Livestream

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15th LIVESTREAMS

THE LOFT LIVE – Sunday at 10am

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Peace_Dec6

This Sunday, we’ll be continuing our live, interactive service format on Zoom. We’ll also be kicking off our new Advent “Love Arrives” series with a conversation between Pastor Molly and Pastor Terence. The Zoom link is available in your weekly e-news or by contacting terence@theloftla.org.

WESTWOOD KIDS – Sunday at 9:45am

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SUNDAY & MIDWEEK EVENTS

2021 GIVING GOAL
We encourage you to set a financial giving goal for 2021, as our Stewardship and Finance Committee works to set a budget for our ministries and mission. You can submit your Giving Goal by mail or online. Click here to set your giving goal.
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FOLLOW UP
Sunday, December 6th (11am) via Zoom
Join our Scattered for Service team and Pastor Molly for some community interaction at a virtual Scattered for Service meet-up. Be ready to show and tell about a favorite Fair Trade gift you’ve purchased (or received!) in the past, and to share about the meaningful organizations we support in our Impact Gift Market. We’ll also have a chance to go deep as we share about the joy of giving and receiving. If you need the Zoom link, it is available in your weekly e-news or by contacting Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
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SCATTERED FOR SERVICE – ONLINE
November 29th – December 20th

Shop online for family and friends at the ultimate Advent Giving Marketplace with two types of Christmas gifts available: Impact Gifts – make a donation to an organization impacting our world, and receive a personalized card to give. Fair Trade Gifts – purchase a wide variety of certified fair trade and sustainable products from all over the globe. We’re adding new Impact Gift options this week–log on to learn more about the great organizations you can support. For Fair Trade gift shopping, remember to use the code westwood2020 at checkout for free shipping! Shop now at www.ScatteredForService.com.
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PEOPLE OF COLOR THEOLOGY GROUP
Sunday, December 6th (12noon) via Zoom

All are welcome to join us for our next book, The Brown Church by the Rev. Dr. Robert Chao Romero, a professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA, immigration lawyer and pastor. Contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org for the Zoom link.
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CAROLS OF CHRISTMAS PAST
Sunday, December 6th (3pm) via Facebook

The Westwood United Methodist Church Sanctuary Music Program presents “Carols of Christmas Past.” Join us online for an afternoon of music celebrating the Christmas season with Grammy award-winning harpist, Alison Bjorkedal, chamber ensemble Mixtape, and carol sing-a-longs led by Westwood UMC organist Yoojung Chung on the Shaffer Memorial Organ. Led by Director of Sanctuary Music, Andrew Schultz, the program will also include features by our Chancel Choir Section Leaders, guest pianist Dr. Joshua Tan, and highlights of the wonderful history of choral music at Westwood UMC. This program is made possible by Westwood UMC Friends of Sanctuary Music. Consider becoming a “friend” at www.westwoodumc.org/give and selecting Friends of Sanctuary Music.
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POSADA CARD OUTREACH
Cards Must Arrive by December 10th

This Christmas season we are partnering with our colleagues from the Echo Park Refugee Welcome Center (EPRWC) to gather at least 80 Christmas cards/Target gift cards to distribute among refugees in the greater Los Angeles community. You are welcome to send the Christmas card/s and gift card/s together or separately. Cards can be written in English or Spanish. Although sending a card is less relational than our previous outreach efforts, it is the safest way to show our love and solidarity during this time. Please send cards to the church office – Westwood UMC (Attn: Posada Card Outreach), 10497 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024. You can also drop off cards at the church foyer/main entrance from 11am-2pm on Sundays, November 29th and December 6th. The refugee individuals vary in age from children to adults. Most have migrated from Central America fleeing violence and political turmoil. Some are here in seeking asylum and others are looking for better economic opportunities. This outreach effort will help to remind our refugee neighbors that they are not alone during this difficult time of isolation and uncertainty. It will also help the EPRWC to build relationships and connections with the refugees as they initiate their Welcome Center in January 2021 to offer legal aid clinics, educational/vocational training, mental health resources, and spiritual community. If you have any questions, please contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org.
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VIRTUAL POSADA
Friday, December 11th (7-8pm) via Zoom

All are welcome to join the bilingual virtual Posada, a Latinx tradition which commemorates the Christmas story when Mary and Joseph found refuge to birth the child of God. This virtual gathering will be a recontextualization of the Posada tradition by highlighting some of social realities that refugees face today and culminate with reflections about Christmas from the perspective of some of the refugee families that we are gathering Christmas cards for. To RSVP for the virtual Posada or if you have any questions, please contact Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org.
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PRAYER?!?! GROUP
Monday, December 7th (7pm) via Zoom
1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month

