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adult sunday school— 9:00am / children/youth sunday school—9:30am / fellowship—10:15am Worship Service—10:30am

The latest from San Gabriel Presbyterian Church & Pastor Bill

From the Pastor's Pen

by: Keith Howell

03/29/2019

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Dear Friends, grace and peace to you from God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you are enjoying these days that are hastening onward into Spring. Lent deepens and Easter approaches on Sunday, April 21.

As the Lord’s Day, Sunday March 31 approaches, a few notes of importance between us.

First, Adult Sunday School begins at 9:00 a.m. in Room #4. Topical Class and Bible Study Class will be combined. Dr. Andy Dearman will lead a two-week study on the city of Jerusalem in the ministry of Jesus and its importance to Holy Week and Easter observances.… read more

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Dear Friends, grace and peace to you from God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you are enjoying these days that are hastening onward into Spring. Lent deepens and Easter approaches on Sunday, April 21.

As the Lord’s Day, Sunday March 31 approaches, a few notes of importance between us.

First, Adult Sunday School begins at 9:00 a.m. in Room #4. Topical Class and Bible Study Class will be combined. Dr. Andy Dearman will lead a two-week study on the city of Jerusalem in the ministry of Jesus and its importance to Holy Week and Easter observances.

During Young Adult Sunday School this Sunday in Room #3 at 9:30 a.m., Toni Howell and I will be teaching our children and their parents about worship, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

Following worship this Sunday, March 31, I will lead a Presbyterian 101 Class in Room #4. All are welcome to attend! A lite lunch will be provided.

A few more notes of interest:

I wanted to thank all of you who attended the first San Gabriel Forum on Theology and Culture last Sunday, March 24, at 3:00 p.m. Dr. Emily Northrop gave a presentation on the science of global warming and its economic impacts. If the earth continues to warm, as it currently appears it might, our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be facing some climatic and economic challenges. It behooves us all to start taking seriously our theological and biblical mandate in the book of Genesis to “till it and keep it” – meaning the earth. (Genesis 2:15)

Also wanted to thank all of you who have contributed so very generously to our Lenten Mission Project for raising scholarship funds for the children of Congo. To date we have raised over $6300. A phenomenal response! We are not finished. The more we raise, the more children will have a chance to be raised out the poverty and violence in Congo and Sudan through education. The Lenten Mission Project runs through Sunday, April 14.

As we look ahead, please note that sittings for our Pictorial Directory are coming next week, Friday April 5 and Saturday April 6. If you want to have your picture taken, you must register for a sitting. You may do so at the display in the church’s Narthex as you enter the Sanctuary, or call the church office (512-868-0902), or email Linda in the church office at sgpcclerk@gmail.com.

Also looking ahead, please note the opportunity to participate in a region-wide gathering at First Baptist Georgetown for senior adults. The event is entitled “Vibrant Living! A Senior Empowerment Event.” It will convene at First Baptist Church on Monday, April 8, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event will feature keynote speakers on aging well and offer workshops and information booths on a host of services for older adults. Registration is available online at www.VibrantLivingGTX.org.

As April approaches, note that we will have a Church Work Day on Saturday, April 13, beginning at 8:00 a.m. The work will continue throughout the morning and early afternoon, so come when you can and take part. We need all hands on deck as we spruce up the grounds, building, and Sanctuary for Holy Week and Easter Sunday. You can see signups for jobs in the church’s Narthex.

For fun, we will have an All Church Picnic on Palm Sunday, April 14, at 4:00 p.m. at Weir Ranch. There will be an Easter Egg hunt for children and you are asked to bring your own picnic supper, beverages, blanket and/or lawn chairs. Dessert and water will be provided. Come out and enjoy the fellowship and fun!

Please take note of our Holy Week services schedule, for yourself, but also for others. Holy Week and Easter Sunday are great times to invite people to church! We will have a procession of the palms on Palm Sunday, April 14, during our 10:30 a.m. worship service. Maundy Thursday is April 18 and we will gather in the Sanctuary for a Maundy Thursday Service at 6:00 p.m. Our Good Friday Service will be April 19 at 12:00 noon in the Sanctuary. Please note this change from our usual evening services on Holy Week. Again, Good Friday, April 19, we will worship in the Sanctuary at 12:00 noon. On Easter Sunday, April 21, we will have two services. A Sunrise Service will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the church’s Columbarium on the east side of the property. We will gather again for worship on Easter Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Communion will be celebrated at both the Sunrise Service and the 10:30 a.m. Service.

