Livestream

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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21st LIVESTREAMS

WESTWOOD KIDS – Sunday at 9:45am

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THE SANCTUARY – Sunday at 10am

Click here for the worship guide.
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THE LOFT LIVE – Sunday at 10am

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This Sunday, we’ll continue our live, interactive service format on Zoom. We’ll also dive deeper into our new series “Trust the Process?” with a conversation between Pastor Molly Vetter and Pastor Terence Hagans. Click here to join us on Sundays at 10am.

Watch Sunday worship from previous weeks on our YouTube account or listen to our worship podcast.


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SUNDAY & MIDWEEK EVENTS

SAVOR LIFE THIS LENT
This Lent, God beckons us toward deeper attentiveness of the divine presence in our midst. It gives life here, now. We encourage you to notice signs of beauty, kindness, mercy, and joy. And, we invite you to share them with others. There are lots of ways to do this, personally or publicly; we hope you will consider sharing some of them online and tag them with #savorlife and #westwoodumc. You can take a photo or write a haiku or sing a Psalm–there’s no wrong way to do this!
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SEEKING ARTISTS TO #PrayForLA
We are working with several other congregations in LA to create and display (on our campuses and online) art images and accompanying text as prayer stations for sharing grief during the Covid-19 pandemic. We seek artists to respond to words of prayer from our memorial service liturgy, and to the Covid-19 pandemic. This effort is inspired by the invitation to #PrayForLA, issued by the Crenshaw Dairy Mary. If you are interested in participating or knowing more, please contact Pastor Molly at molly@westwoodumc.org.
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PEOPLE OF COLOR THEOLOGY GROUP
Sunday, March 7th (12pm) via Zoom

Led by Joe Aumentado, the People of Color Theology Group will be reading and discussing “The Black Trans Prayer Book“, an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black Trans and Non-Binary people. Here’s a link to a short video of J Mase III, one of the editors and contributors of TBTPB. Here, he speaks on the intersection of faith and social justice, and the spiritual realities of black trans people. Give it a watch if you’d like to learn a bit more about the book and the reasons for its creation. All are welcome and encouraged to join this fascinating conversation. For more information, contact Pastor Terence Hagans at terence@theloftla.org.
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GUEST SPEAKER – DR. MONICA A. COLEMAN
Sunday, February 28th (10am) via Zoom
Monica A. Coleman is Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware. She spent over ten years in graduate theological education at Claremont School of Theology and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Answering her call to ministry at age 19, Dr. Coleman brings her experiences in evangelical Christianity, black church traditions, global ecumenical work, and indigenous spirituality to her discussions of religion. Dr. Coleman is the author or editor of six books and several articles that focus on the role of faith in addressing critical social and philosophical issues. Her memoir Bipolar Faith shares her life-long dance with trauma and depression, and how she discovers a new and liberating vision of God. Her book Making a Way Out of No Way is required reading at leading theological schools around the country. Dr. Coleman speaks widely on navigating change, religious diversity, mental wellness, and surviving sexual and domestic violence.
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MID-DAY PRAYER SERVICE

Tuesdays and Thursdays (12noon) via Facebook Live
In the middle of the day, we invite you to stop, take a deep breath, and join us for a few moments of centering scripture, reflection and prayer. Led from our beautiful sanctuary, Mid-Day Prayer is live at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in the Westwood Church Community Facebook Group. Or, you can pray with us whenever you are able, later in the day. If you’re new to this group, go to www.facebook.com/groups/westwood.umc and click on the “Join Group” button at the top of the page.
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COMMUNITY UPDATES
We invite you to share updates about yourself with our Westwood UMC community to be included in this weekly church eNews–to keep us connected in this time of physical separation. (Please send updates to sabrina@westwoodumc.org.)
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PRAYER LIST
If you would like to be added to our church prayer list, please let us know via this online form. (You can indicate whether you want your name shared here in the e-news or just with our pastors.)
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A NOTE FROM PASTOR MOLLY

