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"The Weekly Window"

January 27, 2021

Claremont United Methodist Church

In This Issue:

  • A Word from Rev. Karen
  • Valentines for Teachers
  • Adjourned Charge Conference
  • Thank You! 2020 Pledge Report
  • Virtual Town Hall with Judy Chu
  • Alternative Christmas Update
  • "Pass the Hat" Update
  • Conversations with John Cobb
  • Our Prayers
  • Musical Meditation from Katie
  • CUMC's Website Links
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A Word from Rev. Karen

Held by the Divine

Dear CUMC faith friends,

As we continue together in our worship series "God is Holding Your Life," I want to pause and offer a prayer that as you continue in this new year you see signs of hope in your life and in the world.

Our current worship series invites us to an assurance that we are held by the Divine. Through experiencing psalms and prayer and imagery in many forms, we rest in this reassurance. And we work to replenish our souls for the work ahead in our lives and the worship ahead during the Lenten season.

Your worship team has already begun to work on our Lenten worship. I am taking three days this week for reflection, reading, planning, and creating. Next week, we will preview the Lenten series in the Weekly Window.

If you would like to record yourself or be recorded via Zoom reading a scripture or other liturgical selection for the Lenten season, please reply to this email and Jessica Johnston will compile a list of volunteers.

We are so very grateful to all the readers from the Order of St. Luke who are offering the Psalm readings in our current worship series. Many are familiar faces and voices, others are new to the congregation. They are reading from A Lukan Psalter, and Rev. Dr. Dwight Vogel is a primary editor and compiler. The book is intended to be a psalter for private and public prayer.

Not just our congregation but faith communities across the country and in Canada are using these psalms for public worship as part of the Worship Design Studio "God Is Holding Your Life" worship series. Immediately below my message, you will find an interview between Rev. Dr. Vogel and Dr. Marcia McFee. The interview provides background on the Order of St. Luke as well as a beautiful tutorial from our dear Dwight on how to chant the psalms. It is about 30 minutes and offers a spiritual, theological and heart-felt exploration of the psalms and the translation of A Lukan Psalter

This week in worship, we will engage Psalm 111, which invites us to engage our lives and faith with our whole heart. I will end with its beginning as my conclusion.

I will thank you, ADONAI, with all my heart 
in the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are your works, to be pondered by all who love them.
 Majestic and glorious are your works,
and your justice stands firm forever. 
You make us remember your wonders —
you are compassion and love.

In prayer and care,
Rev. Karen

Valentines for Teachers

In the coming weeks, the Education Commission will plan for Valentines for the Teachers at Mountain View School, a Title One, Category 9 school right here in our neighborhood. Title One means that a majority of Mountain View’s students come from low-income families, who are often unable to help provide basic classroom supplies. The teachers of Mountain View School often purchase classroom supplies out of their personal budgets.
This year, because of the ongoing pandemic and the stay-at-home order, we have decided to purchase gift cards for the teachers to use for the purchase of supplies for their classrooms. The Education Commission will purchase the gift cards through our preschool, offering the added benefit of supporting the ministry of our own preschool, as well. 
Please send your checks for the Valentine gifts to the church before February 12. The checks should be made payable to Claremont United Methodist Church or CUMC, with "Valentines for the Teachers" on the memo line. We hope to deliver the gift cards to the school on or around Valentine’s Day, February 14.  
This project is our way of expressing God’s love and care for the children and teachers of Mountain View School. Students, teachers, and administrators are always excited to see us coming with our load of gifts that are so helpful to the school. This year our delivery will be physically smaller in the form of gift cards, but our heartfelt care and support for the school community will be just as big as in the past. Your generous giving through the Apples for the Teachers and Valentines for the Teachers has allowed us to give many meaningful gifts to every classroom at Mt. View and other schools over many years. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Please remember to send your checks for Valentines for the Teachers to the church as soon as possible. Many thanks for your gracious giving to our neighboring school.
~ The Education Commission

Special Adjourned Charge Conference Date Set!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom

Our adjourned charge conference to consider the 2021 budget is set for Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. All are invited to attend virtually. We'll send out  the Zoom information closer to the date.

Thank You!

2020 Final Pledge Report

You are such an amazing congregation! Your giving this year has been steady and generous. It has allowed us to continue to worship and serve our community and our world in this most challenging year. A year ago, we budgeted for General Fund pledging income for the year to total $453,027. And now as 2020 has ended you fully met that pledging commitment! In fact, you exceeded your pledged amount. As a congregation, you gave in pledges $454,534. This has allowed us to continue to fully pay our employees and to fund all church activities except those limited by the pandemic related restrictions. 
While we did fall short in the areas of unpledged giving, loose plate and Sunday School contributions, areas most affected by our inability to worship in person, we nonetheless received another $28,430 in those areas.
Again, thank you! It has truly been a pleasure to serve as your Financial Secretary for the 2020 year!
Bob Dalton

Virtual Town Hall with Judy Chu

Wednesday, February 3

Sponsored by the residents of Pilgrim Place

Judy Chu reports on the current possibilities in the federal government.

