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"The Weekly Window"

March 3, 2021

Claremont United Methodist Church

In This Issue:

  • A Word from Rev. Karen
  • A Contemporary Word
  • Lenten Dismantling Racism Study
  • March Birthdays
  • A Message of Gratitude
  • Men's Enrichment Group
  • We can all "March for Change"
  • Listening Session with Erin Hawkins
  • Dismantling Racism Devotional
  • Adjourned Charge Conference
  • "Life Goes On" in March
  • Our Prayers
  • Musical Meditation from Katie
  • CUMC's Website Links

A Word from Rev. Karen

Holy Vessels: Communion

Dear CUMC friends in faith,

I have been reflecting deeply this week on this time a year ago.

 The first Sunday in March last year -- "Communion Sunday" --was on March 1, and we were just beginning to be aware that Covid-19 was beginning to spread in other parts of the United States. 

I remember that the sanctuary was full as we worshipped together and celebrated the Sacrament of Communion and Rev. Martha and I served at the communion rail. This has always been a particular joy and privilege of ministry for me. And it was that day, as well. 

The next day, I began talking with a few retired clergy in our congregation about what precautions we should take the next time we shared communion. Even as we planned for precautionary measures, I did not know then that it would be a full year before we were even able to begin considering them again.

As part of our preparation for our virtual worship together this Sunday, one year later, I invite you to prayerfullly ponder what the Sacrement of Communion means to you. Our bishops in the United Methodist Church have granted us permission "in extremis" to share in virtual Communion. 

In the beginning, some of us were baking our own communion bread or other special baked goods -- homemade or bakery made. Whether you bake them or buy them or save them from your breakfast tray, I invite you to be intentional this week about your communion meal.

And as we share this sacrament together -- virtually -- this Sunday, I invite you to begin to imagine a time when we can be safely together again. Regardless of where and how we gather, we remain the Body of Christ, sustained by this sacred meal.

I end again this week with the prayer song we will repeat often during Lent. You are each a Holy Vessel!

Vessels, holy and whole
Broken, needing the One
Open, body and soul
Healer, come.

In prayer and care,
Rev. Karen

A Contemporary Word

Each week in Lent, as a part of worship, we'll hear an "Ancient Word" on healing, coming from Scripture. We will also hear a "Contemporary Word," a quote from a more contemporary figure, on healing. You'll see one quote each week in the worship video and printed in the Sunday bulletin. And we will feature a different quote in the "Weekly Window." Below is this week's quote for this week's "Window":

A Lenten Dismantling Racism Study

Every Sunday through March 28, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
Claremont UMC's Dismantling Racism Committee invites you to a six-week study during Lent of Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. This one-hour Lenten Study via Zoom continues this Sunday, February 28 at 11:00 a.m.

Please buy this short, powerful book, available on Amazon, or your favorite book retailer. Let's read together; let's reflect on what this wise prophet is saying to the disinherited and to all of us today. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi learned from him. There is a powerful voice that comes through from the disinherited that we need to hear.

You will receive the Zoom link for this class in the Saturday "Where to Find Worship" email. Be sure to look for it when you receive that email! Thank you for NOT sharing the Zoom information on social media!

Blessings, CUMC's Dismantling Racism Committee

Happy March Birthday!

Please contact the church office if we accidentally failed to list your birthday (or if we have it incorrect), and please accept our apologies! We wish a special Happy Birthday to Lee Boss, who celebrates her 90th birthday; and to Wilma McLeod, who celebrates her 75th!

1--Martha Bellinger
1--Natalie Bryant
1--Jose Rodriguez
2--Lee Boss
2--Amanda Minano
3--Sarah Couch
3--Janet Hume
3--Karen Lull
4--Laurel Oken
4--Jennifer Teresi
7--Tamie Nicoll
7--Bill Willsey
8--Ann O'Connor
8--Vic Verhoeven
10--Max Layman
10--Al Smith
11--Jennifer Dahl
11--Stig Lanesskog
11--Bradley Smith
12--Hilda Bizzell
12--Susan Holstrom
12--Alice Rhodes

14--Lynda Lockhart
14--Emma Wang
15--Sebastian Voltaire
20--Sharon Rhodes-Wickett
20--Ted Sheldon
20--Lynn Smith
21--Mary Jo Fowler
22--Brian Bailey
23--Phillip Atwater
26--Melissa Chapman
26--Deborah Orret
28--Dorothea Hobs
28--Frank Minano
28--Marc Oken
28--Jeremy Oken
29--Nancy Goodman
29--Max McCusker
29--Wilma McLeod
31--Kimball Coburn, Jr.
31--Ashron Insar
31--Dale Lawson

A Message of Gratitude

from the Varela-Cespedes Family (Adolfo Sr., Tere, and Adolfo Jr.)

I remember the night of February 22nd, 2004 with much gratitude. On that night our family arrived from Cuba with only our small suitcases.

