Health Ministry

The UCLA Virtual Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society will be livestreamed on May 9, 2020 from 12-4 at To watch, there’s a button called “Virtual Relay” and that’s it! Read more below on how to donate to this event, or sign up for a luminaria to honor a loved one. Here’s the schedule:

Virtual Relay for Life, by Debi Jenkinson:

The Relay for Life at Santa Monica College has been an inspiration and source of comfort for many First UMC members and families over the years, and last year, when we moved to the UCLA event, the members who came were very impressed with the organization and enthusiasm of the community members and UCLA students. The memory of watching hundreds of young people sit quietly on the Drake Stadium track for more than an hour watching dedications with music and prose to honor people whose lives were lost to cancer will always remain in my mind; even more impressive was watching those young adults get up and walk a lap on the track with all the other participants at the event in absolute silence. 

The Health Ministry Council, under the leadership and enthusiasm of Chris Reagh, were looking forward to getting more of our members and families to come to the event this year, especially the young adults, but then the novel Coronavirus-19 hit our nation and our world, forcing us all to change our lives in countless ways.  The organizers have said that ‘While we know that nothing can truly replace the experience of Relay, we are hoping that this virtual platform will still allow us to come together to celebrate, remember, and fight back’ and the Health Ministry Council is glad we can all do this while staying safe. 

If you would like to donate to this event, or sign up for a luminaria to honor a loved one, please go to and click on Join Relay at UCLA ’20 on the right, and click on Donate and/or Luminaria at the middle of the next page. If you would like to donate in the name of the Wesley Walkers team from our church, type in the name, choose the UCLA event, and enter your information. Before you sign out, be sure to check the site for the photos and great information if you can. Thanks for your interest in Relay for Life at UCLA. More information about the schedule and livestreaming will be available in next week’s community email; contact Debi Jenkinson at 310-337-7626 for additional information. Stay safe and well, all of you; we hope to join many of you in a live Relay for Life event at UCLA at a safer time.

Red Cross Community Blood Drive – UPDATE (4/17/20)

As an update for the postponement of the Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled at First UMC for April 26, the Red Cross representative who coordinates the American Red Cross Blood Drives that are held at our church and the community has advised us that the generous public response to the Red Cross announcements for the need for blood during the Covid-19 pandemic has fulfilled the immediate needs for hospitalized patients currently.   According to the representative, if you are planning to sign up to donate blood soon, May would be a good time, and the Red Cross anticipates even more need in the summer months, when we hope to reschedule our First UMC Blood Drive using many safety precautions and the social distancing guidelines.

If you’d like to sign up to donate blood, the Red Cross is making appointments directly.For signing up online, use  (and type in your zip code to see the list of local blood drives; you will be able to select a time and place for your donation and you will need to set up an account).  You can also use the Red Cross App if you have it set up, or call the Red Cross directly at 1-800-733-2767 (and follow the prompts to arrange a donation with a representative). As you are planning your donation(s) please remember that you need to have a 56-day period between standard blood donations (and 112 days between Power Red donations) especially if you are hoping to donate at the next First UMC Blood Drive TBA! If you have any questions about your donation, please contact Debi Jenkinson at or 310-337-7626. Thanks for your interest in blood donation; wishing you and your family and friends the best at this challenging time; stay well!
– Debi Jenkinson

— DanceFit is on hold due to an injury sustained by instructor Whitney Hagan. Look for further updates in the Spring. —


Dance your way to fitness with First UMC member Whitney Hagan, licensed Zumba instructor. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a towel. Water will be available. No charge but donations appreciated. Kids are welcome. Tell your friends!

Parking is available on the street or in the underground garage across 11th Street.  See Church Parking signs.


Free Blood Pressure Screenings

Come get your blood pressure checked every 3rd Sunday of the month in Simkins Hall.  No charge.  Date subject to change.

3rd Sundays, 11 a.m., Simkins Hall in The Shelby Center

Free Flu Vaccination Clinic: 

Early Fall, Simkins Hall in The Shelby Center

First UMC has the privilege of hosting one of the first flu vaccination clinics in the fall provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This gives us the opportunity to both keep ourselves healthy and help keep our community healthy. There is no charge for the flu vaccine and no appointments necessary. Any seniors who have been told to get the ‘SENIOR Flu Shot’ dose should contact their healthcare provider or pharmacy; the public health nurses are not given this special dose to administer at the clinics.

Santa Monica Transportation Service: By MODE

What is MODE?  MODE stands for Mobility On Demand Everyday. WISE and Healthy Aging and Big Blue Bus partnered with Lyft to provide curb-to-curb, on-demand transportation for seniors and individuals with disabilities who live in Santa Monica.  Most trips on MODE are provided by Lyft, an on-demand ride service that matches you with a nearby driver who will pick you up within minutes.  

You may use the service to go anywhere within the Santa Monica city limits. Health care: Visit a doctor, therapist, medical facility and hospital. Education: Take a class, attend school, a lecture or a discussion group. Enjoyment: Visit friends and relatives, church, the movies, the park or any recreational or social activity. Shopping: Go to grocery stores, department stores, the mall or any shopping area in Santa Monica.  

They also provide access to the following facilities during regular hours of operation: • UCLA Medical Center, Westwood • Kaiser Medical Centers in West Los Angeles and Culver City/Marina del Rey • V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Center • Select shopping destinations on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice

Check their website for fares and eligibility.  

To sign up, call WISE and Healthy Aging at 310-394-9871.  For more information or questions, contact Anne Premer:

Anne Premer, Congregation Care Associate

In 2016-2017, the Council welcomed Anne Premer, First UMC’s first Congregation Care Visitor, as a council member with great sensitivity and expertise as we continue our efforts to help address the health needs of the congregation and our community.  As an extension of pastoral care, Anne works primarily with seniors, to assess needs and connect them with resources in the congregation and community.  Learn more about Anne here or call her at (310) 393-8258 ext. 103, or send her an email

Through God’s love, the Health Ministry Council works to promote wellness in individuals, the church, and the community.  The council supports the mission of First UMC, plans and implements programs and activities that promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being and healing, and serves as an advocate for health and safety concerns.  For more information about the Council, or to volunteer, send us an email or call the church office (310) 393-8258.