you on our Coming Home to LGUMC on Sunday from 11-12:30. You will also be seeing Robbie, Marcelle, Shelley and some of your fellow church members. Please come with one thing you really want me to know about you and one hope/dream for the congregation. (See details in the Spire).
In a “normal” time, September 13 would be what has traditionally been called “Rally Sunday.” It would be a celebratory time where Sunday school resumes, the choir returns, and we gather back together after a summer of travel and lighter programming. Needless to say, this is not a normal time. However, I wanted to have something celebratory on this day, nonetheless.
On September 13 from 11AM–12:30PM, we will have an opportunity for you, from the safety of your cars, to receive communion (prepackaged), have a chance to tell me in a sentence or two what you would most want me to know about you and share a hope/dream for the congregation; be greeted by some of your fellow church members, Robbie, our Youth Director, and Marcelle, our Director of Visitation; be a part of Messy Church (11AM-12:15PM, in the courtyard) if you have children or grandchildren; light a candle at a prayer station – and come “home” to the church campus. We are inviting you to come in intervals of 15 minutes, based on where your name is in the alphabet: 11AM – A-B; 11:15AM – C-E; 11:30AM – F-H; 11:45AM – I-M; 12PM – N-R; 12:15PM – S-Z. If these times do not work for you – no worries. Come when works best. We are hoping the staggered times will at least mitigate any congestion a bit.
In addition, as a way of embodying Jesus’ parable of caring for those who are most vulnerable where he said, “I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you have done it for me,” we will be taking a collection for the San Jose Family Shelter. Through our offering, we will be supporting the vital services of the shelter that is the only shelter in Santa Clara County for homeless families. In addition to providing emergency shelter and food, they help the families work on a plan to become self-sufficient. If you cannot come on September 13, you can always go directly to the website to donate:https://familysupportivehousing.org.
I am looking forward to an opportunity to welcome you “home” to church on September 13. I continue to pray for you and to thank God for the opportunity to walk with you this year!
Grace and peace,
We’re starting a new series called Catch Up Wednesdays where one of the ministry teams will catch everybody up on what’s been happening behind the scenes the past several months.
Conversations with Pastor Kate is an opportunity for her to get to know you better and learn what matters most to you about LGUMC.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee would like to invite you to a time of conversation with Pastor Kate. The conversation groups will last for 45 minutes, will be no larger than six individuals, socially distanced, masked, in the shade and outside on the church campus. You can use the link below to register on eventbrite or let the office know and we can register you and can keep a safe group size.
- Thursday September 2, 10-10:45, 11-11:45, 1-1:45
- Saturday September 5, 10-10:45, 11-11:45
- Sunday September 6, 11:15-Noon, 1-1:45
- Tuesday September 8, 10-10:45, 11- 11:45, 1-1:45
- Wednesday September 9, 10-10:45, 11-11:45, 1-1:45
- Saturday September 12, 10-10:45, 11-11:45
If you would prefer to be part of a Zoom group, that can be an option as well. Just let the office know.
Today I find myself with students, their parents and teachers very much on my heart. I have listened to my wonderful next-door neighbors, with a kindergartener and a third grader, trying to make school work at home for their kids, while working as nurses at El Camino Hospital. I listened last night in Guadalupe Oak Grove Park to a freshman in college at Chico State, who has only two teachers out of six teaching by Zoom, the rest just posting assignments. I have listened to several teachers share the challenges of mastering the technology and the sadness of not getting to be in person with their students. Everyone is trying to make the best of a hard and stressful situation.
Last year at this time, I was anticipating my new “gig” as a volunteer in reading and math in a kindergarten classroom in Albany, Oregon. I was delighted to get to be “Miss Kate,” not “Rev. Kate.” Too many of the five and six-year-old children in my classroom were food insecure and at risk for neglect or abuse. School was a safety net for these things. I am grieving for those little ones who are now still at home while entering first grade.
May we all be praying daily for the kids, parents, teachers and administrators in our congregation and community who are struggling with the pandemic “normal.” May we pray especially for those children and youth who are most at risk.