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

Growing Spiritual Redwoods

On Ruby Goodnight’s 100th birthday, Pastor Rebecca preached a sermon about what it takes to grow “spiritual redwoods” like Ruby. In that sermon, she quoted from the Book of Malachi: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse…and thus put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.” [Malachi 3:10] Ruby was a practiced tither, giving a tenth of her income to the work of God. For us baby redwoods, that may be something we have to grow up to. But we can begin by making a pledge, even if all we can afford is a few dollars a week. Pastor Rebecca couldn’t afford to tithe back when she was a half-time pastor in Santa Cruz, she and Hank were both in graduate school, and her daughter was in daycare. But she made a pledge and has increased it every year since. Now she tithes on her cash salary, but not on the value of the parsonage. For her, as for a redwood tree, there is always room for growth. All she asks of you is that you start somewhere. Remember, every tree on the Avenue of the Giants started out as a little sprout. But with good soil and enough moisture, young redwoods can grow very fast. So if you have the resources, by all means, reach for the sky. You’ll be 30, 60, 100 feet tall before you know it. And God’s grace will grow in you, yielding 30, 60, 100-fold. God expects nothing less and wants nothing more than for us to give God our very best. In Ruby’s memory, let’s do it. Pictured at right: Russ Kintner planted this redwood in honor of Ruby’s 100th birthday. He took the photo of the double rainbow.

Demonstrate Your Thankfulness

Each holiday season, WGUMC anticipates and relies on a seasonal increase in contributions. It is through the donations of every individual and family in the congregation that we are able to carry on our work now and throughout the year. If you need a convenient way to make recurring contributions or plan to make an additional gift before the end of the year, we encourage you to check out our electronic giving options. As the pace of life speeds up around the holidays, you may find electronic giving a most welcome way to make contributions. To set up a recurring giving schedule, visit us online at and locate the Online Giving button. Or if it’s easier, complete a paper authorization form and return it to the church office. See Budget Update on Page 3

Advent Begins November 30

November 2014

In This Issue: Pastor’s Page General Church News Children & Family MInistries Spiritual Development Women’s Page Mission & Service

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

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

Pastor’s Page Who Can Replace Moses? We Can!

Moses was unequaled among the prophets in the Hebrew Bible. But after all he did to free the slaves in Egypt, God would not let him lead them into the Promised Land. God decided that it was time for new management. But who could replace Moses? And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Passing the mantle of leadership has always been a problem for prophets and apostles, Messiahs and missionaries and regular folk like us. “Who can replace Moses?” is a question that gets repeated in every generation and in every congregation. This church has had some great leaders. One of them was Rev. Ezelle Cox, who was the last pastor of the church on Lincoln Avenue and who built this church on the corner of Minnesota and Washington. And don’t forget Rev. Wayne Williams, who led the effort to buy the Woodhaven property and start the preschool. But it wasn’t just the pastors. There were some great lay leaders, too. Their names are still spoken in hushed tones: Crummy, Compton, Reinschmidt, Goodnight, Praisewater, Ritchie, Buell, Fissel, Schlosser, Hosack, Mauseth, Bois, McIntosh, Mounts. I could go on, but I won’t, because too often we start to think about these saints the same way we think about Moses. We think that we could never be like them. We could never do what they did or give what they gave. We say that times have changed. This valley has changed. The workweek is longer. The cost of living is higher. Moms are busier. The load is heavier. And we know that it will never be like it was in those days. And that is true. It is also completely irrelevant. And that’s because God doesn’t need Moses today. It’s a different time and we have a different challenge. So we need different leadership. Who can replace Moses? By the grace of God, WE can. So, those of you who are leaders, but don’t know it yet, don’t tell me, “I’m not a Moses.” If you do, I’ll say, “Good, because God doesn’t need Moses. God needs you.” Just remember what Rabbi Susya said toward the end of his life: “God will not ask me why I was not Moses. God will ask me why I was not Susya.” God knows that you are you, and you are enough. The question is: what do you need to do to be the “you” God is calling you to? Here are some things to think about: 1. You can’t part the Red Sea, but can you read a spreadsheet? The Finance Committee needs you. 2. You can’t get water out of a rock, but can you organize a fundraiser and get money out of a turnip? Mission Possible needs you. 3. You can’t keep track of a bunch of Hebrews wandering in the wilderness, but can you update our membership records? The church needs you. 4. You can’t do miracles by holding up your staff, but can you support the staff of this church and help guide us in making staffing decisions? The Staff Parish Relations Committee needs you. 5. You have seen a burning bush. You have heard the voice, but you’re not sure what you can do? The pastor wants to talk with you. God bless you,


General Church News


Budget Update

The total budget for 2015 comes to $492,478. We are aiming for about $350,000 in pledges and offerings and about $140,000 in other income (including rents and building use). Watch for your pledge card to come in the mail or you can get one from the ushers on Sunday or in the church office during the week.

What’s Happening with Mission Possible?

