Livestream

.

Sunday Gatherings

3 (3)

THE LOFT
“Why Church?: A Kind of Homecoming” – Rev. Molly Vetter
Sunday, September 19th (10:30am) In Person at The Loft

.
On this Homecoming Sunday, Pastor Molly continues our series, asking: Why Church? As we make and re-make community in this long season of pandemic, we dig into a beloved parable of prodigal welcome for insight about what it means to be a church “home.” Plus, we are excited to welcome back Dedrick Bonner, the director of the Singers of Soul Gospel Choir as well!

.
.


THE SANCTUARY
“What Do We Mean When We Say: Draw Near to God”Rev. Dr. James Edwards
Sunday, September 19th (9:30am) In Person and via Facebook Live

.

Click here to download the Worship Guide.

.

We welcome our own Jim Edwards as preacher this Homecoming Sunday–he continues our series from the book of James as we explore advice given to help us live faithfully.
.
Community Conversations
We invite you to join us for short Community Conversations just after worship – either in person or via zoom.
.
Outdoor Coffee and Donut Fellowship
Homecoming Sunday 2021 includes Outdoor Coffee and Donut Fellowship! Stay after worship to enjoy the sweetness of community, with donuts from the brand new Primo’s Donuts in Westwood Village.

Watch Sunday worship from previous weeks on our YouTube account or listen to our worship podcast.


.

SUNDAY & MIDWEEK EVENTS

WESTWOOD KIDS COLLECTING MONEY FOR CHILDREN IN HAITI
Through the month of September, Westwood Kids are collecting money in heart-shaped banks to help children impacted by the recent earthquake. The monies will support the work of Mark and Kathy Fulton, who are missionaries at Church of God Hospital in St. Ard, Archahaie, Haiti as well as dear friends of Jim and Deanna Edwards. For more information on the Fultons, go to www.chogglobal.org/team/mkfulton. Please be generous and slip money into your bank (or give it to a child to do so) every time you feel thankful. If you would like to write a check for this, please make it out to the church with “Haiti’s Children” on the memo line. We hope to support this wonderful hospital that was built by friends of Ms. Deanna’s and is staffed by Haitians.
.
GIVING FOR DISASTER RELIEF

We invite you to make financial gifts to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Your donations will go directly to UMCOR for relief work in the US and around the world. UMCOR is currently active in Haiti, in response to hurricanes, flooding and fires in the US, and many other places throughout the world. When you mark your donations to our church for UMCOR, we will forward your gift so that 100% of it goes to wherever there is the greatest need to fight hunger and poverty, assist the displaced and respond to disasters. You can give online, at church, or by mail.
.
LOFTBALLERS SOFTBALL – COME WATCH THE TEAM!
Monday, October 4th (7:30pm)
Cheviot Hills Rec Center (2551 Motor Ave., Los Angeles)
All are invited to come out and cheer on the Loftballers Softball Team as they play against other churches and synagogues in this interfaith league. All games are played at 7:30pm on Mondays at Cheviot Hills Rec Center – 2551 Motor Ave., LA 90064. Click for a list of upcoming games!
.
OPEN SING / RING
Sundays, Sept. 19th – October 3rd (10:40-11am) The Sanctuary

Sanctuary Music invites you to three opportunities to make music in the Sanctuary Chancel. No prior experience needed. Simply bring your mask and enjoy 20 minutes of music making! For more information, contact Andrew Schultz at andrew@westwoodumc.org.
.
September 19th – Choir
September 26th – Bells
October 3rd – Choir
.
MID-DAY PRAYER SERVICE
Tuesdays and Thursdays (12noon) via Facebook Live

We invite you to stop, take a deep breath, and join us for a few moments of centering scripture, reflection and prayer. Led from our beautiful sanctuary, Mid-Day Prayer is live at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Westwood Church Community Facebook Group. Or, you can pray with us whenever you are able, later in the day. If you’re new to this group, go to www.facebook.com/groups/westwood.umc and click on the “Join Group” button at the top of the page.
.
SANCTUARY ALTAR FLOWERS
Ever thought about sponsoring the flowers on the altar? It’s a wonderful way to honor or remember a loved one, celebrate a special event or milestone, or just make the Sanctuary space more beautiful! Cost is $85. You can even partner with a friend, committee, or other church group to help defray the cost. For more info or to sign up for a specific Sunday, please con­tact Sabrina Simmons at 310.474.451 or sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
.
RE-OPENING OUR CAMPUS
Our Re-Opening Team is working on details and plans so that we can return to campus this summer; we hope to resume in-person activities sometime in June. We also anticipate continuing to offer opportunities for worship, learning and community online. Alongside our reopening plan, we anticipate some changes to our Sunday schedule, including shifts in the time of our worship gatherings. Our thanks to Church Council members Jo Schiff, Eli Reynolds, Tom Burkhard and Rachel Gipson for working with Pastor Molly and the rest of our staff on this plan; our prayers are with them as they consider the impact on all the people involved as well as those who we hope to reach outside our congregation.
.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Starting this coming week, our church office will be open Tuesday – Friday from 9am-1pm. Everyone on campus is required to wear a mask and maintain social distance from others.
.
COMMUNITY UPDATES
We invite you to share updates about yourself with our Westwood UMC community to be included in this weekly church eNews–to keep us connected in this time of physical separation. (Please send updates to sabrina@westwoodumc.org.)
.
PRAYER LIST
If you would like to be added to our church prayer list, please let us know via this online form. (You can indicate whether you want your name shared here in the e-news or just with our pastors.)
.


