Connect
Our relationship with others is an important part of who we are at The United Methodist Church of Vista. Please explore the opportunities on this and also linked pages.
Choose Joy Church Website Graphic
 
Pastor Leigh Ann’s Monthly Blog

Time, Talent, and Treasures

Time, Talents, and Treasures – Pastor’s Ponderings Aug. 14, 2018

Time, Talents and Treasures.  When you become a member of a congregation, a church family, you commit to support that congregation with your time, your talent and your treasures.  It is a commit you make with a group of people who are also committed to serving God and loving neighbor. In response, the church commits to continue leading you to God, and doing the work of God in the world.  Together, we invest in God’s love for the world, now and into the future.

Time represents the time you commit to being present in worship, offering prayer for people, situations and God’s creation.  Time is an allocation of hours to attend committees and teams that do God’s work. Time is the minutes you give to serve food to the hungry, teach a class or make a phone call.  Time is the tick-tock that you use to review grant requests and vote to give money to great organizations.

Talents represent the skills and experience you bring to the work we do for God.  Talents include your ability to create a website, count money on Monday mornings, call the phone company and straighten out the church phone bill, teach children the Gospel love of Jesus.  Talent is the particular training you have that others may not have. Your talent is creativity, imagination, artful, in front of others and behind the scenes.

Treasures represent your financial or monetary resources.  Treasures are what pays for class resources, staff hours for music, and counseling, the building upkeep and cleaning carpeting, the air conditioning, the lights, the paper we print the order of worship on.  Treasures pay for childcare on Sunday mornings. Treasures are green, plastic, and paper inscriptions from your bank account and stock accounts. Treasures are also the materials and snacks and supplies you bring to our work.

Time, Talents and Treasures are essential in a productive, faithful church doing the work of God with one another and in the world.  The church is alive to be God’s hands and feet in the world. Anyone asking what the church offers them and their life, doesn’t understand the purpose of the church of God.  If you are going to the church to get what you can get, you don’t understand the work of a church.

The purpose and mission of a church are about following in the steps of Jesus who fed the hungry, cared for the poor, reached out to the widows.  The work of Jesus was not centered on keeping the friends of Jesus safe and comfortable. Sometimes, some churches, become more focused on themselves, and keeping things going then reaching out into the world to be Jesus.  Our church’s mission is to build relationship of justice, faith and hospitality to bring God’s love to all people. It can only happen when you use your time, talents and treasures to support this work.

I attended a church membership class when I was a teenager.  The pastor told us, ‘you will get out of church life what you put into church life.’  In friendship and marriage, we bring our time, talents and treasures out of love for each other and experience the blessings for that commitment.  It is the same with your church family. Thank you for all you do to share our common vision of faithful living for making this world a better place.  And thank you for your generous commitment to this congregation with your time, talents and treasures!

Pastor Leigh Ann


Read more...

Work Redefined

“Work Redefined”
Pastor’s Ponderings – August 1, 2018
“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard. Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.” –Exodus 23:10-12
If you were to look ‘work’ up in a dictionary, you’d find a definition along the lines of ‘doing something for someone for pay.’ The word ‘work’ is often associated with drudgery and ‘the salt mines,’ and ‘the overlord boss,’ and ‘struggle.’ Work is transactional. Do something to get something. At least this is how it has been for our culture for the last 100 years or so. Work is not often associated as a life-giving, joyous experience.
 
