This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. Even though 2024 won’t begin until after Christmas, in the church calendar, the new year has already arrived. In the church, the future is planted like a seed in the quiet of late fall, as the days shorten and the natural world goes dormant. It is a season suited to reflection and rest in preparation for what is to come.
So what is to come? What might 2024 look like for you? The year that has just gone by was full of good things, like the return to a normal social life with the return of gatherings and events. It was also full of heart-rending difficulties, as unexpected violence broke out and an old war trudged on. It was also somewhat discouraging as people continue to struggle with loneliness, having gotten out of the habit of public life. In hindsight, 2023 seemed to be saying “there are a lot of very difficult situations around you, events you have no control over…what are you going to do?” That is the question that I bring with me into the Advent season. What can be done in the face of seemingly overwhelming challenges to the well-being of the world.
The answer that emerges like a sprout from deep within the soil of the past year is “small acts make a difference.” I may not be able to bridge the divisions in our country, but I can be helpful to the stranger I meet on the bus, I can be gracious to my neighbor when she is angry and feels unheard, and I can make time for someone who needs to talk. I may not be able to stop a war, but I can become educated about its causes so that I have a deeper appreciation of the humanity of both sides. I may not be able to prevent homelessness, but I can provide dinner to those in my community who are hungry.
These kinds of small acts are exactly what we do here at church. This Saturday from 9-3, we will be hosting a Fair Trade Sale where you can purchase items that will make a difference in the life of an artisan and her family. On December 12th you can invite a friend or neighbor to join us for a Christmas workshop. Bring someone who might otherwise be alone during the holiday season to enjoy an activity and holiday music. You can join in the annual Tamalada, where we make a feast of holiday food for Transition House families, attend the annual PW Christmas tea and bring a friend, or invite someone to the Longest Night or the Christmas eve service. This is a sign of what is to come in 2024—small acts that make a difference in our lives and in the lives of many whom we have not yet met.
Fair Trade Holiday Market this Saturday!
Come to Morgan Hall Saturday, December 2 from 9am to 3pm, to see and purchase beautiful, ethically sourced, sustainably handcrafted, and uniquely made gifts perfect for holiday giving.
Profits benefit the artisans. Please invite your friends. Your purchases will change lives!
Sunday, Dec. 3rd, 2023 2-4pm
PW Christmas Tea
Presbyterian Women’s Christmas Tea.
Sunday, December 3rd in Morgan Hall 2-4pm.
Sign Up begins November 5th.
Sign up to host a table or come as a guest!
The annual Thank Offering will be received at this time.
In Worship This Week
It is the first Sunday of Advent. This year we will follow the nativity story from Luke, starting with Zechariah and his vision. It is communion Sunday as well. For those worshiping at home, please join us in taking bread and juice or wine (anything will do).
Sermon: Rev. Jennifer L. Fraser, “We Acknowledge Our Weariness”
Scriptures: Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19 and Luke 1:1-23
Hymns: “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” “Come, Come Emmanuel,” “I Can Celebrate You,” “Comfort, Comfort Now My People.”
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
Honor or Memorialize a loved one by purchasing a Poinsettia in their name. The cost is $6 each and order forms are in the Bulletins. Orders accepted up until December 10th.
Saturday, December 9, 2023
December Book Club Gathering
Annual book exchange: Bring a wrapped gently-read book for others to pick.
Participants are encouraged to bring holiday nibbles to share.
We will reflect on the 11 titles we read this year and take suggestions for 2024 books.
Will take place in the Window Room at 10am on Saturday, December 9th!
Saturday, December 9
Please join us for our 2nd annual Tamalada! We will be making tamales for Transition House in the kitchen Saturday, December 9 at 1:00. All are encouraged to attend. No experience necessary! Light snacks, activities for children and festive spirit provided. Contact Melinda by text with questions. 805 708-8699
Calendar of Events
Happening This Week
11/30(Thurs) – Fit for Parkinson’s 2-3:00pm (MH); Membership Committee 3:00pm (LIB); Building & Grounds 7:00pm (LIB)
12/01 (Fri) -Llamada Final 6:30pm (MH)
12/02 (Sat) – Fair Trade Gift Sale 9-3:00pm (MH); Advent Decorating 10:00am; Llamada Final 6:30pm (MH)
12/03 (Sun) – Worship 9:30am (S); Coffee Hour 10:30am (MH); Adult Education 11:00am (WR); SB School of Music Concert 1:00pm (S); Christmas Tea 2-4:00pm (MH)
12/04 (Mon) – Running Stitches 9:30-12:30pm (WR); AA Grateful Group 8:00pm (YL)
12/05 (Tues) – Parkinson’s 1-2:30 pm (MH)
12/06 (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.
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 thrown out on January 1st.
Please make arrangements to come pick up any mugs that you don’t want thrown away…