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"The Weekly Window"

December 9, 2020

Claremont United Methodist Church

In This Issue:

  • A Word from Rev. Karen
  • Advent 2020 at Claremont UMC
  • Alternative Christmas
  • Pass the Hat
  • Poinsettias
  • Our Prayers
  • Musical Meditation from Katie
  • Greetings from Claremont UMC's Missionary, Mozart Adevu
  • Homeless Hunger Committee Update
  • Reopening Task Force Update
  • Amnesty International Letters
  • Announcement: Scam Emails
  • CUMC's New Website Links

A Word from Rev. Karen

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow?

Dear CUMC community of faith,

In the week when we will light the Advent Candle of Joy, I watched the LA County Public Health Director break down in tears Wednesday as she announced the Covid deaths in LA County had reached 8,000. "Over 8,000 people who were beloved members of their families are not coming back, and their deaths are an incalculable loss to their friends and family  as well as to our community," Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.

At this point, almost all of us know someone who has been infected and many of us know people who have died. Though there is good news on the horizon about vaccines, we find ourselves in the worst part of the pandemic yet in our community.

LA County Health's statistics showed that the City of Claremont ranks 4th highest in rate of increase in infections.

We are all tired of the pandemic, and we all need to be more careful than ever.

Images of the empty sanctuary, decorated for the season, have us longing to be together and lamenting that we will not be this Christmas.

Your Worship Team and Christian Education staff and Clergy are all working to create experiences reminiscent of Advent and Christmases past. Yet we all know this is not how we had hoped to spend this time. And, because I am a truth teller, I will share with you that the entire team is exhausted yet still committed to creating amazing worship video and connections.

Many of you send kind words by email and text and voicemail and cards. We share them among ourselves as a way to raise our spirits for the next task. It delights us that you find worship so meaningful.

My prayer for us all is that we can hear Mary's Song of Joy this Sunday and know the presence of Divine Joy -- a feeling different from happiness.

Even in the midst of sorrow, embrace moments of joy as divine gift.

Blessed are you.

In prayer and care,
Rev. Karen

SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Christmas Parsonage Open House
                                2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Come and Go)  
                                Sunday, December 13
                                Details and Zoom link in  separate Email          

Advent 2020 at Claremont UMC

First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020
“I Believe in the Sun: Hope for Tomorrow”
“Prepare the way…”
“Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news.”
“Raise your voice…raise it; don’t be afraid” ~ (Mark 1:1-15, and Isaiah 40:1-11)
Isaiah and the Gospel of Mark reassure the people that good news is beginning and yet they both say, “make yourself ready!” Raise your voices, change your hearts, get ready to be transformed, because now is the time. Have the hope that we can do what needs to be done to bring more light into the world.
Second Sunday of Advent, December 6, 2020
“I Believe in Love: Daring Right Relationship”
“Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him, Emmanuel (‘God with us’).” ~ (Matthew 1:23, and Isaiah 7:14)
In both the Gospel of Matthew and Isaiah, a messenger appears as a sign from God, heralding a new era. In each passage, the words “do not be afraid” appear…offering a clue that the messenger was referencing something that induced fear. A new way of being, of relating, and loving takes courage.
Third Sunday of Advent, December 13, 2020
“I Believe in God: Ode to Joy”

“He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.”
“I live on high, in holiness, and also with the crushed and the lowly, reviving the spirit of the lowly, reviving the heart of those who have been crushed.” ~ (Luke 1:52 and Isaiah 57:15)
The message in both Luke and Isaiah is that the downcast, lowly, and oppressed would rise up. Like the Jewish exiled people of Isaiah’s time and the early Christians, we also sometimes wonder where God is in our suffering. We long to hear the promise that a reason for joyful praise is the good news on the way!
Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020
“I Believe in the Light: Illuminating Peace”
“What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people.”
“A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." ~ (John1:3-4 and Isaiah 9:6)
The “great light” prophesied by Isaiah in today’s text is echoed in the first strains of John’s Gospel good news: the light that brings peace – that saves the people from all that would extinguish it – has been there from the beginning. The Word is made flesh and dwells among us. This reign is now… will we believe it? Will we continue to put flesh on it, embodying the peace meant for all humanity?

Alternative Christmas 2020

As with many of Claremont UMC's traditions this year, we've had to rethink how we do our Alternative Christmas Celebration. This year, we have the Alternative Christmas brochure available for you to access online by clicking HERE. (Use this link when printing to fill out and return to the church.)

If you are able, you may print out the brochure at home and fill out which alternative gifts you would like to support. Then mail your completed brochure to the church, along with your check made payable to Claremont UMC. If you aren't able to print out the brochure, please mail your check to the church and be sure to include a note about which alternative gifts you are giving.

Printable Postcards that you can use to send to your loved ones for whom you purchased Alternative Christmas Gifts are available at the following links (click on the names of each organization):
Dios es Amor; El Faro: the Border Church; CUMC Immigration Clinics; Heifer International; CHAP; Bees and Trees

You have already bought the usual gifts of clothes, toys, jewelry, etc.  Now you can give to say, “I love you!” to family, friends, and persons in need across the street and around the world.

