News Letter: July 2, 2014

 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

July 2, 2014


Pastor Ann to Report on General Assembly

 “Abound in Hope”  (Romans 15:13) was the theme for our 221st General Assembly which was held June 14th to 21st in Detroit, MI.  Pastor Ann served as a Teaching Elder Commissioner from Pacific Presbytery to this GA and she will be giving her report on this experience this Sunday.  It is also Communion Sunday and those serving are Ruling Elders:  Yvonne Stewart, Minnie McGriff, Delores Henry, Vanita Brittain and Deacon: Diane Williams.


Fourth of July Prayer

We lift up our hearts, O God, on this day of celebration in gratitude for the gift of being Americans.

We rejoice with all those who share in the great dream of freedom and dignity for all.

With flags and feasting, with family and friends, we salute those who have sacrificed that we might have the opportunity to bring to fulfillment our many God-given gifts.

As we deny all prejudice a place in our hearts, may we also clearly declare our intention to work for the time when all people, regardless of race, religion or sex, will be granted equal dignity and worth.

Come, O gracious God, who led your children Israel from slavery, keep us free from all that might hold us in bondage.

Bless our country and join our simple celebration that we may praise you, our Source of freedom, the One in whom we place our trust. Amen.


 Howlett Smith and Leon Fanniel to be Honored

Both Howlett Smith and Leon Fanniel are being honored this month!  Uview Media Group is honoring Howlett on Saturday, July 19th at 7 PM at the Regency West.  Tickets are $15 now (see Pastor Ann for a ticket) or $20 at the door.  Leon Fanniel is being honored by the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. on Wednesday, July 23rd at 7:30 PM at their 95th Annual Convention at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City.  Tickets for the dinner are $60 and can be purchased from Rev. Glenn L. Jones .697.4697 or


Town Hall Meeting

Please plan to stay after worship on Sunday, July 13th for our Town Hall meeting.  We will be taking a survey and begin discussing plans for the future of St. Paul’s.  A light lunch will be served.


 Part 114

Being Presbyterian

During this 4th of July holiday I am indebted to Rev. Vernon Broyles for his thoughts on religion and patriotism:      Inasmuch as those who carry civil authority are God’s servants, they are to be obeyed. One of the marks of a “good Christian” in the Reformed tradition is responsible participation in the life of the civil society and obedience to its proper edicts and laws. On the other hand, Calvin says Paul also makes clear that those in authority are charged by God to use their authority for the ordering of human life and to the end that “men (sic) breathe, eat, drink, and are kept warm.” This is critical for understanding our history as Presbyterians in dealing with those in authority, especially where civil authority is not used for the common good. . . John Calvin wrote his“Institutes of the Christian Religion”an exile, having fled for his life because of his earlier writings about people in authority. Ironically, he dedicated thethe French King from whose realm he had fled. John Knox came to Geneva as a fugitive, having escaped from a ship where he had been consigned as a galley slave for rebellion against the Crown. . . Presbyterians throughout the Colonies were so prominent in the American Revolution that the English king often referred to it as “that Presbyterian rebellion.” . . . How could these Reformed Christians call for obedience to the civil authorities on the one hand and engage in rebellion on the other? The key is the God-given role of the civil magistrate, as described in Romans 13. When civil magistrates do not use their authority for the good of the people or use their authority to oppress the people they have been ordained by God to serve, they are to be resisted. Our loyalty to God “trumps” our allegiance to every civil authority when their edicts and actions run counter to our understanding of what God requires in terms of justice, truth and ultimate loyalty.

(Read more at:

Water damage repair work is set to begin on our sanctuary July 7th.  This project is scheduled to take three weeks, so we will be holding our worship services in Fellowship Hall for the month of July.  Stay tuned for updates. 


Do You Know the Bible?

The answers to last week’s questions:  (1) Bethany, (2) half his possessions, (3) water, (4) gopher wood, (5) pitch, (6) a sword and spear.

  1. What is the longest book of the New Testament?
  2. What is the longest book of the Old Testament (Hebrew Texts)?
  3. Name a book of the Bible named after a woman.
  4. What was the first bird to leave the ark?
  5. What was the name of Joseph’s younger brother?
  6. What was the name of the mountain where Moses received the 10 Commandments?



This Sunday is the last day to make a donation for flooring in honor of Pastor Ann’s 65th Birthday!!!!



News Letter: June 25, 2014

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church                                       St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

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

June 25, 2014

All-church Picnic this Sunday

This Sunday is our annual all-church picnic following  worship. This event is sponsored by AMPT and all are  invited. AMPT is furnishing the BBQ and everyone else  is asked to bring a side-dish. There will be games, music, dancing and food for all!

