On reflection, 2023 was a huge year for St. Andrew’s. It marked the return of our choir, the first full year with our permanent musicians, and the first year of our public concerts offerings. We welcomed a new staff member (Silkie Hur) and entered into a new community partnership (Santa Barbara Music Club). We established a significant social media presence. We said goodbye to our longtime Preschool ministry and its leader Cindy Oliver then celebrated the arrival on our campus of More Mesa Children’s Center with a whole new staff. We adopted a new Vision, Mission and Values statement, and embarked on developing a five-year strategic plan. We changed how we did our budget to better reflect our financial conditions. We initiated a Membership Committee and introduced several new events—a Blessing of the Animals Service, an Annual Pancake Breakfast, a Christmas Workshop, a fun new table for Pacific Pride, just to name a few. If there was a theme for the year it was “building a foundation for the future.”
We believe 2024 will be a year of building on the hard work of 2023. We have direction and solid leadership to move forward. What will the worship and the choir look like this time next year? What sort of improvements to our campus will we initiate? What new members will we welcome into our midst? What sort of new, creative ideas will our committees be working on? These are questions that inspire hope and excitement and a sense of the possibilities that lie ahead.
When we introduced our 2024 Stewardship Campaign, we invited you to join in building this exciting future at St. Andrew’s with your time, talents and treasures: you responded faithfully! Thank you! It is a good sign for our future that we are all invested in it together. Your commitment to St. Andrew’s confirms that our church offers something of real value. The Spirit is present among us and is calling us into the future.
If you are wondering what more you can do, please consider serving on a committee or doing a term as an elder or deacon. It takes a lot of hearts, hands and minds to bring vitality to a church week after week.
Finally, if you are planning on pledging but haven’t had the opportunity, please bring your pledge cards to church by December 31st. This will help us with our budget for 2024.
In gratitude for your generosity,
St. Andrew’s Stewardship Committee
Thursday, December 21 at 7:00 pm
The Longest Night
Join us for a service of prayer, music, poetry, scripture, and silence. Bring a friend and enjoy tea and snacks afterwards. This is a good service to decompress from the stress of the season or to recognize feelings of grief, loss or sorrow as well as gratitude.
December 21st and 24th
In Worship This Week
There will be three services this week: The Longest Night Service on Thursday at 7:00 pm, The Fourth Sunday of Advent on Sunday at 9:30 am, and Christmas Eve Services on Sunday at 6:00 pm.
Join us for a quiet, contemplative service with songs, scripture, poems, prayers and candle lighting. Hymns: In the Bleak Midwinter, Silent Night, Taize chants, and flute and piano by Erin McKibben and Natasha Kislenko.
On Sunday morning we will observe the fourth Sunday of Advent. Sermon title: “We Sing Songs of Hope.”
Christmas Eve service will include carols, a children’s story, and our traditional candle lighting. Sermon: “We Make Room.”
Sunday, December 24 at 6pm
Christmas Eve at St. Andrew’s
Will you share the joy, peace and beauty of Christmas eve at St. Andrew’s? Christ’s coming, a meaningful sermon, glorious music and deep fellowship are all reasons to invite people to come together for our service. If we are able to include more people, research suggests it could benefit us all. In an epidemic of loneliness and isolation, putting yourself in a place to form new connections could lead to revelations. So why not broaden the invitation?
A Letter from Elmarie Parker, serving in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and the Gulf States
St. Andrew’s has been supporting PCUSA Mission Co-Worker Elmarie Parker for many years through our Mission Committee. You can click on the link (button) below to read her most recent letter.
Dr. Sandra Richter will lead a breakout session on Creation Care in Engage, the 22nd annual Santa Barbara Mission Conference, taking place Saturday, Feb. 3, at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara.
A distinguished Old Testament scholar, Dr. Richter is passionate about the environment, and she writes and teaches about it.
You have a choice – attend in-person or participate remotely.
Either way, you may register by going online at sbmissionconference.org or by picking up and completing a brochure at any of the conference’s partner churches.
Calendar of Events
Happening This Week
12/21(Thurs) – Fit for Parkinson’s 2-3:00pm (MH); Longest Night Service 7:00pm (S)
12/22 (Fri) – Llamada Final 6:30pm (MH)
12/23 (Sat) – Llamada Final 6:30pm (MH)
12/24 (Sun) – Worship 9:30am (S); Coffee Hour 10:30am (MH); Christmas Eve Service 6:00pm (S)
12/25 (Mon) – Running Stitches 9:30-12:30pm (WR); AA Grateful Group 8:00pm (YL)
12/26 (Tues) – Parkinson’s 12:30-2:30 pm (MH)
12/27 (Wed) -Llamada Final 6:30 pm (MH)
Applications Now Open!
Did you know that through the grace and generosity of the Naegle family, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church is able to offer scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students who meet the eligibility requirements? If you are a member of our congregation, you can apply at scholarship.org/apply/. Applications are open now and close on January 31, 2024.
Coffee Hour Host Opportunity
We still need volunteers for Coffee Hour in 2024!
Involves set up of table, making coffee, bringing treats (optional)
Do it as a team with your friends
2023 schedule is full
2024 signups start in November
It Takes Many Hands
Church ministry is the work of many hands and includes everything from caring for the grounds to planning worship to organizing mission opportunitiesand more. If you are interested in lending a hand see one of the Elders below about joining a committee or you can talk to Pastor Jen anytime:
Buildings & Grounds – Porter Spencer
Congregational Life Team – Shannon Gerow
Worship – Carol Lefly
Personnel – Diana Lee
Mission – Tamara Skov
Finance – Melinda Gerow
Membership – Melinda Gerow
Digital Presence Team – Kirk Grier
Adult Education – Rachel Tobler
Children & Youth Ministry – Caroline Willsie
Youth Engagement – Lila Woodard
Mug Clean Up
If you have any mugs that are left in the kitchen they will be donated on January 1st.
Please make arrangements to come pick up any mugs that you don’t want thrown away…