The vision of Mission Possible is to responsibly improve our space in a way that enables us to achieve our goals and our church vision. Phase One, which included new windows, heating/AC, paint, carpet, wainscoting and new chairs in Kohlstedt Hall, is nearly complete. We’ve also purchased new window blinds, upgraded the electrical, installed energy-efficient lighting and remodeled the storage room. Still to come: improved accoustics and staining the trim in Kohlstedt and drywall repair/paint in the Wesley Room. The second annual Mission Possible Rummage Sale was a huge success, making $9,350 to pay for renovation and debt repayment. And we were elated to receive an anonymous gift to be used to renovate the kitchen next to the Wesley Room, including appliance upgrades and replacing the flooring. This generous gift will enable Mission Possible the begin Phase Two and Phase Three in parallel, starting January 2015. Phase Two will include work in the Sanctuary, such as replacement of the speaker fabric,ceiling and window repair, paint, floor repair and new carpet, improved seating, energy efficient lighting, upgraded sound and projection system, and improved accessibility. Continued on Page 7


Children & Family Ministries

The Village Game Night

Friday, November 21, at 7:00 p.m. We’re opening the game closet and getting out all the favorites – Apples to Apples, Twister, UNO, and more. We’ll hang out in Woodhaven, playing games we know and learning some new ones. Dominoes or cribbage anyone? Don’t forget, we will be celebrating November birthdays, too! See you at the Village: Activities for the Whole Church Family!

Time Out for Gratitude in Sunday School

As an adult, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is one of the few holidays that is just about taking a break and celebrating our blessings. It’s kind of like a big “time out” for all of us – not the “you’re in trouble” kind of time out, but the “take a break and pull yourself together” kind of time out. Let’s not forget that adults need these adjustment moments as much as kids do. We see it in major league baseball: the pitcher has loaded the bases so the pitching coach or a teammate walks out to the mound to perhaps say a few words of encouragement, but really to just give him some time to take a deep breath and refocus. The same thing happens in our lives. We get grumpy, complaining about everything little thing. We may notice it in our kids before we notice it in ourselves. The kids who were once happy and played together are now bickering and nagging each other over nothing. If we never take the time to acknowledge what God has done in our lives or how others have helped us, we may develop a growing frustration with the people around us. We might become bitter and complain about everything little thing. Everyone needs a time out. We don’t need to sit in the corner, but we need an attitude adjustment, which is why this month we are talking about what it means to show gratitude: letting others know that you see how they have helped you. We’re learning to take time to give thanks for the blessings in our lives and trying to live with an attitude of gratitude and trusting God. “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIrV

Looking Ahead to Christmas Eve with our Children

Our family worship service on Christmas Eve will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Our children will once again participate in the early service, serving as the choir for worship and sharing in some of the leadership of the service by helping to tell the Christmas story in an upbeat and lively way. The Praise Band will also lead us in contemporary and traditional Christmas music as we welcome the long-awaited Savior into our lives. Please join us for this spirited candlelit service that does find its moments of peace even amidst the chaos and excitement of celebration. Our Christmas kids’ choir, the Sunday School Singers, will begin rehearsing at the end of Sunday School beginning midNovember. All of our Sunday School students will be invited to be part of the telling of the Christmas story as well.


Faith and Fellowship for Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders Friday, November 14 7:00-8:30 p.m. Cost: $10 We’re going bowling, CrossWalk-style!

We will meet at church and carpool to the bowling alley where the traditional game will receive some new twists. We will have fun with old friends and get to know some new ones, too. Come join the fun and faith that happens at CrossWalk! Please RSVP to Pastor Susan by November 12 so we can arrange drivers. CrossWalk is for third, fourth and fifth graders. Bring a friend!

Mission & Service


Christmas Giving Tree for Esther’s Outreach and the Family Giving Tree

Esther Jakel, a longtime member of Cambrian Park UMC, started a Christmas outreach program over 15 years ago for needy families whose children attend Lietz or Oster School in the Cambrian Park neighborhood. This year, twenty families will be selected by the school offices and then supported by this outreach program in Esther’s memory. Willow Glen UMC will be participating in Esther’s Outreach through our annual Giving Tree. Gift tags will offer you the opportunity to provide gifts for family members or grocery gift cards for a holiday meal. Tags will be on the tree in the Wesley Room early in November. Come by and choose how you will share some love and hope this Christmas. We will also be supporting The Family Giving Tree. All gifts and donations need to be returned to the church early in December. Please read your chosen gift tag carefully for specific instructions and deadlines. Thank you for sharing with others during this holiday season. What a wonderful time to surround others with joy and love!

Join our Prayer Shawl Ministry – We Need your Caring Hands!

We are all standing in the need of prayer and, as a result, our prayer shawl ministry is in high demand. Our Caring Hands knitters and crocheters meet each Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Woodhaven for prayerful handiwork time. If you are not able to meet on Thursday afternoons and would like to knit or crochet prayer shawls at home, please pick up patterns and yarn from Jacque Lauer on Sunday mornings. Completed shawls can be brought to church and will be blessed in worship before they are given to those who need to feel our prayers. Coming in January – a monthly Caring Hands gathering in the evening for all prayer shawl hands to come together to knit, crochet, and share in ministry with one another. We will also teach new knitters and crocheters at this time as well. Watch the Willow Word for more details.

