Easter Season 2022 at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Welcome to the Season of Easter; a time for Celebrating new life and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with our neighbors.

We remain committed to offer a healthy and safe ministry as this COVID Pandemic changes.  We offer Hybrid Worship and Small Groups. Thank you for connecting with our website, where we provide updated information about our ministry.  Worship information may be obtained by contacting us on our website: https://umcsantacruz.org  

“Like Us” on Facebook!  

Join us as we deepen our resolve to share love generously.  Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome to grow with us.

We offer Zoom Small Groups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and the first, third and fourth Thursdays.    Friday Night Shelter is offered as part of our service to the community.  Indoor Worship includes welcoming vaccinated participants, indoor masking and singing, interactive Passing of the Peace, Prayer Stations at safe distances, and outdoor masking based on your comfort level.  Safe Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday.  Sing with Music Team on Tuesday evenings!  Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!

Here is our Hybrid Worship the Easter Season:

April 17th – Celebrate the Resurrection

The Easter story comes from John 20:1-18. 

We welcome everyone to gather and celebrate new life as experienced by the first witnesses who have passed down this exciting faith to us!    Our Music Team will sing; their will be additional music.  We invite you to stay and socialize outside as we offer fellowship treats and festive conversation!  There might event be treats to share!  No matter what, the Celebration of New Life is a gift to share!

April 24th

Join Haley Feuerbacher as she shares the message from John 9, focusing on “Christianity Is a Verb”, helping us to understand compassion and connection as the heart of following Christ.  Dr. Haley Feuerbacher is the founder and executive director of the Center for Courageous Compassion and is a storyteller, facilitator, spiritual activist, and theologian transplanted from Texas.

May 1st – Communion

“Drink of it, for it is my blood,” was created by Ulyana Tomkevych of Lviv, Ukraine

This Religious Icon, “Drink of it, for it is my blood,” was created by Ulyana Tomkevych of Lviv, Ukraineh.  This image will serve as a reminder of the way hearts can be changed … O God Hear Our Prayer!  As we celebrate the early followers of ‘The Way’ in Acts 9:1-20, we discover how “Saul” would become “Paul”. No, he didn’t just have a ‘name change’ … he had a ‘faith change’!  He began to see (literally!) in a new way, and such new sight gave him the opportunity to treat others with empathetic understanding.  Are we open to new insights about ourselves as we relate to others in new ways? 

May 8th

Acts 9:36-43 invites us to explore how we can learn to support others on their journey… as we have learned (and continue to learn) from others on our journey of faith. This Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate those mentors in our lives who have taught us life lessons.  Who are we mentoring in our lives … supporting, nurturing, welcoming into this new season of life?

Photo courtesy of Joseph Jacobs

May 15th

John 13:31, 33-35 instructs us to ‘Love One Another’. We are to follow the Resurrected Jesus into the world by caring and sharing with our neighbors.  As we are nourished by our faith, how do we nourish others?  What are the ways we acknowledge our brokenness and the brokenness of the world, and make a commitment to bring healing to others and the brokenness of our world?

May 22nd

From John 14:23, 25-28 and Acts 16:9, 12-15, we discover what it means to find peace as a ‘spiritual state of being’.

Perhaps we all have a longing to find that great place of peace…in our hearts…in our minds…in our world.  Peace within our family systems … Peace in our neighborhoods … Peace within the Chaos!

The gift of spiritual peace is found by cultivating peace with one another.

This picture of peace comes to us by way of Pat Verheul, from a recent visit to Henry Cowell.

Breathe in the peace … Breathe out peace to our world. Repeat. Repeat often. Repeat for as long as it takes. 

Photo courtesy of Pat Verheul

May 29th

Acts 16:16-34 reminds us of what keeps us imprisoned and what brings us liberation.  How ironic that Paul and Silas stayed free of their imprisonment in order to keep someone from being imprisoned—or worse!  What does being free mean to us?  And how does our spiritual freedom encourage us to offer reconciliation to others?

Reconciliation with the world brings us true freedom. 

