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
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.