Worship this week is being lead by Rev. Matthew  George. Pastor Ann will be attending the closing worship service for St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Van  Nuys on Sunday morning.

 Summer Stewardship is Important

Invariably giving and the paying of pledges drops off considerably during the summer months, so this can serve as a reminder to keep your pledge current during June, July  and August. It is through stewardship that we return to God the first portion of all that God has given to us. It is a way to thank God for blessing us with special gifts. Most  of us have made life-long commitments to follow Jesus no matter what the cost and we know that cannot be expressed in just one single action. Most of us would agree that it is a very rewarding way of life in which our personal relationship with Jesus is enriched and deepened every day. It is through the sharing of our time, our resources  and our talents that we make the world a better place, a  safer place and a more peaceful place for all to live. In the  true spirit of stewardship we are asked to give from substance and not just from our abundance. We graciously  give back to God the first portion of all the gifts God has given us. Make sharing a top priority. There is nothing  more rewarding than giving Jesus our best.

Psalm 92: 12-14

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who  are planted in the house of God shall flourish in the courts of God. They shall still bear fruit in  old age: they shall be fresh and flourishing.


The Birthday Carpet Campaign

Sunday, July 6th will be the last chance to contribute to Pastor Ann’s Birthday Carpet and Flooring Campaign.  So far we have over $2000 to replace the carpet in the offices. Thanks so much!  Pastor Ann is very HAPPY!

Graduation Sunday to Honor Graduates

During worship this Sunday we will honor our college, elementary and preschool graduates. Plan to be here to offer them your support.

There will be a very important Town Hall meeting on Sunday, July 13th following worship and we want as many people to     participate as is possible. We will offer a light lunch and then we will be     taking a survey as we begin to look to the future of St. Paul’s.


Prt 114 Being Presbyterian

We have been focusing more of our attention toward evangelism and membership lately. We have had conversations in our session meetings about the differences between members and participants, bap-tized members and confirmed members. Some of us have been members since we were small children and others of us have come to an understanding of faith as adults. Some of us have made the decision to actually join St. Paul’s; others of us belong to churches that for whatever reason we cannot attend but we feel an allegiance to so we keep our membership there and worship at St. Paul’s. Other’s of us are from a generation of young folks that find organized religion or membership in any organized entity to be unnecessary or not a part of our experience.

The church has so much to offer people  and it is natural for us to want to share it  with others. The sharing of the love we have received from God with others is a pivotal part of our Christian commit-ment.

Many of us know a formerly or un-churched person (someone who used to go to church but doesn’t anymore). I would like you to engage/talk with them and just find out why. Are they mad? Are they rebelling? Are they feeling awkward about coming back? Is being Presbyterian cool? Being Christian? Is Bible Study important? Is there a new or different way we could engage with them on their spiritual journey? Offer to pray with them. Invite them to join us for  worship this summer.

Do You Know the Bible?

Answers to last week’s questions: (1) Nazareth, (2) day six, (3) Mary Magdalene, (4) “And a time to pluck up what is planted.” (5) fisherman, (6) tax collection.

1. In what town did Mary and Martha live?

2. What did Zacchaeus give to the poor?

3. What did Jesus turn into wine?

4. What type of wood did Noah use to build the ark?

5. What did Noah use to keep the ark from leaking?

6. What weapons did David have to fight Goliath?


News Letter: June 11, 2014

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


 Father’s Day:  Catherine Hughes to Preach


“Our Father” is the title of Rev. Catherine Hughes’ sermon for this Sunday.  The scripture texts will be Genesis 6:9-22 and Luke 15:11-24.  This is also Trinity Sunday according to the liturgical calendar


A New Mantra for St. Paul’s:  “Yes, if. . . not no because”

Last Sunday I introduced to St. Paul’s a new “mantra” for us to put into practice particularly as we begin to talk about the future of this church:  “Yes, if. . .  not, no because.”  This is a great recalibration of our mindset from the negative to the affirmative. It is no longer “We’ve tried this” or “That won’t work here because we’ve always done it this way!” Or my personal favorite “We’re different”. “Yes, we can reach that intended goal if we pray about it, if we plan it well…” now becomes the substitute for “No, we cannot do that here because…” This is like learning a new language, it is about attitudinal adjustment, it is transformational thinking.   It is a great way to put our fears into a new light. This transports us from that worse-case scenario into the realm of distinct possibility.  So it is all about “Yes, if. . . not no because!”  Practice this at home or at school or at work.  Take note of when it is really hard to say “Yes” and when it isn’t. Then ask yourself, “Why is it so hard for me to accept change?”