Palm Sunday and Holy Week – April 10-16, 2022

Palm Sunday and Holy Week hold a rich tradition in the Christian Faith.

Journey with us as we follow the journey of Jesus in Jerusalem during this week, preparing our hearts and minds to absorb Good Friday and wrap our spirits around the Resurrection on Easter Morning.

April 10th.  Palm Sunday Hybrid Worship at 10:45 am

Share your contact information on our website by 9 am on Sunday to receive additional information.

Please note that our protocols remain in place; we ask that you be fully vaccinated for in-person worship.

Our Music Team will be singing in Worship for the first time since the Pandemic began.

April 15th. Good Friday Self-Guided Meditation, noon to 3 pm

Our Sanctuary will be available for prayer and meditation during the afternoon.  You may come at any time and spend time in contemplation during this time.

Lent 2022 Information from the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Welcome to the Season of Lent; a time for reflecting upon our relationship with God and one another as we strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

We remain committed to offer a healthy and safe ministry as this COVID Pandemic continues.  We offer Hybrid Worship and Small Groups.   

Thank you for connecting with our website, where we provide updated information about our Small Groups.  Worship information may be obtained by sharing your contact information on our website.  “Like Us” on Facebook!  Share our web addresss:  https://umcsantacruz.org  

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

We offer Zoom Small Groups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and the first, third and fourth Thursdays. Friday Night Shelter is offered as part of our service to the community.  Indoor Worship includes welcoming vaccinated participants, indoor masking and singing, interactive Passing of the Peace and Prayer Stations at safe distances, and outdoor masking based on your comfort level.  Safe Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday.    Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for this Season of Lent as we journey with Jesus:

March 2nd, noon, Ash Wednesday in the Sanctuary – Gospel Focus: Matthew 6

Ash Wednesday

We gather to prepare for our Lenten Journey with Jesus by remembering that ‘we are dust, and to dust we shall return’.  May we immerse ourselves into the spiritual practices of repentance, fasting, service, prayer, study, and faithful reflection.  While this service is sparse and will only last one-half hour, this is our opportunity to “begin anew”.

March 6th.  Communion will be served – Gospel Focus:  Luke 4:1-13

During these five Sundays of Lent that will lead us onto Palm Sunday and Holy Week … and then onto Easter, we will explore the historical ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ in a new way.  Exploring the question, “What gets in our way of Spiritual Faithfulness?”, we will look at how the earth/environment, racism, sexism, immigration, human trafficking, child vulnerability, and other issues are affected by our struggles to live faithfully, causing the world to live unharmoniously.   Today we will explore the harm that comes from the three temptations Jesus is offered:  The temptations of Feeding our Hunger (Gluttony; people starving); Feeding our Power-hunger (Lust; wanting everything in the world); Feeding our Apathy (Sloth, resisting being actively involved in our own faith journey).

March 13th – Gospel Focus:  Luke 13:31-35

“What gets in our way of Spiritual Faithfulness?” is an appropriate question as we explore the next ‘Deadly Sin’ of Pride.  Ponder how excessive pride can get you into trouble.  Sometimes we are not even aware how our pridefulness can be harmful to others.  Sometimes pride is more identifiable in others, and we neglect to recognize such pridefulness in ourselves.  Jesus is on a journey; live humbly. 

March 20th – Gospel Focus: Luke 13:1-9

“What gets in our way of Spiritual Faithfulness?” as we become Angry … a very ‘churchy word’ for anger is wrath.  Jesus invites us to change our hearts and lives.  Such self-examination is much more difficult when we are angry.  We don’t always seem to think rationally when anger strikes us.  This is an opportunity to be aware when our anger increases … to explore what is causing such an emotion, and how to address anger before we share words and actions that harm others as well as ourselves.

