Volume 57, Issue 22 | November 15, 2019
Your church news & updates
Wedding Vow Renewal
As you may know, restrictions loom against LGBTQ+ people in the greater United Methodist Church. The “Traditional Plan” that was voted in at the Special General Conference in St. Louis denying full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people into the life of the denomination begins to go into effect on January 1.

Rest assured, friends, the California-Pacific Annual Conference (and many annual conferences across the globe), are in the process of creating a new Methodist denomination that wholly welcomes LGBTQ+ and all people into the fold. We will probably know much more about what this new community will look like after the next General Conference in May 2020.
In the meantime, our congregation, like many, are already living that future, and with our bishop’s blessing. Bishop Hagiya has said in no uncertain terms are we to stop ministering to and with all of God’s children as before the awful February vote. And we’re to never stop celebrating our life together, either!
With all that in mind, UMCPS is throwing a very special party on January 1, 2020. Despite (and because of) the fact that draconian punishments for pastors and congregations who perform and host same sex weddings go into effect that day, we’re going to give God the hugest thanks for the gift of marriage – marriage for ALL – by having a fun and fantastic RENEWAL OF VOWS worship service and reception! And we invite EVERYONE to be a part!
Gay couples and straight couples of our church family…come and renew your vows!
Widows, widowers, and single people…come and celebrate what our renewing couples are doing, and celebrate the gift of marriage that God extends to ALL PEOPLE!  
Even if you’re married and you choose not to renew your vows at this time, no problem! Be a part of the party! It’s an ALL-SKATE!! 😊  
What an affirming act this will be – strengthening our congregation’s bonds of love and support for one another – strengthening our resolve to stand against the forces of injustice and oppression that promise to manifest in 2020 – and showing the greater community who we are, and for whom we are, now and always.
Details about our celebration are forthcoming. For now, SAVE THE DATE! What a faithful, important and fun way for us all to ring in the new, don’t you think??!!

Pastor Jane 
Sign Up for the New Advent Study Today!
This Advent Season, you are invited to participate in a 3-week study designed to help you go "beyond" the surface of Christmas, beyond the lights and presents and decorations. Let's discover together how Christmas invites us into a deeper connection with others and a deeper spirituality.  

Our core values at UMCPS are Embrace Hospitality, Nurture Spirituality, and Serve Hope. We will explore how these values are lived out through the Christmas story and how, if we do likewise today, we can experience more depth in life, we can go beyond the surface too.

There are two study groups available:
  • Monday evening at 6 pm, at the home of Patty Slough (December 2, 9, 16)
  • Wednesday morning at 10, at the church (December 4, 11, 18)

There is not book to order and no cost to attend. All are encouraged to participate. Click here to sign up today!

Jeremy Wells, Director of Christian Education
The Great Garage Clean-up of 2019
The Trustees are planning to tackle the seemingly impossible mess in the garage on Saturday, November 23. Anything that is not recognized as property of the church will be disposed of. We could certainly use some help, if anyone has an hour or two to spare.

The great garage clean up of 2019 will begin at 8 am on Saturday, November 23. No need to RSVP! Just show up.
We're Moving to Two Worship Services on Sunday, December 1
We are moving to two worship services beginning Sunday, December 1.
Please join us for worship at 9 am or 11 am. Sunday school will be offered in between services in the Christian Education building from 10:15 to 11 am.

Based on the responses we received about our October pre-worship fellowship hospitality, we are trying a new experiment beginning December 1, when we move to two worship services. 

The 9:00 am service will be more “traditional” in nature, with a hymn sing before worship, more traditional music in the service (including offerings by our choir), and Holy Communion every week. 

The 11:00 am service will be more “informal,” with coffee-time before worship, more contemporary and relevant secular music, and Holy Communion once a month. 

We invite you to one or the other or both! 

We’ll try this from December 1 to April 12 (Easter) and come to you for another evaluation. 
More info on our two-service experiment is coming soon. 

Thanks and please let Pastor Jane know your questions and suggestions. 
Giving Options Presentation
Wrapping up 2019, folks with appreciated securities or other assets seek to make a charitable gift that supports their favorite organization while also offsetting capital gains and receiving a tax benefit. 

Chad Leitch, who is part of our congregation, is a retired attorney from Iowa and subcontracts with Thompson & Associates on various matters related to charitable estate planning. Chad will give a brief presentation about the different ways you can make a gift that maximizes the benefits for you and the church.

Please join us Sunday, November 24, 11:30 am - 12:15 pm (following worship) in the Walker Smith Building. 
Parking Lot Improvements
Are you wondering how and why the parking lot was improved, or rather replaced? After multiple bids to fix the parking lot cracks, it was determined they could not be fixed. Our parking lot is original and the cracking is so wide spread and deep we were advised replacing the lot is all any of the reputable companies were prepared to offer. 