Residents of Pilgrim Place in Claremont are sponsoring a virtual Town Hall conversation with local U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Wednesday February 3, from 10:45 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Resident spokesperson, Gene Boutilier, stated that the wider public can attend up to  ZOOM capacity, and that residents of other nearby retirement facilities are especially invited.

The session will emphasize health, safety, and benefit issues for older adults, and issues impacting senior residential communities. However, all the policy priorities and politics of the moment can be part of the conversation.

Dr. Chu (her PhD is in Psychology) is on the powerful subcommittees on health and on human services of the House Ways and Means Committee, which processes tax, revenue, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare legislation; healthcare reform and crucial safety net, worker and family support programs. She also serves on the House Small Business Committee. She is a leader of the Progressive Caucus, and the Tri-Caucus, a joint project of the Congressional Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and her Asian Pacific American Caucus.  

A Zoom link will be provided to those submitting an email  request to

Thank You! Alternative Christmas Giving

The following is the final report from Alternative Christmas Giving:
1.  Dios es Amor, our Sister Congregation: $1675
2.  El Faro: The Border Church, Guillermo Navarrete: $1850
3.  Claremont UMC Immigration Clinics: $650
4.  Heifer International: $760
5.  C.H.A.P. (Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program): $415
6.  Sustainable Agriculture; Mozart Adevu (CUMC's Sponsored Missionary in Africa): $1250
7.  Inland Valley Hope Partners: $25
Total:  $6625

Thank you for your continued support toward these mission programs of the church.
~ Al Streyffeler, chairperson, Mission and Evangelism Commission

“Hats Off” to CUMC for the Pass the Hat Project!

“When God’s children are in need, you be the one to help them out.” ~ Romans 12:13

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the congregation of CUMC, the Pass the Hat (PTH) Project was again a HUGE success.

At first, the CUMC PTH elves were sad that they would not be able to collect gifts and make holiday baskets for Inland Valley Hope Partners (IVHP) families in need. Drat that Covid! Then we pivoted to the idea of taking your cash gifts, but that made us worry. How much money could we collect?

Due to the timing of the IVHP program we had to write them a check the second week of December. At that point we had collected $1,750. We held our breath and requested a check for $3,500, hoping you would come through to cover the balance.

And did you come through! We collected enough additional gifts to write another $2,700 check this week, making our total gift to IVHP $6,200! IVHP staff was overjoyed, and thank you for your generous outpouring of gifts.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen. In a weird year, we were still able to make a lot of kids happy on Christmas morning. See you all next year!
~ Susan Hume

Pictured above: Ed Hume of CUMC delivering the check to CiCi, Director of the Adopt a Family program at IVHP.

Virtual Conversations with John Cobb

Sundays through February 14, 2021

The theme this Sunday, January 31: CAN AMERICANS BE SAVED?  

  • Chap 9: Prospects for Ecological Civilization in the United States, p. 95-104

  • Chap 10: The Deconstruction of Obstacles, p. 105-122

  • Chap 11: Deconstructing American Self-Understanding, p. 123-132

The topics in chapters 9, 10 and 11 are not often considered when church folk think about Jesus and salvation. However, if Jesus was called to save his world, might we also be called to save our world? Could we find in Jesus’ proclamation that the “divine commonwealth is at hand” grounds for proclaiming that a human future depends on “ecological civilization”?

These chapters speak little of Jesus, but they summarize themes that have shaped John Cobb’s calling for a lifetime of Christian scholarship. In chapter 9 he points to hopeful developments, including new possibilities for public banking and examples of locally grown power right here in our valley.

Like the young ruler who turned from following Jesus because of his attachment to money, America also has obstacles to following “ecological civilization.” These arise out of “deep assumptions in our Western history. . . deeply entrenched beliefs that misdirect us.” Chapter 10 deconstructs the obstacles to the saving way, beginning with Christianism, “turning Jesus into an idol.”

We see how modern metaphysics, science and modern nationalism, racism, and economism keep us from living into the “divine commonwealth” whose nearness Jesus proclaimed. In chapter 11 special attention is given to the deep resistance to that message which comes from America’s “exceptionalism,” and the way it is played out in our defense and university establishments. Can these reflections move us toward the "ecological civilization" to which Jesus's God calls us?

The Zoom link for the class will be included in the Saturday "Where to Find Worship" email. Thank you for not sharing the Zoom link on social media.

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

The hymn for this week is "This Is My Father's World," inspired by the lovely rain, and snow-capped mountains. Click HERE and enjoy!

~Katie Franklin Ledsinger

Claremont UMC Website

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