March 27th – Gospel Focus: Luke 15

United Methodist Committee on Relief Special Offering

“What gets in our way of Spiritual Faithfulness?” when we read this parable.  While many of the ‘deadly sins’ might fit this story, we will explore Greed.  We live in a community where there is greed in abundance.  While the prices of real estate skyrocket, the unhoused continue to be affected and our leaders are at odds as to how to best address the care of persons who need to have a hassle-free place to lay their heads.  While our community members are concerned, people also say that our unhoused neighbors are not welcome to stay in our ‘backyard’.  We face a continued crisis of greed in our own backyard!  This crisis also extends throughout the world.  How do you respond to this crisis?

April 3rd.  Communion will be served – Gospel Focus:  John 12:1-8

“What gets in our way of Spiritual Faithfulness?” might also be answered by addressing our ambitious nature of Envy.  Envy is that (fake/misguided/harmful) realization that others have what we want.  Sometimes there are ways we delude ourselves by being thankful for what we have and having our eyes wonder into our ‘neighbor’s backyard’.  But does that old adage ring true in our experience: ‘the grass (may look) greener on the other side of the fence (but in reality…are we being unrealistically envious)’?!

April 10th.  Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday – Gospel Focus: Luke 19:28-40

Join us as we welcome Jesus formally into our lives, our community, and our world.  We will journey with Jesus into the week ahead.  This Sunday, there will be music, familiar songs, and an opportunity for reflection so that we can “catch our breath” before we journey forward with Spiritual Faithfulness.

February 2022 at the United Methodist of Santa Cruz

We remain committed to offer healthy adjustments to our activities & to keep people safe as this COVID Pandemic continues … Hybrid Worship and Small Groups (In-Person and on Zoom.)

Thank you for connecting with our website, where we provide updated information about our Small Groups.  Worship information may be obtained by sharing your contact information.  “Like Us” on Facebook!  Please share our web address:  https://umcsantacruz.org    

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.

We offer Zoom Small Groups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and the first, third and fourth Thursdays. Indoor Worship includes welcoming vaccinated participants, indoor masking and singing, interactive Passing of the Peace and Prayer Stations at safe distances, and outdoor masking based on your comfort level.  Safe Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday.    Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!

Our Thanks to Joseph Jacobs for sharing his photograph with us (above).

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for February: 

February 6th –  Communion will be served

Black Pearl
“Black Pearl”, photo by Joseph Jacobs

Luke 5:1-11 offers us the example of ‘fishing’ during the time of Jesus.

Just drop your nets in the deep waters!”  Amazing the number of fish caught! Jesus says to Simon Peter, “Don’t be afraid!”

Are we fearful about going ‘fishing’ in our community in 2022?  Do we have expectations about sharing our faith with others?  How are we living our faith in these pandemic times?!

February 13th – Luke 6:17-26

We are pleased to have Sam Altis with us again as he shares insight about the “upsidedown-ness” of Jesus’ teaching.  Colin, Trish, Sherry, Elaine and Beth will share parts of the service to enhance our spiritual growth throughout worship.  Sam comes to us from the Association of Faith Communities (AFC).  AFC offers our community shelter for the unhoused and safe parking in various sights.  We have been part of AFC’s ministry for over 9 years.

Usidedown-ness

February 20th – Luke 6:27-38

Could there be a more challenging theme to tackle than trying to ‘love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and bless those who curse you’.  Finding a way to ‘pray for those who mistreat you’ sounds quite manageable after trying to love, do good and bless those who for whom you are estranged.  Join us as we explore how to be compassionate just like God!

February 27th – Luke 9:28-43

As Jesus secures insight from his spiritual forebearers, God reminds us to be observant and listen to the heartbeat of our faith.

What follows this event is another healing story of a man who has been tortured by an unclean spirit.  Jesus reminds us to prepare our hearts and minds for the care and healing of others … Jesus reminds us that we have been empowered to care for others.

When are we most overwhelmed by God’s greatness and what prevents us from being able to respond to the needs of others? These are wise questions to ponder as we move into the season of Lent during March.

Merced River, Late Afternoon
Merced River, Late Afternoon, photo by Pat Verheul

Small Group Book Study

If God is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk

Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans

by John Pavolovitz

Join us for this Zoom Small Group – or you may ask that we also offer this study in-person. The Zoom Link will be sent out to participants prior to the first meeting.