What is your idea or concept of work? We have many folks who are retired in our congregation and you often say things like, ‘I’m busier now than when I worked.’ I often count the years I have until I retire and imagine the time I will have to teach Sunday school and hike and camp and travel. Sometimes we imagine work as something we have to get through in order to get on to the things we want to do. We treat our life as if it isn’t our own but controlled by someone else.
As I flip through the scriptures and think about how the Bible defines ‘work,’ I find Psalm 136 that talks about God’s work in creation and in history. “O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good, and God’s steadfast love endures forever.” The work of God is defined by love and creation. Over and over the Psalmist repeats, “God’s steadfast love endures forever.” The Bible presents God’s work as giving love to humanity and all of creation. The Bible reflects God’s work in creation and Jesus’ work of redemption, and God hasn’t retired yet. God’s still at work also.
The Holy Spirit is God’s continuing ‘worker-bee’ in our world today. The Holy Spirit is getting it done by planting passion and curiosity in our hearts. The Holy Spirit stirs in us a drive to do justice, love kindness and act with humility. As we look around and hear stories of immigrants and hurting families broken up and violated at the border, that stir in your heart to ‘do something’, is the Holy Spirit at work. As we yell at the television and pray for the boys who got trapped in the cave in Thailand, that’s the Holy Spirit at work. This work that the Holy Spirit calls us to isn’t drudgery but life giving and grace-filled. This work we are challenged to isn’t transactional, but generous. In giving ourselves to the service of God, we do God’s work in creation and build relationships that bring healing and hope.
The world defines work in shades of power and control, but God defines work as life-giving and life-sustaining and joyful. It is time to remember that God calls us to different work than the world does and in the midst of that work, God also challenges us to take Sabbath and rest. Just as God rested from Creation on the seventh day, we are also called to make time to be renewed in body and spirit. I hope you are taking time to rest this summer and play a little.
Whether you are in church or taking a vacation, the work of God continues here. But it can’t happen without your generous gifts and financial support. Thank you for all you do! Our Church has a vision of what God calls us to do as we feed people, care for one another and grow faith. Our Church has a MAP for the future, but it can’t be enacted without YOU! Please prayerfully continue the God-work you are called to in the Fall. We are blessed by the Life of Jesus and called to give life to others! May it be so today and always.
Pastor Leigh Ann

Read more...

We Begin together Anew

Pastor’s Ponderings – July 2018
“We Begin together Anew”
I begin my fourth year with you in ministry on July 1st. Time flies when you are in the service of God. As I return from Annual Conference this year, I’m mindful of the turmoil in the world, and our nation. I’m also mindful of the turmoil in our larger denomination, The United Methodist Church.
It is hard to say where we will be this time next year. There will be a General Conference with representatives from all over the world to discuss the Council of Bishops’ recommendation to remain one church, but allow different regions to make contextual decisions based on their experience and understanding of Jesus’ teachings. That is to say that our region might come to one understanding about human sexuality and the Southern region of our church might come to another, but we all share a commitment to the work of Jesus Christ in the world.
Our Mission as a people is to ‘make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.’ We are followers of the teachings of the person Jesus, who lived so long ago in the Middle East. He taught us to stay in Love with God and to Love our Neighbor. Jesus longed for us to be a people who acted with generous care of one another, accepting and passing along the grace and forgiveness of God, the Father. This mission or work that we are called to has not changed over two thousand years. We remain called to love.
Our Ministry Action Plan lives out Jesus’ teaching by setting goals to do justice, grow our faith and provide welcome and hospitality to one another and those who come through our doors. The three core themes of our goals are JUSTICE, FAITH and HOSPITALITY. Honestly, I am most passionate about FAITH, which is worship and the arts, discipleship and education and growing our space for doing all of these. Other members of the GAP team really focus in on HOSPITALITY, believing welcoming is an important key to following Jesus. Still other people are passionate that we must do the work of JUSTICE, feeding the hungry and providing for homeless. The truth is that these three foci rely on one another and build our common work together.
This Ministry Action Plan sets the course for my next year with you. How far can we get? How many people can we reach? How much love and grace can we extend together in the name of Jesus? Let the Spirit carry us as we soar together into God’s Kingdom. Amen.
Pastor Leigh Ann

Read more...

Building Update

The Building Committee has been working with the Planning Department of the City of Vista in order to fulfill our commitment to our Congregation with the proposed completion of our facility.

The City had requested that we reach out to our neighbors. We had planned face to face meetings in early March and then Covid-19 changed those plans. We had to determine another way to reach out and explain our reasons, provide the plans and the concepts. Once that was completed, the information was mailed to over 470 homes/businesses allowing them the opportunity to call or email the Church office with questions or arrange for a masked face-to-masked face meeting for an exterior visualization. If you would like to read this letter, please CLICK HERE.
 
Online Worship
Worship with us ONLINE.  You can find our worship time at our YouTube channel at United Methodist Church of Vista.  Or, if you receive a weekly newsletter, you will receive a link every week for our service.