.

A NOTE FROM PASTOR MOLLY

.

I invite you to worship with us this Sunday, September 19, when we’ll celebrate a Homecoming Sunday for 2021. If you haven’t been connected in a while, I hope you might make a point of being with us this weekend. I encourage you to invite friends and neighbors to join us, too.
.
The costs of this coronavirus pandemic continue to be high; we grieve for all the lives lost, we extend compassion for those who are infected and affected. We offer prayer and support for health care workers who have persisted in labor for the care of others. We see the costs of isolation on our communal well-being–the burdens it has placed on our families and schoolchildren, the loneliness endured by those who live alone. For each of us, it has been a different, difficult road to walk. I feel the emotional and physical costs that so many of us carry.
.
Even though we have so often been physically separated, I want to remind you that you cannot be separated from the love of God. One of the greatest gifts of the Church is how it connects us to a human community of care and support; it reminds us that we are known and that we belong. It reminds us that we have a responsibility and calling to seek the well-being of others.
.
So many of you have continued to be connected to this congregation throughout this pandemic, and you’ve been living out your faith in the world. I know that, for others, this has been a season of disconnection, as the ways we’ve been worshiping haven’t been accessible for you. Whatever your connection to the church has been, I invite you to be a part of this Homecoming Sunday. It will be an opportunity to experience and offer welcome with one another.
.
I want to celebrate several things that have been happening in our church leadership. I am incredibly grateful to welcome Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter, our Theologian in Residence, into a pastoral leadership role for The Loft. He is currently with us in an interim capacity, bringing tremendous gifts to this role. I hope you will join me in extending gracious welcome to him, along with his wife, Gabi, and their young son, Isaiah. We are also pleased to have created a new position that combines Youth Ministry with work to resource small groups and social justice ministries. As we currently search for someone to fill this role, I am excited for the ways this position demonstrates our values, including a commitment to ministry with young people. I also celebrate the faithful and flexible work of our current staff; as we continue to adjust and rethink so much of what we do, our staff has been creative, committed and excellent.
.
I celebrate the faithfulness of our whole congregation. In the face of significant challenges, you have survived; you have found ways to practice your faith, innovating in prayer and worship, in acts of mercy and work for justice. I am inspired as I see your lives and faithfulness.
.
I also know that there are still many in our community who cannot or should not gather in person. We are pleased to continue offering online participation in The Sanctuary gathering through our livestream or later by YouTube. This Sunday, we invite you to a Zoom community conversation just after worship. We are grateful to be able to share The Loft podcast beyond the walls of the church building.
.
We have much to celebrate this Homecoming Sunday. Above all, we celebrate God’s incredible welcome, which comes as a gift of grace.
.
grace and peace,
Pastor Molly
.


.

OTHER RESOURCES

.

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.
.
WATCH THE SUNDAY SERVICES ANYTIME
Did you know? You can watch our online worship services anytime! If you use Facebook, you can find them on our pages for Westwood Church and The Loft. You do not need to sign in to Facebook to watch, though you will have to click through several pop-up windows inviting you to sign in. Watching on Facebook on Sundays at 10am gives you the opportunity to see who else is watching, and comment in real time. Plus, watch videos anytime later, and you can see videos from previous weeks because they remain on our Facebook pages. If you do not use Facebook, you can also view them through our website at www.westwoodumc.org/livestream. Whether you watch on Sunday morning at 10am or sometime later in the week, you can view the videos directly on our website each week. Additionally, you can also find videos from the past few Sundays on YouTube. If you’re having trouble getting the videos to work, please reach out for help. It’s a great excuse to call a friend from church! We’re glad to help, too; our ministry assistant, Sabrina Simmons, is available by email at sabrina@westwoodumc.org on Sunday mornings or during her regular work hours (Tuesday-Friday).
.
HOW TO USE ZOOM VIDEOCONFERENCING
To use zoom, you can download the app for free from the app store on your android or iOS device. You do not need to create a Zoom account to join a meeting. Once Zoom has been downloaded, go back to the e-news and click the link we provided in the descriptions above. You’ll want to be sure to connect audio and/or video so you can hear and see everyone, and then select “join meeting.” Please note: If the host hasn’t started the meeting yet, you’ll be sent to a virtual waiting room. Once the host has logged in to begin the meeting, they’ll enable the folks in the waiting room to join. Here’s a link with the above info if that’s easier. You can also contact Sabrina Simmons at [sabrina@westwoodumc.org](mailto:sabrina@westwoodumc.org) for assistance.
.