In this moment before we return to in-person events it is helpful to pause and reflect. For some of us, pre-covid life was less than ideal. I can only speak for myself, but my calendar was FULL. I went from one meeting to the next, one project to the next, one social obligation to the next. I loved my pre-covid life, but I was overcommitted. As a result, I could only give a small portion of my attention to each obligation. The gift of covid was that my slate was wiped clean. I grieved the losses because I loved those tasks. But once they were gone, I started to realize how scattered I was. Now, a year later, I feel rejuvenated. In the excitement of getting back it is tempting to, once again, say yes to too many projects. I don't think that would be wise or productive.
So, before things "return to normal," I am taking stock. I am getting clear on my priorities and deciding the number of commitments I can do well. I have learned that I am responsible for setting my own limits if I want to make a meaningful contribution to life.
We as the church are facing the same opportunity. Will we take it? How many of you were on too many committees? How many of you had a hard time setting boundaries for yourself and limiting your responsibilities? If this describes you, I think I understand your motivation. If you didn't take the task up, who would? Then the programs, projects, and events that you love would die. Well, that is the heart of the challenge. Perhaps a lot of what we used to do needs to be let go? Or, maybe those who over function have to step back before others will really find their ministry? Regardless, one thing is for certain: it is better to do a few things well than a lot of things haphazardly.
Below is a call for ushers for worship. This role is important. It needs to be done thoughtfully and cheerfully. It requires at least five people to sign up by May 16 so that no one gets burned out. What will we do if we don't get five committed individuals? Well, maybe that is a sign that we are not ready to get back to in-person worship? That is okay. We need to listen respectfully to what God is telling us. Maybe we still have some work to do?
I am committed to doing church in a healthy, responsible way: not anxiously overdoing or emotionally reacting out of fear, but with mature, thoughtful commitment. I am convinced that God wants us to rebuild a healthy, resilient church and has presented us with an opportunity to do just that.
Ushers Needed for In-Person Worship
We are in need of a slate of at least six (6) committed ushers. Ushers work in pairs, greet people as they enter the sanctuary, take their names, temperature, ask the list of attestation questions, and assure proper seating and exiting. They need to arrive by 8:45am to set up the bulletins, and then after service ends pick up the leftover bulletins and such in the pews, and securing the sanctuary after the service. Ushering is a one year commitment for two Sundays a month (unless more than five sign up).
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.
The Congregational Life Team (CLF) is happy to announce that all members and friends of St. Andrew's are invited to schedule a time for coffee with the Pastor on the Church patio. Each get- together will be kept to a safe group of 8 guests. Coffee with the Pastor begins May 1st, and will continue on Saturdays thereafter, 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.
Adult Education. This Sunday, we will be taking Mother’s Day off and will resume class on May 16 with the 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.
St Andrews Presbyterian Church
4575 Auhay Drive, Santa Barbara CA 93110 United States
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