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?




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?