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LA MESA FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
A Season We Hope Will Change . . . 

It is in times like these, with the tragic events that occurred at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX, where 19 children and 2 teachers were gunned down in school, that it is difficult to find words. As a pastor, I want words that bring comfort and rush us to healing. But instead, it's in moments like these that I just need to acknowledge with you our feelings of pain, grief, anger and frustration. Yes, we hope that sometime soon we will move from these feelings to those of healing, comfort and peace. It will take time.

The writer of Ecclesiastes helps us understand that "there is a season and a time for every matter." We are reminded in the words found in chapter 3, that this is a season to weep, mourn, embrace and love, while we pray for the next season to come. We desperately seek together the season of healing, building-up, dancing, laughing, and yes, even peace, that Ecclesiastes promises. It will take time for this season to change. 

In the meantime, the church needs to be the church; a place to be with one another, to share our grief, to hold on to one another and to lament together. This all happens on our campus in worship and in conversations on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. Whether in-person or as we 
interact online in meetings, studies and individual emails and posts. We seek to comfort and to be comforted, learning we are not alone.

The writer of Ecclesiastes also reminds us that there is a time to speak after a season of keeping silent. That time will come as well. 

I'm thankful that at this time La Mesa First has provided a place for people, both members and in the neighborhood, to gather. We have opened our lantern decorated courtyard for memorial and prayer. People have been dropping by to find a place to meditate, reflect and find some peace. This is why we are here. There are few other places like it. I'm proud we are one.

So, as we seek to "Press Onward;" with our regular worship, programs and yes, even our stewardship campaign, we pause in this moment to gather ourselves, recognizing God's presence, and being present for one another in God's love. May we pray for an end to this gun violence. May we pray for comfort for all those who are grieving deeply. May we pray for peace. May we hope for a new season in the midst of the one we're in.


God bless you all. May you know God's grace and peace,
Pastor Christian
Unspeakable Pain - A Message from Our District Superintendent
A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.
                                                Jeremiah 31:15
 
Dear Family in Christ,
 
As the sun rises today, countless families in Uvalde, Texas, are shattered as the beds of their children are empty.  Instead of helping their precious ones get dressed for school, they are beginning to plan for their funerals.  Families are devastated as two beloved wives and mothers didn’t return home from their work as teachers.  And family and friends of an 18-year-old child, who brought on this latest horror in our nations, are left with grief, guilt… shame.
 
And so, we pray, for we must.  We pray for all those families whose grief cannot be comforted.  We pray for all in that small farming community that will hold these families in their care.  We pray for the teachers there and everywhere who will need to face their students today with assurance and care and comfort.
 
We pray for lawmakers across our land, prayers that they will be moved beyond political posturing to comprehensive actions that address the complex realities that feed our nation’s addiction to violence, hate, and destruction.
 
And we pray for the church, for us who claim to follow the Prince of Peace, for we have failed. We have failed to care for our communities.  We have failed to demand change.  We have failed to move our prayers from our hearts to our lives. We have chosen weak resignation to the ways of the world, wringing our hands at how the world is.  We have given up on God’s Kin-dom dream, ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’  We pray that God will convict us, forgive us, and change us.
 
Prayers don’t – can’t - stop with our lips and hearts; prayers must also be lived in our daily choices through what we prioritize in the world we create.  This is not the way the world is. It is the way we have allowed the world to become.
 
The United Methodist Church urges “congregations to advocate at the local and national level for laws that prevent or reduce gun violence.” If you are looking to find ways to address gun violence and create a climate of safety and compassion, there are resources in our church you can use. See https://www.umcjustice.org/what-we-care-about/peace-with-justice/gun-violence-prevention for concrete steps you and your congregation can engage in.
 
People should not be afraid to go to the grocery store.  People should not be afraid to gather in their places of worship. Children and teachers should not be afraid to go to school.  We can address those fears.  We can make changes.  We can prioritize God’s Kin-dom where “no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days or an old person who does not live out a lifetime, for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth…” (Is 65:19-20a)  We can pray in word and action because God’s grace is sufficient for us every day. ~ DS Sandy

Rev. Sandra K. Olewine
South District Superintendent
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"LM1 In (About) One!"
June 5: Celebrating Generosity and Pentecost!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
                                                          Philippians 3:13-14


Our stewardship scripture clearly invites us to have our "destination" in mind as we run this race called the Christian Life. Like Paul, we know we haven't reached our destination yet, but we know exactly what we're running towards. To mark the end of our stewardship campaign, honor the generosity of our church family AND celebrate Pentecost, the birth of the Christian Church, we're having a party after worship, Sunday, June 5.

The Destination Celebration in our Fireside Park will feature live music, food trucks, Kona Ice, a character portrait artist, inflatable fun for the kids and a silent auction, all beginning at 11am. It's going to be a great afternoon! We've received donations of time and finances to offer this great event.

If you'd like to contribute to the silent auction or to offset costs, please contact Muriel Mellor. When we invest together our ministries, outreach and even celebrations become more meaningful.
Vacation Bible School is Coming

We may be a little biased, but we think its going to be monumental event! Actually, we're sure of it because this year's VBS theme is just that - Monumental! August 1-5 from 9am-1pm we will celebrate God's greatness through story, song, play and art. Open to all pre-school children 4 years and older from LMUMCC and LM1 and K-5th in the community, the entire week costs only $25 (scholarships are available if needed). Snacks, lunch and themed t-shirts will be provided to all who attend.

