Archive for Watsonville

Ash & Dash

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

Missing in-person worship?  Missing us?  Missing Communion together in the same room, and now Ash Wednesday?  We’ve got you covered!  We are working out the details to offer you “Ash and Dash” – a COVID safe, drive through option for our church members, friends and neighbors who love Ash Wednesday like we do, and want to start out Lent with a bang.  Wear a mask and stay in your car, and we’ll do the rest, with genuine ashes burned from last year’s palms, and a Lenten take away bag to begin your Lenten journey. 

We miss you too, and let’s do something positive about it!

Here’s why.  What Barbara Streisand sang is true, that, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world….”  Children instinctively know it, and we should remember it, too.  We need each other, and how.  Even in a pandemic; especially in a pandemic.  That’s what relationships are all about!  As Jesus says, “Children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.”  (Mark 10:15)  Oh, to have the perspective of a kid again.  We could learn a lot.     

In answer to the question, “When was our nation founded?”  One little boy wrote: “I didn’t even know it was losted!”  (James W. Moore)  Asked to describe the famous painting of Whistler’s mother, one student explained: “It shows a nice little lady sitting in a chair, waiting for the repairman to bring back her TV set!”  And then how about these interesting answers: “A horse divided against itself can’t stand”!  Or this one: “The death of Thomas Jefferson was a big turning point in his life!”

But here is my favorite: A little girl was asked to define the word “People,” and this is what she wrote: “People are composed of girls and boys and men and women.  Girls are nice.  Boys are no good until they are grown up and married.  My mother is a woman, which is a grown-up girl with children.  My father is so nice that I think he must have been a girl when he was a boy!”

Can I get an amen?!

People need people.  I need you and we need each other, at least, that’s one of the many reasons I belong to this church.  How appropriate that Ash Wednesday this February 17 marks the first step in our 40 day (plus Sundays) spiritual walk to Easter.  The question is, where do we find hope?  It’s all about strong, healthy relationships, beginning with Jesus of course, and on from there.  Believers like us know that being a Christian is a group effort. 

The forty plus days called Lent have changed over the centuries.  Traditionally, the experts tell us that Lent began as a time of purification and preparation.  Most people figure it’s a time to give something up and feel miserable, but we United Methodists don’t approach it quite that way.  Surprisingly, the word “Lent” originally meant “springtime,” and if you think about it, that implies a whole heap of possibilities: new perspectives, opportunities for growth, even change.  All good!

The only question is how to get there!  Won’t you join us in the journey? 

Shalom,

Pastora Robin

Join Partners in Caring on Feb 10!

Partners in Caring Virtual Gathering
Life Review – Reflecting and Making Meaning at End of Life
Wednesday, February 10, 12:00 – 1:00pm 
Life review is an important part of bringing one’s life to a close and a core aspect of spiritual care. Join us as we explore how faith leaders play a valuable role in this process.
Neil Vargas-Gladen, Lead Spiritual Care Counselor at Hospice of Santa Cruz County, will discuss how he uses life review and legacy in his work and will share tools for helping individuals at end of life to reflect and recognize the value and meaning of their experiences. The presentation will be followed by peer-to-peer discussion groups.
Please share this invitation with others who may be interested in attending including: clergy, lay leaders, and anyone who ministers to the aging or those with serious illness.
Warmly, 
Vanessa Silverstein
Education and Outreach Coordinator

My 2021 Pledge Survey // Encuesta de Mi Promesa Financiera de 2021

You can now submit your 2021 pledge online! Simply complete our survey using the following link, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RP2VZH2.
 
¡Ahora puede hacer su promesa financiera de 2021 en línea! Simplemente complete nuestra encuesta utilizando el siguiente enlace, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RP2VZH2

Virtual National Night Out Today!

Today is our Virtual National Night Out event! Please join us!

Starting at 3:00 pm all videos will be available on the City of Watsonville – City Gov’t, Watsonville Fire Department, Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL) and Watsonville Police Department Facebook pages! 

You’ll also have the opportunity to enter a raffle by participating in a short trivia quiz following the videos. The winner will be announced during a Facebook Live on Watsonville Police Department’s page on Friday, October 9th at 4:00 pm

Trivia Rules:

1. Must be a resident within the city of Watsonville limits.

2. 1 Submission per person in the household.

3. Must watch all safety videos.

4. Must answer all the questions in order to qualify.

¡Noche Nacional de Salir 2020 Ahora es Virtual!

A pesar de los muchos desafíos y obstáculos que todos hemos enfrentado este año, ¡todavía encontramos una manera de traer el evento a usted!
 