A couple of years ago SCE inquired if we would be amenable to having the power lines buried on our property. After negotiations we agreed to have the lines buried right down the parking lot. A major portion of the money received from SCE was ear marked for the new paving project. In conjunction with the new asphalt, we felt it was prudent to replace all the old irrigation lines in the parking lot islands and install the landscape gravel before the new asphalt was installed. It didn’t seem smart to have huge trucks and 14 tons of gravel dropped on the new surface so we got the job done one week in advance of the asphalt. The cost of the new irrigation and the plants were donated by parishioners. 

Just thought you might want to know!
Maureen Brealey
Transgender Day of Remembrance- Wednesday, November 20
Thank You, Church Family!
Dear Church Family,

Thank you for your many kind expressions of comfort and sympathy regarding the loss of my beloved sister Marilyn Hedges. I greatly miss our nightly phone conversations, her presence at family gatherings and more travel adventures but I have many, many wonderful memories.

Love,
Marj  
(Marjorie Conley Aikens)
Books for Cabot Yerxa Elementary School- A New Fundraiser by the United Methodist Women
The United Methodist Women (or UMW) of the church have recently begun work on a new fundraising project. The UMW would like to provide a new book for all students at Cabot Yerxa Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs in time for Christmas and winter break. The approximate cost is $1 per book per student.

Every Sunday in November a member of the UMW will be carrying a heart box before and after worship. You can make your donations by dropping cash in the box. Money will be given to the school by December 1st so they can order the books and receive them before classes are dismissed for winter break. 

T hank you for your support of the children of Cabot Yerxa Elementary School!

Vera Glur, President of UMW
World AIDS Day- Your personal stories wanted! 
This year’s World AIDS Day observance happens on the first Sunday of December, and Pastor Jane is hoping to create a memorable worship service centered around personal stories from the congregation. What is a personal memory you have of the AIDS crisis that gripped the nation in the 1980’s and 90’s? Who do you know who was impacted and how? What do you remember of that time? Do you have a present-day story about the disease and its victims? Where and how have you seen the presence of Christ? 

Whatever you would like to share would be greatly appreciated! All sharing will be kept completely confidential. 

Please get me your story by Sunday, November 24. 

Thanks so much!
Pastor Jane
Announcing Life Groups Coming January 2020
As Director of Christian Education at the church, one of the projects I am most excited about is the upcoming Life Groups. Beginning in January we will have several different Life Groups available gathering throughout the Coachella Valley. These Life Groups are an intentional opportunity for us all to grow together in community, to offer us deeper connections and relationships, and to do life together beyond Sunday mornings. 

If you are looking for a way to go deeper in your spiritual journey and grow in your relationships with your church family, this is the opportunity for you. Based on the community building questions from John and Charles Wesley we will discuss together weekly, "how is your soul?" and "how can your community pray for you this week?" It will also connect with the sermon each week and offer insight and questions to help carry the message with us throughout the week. These Life Groups are a chance to be your authentic self, and be honest with each other about what's really going on with you.  

Please consider signing up when registration opens in December and see how these deeper connections through Life Groups can be transformational for you.

Jeremy Wells, Director of Christian Education
All-Church Conference on Sunday, November 24 at 3 pm
The annual church conference will take place on the last Sunday of November (11/24) at 3 pm in the church fellowship hall. This is an important meeting of the church and is open to anyone who calls UMCPS their church home.
Save the Date(s) for Holiday Cheer!
It's almost time to decorate the sanctuary for Christmas! The Worship Team would like to invite you to hang the greens and decorate the Christmas tree on Tuesday, December 3 at 4 pm . This is a fun opportunity to get in the holiday spirit with Christmas music and church family and friends. Pizza and salad will be served after decorating. Save the date!

On Sunday, December 15 we will be singing Christmas carols again for folks at the nearby assisted living facilities. More details to come but, for now, save the date!
Christmas Open House at Pastor Jane's- Sunday, December 8
November 16- Vera Glur 
November 22- Terri Rae-Elmer 
November 22- Howard Cecil 
November 24- Richard Hoffman 
November 24- Mary Phillips
November 27- Diane Weist 
November 15- Susan & Adrian Lallman
November 23- Darlene & Jerry Ockerman 
Sunday Attendance and Coffee Hour
Attendance for the last two weeks of worship:

  • November 3- 80
  • November 10- 153
Fellowship Hour Responsibilities for November:

  • November 17- Finance Committee
  • November 24- Endowment Committee & Social Justice Team