The Willow Word

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The Willow Word A Publication of the Willow Glen United Methodist Church

God’s Family Growing Through Caring, Sharing and Serving

Loving God with Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind

Ash Wednesday Service: February 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary On Ash Wednesday this year we will hold an interactive service to name and to let go of all the things that are keeping us from loving God with all our heart and soul and strength and mind, in other words, as a whole person. After we have symbolically turned our brokenness over to God, we will have the opportunity to receive ashes or prayers from the pastors.

Lenten Devotion for 2015: The Means of Grace

Week One – Fasting The wonderful thing about our Advent devotions in December was that folks who are generally too busy to come to fellowship events were still able to get to know others a little better because church members were willing to share what God had been doing in their life in the past year. This may be a part of the answer to the challenge of growing in faith while living and working in Silicon Valley. So we are going to try to put together a homegrown daily devotion for Lent again this year. Our theme will be The Means of Grace. What we mean by the means of grace is the ways that God uses to communicate grace with us and be present with us. There are the traditional means of grace: prayer and fasting, studying and listening to the Word, worshiping God, receiving baptism and taking communion. But there are other means of grace as well: singing, sharing your faith with others, writing in a journal, walking the labyrinth, and spending time in God’s Creation are a few. For each week of Lent, I will be inviting you to contribute your thoughts about how you best experience God. If it is through prayer, tell us about a specific instance of prayer when you especially felt the presence of God. If it is when taking communion, tell us what it means to you and what that was like for you. If you have a particular method for practicing the presence of God that you’d like to share, we want to hear about it. If you have a favorite retreat spot, we want to google it! For the first week of Lent, we will be looking at a very traditional means of grace: fasting. If you have any experience in abstaining from something, such as food, alcohol, or technology, write about what you did and what you learned about yourself and God in the process. Maybe by sharing you will encourage someone to try their own spiritual fast this Lent.

February 2015

In This Issue: Pastor’s Page General Church News Children & Family Ministries Mission & Service Women’s Page Mission Possible

Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7

2 Sunday Worship 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Contemporary Worship 9:45 – 10:00 a.m. Fellowship Time 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Christian Education/Sunday School 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Traditional Service 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Fellowship Time

Pastor’s Page A Welcoming Ministry

At our last Lay Leadership Council meeting we spent time talking about how much we appreciated the welcoming ministry of Al and Dorothy Mauseth and Grace Praisewater. The three of them were never appointed or elected, but they were definitely called by God to do this ministry. God gave each of them the gift of making every person feel welcome and valued. When visitors came to church, these three didn’t push the church or its programs on them, nor did they try to convince visitors that there was something wrong with them that the church needed to fix. Instead, they showed genuine interest in newcomers and made them feel as if they were a blessing to us. To Al and Dorothy and Grace, strangers were just friends they hadn’t met yet. So they were eager to hear their stories and were happy to stay and listen. I believe that God has used these dear saints to teach us something very important about God’s love and how to welcome others into it. Now it is our task to carry on this ministry. So we are looking for folks who are regularly in worship to form a team that intentionally extends the grace of welcome to newcomers. Those of you who have a love for God and a heart for people, consider yourself called.

Church Staff Rebecca Irelan Senior Pastor

Susan Smith Pastor of Children & Family Ministries Lisa Jacobs Director of Joint Youth Ministries Lorene Sheridan Director of Weekday Ark Ministries Robert Birnstihl Organist & Director of Music Ministries Tom Mounts Director, the Willow Glen Ringers Dee Davis Office & Facilities Manager Karen Kwon Wedding Coordinator

Stewardship Update As you may have guessed, our stewardship campaign got a little bit lost in some of the big events of last fall. Many folks forgot to fill out their pledge card and we didn’t get out a reminder letter. Consequently, we are still unsure of where we are financially going into this year. But we can give you an interim report. As of the end of January, we have received 66 pledge cards. If we add in some of the online givers and assume that they will continue to give, we have about 80 pledges. The total in pledges comes to $252,000 and we were hoping for $286,000. That is a fairly big deficit and the Finance Committee will try to contact our faithful givers who just haven’t been able to return their pledge. If that is you, please let Becky Morgan know.

General Church News


A Wealth of Resources: Media Library

Do you know that in addition to the great resources in our church library, we’re a member of the Northern California Ecumenical Media Resource Center (MRC), and their resources are available to anyone in our church as well? Small groups, UMW circles, committees and classes for all ages can check out media for a one-time session or series. Individuals can check out media for personal study and inspiration, and families can enjoy DVDs, videos and Bible computer programs. You decide how long you need to keep it. The MRC catalog is online. Items can be mailed if you pay the postage, or picked up and returned to the MRC, which is located at the Campbell Methodist Church on Winchester near Hamilton Avenue. Check them out at, or visit the library at Campbell UMC. Contact Ingrid Quigley if you have any questions about the Media Library.

