San Gabriel's Trumpet

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Sunday— 9:30 AM Sunday School, 10:15 AM fellowship, 10:30 AM Worship Service

The latest from San Gabriel Presbyterian Church & Pastor Bill

AUGUST 2018

by: Keith Howell

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BILL'S BLOG

Presbyterians are unique in that we ordain laypeople to the offices of elder and deacon. Other denominations have elders and deacons, but Presbyterians are unique in our approach to lay ministry. In the Book of Order of the PCUSA, elders and deacons answer the same Questions of ordination as do ministers. This is a stark reminder that the Presbyterian form of church government levels the playing field between clergy and laypeople. A minister differs only in function from an elder and deacon in our polity – not in ordained “status.” We are in fact ordained to the specific ministry… read more

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BILL'S BLOG

Presbyterians are unique in that we ordain laypeople to the offices of elder and deacon. Other denominations have elders and deacons, but Presbyterians are unique in our approach to lay ministry. In the Book of Order of the PCUSA, elders and deacons answer the same Questions of ordination as do ministers. This is a stark reminder that the Presbyterian form of church government levels the playing field between clergy and laypeople. A minister differs only in function from an elder and deacon in our polity – not in ordained “status.” We are in fact ordained to the specific ministry of deacon, elder, or minister as all work together – clergy and laypeople –in nurturing the church in the work of ministry.

Ordination has as its root word the concept of “order.” Ordination is the act in which the church “orders” to ministry those called to be deacons, elders, and ministers. In ordination, the church sets apart specific individuals for specific functions within the church. Ordained Elders function in ministries of oversight and government. Ordained Deacons function in ministries of compassion and service. Ordained Ministers function in ministries of preaching, teaching, and administering the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Those serving in the ordered ministries of the church are held to high standards of discipline and conscience and those in ordered ministry can be disciplined by the session and presbytery for not fulfilling their vows of ministry.

Presbyterians believe that all members of the church are called by God to participate in all aspects of the church’s life and work. As our ordination service reminds the church, “this is our common calling [in baptism], to be disciples and servants of our servant Lord.” The presence of ordained members serving as elders, deacons, and ministers, in no way diminishes the role of church members in participating in the church’s mission.

The presence of the ordered ministries of elder, deacon, and minister exist, according to the words of the ordination service, to ensure that Christ’s “ministry continues among us, providing for ministries of caring and compassion in the world, ordering the governance of the church, and preaching the Word and administering the sacraments.”

Get to know the new class of elders and deacons that has just recently been ordained and installed at SGPC.

Grace and Peace, Pastor Bill


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JULY 2018

by: Keith Howell

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bill's blog

Not much is said about missions at the time of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther and John Calvin were more focused on teaching protestant principals of faith, on translations of the Bible into modern European languages, and on developing a Protestant theology. It would be the first Great Awakening on American soil, roughly 1730 -1760, that would inspire any thought of mission work. The religious fervor and personal pietism that grew out of the first Great Awakening in colonial America would inspire men and women to go to the ends of the earth proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.… read more

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bill's blog

Not much is said about missions at the time of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther and John Calvin were more focused on teaching protestant principals of faith, on translations of the Bible into modern European languages, and on developing a Protestant theology. It would be the first Great Awakening on American soil, roughly 1730 -1760, that would inspire any thought of mission work. The religious fervor and personal pietism that grew out of the first Great Awakening in colonial America would inspire men and women to go to the ends of the earth proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. The space for this article is too short to trace all the roots and accomplishments of the Presbyterian mission movement. I grew up in the old southern Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) prior to reunion with the northern church to form the PCUSA in 1983. As a child growing up in the PCUS, I remember distinctly the focus on world missions in China and Korea. According to Michael Parker, in his brief history of American Protestant missions entitled The Year 2010: Two Anniversaries in the History of American Protestant Missions, the PCUS focused its mission efforts in Brazil, China, the Congo, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Today, one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the world is in Seoul, South Korea, with over 20,000 members! From the Congo and the Sudan, Presbyterian missionaries branched into Cameroon, establishing churches, schools, and hospitals. It is not unusual today to find Cameroonian immigrants to America still practicing their Presbyterian roots in Christianity. My two previous congregations both had members from Cameroon. Michael Parker writes: “Looking back at two hundred years of mission experience, Presbyterians can be proud of our record in mission. Presbyterian churches have been established in more than eighty countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. And over the years we have sent out thousands of highly effective missionaries. Most of them are unsung heroes of the faith. Some became famous, such as Horace and Lillas Underwood in Korea, Sam and Jane Higginbottom in India, William Sheppard and William Morrison in the Congo, John Leighton Stuart in China, and J. Kelly Giffin in Sudan.” (The Year 2010: Two Anniversaries in the History of American Protestant Missions, https://www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/brie... page 13) Our roots in John Calvin’s theology commit us to mission and service. Calvin taught that truth is in order to goodness; that is, embodying the truth of Jesus Christ must lead us inevitably to show forth goodness in this world. Missions locally, nationally, and internationally to underserved people and people in crisis, are ways Presbyterians today continue to show forth the truth of Jesus Christ in our hearts by the work of our goodness in Christ’s name. I am delighted to be pastor of a congregation that understands that the church in mission is not an option – it is an obligation of faith in the One who came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).

