News Letter: September 3, 2014

 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

                                         September 3, 2014


A unique Christian community bound by God’s love, sharing our love with others


St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

“Where Two or  Three are Gathered” this Sunday

 Jesus promises us in our lectionary text for this week, Matthew 18: 15-20, that where two or three are gathered he will be in our midst.  He also offers some advise on how to deal with our differences.  We will  receive Lurine Maxwell into membership by reaffirmation of her faith and this is communion Sunday .  Communion servers are elders Mary Porter, Delores Henry, John Ketch, Yvonne Stewart and deacon Myrtle Weeks.

A Prayer for Children Returning to School

Dear God, thank you for the gift of children. Please watch over them as they go back to school this year. Keep them safe every day. Help them to remember that you are right there with them in the halls and classrooms. Help them soak up good knowledge and dismiss any negative or worldly messages they may hear. Help them treat others with kindness and respect, and to guard their hearts with the armor of Your Word. Give them joy and peace as they put their trust in you. Amen.                                                       

‘Embracing God’s Mission’  Set for Sept. 27th

“Engaging Faithfully in Reconciliation and Peacemaking in Cultures of Violence” is the theme for the mission gathering being sponsored by Pacific Presbytery on September 27th.  This event is being held at Knox Presbyterian Church from 8:30 AM to 2:15 PM.  The suggested cost is a $15 donation  and child care will be provided. Registration is on-line at and the deadline is September 12th.  Call 310-670-5076 for more information.

 New Cluster Groups

Our Parish Clusters have been reorganized, so be sure to check your new 2014 Directory (available on the table in the back of the sanctuary) to find out your cluster number and who your cluster leader is.

Part 123

Being Presbyterian

In this column last week I introduced you to “A Social Creed for the 21st Century.” Written in 1908 to address bad labor practices and adopted with revisions by our PC(USA) General Assembly in 2008, it speaks very boldly to our present day world.  The second section states:

In the love incarnate in Jesus, despite the world’s sufferings and evils, we honor the deep connections within our human family and seek to awaken a new spirit of community, by working for:

  • Abatement of hunger and poverty, and enactment of policies benefiting the most vulnerable.
  • High quality public education for all and universal, affordable and accessible healthcare.
  • An effective program of social security during sickness, disability and old age.
  • Tax and budget policies that reduce disparities between rich and poor, strengthen democracy, and provide greater opportunity for everyone within the common good.
  • Just immigration policies that protect family unity, safeguard worker’s rights, require employer accountability, and foster international cooperation.
  • Sustainable community marked by affordable housing, access to good jobs, and public safety.
  • Public service as a high vocation, with real limits on the power of private interest in politics.

We have received the sad word that a  former sexton for St. Paul’s, Stan Shaw, passed into the next life on  August 26, 2014.  Please keep his family in your prayers during this time of transition.


Do You Know the Bible?

The answers to last weeks questions: (1) Nazareth (2) day six (3) Mary Magdalene (4) Philip (5) 52 days (6) a rainbow.

  1. What animal tempted Eve into eating the forbidden fruit?
  2. What woman was entered into a show for the king much like a beauty pageant and then became queen?
  3. What disciple betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver?
  4. What was the name of the blind beggar whom Jesus and his disciples met on the road from Jericho?
  5. Where did Joseph go after his brothers sold him into slavery?
  6. What was the secret of Samson’s great strength?


News Letter: August 27, 2014

unique Christian community bound by God’s love, sharing our love with others

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

 Contemporary Jazz Service this Sunday

This Sunday is the fifth Sunday in August and as is our tradition AMPT will be leading in worship.  Howlett Smith will be back on the organ and keyboard this week and we have organized a service of contemporary, religious jazz music, prayer and meditation.  Please bring your friends and plan to attend.

