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Annual Celebration 2023

Theme:  “Racial Justice as a Spiritual Discipline”
When:  October 7, 2023, 9:30a.m. refreshments,                10:00a.m. program
Where: Good Samaritan United Methodist Church                               19624 Homestead Rd,                                                         Cupertino, CA 95014

Note:  We will not be streaming this event.

Keynote Speakers: Deb St. Julien and Sigrid Jacobsen (see speaker bios below)
Topic: “Showing Up for Racial Justice as Spiritual Discipline”
 Lunch:  A catered buffet lunch will be available.  The suggested donation for lunch is $15.00.  Vegetarian options will be available.
The offering will be to help families still struggling from the Pajaro flood disaster.
You may make an offering in person, or you may send a check, made out to El Camino Real District UMW, mailed to:

 Carolyn Bircher,  UWF District Treasurer                        1663 Martin Ave.                                                         Sunnyvale, CA 94087


Deb St. Julien is a retired Family Practice and OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner.  She has been a member of SURJ (Showing Up For Racial Justice) at Sacred Heart since December of 2016.

Deb see’s the work of dismantling white supremacy and building a truly just society as a spiritual practice.  She believes faith communities are the perfect place to face the harsh history and consequences of racism in our country.  These communities believe that truth sets us free, that grace and mercy are available, and that we are called to work together to dismantle the evil of racism and to work for repair and restoration.



Sigrid Jacobsen has been teaching at Archbishop Mitty High School for over 15 years in the Science and Religious Studies Departments.  For many years she believed that teaching young people about social justice was enough to live out a Christian vocation.  But after the summer of 2020, teaching without action felt empty.  Since finding SURJ, she continues to be challenged to “Show Up” for racial justice and to view this as a spiritual discipline.







Spiritual Retreat 2023 at Mission Springs, April 14-16

This year, we are resuming our in-person Spiritual Retreat, returning to the Mission Springs conference center in Scotts Valley, in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.  Come and experience this amazing, serene environment and see old friends, while re-connecting with nature and reinvigorating your personal sense of awe in the wonders of creation.

The forms for registration, scholarship application and the retreat flyer are all available in the links below.



Please register as soon as possible.  We have a maximum of 60 participants.

Theme:  Connecting with Creation and Experiencing a Sense of Awe

Leader:  Rev. Jennifer Goto

Rev. Jennifer Goto is an ordained elder in the UMC.  She has served at St. Paul’s UMC in San Jose and was active in their ministry at San Jose State University.  She was extensively involved in organizing PACT (People Acting in Community Together).  She is currently directing the “Bread of Life Center” in Sacramento, California.

Forms and materials:

To register by mail: (required for scholarship applicants)

  1. print out and complete registration form.
  2. print out and complete scholarship application (if applicable)
  3. Obtain scholarship recommendation from UWF president or pastor (if applicable)
  4. Mail completed form(s) and payment (minus any scholarship from the district) to:

Carolyn Bircher, 1663 Martin Ave.  Sunnyvale, CA 94087

To register online and pay using PayPal:

Recapture that “Sense of Awe”

I remember as a child, camping with my family in Big Basin.  My sister and I were so enthralled with the redwoods that we spent hours laying on our backs, just staring up at the tree tops.  (My parents were pretty disgusted when they developed the pictures from our brownie camera, only to find that all of them looked pretty much like this one!).  Come and recapture that sense of childlike awe at Mission Springs!

~Laurie Lindsey