Vital Worship at Los Altos UMC

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Los Altos UMC
[Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Reconciling Ministries Network]

Los Altos United Methodist Church loves offering excellent worship and music every week, with a continual focus on improvement. The pastoral staff and worship team work hard together to make it happen, and they bring in guest preachers, worship leaders, and musicians a few times a year to complement the work they do. Three avenues of worship have seen particular attendance growth in the last few years: a monthly young adult worship service on Saturday evenings, online “attendance” through virtual streaming of all services, and a new children’s worship service.

The OpenCircle young adult ministry at LAUMC, led by the Rev. Samuel Yun, started holding monthly Saturday worship services in October 2011. That first service drew 75 participants. In 2013, the service averaged 88 monthly participants, with a high of 145. Young adults from around the Bay Area come to the service. Each service has a theme, such as Come-Unity, U2charist, Free Jesus, and Imagine. OpenCircle has also supported young adult worship services at other Bay Area United Methodist Churches, growing the ministry with and for this age group.

LAUMC live streams its four Sunday services, the monthly OpenCircle service, and some special concerts. Online participants can register their attendance, download the bulletin, submit prayer requests, and make donations. Online attendance has increased from an average of 142 per weekend in 2011 to an average of 171 per weekend in 2013. Participants log in from the local community, across the country, and around the world. Church members report watching online while away on vacation, sometimes inviting friends they are visiting to watch with them and discuss the sermon afterward.

In September the children’s ministries started a new Sunday school curriculum that includes opening large-group worship for first through fifth graders before they divide into age-level classrooms. The children’s worship service, held at 9:30 a.m. in Creekside Center, includes music, interactive skits on the week’s Bible story, and prayer. The service has averaged 59 children in attendance over the last four months. The children are actively engaged, and the adults involved as Sunday school teachers, music leaders, and skit actors have reported renewed energy for teaching the children messages of faith.

If you would like to see our vital worship in action, you are welcome to attend a service any Sunday at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., or 5:00 p.m. or on the first Saturday of the month at 5:00 p.m. LAUMC’s address is 655 Magdalena Ave at Foothill Expressway, Los Altos, and our “virtual campus” is online at http://laumc.org/live/. We look forward to worshipping with you!

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emilyallen

Emily Allen

Director of Communications

Los Altos UMC

Happy New Year!

Greetings to all of you out in the blogosphere in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

My name is Anthony Fatta and I am happy to be moderating this blog as we continue the journey of learning new methods of vitality and being creative in how the Gospel manifests itself in our particular settings.

Vital Signs and Wonders will be organized in a way that allows us to explore all dimension of congregational vitality.  Every month we will share a different dimension including: worship attendance, professions of faith, small group participation, mission outreach and giving, connectional accountability, and stewardship and giving.

Another aspect of this blog will be entirely image and video driven.  It is called Snapshots of Vitality.  If you have a picture or short video of innovative worship, a vital small group, or anything interesting you would like to share with your fellow United Methodists, please share them with us.  If you are using social networking (Facebook, twitter, instagram), please use the hashtag #SSvitality with a caption.  We can make sure it is shared on this blog.  You can also email me pictures or blog ideas to anthony.fatta@lgumc.org.

Christmastide blessings,

Anthony