A Prayer for (Honest-to God) Work

Great God, you are wind in the dark, fire on the far hill, cold water in a desert time: we have always known that we are all on the stormy heath. We have always known that justice without a roof is no justice at all; that a justice with no walls is a travesty; that a justice nailed to thin air is a desecration of the human heart.

There is, after all, only one family in the long view— the view from the eye of God, which looks to every corner of earth. No child lives outside of our care, when human hearts beat within us— the ones you gave us, so like your own. Come, spirit of God, spirit of love, spirit of kindness spirit of tenderness, spirit of generosity, spirit of justice… mighty spirit of all prophets in all times. Call us alive to a work worthy of us and you.  Amen

Engaging Faithfully in Cultures of Violence


“Engaging Faithfully in Reconciliation and Peacemaking in Cultures of Violence” is a mission event being sponsored by Pacific Presbytery on September 27th at Knox Presbyterian Church from 8:30 am to 2:25 pm. The cost is a recommended donation of  $15 and child care will be provided. If you have questions or to register go to or call (310) 670-5076.

Is your pledge paid up?

We know how easy it is during the summer to forget to pay your pledge, so please make sure that your pledge to St. Paul’s is paid and up to date.  Thanks so much for your support!

Part 122

Being Presbyterian

Part A:  A Social Creed for the 21st Century  was actually written in 1908 to address the harsh practices in early 20th Century industrialization.  It is based on John 10:10 which states, “. . . That all may have life, and have it abundantly.”  This creed was approved by our General Assembly in 2008.

Inspired by Isaiah’s vision of a “peaceable kingdom,” we honor the dignity of every person and the intrinsic value of every creature, and pray and work for the day when none “labor in vain or bear children for calamity.” (Isaiah 65:23).

The creed contains three sections . The first celebrates the full humanity of each woman, man and child, all created in the divine image as individuals of infinite worth, by working for full civil, political and economic rights for all; no forced labor, human trafficking or exploited children; employment for all; the rights of workers to organize and share in workplace decisions; protection from dangerous working conditions and benefits that would enable full family life;  and a system of criminal rehabilitation, based on restorative justice and an end to the death penalty.

Next week we will explore the second section which lifts up the deep connections of our human family and the following week we will cover the third section which makes a pledge for us to be peacemakers in the world and stewards of God’s good creation.   You can read more at

The national Self Development of People (SDOP) committee will be meeting in LA on September 20th for a Partnership Day.  If you know of an agency that would qualify for SDOP funding, please let them know about this.

Do You Know the Bible?

Answers to last weeks questions:  (1) Stephen (2) seven (3) They blew trumpets and smashed jars. (4) ravens (5) eight years old (6) Daniel

  1. What town did Joseph and Mary live in when the angel Gabriel visited them?
  2. On what day of creation did God create humanity?
  3. To whom did Jesus first appear after his resurrection?
  4. Which disciple said, “Show us the father and it will be enough for us”  while talking to Jesus?
  5. How long did it take for Nehemiah and the other Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem?
  6. What was God’s sign of promise to Noah about never flooding the whole earth again?


News Letter August 22, 2014

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church        

Christian community bound by God’s love, sharing our love with others

St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

“Giving Gifts”  Is this Week’s Sermon Title

This week’s lectionary sermon text is a familiar passage from Romans 12:1-8.  Our guest organist this week will once again be Robert Galbreath.


Habitat for Humanity Building In Southern California

I am thankful to Roche Vermaak from Brentwood Presbyterian Church for the following information.  Here is a great way to get involved in mission beyond our own walls:
We have a FREE Habitat for Humanity build day on Thursday September 11 in Lynwood from 9-3:30. 9/11 is the National Day

Please email Chris (email below) if you can join us. Blessings,  Roché

From Habitat: We are in need of volunteers on September 11 on the build site in Lynwood. For more information or to volunteer email to confirm a spot. There is no charge for participating.

The 2014 Directory Is Now Available

We are indebted to Elders Frank Millin and Lois Hines for updating St. Paul’s Directory.  The latest edition of this will be available Sunday at worship.  Please remember to pick up your copy.

