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Willow Weekly - January 11, 2018


The mission of the United Methodist Church
is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

  We are . . . God's family growing

  through caring, sharing and serving.

January 11, 2018 

from Pastor Rebecca

YOU ARE BELOVED is the message that the world needs to hear this year. During the season of Epiphany that runs until Ash Wednesday (which falls on Valentine's Day this year!) we will focus on the good news that outshines the bad news. Just think how our world would change for the better if each and every person knew how precious they are in God's sight. Why is that message so hard to drive home, even for people who have been raised hearing it? We just have to keep repeating it.

That is also the message that we will be sharing with the Village House women when we open our doors to our guest house on February 7th. It's time to start signing up, so go to www.shelter.wgumc.org and get started. If you need help, email or call me. We have made several changes to make the shelter more doable this year. With designated funds, we are hiring overnight help, a part-time volunteer coordinator, and consolidating the check-in at Woodhaven to reduce the number of volunteers that we need to staff each day. We are also planning to have the women do most of their laundry. And we are reaching out to St. Paul's UMC, Stone Church, the Church of Latter Day Saints and others for assistance. Start asking your neighbors and enlist friends in other service or community organizations. We especially need women who can do a four-hour night shift and people who can come early in the morning to help the women get up and get breakfast. We also need morning drivers and meal providers. Everyone except those who are doing laundry and meals will need to get a background check and can get instructions by going to the church website and click on Ministries, then Volunteers.

Please plan to come to church on January 21st to welcome new members during worship and coffee hour. We will also be holding a brief Church Council meeting to set the agenda and meeting dates for the coming year.

One of our first Church Council discussions will be our financial situation. At our Finance meeting we got a better look at where we ended 2017. Even though we started the year with some extra cash and a reserve fund and even though we cut our payroll significantly mid-year when we hired Susan as our preschool director, the records show that we ended the year about $21,000 in the hole. That is not the news I wanted to hear, but it is a reality that we are going to have to grapple with this year. As a church we are going to need to look at the fact that we are becoming a younger congregation of families with less disposable income and what that means for us going forward. On top of that, now that our renovation debt is paid, we are being held to account for our full apportionment payment to the Annual Conference (10% of our operating income, with a few exceptions). In practical terms that means no pastoral salary increases will be approved unless we are paying the full tithe. One of the actions that I may ask you to consider this year would be a vote to decrease my salary to help close the budget deficit. I am willing try just about anything and everything to get the church in a better financial position by this time next year, and I need your help. This is going to be a challenging year for everyone, considering the tax changes that are coming, but I know that this church has always risen to the challenge and that all the love that God has given us and that we have shared with one another will not go to waste but will continue to sustain and strengthen our faith and our commitment to God's purposes here in Willow Glen. I look forward to seeing the miracle that God is going to do through you.

Speaking of Ash Wednesday, I am thinking about a theme for Lent and interested in the concept of spiritual pilgrimage. I would love to hear from any of you who have been on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land or other holy sites and would be willing to share your experiences with the congregation. During the season of Lent, I would like to schedule some day pilgrimages to places around the Bay Area. If you would be interested in going, please let me know if a mid-week trip is a possibility for you or if it would need to be on a Saturday.

Human Relations Day
This Sunday, January 14th  

United Methodists celebrate Human Relations Day (HRD) on the Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. 

HRD encourages us to recognize the rights of all God's children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with one another.

This special offering benefits neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and work with at-risk teens through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

    For more Info see:  UMC Human Relations Day


Tomorrow, Friday January 12

Crosswalk will be heading into the kitchen to prepare a meal (or two) for the homeless shelter. The kids decided to serve orange chicken and other Asian favorites at the shelter, so they'll prep the chicken, make some fried rice, waffles and cookies (and make a snack for themselves, too!) This is a great chance to have some fun in the kitchen and share (most of) the results with others.
E-mail Pastor Susan ( ) to ask any questions, let her know you are coming, or just say "hi!"

Parents: We'll need a couple of extra parents to help supervise the cooking this month. Who's in?

Update from the JYM
NO YOUTH GROUP on Sunday, January 14th. 
Come on Monday the 15th:
Viewing of the Documentary "13th" on MLK Jr. Day
Jan. 15th, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Lunch provided
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day we want to honor the civil rights activist by engaging in education and discussion.  We will be viewing the Netflix documentary 13th which is "
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality."
We will view the documentary, break for lunch, and have some discussion/debriefing.
Students can earn 2 hours of JYM Scholarship hours for attending.
Please RSVP so we can plan for space and food accordingly.

