Newsletters

Sunday, November 29, 2020

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Dear St. Luke Community,

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and while our sanctuary continues to be empty, it is still decorated in anticipation of the coming of Christ.  We have hung our Advent banner, and the pulpit and communion table are adorned in greenery and blue.  And even though we will not be physically together in worship, we will be together in spirit.

Our Advent theme this year is While We're Waiting.  Advent is the season of expectation and preparation; a time of waiting for the life that is to be – the life God intends for the world.  And this year, it is probably more important than ever that we take time – to prepare, to reflect, to celebrate.

Also this Sunday we welcome Rev. Joanne Whitt to our pulpit as she guides us through Advent and the remainder of the year.  (See below for Joanne's bio.)

Please join us this Sunday as we begin the season of Advent, and light the candle of Hope.

See you Sunday,
Beth

Welcome rev. joanne whitt

Rev. Joanne Whitt has served churches in San Francisco and the East Bay, and in 2019 retired after nearly 15 years as the pastor/head of staff of First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo.  Currently she is a credentialed spiritual director practicing in Marin County and beyond, working with people of various faith traditions and spiritual philosophies.

Prior to entering seminary, Joanne was a trial lawyer for 15 years.  She has served on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco Theological Seminary and as the Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Pacific.  Currently she serves on the Zephyr Point Board and as co-chair of the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of the Redwoods

Posted by Beth Potillo-Miller with

Sunday, November 22, 2020

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Dear St. Luke Community,

One of my favorite things each week is sitting down to write this weekly email to all of you. It’s not lost on me that this is my last. And Sunday will be my last Sunday as your pastor. I plan on spending the sermon expressing deep thanks for all of you, your gifts, your wisdom, laughter and inspiration. For the past five plus years you’ve been an extended family and welcomed me into your lives; both your challenges and celebrations.

And Sunday after Sunday we came together to worship God: to celebrate, cry, pray, praise, lament, sing and laugh. If I keep writing, I will end up writing the entire sermon on this page, and because I’d rather say it than have you read it, I suppose I’ll stop now.

Our scripture reading will come from The Book of Ephesians which was written to “God’s holy people in Ephesus” (Ephesians 1:1, NIV). New Testament scholar N.T. Wright states that “it offers a breathtaking view of the entire landscape.” It doesn’t correct any behavior or instruct, but celebrates the goodness of the people which makes it perfect for this last Sunday together. If I do nothing else, I will be praising God for the goodness of all of you – the good people of St. Luke Presbyterian who were good and generous before I got there and will continue to be so long after. 

This is something to be deeply grateful for. So with Thanksgiving upon us, let us, together, give thanks to God for every gift of our lives and life itself.

All thanks be to God.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday, November 15, 2020

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Dear St. Luke Community,

Someone once asked me how I saw myself as a minister. For example, did I see myself as shepherd? Dave Slorpe once described it more like being a border collie. That rings true as I’m always looking to see who we haven’t seen in a while and searching ways to bring them back into the fold. But lately I’ve felt more like a mother who is about to send their first born off to college. Part of me wants to hold on forever and the other knows the healthy thing to do is trust.

Trust has been coming up a lot lately, in both discussions and sermons. It seems in times of crisis, the fundamentals of our faith become essential and the quality of what once sounded like a platitude now feels deeply meaningful. Trust is one of those fundamentals. Trust requires a kind of risk, because there is a letting go of control required. The truth is, we’re never fully in control, but we love to convince ourselves we can manipulate our future through the choices we make, as though our lives were some kind of chess board. It’s not. And the future of the church is not. God is in the mix, and it always feels risky to let go and let God. 

Jesus illustrates this for us in his Parable of the Talents for this Sunday (Matthew 25: 14-39). One of the servants chooses to bury his talent.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, to bury is to put or hide under ground, cause to disappear or become inconspicuous.

What leads us to disappear; playing it safe rather than investing in God’s ability to drive this life? Fear certainly plays a part, as does our ego, which would always prefer to be in the driver’s seat. I look forward to exploring this more on Sunday.

Also this Sunday, we will watch the baptism of Will and Ben White that took place on the lawn outside the sanctuary Thursday morning. But that baptism is not fully complete until you all have your congregational response and we share in our oldest creed as a congregation. I look forward to sharing in that joy together.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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