 Family Fun Day this Sunday

Following worship this Sunday our Evangelism Ministry Team will be sponsoring a Family Fun Day with food and games and prizes for everyone, so plan to stay following worship and engage in this afternoon of fellowship and fun.  There is no cost.


Calling all Graduates

Do you know someone who is graduating this Spring from pre-school or elementary school or high school or college?  Make sure their names get to the church office.  We will honor our grads on June 29th.

All church Picnic Scheduled for June 29th

AMPT will be hosting our annual church picnic on Sunday, June 29th immediately following worship.  They will furnish the meat and the drinks. Please sign up in the Fellowship Hall to bring a side dish.  There will be dancing and games as well.  Invite your friends!

Part 113

Being Presbyterian

This Friday I leave for a week in Detroit where I will serve as an elected commissioner to the PC(USA) General Assembly which is holding its 221st gathering there.   It is an honor to “represent” Pacific Presbytery as one of their teaching elder commissioners.

All of the business to come before this assembly (all reports, Overtures and Commissioner Resolutions) has been assigned to one of 15 committees.  I will served on Committee 13 which involves Theological Issues and Institutions.  Part of our business will be to discuss the Belhar Confession.  Other items of interest to come before this assembly are the Middle East conflict and the possibility of divestment, ecumenical and interfaith relationships, social justice issues, sexuality education curriculum for teens, concerns related to the Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Foundation, congregational vitality and immigration and environmental concerns to list but a few topics.   Whew!

Following two days of deliberation in committee we will then meet as a group of the whole where the final decisions will be made. There will be lots of worship and mission tours and an exhibit hall and a  Serv gift shop and a Cokesbury book store as well.

We will wrap up our deliberations on Saturday, June 21st.  It is my hope to dispatch news from GA to you while I’m there, but it can be a very busy time, so it will be as time allows.


Church of the Redeemer is hosting a

Juneteenth Celebration

on  Sunday, June 22nd   starting at 4 PM.

                                                 All are welcome!                                                

              For more information call (310) 753-1372

Do You Know the Bible?

The answers to last weeks questions:  (1) A heart that understands the difference between right and wrong (2) Four days (3) Esther (4) Jesus or John the Baptist (5) 100 (6) Leprosy.

  1. 1.      What town did Joseph and Mary live in when the angel Gabriel        visited them?
  2. 2.      On what day of creation did God create man and woman? 
  3. 3.      To whom did Jesus first appear after his resurrection?
  4. 4.      Complete this Bible verse from Ecclesiastes:  “A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant. . .”
  5. 5.      What was Peter’s profession in the Bible?
  6. 6.      What did Zacchaeus do for a living?


News Letter: June 4, 2014

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

June 4, 2014

St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and everyone is encouraged to wear red! We will be celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the Christian movement. The sermon text will be Acts 2:1-4 and the sermon title is “Receiving the Spirit” . It was at Pentecost that the disci-ples were enabled by the Holy Spirit to speak in many languages as they witnessed to the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ.

Come Holy spirit!

1001 Worshiping Congregations for the PC(USA)

This Friday is 1001 Worshiping Congregations Day in the PCUSA. 1001 new worshiping communities is a move-ment happening in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Across the PC(USA), God is raising up leaders in churches and presbyteries who are creating new worshiping com-munities. They are taking on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture. Primarily they are seek-ing to make and form new disciples of Jesus Christ, to change and transform the world.

New worshiping communities will help the PC(USA) make the shift from an inward-focused, membership-maintenance model of church to a more outward, crea-tive, and disciple-making expression of church.

God’s Spirit is moving throughout the church, whispering new things and inspiring new models, fresh vision, and an awareness that is bringing God’s people to understand and embrace again the truth that “It’s all about congregations.” See more at:

Pacific Presbytery has two 1001 Congregations! One meets in a tent in a parking lot near Korea Town on Friday evenings and the other meets in a coffee house in the marina.

Juneteenth Celebration

Church of the Redeemer is hosting a Juneteenth picnic on June 22nd starting at 4 PM. All are welcome for food fun and fellowship. There will be games and activities for all ages.


Part 112

Being Presbyterian

Pentecost literally means “the fiftieth day”) and is the Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai. This feast is still celebrated in Judaism as Shavuot. Later, in the Christian liturgical year, it became a feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ (120 in all), as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1 –31. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described by some Christians today as the “Birthday of the Church”.

