Faith in Action
A small group at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo, California, is learning about Haiti and UMC missions there - especially those of the California-Nevada Annual Conference - and has undertaken a project to make dresses for little girls in Thomas, Haiti.
As part of our efforts to help feed the hungry in our community, as First United Methodist Church in San Leandro we include gifts of nonperishable food as part of our Offering every Sunday.
In 2009 we replaced a Communion Service that took place at 8 a.m. every Sunday with a feeding program. Every Sunday morning a four-person team cooks and prepares meals for 60-to-80 persons.
"I think this exhibit is important for a number of reasons," says the pastor of Watsonville First, the Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson. "We all need to prepare spiritually for Easter, and artwork during Lent can help us enter into that reflective process. We also see this exhibit as a way to model new connections with folks from the broader community with whom we do not usually get to interact -including, specifically, young adults."
On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo (SRVUMC) held a community-wide day of service and named it "Mission Saturday: The Church Has Left the Building."
For the past two years, the United Methodist Women (UMW) at Hope United Methodist Church in Sacramento have been making quilted blankets for Project Linus, which gives them to local children in need of comfort (some of whom are in hospitals).
During a sermon on Oct. 16, 2011, the Rev. Jay Pierce, pastor of Merced UMC, passed out $120 in "marked" one-dollar bills and issued a challenge: to utilize each $1 bill as seed money and then, on Nov. 13, to return it and report back what was done to "give back to God."
Three years ago, the Coordinator of Youth Ministries at First UMC of Santa Rosa, Cassandra Lawrence, was seeking a new way to raise funds for Sonoma County UM Youth. The program was growing and the need for camp and trip scholarships was growing, as well. The old ways of doing fundraisers were not up to the challenge: A fresh approach was needed.
On Saturday, April 30, 2011, 25 interfaith high school youth and leaders came together for a day of connection, service, and learning at an "Interfaith Works" event at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, California.
First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto enters into a movement of God's Holy Spirit launching UPSTREAM, a spirited, high-energy worship experience.
Sanger United Methodist Church had "Drive-Thru Prayer" on May 1. "Cars stopped, honked, and waved and at one point we had a line of cars waiting to pray! These were not members of our church, but people who needed prayer..."
Nevada City UMC recently completed a three session Listening to Legacies program, in which youth 11-14 learned in Session 1 about 1-the importance of elders' stories and 2-listening skills.
"Miracles happen all the time. I had the privilege of witnessing a couple of them myself this holiday season when I helped take a group of teenagers on a drive-by giving adventure on the streets of Gilroy."
On Aug. 15, 2010, the Kids and Youth Faith Formation class of Hope UMC, South San Francisco, challenged their pastor, the Rev. Pamela L. Kurtz, to have her head shaved in worship on Halloween Sunday if they could raise $5,000 for a Heifer International "Ark." Kurtz challenged back that at least $500 – or 10% – had to come from people with no connection to a faith community.
On Sunday, April 25, 2010, 20 volunteers from the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz fanned out through the neighborhood surrounding the church picking up trash and connecting with our larger community.
The faithful of St. Paul's UMC in Reno took to the streets and playgrounds on Saturday, April 24, 2010 for "Change The World" weekend. "Unfortunately, I set the bar too low," confesses Pastor Pat Leamy.
As shoppers entered the Raleys and Savemart grocery stores in Galt on the last weekend in April (2010), they were handed a little card with a pop quiz on it. "Which animal kills more people in Africa? a. snake b. lion c.mosquito d. crocodile."
The goal was to put together 1,000 health kits for Haiti – in one hour. And on March 20, 2010, members of Pioneer United Methodist Church in Auburn, California actually did it!
What are congregations in the California-Nevada region of The United Methodist Church doing to live out their faith? As congregations are being called to "Rethink Church," the Wesley Foundation, Merced is leading the way.
Woodland UMC opens its doors to residents of Yolo Wayfarer Center, a homeless shelter a few blocks away. In January 2010, the church sponsored a shelter resident who wanted to be of service to others by taking a mission trip - delivering health kits for Haiti to the UMCOR West depot in Salt Lake City.