During these difficult times filled with fear and unknown, it’s helpful to talk to each other and to God. For many people, prayer has been used as a weapon to shame or exclude. Some feel strange praying corporately, some even feel awkward praying alone. We promise not to make anyone pray out loud in this group! 🙂 If you are able, order the book, Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. We’ll be using it as a guide for these intriguing conversations. ALL are welcome! The Zoom link is available in your weekly e-news or by contacting Josh Lopez-Reyes at josh@theloftla.org for more information.
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GOD TALK
Tuesday, December 15th (11am) via Zoom

Join Rev. Dr. John Holbert and Reg Gipson, JD as they lead this twice-a-month study. How has our Christian church understood the Virgin Birth in the past, and how do we think about the Virgin Birth today? God, Mary, Jesus, you, and me. What, if anything, is important to keep in mind as we consider if and how Jesus is related to God, and the impact of this on if and how we are related to Jesus, to God, and to each other? For the Zoom link, check your weekly e-news or contact Sabrina Simmons at sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
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CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP
Thursday, December 24th via Facebook
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5pm – Children’s Pageant & Candlelight Worship via Facebook
See the Christmas Story in a fresh way, as our children and their families help retell it in “Do Not Be Afraid,” a virtual pageant especially made for 2020. With music from our young people, our Sanctuary musicians and The Loft Band, we invite you to listen and sing along as we worship together on Christmas Eve and hear a message of love from Pastor Molly Vetter. Light candles with us from home as we sing Silent Night and celebrate love’s arrival.
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Virtual Candlelight & Cocoa via Zoom: Just after, we invite you to log onto Zoom to share in 20 minutes of Virtual Candlelight & Cocoa. Make yourself a cup of cocoa or tea (or whatever you like to drink in the evening), and log on to see and share the candles you lit during worship. Wish each other a Merry Christmas as we log on, and then enjoy a few minutes to connect with others in a small breakout group.
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Note: Our 5pm Children’s Pageant and Candlelight Worship service will also be available to watch anytime afterwards!
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8pm – Christmas Eve Carols & Candlelight Worship via Facebook
Experience the holy mystery of Christmas as we share the good news of Christ’s birth through music, scripture, prayer, preaching and candlelight. Featuring beautiful music from our Sanctuary musicians, you are invite to participate along with us from home, singing beloved carols and sharing in candlelight as we sing “Silent Night” together. Our livestream will start approximately 20 minutes early, with an extended prelude featuring harp and organ music.
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Virtual Candlelight & Dessert via Zoom: Just after, we invite you to log onto Zoom to share in 20 minutes of Virtual Candlelight & Dessert. Get out whatever Christmas treat you enjoy best, and log on to see and share in some Christmas Eve community. Wish each other a Merry Christmas as we log on, and then connect with others in a small breakout group. The Zoom link is available in your weekly e-news or by contacting sabrina@westwoodumc.org.
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Note: Our 8pm Christmas Eve Carols and Candlelight Worship service will also be available to watch anytime afterwards.
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MID-DAY PRAYER SERVICE
Tuesdays and Thursdays (12noon) via Facebook Live
In the middle of the day, 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 at noon 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.
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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.)
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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.)
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A NOTE FROM PASTOR MOLLY

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This is such a strange and difficult Advent, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen and we need to take even more precautions to stem its spread through our communities. As much as ever, it’s a time when my spirit is hungry for hope, and longing for peace.
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During this season, we hold space for all our prayers, trusting that God is with us through it all. This year requires unusual grace, as each one of us bears the burdens of this season, on top of everything else we were already carrying. I’m reminded again and again about the importance of kindness and compassion, recognizing that every one of us is carrying a heavy load. For some, the loneliness of the isolation of staying safer-at-home has grown so very deep; for others, the challenges of pandemic are intensifying other grief and struggles. For many, the risks required for necessary jobs bring constant anxiety; for others, the loss of income brings economic anxiety. We are trying to juggle work and supervising our kids’ online school, or sitting at home with little to do, or stuck in unsafe homes with no other options.
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Somehow, into this world, divine love arrives. I pray that you would experience and know that you are beloved, and hear the invitation to offer precious care to everyone whose life intersects with yours.
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We will continue to worship online, to do what we can to both support the worship life of our congregation and guard the health of our community. I long to be able to gather together in person, but I also continue to be inspired by the creativity with which our community continues to connect to each other and God. I am excited about the plans we have for celebrating Christmas–including outdoor prayer stations open through the season, a virtual pageant on Christmas eve, a concert this Sunday afternoon, a virtual Posada with the Echo Park UMC and more. I hope you will join us for these opportunities to connect, and that you will invite others to do the same.
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grace and peace,
Pastor Molly
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OTHER RESOURCES

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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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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).
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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.
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