12:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Chapel – Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent – a time of introspection and self-examination of our lives and relationship with God. The ritual of the ashe represents a visual reminder of the day as we pause to remember our physical limits in contrast to the infinity of God. Here at First UMC, we offer two Ash Wednesday services in the Chapel. The ashes used for the services come from the burned palms of last year’s Palm Sunday Service. We invite you to this intimate and reflective service that marks the beginning of the Lenten season. 

Walking the Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice, a way to quiet our minds and open our spirits to the presence of the Holy.  Every step a prayer.  Open 3rd Sundays 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. or make an appointment with the church office.  No charge.  Donations welcome. 

How to Keep a Holy Lent: Beginners Guide

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The pocket-sized Lenten guide is available beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent. Each day includes a suggested tip for observing Lent. Some examples include: Day 8: No Complaining Day, Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for, Day 24: Read Psalm 121. The Guide will be available in the narthex, at the Sunday Hospitality Table, and in the church office.

Easy Access to Guide Links:
Day 13: Read Psalm 139
Day 16: Educate yourself about global poverty www.ministrywith.org/learn
Day 20: Check out morning and evening prayer at www.methodistprayer.org
Day 24: Read Psalm 121
Day 26: Pray the United Methodist Social Creed and Litany www.umc.org/what-we-believe/our-social-creed
Day 27: Light a virtual candle gratefulness.org/light-a-candle
Day 31: Use Freecycle www.freecycle.org
Day 33: Read John 8:1-11

Lilies will once again adorn the sanctuary for Easter service. If you would like to donate toward the purchase of lilies in celebration of a loved one, an event, a joy, or a remembrance please contact the church office info@santamonicaumc.org or 310-393-8258.  Cost per lily is $12.  Checks should be made out to FUMC with memo: Easter lily.

March 18, 2018 – 10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship Service
A beautiful and moving annual service of Lessons and Anthems. This is a solemn service, designed to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week. In word and music, we will remember the last days of Jesus’ life–his witness, his teaching, his faithfulness.

10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship – First United Methodist Church and Preschool welcome you and your family to this annual spring celebration!  Come take part in the annual commemoration of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. This day celebrates the start of Holy Week and will feature a children’s palm procession. Following the service, all are welcome to the Family Brunch at no charge. Take a photo with the Easter Bunny, enjoy some craft activities and the annual Egg Hunt!

Family Brunch at 11 a.m., Simkins Hall  (No charge although donations are appreciated.)  There will also be Easter eggs to decorate and a craft table! Don’t miss the fun!
– Egg Hunt at 11:30 a.m., Courtyard & Preschool Yards
– Pictures with the Easter Bunny from 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.
New: Blessing of the Bicycles, Walkers, Canes & Human Mobility Devices – 4:30 – 6 p.m.   In place of the March 25 simple church Chapel service, we will gather out in the Courtyard to hold this special new service. Bring your walkers, hiking boots, bikes, scooters, running shoes, canes, or whatever helps you get around town.
As we consider the gift of creation this season, and how to be better stewards of this gift, we are taking some time to bless the devices that helps us to navigate this world by human power. Bring an appetizer dish to share – a “finger foods” potluck will follow the blessing in the Fireside Room.

Evening Worship Service 7:30 p.m., Sanctuary – Communion, Word, Music & Silent Darkness – First UMC offers a traditional Maundy Thursday Service with Holy Communion and Tenebrae. Tenebrae is Latin for “shadows” and is characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of Holy Week, from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial. The Passion narrative is read and the service concludes in darkness. This meaningful service is open to all.

March 30 • GOOD FRIDAY
Prayer Vigil 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Chapel – Open all day to pray and “watch with Jesus.”
• Community Mid-day Service 12 p.m., First Presbyterian Church (1220 2nd St.) Quiet, Reflective, Scripture and Music
Good Friday Labyrinth Walk 1 – 9 p.m., Simkins Hall. The Labyrinth will be open for walking, every step a prayer.

7:30 p.m., Courtyard, Chapel – This ancient liturgy (worship) is a service of light, word and table (Communion) where we remember God’s life-giving acts from the passage from slavery to freedom, from sin to salvation, from death into new life.  The service will begin in the courtyard with a procession of light moving into our chapel.

Sunrise Service 6:30 a.m., Palisades Park (Santa Monica Blvd. & Ocean Ave.)
Coming to worship on Easter Sunday at an hour and place different than we normally do, offers a sense that something unexpected has happened. Where there appeared to be no hope, there is now hope. Where there was death, there is now resurrection!
Some will remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2 NRSV). Sometimes the world around us can seem very dark, but in Christ we have a light of hope, the very presence of God in the midst of us.*
Beautiful scenery, worship, Holy Communion, hot coffee & fellowship. Bring blankets, chairs, & fresh flowers for the cross.

*Easter Sunrise Services: A Celebration of Resurrection originally published at UMC.org by Joe Lovino

Easter Celebration 10 a.m. Sanctuary Worship
Family Sunday with music of choir, brass & organ, Easter Lilies & Alleluias! Children remain in church; activity bags are provided. Each child will receive a small gift of a flower after the service.