Books have been ordered ($12.25).  See Pastor Jay for additional options/arrangements. Order a Kindle edition on Amazon.

This every other Six Week Study will meet on Wednesdays: Morning Group – 10 am to noon, Evening group – 7 pm to 9 pm. You may attend either group:

January 26

Chapters 1 – 3

February 9

Chapters 4 – 6

February 23

Chapters 7- 9

March 9

Chapters 10 – 12

March 23

Chapters 13 – 15

April 6

Chapters 16 – 18

Links to book reviews:

https://www.libraryjournal.com/review/if-god-is-love-dont-be-a-jerk-finding-a-faith-that-makes-us-better-humans-2118514

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/57005337-if-god-is-love-don-t-be-a-jerk

In-Person Worshippers, please Sign-Up during Worship. 

Zoom Worshippers, please send an email request to Pastor Jay: (pastorjay@umcsantacruz.org)

Welcome to Epiphany and Ordinary Time 2022!

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 …

We offer you Hybrid Worship and Small Groups; In-Person and on Zoom; Singing!   

Thanks for connecting with our website!  

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.   https://umcsantacruz.org    

“Like Us” on Facebook.    

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.

Safe Communion is offered on the 1st Sunday; Indoor Masks; Outdoor Masking is 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 Pat Verheul for sharing her photograph with us (above).  

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for January: 

January 2nd –  The Celebration of the Epiphany – Communion will be served.

The Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to celebrate the birth of Jesus; these were gifts representative of the needs, ministry and spiritual presence of Jesus.  What are the gifts you affirm in your life and plan to share with the community and the world?  Is there a spiritual practice you wish to explore in this new year that will help you and the world continue to find healing for yourself and the world?  Allow Matthew 2 to inform your spirit as this new year begins.

  January 9 – It’s 2022!!

Here is our opportunity to make a fresh start!  Today we will celebrate a “Reaffirmation of Baptism” based on both Isaiah 43:1-3a and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22.   We live by an ocean.  We’ve seen lots of rain this season!  What changes will we make in our lives to be the change we want to see in 2022?!  Prayerfully consider that question.  May we be the change we want to see happen.  What will it take to make that change happen in us?  Are we working prayerfully with God to help make a difference in our world?  

January 16th – Human Relations Day – This is the first of six yearly special offerings. 

Today we explore the “Spiritual Gifts of the Spirit.  Ponder what gift(s) you have been blessed with:  wisdom … knowledge … faith … healing … being a miracle worker … prophecy … the discerner of spirits … the understanding of language … the gift of interpretation

We shall recognize the gift of leadership in our congregation…and give thanks!

January 23rd

What is the Good News in our time?

How do we discover it… follow it… ‘BE it’?!  Jesus reads from the words of Isaiah as recorded for us in Luke 4:14-21.

How are we helping to bring Good News …to the poor …release to the captives …sight to those who do not see …liberation to the oppressed?

Do we see this in our lives as being a time of “God With Us”?  And what are we doing about that ‘Good News’?!

January 30th –  Luke 4:22-30 

Jesus nearly gets pushed off a cliff … he nearly gets run out of town.  However, Jesus teaches us how to be empowered … how to face our truths … and grow from being defeated to enlightened … to grapple with deep truths that may hold us back from being ‘the child of God’ that God envisioned us to be from our birth.  We can face our demons.  We can address injustice.  We can be an example to others of God’s Healing Spirit!  Come and learn!  Grow in God’s Grace!

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 …

Thanks for connecting with our website!  

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.

“Like Us” on Facebook.    

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 ….

November 2021 at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Welcome to our October 2021 edition of activities at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz!

We remain committed to making healthy adjustments to our services to keep people safe as this pandemic continues … We offer you Worship and Small Groups In-Person and on Zoom (Hybrid)! Thanks for connecting with our website.   If you are new to our website, we invite you to share your contact information with us under “Contacts” to receive the latest recurring link to Worship, and updated information on Small Groups.   “Like Us” on Facebook.  Our Web Address:  https://umcsantacruz.org

Rainbow Heart

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.