Adult Christian Education Committee is introducing Brown Bag Tuesdays, beginning Tuesday, April 23, at 12:00 noon, here at the church in Room #4. Bring a sack lunch if you desire. Beverages will be provided. Dr. Andy Dearman will be teaching on four successive Tuesdays on Islam. Dr. Dearman holds a PhD in Old Testament and has extensive experience in Semitic languages and archeology in the Middle East. His presentations are entitled in order: 1. Muhammad, Mecca, and Medina, and the Birth of Islam; 2. The Quran and the Five Pillars (practices) of Islam; 3. Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Shariah, and the Expansion of Islamic Civilization; 4. Islam and the Modern Middle East. I hope you will place successive Tuesdays, April 23, 30, and May 7 and 14 on your calendar and come hear a gifted scholar and dynamic teacher on these vital topics impacting our world today.

Be safe. So good work! See you Sunday, if you are able.

Grace and Peace,

Bill

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From the Pastor's Pen

by: Keith Howell

03/22/2019

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Dear Friends,

It is good to be back among you after a week off. I trust you are well and in good spirit, despite whatever circumstances of life you are facing.

A few notes of interest among us.

First, let me say how proud I am of SGPC and its overwhelmingly generous support of the Lenten Mission Project funding education scholarships for the children of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have entered this project in cooperation with PCUSA missionaries SGPC has supported for many years, Christi and Jeff Boyd, who minister in Congo. Already, due to your… read more

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Dear Friends,

It is good to be back among you after a week off. I trust you are well and in good spirit, despite whatever circumstances of life you are facing.

A few notes of interest among us.

First, let me say how proud I am of SGPC and its overwhelmingly generous support of the Lenten Mission Project funding education scholarships for the children of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have entered this project in cooperation with PCUSA missionaries SGPC has supported for many years, Christi and Jeff Boyd, who minister in Congo. Already, due to your generosity, we have exceeded all expectations! The Lenten Mission Project will continue through Palm Sunday, April 14. If you have not already done so, please consider this worthy, vital cause, for the underserved children of God in Congo.

As March marches on, don’t forget to sign up for a sitting for the church’s Pictorial Directory. Those sittings are scheduled for Friday April 5 and Saturday April 6. Our last Pictorial Directory was in 2017. If you are satisfied with your picture from two year’s ago, then that is great. If you would like to retake your photo, then sign up. If you are new to the congregation, or missed the 2017 photos, PLEASE consider having your picture taken. We need everyone involved! A Pictorial Directory helps us know each other better and greatly improves communication and hospitality among us. Sign up sheets are available in the church’s Narthex or you may email or call the church office to register.

Also of interest to us is a older adult seminar coming Monday, April 8. The seminar is entitled “Vibrant Living: A Senior Empowerment Event.” It will be held at First Baptist Church Georgetown, Monday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Cost for registration is $6.00. Yes, only $6.00, which includes lunch! This seminar is meant to give information and knowledge that can empower older adults to live their best life. See registration material in our Narthex or you may go online to register at www.VibrantLivingGTX.org.

As the Lord’s Day, Sunday March 24, the Third Sunday in Lent approaches, I offer a few notes.

Adult Sunday School begins at 9:00 a.m. The Topical Studies Class meets in Room #4 and is looking at comparative religions. Phil Lacy will lead the class in examining Chinese Religions. The Bible Study Class meets in the Library at 9:00 a.m. Bev Holland is finishing her study of the book of Ruth. Looking ahead, next week, Sunday March 31, the Topical and Bible Study classes will be combined for the rest of Lent. On Sunday, March 31, Dr. Andy Dearman will lead a combined adult Sunday School class entitled: “Jerusalem in the Ministry of Jesus and as the Setting for the First Easter.” Dr. Dearman will teach again on Sunday, April 7, and then I will teach the combined classes on Sundays April 14 and 21.

Following worship this Sunday, March 24, I will begin a two-week Presbyterian 101 class in Room #4, beginning at 12:00 noon. A light lunch will be served. I will be exploring the history, beliefs, and organization of the Reformed tradition and the Presbyterian Church. All are welcome! There is no need to register. If you are new to the Presbyterian Church or a long-time member, you will find something of value in this study.

This Sunday, March 24, at 3:00 p.m., we will welcome to SGPC’s Sanctuary Dr. Emily Northrop, PhD., Professor of Economics at Southwestern University. Dr. Northrop’s specialty is the economic impact of climate change. She will review some of the incontrovertible scientific evidence for climate change, explore its current and projected economic impacts, and suggest ways in which we can mitigate those impacts on us, our children, and grandchildren, and future generations. Regardless of your political views and policy preferences in the face of global climate change, this Forum is not meant to be political. Whether natural warming of the earth in general, natural warming with human assistance, or human accelerated warming, climate change is a reality. We have a theological and ethical mandate as Christians to address global warming in a reasoned, reasonable fashion. I hope you will come and hear what Dr. Northrop has to say and be better informed on this vital issue affecting us all. Since this is a Forum, there will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

That is all for now. Be safe. Do good work. See you Sunday, if you are able.