Volunteer Projects

Do you like doing projects at the church that have a definite beginning and end? Do you like working alone or in pairs? We have lots of little things that need doing and no committee that is charged with doing them. If any of these projects interest you, please contact Pastor Rebecca: 1. Arrange some historical photos into an album. 2. Arrange banner material and worship supplies in the old choir room in the basement. 3. Design a new banner hanging system and let a Boy Scout build it as an Eagle project. 4. Design a banner hanging system in the sanctuary that can be operated from the ground and not require ladders. 5. Design a play area in the front of Woodhaven. We have the money and people power to build it. 6. Help shop for new flower stands for the sanctuary. 7. Help choose or design a new altar table for worship in Kohlstedt Hall. 8. Help choose a new media stand for use in worship in Kohlstedt Hall. 9. Fix up the pastors' pictures in the narthex. They need some TLC.


Children & Family Ministries Uncovering Kindness in Sunday School

A little bit of kindness can go a long way to change the world around us. Even the smallest act can inspire another small act, and just like a snowball rolling down a hill, kindness grows and grows. Perhaps that’s why a version of the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, NIV) is found in most world religions. It serves us well in life and as our memory verse this month as we explore the value of kindness.


Faith and Fellowship for Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders

Our simple acts of kindness reflect something bigger – our faith in the goodness of God to care for all people. Jesus teaches us how to show kindness throughout his life. In many ways, he actually flipped the whole idea of kindness on its head and redefined it for the disciples and for us when he showed kindness to ALL people. This month, everyone is talking about how to show their friends and family how valuable they are with cards and candy and flowers. The simplest way we can make a difference, however, is to show kindness the way Jesus did, so we will spend this month showing others they are valuable by how we treat them – and not just our friends and family – EVERYONE!

Friday, February 13, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Theme: Are Angry Eyebrows Ever Okay? Scripture: John 2:13-16; Ephesians 4:26 We’ve been considering how we make choices, and this month we’ll think about how we can manage and use our anger effectively. Anger can be a scary feeling, so let’s figure out how to handle it and not let it control us. As always, there is faith and fun at CrossWalk while we learn with friends.

Sunday School meets each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. See you there!

Save the Dates! Vacation Bible School 2015 June 22-26 More information coming soon! Toyon Kids Camp 2015 July 6-11 Monte Toyon, Aptos, Calif. Our conference offers summer camps for children and youth beginning in third grade. Pastor Susan and our CrossWalk kids are planning to attend Toyon Kids Camp at Monte Toyon in Aptos, July 6-11. However, there are lots of camps available throughout the summer. Check it out at There is nothing like camp to bring you closer to God! Consider a week of faith, friends and fun at camp this summer. Registration will begin in February. If you have questions, contact Pastor Susan ([email protected]).

Mission & Service


Changing the World, One Day at a Time

By Bonnie Home, AHUMC The January 10 “Change the World Day” event at Cambrian Park UMC began with testimonies by two former residents of The Jungle, who are now camping temporarily with “The Community.” Their advocate Robert, who was once homeless himself, urged us to think beyond only feeding and clothing people temporarily, and imagine some creative solutions that have been implemented in other cities such as San Diego, where land has been set aside on which the homeless can pitch their tents. All three speakers thanked us for our hard work and generous donations which would be our gifts to them. One team filled bags with blankets and sleeping bags, and men’s and women’s clothes. Another team made fleece scarves and hats. A third team went to the kitchen to prepare lettuce and tomatoes and bake cookies for the fresh lunches, while others made the meat and cheese sandwiches. Robert and other volunteers transported the fresh lunches, blankets, and clothing to the homeless in “The Community.” A fourth team packed non-perishable lunches for downtown’s “Front Door Ministry.” A fifth team bagged children’s clothing for Sacred Heart Community Services. All of this was accomplished in a flurry of activity lasting only two hours. When everything was ready to go, the teams circled up for announcements and prayers. Everyone is invited to United Methodist Women of Willow Glen UMC on February 21 to share a lunch with the homeless and listen to their stories, and our Building Hope team continues to develop ways to be in ministry with “The Community.” If you are interested in serving “The Community” on a regular basis, please contact Pastor Susan ([email protected]).

Building Hope Mission Trip to Mexico

July 25-August 1, 2015 This is an intergenerational mission project and we invite anyone ages 5-85 to consider joining the team. Working with Amor Ministries, we will build two-room houses for impoverished, working families. For most of this week-long trip, we will sleep in tents pitched in a basic campground, work full days in the Mexican sun, rain or wind and shower with a bucket of water warmed only by the sun. This trip will change your life as you get to know and fall in love with the people of Mexico who live in these conditions every day. Amor Ministries has been building in Mexico for more than 30 years. Find out more about their work at The cost of the mission trip covers all mission expenses including transportation, lodging, food and the cost of the building materials ($725 for adults, $425 for children under 10). Your deposit of $225/adult and $125/child will be due by March 15, 2015. To find out more about the mission trip, including the daily schedule and building plan, trip safety and finances, contact Pastor Susan Smith ([email protected]) or Lisa Jacobs ([email protected]).