Pentecost is the old Greek and Latin name for the Jewish harvest festival, or Festival of Weeks referenced in Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10.

The New Testament narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy (“I will pour out my spirit”).

We will be celebrating Pentecost at St. Paul’s this Sunday and here is one more reminder to wear something red to church this Sunday. This commemorates the flames of the Holy Spirit descending on those early disciples.


Do You Know the Bible?

The answers from last week are: (1) Andrew (2) Luke (3) A colorful coat (4) Peter (5) Jonathon (6) Aaron.

1. When God came to Solomon in a dream, what did Solomon ask God to give him?

2. How long had Lazarus been dead when Jesus arrived in Bethany?

3. Who was the queen that saved her people from death?

4. Name a man whose birth was foretold by Gabriel.

5. How old was Abraham when Sa-rah gave birth to their son Isaac?

6. What skin disease did the brave soldier Naaman have?

Save these Dates:

This Sunday: A new members class will be held following worship in the library. If you are interested in learning more about joining the church plan to attend!

June 15th: Family Fun Festival following worship! Food and games for everyone in Fellowship Hall.

June 29th at 12:30 PM (following worship) Annual All-Church Picnic. Please sign up to bring side dishes in Fellowship Hall.

July 13th: St. Paul’s session has set a Town Hall meeting following worship on Sunday, July 13th in the Fellowship Hall. A light lunch will be served.


News Letter: May 28, 2014

 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

                         May 28, 2014

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

 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church E-Newsletter

 Ascension Sunday this Week

This Sunday is the 7th Sunday in Eastertide, Ascension Sunday and for us at St. Paul’s, Communion Sunday.  The sermon topic this week is prayer and the text is from John 17:1-11 which is about Jesus saying his final goodbyes to his disciples and offering them a “closing prayer.”  Our communion servers this week are ruling elders John Ketch, Joyce Dixon, Vanita Brittain and Billie Land and deacon:  Earnestine Jeffries.

June 1st thru 8th:  A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 

At least once a year Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Where do you see God’s grace and peace in your local church, in your larger community, and in your country? How can you move beyond a preoccupation with  your immediate community and attend to the community of all Christians and the world?

What do you give thanks for in your church, in your community and in your country? How have you experienced the spiritual and/or material gifts of God among other Christians or others of your community?

Flooring Fundraiser through June

There is still time to participate in the Flooring Fundraiser for Pastor Ann’s 65th birthday celebration.  Home Depot is coming out today to measure the rooms we hope to either carpet or put down new flooring in.  We have reached a bit over half of our goal so far.  (Pastor Ann is very happy!) The flooring samples, forms and envelopes are in the narthex.  Please make your checks payable to St. Paul’s with “flooring” on the memo line.

 Maya Angelou


An African American literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent. Angelou was 86. 2010, President Barack Obama named her the recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Part 111

Being Presbyterian

This is Presbyterian Heritage week and so I thought it appropriate use this column for a brief review of Presbyterian origins.

It all started with the Reformation! We are part of the whole household of Christians, a branch of the family called Reformed Churches.  These churches began in the 16th century at the time of the Protestant Reformation and looked closely at the teachings of men like Huldrych Zwingli of Zurich and John Calvin of Geneva as being reliable ways of understanding and interpreting the Bible.  Other reformers followed all seeking the “reform” of the Catholic Church on the basis of the Word of God in Scripture.

The early reformed churches distinguished themselves from Lutherans and Anabaptists (today’s Baptists, Mennonites and others) who believed that only adults could be baptized. In England the Anglican church (our Episcopal church) emerged as a middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism.

The Presbyterian name comes from our form of government which is by presbyters or elders.  The  primary governing unit is the presbytery which is composed of clergy and elected lay leaders (ruling elders) in specific geographical areas.  The ruling elders who govern a local congregation are called the session.


Chapter meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 31st at Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church at 10 AM.  All are welcome!

 Do You Know the Bible?

The answers from last week:  (1) Ruth (2) Simon (3) Three (4) Bartimaeus (5) On a ship at sea (6) Not cutting his hair.

  1. Who was the very first disciple of Jesus?
  2. Which apostle was a doctor?
  3. What did Jacob give to his son. Joseph to show he was his favorite?
  4. Which disciple of Jesus once cut off a man’s ear?

5. When King David was a young man, his best friend was King Saul’s son. What was his name?

6. What was the name of  Moses’ older brother?