Participants are invited back to worship on VBS Sunday, August 7 to sing a few of their favorite songs for the congregation. Bring the whole family!  

An undertaking of this magnitude takes many volunteers. Click here if you would like to help with teaching, crafts, food preparation, or supervision. Click here for registration. We can't wait to celebrate God's goodness with the children of La Mesa!
LM1 is a Polling Place
When national tragedies like the one in Uvalde, Texas happen, despair can make us feel like we have to accept the status quo. But that isn't the case. We can make our voices heard on topics that protect our families and our world. We can VOTE!

Did you know that when our church opens the Social Hall as a polling place beginning May 28, any registered voter will be able to vote here from 8am to 5pm until June 7? That's right....the days of assigned polling places are gone thanks to the internet! When someone comes to vote, they will enter their address into the system and the correct ballot for them will appear on the voting screen. There will also be bins to drop mail-in ballots in our labyrinth. That means, you could attend worship and vote immediately after either May 29 or June 5. How's that for multi-tasking? 

Poll workers will be arriving each day at 7:30am. Please give them a warm welcome and thank them for their service if you see them on our campus!
Healthy Air Is Health Care

United Women in Faith and Earth Care Ministry want all to know that clean air is a top priority for all of us. Here, Esther Brasmer, Dale and Carol Conger-Cross prepare postcards to be sent to Senators Padilla and Feinstein in support of electric school buses and grid modernization. This is in response to the fact that the air that students breathe inside the 456,000 diesel school buses in California is four times more polluted than the air outdoors. We can do better for our children!

More postcards are available by emailing Debbie McDaniels-Lindsay.
Lantern and Ice Cream Party Was a Big Success
Thank you to our partner with Claudia Erickson and Unplugged Village for a great community event last Friday evening! Close to 100 people showed up and experienced firsthand that unplugging from screens, TVs and other devices can make for a really great time! 

Fresh Start Ministry Needs Your Help!

This Saturday, May 28 will be the last Friday of the month and that means preparations are underway for another awesome Fresh Start breakfast and outreach event on our patio beginning at 9 am. Because this is a holiday weekend, some of the regular volunteers are unable to attend, so if you're interested in pitching in, reach out to Diana Larsen.

If you can't attend, but would like to donate items that seem to run low every month, see the list below. You can bring donations the the event on Saturday morning, to church on Sunday or the church office between 9am and 2pm, Mondays through Thursdays. Thank you!

tubes of toothpaste(small or large)
shaving cream
lip balm
hand sanitizer
wipes-personal and facial
sunglasses
nail clippers
deodorant-full size
small mirrors for shaving                      

CREATING HYGIENE KITS @ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Members of Annual Conference who attend in person will have the opportunity to participate in one of two hands-on mission projects.  One of them will be to put together 2000 hygiene kits for Mercy House that serves across Orange County.  A number of these kits will be used by residents at the new Santa Ana UMC Legacy Square Housing project that will open in early 2023.

The South District has been asked to supply 2000 bottles of shampoo (medium to large size are ok) and 2000 lip balms.  That means each local church will aim for 30 of each item.  Members attending from our congregation will find a way to bring the items to Conference.

If you have these items please bring them to the church. We'll have boxes to place them in as we collect starting this Sunday through June 12th. 

United Women in Faith Discuss Women in Mourning
June's UWF meeting will feature Mary Odendahl facilitating a discussion of the book Sister in Mourning which is a compilation of stories by women caring for their mothers at the end of their lives and grieving for them after their deaths.  Seven women from diverse racial, cultural, and religious traditions with differing sexual orientations and life experiences became seven "sisters in mourning."  Mary says, "The testimonies of the seven women are full of both grief and joy." 

The meeting will be a moving, spiritual experience for all who attend. Please note: The United Women in Faith will meet during June on the 8th instead of the customary first Wednesday of the month because the social hall being used as a Voting Center. We will meet Wednesday, June 8th, at 1 p.m. in the social hall and on ZOOM.

This Week @ La Mesa First UMC

Friday, May 27
Voting Center Set-up Begins in Social Hall at 7:30am
(voting every day from 8am-5pm through June 7)

Saturday, May 28
Fresh Start Community Meal @ 9am on the Courtyard Patio


Sunday, May 29
Worship In-Person & Online @ 9:30am (Facebook & YouTube)
Sunday Morning Bookclub @ 11:10am on ZOOM

Monday, May 30 
Memorial Day - Office Closed

Tuesday, May 31
Women's Bible Study @ 6:30pm on ZOOM

Wednesday, June 1
La Mesa Walks @ 9am; check here for location

Thursday, June 2
Choir Rehearsal @ 7PM in the Social Hall
Thank you for supporting the mission and ministries of
La Mesa First United Methodist Church.
Click here to donate.

Contact Us

Rev. Christian DeMent
Pastor

Jill Coady
Director of Music Ministry

Valerie Sachs
Administrative Assistant
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Copyright © 2022 La Mesa First UMC All rights reserved.
Rev. Christian DeMent

4690 Palm Ave.
La Mesa,CA 91941
619.466.4163

www.lamesaumc.com

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