St. Paul’s sexton, Veronica Casillas, is recovering nicely from surgery and is very appreciative of the cards and best wishes for her recovery.  We are indebted to her husband and family for taking on her job during her absence.  She has been cleared by her doctor to return to work on September 8th. 

Part-time Weekend Janitor

St. Paul’s in currently looking for a part-time (3 hours) weekend janitor.  For more information or an application call the church office. 

Make sure that “Embracing God’s Mission” is on your calendar for September 27th at Knox Presbyterian Church.  This event sponsored by Pacific Presbytery will take an in-depth look at violence and how the church can both prevent and respond to violence in our families, schools and communities.  RSVP at

Part 121

Being Presbyterian

Our newsletter is late this week because I was attending a meeting of the Seminary Support Network in Chicago during the first half of the week.  Presbyterians take education very seriously (we touched on this a couple of weeks ago as our students started returning to school.)

It is understood throughout most of the Christian Reformed traditions that our clergy will be well trained.  For most that means an M.Div. degree — a Masters of Divinity.  Presbyterians maintain a network of ten seminaries to accomplish this task:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Columbia Theological Seminary

University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

McCormick Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary

San Francisco Theological Seminary

Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary

Union Presbyterian Seminary

I invite you to keep these institutions, their faculty and staff and their students in your prayers as a new school year begins.



Do You Know the Bible?

Answers to last week’s questions:  (1) over nine feet tall (2) sycamore (3) “Let my people go.” (4) Peter (5) Jonathon (6) Aaron.

Which of Jesus’ followers was stoned to death, becoming the first Christian martyr for Jesus Christ?

How many days did Joshua and the Israelites march around Jericho until the walls fell down?

How did Gideon’s army win against the Midianites?

What types of birds brought food and water to Elijah?

How old was Josiah when he became king of Judah?

Who was thrown into a den of lions?


News Letter August 13, 2014


St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter


Catherine Hughes to Preach this Sunday

Rev. Catherine Hughes will preach this Sunday at St. Paul’s.  Her text will be Matthew 15:21-28 and her sermon title is “Hang in There.”  Robert Galbreath will once again be the guest organist for our worship service.


The ministry and mission of the Presbytery of the Pacific is as varied as the people and cultures that inhabit its communities.  On Saturday, September 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. a mission event titled “Engaging Faithfully in Reconciliation and Peacemaking in Cultures of Violence” will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church.  All are invited to attend this event and explore ways of “embracing God’s mission.”  The cost is $15.  Childcare will be provided and you can register at


Summer Traveling Mercies

Some of us are already headed back to school while others of us are getting in a last minute summer trip.  Last Sunday we prayed for several folks from St. Paul’s who were traveling; my cousin is in Spain and my brother and his wife have just returned from a trip to Alaska.  As the summer winds down and we begin to get ready for our busy fall schedules let us pray for safety and protection on our journeys, where ever they may take use.

Most gracious God, as I explore your creation be my companion, guide and protector during my journey.  Keep me from all danger, misfortune and temptation.  By your divine power grant me a peaceful and successful journey and safe arrival.  In you I place my hope and trust and I gratefully thank you for your daily presence and protection in my life.  Amen.

Culver City Blues

Culver City Presbyterian Church is hosting a showing of the film “The Blues of South L.A.,” lunch and a jam session this Sunday starting with worship at 10:30 a.m.  It is free and all are welcome

Being Presbyterian                                                                                                          Part 120

As we approach the beginning of the new school year I thought is appropriate to reflect a bit on the churches understanding of education.  Presbyterians/Reformed Christians take educational mission seriously.  We value information and education, learning about the world and how it functions.  We value vocational education, developing God-given talents in order to fulfill the vocation to which we have been called.  And fundamentally we value transformational education, as the Brief Statement of Faith says: “The Spirit gives us courage…to witness to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in church and culture, to hear the voices of people long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom and peace.”

