Sunday, December 21, 2014

About Us



          The Camarillo United Methodist Church is a community that reaches out to help others, locally and throughout the world. 
          John Wesley (1703-1791), founder of Methodism, believed the cornerstone of the church was Social Action. It still IS!
          Members of the local church are volunteers in more than 100 Camarillo and Ventura County organizations, mostly non-profits.
          These include, among others, Crop Walk, Relay for Life, Food Share, Habitat for Humanity, Camarillo Hospice, Christians Acting Together (CAT), Camarillo Health Care District, and Camarillo Ranch.
          Last year, Camarillo UMC raised more than $60,000 for local charities. Additionally, twenty percent of the local church budget goes to help and serve persons outside the congregation. 
          “Our church is a community in Christ; loving, growing, and reaching out to the world,” Dr. Jim Decker-Mahin, Senior Minister at the church for 17 years, explained.
          “In the spirit of Jesus, we are a community: healing, caring, including, working, serving, and giving ourselves to others. We are creating community together.”
          The theme of the United Methodist Church is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” 
          “We are a church of diversity and tolerance with no single creed. We are inclusive with a progressive theology. We see the Bible as a challenge document and Jesus Christ as a change agent.”
          The Mission Statement of the local church is “The mission of the Camarillo United Methodist Church is to share our faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the scripture. We are called to make the love of God real through the stewardship of God’s earth, the fellowship of God’s community, and the serving of God’s people.”
          Sunday morning services (9 and 10:30 a.m.) are a blend of traditional and contemporary elements, including one of the finest organs in Ventura County.   
          The outreach program of Camarillo UMC includes a Fine Arts Program of 12-15 events each year, a wide-ranging music program of the Chancel Choir and vocal groups for children and youth, four bell choirs, a highly-respected Child Development Center for young children, the Center for Creative Living which offers a variety of classes, a comprehensive library, a dynamic seniors’ program, and other programs for all ages.
          The church hosts the meetings of 13 Twelve-Step programs each week, plus the Camarillo Korean United Methodist Church and the Japanese-American Christian Congregation.
          Dr. Jim and his wife, Dr. Lynn Decker-Mahin, are a unique husband-and-wife team at the church. She is the Music Director and head of the Center for Creative Living. Dr. Jim is President of the Camarillo Health Care District’s Board of Directors. They live in Camarillo.
          Camarillo United Methodist Church is located at 291 Anacapa Dr. (north of Las Posas Road) in Camarillo. The church phone number is 805-482-4312. The Sunday service is rebroadcast on Time Warner Television Channel 25, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.


Our History

This church was organized in 1953 in a building located at Anacapa and Catalina.  Later that year, the current church property at 291 Anacapa Drive was purchased.

In 1954, military barracks were moved in to serve as a temporary sanctuary and meeting place.  These now serve as the common use facility and
the Korean United Methodist Church.

In 1956, the first unit that contained the sanctuary and offices was completed.  It is now the uncarpeted area of Brooks Hall, the kitchen, the youth center and library.

In 1961, additional land was purchased for the construction of Neish Hall. 
That building is now our education unit.

In 1971, the parsonage was built using volunteer workers.
In 1975, construction of the new sanctuary building was completed in ten months using mostly volunteer workers.  During the following year, the 22-rank Schantz pipe organ was installed to complete the construction.

In 1979, an addition to the first unit was constructed.  That addition is now the balance of Brooks Hall and the Howald Parlor.
In 1989, adjoining property on Anacapa (to the north) was purchased for use in possible future expansion.
In 1996, an Information Center and fellowship patio were constructed, our youth center was created and entry steps to our beautiful sanctuary patio were added.

In 2000, we transformed our parsonage into “Mission House”.  Our Mission is to serve our church and community with this 3400 square foot facility.

In 2003, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
In 2004, our parking lot was redesigned and renovated.

In 2006, a Rodgers Custom 3-manual T958 Masterpiece Signature Series digital console was combined with our 22 rank Schantz pipe organ.

In 2006, “Friendship Garden” was established which consists of an outdoor chapel with open cathedral beams and meditation labyrinth nestled in a lovely 11,000 sq. ft. garden in the midst of lush lawn, trees and flowers.

In 2010, we completed an addition to the existing Mission House garage transforming it into a large assembly room to accommodate 150.
The sanctuary building is designed around the forest glen theme, with circular pews and natural lighting from high around the perimeter and from above.  The diffused lighting is enhanced by the light from chandeliers made by members of the church.  These chandeliers are torch-burned and antiqued to represent the everlasting nature of God.  Soft light glows forth from nearly 100 openings in each chandelier.  The heavy arches and beams, dark-stained but with the natural grain showing, represent the natural beauty of God’s nature enhanced by the talents of man.  A canopy of the forest, as it were, is over us.  The finish of the wooden portions of the pews and chancel continues this theme.
    The stained glass windows were designed with two primary thoughts in mind.  There is a figure representing the Good Shepherd in the front window.  Each of us can identify the lines of the figure to his own understanding.  This figure was done entirely with glass and lead, no paint was used.  There is also a cross and a rainbow in this window.  These remind us of the covenants between God and man.  The window at the rear of the building contains the forms of many people.  These are to remind us that there is a world beyond the doors that we exit at the close of each worship service.

    The walls are of chip-hammered concrete.  Their thickness and power indicate the strength of God.  The exposure of the aggregate makes the walls more beautiful.  It also expresses the constancy of God; what you see on the outside is of the same essence as what God is throughout.
    The altar is a single boulder taken from the
Santa Clara riverbed.  It is symbolic of the altar used in Old Testament times, and of the strength and eternal nature of God.  The rock wall into which the pulpit and lectern are placed is made of smaller boulders from the same riverbed.  These boulders are broken open to show the beauty within.  The praying hands on top of the baptismal font remind us of the closeness of God as we pray.
    The natural manzanita cross seen above the altar reminds us of the reverence we hold for the One who died upon another cross and was gloriously resurrected three days later.  Our cross was left in its rugged state to remind us of the cruelty and suffering the other cross represented on that first Good Friday.  Hours of loving work went into polishing it to enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Please click on one of the links below to find out more about the Camarillo United Methodist Church.

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