COVID-19 Response

Livestream

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SUNDAY, MAY 24TH LIVESTREAM

WESTWOOD KIDS – Sunday at 9:45am

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THE LOFT – Sunday at 10am

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THE SANCTUARY – Sunday at 10am

Download the worship guide.
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SUNDAY & MIDWEEK EVENTS

WESTWOOD KIDS
Sunday, May 24th (9:45am) Facebook / Website

From Pastor Diana: ” I learned in a UCLA webinar this week on Neuroscience and Human Behavior that storytelling is a very good way to deal with the stress of sheltering at home. So for Ascension Day, we are asking our families (that’s all of you in church whether or not you have children at home) to join in on the lesson! In the Ascension, according to the Book of Acts, Jesus tells his disciples to be witnesses.”
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THE SANCTUARY
Sunday, May 24th (10am) Facebook / Website
“The Space Between” – Rev. Darin Arnston

This Sunday, we’ll venture with the disciples into the messy liminality between what we knew and what is yet to be, as we observe together the Ascension of Jesus.
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THE LOFT GATHERING
Sunday, May 24th (10am) Facebook / Website
“What Is Love?”
Rev. Molly Vetter, Josh Lopez-Reyes, and Susan Vincent explore #loveinthetimeofcorona asking: What is perfect love? Is it a belief, practice, or experience? We’ll talk about how we’re called to share love in this pandemic, too.
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THE LOFT CONVERSATION
Sunday, May 24th (Immediately After the Gathering) via Zoom

Connect and discuss the themes touched on during the Sunday livestream. All are welcome. Hosted by Josh Lopez-Reyes. Contact josh@theloftla.org for the Zoom link.
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FOLLOW UP
Sunday, May 24th & 31st (11am-12noon) via Zoom

“Our Story to Tell: A Two-Part Writing Workshop” – Larry Owen
We all have our own story to tell. And to write. You may not know very much about your grandparents or great-grandparents, but you can write about your own life for your grandchildren and generations to come. Imagine them reading about your life fifty years from now! Join Larry Owen on May 24th and 31st for a two-part workshop where you’ll learn how to write your story and share some of your own writing as well. Larry taught English classes for forty years, the last 33 at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.  Those Swedes did not corrupt his Texas twang. After being retired two years and living among many retirees is Arkansas, he invited folks who needed help writing their life story to meet him at Hill Country Bar-B-Que on a Tuesday morning. He keeps encouraging folks to write their life story as a gift to their loved ones. For the Zoom access link, please refer to the weekly enews or contact Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
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COVID-19 ASSISTANCE
We are in the midst of unprecedented and uncertain times, and we know that a lot of us will face unforeseen circumstances and needs over the next few months. As a church community, we are committed to supporting our members, especially in times like this. As part of that commitment, we are making funds available to meet needs that have surfaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you find yourself needing assistance during this time, please let us know by filling out this Google Form or reaching out to Pastor Molly Vetter at molly@westwoodumc.org. This invitation extends to your communities as well—if you know of anyone in need, we want to try and relieve that need as much as possible.
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FAREWELL OPEN HOUSE FOR REV. DARIN ARNTSON
Sunday, June 14th (11am-12noon) via Zoom
We are so grateful to have had Rev. Darin as a Pastor at Westwood Church this year, and are excited for her upcoming appointment to be Senior Pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in San Diego. We invite you to help us send her to this new adventure with gratitude, blessing, and prayer. We invite you to contribute to a Love Offering for her by selecting “Darin Arntson Love Gift” from the dropdown menu. Email Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org for the Open House Zoom link.
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EVENING PRAYER
Tuesday & Thursdays (6pm) via Facebook Live
Join Pastor Darin Arntson each Tuesday and Thursday evening at 6pm for a short time of Scripture reading and prayer in the Westwood Church Community Group Facebook Group. (If you’re not already a member, simply click the link and request to join.)
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GOD TALK
1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month (7-8pm) via Zoom
Join Rev. Dr. John C Holbert (PhD in Biblical Studies) and Reg Gipson, JD
for this new biweekly Bible Study Class. For this first conversation, we’ll be discussing “The Second Coming.” This so-called doctrine, said to derive from the Bible, is in fact a very late addition to the concerns of the Christian church, not appearing until late in the 19th century. The Bible does refer, however, and quite regularly, to the return of Jesus in power, a belief of many early Christians, including by most estimates the apostle Paul, that profoundly affected the practices of the emerging communities of the faith. Most of the creeds that we United Methodists say include a phrase like “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” What we mean by that we will explore, and will indicate why that late-comer belief about the “rapture” and its partner “the second coming” developed as it did and continues to fascinate, and even terrify, some 21st century Christians. Email Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org for the Zoom link.
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CELEBRATING GRADUATES
Are you a graduate, or do you have one in your family? Whether it’s high school, college, or grad school, we want to know so we can recognize your hard work and celebrate you on Sunday, June 7th (in The Loft and The Sanctuary). Tell us where you’re graduating from, degrees given, where you’re off to next, etc. Once we have a list compiled, we will include it in an upcoming issue of the Friday enews! Please submit information to Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
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WESTWOOD GROUP

Tuesday, May 26th (7:30pm) via Zoom
For the Zoom access link, contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org
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EASTSIDE GROUP
Wednesday, May 27th (7pm) via Zoom
For the Zoom access link, contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org.
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PRAYER?!?! GROUP
Wednesday, May 27th (7:30pm) via Zoom
For the Zoom access link, contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org.
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CULVER CITY GROUP
Saturday, May 30th (4:30pm) via Zoom
For the Zoom access link, contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org.
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A NOTE FROM PASTOR MOLLY

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This week, as we shifted into a next stage of our local “safer at home” order for an indefinitely time (but almost certainly through the summer), the reality that our church life will have to continue to adapt during this much longer period of time began to sink in for me in new ways. I really miss being able to gather in person–to shake hands and hug, to see your faces as I preach, to sing and pray in the same space.
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I am also grateful that we have been able to adapt quickly to some new ways of doing ministry together: glad for the creativity and skill of our staff leaders who’ve been creating Sunday worship online, and other ways of connecting, too. I’m always glad to hear reports about how you’ve been looking after one another, extending care and prayers and finding creative ways of being community together.
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We will continue to do this work together. I know it’s not easy: some of us are exhausted as we try to manage all the details of homeschooling our children, working from home and caring for others. Others of us feel stuck, lonely and unusually dependent on the care of others. I pray especially for those who lack a safe place to live, or adequate food; for those who’ve lost work or are ill.
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I am committed to continuing to find ways that we can be “church” for each other in this time. Our faith gives us incredible gifts, even when everything feels like it’s falling apart. I will continue to remind you that you are loved, and invite you to continue to live lovingly with the world. During trying times, we might be tempted to withdraw into ourselves, but I invite you instead to dare to be tender and to choose love for others. I believe that we will find more ways–new and old–to live out the love of God in this world.
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Grace and peace,
Molly