Education is one of the hallmarks of the Reformed tradition.  From Calvin’s Geneva, to John Knox’s dictum for all of Scotland,” a school in every parish,” to American and all parts of the world, education has been and continues to be a central feature of Presbyterian/Reformed ministry.

Presbyterian/Reformed churches have always looked to the Bible as the foundation for all matters of faith and practice.  Therefore it is to the Bible that these churches have turned for guidance in shaping the spirit, strategy and content in ministry of education.  In studying the Scriptures we see that education has great importance for the people of both the Old and the New Testament.  To learn more visit:


News Letter July 23, 2014

A unique Christian community bound by God’s love, sharing our love with others                                                                                                                                                                                                                        July 23, 2014


St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

Worship in Fellowship Hall this Week

We will worship one more week in the Fellowship Hall as our sanctuary continues to be refurbished.  We are going to be talking about the Kingdom of God this week and will be using the parable of the mustard seed told by Jesus in Matthew 13:31-33.  Michelle Dixon will be serving as the Lay Liturgist and this will be the Chancel Choir’s last Sunday before their August break.




 Transformational Ministry in the City

Lets start with the word transform: a. to change in composition or structure, b. to change the outward form or appearance of, c. to change in character or condition.

Yes, it is about change. There is no getting around it. So, church and transformation together is about the church changing. No, this is not change for change sake. This is about change for God’s sake and the world’s sake. Notice this does not say for our sake. Church is not about us, it is about God’s work in the world. Therein is a major insight into one of the ways we need to change!!Of course, it is somewhat about us, but only as we are in service to God’s redeeming work through Jesus Christ in the world.

The impetus for transformation comes from the realization that things have changed (and are changing) in the world enough that the church has got to pay attention. The day of the professional minister is over. The day of the missionary pastor has come. The day of the churched culture is over. The day of the mission field has come. The day of the local church is over. The day of the mission outpost has come.  What does all of this hold for St. Paul’s?

 Have you turned in your survey?

Two weeks ago the session invited you all to lunch following worship and asked you to fill out a survey.  We really appreciate your participation in this and we thank you for your cooperation.  Now, it seems that some of you took the survey home and we need to get those back, so if you have the survey in your possession please fill it out and bring it back this Sunday.  Session is eager to pull together the information gathered in this questionnaire.  If you didn’t get a copy of the survey and you would like to fill one out, call the church office and one will be sent to you.


Congregational Meeting

There will be a brief congregational meeting following worship this Sunday for the sole purpose of changing our by-laws from two (2) to three (3) years for the length of term elders and deacons serve.

 Part 117

Being Presbyterian


There has been much in the news about the conflict in Palestine and Israel these past two weeks.  The Presbyterian Church has had a presence in this area in the form of two international missionaries.  Let me introduce them:

Jake Fraser is a member of St. Columba by-the-Lake Presbyterian Church in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Jake spent three months in 2013 in Jayyus, a village along the Israeli West Bank barrier. Jake graduated in 2013 with an Honours degree in International Studies from Bishop’s University in Quebec. Jake wrote of his experience in Jayyus: “It’s hard to believe how much my life has changed.”

Magan Haycock, a member of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Abbotsford, BC, served in Tulkarm from November until February 2014. Tulkarm is a Palestinian town in the northwest corner of the West Bank. Magan graduated in 2013 with an Honours degree majoring in Political Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Let us keep this area in our prayers!

Do You Know the Bible?

The answers to last weeks questions:  (1) John, (2) six, (3) two by two, (4) twelve, (5) in a fiery furnace, (6) twenty shekels.

  1. How many commandments did God give to Moses?
  2. In which book of the Bible will you find the story of Adam and Eve?
  3. Who went to heaven in a chariot of fire?
  4. God told Abraham that his offspring would be as numerous as what two things?
  5. Who told David to flee from King Saul?
  6. Which prophet anointed Davis as King?