JYM Walkathon Was a Huge Success!

Your faithfulness is fundraising and volunteering helped the Joint Youth Ministry raise $17,000 for the scholarship fund! *A little more than half our youth group showed up on Sunday with pledges and their walking shoes! Thank you for your hard work and diligence! *Our volunteer team did a wonderful job setting up, cleaning, counting money, sorting, passing out food and drink and much more. Thank you to the over 25 parent/adult volunteers *Kiersten Manuel did a great job of leading the Walk-a-thon and doing so much prep-, during- and post-work to get the job done. Wendy Chung helped lead a wonderful team of volunteers in the finance office who processed and gave us our totals quickly. Mike Dile was there the entire time and helped do all the jobs needed! *Students who have only come to youth group a handful of times came and walked and fundraised and made new friends! *Many families and friends donated online this time for the first time ever. And OF COURSE we are still happy to collect donations and accept support for this event! *The shirts were goofy, the food tasty, the water balloons epic and the course...well the same as always ; ) but the entire event turned out just great. It was a good day to be in community together and we appreciate the students who worked so hard to raise funds so that ALL students can have access to the JYM events, trips and services.

6 Women’s Groups Open to all, newcomers are welcome. Please call the contact listed below for information. Heart and Hand Thursday, November 6 7:00 p.m., Woodhaven Susan Smith Friendship Circle Third Monday Noon, Woodhaven Suzanne Selby Wesley Women Fourth Tuesday 1:30 p.m., Woodhaven Jane Vivian

UMW Executive Board will meet Monday, November 3, at 9:30 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 December/January Willow Word is November 25. Please send your story ideas and submissions to Leslie Chamberlain

Women’s Page A November Tradition in UMW – the World Thank Offering

November is traditionally the time for members of United Methodist Women to celebrate the World Thank Offering. The offering may be taken in a general meeting, in a circle meeting or through individual contributions. For the past 132 years, World Thank Offering has been part of United Methodist Women and its predecessor organizations’ channel of giving. The World Thank Offering is an opportunity for individuals to respond to God’s abundance and grace with spontaneous gifts of gratitude. The funds collected are used in the total program of mission in the United States and around the world that is carried out through the United Methodist women’s national office. Members and friends of UMW are encouraged to participate in the 2014 World Thank Offering. A check made to UMW with the notation “World Thank Offering” may be mailed or handed to the treasurer, Becky Morgan or to a circle leader.

A Grand Christmas Celebration – Not Just for Women!

Wednesday, December 3 Circle the date on your calendar now and don’t make other plans. You won’t want to miss the Christmas Luncheon and Program being planned this year, jointly with Willowmates. With many members belonging to both organizations, it seemed wise this year to combine the groups for a grand luncheon and an outstanding music program. The menu is being planned, arrangements are being made and it promises to be a joyful holiday celebration. Willowmates will bring unwrapped toys for the Sacred Heart Christmas toy program. Others attending are invited to participate in this giving program if they wish. Tickets will be available after Thanksgiving, at a cost of $10 each. Plan now to attend, and bring a guest! Membership in either UMW or Willowmates is not required – all are welcome. Child care can be provided if arrangements are made through Susan Smith.

In Memoriam

We grieve for Ruby Goodnight, who died on October 28, at the age of 100. Our deepest sympathy is extended to her family.

All Around Willow Glen


Memorial Service for Ruby Goodnight

The memorial celebration for Ruby Goodnight will be held on Wednesday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. She always did love parties and we’ll have one more for her. We thank God for her 100 years of growing in grace.

Moments of Peace: Advent Family Nights

6:00-8:00 p.m., Woodhaven Tuesdays of Advent (Dec. 2, 9, 16 & maybe 23) Do you have dreams of a simpler Christmas? Are you wishing for quiet time with your family in the glow of the Christmas tree and without all the clutter of life surrounding you? We have just the answer. Gather up your family and drop in at Woodhaven on the Tuesday evenings of Advent, anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. You’ll find friendly faces, a simple soup supper, some board games, seasonal movies, Christmas crafts, and space for doing homework. Come in from the cold and crazy of the season and get warmed up at Woodhaven with your church family.

What’s Happening with Mission Possible?

Continued from Page 3 Phase Three will make further improvements in the Wesley Room, such as new floors, energy-efficient lighting and electrical upgrades. In Kohlstedt Hall, we will upgrade the sound system, refinish the stage floor and replace the curtains. Through your generosity, we have accomplished great things. Thank you! We are on track to reach our goals of paying off our previous debt and completing the refurbishment of our buildings. But we need more resources to continue. Please keep sending in your pledges. Please pledge if you haven’t already. And please volunteer to lead or help with our Mission Possible fundraising events. With your help, we are building a better church!

Willow Glen United Methodist Church

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