When someone says they like change, I'm always a little suspicious. "Do you really like change?" I wonder, "Or is it that you like variety? Because they are very different." Variety is a sampling of different experiences and sensations. Change is getting the rug pulled out from under your feet. Variety is when your spouse books a surprise trip to Vermont to see the leaves change color; while it requires a mental shift in order to get packing, reschedule meetings, or take time off work, ultimately the end result is discovery and fun. Change, on the other hand, is when you wake up to find a flood in the kitchen because the drain pipe under the slab burst. Not only do you have to find an emergency plumber and pay a lot of money, but you probably won't be able to cook or shower for a while. Adjusting to change not only takes energy and sacrifice, but the end result is survival, not fun.
What we are experiencing in our worship life is change, not variety. A year ago the pipes burst and flooded the house, so to speak. Everything had to change. It wasn't fun, but we survived. And now we are discovering the other difference between variety and change: one can experience variety and still have the choice to go back to the familiar. But change wipes out the familiar and something entirely new has to be built in its place. "Change is inevitable," so the saying goes, because we wouldn't choose it, we can't control it, and it makes life very hard for a while.
I write this as an expression of sympathy for those for whom all this change has been very difficult. Change is not easy. If it were, it wouldn't be change. But change brings about something very important. Change enables us to discern the unchangeable. When something important perishes, it draws our attention to what is imperishable. Maybe our forms of worship have gone through a metamorphosis, but God has not. Maybe worship will look and feel different when you come back, but it's holy purpose is alive and well. This is why we need change; without it, we place our trust in what is transient because we have become blind to what is eternal.
Wishing you peace as you adjust, once again, to change,
Pentecost Offering May 23
The Season of Pentecost is being observed this year from April 5 to May 23. We will celebrate on Sunday, May 23, by receiving a special offering as we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. The color red and tongues of fire usually decorate the sanctuary.
The Pentecost Offering is dedicated to helping youth begin life with a strong start. It is split into four areas of youth work:
40% stays with the congregation to be locally administered.
25% goes to Young Adult Volunteer experiences.
25% supports ministries with youth, ages 12-18.
10% supports “Educate a Child, Transform the World” national initiative. The goal of this initiative is to motivate and inspire Presbyterians to improve the quality of public education.
St. Andrew’s will direct the 40% we get to administer to support our preschool. Currently they operate at a deficit because of the limits on the number of children they can serve safely during this time of COVID isolation.
Please give generously andwear red
on May 23.
Graduate Sunday is June 6
Please send in pictures of your grads!
If any of you have family members or friends who are graduating soon, please submit a photo and a brief description to Nancy Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 23 for use in our June 6 worship service.
Paid to Participate
UCSB Continues to Recruit for Cognitive Training Study for Seniors
UCSB’s Psychology Department is conducting a study to investigate the effects of a web-based cognitive training program among healthy adults ages 60-85. It is a remote study so participants can complete the activities in their own home and will be paid $100 for completing the 4-week study. They are actively seeking participants.
Coffee Continues with Pastor Jen
We are still accepting reservations for our ongoing Coffee with Pastor Jen on the Church patio. Each get-together will be kept to a safe group of 8 guests. Coffee with the Pastor began on May 1st, and will continue on Saturdays (with the exception of May 22 which is our Food Distribution day), until everyone has had the opportunity to participate. Please call soon with your preferred date. To reserve your spot, call Dana Monk at 805-705-6929.
This Sunday we will begin a new series, “GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice.” 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.
John Dominic Crossan excavates the historical Jesus movement in a bright, clarifying light, replete with details about life on the Sea of Galilee under the imperial and economic domination of Herod Antipas (Rome’s vassal king) against which Jesus boldly and resolutely rebelled. Dr. Crossan is certain to stimulate deep re-thinking about what Christianity was and what it still can be.
Joerg Rieger explicates the collaborative relationship between Empire and Christianity that began with Constantine and the Councils of Nicea and continued all the way through the western European expansionism that made Christianity the agent of cultural and economic domination of the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Rieger is not afraid to interrogate Christianity behind the scenes. And yet, he says, down through this same history, there has continually been a Christianity “at the margins,” a Christianity whose voice can be heard from the people who have known the underside of empire.
Individually, these two scholars are powerhouses. Together, they are explosive.
Please Join us Sunday right after Coffee Hour at 11 AM on Zoom!