Grace and Peace, Pastor Bill

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June 2018

by: Keith Howell

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BILL’S BLOG

Georgetown is growing. I don’t need to tell you that. You see it in the number of residential and commercial housing developments taking shape. You feel it on the crowded roads and sense it in longer lines at restaurants, businesses, and government entities. Georgetown is one of the fastest growing suburban areas in the nation. Population in Georgetown almost doubled from the 2000 census to the 2010 census. Sun City is fueling some of that growth, with Del Webb projected to add as many as 2,400 new homes over the next few years. By 2050, James Gaines, chief economist… read more

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BILL’S BLOG

Georgetown is growing. I don’t need to tell you that. You see it in the number of residential and commercial housing developments taking shape. You feel it on the crowded roads and sense it in longer lines at restaurants, businesses, and government entities. Georgetown is one of the fastest growing suburban areas in the nation. Population in Georgetown almost doubled from the 2000 census to the 2010 census. Sun City is fueling some of that growth, with Del Webb projected to add as many as 2,400 new homes over the next few years. By 2050, James Gaines, chief economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, projects that Williamson County’s population will grow to 2 million people.

One of the fastest growing sections of Georgetown is the northwest corridor. This corridor encompasses the northwest stretches of Williams Drive, Ronald Reagan, Highway 195, and the expansion of Sun City. This is our neighborhood, our congregation’s parish. San Gabriel Presbyterian Church is strategically located in the middle of this rapid-growth corridor of Georgetown.

This reality presents an enormous opportunity for SGPC now, and for decades to come. San Gabriel is already considered a warm, hospitable, joyous body of Christ. The congregation is also known for its outreach in the community with money and the social capital of volunteers in local benevolent causes. Pound for pound, San Gabriel is one of the most generous and socially engaged congregations I have served. I am proud of the foundation laid by Jeanne Stanley and so many of you who were pioneers to get SGPC started and to make it a viable, engaging, and faithful body of Christ.

For today, and into the future, SGPC must continue to be what it is: a welcoming, nurturing body of Christ in the Reformed, Presbyterian tradition. As the community grows around us and people come from all over to call Georgetown home, we must continue to be a hospitable body of Christ that welcomes the stranger and turns them to family. We will continue to look for ways that our building and grounds can serve this community’s needs. We will keep searching for ways that we can be most effective and impactful with our mission dollars and the social capital of mission volunteers. We will continue to offer worship that is stimulating and engaging; educational opportunities that enlighten and broaden faith commitment; fellowship opportunities that bind us together as a joyous family of Christ.

The future of our community is one of growth and change – this is our opportunity. The future of SGPC will be one of growth and change as well – this is our joy. Our opportunity and joy will come together all for the sake of Jesus Christ and to the glory of God.

Click Here To View A Downloadable PDF Of June 2018'S SAN GABRIEL'S TRUMPET

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April 2018

by: Keith Howell

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Bill’s Blog

Holy Week has been a time of special reflection and celebration in the church since at least the fourth century of our common era. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are central to the church’s existence.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, the traditional entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to face the last week of his life. In recent years, the worship service for Palm Sunday has become a mixture of celebration and somber reflection. Such a tone captures the celebration of the crowds as Jesus entered Jerusalem, as well as the cries to “Crucify him!” by the end… read more

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Bill’s Blog

Holy Week has been a time of special reflection and celebration in the church since at least the fourth century of our common era. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are central to the church’s existence.

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, the traditional entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to face the last week of his life. In recent years, the worship service for Palm Sunday has become a mixture of celebration and somber reflection. Such a tone captures the celebration of the crowds as Jesus entered Jerusalem, as well as the cries to “Crucify him!” by the end of the week.

Maundy Thursday is the traditional evening when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, stooped to wash the disciples’ feet, and gave the disciples a new commandment that they love one another (John 13:34 -35). The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means commandment. On Good Friday the church reflects on the death of Jesus on the cross. Good Friday might have originally been called “God” Friday in recognition of the work of God in the death of Jesus.

Services for Holy Week: Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m.; Good Friday 7:00 p.m.; Easter Sunrise 7:30 a.m.; Easter Traditional 10:30 a.m.


Click here to view a downloadable PDF of April 2018's SAN GABRIEL'S TRUMPET

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