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Ash Wednesday is always an invitation to consider our mortality, but this year, as the day approached, I was already well aware of so much loss and grief carried in our community. This week, in particular, I’ve been thinking about two of the elders of our congregation who we have lost in recent weeks: Wallace Umber and Ruth Gale.
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Wallace Umber died last month at the age of 96, of complications from Covid. Before he and his wife Carol moved to Santa Barbara in 2009, they were long a beloved and active part of our congregation and community. His professional work as a band teacher–including many years at Emerson Middle School and as founding director of the Santa Monica College Emeritus Concert Band–allowed him to share his love of music and life with so many others. He organized ensembles that played at church, as well. He lived out his love of music, including its power to bring people together with joy, up until the end of his life, playing trumpet out the window in his retirement community during pandemic isolation. NBC-LA included a story about him in their broadcast yesterday.
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I also think of Ruth Gale, who died at the age of 97 in December. We will host a memorial service for her tomorrow, online. Ruth also loved music–she played trombone and piano. In her later life, she loved listening to her granddaughter Emily play the flute whenever she would come to visit. Ruth loved music and cooking, and gave leadership as a PTA President and a President of our United Methodist Women. She was also proud to be a woman in math, and oversaw a supersonic lab at MIT early in her career. She shared this love of engineering and math with all three of her children. Her children carry many memories of helping her serve cake in our Fellowship Hall–she always took up the task of cutting wedding cakes, because she was the best at geometry.
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As I think of these two beloved people, I think of the richness of their lives; I admire the ways they gave of themselves in service to community, and how they used their gifts to offer joy and beauty to others.
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When I think of those who are carrying such a heavy pall of grief this season, I sometimes feel like I should be guilty or ashamed about my joy. I was moved to tears, however, by an invitation to a treasure and savor life that I received from someone in the very midst of loss. Last month, I shared an update on Facebook, giving thanks for my husband’s recovery from Covid-19. Gerry Tseng-Gill, son of the late Leo Tseng of our congregation, who had just lost his husband Joe to Covid, replied with generous words: “I am so delighted he has recovered! Celebrate!!!”
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Lent gives us a generous space, in which we acknowledge and experience the reality of suffering, struggle and grief. It is a season that reminds us that this sorrow is not the whole story; it points us out of the valleys of the shadow of death toward resurrection. It insists that we savor life, not in ignorance of grief and injustice, but as an antidote to our fear that they might have the final word.
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I hope you will join us as we endeavor to remain faithful to our God, whose relentless love keeps beckoning us on toward life.
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grace and peace,
Pastor Molly
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OTHER RESOURCES

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COVID-19 ASSISTANCE
We are in the midst of unprecedented and uncertain times, and we know that a lot of us will face unforeseen circumstances and needs over the next few months. As a church community, we are committed to supporting our members, especially in times like this. As part of that commitment, we are making funds available to meet needs that have surfaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you find yourself needing assistance during this time, please let us know by filling out this Google Form or reaching out to Pastor Molly Vetter at molly@westwoodumc.org. This invitation extends to your communities as well—if you know of anyone in need, we want to try and relieve that need as much as possible.
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WATCH THE SUNDAY SERVICES ANYTIME
Did you know? You can watch our online worship services anytime! If you use Facebook, you can find them on our pages for Westwood Church and The Loft. You do not need to sign in to Facebook to watch, though you will have to click through several pop-up windows inviting you to sign in. Watching on Facebook on Sundays at 10am gives you the opportunity to see who else is watching, and comment in real time. Plus, watch videos anytime later, and you can see videos from previous weeks because they remain on our Facebook pages. If you do not use Facebook, you can also view them through our website at www.westwoodumc.org/livestream. Whether you watch on Sunday morning at 10am or sometime later in the week, you can view the videos directly on our website each week. Additionally, you can also find videos from the past few Sundays on YouTube. If you’re having trouble getting the videos to work, please reach out for help. It’s a great excuse to call a friend from church! We’re glad to help, too; our ministry assistant, Sabrina Simmons, is available by email at sabrina@westwoodumc.org on Sunday mornings or during her regular work hours (Tuesday-Friday).
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HOW TO USE ZOOM VIDEOCONFERENCING
To use zoom, you can download the app for free from the app store on your android or iOS device. You do not need to create a Zoom account to join a meeting. Once Zoom has been downloaded, go back to the e-news and click the link we provided in the descriptions above. You’ll want to be sure to connect audio and/or video so you can hear and see everyone, and then select “join meeting.” Please note: If the host hasn’t started the meeting yet, you’ll be sent to a virtual waiting room. Once the host has logged in to begin the meeting, they’ll enable the folks in the waiting room to join. Here’s a link with the above info if that’s easier. You can also contact Sabrina Simmons at [sabrina@westwoodumc.org](mailto:sabrina@westwoodumc.org) for assistance.
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