MARCH 28: Palm Sunday
10 a.m. ONLINE Sanctuary Worship
The day we celebrate Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, featuring special music: a new arrangement of two traditional Palm Sunday hymns: “Ride On, Ride On In Majesty,” and “All Glory Laud and Honor,” arranged by Michael McClish, with a solo by Ryan Brown.
Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/santamonicaumc/live
First UMC website: www.santamonicaumc.org/livestream
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/SantaMonicaUMC

March 30 – April 3: Food Drive for the Westside Food Bank
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the First UMC Courtyard
Missions Council will be hosting a food drive for the West Side Food Bank on Tuesday, March 30 thru Saturday, April 3. Look for drop-off bins in the Courtyard. If you can’t make it during the week, bring your cans and dry goods to donate while you’re enjoying the Easter Hop-By festivities on Saturday, April 3!

APRIL 1: Maundy Thursday
In the Christian tradition, Maundy Thursday is the day to imitate Christ as servant, living into our call to serve one another and remembering Jesus in the celebration of Holy Communion. This online service will be led by Open Space.
Thursday, April 1, 6:30 p.m. via:
Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/santamonicaumc/live
First UMC website: www.santamonicaumc.org/livestream
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/SantaMonicaUMC
Followed by:
7 p.m. After Worship Zoom Gathering: All are welcome to Join in community to celebrate Maundy Thursday post-worship. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96578397184?pwd=Ni9Lc0JTWjNjNUdSc3VnMmg4d0M0Zz09

Zoom ID: 965 7839 7184 Password: fumc.

APRIL 2: Good Friday: Labyrinth Open for Prayer
The Labyrinth will be open during Good Friday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Stop by to walk in meditation and prayer to look within and find peace. 

While continuing to follow the latest health and safety guidelines, we offer this sacred space as a way of nurturing our faith during these challenging times. Guidelines:

  • Entrance through the front doors 
  • Hosted by church members who will greet you, and answer any questions you may have
  • 20-30 min. time blocks
  • Masks and physical distancing required
  • Hand sanitizers will be available.  The restrooms will be closed.
  • No food or beverages are permitted in Simkins Hall.

APRIL 3: Holy Saturday
All are welcome to attend our Hop-By Easter event, hosted by First UMC Children and Family Ministries. Walk through stations in the First UMC Courtyard for fun and physically-distanced activities for Easter lovers of all ages.
• Featuring crafts bags, a single household family photo, a chalk mural and even a visit from the Easter Bunny.
• Drive by to pick up your bag, or park in the church parking lot and walk through the event to fully participate in each activity. Remember to wear your mask.
• Missions Council will also be hosting a food drive for the West Side Food Bank, so bring cans and dry goods to donate. We look forward to seeing you there!
Easter Hop-By: Saturday, April 3, come anytime between
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the First UMC Courtyard

APRIL 4: Easter Sunday
10 a.m. ONLINE Sanctuary Worship
Our celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, featuring a vocal sextet from the Chancel Choir, singing two anthems: “The Day of Resurrection,” and “To The Lamb On The Throne,” with David Searfoss on trumpet. Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/santamonicaumc/live
First UMC website: www.santamonicaumc.org/livestream
Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/SantaMonicaUMC

Easter Sunrise Walk: Join Jocelyn Hicks-Garner at 7 a.m. Easter morning for a physically-distanced walk, starting at the First UMC Courtyard. The group will make their way towards Ocean Avenue and back.

Audio Lenten Devotionals
First UMC is excited to present that the Holy Week Lenten Devotionals have been made into audio files and recorded by the writers! Writers include: Whitney Hagan, Marissa Morgan, Jocelyn Hicks-Garner, Claudia Flanders, Dick Crawford, Kaitlyn Plukas, Rev. Patricia Farris, Kendra Gorlitsky, and Mike Olsson. First UMC staff member David Penson introduces the devotional and reads the scripture. Click here to listen.

Ash Wednesday Service

If you missed the February 17 Ash Wednesday Service, you may still enjoy it on Facebook, our website and our YouTube channel.

The 2021 Lenten Devotionals

The Spiritual Formation Council invites you to read your Lenten Devotional online, which starts on the first day in Lent – Ash Wednesday, February 17. The devotional is written by the First UMC community and provides a wonderful opportunity to share Lent with family and friends. This year we focus on the theme “Opening Our Lives,” and reflect on this passage: Loving God, in our sufferings and joys, in our relationships and daily lives, we ask that your kingdom come. Open our eyes to your presence, open our ears to your call, open our hearts to your love, open our ways to your will, open our actions to your compassion, open our pain to your peace, and, in doing so, open our world to your hope. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

*This year, the Holy Week Devotionals (March 28 – April 4) will also be made into Audio files as recorded by the writers (subject to change.)

SUBSCRIBE or download the Lenten Devotionals here

Gospel of Mark Bible Study with Rev. Larry Young

Through Lent, a Bible study on the Gospel of Mark is being led by Rev. Larry Young. Mark’s Gospel is the earliest record of Jesus’ life and teachings, so it is the nearest in time to Jesus’ lifetime. While much of Mark is repeated in Matthew and Luke, Mark has his own distinctive emphases and perspectives. It is the Gospel most likely to be used in worship through most of 2021. All are welcome to this study, including friends of members.
Duplicate sessions are held on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for about an hour each. You may sign up for the class by emailing Larry at lyoung@ljyoung.net, and he will send you the Zoom link for the class.
Gospel of Mark Bible Study: Tuesdays through Lent, begins February 16, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., via Zoom

How to Keep a Holy Lent: Spiritual Practice Guide downloadable card

Click here for a downloadable Lenten guide called “How to Keep a Holy Lent: Spiritual Practice Guide.” Print it out at home, or save it to your desktop or phone for easy reference. Each day includes a suggested tip for observing Lent. Some examples include: Day 11: Call an old friend; Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for; Day 39: Pray for peace.

Lent 2021 – Opening Our Lives

Gracious God, open the eyes of our hearts, and let the light of your truth flood in. Shine your light on the hope you are calling us to embrace. Reveal to us the glorious riches you are preparing as our inheritance. Amen.
(prayer based on Ephesians 1:18)

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17. Our theme this year is “Opening Our Lives.”

So, let me ask: how are you doing? How are your coping skills holding up? It’s tough, isn’t it, to carry on. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned from a variety of articles and from my own reflection to help us open our lives to God.

Pray more and more often. Choose something—the sight of a bird, a memory, a frequent task—even washing dishes works—and whenever you see or remember or are doing that, pause, take a deep breath, stretch, and offer a prayer of gratitude or simply wait a moment in silence in the presence of God.

Take some time each day to get outside yourself. Call a family member, friend, or church member. Send a card or note. Listen to your favorite music. Read a book that takes you to another time or place. Resolve to focus your Lenten discipline this year around service, giving yourself to others. You’ll find a variety of suggestions in this Sentinel.

Get some fresh air and sunshine. Sit by a window. Mask up and walk around the block. Come on over and walk around the Courtyard here at church. From a safe distance, wave at those you meet and let your eyes smile.

Connect with others. Soak up their love and support. You’ll find a variety of opportunities in this Sentinel and on our church webpage.

I’d love to hear from you about what is and isn’t working for YOU! We’re in this together. And not only that—God is with us. May the Spirit of the Living God open our hearts and fill us with truth, light, and hope.

Peace be with you,

Rev. Patricia Farris

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