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"The Weekly Window"


December 30, 2020

Claremont United Methodist Church

New Year's Eve Eve
With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations behind us and a New Year on the horizon, I want to thank each one of you for all that you did in your lives, in your work, in our faith community, in the world to continuously adapt in all the ways that became necessary, even essential, in 2020.

I read a quote this week (and I do not remember the source!) but it is worth repeating and receiving:
"No one has gone untouched by hardship and change this year."
"Almost everyone is doing the best they can and none of it feels good enough."


That quote resonated with me both pastorally and personally. I see that not one person in our faith community has gone untouched by hardship and change this year. And, I know that our staff and clergy often wonder if we are doing enough, even as we do more than we ever have, just differently.

I want to say, again, how much each of us appreciate all the ways you express your gratitude. Each card, each email, each text, each voicemail helps us know our work has brought meaning or connection or hope. Your gratitude fills us. Thank you.

I captured the photo above in the sanctuary on Christmas Eve, just about the time we would have gathered in a normal year for our first service at 5 p.m. Several of you had mentioned to me how you treasure the sunset view out the window during that service.

We have tried to keep the sanctuary and the window present for all of us in worship and in the Weekly Window even in this time when we could not gather in the sanctuary together.

As we ponder the New Year, I invite each one of us to consider one attribute we would like to lead with in 2021. It could be one of our Advent attributes: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace. Or it could be an attribute that felt lacking in the world at times in 2020: kindness, understanding, forgiveness. Or, it could be something you experienced in 2020 and want to share with others. I would welcome knowing what you choose. If we were together, we might create a ritual of bringing these gifts forward as our personal offering for the New Year.

In prayer and care,
Rev. Karen
Claremont Nativity in the News
 
Friends, I want to share two ways I saw Claremont UMC's Nativity in the news this week.

The first is as the photo illustration above a very compelling Christmas Day opinion piece by Rev. William Barber in The Guardian. His article says in words what I believe our Creative Peacemaking Committee hoped to convey with this year's Claremont Nativity.
That The Guardian chose the Claremont Nativity as the illustration for the piece tells me they, too, saw the connections. The piece is a challenging one. I recommend it.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/25/christmas-america-jesus-covid-william-barber

The second news of the Nativity in the news I want to share is that a photo of the Claremont Nativity made an online list of Photos of the Year for the United Press International (UPI). https://www.upi.com/News_Photos/view/upi/c6cea5f16e0b7005c18127dd37fc6d5e/UPI-Pictures-of-the-Year-2020-NEWS-FEATURES/?fbclid=IwAR3wn95bq4suWmoZMpNcrLgusZtXvDveK234JWMAyzQw5NqQNPbwjH0MSSY

At the end of this email, you will see luminaries and poinsettias that we took out to the Nativity at dusk on Christmas Eve to bring some of the light and life from inside the sanctuary out into the world.

May we all bring light and life into the world in 2021.

Rev. Karen

 

CUMC Staff Christmas Holiday

Friends, a reminder that the Church Office remains closed to all, following LA County public health requirements and those of our California-Pacific Conference. We appreciate your understanding.

Also, all of the Staff of Claremont UMC is off for a Christmas break from December 25 through January 3. Most will be back to work on Monday, January 4. Rev. Karen is on vacation through Jan. 10.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
     --Jessica Johnston


 

A New Virtual Class with Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr.

Starting January 10, 2021

“Jesus’s Mission and Ours” is the theme of conversations each Sunday from January 10 through February 14, 11:00 a.m. to noon featuring Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., noted theologian and charter member of Claremont UMC. John Cobb will be preaching on January 10, the Sunday we celebrate the baptism of Jesus. He will be with us for conversation about his most recent book, Salvation, facilitated by Ron Hines, board member of the Cobb Institute.

Jesus announced the basileia theou (divine commonwealth) in his mission to save his people from Rome and from their own proclivity to violence. To follow Jesus today is to adopt the most inclusive mission in our day—“to save the world from the self-destruction on which it now seems bent.” Cobb is frank about the dilemmas in freeing American self-understanding from its “Christianism” and “modern” metaphysics. He likens Jesus’s mission to today’s invitation to an “ecological civilization,” (which is called for in the constitution of China), and he celebrates the emergence of “communities of communities” and “ecological economics.” The book summarizes a lifetime of reflection by this eminent scholar in our midst, and gives insight into his current popularity in China.

~ Rev. Ron Hines, The Cobb Institute

You may find details about the book at https://processcenturypress.com/salvation-jesuss-mission-and-ours/. You may order it from your favorite book dealer or Amazon. The Zoom link will be sent via a separate email the week of Jan. 4 with a reminder link in the Where to Find Worship email on Jan. 9. As always, please do not share 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, prayers@claremontumc.org. 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 "Angels from the Realms of Glory" from The United Methodist Hymnal, no. 220. Click HERE and enjoy!

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