Únase a nosotros el martes, 6 de octubre para una serie de videos de seguridad pública presentados por la Policía de Watsonville (WPD) y el Departamento de Bomberos.
 
WPD le presentará su unidad de perros policía y cómo entrena para dar con los delincuentes, cómo la tecnología avanzada se utiliza para mantener a los oficiales seguros durante algunas de las situaciones más peligrosas y lo que los peatones y conductores deben saber.
 
También los llevaremos en un recorrido exclusivo de la estación 1 del Departamento de Bomberos de Watsonville y le daremos un vistazo a uno de los camiones más grandes de toda la ciudad. Los videos comenzarán a las 3pm y se publicarán cada media hora hasta las 6pm. Tendrán acceso a los videos en la página de Facebook de la Ciudad de Watsonville, el Departamento de Policía de Watsonville, el Departamento de Bomberos de Watsonville y Watsonville PAL.
 
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 p.m.
 
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.
 

“Safe Havens” Event // Evento de “Refugios Seguros”

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 10:00 am, ECR District United Methodist Women are hosting a Zoom online meeting, “Safe Havens: Encouraging Healthy Relationships at Home.” It is focused on women and children experiencing violence in the home. Please register online here, https://elcaminorealumw.org/havens-2020/
 
El sábado 26 de septiembre de 2020, a las 10:00 am, Las Mujeres Metodistas Unidas del Distrito de ECR organizarán una reunión en línea de Zoom, “Refugios seguros: fomento de relaciones saludables en el hogar”. Se centra en mujeres y niños que sufren violencia en el hogar. Regístrese en línea aquí, https://elcaminorealumw.org/havens-2020/
 

“This Is God’s Holy Ground”

“When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.  The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and [the Lord] brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”   Deuteronomy 26:6-9

The Old Testament of the Bible includes a book of law called Deuteronomy, which gives the history of our Christian faith and how we should live.  It includes the history of Jesus’ ancestors, the Jewish people, and how they suffered terribly.  The people of Israel were deported, taken into slavery, ultimately exiled, and roamed, lost in the desert. 

Dealing with the fires in this time of pandemic is making our lives, and the lives of many others, extremely challenging.  Some of us feel lost, too! 

This of course is why we need each other now more than ever.   It’s why these days we worship God virtually through our weekly Online Gatherings, and witness to God’s saving grace in whatever creative ways we can come up with.  It’s why Jesus makes all the difference, especially now.  Our lives include hard times, and we need help—holy help that is!  These Bible stories of faith give us courage to face these disasters.  In God’s love, we can begin to leave our pain and messed-up selves behind. 

No wonder this Scripture from Deuteronomy speaks to us.  We could use a land flowing with milk and honey about now!  Not in excess, but at least enough to get by and share with our neighbors.  Which brings us to our survey. 

Reopen Church Survey Results In! What Happens Next?

Thank you to the 50+ people who responded to our Reopen Church Survey about returning to in-person worship and programs.  Our leaders will be meeting to review the data, offer their feedback, and lay the groundwork for our next steps.  Here are a few highlights of our survey results:

  • We had survey respondents in every age category from Under 18 (11%) to 75+ (26%).
  • 100% of you who’ve worshiped with us online indicated that this experience has met or exceeded your expectations.
  • When we asked when you would feel comfortable coming back to in-person worship, 10% said “Immediately,” 6% said about now (August or September,) 52% ranged from later this year to April 2021, and 26% said longer than a year from now.
  • 64% who took the survey indicated they would not return to an in-person worship service until there was a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 becomes widely available.

This week, Governor Newsom announced that California has a new “Four Tier” blueprint for reducing COVID-19 with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities, as directed by the California Department of Public Health.  Our Bishop Minerva Carcaño has also confirmed that our Cal-Nevada Conference protocols for reopening are still in place, and all local church plans must be approved before implementation. 

We will adhere to these guidelines. 

In the meantime?  This is God’s holy ground, and God’s holy church.  And whether you realize it or not, we are God’s holy people.  All of us.  A broken, lost people, in need of redemption, and God’s help. 

We have much to be thankful for, even in this time of fires, evacuations, the pandemic, and other disasters.  We have each other.  And what about the riches of our lives?  What are we to do with our bounty?  Share it with others, that’s what!  Starting with the first fruits.  They go to God. 

This is the promise and affirmation of salvation.  This is what we mean by a land flowing with milk and honey.  You my friend are standing on holy ground.  Thank God! 

Shalom,

Pastora Robin

 

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!

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

 

Epiphany: Day of the Kings // Epifanía: El Día de los Reyes