Grace and Peace!

Bill

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From the Pastor's Pen...

by: Keith Howell

03/08/2019

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Dear Friends,

The season of Lent is here. We celebrated Ash Wednesday on March 6 with a worship service that was well attended. The season of Lent is moving us toward Easter on Sunday, April 21.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday morning, March 10. Remember to move your clocks FORWARD before going to bed on Saturday night.

I will be hear Sunday, but on vacation March 11 – 18. The Rev. Dr. Ken Peters, Honorably Retired from Mission Presbytery, will lead worship on Sunday, March 17. Ken is a deeply thoughtful and gentle person. I know… read more

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Dear Friends,

The season of Lent is here. We celebrated Ash Wednesday on March 6 with a worship service that was well attended. The season of Lent is moving us toward Easter on Sunday, April 21.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday morning, March 10. Remember to move your clocks FORWARD before going to bed on Saturday night.

I will be hear Sunday, but on vacation March 11 – 18. The Rev. Dr. Ken Peters, Honorably Retired from Mission Presbytery, will lead worship on Sunday, March 17. Ken is a deeply thoughtful and gentle person. I know you will appreciate his presence. Should you have any major pastoral concerns, do not hesitate to contact your deacon or the church office.

The session has approved a new initiative to help us better communicate and sign up for various vital, volunteer positions within the congregation. We are joining the 21st Century! Evelyn Fox has created an online app to assist in volunteer signups for communion servers, Sunday-morning greeters, Sunday-morning ushers, and worship liturgists. This new app will allow you to be more proactive in signing up for these vital positions, as well as streamline the legwork of church leaders who oversee these various ministries. To get started, go online to www.sgpcvolunteers.org and sign up in one of these areas. Read each screen carefully as directions for the app’s use are given there – as well as who to contact should you have questions or experience difficulties.

Our Adult Christian Education Committee is initiating a new event at SGPC. Entitled “SGPC Forums,” the forums will meet a few times throughout the calendar year at SGPC. The purpose of the forums is to experience the intersection of theology and culture, and to explore vital issues from a biblical perspective that are impacting our community, nation, and world. The first forum is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 24, 3:00 p.m., in the Sanctuary. We will welcome Dr. Emily Northrup, PhD., Professor of Economics at Southwestern University. Dr. Northrup will present on the economics of climate change, the ways in which you and I are impacted by climate change, and she will explore various options of how we might mitigate the impacts of climate change on our lives and the world. This presentation is not political! The earth is warming – that is an incontrovertible scientific fact, regardless of where you stand within the politics of climate change. Theologically, we are created to glorify God, till the earth for our sustenance, and “keep” the earth for its ongoing generative possibilities and for future generations (Genesis 2:15). I hope you will come and hear a gifted, reasoned, and gentle scholar as she leads us to reflect more deeply on the impacts of climate change.

As the Lord’s Day, Sunday March 10, approaches, some notes of interest between us:

Adult Sunday School begins at 9:00 a.m. (Remember Daylight Saving Time change! Spring Forward!) Ben Pierce will lead the Topical Class on “Comparative Religions: Judaism and Buddhism.” The Topical Class meets in Room #4. The Bible Study Class meets in the church’s Library. Bev Holland is leading a study of the Book of Ruth.

This is the first Sunday of Lent. One of the spiritual disciplines of the season of Lent is alms giving – giving financially to the poor. The session has approved a Lenten mission focus which will begin this Sunday. This mission project is entitled “Lenten Scholarship Program.” Its aim is to raise money for the education of destitute children in the Congo. Our PCUSA missionaries, Jeff and Christi Boyd, whom SGPC has supported for years, report that there is much need for educational support of children in their area. Public school is not free in Congo. Political unrest, family deaths, civil violence all combine to put children at serious risk in the Congo. Churches in the Congo, along with Jeff and Christi Boyd, have developed a scholarship program to get children off the street and into educational opportunities that can vastly improve their lives. George Hejtmanek, chair of our Mission Committee, will give a presentation during worship on this program and Lenten mission focus. I hope you will prayerfully consider supporting this vital mission as we reach out to the children of Congo for a better future.

As you plan forward, a Presbyterian 101 class will be offered on Sundays March 24 and 31, at 12:00 noon, in Room #4. A lite lunch will be served to participants. I will teach this class as we explore the historical and confessional roots of the Presbyterian Church and our Reformed tradition. All are welcome, especially those who may be new to the Presbyterian Church.

Be safe and well. Do good work! See you Sunday if you are able to attend.

Grace and Peace,

Bill

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