“I know the plans I have for you; plans for welfare and not for calamity,Jeremiah 29:11
to give you a future and a hope.”
Dear members and friends of Echo Park United Methodist Church:
Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ!
ALL SAINTS WORSHIP SERVICE
10:00 AM IN THE SANCTUARY AND ONLINE
During worship this coming Sunday, we will be celebrating our saints… the saints who have gone before… the saints who are with us still… and the saints who are yet to come. These are the faithful ones who live among us as embodiments of God’s grace for the world. They are the bearers of God’s good news, the speakers of truth, the caregivers who love us unconditionally, the artists who help us see beauty, the prophets who call us to justice and righteousness, and the trailblazers who guide us safely through life’s shadowy and fearful valleys. The saints are you and I and all those in all places and all times who have given their lives in faith to the work of doing God’s will and living God’s kindom.
I pray that you will make every effort to be with us for this time of worship and celebration. As part of this time of worship, we will be viewing a slide show of those from our community who have died. They have passed from this life to become part of that great cloud of witnesses, and yet their memory remains dear to us.
- If you know of someone from our community who has died during this last year that you would like to have added to our remembrance video, please let me know and – if possible – provide a clear picture.
This Sunday, we will also be receiving a new member into our congregation – a saint who will walk with us in our journey faith. Mele Faiva Blagojevich has been a strong leader in The United Methodist Church for many years. She has served as the Conference President of the United Methodist Women, served on the General Board of Global Ministries, and been an active member of our Cal-Pac delegation to the Western Jurisdictional Conference. Please come and join us in welcoming her to be a faithful member of this congregation.
- If you or someone you know would like to affiliate with this congregation this coming Sunday or receive the sacrament of baptism, please contact me as soon as possible so that we can talk about it ahead of time.
COMMUNITY FELLOWSHIP AND POTLUCK
11:15 AM IN THE BASEMENT DINING ROOM
Following worship, we will gather downstairs for a time of fellowship and feasting. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had very few opportunities to gather as community around a shared meal. Here is our chance to see one another face to face, to renew relationships that might have languished over the last few years, to catch up on what has been happening, and to share some of our favorite foods.
- Please bring a potluck dish to share with others. Bring a food that warms your heart and makes you feel at home. Sharing food is a wonderful way of building community.
COMMUNITY DREAMING AND PLANNING
11:30 AM IN THE BASEMENT DINING ROOM AND ONLINE
(Click here to join the meeting by Zoom.)
Meeting ID: 718 454 4317
As part of our community fellowship, we will have a moderated time to dream together about the future of our church, particularly in regard to ministry with children, youth, and families.
We know that children and youth and their families are the fastest growing demographic in our Echo Park community. Many of the young people we see on our streets go to nearby schools. Many come from established immigrant families from Central America and the Philippines. Others belong to immigrant families that have only newly arrived. Still others come from diverse young families who have recently moved into our neighborhood with hopes and dreams of building a healthy and prosperous future.
How can we reach out to these young people and their families in ways that are loving, just, and life-giving. Some of these young people may already be part of the growing community that makes up EPIC, but there are many more who are still seeking places to belong and to grow. The opportunities for our church in this environment are truly motivating and inspiring.
We also know that Echo Park is seeing a dramatic rise in young creatives – musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, and performers of every sort. (To be honest, we even have a sizeable population of older creatives who have already made a significant mark in the wider community.)
How can we engage the creative community of Echo Park in a holistic way that provides them with opportunities for artistic expression, creative development, and life-giving relationship? How might we transform Echo Park UMC into a center for the community’s creative life? Indeed, how might we empower the young people in our neighborhood to develop their own creative potential in music and the arts? Perhaps we could even establish a young people’s choir!
There are so many ways that our community might grow both in faith and in numbers. The time has come for us to listen carefully to where God’s Spirit is leading us. So, I invite you to come and be part of our time of dreaming this Sunday. Let your hopes and dreams be known and your voice be heard.
- Please bring your memories of how God has worked in the past and your hopes and dreams for how God might yet work in the future. What would you like to see Echo Park United Methodist Church become – particularly in the area of children, youth, and family ministries – as we move into God’s future of hope.
God is offering us a future with hope. Let us live into that hope. Join us on Sunday both during and following worship.
May God bless us all!