Natural Bridges

May 2021 at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

We are grateful to give credit to Trey Ratcliff for this beautiful rendition of Natural Bridges, here in Santa Cruz.

While we may still be sheltering in place as the pandemic begins to ease up following vaccinations; we remain zooming.   And so we invite you to continue to join us, as we plan the joint-venture of combining in-person activities with zoom activities, beginning in July.  Please join us this month on Sunday mornings at 10:45 am for Zoom Worship!  Fellowship Gathering begins at 10:30 am.  Zoom Links to our Worship Services and our Small Groups can be secured by sending your contact information to us via this website.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, where the illnesses of our broken world continue to confront us, we celebrate the healing power of God’s Grace!   We hope you experience this healing on your faith journey.

Our Zoom Groups continue online every Tuesday; first, third and fourth Thursdays, and Sunday mornings. 

Holu Week

Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you! Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here! Take a peek at Zoom Worship for May . . .

Chris Kelly Fish
Artwork by Chris Kelley

As we move through this pandemic into the unknown new reality of our future … to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, to continue to wear masks in the crowd or not, and to join in-person activities or continue to live our lives through online ventures, we will spend time re-acquainting ourselves with our new reality post-COVID.

On May 2nd, Communion Sunday, we will explore Acts 8, and see how Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch learned a new way of being post-resurrection.  What can we learn from their experience so long ago?  How are we growing and how do we grow, a “new” faith community, reaching out to existing and new neighbors?  

Each Other.  What a simple statement!  And yet, with racial tensions and violence continuing, loving one’s neighbor is challenging … more difficult than it was to learn how to shelter in place!  Yet, we did learn how to shelter, wear masks, and stay six feet apart … for the care and safety of our neighbors.  Loving our neighbors is something we have yet to fully embrace as a society.  And this is literally killing us all!  On May 9th, focusing on John 15, we will explore how intentionally sharing love as we move out of this pandemic into our new reality can help.  Are we capable of feeling “loved enough” to share our loving God with others? 

Chris Kelly Flowers
Artwork by Chris Kelly
Artwork by Bob and Patricia Verheul

As we move out of this time of pandemic, what have we  developed through our spirituality, our leadership, and/or our survival skills (cooking, cleaning, gardening, technical skills, or about being an extravert or an introvert?)

On May 16th, we will explore through Acts 1, how the early faith community had to grow after the resurrection, by choosing a new apostle to help lead the faith after the death of Judas.  Our post-pandemic task is to begin to reconnect in a more personal way with our neighbors.  Is it possible to be a new creation in this new era?  YOU BET!!! 

We are in this together . . . let’s help one another to live anew in faith.

Pentecost 2021 … May 23rd.  We often refer to this Sunday as “The Birthday of the Church”.  From Acts 2 we hear the story that is so familiar to the Christian Faith Tradition, kind of like sitting around the meal table during our most significant celebrations … a birthday party, an anniversary, graduation, a holiday event, retirement or even a memorial!  Pentecost is like swapping stories:  “tell us the one about…” or “remember when…” or “what will you do now?”  Today, we hear how the Spirit came into our midst!  As we move from pandemic to re-entry into our ‘unknown reality’, what will we do differently in our spiritual lives as a community of faith?  How will we invite others to ‘sit around the table’ once again and explore our visions and dreams for this new time.  Pentecost is so much more than having a slice of cake!   

This is our time to begin anew … safely, healthy, neighborly.  Where will your faith take you/take our faith community … as we are empowered by the Spirit?! 

Pentecost 2021
Artwork by Patricia Verheul
Sidewalk Art

May 30th returns us to the ‘heart of street art’ once again.  So Diverse; separate, yet unified.  We are desperate to try and set a new reality as we move into this new reality of living with the realities of COVID-19.  We have a lot of repair work to attend to “in-person”.  People have been hurt and our world is still hurting.  We are not yet healed; we are not yet whole.  On this Peace with Justice Sunday, we will address the justice issues of poverty, “homelessness”, isolation, continued racism and sexism, and the  new reality of in-person safety issues.  So many things to deal with!  Healing our world; walking with our neighbors; being kind. What are the new ‘survival skills’ we need; what “faith tools’ are we lacking, so that our communities/our nation/our world can find healing?  Romans chapter 8 will be our guide.