Archive for Primera Iglesia Metodista

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 . . . An Advent of Love


“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” ~~~Matthew 1:23 NRSV

God is with us.

Before we even knew God, God was there.

Throughout our past struggles and successes, God was there.

In our current stresses and anxieties, God is there.

As we deal with isolation and loneliness, God is there.

While we take steps forward from this place, God will be there.

Onward into life eternal in the presence of God, God will be there.

“Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”

God is with us.

Prayer for Advent (adapted from Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.): God of Loving Light, guide me into giving the gift of your light this season…and in the seasons to come!  Amen.

Gabe H., Aptos United Methodist Church

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 . . . An Advent of Joy

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward (all the earth).” ~~~ Luke 2:13-14

I always loved the angels in our church tableau every Christmas Eve. My brother was the angel Gabriel and he looked so handsome up there on the highest step, for all to see. The angels seemed so beautiful and majestic, a precursor to the birth of the baby Jesus. What a glorious message and witnessed by the most humble of men, so that we could believe it was for all of us.

As a little girl, I felt this was the grandest story, a special night to hear a story of love and glory, the birth of a king, who would bring peace on earth. We forget the message, when we have commercialized the Christmas season, but I remember the awesome feeling of magic and spirit of that night. It is still the most beautiful message and I feel the angels around us think so, too!

Prayer for Advent Joy (adapted from Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.): God of the season, help me to slow down enough to listen for the way Emmanuel is revealed in my life. Amen.

Sarah Lampland, United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 . . . An Advent of Joy

O satisfy us in the morning with thy loving kindness

That we may rejoice and be glad in all our days.

Make us glad according to the days wherein we have been afflicted

And the years we have seen evil.  ~~~(a version of Psalm 93) 

I read this verse daily. I learned this ritual at a friend’s memorial service and remember his practicing to be a more spiritual person. During Advent these words remind me to be hopeful and to be in service, bringing my gifts to share to offer light and hope, knowing that all of us together can change the world.

This can be a time of reflection and contemplation concerning my beliefs about service and whether or not I follow them in my daily life.

My Swedish Dala horse reminds me of the Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day; the bringing light to the world and remembering the Saint who shared her beliefs and her service to the Swedish people, helping to bring them food in a time of need.

I was one of the girls who performed this ritual at the Swedish Lodge. 

We wore white dresses, and the older girl wore a crown of greenery and lighted candles.

We sang a Swedish song about Santa Lucia and served cookies to the people.

Prayer for Advent Joy (adapted from Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.):  In this season, O God, help me to refill the oil in my inner lamp by seeking to trust more deeply in you. Amen.

Diane C., United Methodist Church, Santa Cruz

¡Noche Nacional de Salir Virtual Hoy!

¡Hoy es nuestro evento Virtual de Noche Nacional de Salir! ¡Por favor acompañenos!

A partir de las 3:00 pm, todos los videos estarán disponibles en las páginas de Facebook de la Ciudad de Watsonville: Gobierno de la Ciudad, Departamento de Bomberos de Watsonville, Liga de Actividades de la Policía de Watsonville (PAL) y el Departamento de Policía de Watsonville.

También tendrá la oportunidad de participar en un sorteo, en el que tendrá que llenar un breve cuestionario de trivia después de los videos. El ganador será anunciado durante un Facebook Live en la página del Departamento de Policía de Watsonville el viernes 9 de octubre a las 4:00 pm.

Reglas de Trivia:

1. Debe ser un residente dentro de los límites de la ciudad de Watsonville.

2. Solamente una (1) entrada de rifa por hogar.

3. Debe ver todos los vídeos de seguridad.

4. Debe responder a todas las preguntas para calificar.

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! 

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

 

 

COMMUNITY DRIVE-THRU FOOD DISTRIBUTION! // DISTRIBUCIÓN COMUNITARIA DE COMIDA!

COMMUNITY DRIVE-THRU FOOD DISTRIBUTION!
We are having a special Food for Families drive-thru food distribution TOMORROW (Thursday, April 23, 2020) at the Watsonville First United Methodist Church back parking lots, 229 Stanford Street, Watsonville, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Please patiently wait in line inside your vehicle and groceries will be put in your trunk. Blessings!

DISTRIBUCIÓN COMUNITARIA DE COMIDA!
Tendremos una distribución de alimentos para familias MAÑANA (jueves, abril 23, 2020) en los estacionamientos traseros de la Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida de Watsonville, 229 Stanford Street, Watsonville, de 4:30 pm a 6:00 pm. Espere pacientemente en la fila dentro de su vehículo y se colocarán los alimentos en su cajuela. Bendiciones!

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 Gatherings // Reuniones en Línea

Eleven Tips for Responding to Children’s Fears and Concerns Following a Disaster

https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/eleven-tips-for-responding-to-childrens-fears-and-concerns-following-a-disa

  • Parents, teachers and caregivers are the key to helping children work through their feelings following a disaster.
  • Pray with children for the victims of the disaster. Simple prayers, like: Dear God, help and bless the people who lived through the storm. Guard them all with your care. Amen.
  • Discuss openly with children what your family and church are doing to help those who have been hurt by the disaster.
  • Limit trauma by protecting children from ongoing media images of the disaster that may only contribute to fear and helplessness. Limit exposure to continuing news stories and hold adult conversations only when children are not present.
  • Reassure children as you listen to their fears. Children experience the same feelings as adults, so it is important and reasonable to validate their feelings while keeping a positive future orientation.
  • Contact organizations in your area that address the needs of children.
  • Provide structure through routine and activity. Routines and activities help regain a sense of control when all else feels out of control.
  • Make objects that encourage play reenactment of the images children observe during and after a disaster.
  • Let children draw pictures or journal about the disaster. Ask children to draw or write whatever comes to their minds, or give them a question or topic to draw about. Create a group mural or collage that illustrates the images children have seen. Follow up with a discussion with a parent or small group.
  • Group discussions are helpful for validating children’s feelings about the images they see or the conversations they hear about the disaster. Most importantly, end the discussion on a positive note by assuring children of God’s love. Scripture, like “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” from Psalm 46 is one example of scripture that can bring children comfort.
  • Develop a family disaster plan for the types of natural disasters that may happen in your area. Role-play some possible situations. Knowing that you are prepared will help children cope with fears that they may find themselves separated from family in the event of a disaster.
  • Do good. Doing good for others help children overcome the sense of powerlessness. For example, let children help purchase and assemble health kits, layettes or flood buckets. See UMCOR.org for information on how to assemble kits.