Click on either of the above thumbnails to to see each full-size. Use this LINK to print and mail back to the church.

Pass the Hat 2020

The Pass the Hat project is an opportunity for ALL CUMC members to bring the holiday spirit to less fortunate families in our own community. For more than 20 years, CUMC has “passed the hat” for several local families to provide them with a joyful Christmas. Families are “adopted” through the Inland Valley Hope Partners (IVHP).  
We have many beloved traditions at CUMC, many of them focusing on the spirit of giving we feel at the holidays. In 2020, we’re having to rethink many of those traditions we hold so dear. 
Following in the footsteps of the Homeless/Hunger Committee and their gift card Thanksgiving boxes project, this year we will be passing a virtual HAT. Instead of passing out envelopes and collecting your gifts, we are asking you to make a donation to the Pass the Hat fund. All funds will be remitted to Inland Valley Hope Partners for their Adopt a Family program.    
It's as simple as writing a check made out to Claremont UMC, writing “Pass the Hat” on the memo line, and popping it in the mail. Please have your donation into the church office by December 14.  
If you would still like to buy gifts for a family, you can work directly with IVHP. Contact Development and Volunteer Relations Associate, Cirenia Cuevas (CC), at 909-622-3806,x108 or email  
Share in the holiday spirit with us by sending in your donation for THE HAT by December 14. 
: Talk to Susan Hume or Melanie Little

Brought to you by the friendly folks in The Boosters


Click the flyer above for all information on mailing in an order for a poinsettia. Call the church office, or email if you have questions.

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

As a special piece for the "Weekly Window," Katie shares an audio of her playing a well-loved hymn! This week's hymn is "People, Look East" from The United Methodist Hymnal, no. 202. Click HERE and enjoy!

Greetings from Mozart Adevu

CUMC's Covenant Missionary

Dear Friends of Claremont UMC, CA

Greetings from my family in Ghana.

We wish to thank the Almighty God the American elections could be held despite the pandemic and that there is the ongoing transition leading to inauguration of the elected President on January 20, 2021. It has indeed been a challenging year and we keep praying the good Lord sees us through a refreshing New Year when life could get back to normalcy.

We are deeply concerned with the soaring cases of Coronavirus all over the US and particularly in CA but are thankful that vaccines will soon be approved for the commencement of vaccinations nationwide. We pray God keeps you all safely and that the vaccination schedules will go well.  I believe most of you will spend this Thanksgiving period without all the family but will all the same extend Thanksgiving to all your loved ones wherever they are in this season of love.

Enjoy each and every moment of this wonderful day and let's be grateful to God for all the blessings. 

We kindly request you to be in prayer with Ghana as we go through Presidential and Parliamentary elections on December 7. 

This 4th Missionary newsletter (click HERE for the newsletter) will hopefully get to you at Thanksgiving. The newsletter is brief but shows how your support has transformed lives in Liberia where my ministry commenced from in the early 2000s. The stories are of persons I have not met directly but who have benefitted from others whose lives were transformed soon after the UMCOR trainings. Such direct beneficiaries have trained and shared successes with several others with great multiplier effects. They are grateful to you for all the initial support that have sustained them over the years.

I'm pleased to let you know that my son, Toni is in his final semester of coursework at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He says it has been tough with no in-person lectures and no opportunity to visit the library as all facilities remain closed. He had to withstand months of solitude in studies but has kept trusting God for sustenance. He is grateful for your prayer support.

My daughter Selma is doing well. She's gone through the first clinical year successfully and has her report also ready so I have it attached. I hope it will make interesting reading to you over this holiday period.

We all send warm wishes and gratitude your way. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Sending the Light of Christ

Writing letters for Amnesty International

If you would like Amnesty International Letters forwarded to you to write and mail from home, please email Lois McAfee at

Announcement: Scam Emails

Friends, the California-Pacific Annual Conference, and those of us on staff at Claremont UMC want to make sure you stay aware of the possibility of scam emails. Email-based scams might become more common, especially during the holidays. We don't want anyone to fall victim to malicious online activity.

The following are good practices to follow:

  • Consistency of Communications - We aim for CUMC's church-based emails on giving to be consistent in design and language that allows members and other individuals to experience those aspects as references for authenticity.

  • Language - A malicious email might be written in language inconsistent with that commonly used by the staff and clergy of CUMC.

  • From - Check the source of the email.  Sometimes, the email displays a legitimate email address name (sometimes in quotes).  But, closer inspection might reveal that the display is inconsistent with the actual address (sometimes in < >).

  • Requests - Disregard common phishing messages from email addresses of pastors asking for "a favor," "to be discrete," and, to "not call, email only."

  • Confirm - If the email looks suspicious at all, it might be helpful to confirm through a means other than replying to that email (ie. phone call to a cell, or text message). You can also always call the church office and leave a message on the voicemail. Jessica retrieves messages daily and can confirm whether a questionable email is legitimate.

Claremont UMC Website

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