Author Archive for pastorwfumc

Evacuation! God is My Rock and My Salvation Online Gathering

In light of the fires raging in California, we’re inviting you to join us for Evacuation! God is My Rock and My Salvation, Sunday, August 23, 2020, premiering at 10:00 am, and available thereafter at our Facebook and YouTube pages, as I tell the story of how I have been evacuated from my home. As the Scripture says: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from God comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2) The question is whether we really believe it.

River Fire, August 16, 2020

Do you want to help? Here are suggestions from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County:

If you’re in the Santa Cruz County area, you can:
1. GIVE SUPPLIES
Due to COVID-19 considerations, the County requests that all donations be in new condition. Please bring all donations to the Santa Cruz County General Services Warehouse at 1082 Emeline, Santa Cruz.

SHELTER ITEMS: Large, family-sized tents, Sleeping bags, sleeping pads, Blankets, Pillows, & Tarps
WATER AND SNACK ITEMS: Bottled water, Granola/energy bars, *Other food donations may be brought to Second Harvest Food Bank
PERSONAL ITEMS: Hand sanitizer, Personal hygiene products, Toiletries, Large plastic storage bins, Coloring books, crayons, *Clothing and other personal item donations please bring to the nearest Goodwill
HYGIENE SUPPLIES: Surgical masks, Empty spray bottles (for county-supplied bulk disinfectant)

2. DONATE TO THE FIRE RESPONSE FUND
Any donation size will help. Make an online donation to the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County here. 100% of donors’ gifts will be used for grant making. All donations are tax-deductible.

And if you’re in the area:
3. VOLUNTEER
Volunteer at a Fire Shelter in Watsonville, Santa Cruz or Soquel. Learn about opportunities through the Volunteer Center. Help pack and distribute food with Second Harvest.

I want to add something else. We definitely need your prayers to cope with this disaster. Please keep ’em coming!

I Will Not Let You Go! w/Communion Online Gathering

It’s time for communion and another Watsonville First Online Gathering on YouTube and Facebook, linked at this website. This week we’re focusing on Jacob wrestling through the night in Genesis 32:22-31, with the theme: “I Will Not Let You Go!” We’ve also got new special guests and surprises in store. Be sure to get your bread and juice ready–or whatever food you have at hand, so you can join in.

As the words for communion so aptly put it: “Among the living you made and called humankind imprinting upon us your image, to be bearers of your glory in the world.  Though we failed to shine, and hid your image within us, you continued to call us into fellowship with you and to fulfill your mission for us through prophets, scriptures, priests, and a people you redeemed for yourself.”
  
What are you wrestling with this week?  God’s calling!  How will we answer?  Let’s worship God together in the name of Jesus Christ! 

Out of Many, We Are One: Love LGBTQ+ Online Gathering with Rev. Tino Cordova

I agree with one United Methodist preacher who said that the question is not whether most of us will be sexual at least some time in our lives, but whether we will be faithfully and joyfully so. Isn’t it funny that when we talk about sex, we get so nervous? Maybe it’s hard for us to admit that God created us as sexual creatures in the first place. Yet, we’re alive aren’t we? Someone somewhere had to make it happen, and that generally has something to do with, you know it, sex!

Here at our Online Gathering, maybe it’s time we got real about sexuality, and that means accepting people of all types, including specifically LGBTQ+ folks—the way God made ‘em. And whether we feel comfortable talking about it or not, the rest of the world does, so I guess we’d better learn more about it.

It’s like the mom who very nervously sat down with her fourth grade daughter, and said, “Hon, don’t you think it’s time we had a talk about sex?” The little girl said, “Sure, Mom, what do you want to know?”

A research project by the Barna Group discussed in the book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith, by David Kinnaman, explores the reasons why regular church-going teenagers and young adults leave the church after age 15. And they do leave the church. The answers from the study are revealing. Reason #1, according to the kids, is that churches seem overprotective. Teenagers say Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year olds said, “Christians demonize everything outside of the church….”

And that includes them.

But that’s not all. Young Christians find church experiences related to sexuality simplistic and judgmental. As the researchers put it, “With unfettered access to digital pornography and immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness, teen and twentysomething Christians are struggling with how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality.” To become a genuinely welcoming congregation means we’ve got to do more than just sit on our laurels. It’s not just being open, but affirming. We need to share our faith and welcome folks in new, innovative and Christ-like ways. Plus, it’s not just them we’re talking about; it’s us too. Our church friends and members are more diverse and interesting than most of us even know.

Join us as we explore “Out of Many, We Are One: Love LGBTQ+” at our Online Gathering online at our YouTube and Facebook pages. This message is a discussion with my friend and colleague Rev. Floren“Tino” C. Cordova, Pastor, Iao United Church of Christ, Wailuku, Hawaii on the issue of love and LGBTQ+. I know you won’t want to miss it!

Peace with Justice Online Gathering with Chief David Honda

Dear Ones:

Chief Honda kneeling at protests in Watsonville, CA.

We are celebrating “Peace with Justice,” Sunday for our Online Gathering on both our Facebook and YouTube pages. It’s a timely subject. I say, let’s get real with our faith.

My message includes an exclusive interview with David Honda, Chief of the Watsonville Police Department.

We talk about the tragic death of George Floyd, police violence, peaceful protests vs. looting, defunding the police, taking a knee and more.

