January 5, 2014

Pastoral Letter

Christmas Greetings! Baby Jesus is born! Hooray!

We have come together as a church at Los Altos United Methodist, and we have celebrated in joyful worship. We have read and prayed over wisdom offered in holy scripture. We have shared the peace of Christ in carols with our homebound community. We have given from the heart to the children and families at the Door of Faith and in downtown Long Beach. We have served meals to the homeless community. And, we have made efforts to buy less and share more with our families and friends.

And ... now what?

As the exuberance from the festivities settles down, and we slowly enter January 2014, I ask us all: now what? Our answer to this question determines quite a lot about who we are as a community of Christ, and our future journeys together. So, what are we going to do now that we have celebrated the wonder that is God coming to us in the face of a newborn child?

As I look at the path before us, while I see that our financial resources are decreasing, I don’t see that the Holy Spirit is any less present at Los Altos UMC. What I see is a growing church of deep love and grounding that is working to discern how to be the church that God is calling us to be - here and now. Growing into such a church community in 2014 involves change and some hard decisions: how do we respect, honor and love what we have been, and yet, respond to God’s call to be who we are, today? How do we continue to learn and take these learnings into the world right now? How do we share what we know (God’s love spoken to us all through the inner peace of Christ) with our communities? How do we do this in ways that are relevant and appropriate?

Well, one of those ways is already in place. So, as we prayerfully respond to God’s guidance on the journey before us, I encourage all of us to learn about our newest all church ministry that is a place of hope, energy, growth and sharing God’s love. We have a meeting coming up for the whole church to learn about “Everyone’s Inn,” and we invite YOU to come and spend a little time and learn what it is about. Come and see how we are experiencing growth and there is a place for you, too! Hope to see you there:

Wednesday, January 8 at 7:00 p,m. In the Lounge.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Melinda Dodge