October 19, 2014

Pastor Letter

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[a] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” I Cor. 13:12

Even though the light of past achievements and glory shines bright, it can be difficult to see with clarity the emerging glow on the horizon. What we can see is that God continually opens doorways to what we will become. Pastor Melinda might see four walls; Pastor Mark might see a kitchen. Pastor Mark might see a shipping pallet; Pastor Melinda might see an altar. Vision is more than just sight. Vision is seeing with spirit and imagination.

On the surface, we could all see the Los Altos United Methodist Church as an aging facility with a maturing population. But in looking more deeply, we see a home of experienced disciples joining new generations of individuals and families — all seeking to walk together on the same path of compassion and service in the name and ways of Christ. From one angle the church appears to have fewer people in worship, but from another vantage point, we see the number of different people who now participate in worship and ministry growing. While we might note membership numbers are only stable, we could also celebrate the growing number of people who understand Los Altos UMC as their true faith home.

This morning and with each new day, let’s open our own hearts to — and be encouraged by — the signs of vitality in our faith community:

  • emerging small groups of Christian sojourners gathering for mutual encouragement and discernment;
  • new ministries like “Everyone’s Inn” becoming home to growing disciples;
  • new people finding a worship home in three different Sunday morning services;
  • our legacy of mission and community engagement reaching new people in new places such as the ESL Breakfast Club; Relay for Life Team; Garden of Grace; Habitat for Humanity; Groundlings Summer Day Camp; Get On the Bus

We are both blessed to serve and celebrate with you the community and ministries of the Los Altos UMC, and to celebrate where God is leading us today and tomorrow. May we all open our hearts to God’s encouraging presence with us!

Rev. Mark Ulrickson           Rev. Melinda Teter Dodge