I hope you’ll join us.

Yours in Christ,
Pastora Robin

 

A Compass & Native American Ministries Sunday Online Gathering

Dear Ones:

We are excited to update you on our latest Online Gathering, slated to premiere this Sunday, April 26, at 10:00 am.  See the links on this website for easy access.  But I have a question first.  Do you have a compass? 

You know, one of those little dealies you might have used as a Boy or Girl Scout, to find your way around in the woods? 

These days, most of us don’t have an actual compass sitting around the house.  But there are plenty of ’em in the App store of your smartphone.  They’re free and easy to use, and they help us figure out the 4 directions: North, East, South and West.  

HINT: If you’d like to join me this Sunday, please use your compass to determine the directions at your home before we start.  There’s a special blessing in store for you, and you’ll be able to join right in.  

I’m also thinking maybe we need to make better use of our spiritual compass, too.   United Methodist Pastor Charley Reeb puts it this way: “A compass always points to magnetic north to help us travel in the right direction. The good news is Jesus gave us “true north” in his teachings. When we are lost and confused all we have to do is remember Jesus’ most important lesson and we can get on the right path again.”  That sounds good to me!

This week in our Online Gathering we celebrate Native American Ministries, one of the special offerings taken in United Methodist Churches to benefit Native people and their communities within our denomination.   But that’s not all.  My Native American friend Derrick Rainbow will be sharing a special prayer with us, too.  Plus, there’s beautiful music and messages brought to you by our Worship Team.  It’s definitely a group effort, and we hope you’ll come.  Can’t make it Sunday?  That’s okay too, as our Online Gatherings are posted on Facebook and YouTube, giving you plenty of time to find us.   See you soon!

Peace,

Pastora Robin

“It is time for humanity to reset our spiritual compass from self-centeredness to other-centeredness.” Bernice King

 

 

Second Harvest Food Giveaway Food for Families

Dear Ones:

Our church is part of an ongoing program where we normally distribute fresh food for families on the first Thursday of each month, in partnership with our local Second Harvest Food Bank.  (AR & Fred Pointer oversee this program for us!)  

However, back on April 2, the 35 families waiting in our back parking lot that day got nothing, because the food bank ran out of food!  To remedy this, Second Harvest has agreed to provide us with 70 bags of fresh produce TODAY April 23 at our church, for pickup by families at 4:30 pm.  Our Watsonville NETworX Coordinators led by Angelica Martinez are leading the effort, and safe distancing protocols will be in place.  We’re asking folks to please patiently wait in line in the back parking lot inside your vehicle, and groceries will be put in your trunk until we run out. 

Please let anyone know who is experiencing food shortage or financial difficulties about this.  If they’re unable to make it, the Food Bank will also be giving out food at the fairgrounds tomorrow (Friday, April 24) beginning at 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville.  

Thank you for your consideration and help, and please keep us and our community in your prayers!   

Blessings,

Pastora Robin

 

 

The Celebration Continues! Join us for our Earth Day Sunday Online Gathering

Dear Ones:

Writer Robert Frost once said, “The people I am most afraid of are the people who are scared.”  We know what happens when people act from a place of fear.  Just look at the world today—it’s scary!  Admittedly, there’s more than enough to be afraid of.  In a pandemic, anything can happen.  

The question is, how do we cope?  How can we keep on going when so many things we’ve always relied on seem to be falling apart before our very eyes?  To put it another way, how can believers like us face our fears?  How can we move towards peace and healing even in times like this?  And where oh where is our courage? 

That of course is where God comes in.  Whatever way you want to describe it—a Higher Power, Creator of the Universe, mysterious and Almighty Yahweh, or Holy Spirit—we believers know that the buck doesn’t stop with us.  We know deep in our hearts where we belong, and that is together.   That’s the only way I know to face our fears.

And you know what else?  Even now, we trust that God is here.  

This Sunday, our celebration continues!  Join us for our Earth Day Sunday Online Gathering on April 19th, premiering at 10:00 am.  You won’t want to miss it.  As always, it can be viewed later on our Facebook or YouTube pages–just search the name of the church: Watsonville First United Methodist.  To make it easier to find, just go to our website.  One click and you’re there!  

Plus, there’s one more “first” for us.  Our talented website developer has added a “Donate” button to our website.  When it’s time to give your tithes and offerings, we’re here to help.  Check it out online at our church website, below.  And see you soon!

Yours in Christ,

Pastora Robin

 

We’re Almost Ready for Our Easter Online Gathering April 12

Dear Ones:

We’re almost ready for our Easter Online Gathering, featuring our talented worship team and musical guests!

But that’s not all. Over the past two days, we’ve given away 65 lilies to local church families plus our Watsonville NETworX families, along with over 440 plastic Easter eggs, candies, and the written story of Easter for kids in English and Spanish, for those with children in the home.

This was one special Holy Saturday I can tell you!

Premiering at 10:00 am, all of our Sunday morning Online Gatherings can also be viewed later on our Facebook Page or YouTube. To make it easier to find them, both our Facebook and YouTube pages are now linked to this website! One click and you’re there. 

I can barely wait! See you then.

Yours in Christ,

Pastora Robin

Online Gathering Sunday

Now more than ever we need the love of God. Please join us on Sunday at 10 am for a special Online Gathering as we learn to worship God in a new and exciting way. Don’t miss it! 

Live Nativity 2019