November 10, 2013

Pastoral Letter

Greetings one and all,

In this morning's worship guide, I would like to highlight two (more!) exciting places that the Holy Spirit is moving among us. It all started this past summer when 24 Los Altos UMC youth and adults participated in a 9-day mission experience called Sierra Service Project (SSP). We travelled to the California-Oregon border and spent many hours repairing homes and renovating civic projects such as the local salmon hatchery. While we were there, we learned a lot about one another, and many of us learned that LAUMC has a lot of creative talent(s), and that part of our spiritual journey is most fully expressed in artistic endeavors. So, one of our youth suggested we use a little space on our church campus to host an occasional art gallery. We are working on that now, and we would like to invite you to consider sharing your talents in the gallery. We have a simple form for "artists" to fill out, and that gets things started. Both youth, Abby Flores, and young adult, Sara Nitikman, are working together to make our gallery "dream" a reality, and to help our congregation express its spirituality through the arts. God gave us all creativity - let's share it with one another! All submissions welcome. Please contact Sara with questions and for more information (

And ... that same SSP trip had some of our youth gardening because we learned that the local grocery store in town was closing, and would leave the town's residents with a 45 minute drive to the nearest grocery market. So, the SSP Staff and the church that we were staying with decided to begin a local garden in order to offset (even in a small way) the store's closing. Some of our youth learned gardening skills and are hooked! And now ... we are working to start a small garden on our campus with the produce being donated to the Broken Loaf Food Pantry. This service ministry is being led by youth, Abby Flores, and adult, Lauren Greenberg, under tutelage from many master gardeners in our congregation such as Ernie Trait, Lietta & Avalee Wagner, and Les & Evelyn Edens. We will be working on the garden on Wednesday afternoons, and are avidly seeking donations to help us get started. We have already approached a few local vendors, and also applied for a hunger task force grant from our California-Pacific Conference. If you feel called to lend a green-thumbed hand, or have a shovel or other gardening supplies that you could consider contributing, please let Lauren Greenberg know (

May the Holy Spirit continue to inform, inspire and embrace us all.

Pastor Melinda