La Tijera United Methodist Church & Child Development Center Newsletter V O L U M E V , I S S U E 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 5 Birth of the Child by Frederick Buechner “Faith is why I’m here today and faith is why I made it through.” - Jonathan Anthony Burkett Messy Church is on vacation in January—we hope to see you on February 12th! In the letters of St. Paul, which are the earliest New Testament writings, there is no suggestion that the birth of Jesus was accompanied by any miracle, and in the Gospel of Mark, which is probably the earliest of the four, the birth plays no part. So a great many biblical scholars would agree with the skeptics that the great nativity stories of Luke and Matthew are simply the legendary accretions, the poetry, of a later generation, and that were we to have been present, we would have seen a birth no more or less marvelous than any other birth. But if that is the case, what do we do with the legends of the wise men and the star, the shepherds and the angels and the great hymn of joy the angels sang? Do we dismiss them as fairy tales, the subject for pageants to sentimentalize over once a year come Christmas, the lovely dream that never came true? Only if we are fools do we do that, although there are many in our age who have done it and there are moments of darkness when each one of us is tempted to do it. A lovely dream. That is all. of Jesus’ birth actually were? As for myself, the longer I live, the more inclined I am to believe in miracle, the more I suspect that if we had been there at the birth, we might well have seen and heard things that would be hard to reconcile with modern science. But of course that is not the point, because the Gospel writers are not really interested primarily in the facts of the birth but in the significance, the meaning for them of that birth just as the people who love us are not really interested primarily in the facts of our births but in what it meant to them when we were born and how for them the world was never the same again, how their whole lives were charged with new significance. Who knows what the facts Dates to Remember . . . 01/01—Happy New Year! Center & Church Office are closed 01/04—Epiphany Sunday, worship at 9:30 a.m. Communion will be served-all are invited. 01/04—The Gathering at 6:30 p.m., an hour of meditation, prayer, silence, scripture, and music in the style of Taize 01/05—All Center classes resume 01/05—Westchester Neighborhood Assoc. meets at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary 01/19—Center closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday 01/22—PFLAG meets in Chapel Lounge 01/11—Worship at 9:30 a.m. 01/25—Worship at 9:30 a.m. 01/12—LAUSD classes are back in session 01/31—”A Bead and a Prayer” Prayer Bead Workshop; time TBA 01/15—Ad Council meets in Chapel Lounge at 6:30 p.m. 01/18—Worship at 9:30 a.m. PAGE 2 Birth of the Child (cont. from page 1) Whether there were ten million angels there or just the woman herself and her husband, when that child was born the whole course of history was changed. That is a fact as hard and blunt as any fact. Art, music, literature, our culture itself, our political institutions, our whole under- standing of ourselves and our world—it is impossible to conceive of how differently world history would have developed if that child had not been born. And in terms of faith, much more must be said because for faith, the birth of the child into the darkness of the world made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living life. - Originally published in “The Hungering Dark,” Harper San Francisco, 1985 Renegade Gospel—Coming Soon! “For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” Mehmet Murat Ildan DON’T FORGET TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT OUR “NEWS & EVENTS” PAGE ! LA TIJERA Central to the Christian faith is a man who denies all our preconceived notions about what God should look like. Joining his movement will mean coming to terms with the real Jesus, the rebel Jesus. On Monday, February 23rd through Monday, March 30th, we will gather at 7 p.m. to explore Mike Slaughter’s DVD and book study. The session topics are: Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. The rebel Jesus came with a renegade gospel to start a revolution. In Renegade Gospel, pastor and author Mike Slaughter presents Jesus and his challenging message to inspire us and discover Jesus all over again. Revolutionary Lifestyle Let Pastor Lyda know if you are interested in attending in February! Discovering the Rebel Jesus The Most Important Question You Will Ever Have to Answer Seeing Jesus Today The Way of the Cross Resurrection Messy Church . . .is on vacation in January! Messy Church is on vacation this month . . . But we hope to see you all on February 12th! a story from the Bible. We will end our time together by sharing a meal. Here’s what happens at Messy Church: At 5:00 p.m. we gather together for snacks and games. We will explore craft activities that support our theme for February. After our craft time, we will have a time of celebration with singing and At Messy Church, you don’t sit quietly while you hear about stories from long ago—you get to create, dance, pretend, make noise, and laugh! UNITED Tell a friend—bring a friend! ALL are welcome here! You can register for Messy METHODIST Church now—go to our website, click on the Messy Church page, and fill out the registration form on line! VOLUME V, ISSUE 1 PAGE 3 A Bead and a Prayer! Prayer