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?



News Letter: May 21, 2014

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

May 21, 2014

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

 St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

Matthew George to Preach on Sunday

 The Rev. Matthew George will be preaching this Memorial Day Sunday.  His sermon title is ‘Love and Obedience” and his texts are Acts 17:22-31 and John 14:15-21.  Elder Frank Millin will serve as liturgist.  Pastor Ann will be in Northern California with her family celebrating her mother’s 93rd birthday.

St. Paul’s Session Update

St. Paul’s session met on Monday, May 18th for it’s monthly meeting.  The following decisions were made:

Administration and Personnel:  Completing updated position descriptions for all of our employees.

Building and Grounds:  Received a green light to have the magnolia tree in front of the church pruned.  Plans for the sanctuary refurbishing are progressing as well.

Evangelism:  A New Members Class will be held June 8th following worship. Talk to Pastor Ann for information.

Parish Education:  Will sponsor a seminar on funeral planning and end of life issues.

Stewardship and Finance:  Will explore ways to save water during this drought.

Worship and Spiritual Life: Will be placing one LAST order for the African American Heritage Hymnals.  Order forms are on the table in the narthex for any one still interested in purchasing one or more.  They are $20 each.

Deacons: Are scheduled to meet this Sunday after church.


(If you would like to serve on a Session Ministry Team please let Pastor Ann know!!!)

Flooring Fundraiser Is on Target

St. Paul’s has made my 65th birthday one to remember! The donations for flooring for our offices, library, and choir annex now total $1900 so I am going to make an appointment to get the rooms measured and the flooring ordered next week!  There is still an opportunity to donate to this glorious cause.  The forms and envelopes are on the table in the narthex.  Make your checks payable to St. Paul’s and place the word “flooring” on the memo line.  The flooring will cost approximately $2.50 per square foot and we are aiming for 1800 sq. feet.  Many, many, many thanks for supporting this effort!

Family Fun

Put June 15th on your calendar for an Evangelism Ministry Team sponsored family games and fun afternoon following worship.  There will be food and games and prizes for everyone!

Part 110

Being Presbyterian

Worship is central to the life of St. Paul’s and a critical part of worship is the bulletin.  The primary purpose of a bulletin is to assist us with worship so it contains the order of worship, liturgical information like litanies and prayers, the daily Bible readings (called the lectionary) and important announcements.

Here is some information on how to use the bulletin:

  1. Arrive early and scan the bulletin as a way of preparing for worship.
  2. Note which of our two hymnals are being used during the service.
  3. Fill out the attendance card which is located in the pew rack if not found in the bulletin and then place it is in the offering plate when it is passed.
  4. Reflect on the meditation printed at the beginning of the service.
  5. During the service the bulletin will help you track the progress of worship.  There will be liturgical dialogues (litanies and responsive readings or unison prayers) which will require your participation usually indicated in bold print.
  6. Review the printed announcements. There is also a Home Bible Study in the bulletin each week, so we hope you will take it home with you for reference during the week.


Save the Date

A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Sunday, July 13th following worship.  Members will be asked to participate in both discussion and a survey as we start to plan for the future of St. Pauls. All are welcome.  A light lunch will be served.


Do You Know the Bible?

Answers to last week’s questions:  (1) Golgotha (2) “It is finished.” (3) Job (4) Peter (5) Matthew and Luke (3) King Herod

  1. 1.      Which biblical woman loved her mother-in-law so much she left her own country and followed her to another land?
  2. 2.      What was another name that Peter was called?
  3. 3.      How many days and nights was Jonah inside the big fish? 
  4. 4.      What was the name of the blind beggar whom Jesus and his disciples met on the road to Jericho?
  5. 5.      Where did Jonah go to try and hide from God?
  6. What was the secret of Samson’s great strength?



News Letter: May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014

 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

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

 St. Paul’s Weekly E-Newsletter

Catherine Hughes to Preach on Sunday

The Rev. Catherine Hughes will be preaching on this Women’s Sunday topic:  “God Uses Ordinary Women To Do Extraordinary Things.”  Her texts will be Judges 4:1-10 and 1 Peter 2:9.  A special litany honoring the gifts of faithful women will be included in the service.  The liturgist for this Sunday is Billie Land.

Women’s Sunday

The Presbyterian Office at the United Nations

Our United Nations office helps inspire, equip, and connect Christians for ministry and advocacy as faithful disciples of Jesus in the global community. This is a Presbyterian Ministry on behalf of the policies of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The United Nations office seeks to speak from the very heart of the Church Universal. Through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations the church responds to Christ’s call to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and let the oppressed go free. The church lives out the reality that “God sends the church in the power of the Holy Spirit to share with Christ in establishing God’s just, peaceable and loving rule in the world”(Book of Order, G-3.0300).

Learn about all of our many ongoing projects at the Ministry at the U.N. website:

Learn more about:  Human rights and ageing, South Sudan, responses to events in the Horn of Africa, The Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom, or the Red Hand Campaign to end the use of children as soldiers.

Rev. Matthew George to Preach May 25th

We will welcome the Rev. Matthew George to our pulpit on Sunday, May 25th. Pastor Ann travels to Northern California to celebrate her mother’s 93rd birthday over the Memorial Day weekend.

 NBPCSC Meeting Date Changed

The NBPCSC meeting scheduled for this Saturday at Westminster Church has been moved to Saturday, May 31st at Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church.  It will begin at 10 AM and all are welcome.

Part  109

Being Presbyterian

I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday (you can find it on our website) that when we recite the 23rd Psalm we are wandering deep into Jewish territory.  This comment and Jesus quoting the psalms frequently during his passion brought forth several comments about the nature of the relationship of the Hebrew texts to the life and times of Jesus.

The period of time described in the Old Testament ended about 400 years before Jesus’ birth.  According to “The Presbyterian Handbook” the people of God kept living, believing, struggling, and writing during that period.  There were some important events that took place during that transitional period:

  1. The Hebrew nation dissolved in 587 BC.  At the end of 2 Kings the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple, took the leaders into exile and the people scattered.
  2. Judaism was born.  There was no longer a state or national religion but a free standing faith.
  3. The Aramaic language became popular and Alexander the Great conquered the world.
  4. Around 170 BC the Greek emperor outlawed the Sabbath and defiled the temple and the Maccabees (which means “hammer” ) lead a revolt.
  5. The Hebrew Scriptures were finished, David’s descendants did not become kings and the Roman Empire expanded to include Palestine, ruling during the time of Jesus.

Pastor Ann is very, very happy! The campaign to purchase 1800 square feet of carpet and flooring for our offices, the library, the choir annex and Sunday school spaces in honor of her 65th birthday is going exceedingly well!  During the first week we  have taken in $1835!  The carpet and flooring samples and the forms/envelopes are located in the narthex.  Make checks payable to St. Paul’s and write “flooring” on the memo line.  And a BIG thanks to all who have participated thus far! 

Do You Know the Bible?

The answers to last week’s questions:  (1) Jacob (2) five loaves and two fish (3) John the Baptist (4) Egypt (5) gold, frankincense and myrrh (6) Moses

  1. What was the name of the place where Jesus was taken to be crucified?
  2. According to the Gospel of John, what were the last words spoken by Jesus?
  3. Who in the Bible is known as a man with great patience?
  4. When Jesus walked on water, whom did he tell to come meet him in the middle of the lake?
  5. In which books of the Bible is the prayer called “The Lord’s Prayer” found?
  6. Which terrible king wanted to kill Jesus and all of the baby boys in Bethlehem?


 St. Paul’s collected $650 for this year’s One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.  Thank you for your generosity!

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