Welcome to Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2021!

Join us at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz!

We remain committed to making healthy adjustments to our activities, to keep people safe as this pandemic continues …

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If you are new to our website, we invite you to share your contact information under “Contacts” to receive the latest recurring link to Worship, and updated information on Small Groups.

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Join us as you grow deeper in your faith.  Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome to grow with us.

Our Zoom Small Groups continue every Tuesday; first, third and fourth Thursdays, and on Wednesday mornings; Hybrid options are available for many of our Small Groups.

New This Month:  Enjoy singing while remaining masked!  

Safe Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday; the Outdoor Mask requirement has been relaxed based on your comfort level; Passing of the Peace and Prayer Stations are interactive.  Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!

Our Thanks to Joseph Jacobs for adapting this internet photo of an Old Barn for our Advent Series Unsettled Times.

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for this Christmas Season:  Our Advent focuses on the series “Unsettled Times”.  Imagine being born in a barn; how unsettling is that?!

November 28th – Unsettled Hope

These are times that unsettle us.  We anticipate gathering together, but our old ways of being in community that we have longed to return to…are history!  We find ourselves constrained…still wearing masks!

Mary and Joseph anticipated the old ways…‘the usual life’ as a young couple about to be married … and yet, they were called to leave their home to travel during the census!

Luke 21:29-36 calls us to pay attention to these unsettled times. Our Hope lies in the presence of God who does not abandon us in times of distress. We are called to stay attentive … to anticipate the Beloved One of God.

Simplify … Breathe … Light one Candle … Open yourself up to God through Prayer ….

December 5th – Unsettled Peace – Communion

Where do we find peace in these unsettled times? Simplify.  Choose one tradition that you used to do during this time of year and allow yourself to focus additional time on enhancing the Peace of Christ in your life.

John reminds us in Luke 3:3-6 to Prepare the way for God’s Beloved! Luke 1:78-79 reminds us that God’s deep compassion is breaking upon us … guiding us on the path to peace. We do not have to go fanatically-crazy by ‘shopping ‘til we drop’, or ‘baking every cookie’.

Simplify … Breathe … Light two Candles … Pray with God for your neighbors ….

December 12th – Unsettled Joy

Where is the Joy we’ve been promised in this season? We’re constrained! Are we not promised JOY?! Joy is not the same as happy. Joy is about God’s Spiritual Presence in your live … and how you share that joy.

Luke 3 finds us with John reminding us to produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. Be watchful for the ways you can help change the world by the grace of God. Allow that joy to consume you!

Simplify … Breathe … Light three Candles … Pray with God for our unsettled world to find the Joy through Compassion ….

December 19th – Unsettled Love

The ‘romanticized happily-ever-after’ kind of love that we’ve bought into has often left us angry, empty, and/or blaming ourselves/others.  God does not leave us in an unsettled place.  How do we find fulfillment in these times?

Luke 1:39-55 allows us to experience a truly unsettled time when Elizabeth and Mary each became “with child”. When we feel unsettled, remember the prayerful spirit that welled up out of Mary as she realized that God had ‘lifted up the downtrodden and filled the hungry with good things”. As we live through these unsettled times … may our spirits find healing and a new way of being as we move from being self-absorbed to living as witnesses to our faith!

Simplify … Breathe … Light four Candles … Pray with God to be of loving service to others ….

December 24th – Christmas Eve Service of Carols – 7:00 pm

Light the Jesus Candle and allow that light to brighten our world this day! 

God brightens our unsettled times by helping us to see with new eyes … hope, peace, joy and love take on a new meaning in the world as we simplify our living and take time to breathe in the spirit of compassion.

God’s redeeming grace as we experience Jesus makes a difference! Our hearts become less troubled, and the world can seem more manageable, one moment at a time. Ponder Luke 2:1-20; Invite friends/family to join you tonight for Hybrid Christmas Eve!

December 26th –  The Celebration of Hybrid Christmas continues . . . with Carols!

Even though it is “Boxing Day”, Isaiah 60:1-6 reminds us to Arise!  Shine!  Your Light Has Come!

God’s Glory shines upon all of us and our world!  We no longer need to be “unsettled” in these “Unsettled Times”.  We are called to let the Light of God shine in and through us to brighten the world.  We become instruments of God’s Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in a world that is still unsettled. 

How will you share now that God has once again made a difference in you?!

January 2nd –  The Celebration of the Epiphany -Communion

What do the Magi teach us as we begin a new year?  Come…celebrate Communion as a way to move us into the opportunities of 2022; how will you keep your New Year’s Resolution by sharing Light of God?

Come … prayerfully affirm the gifts God has entrusted to you to share, to help soothe the hearts and minds of an unsettled world!

Come … affirm yourself as a servant of hope, peace, joy and love.

Join us to shine brightly as the Light of God … to make a difference in our neighborhoods and in the lives of others ….