This Sunday our scripture passage is a gruesome story that has captured the imagination of writers, poets, and artists for centuries. Mark 6:18-29 tells the story of the execution of John the Baptist. This short scene has been depicted in movies, painting, and on stage. Al Pacino even made a documentary about it. What is it about this story that has drawn so much attention? Personally, I find it one of the five most disturbing tales from the Bible and have generally avoided it. But this week, I intend to hold my nose and dive in. Surely there is a treasure to be found here.
Our scriptures are not rated PG. They are stories that expose our human failings to the light that is generated by love. As hard as it is to look at the darkness of lost souls, the truth that is revealed is a purifying force that liberates all those who will look with courage and honesty.
I am looking forward to it!
Yours in Christ,
Guest Musician for Sunday, 7/11
Natasha Kislenko has performed extensively as a soloist and a collaborative pianist across Russia, Europe, Asia and the United States. She has appeared in recital and chamber music performances with numerous distinguished soloists, including Torleif Tedeen, James Buswell, Zvi Zeitlin, Theodore Kuchar, Tadeu Coelho, and Leone Buyse.
As a soloist, Ms. Kislenko has received top prizes in international piano competitions in Germany, Portugal, France, the Slovak Republic, and the United States. She made her solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1996, and most recently has appeared with Orquesta del Congreso Nacional in Paraguay, the Varna Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria, the Eskisehir Municipal symphony orchestra in Turkey, and the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Ms. Kislenko holds graduate degrees in piano from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and the Stony Brook University, NY, where she completed her doctorate with Gilbert Kalish in 2004.
In 2007, Ms. Kislenko moved to Santa Barbara to assume a teaching position at UC Santa Barbara. Previously, she served on the faculties of California State University Fresno and Meadowmount School of Music (New York).
An alumna of the Music Academy (2001), Ms. Kislenko has been a member of the faculty since 2004.
Memorial for Erma Case
This Friday, July 9, at 2:00pm at St. Andrew's, there will be a memorial for Erma Case. Light refreshment reception following in Morgan Hall.
4th of July Worship Success!
Thank you to everyone for getting into the spirit for our 4th of July Worship and Ice Cream Social. It was a special Sunday full of patriotic pride!
Food Distribution Gratitude
On behalf of James, we (James’ parents), want to thank the volunteers of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for everything you all did to provide 120 families in need in our community with critical food items to sustain them during the coming weeks. We are grateful for the tremendous support that James received from everyone for his Eagle Project. It was inspiring and uplifting to see all the hands at work sorting, organizing, packing, and preparing the food and the bags! Well done, St. Andrew's!
Memorial for Bill Cline
There will be a memorial service for longtime St. Andrew's member, Bill Cline, who passed away in March. The service will be held at Goleta Presbyterian Church on July 20th at 11:00am.
We will be meeting in the Window Room and on Zoom at 11 AM after Coffee Hour this Sunday.
We will present a lecture by Jeorg Rieger, entitled “Christ and the Colonial Fantasy: Modern Civilization and Its Discontents” from the series, “GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice.” Professor Joerg Rieger begins his third lecture by making this statement: “It is sometimes assumed that 'empire' is a product of the ancient world or the dark ages of the medieval world; that in our modernity we have overcome the hierarchical models of the past.” [For instance, as descendants of colonial Americans who gained national independence from the British Empire, we assume that “empire” is no longer a problem.] Rieger continues, “Modern times in general appear to be much more enlightened than the empires of history that have gone before.” And to be sure, we can list many examples.
In this series, John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger expand our awareness of the historic collusion between Christianity and the empires of the west, from Jesus’ non-violent program of resistance to Roman Imperialism under Augustus, to the imperialistic “partnerships” of the 21st Century. Individually, these two scholars are powerhouses. Together, they are explosive.