We serve Communion on the 1st Sunday; outdoor mask requirement is now optional; Passing of the Peace is interactive and prayer stations have been re-introduced. Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!      

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for November . . .  Advent begins on November 28.

Tyee Campground Umpqua River Oregon
Tyee Campground Umpqua River Oregon, courtesy of Pat Verheul

November 7th – Communion – All Saints Sunday

For many people over the last year, this has been a time of grief and loss.  Today we will acknowledge this time of dying as we remember loved ones and friends who have died, and give thanks for this time of living, with sure and certain hope that we are never left to grieve on our own.

As Isaiah 25:6-9 suggests, we can honor loved one, grieve as a community of faith for the losses we have experienced over the last year, and give thanks and praise for God who sustains and holds us.

It is in this context of our spiritual community where we gain support and grow in the midst of these stressful times.

November 14th

How are we intentionally sharing the gifts God has graciously shared with us?  How are we an offering … what does it mean to “share intentionally and generously?”  What could possibly cause us to hold back from sharing?

As demonstrated in Mark 12:38-44, perhaps fear and scarcity can prevent us from sharing a ministry of generosity.  Might we be able to move from a place of withholding/hording into a discerning place of spiritually sharing our gifts?

What benefit(s) do we receive in thoughtfully offering to others what God has given to us?

A Stock of Field Corn in a Smoky Sunset on the Family Farm, courtesy of Pat Verheul
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves, courtsey of Joseph Jacobs

November 21st – Celebrating with Thanksgiving

‘Give thanks with a Grateful Heart’ comes to mind as we think of Matthew 6:25-33.

As we move toward God’s Beloved Community, how do we give thanks … and for what?!  In our comfort and in our discomfort; in the distresses of this world; we struggle sometime to find the words and the ability to ‘give thanks’.  May we find the   ability to let go of the worry, and to offer praise that is beyond us.

October 2021 at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Welcome to our October 2021 edition of activities at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz!

We remain committed to making healthy adjustments to our services to keep people safe as this pandemic continues … We offer you Worship and Small Groups In-Person and on Zoom (Hybrid)! Thanks for connecting with our website! If you are new to our website, we invite you to share your contact information with us under “Contacts” to receive the latest recurring link to Worship, and updated information on Small Groups. “Like Us” on Facebook.  Our Web Address:  https://umcsantacruz.org

Rainbow Heart

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:  Safe Communion offered on the 1st Sunday; Outdoor Mask requirement has been relaxed; Passing of the Peace will be more interactive.

Enrich your spirit; let us know how we can support you!                   

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for October . . . .

October 3rd – Communion – Psalm 26. 

This Psalm is a reminder of both the Book of Job and Proverbs 16:18 (Pride comes before disaster and arrogance before the fall.) 

Ask yourself these spiritual questions: 

Worship 10-03-21
Photograph by Johnny Miller, “Unequal Scenes”

  • Does pride get in the way of interacting with people from around the world? 
  • Is arrogance found in my prayer life? 
  • Am I striving to be humble in my deepest spiritual life?
  • Where does pride and arrogance get in the way of being able to focus on grace and service to God and one another?  

As we celebrate World Communion Sunday, be mindful of the needs in our world and our own community.

October 10th – Mark 10:17-31.

What are your thoughts on living faithfully and the concept of eternal life? (Have you seen the one season program Midnight Mass?  This does indeed stretch the reality as we think of ‘faithful living’.)

  • What if … eternal life was our current reality?! 
  • Would you act any differently?
  • Would you change your behaviors … why or why not?
  • What is it like for us to follow Jesus?
  • What are the ways we are extending our spiritual living to others?
Worship 10-10-21
Photo from a Small Group Walk

October 17th –  Job 38:1-7, 34-41; 42:2a, 5-6. 