We were welcomed by the Claremont United Methodist Church through the services of the CUMC Refugee Resettlement Committee to live in BOWER HOUSE, where angels like Revds. Bob and Rosemary Davis, Pamela Bunce, Clara Soto Ivey, Frances Gilfry, Genaro Cordova, Manuel and Martha Gómez, and many others, took us under their wings and helped us to grow, to become independent, and to make our dreams come true.

Our lives have been blessed in so many ways. Now, our son, Adolfo Jr., who came as a teenager, is an Expert Electrical Engineer, working in a prestigious company. He has a family and a home of his own, and is a proud American citizen. Adolfo Sr. is now retired and so am I (Tere). I retired after 15 years of service with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, where I felt blessed and proud every day for the opportunity to help others just as we were helped.

We thank God for the CUMC members, and for the opportunities opened to us in this marvelous country that we now call our own!

~The Adolfo-Cespedes Family

The Men's Enrichment Group

The Men’s Enrichment Group continues to “meet” for fellowship and devotional study via zoom the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Join us as we study Reading John for Dear Life by Jaime Clark-Soles. The next Zoom gathering is Wednesday, March 10 at 8:00 a.m. You are invited and welcome to join in with us. For more information, contact Carl Williams or Ron Harrington, or email

We can All "March for Change"

sponsored by CUMC's Youth Group and Youth Chimes

Hello again from the Youth!

We’ve already been out and about, doing our miles, and would love to have every one of you join us in our Lenten journey, called “March for Change”. Instead of giving something up for Lent, we will be walking, running, biking, or swimming to raise money for the social justice organization throughout the month of March. You can choose to be a sponsor, do the miles as a partner with one of our youth, do the march with your family, or even on your own.

It’s not too late to join...and it’s not too late to invite your friends and family to join. Click HERE to sign up for our March for Change.

The Youth Chimes and the Youth Group

Listening Session with Erin Hawkins

sponsored by the California-Pacific Conference Laity Council

Save the Date
Saturday, March 6, 2021
11:00 a.m.

Cal-Pac Laity Council cordially invites YOU!
Listening Session
Guest Speaker: Erin Hawkins, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries
A time to share your concerns, ask questions, and see how we can be ONE in ministry!

All East District Lay Leaders and interested leaders of the Church are invited to attend. The ZOOM link will be provided as the date draws nearer. Email Jessica at if you are interested in this virtual event.

Dismantling Racism Lenten Devotional

from the United Methodist Church Council of Bishops

The video below comes to us from the United Methodist Communications, and we wanted to share this devotional with all of you as we work to dismantle racism. For more devotions in this series, click HERE. You can download a journal and notes page by clicking HERE.

The Council of Bishops invites the people of The United Methodist Church to a season of introspection and self-examination. Together this Lent, we will confess and fast from the sin of racism, discrimination, oppression and exclusion, and feast on the beauty and blessing of the diversity of God’s Church.

Each week of Lent and every day of Holy Week, a United Methodist Bishop will offer a short devotion. These times of reflection will challenge and inspire us to follow Jesus through the wilderness, alienation, betrayal and even death. Along the way, we will confront the sin of racism, renew our faith, and remember the promise of Easter—that redemption, reconciliation and liberation is possible.

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, resident bishop in the Wisconsin Annual Conference is leading us in today’s Lenten devotional.

Special Adjourned Charge Conference Now in March

Rescheduled for Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom

Our adjourned charge conference to consider the 2021 budget has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. All are invited to attend virtually. We'll send out the Zoom link closer to the date.

"Life Goes On"

Wednesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Part of the human experience is facing all kinds of challenges, dealing with loss, and working our way through grief that at times can threaten to overwhelm us. In the last 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us with even more sadness. We need the comfort and support of our faith community. As in the past, Life Goes On responds to this need by offering support, comfort, and objective information in a safe and confidential setting.

Life Goes On will meet again via Zoom Wednesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m., when we'll talk about "Healing Together." Each gathering begins with prayer and a short presentation, followed by small group discussion of whatever feels important to the participants. The Zoom link will be emailed a couple of days before March 24. All are welcome.

Life Goes On will continue on the fourth Wednesday of the month through the spring. You may drop in as your schedule allows. If you have questions, please contact Paula Hui. If you need Paula's contact info, email the CUMC office at

We Are Praying For...

If you have someone you would like Claremont UMC to keep in prayer, and list on our prayer list, please email Jessica, Please indicate whether they are to be listed on the public prayer list, or kept private.

Please pray for these dear ones on our prayer list, HERE.

A Musical Meditation from Katie

This week's offeing is the Lenten hymn, "My Song is Love Unknown" (The Faith We Sing No. 2083). The beautiful words of the first verse are, "My song is love unknown, my Savior's love to me, love to the lifeless shown, that they may lovely be. Oh, who am I, that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die? My Lord should take frail flesh and die?" 

Click HERE and enjoy!

~ Katie Franklin Ledsinger

Claremont UMC Website

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