My professional background is academic in nature. I have two degrees in English and a degree in scholarly publishing (my father-in-law once asked me if I was ever going to get a job). Eventually, I did get a job as an academic editor, which meant that I spent my days making sure that other academics had the data to justify their arguments and that they presented their work clearly and concisely. This background tends to be a handicap in my work as a pastor. While my writing skills are well honed, I am, unfortunately, hampered by the instinct to explicate, to explain, and to prove.
People of faith do not explicate holy scriptures. That doesn't mean we shouldn't examine or wrestle with the Bible—we absolutely should do both of those things. But we shouldn't strive to come out with clear, provable arguments for truth. Why? Because scripture doesn't reveal itself under those circumstances. Just look at what happened to the Pharisees when they questioned Jesus. They always came at him with a well thought out angle in the hopes that they could corner him and force him to reveal himself. But Jesus never complied. Instead he revealed to them who they were. Jesus always managed to illuminate the questioner rather than answer the question. It's the same with the Bible. When we open it up in order to find concrete truth that we can argue to the world, it starts to sound like a collection of aphorisms at best and ancient superstitions at worst. But, when we sit with it and wrestle with it and pray with it, it reveals who we are—both in our brokenness and in our union with Christ.
This week's focus Scripture (John 3:14-21) is a good example of a passage that defies explication, but that reveals a profound truth about who we are---if we have the patience to sit with it and let it tell its story.
I look forward to letting the Bible tell its story with you this Sunday!
Appointments start on March 15
Starting March 1, vaccine appointments will open for Phase 1B residents, including educators, childcare workers, and agricultural industry workers. For more information, go to the County's COVID-19 Information Portal at https://publichealthsbc.org/
Starting March 15, vaccine appointments will be opened for ages 16-64 with specific underlying health conditions. For more information, see the County's vaccination page at https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/
If you want to get vaccinated but are having a hard time navigating the web to sign up, give us a call at the church and we will try to match you with someone who can help. Don't struggle in frustration alone, call us at 805-967-6327.
Love Your Neighbor
This weekend, March 11-14, is Interfaith Sanctuary Alliance's Love Your Neighbor Weekend. For more information about how you can support our immigrant neighbors, go to: http://loveyourneighborsb.org/action/.
Fish Banks in Office
We still have fish banks in the church office available for any member who would like one. If you cannot get to the office, the Deacons have volunteered to bring them to you. Just let the office know. Thank you!
Office Hours Announcement
Office Closed March 16 and 17
The church secretary will be out of the office on Tuesday, March 16th, and Wednesday, March 17th, but Pastor Jen will be in those days from 10:00AM until the afternoon. Normal office hours resume Thursday, March 18th. Thank you.
Lent Zoom Series - Pastor Jen Speaking this Sunday
Topic: "Faith and..." series
Time: Sundays, February 28, March 7, 14 & 21 from 6:00 - 7:30PM
This Sunday, the topic is "Faith and Conflict" and the presenter is our very own Jen Fraser. Also speaking is her friend, the Rev. Dr. Brad Monroe, from the Presbytery of Grand Canyon. Presbytery Church in the World Committee invites us all to join a special 4-week series on Zoom.
Let us know what your favorite hymn is and we will include it in the worship service on the Sundays following Easter. Since it takes time to record the hymns, the deadline for sending in your request is Sunday, March 17. Provided Erin can sing them and Tim can play them (and they can pretty much do anything), we will get them in! Thank you.
Rev. Jen Fraser will present “There is Something Real About Jesus" the last lesson of her six-week class, "Reclaiming Evangelism.” This series is an honest examination of the history and practice of evangelism with an eye toward re-discovering the intention and meaning behind Matthew 28:19-20. The Lesson Titles of the course are:
Week 1: "The Early Church"
Week 2: "The Dominant Church"
Week 3: "Colonialism and the Church"
Week 4: "Evangelism and Relationship"
Week 5: "Listen, Help, and Care"
Week 6: "There is Something Real About Jesus"
Please Join us Sundays right after Coffee Hour at 11 AM on Zoom!