JYM Logo
Read the latest news, see pictures and updates from Joint Youth Ministry - the 6th-12th grade program with youth from WGUMC, Almaden Hills UMC, and Cambrian Park UMC. Click on this link to read all about it: JYM Email Update
Join the Thursday Morning Bible Study!

Thursday January 18th

On January 18th, the 8:00am Thursday Bible Study group will be starting a new DVD series.
ALL interested are welcome to attend.
The DVD series is entitled "The Darwinian Revolution" by Professor Frederick Gregory, professor of History of Science at the University of Florida.  He holds an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, a seminary degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.  The course explores how scientists and religious leaders have reacted to Darwin's ideas. 
His position is that the modern-day controversy if often dominated by the extremes of those who want God at the center of scientific explanations and those who won't countenance any suggestion of a deity's intervention.  "It gets polarized and ends in a shouting match."  He explains "Most people just want to be modern and think that takes care of it.  They say they want to be Darwinists and Christians at the same time.  That's not easily done."
Questions?  Contact Jerry at 
Village House Shelter at WGUMC - February 2018
Volunteer Opportunities
It's not too soon to start thinking about helping out with the shelter for 2018 -  
we are in the rotation earlier this next year - we will host 15-18 medically-fragile women from February 7th through March 7th.

There is a role for everyone in making our guests welcome.
The opportunities are for all ages and levels of assistance to help
both during the day, and in the evening - with Hospitality and Supervision,
Meal Prep & Service, or Laundry/Cleaning.
Find out more and sign up online at shelter.wgumc.org
Family Game Night is Coming up Again -
Friday, January 26; 6-9 pm

Family Game Night is just what it sounds like... a chance to turn off the screens, step away from the ordinary and join other families for some simple fun.

Join us twice a month (first Tuesdays and last Fridays) for family game night at Woodhaven! We'll bring out our favorite board games and find some new ones. We'll have time to connect with one another and deepen friendships as we play.

Bring dinner for your family, or a dish to share, or eat before you come. Drop in for part of the time or come play for all of it. This a casual time for friends and fun.

The Choral Project
Concert: Bernstein at 100
February 10-11, 2018

The Choral Project (who rehearse at WGUMC) joins the worldwide centennial celebration of the life and music of America's own Renaissance man, Leonard Bernstein. 
This celebratory performance includes Bernstein's most famous choral work, Chichester Psalms, featuring world-class organist Angela Kraft Cross, virtuoso harpist Dan Levitan, percussion, and boy soprano Nick McKee (Ragazzi Boys Chorus). 
Additional repertoire includes choral music from Lillian Hellman's play The Lark, a sublime arrangement of "Somewhere" from West Side Story, and several solo and chorus selections from Bernstein's comic operetta, Candide.
You are invited to join what will be an exceptional evening of choral music at
Mission Santa Clara de Asis on the Santa Clara University campus, and
Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz.
Mission Santa Clara, Santa Clara
Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz 
$10-$25       Purchase Tickets HERE
Choral Project VISION: To heal and transform through music and words. 
At the heart of its vision and mission, The Choral Project aims to educate young singers and expand awareness and appreciation of choral arts.
Give Thanks to our Body Builders! 
Each week volunteers bring snacks for our joyful consumption during coffee fellowship after service.  Please give them thanks! 
January 14 - Jowana Coa
January 21 - Please volunteer!

Faith Development Opportunities -

Monday       Christian Meditation - 12:30pm (Woodhaven)

Tuesday       Women's Prayer & Study Group - 9:30am (Library)
Wednesday  Women's Early Bible Study (WEBS) - 7:15am
                    (LeBoulanger on Lincoln Ave.)

Thursday     Bible Study for ALL - 8:00am (Library)
                    ** New Study Begins January 18th **
Bulletin Board of Events, Information

Do you look at the bulletin Board(s) in the Hallway of the Offices when you go to Fellowship after services?  The board is regularly updated with new items; some list events happening elsewhere in the conference or in the neighborhood that would be of interest to all.  Stop by and take a look! 
Events are also listed on our glassed-in board in front facing Newport Avenue for our neighbors to see and join us.

If you have events and information that should be on the board, or the bulletin announcments, or here on the weekly email, send all the details to  


Friendly Reminders