beads are a tool for prayer. Just as a hammer and nails help us construct a house, so prayer beads help us construct a life of connection with God. The beads are not the end; they are the means to an end, which is communion with God. Prayer beads of many types exist throughout the world. Protestant prayer beads are made up of a cross or other pendant and thirty-three or more beads. One large bead, called the “invitatory bead,” reminds us that God invites us to a time of prayer. Prayer beads can help us encounter God in all of God’s glory. When we do, we surrender to God’s power and call to communion. Our response to the surrendering encourages us to offer ourselves to God, including the concerns that are on our heart. At that point, we stop to listen for God’s re- sponse. In that moment, we hear God’s word to us. In our busy, noisy lives we can easily miss one or more of these elements. When we do, we begin to feel lost and hopeless. We wonder where God is and whether God hears our prayers. Prayer beads can help us enter into and maintain lives of prayer that are whole and complete. On Saturday, January 31st, we will hold a prayer bead workshop in Chapel Lounge. We will learn about prayer beads in other faith traditions and watch a DVD about prayer beads and faith journeys. Then, each person will make their own set of prayer beads to help explore this ancient tool of prayer. We will be using Kristen E. Vincent’s “A Bead and a Prayer” book in our workshop. On Sunday, February 1st and Sunday, February 8th, for those who are interested, we will gather at 11:00 a.m. to continue to explore using our prayer beads. Messy Christmas 2014! The cost of a prayer bead kit is $15.00; however, arrangements can be made should the cost of the kit be prohibitive. Please RSVP to Pastor Lyda ([email protected]) no later than January 14th so that we enough prayer bead kits for everyone! Also—let us know if you would rather meet in the morning or evening on January 31st! “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” - T.S. Eliot LAX Food Pantry The LAX Food Pantry is an emergency food resource for low-income clients in Inglewood, Westchester, El Segundo, Hawthorne, and portions of Los Angeles. Each year, La Tijera UMC participates in the LAX Food Pantry’s “Bag It Up” program which provides food for a family of four. This year, we were able to donate 15 “Bag It Up” meals to families in need. Through your generosity, La Tijera UMC also donated $200.00 to the LAX Food Pantry! Thank you again to all who participated— woo hoo! Don’t forget—La Tijera UMC supports the LAX Food Pantry throughout the year, not just at the holidays. We collect donations of money, canned goods and non-perishables for the Food Pantry on an on-going basis. If you would to help the Food Pantry, bring your donation to the church office or drop it off during Sunday worship at 9:30 a.m. Pictures from Messy Christmas! PAGE 4 Mayola’s Corner Happy New Year to all! Can you believe another year has passed?! We had many memorable and exciting experiences to embark upon. What a privilege and joy it has been to serve your childcare needs and to meet the needs of eager, curious children! Their faces remind us always of the importance of the work we do at the Center for Children. Let us rejoice in our accomplishments. Congratulations to Teacher Lauren! Twin boys (Braxton & Jackson Bonner) weighing in at 5 lbs each. Next is Teacher Jessica! As the holiday season ends and our lives return to normalcy, let’s give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us during this past year. Look for some wonderful changes in the coming year. I like to keep things new and exciting so watch for details. The Center is looking for someone to input info into our new email address (La Tijera news for you) another major change is all of our notices, newsletters and correspondence will be by email. If I don’t have a current email address for you, please stop by the office. All the Center’s events/programs will be held during regular school hours. Stay tuned to see other important events. The Winter Concert and International Dinner, to name a few, will be held at 6:00 p.m. All parades, parties and the Easter Bunny’s visit will be at 10:30 a.m. Our teachers and staff hope all our families had a joyous holiday season and have a prosperous New Year. We welcome our new families who will be joining us and our returning families back for another year. We know you have many choices for childcare, but we are glad that you have allowed us to fulfill your childcare needs. We appreciate you and thank you for your support. We look forward to spending 2015 with all of you! Infant I IMPORTANT: Do we have your email address? Please stop by the office and provide us with your email address so we can update our records! As the year begins, we hope 2015 brings lots of new and wonderful opportunities for all of us. We give a warm welcome to Stella and her family who joined us in December. And a fond adieu to Jackson and his family who are moving out of state. We will miss you but know that you will continue to TIJERA Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, thank you for making our country a better place! We wish many blessings to Teacher Bernice and her new husband as they start their new life together! Congratulations! Love from Infant I This month we observe Martin Transition 1 Hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday. Wishing you and yours a great New Year. For most of us, it will be