Worship-10-17-21
Summer Desert Sky

You may wish to read the Book of Job.

Can we be satisfied in ‘not knowing all the answers to our questions’?!  This may be our biggest human struggle.  Job wants answers!  Job leads with his Ego and the spiritual place of humility never enters into his frame of being until he relents! Are we listening for God?

What blocks us from being understanding and compassionate about new realities?

What spiritual practice might help you move from being narrowly focused to a place of possibility, compromise, and understanding? Where might you be needing to grow deeper in your spiritual humility?

October 24th – Mark 10:46-52.

When someone annoys you, what do you do?  How do you cope?  What are the changes that empower us into a deeper spiritual understanding of “seeing” with the eyes of faith?

Bartimaeus wants to see; the crowd is annoyed with him for being “in the way” …for living on ‘their street’…for bothering ‘their messiah’…for mucking up ‘their neighborhood’.

What we don’t always ‘see’ is how Bartimaeus becomes cared for by Jesus; We don’t see how his life is changed by the gift of faithful kindness. 

Worship 10-24-2021
What Do You See?’, a photo from our Small Group Walk

Jesus invites us to ‘see’ by teaching us to care about our neighbors….

October 31st – Mark 12:28-34.  Reformation Sunday and The Blessing of the Animals.

Worship 10-31-21
Cheshire Cat in an East Side Santa Cruz Alley’; photo by Joseph Jacobs

What a reforming thought … to experience all our loved ones in Worship!   You are invited to send a photo of your pet to the contact page of our website by Tuesday, October 26th as we explore ‘Loving God…Loving Neighbor’ on this Sunday.   The ‘Blessing’ part of our service will be outside.  How are you able to ‘love God and love your neighbors’ in our current climate?   Is there room in your heart to help support a refugee?   We are asked to get out of our little world and to stretch and grow…to Serve God and One Another … first by caring for those ‘in our own back yard’ (as Dorothy Gale discovered).

Annual Conference Livestream Worship may be accessed at 11:15 am through the Conference Website: https://cnumc.org

September 2021 at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

Welcome to our September 2021 edition of activities at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz!

As this Pandemic continues to linger, we are maintaining our Hybrid Status in Worship and Small Groups!  If you are new to our website, we invite you to share your contact information with us under “Contacts” to receive the latest recurring link to Worship, and updated information on Small Groups.    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, Wednesday mornings, and the first, third, and fourth Thursdays.  Enrich Your Spirit…with us!

Take a peek at our Hybrid Worship for September . . . .

Western Service Workers Association

September 5th – Communion –  Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23.  On this Labor Day Sunday, we explore our common denominator.  How do we maintain a common thread to our humanity as we struggle with so much diversity … and … animosity in our community and our world?  In our Diversity … where is our Humanity?!  And in this mix, where do we find God? 

This illustration comes to us by way of the Western Service Workers Association website, by CF Payne.

September 12th –  Luke 14:12-14.  We are blessed to have as our speaker, Sam Altis, new to the Association of Faith Communities (AFC).  Sam will share spiritual updates and insights about our Unhoused Community and the work of AFC to address homelessness in Santa Cruz County.  His message will reflect on “It’s All Relational”.

Association of Faith Communities
Feet

September 19th – Mark 9:30a, 33-37.  Do you experience many “for the sake of argument” discussions?  While in discussion, do you find yourself escalated to the point of a ‘win or lose’ argument?  In such a situation, are you able to “remember yourself” as the “place where Jesus welcomes God in our midst”?  Remember, that the least can serve the most.

September 26th – Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, and 9:20-22.  Do you have an Anniversary Date where you remember ‘putting to rest the troubles you had with an enemy’?  Do you remain faithful to that anniversary experience?  There is an anniversary date commemorating this experience of freedom for Queen Esther and her people…a time of giving thanks to God and letting go.   Such ‘remembering and letting go’ can be a spiritual gift as we live into our future…. 

This picture of the Ester message, is a wood engraving after a Gustave Dor print

Ester Message