We are developing a plan for safe in-person worship and gathering.  Any in-person events, including worship will be offered only when we can assure the safety of our congregation and community.  Until there is a vaccine or other treatment for COVID-19, any in-person gatherings will require face masks, physically distancing of at least six feet, limited singing, spoken litanies, prayers and sermons, no potlucks or offered coffee/cookie fellowship, and no handshakes, hugging or other greeting line with the pastor or church staff.  Our plan is being developed with guidelines from our Bishop, Annual Conference, city and state guidelines and best practices based on up-to-date health information.
 
 
 
Food donations for North County Food Bank and Interfaith Community Services
We are collecting food donations to take to the North County Food Bank and Interfaith Community Services. How can you help? Either drop off food items or schedule a pick-up on Wednesday, December 16. To Drop off: leave at the church office, on the bench outside the front office door between 9 am and noon. For Pick-Up: please email Brenda and Mike Walker at Brendakwalker@cox.net and plan to leave your items on your porch or curb by 9 am. For more information call Brenda and Mike Walker at 760. 726.0442.  NO expired or open food, glass jars or homemade items. 
 
Helping Hands and “and Two Fishes”
If you have any, please consider saving blankets and blankets for Helping Hands Outreach and food containers for “and Two Fishes.” You can drop items off on Thursdays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on the lower parking lot near the gate. Someone from “and Two Fishes” should be able to assist you. Please contact Brenda Walker, brendakwalker@cox.net or the church office 760.726.0442, with any any questions. “and Two Fishes” is still providing a sack lunch and a “to-go meal” on Thursday evenings between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
 
 

 

Zoom meetings are one way we are working on keeping connected.  All you need is a computer or smartphone with a built-in microphone and a camera and you can join in. Click on the link and follow the prompts to join the gathering.  We are all learning as we go!  See you there!  

Weekly Coffee Chat with Pastor Leigh Ann, Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Frank’s Music Chat, Mondays at 11:00 a.m.

Congregational Care Meeting,
November 12, 1:30 p.m.

 
Trustees, November 17, 6:30 pm

Finance, November 25, 7:00 p.m.

Charge Conference, December 1, 7:00 p.m.
 
Alternative, Alternative Christmas 2020
Although we are living through a pandemic that has changed the way we do everything, we are still committed to outreach and caring for our city and community all year, and especially at Christmas time! This year, rather than having tables set up in the narthex on one Sunday, for you to “shop”, we will share “spotlight community partner” videos beginning in mid-November, with opportunities for you to drop items at the church on special days or give gift cards or money or even buy some special boutique items to support a wonderful animal rescue organization. Each worship segment will tell you how you can support that week’s “spotlight partner.” Some of the featured organizations may include: and Two Fishes, Caring and Sharing, Casa de Amparo, Operation Hope North County, Christ Ministry Center and Frosted Faces Foundation. Watch for more information to come and in the weekly Spark!
 
 
Update from the Education Committee
As with most things, COVID-19 related health and safety protocols have limited the programs and events supported by the UMC Vista Education Committee, but we want you to know we are still here with the same purpose; to bring faith enrichment and education to our church youth, families and to the community. Needless to say, finding ways to serve this purpose has been a new challenge but through the initiative and dedication of the teachers and members of our congregation, we’ve connected in various ways over the last several months. Deliveries of flowers, blessing bags, Youth Group welcome kits and Sunday School at-home packets are some ways we’ve remained engaged.
As we gear up with the new season and continue to be mindful of doing our part to support health and safety guidelines, we are at work developing plans for Sunday school connections and other safe activities. Unfortunately, our cherished Annual Trunk or Treat event is not an activity we can responsibly host as currently advised by the San Diego County Health Advisory Board but we’ll continue to work to find alternatives until we can be back together again.
If you feel called to join Education Committee or have suggestions, questions or comments, we are always happy to hear from you! You can contact the church.
 

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and out of concern for the well-being of our community, we are postponing our church meetings and activities until further notice.  Don’t hesitate to contact us for prayer or to talk. 

 
 

The Education/Discipleship program is postponing meetings and activities until further  notice.

Family Game Night is postponed until further notice.