6 Women’s Groups Open to all, newcomers are welcome. Please call the contact listed below for information. Heart and Hand First Thursday 7:00 p.m., Woodhaven Susan Smith Friendship Circle Third Wednesday at Woodhaven See bulletin for time Sue Johnson

Women’s Page United Methodist Women Embark on 2015 Plans

In a planning session early in January, the executive board of UMW mapped out goals and plans for 2015, which include: support and encouragement of circles; sponsoring an all-church mission education event; support of social action programs of the United Methodist Church; and support of our pastors and the Lay Leadership Council of WGUMC. In addition, we will continue to meet the requirements of UMW to be a “Mission Today” unit. General meetings are planned for February, April, May, September and December. Most will be held on Saturday to enable more women to attend. (See story below re February 21 event). We will strive to meet our pledge to mission through individual pledges and gifts, interest and dividend income, and local fund raising efforts. Last year, 2014, we met our pledge to mission and after making a tithe to the church, were able to distribute over $600 to mission outreach and local projects. Fund raisers this year will include our annual sale of See’s Easter Candy, and the fee we earn from serving dessert to the members of an outside group, To Kalon, who use our church facilities around eight times a year. Membership in UMW is open to all, regardless of membership in the United Methodist Church. For more information, please contact Membership Chairman, Jane Vivian (see church directory for contact information or call the church office).

February 21 Lunch with our Homeless Sisters and Brothers UMW Executive Board will meet Monday, March 2, at 10:30 a.m. in the Wesley Room. UMW is open to all women regardless of church membership. For more information about UMW, call Patricia Madsen.

The deadline for the March Willow Word is February 25. Please send your story ideas and submissions to Leslie Chamberlain

Willow Glen UMW has invited about a dozen people from a homeless encampment to have lunch with us here on Saturday, February 21. After a brief business meeting at 11:15 a.m., our guests will join us for a simple lunch and an opportunity to talk and get acquainted with each other. Two or three have been invited to share with us some of their hopes and dreams for the future. Pat Farrow, Social Action coordinator for UMW, encourages all Willow Glen men and women to take this opportunity to get to know some of these people, our fellow citizens, who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being without a permanent residence. This is chance to learn something of their circumstances, and learn what we can do as a community to help them achieve a safer and healthier life style. Neighboring churches have been invited to participate in this event. We will need a count of those planning to attend to ensure there is food for all. Please respond to Pat Farrow at 408-348-2934 or [email protected] by February 19. A free will offering will be taken to cover the cost of the lunch.

All Around Willow Glen


Reflecting on the number of friends we have lost in recent months, we lovingly remember: Ruby Goodnight Mel Bradfield Rev. Wayne Williams Isabelle Gruver Bill Chamberlin Cricket Eleanor Jane Kremenek Al Mauseth

Al Mauseth Memorial

The memorial service for Al Mauseth will be held on Saturday, February 7th, at 2 p.m. It is the same day as our pancake breakfast, which makes for a very busy day. However, the breakfast is just the kind of all-church community event that Al and Dorothy would want to be a part of, so we hope that you can make the time to attend both. We will need a lot of help on that day. If you have not already volunteered to help with the breakfast, you can still do so. Then we will need help to transition Kohlstedt Hall into a reception area for the funeral in the afternoon. We will also need people to contribute food and assist with the reception. If you would like to show your love for Al and Dorothy by helping out, please call the church office and we will be in touch with you. Thank you for all the ways you are family for one another.

Office Needs

Do you have a fax machine that you aren’t using? The church’s fax machine is no longer working. Also, the pastor’s printer needs repair. Does anyone have a spare that she could put in her office for occasional use?

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for Mission Possible

Saturday, February 7th from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. Pancakes, Link Sausage, Bacon, Fruit Salad, OJ, Tea, Coffee, and Milk. Tickets are $10 each, $5 for kids under 5 years old, and $50 family maximum. You can purchase your tickets online at or at the church office. Silent Auction too! Don’t miss the fun! Some fabulous items have been donated to our silent auction, including San Jose Sharks tickets, vacation home stays at at the beach and Lake Tahoe, restaurant giftcards and certificates for local attractions. We look forward to unveiling our newly remodeled kitchen - and to raising money for debt repayment and renovation. Thanks to everyone for your help in working toward our Mission Possible goal! For more information or to donate items to the auction, contact Nate or Michelle Unger at [email protected] or any Mission Possible team member. This will also be a great “Each One, Bring One” event – invite your friends and neighbors!

Willow Glen United Methodist Church

1420 Newport Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125 408-294-9796