new beginnings and there will be growth and prosperity for all. It is transitioning time for some of the children and it LA learn and thrive on your new adventure! We’ll also be welcoming four new babies this month, as three will be transitioning to Infant II. We still look forward to seeing them all as we continue to grow closer and work together to make our experiences at La Tijera the best ever! UNITED will be a time to explore and experience new things to promote growth and coming into their own as they develop. We have a vision that will become a reality for us all. Have a great year. METHODIST - Teacher Chestina VOLUME V, ISSUE 1 PAGE Infant II Welcome back and Happy New Year! It was a busy fun holiday season. We hope that everyone had a beautiful holiday with family and friends. Thanks to all parents for the beautiful gifts and treats that we received this Christmas. The staff really appreciates your generosity. Thanks to all the families and friends who attended our Christmas party—we hope you enjoyed it! In January, our theme is Martin Luther King, Jr.ls birthday, winter and winter animals—all of our arts & crafts will support our themes. Please be sure to label your child’s belongings. Thank you for all your support and have a happy and safe new year, and all the best in 2015! - Teachers Rosy, Shay, Marisol & Rebeca Preschool Welcome 2015! The year is upon us and winter is finally here. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their holiday. Congratulations to Ryleigh Madison, she’s our January Student of the Month. To enhance learning, our children will engage in more creative, hands on learning experiences to broaden their minds. In celebration of Black History Month, our children will learn about past/ present leaders in our community and around the globe. Reminder: Christmas at the Center! Please label your children’s clothes. - Mrs. Sharon Transitional Preschool We wish you a Happy New Year in 2015. May God bless you all with abundant love, care and bring great joy, peace and good health to everyone throughout the year. In January, our children will be practicing writing the al- phabet, numbers and their names. They will also learn about winter weather with special art projects to broaden their views and ideas - Teacher Mary 5 La Tijera United Methodist Church & Child Development Center www.latijeraumc.org 7400 Osage Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90045 Church phone: (310) 649-6267 Center phone: (310) 641-4173 Lyda email: [email protected] Mayola email: [email protected] We are a Reconciling Church! ALL are welcome here. We’re on the web! Latijeraumc.org From Lyda . . . When I was a kid, I loved finding hiding places where I could daydream, be alone or to just think about stuff. During the winter holidays, one of my favorite places to hide was underneath our Christmas tree. I would crawl as far under the tree as I could, and there I was no longer a part of a busy household—I was alone in a piney forest where brightly colored bulbs twinkled at me like magical stars. Lying snug beneath the ornaments and lights, safe behind boxes and bows, I was free to dream about the future, and remember things that brought me joy (being chosen first in dodge ball!) Each moment embraced in the magic of my Christmas tree fort was a gift as I imagined who I was going to be, and what the world had in store for me. This Christmas I decided that it would probably scare people out of their wits should they find me hiding under a Christmas tree, so my dreaming and pondering has been done sitting upright at the beach. As we approach the new year, I’ve been pondering the future God is dreaming for La Tijera UMC, but I’ve also made time to reflect on 2014 at La Tijera. There have been so many moments of wonder and awe in the life of the church this year. I close my eyes and see each moment so clearly—crossing the finish line with members of the congregation as we raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention; supporting the LAX Food Pantry; fighting for full-inclusion of our LGBTQ friends in the life of the church and in the world; building relationships and making connections—moments of grace and following Jesus beyond church walls and into the world. As the new year approaches, there are all sorts of ideas offered up for resolutions, diets and ways to change for the better. I saw an idea on Facebook that I am inviting you all to join me in doing in 2015—to make a “Rememberlutions Jar!” It’s easy—you take a garden variety jar and decorate it! Remember, you’ll be looking at it all year, so make it as fabulous as you are! Then over the course of the year, whenever anything happens that makes you proud, write it down and put it in the jar. When you empty it out at the end of 2015, you will “remember all the rad things you’ve accomplished and how freaking awesome you are!” And in 2015, I am issuing a challenge—in addition to making a Rememberlutions Jar for yourself, make one for your church! Make a La Tijera UMC Rememberlutions Jar and when your church does something that makes you proud, or when its actions and/or choices make you proud to be called a United Methodist, or when you feel your church is listening to God’s dream for their mission in the world, write it down and put it in the jar! At the end of 2015, I look forward to opening our personal and La Tijera UMC’s “Rememberlutions Jars” and to celebrating each other and our faith journey together!
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