This Sunday the Scripture focus is Mark 1:14-20—the call of the disciples. In this passage we hear Jesus tell Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew “follow me and I will make you fish for people.” As I was preparing the sermon I ran across the image above, which I believe illustrates the way this passage is often distorted by human interests.
The painting is titled “Fishing for Souls” by Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne in 1614 (click here for a larger version). It tells the story of the political divide between Northern and Southern Netherlands—the North governed by the Protestants and the South governed by Roman Catholics. In the middle of the scene is a river that splits the country in two. In the river officers of each of the denominations are out in boats trying to rescue poor drowning souls. Each side is “fishing for souls.”
The scene is chaotic. People are crowded on the shore, looking concerned. But their eyes are not focused on the people in the river. Instead, they seem to be assessing the threat from the other side. They are suited up in their religious or political uniforms, like armies gathering for battle (which eventually came to fruition). In the background, the sun shines and the trees flourish on the left side of the bank, whereas the landscape is barren and foreboding on the right. It would seem the artist favored the Protestants.
Throughout the history of the church the idea of “fishing for souls” (evangelism) has been associated with recruiting members for your side (or church). I’m skeptical that this is what Jesus intended when he invited these two fishermen to follow him. I doubt Jesus was concerned with church growth or political movements. It makes more sense that the metaphor points to bringing people into the Kingdom of God, which is not located in the pews of any particular church or chartered by any government. So, what does it mean to bring people into the Kingdom of God? Only a fool would tackle that question in a newsletter article (I will give it my best try in this Sunday’s sermon). But one clue that we can take from this verse is that it has something to do with following Jesus and probably nothing to do with preparing for war.
February 11 at 12:30 pm
Next Steps Luncheon
What are the next steps in your faith journey? Do you feel called to learn more about membership at St Andrews? Is it time to return to church life? These are a few of the questions we will be addressing at an inquirer’s luncheon on February 11 at 12:30. This is a no pressure get together to learn more about St Andrew’s and help you discern the role the church will play in your future. Let’s share a tasty lunch, informal conversation, and guidance on discernment with Pastor Jen. To RSVP or ask questions please contact Melinda atMurgatroidgerow@yahoo.com.
In Worship This Week
This Sunday we will consider the call of the disciples from the Gospel of John.
Scripture: Psalm 62:5-12 and Mark 1:14-20
Sermon title: “The Harvest.”
Hymns: “When In Our Music God is Glorified” “Glory to God (583),” “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore,” “Jesus Calls Us.”
Epiphany star word reflection: “Vocation.”
St. Andrew’s Lenten Devotional
This year, St. Andrew’s is publishing its own Lenten Devotional. Sign up to write a short, 200-300 word reflection on a Bible verse. Art work is also welcome and encouraged! Sign up sheets will be available after worship starting this Sunday or you can sign up online here. All items are due by February 1.
An example and helpful suggestions for writing is coming soon and can be found here.
Saturday, February 3rd
This year instead of a Friday session we offer the option of dinner in a private home in Santa Barbara.
This is part of Engage, the 22nd annual Santa Barbara
Mission Conference, taking place Saturday, Feb. 3, at First Presbyterian Church of SB.
Joining others over a meal to anticipate the themes of the conference will enhance your experience. To register for the conference and the optional dinner go online here or pick up and complete a brochure at any of the conference’s partner churches.
“Who Is Jesus?”
This Sunday in Adult Education
Week one, we looked at some of the historical, theological and social presentations of Jesus in the Bible. Week two we considered the story of Jesus’ birth. On our final week we will look closely at Jesus’ death and resurrection—by far the most densely packed image in the Bible. Come join us after coffee hour at 11:00 on Sunday morning as we try to answer an eternal question: who is Jesus?
Sunday, January 28
Please mark your calendar for St. Andrew’s Annual Meeting. The agenda includes review of 2024s budget and voting on new member of Nominating Committee. Sunday, January 28th at 10:50 am (after worship). All voting members are encouraged to attend. If you are not a member, this is a great chance to get to know the church a little better.
Birthdays will be in the Weekly Updates from now on! If you don’t see your birthday on here and would like to get it added please email Silkie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 2 Edie Wells
January 3 Ann Thompson
January 7 Lee Thompson
January 11 Lydia Swanson
January 21 Bob Wightman
January 22 Carole Shapiro
January 27 Gloria Wise
2024 Worship Schedule is Up!
The 2024 Worship Schedule is up and ready to view. Please click the following link here to access the Schedule.
Thank you for your gift of time and dedication and Happy New Year!
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
Calendar of Events
Happening This Week
1/18(Thurs) – Fit for Parkinson’s 2-3:00pm (MH); Mission Committee 6:30pm (VOS)
1/22 (Mon) – Running Stitches 9:30-12:30pm (WR); AA Grateful Group 8:00pm (YL)
1/23 (Tues) – Parkinson’s 12:30-2:30 pm (MH)
1/24 (Wed) -Wading Through Watercolor 1-3pm (YL); Llamada Final 6:30pm (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.