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"The Weekly Window"

January 20, 2021

Claremont United Methodist Church

In This Issue:

  • A Word from Rev. Karen
  • Les Brewer Memorial Service
  • Valentines for Teachers
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Adjourned Charge Conference
  • Conversations with John Cobb
  • Our Prayers
  • Musical Meditation from Katie
  • Year-End Statements and 2021 Offering Envelopes
  • CUMC's Website Links

A Word from Rev. Karen

Renewing our resolve

Dear CUMC faith friends,

Like many of you, I spent much of the morning and early afternoon watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The contrast between the insurrection at the Capitol two weeks ago and the inauguration events today brought me to tears many times over.

So did the historic nature of the day. The ceremony and ritual that are always a part of inaugurations seemed to hold greater significance today. Our democracy had been threatened and with great resolve our elected leaders demonstrated to us and to the world that our freedoms stand.

I was also deeply moved on Tuesday evening when we were all invited to join in the first nationwide memorial to those lives lost to Covid-19. Churches across the country were invited to ring bells. And people throughout our nation were  invited to light a candle and join in an act of national mourning and remembrance. A video of how Claremont UMC participated is linked below.

As a person who loves our country and loves words, this was a feast day. We heard hymns and references to scripture. We heard prayer and poetry.

Words have power and meaning and hold great truth.

This was evident in so many speeches and remarks, yet it was brought to brilliant light by Los Angeles poet and activist Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet ever to deliver the inaugural poetic proclamation. Her words captivated me and many with its truth-telling and its hope. I offer it to you in its entirety.

I believe it is time to renew our resolve to work toward justice and peace for all people.

In prayer and care, 
Rev. Karen


“The Hill We Climb” 
By Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves

Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

A sea we must wade.

We braved the belly of the beast;

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.

And the norms and notions of what just is

Isn’t always justice.

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it;

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed

A nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time

Where a skinny black girl descended from slaves

And raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president,

Only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes we are far from polished, far from pristine,

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t striving to form a union that is perfect.

We are striving to forge a union with purpose,

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

And so we lift our gaze not to what stands between us,

But what stands before us.

We close the divide, because we know to put our future first,

We must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms

So we can reach out our arms to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew,

That even as we hurt, we hoped,

That even as we tired, we tried,

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious—

Not because we will never again know defeat

But because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision

That everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree,

And no one shall make them afraid.

If we’re to live up to our own time,

then victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promised glade,

The hill we climb if only we dare it.

Because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded,

But while democracy can be periodically delayed

It can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith we trust,

For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.

We feared at its inception.

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,

But within it we found the power

To author a new chapter,

To offer hope and laughter,

To ourselves sow. While once we asked:

How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?

Now we assert: How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,

But move to what shall be,

A country that is bruised but whole,

Benevolent but bold,

Fierce and free.

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation

Because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.

Our blunders become their burdens

But one thing is certain:

If we merge mercy with might and might with right,

Then love becomes our legacy

And change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.

With every breath of my bronze pounded chest,

We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

We will rise from the golden hills of the West.

We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.

We will rise from the lakeland cities of the Midwestern states.

We will rise from the sunbaked South.

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

In every known nook of our nation,

In every corner called our country,

Our people, diverse and beautiful,

Will emerge battered and beautiful.

When day comes we step out of the shade,

Aflame and unafraid.

The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it,

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Leslie "Les" Brewer Memorial Service

Saturday, January 23, 2021, 11:00 a.m. via Zoom

Services for Les Brewer will be held via Zoom on Saturday January 23 at 11 a.m. Please continue to hold JoAnn Brewer, Melanie Little, and all of Leslie's family and friends in prayer.

Rev. Karen and Rev. Martha are working with Les' family to make this a sacred and meaningful time of celebrating his life. The Zoom link will be shared by email in the next day or two. It will include a link to a worship order.

To allow for as many households as possible to attend, please limit attendance to one shared screen per household.

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

Covid-19 Vaccinations for those Age 65+

We learned from one of our members, Debbie Schultz, that there are now a limited number of vaccines for the Coronavirus being made available for those age 65 + at the Fairplex.

To be eligible for the vaccine, you must live in L.A. County and be 65 years old or older. Vaccines are given out by appointment only. The website is a little challenging to navigate to make an appointment, but Debbie provided the following instructions to easily find where to put your information in:

Connect to the internet.
Go to
Click the maroon-colored box that indicates to make an appointment for 65 years or older.

This will take you to the L.A. County Department of Health Site. Once this screen comes up, there is a picture and underneath it you will see a title bar stating "OVERVIEW."

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see a link that says, "Make an appointment to be vaccinated..."

Click on the "I Agree" box.

Then scroll down and it will give you all the dates and times and places the vaccines are being offered.  

Click on the one where you want to register. It may take time for the screen to come up so be patient.

For those who have no internet access, you can call the "Call Center": and follow the instructions there. The number is (833) 540-0473.

We hope this information is helpful. The appointments available now are based on the amount of vaccine available. As more vaccine becomes available, they will add more appointments.

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.

Virtual Conversations with John Cobb

Sundays through February 14, 2021

What a delight to start the New Year with amazing food for thought and faith.

Following worship, Dr. Cobb will be with us for conversation about his most recent book, Salvation, facilitated by Rev. Ron Hines, board member of the Cobb Institute.

You may find details about the book at You may order it from your favorite book dealer or Amazon.

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 "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." Katie chose it in particular for the lesser-known verse: 
"Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song; let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake; let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong."
Click HERE and enjoy!

~Katie Franklin Ledsinger

Year-End Giving Statements and 2021 Offering Envelopes

A quick note to let you all know that year-end giving statements will be going out in the next week or two. Also, for those who are patiently waiting for them, 2021 Offering Envelopes will be out in the mail tomorrow (Thursday). We appreciate your patience with the delays due to the pandemic and mail service.

Claremont UMC Website

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