May 18, 2014

Greetings brothers and sisters,
 
On this special Sunday and this whole weekend, local United Methodist 
churches across the country are working together in their communities to be the 
hands and feet of Christ. In many ways, each local church is unique, an 
outpouring of its local context and diversity. Each local church has its unique 
yearnings, its specific places of ministries, its own places of joy and celebration, 
sorrows and loss. Yet, we know that we are all one in the Spirit, we are one in 
the Lord, and together all of us can transform the world to be a place of God; a 
place of love, peace, compassion, sharing, wonder, and beauty. 
 
Known as “Change the World Sunday,” today the people of the United Methodist 
Church are working across the country together as disicples of Christ. The 
hands of thousands are joining together in service by working to help 
communities all over. The idea for “Change the World Sunday “started back in 
2010. A United Methodist minister, the Rev. Mike Slaughter, wrote a book called 
“Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus.” It 
challenged Christians to step outside the church walls and get out into their 
communities. Another noted pastor and author, Jim Wallis, in his forward to the 
book, wrote, “Mike’s challenge is simple and direct: quit worrying about getting 
people into your church and start finding new opportunities to move people who 
are already there out into God’s service.” 
 
Here at Los Altos UMC, we take that challenge seriously -- all year long. Both 
our Outreach Mission Group and our Growing in Christ Service Team lead us in 
ways that we can use our many gifts to serve as God’s people. This morning is 
one example, and one in which I hope you will engage! In the Lounge, there are 
opportunities to help fight hunger with “Bread for the World” through letter 
writing, bread baking, supporting the food drive as well as donating paper goods 
for the Christian Outreach in Action. On the patio this morning you can sign up 
to fight cancer with our Relay for Life Team that supports the American Cancer 
Society. In Fellowship Hall you can support our Youth by having a 
Cheeseburger and participating in the raffle to help them with fuel costs for the 
Sierra Service Project so they can help change the world. You can contribute a 
financial gift to these organizations as well. 
 
It is these ways of Christ -- fighting hunger, fighting the evils of cancer and 
helping others -- that we are making a difference here at Los Altos UMC today 
and together with thousands of others in the larger United Methodist Church. 
Join us, as we together live knowing that as God’s people we have all that is 
needed to change the world. 
 
 Your sister in Christ, 
 Pastor Melinda T. Dodge