APRIL 18th ORDER OF WORSHIP
†Congregation Standing, as able
MUSIC (starts at 10:45 Videos)
PRELUDE “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” J.S. Bach
†INTROIT “Creation Song”
Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord! Let everything that has breath,
shout and sing. For God created the heavens and earth by speaking only a word,
Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!
†CALL TO WORSHIP:
Leader: Lord, be glorified through the lives of Your people.
People: You have called us to ministries of love.
You have called us to servant leadership.
We answer the call as Your children.
Unison: Let us worship God.
†HYMN OF PRAISE #365 “Alleluia! Alleluia!”
Hearts to heav'n and voices raise;
Sing to God a hymn of gladness, Sing to God a hymn of praise.
He who on the cross as Savior For the world’s salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, Now is risen from the dead.
Now the iron bars are broken, Christ from death to life is born;
Glorious life, and life immortal, On this resurrection morn.
Christ has triumphed, and we conquer By His mighty enterprise;
We with Him to life eternal By His resurrection rise.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (First in Silence, then in Unison):
Lord, your mercies endure forever. Your grace knows no boundaries. And yet, we fall short of the example you set before us in Christ. We do not always serve in confidence, trusting that we have a calling from on high. Forgive Your people and renew a right spirit within us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
THE CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE “Lamb of God”
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world. Grant us peace; grant us peace.
ASSURANCE OF GOD'S FAITHFULNESS
The assurance of God’s grace is declared in the name of Jesus Christ. We accept God’s forgiveness, confident that in dying to sin, Christ raises us to new life. Hear the good news! Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun. Believe the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ you are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
†GLORIA PATRI "Glory Be to the Father”
Glory Be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
ANTHEM “Jesus Lives, Alleluia!” arr. Lloyd Larson
Christ is Risen! Sing your alleluias!
Heav’n and earth, resound with alleluias! Jesus lives, alleluia!
Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all Ye heav’nly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!
Christ is Risen! Sing your alleluias!
Heav’n and earth, resound with alleluias! Jesus lives, alleluia!
SERMON SCRIPTURE READING 2 Timothy 2:1-7
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
SERMON “Find Your Fit (Part II)” Dr. Bryan Stamper
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER
Lord hear our prayer, hear our prayer have mercy on us. Lord hear our prayer, hear our prayer have mercy on us.
THE CHARGE AND THE BENEDICTION
†THE CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE “Go Now in Peace”
Go now in peace, never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of ev’ry day. Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do. Go now in love and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can see. God will be there watching from above. Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.
POSTLUDE “Hymn to Joy” Ludwig van Beethoven
SPPC would like to thank Matt Goodson for being our guest organist this Sunday!
“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
– Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize 1986
San Pedro is joining with believers around our city to raise awareness about the silent suffering of children through child abuse. While the subject is awkward and difficult to discuss, we nevertheless respond to Christ’s call to pray for “the least of these” among us.
Cardboard Kids are two-foot-tall cardboard figures that represent the thousands of children who are abused and neglected at the hands of adults in our community each year. The movement began with 5,800 cardboard cut-outs in 2014 to over 120,000 pieces that are displayed throughout our community schools, businesses, organizations, homes, and community locations.
We will begin distribution in April, they will be decorated and placed all over San Pedro PC on “Reveal Day,” Sunday, April 25, 2021. Our participation raises awareness of the problem of child abuse and invites God’s hope through our prayers to those who suffer. Let us all be a champion for those who have spoken up as well as for those who need a voice.
Diane Redin, Deacon of Missions
- Last Day to pick up a cardboard cut-out is Sunday, 4/18/21
On April 14th members of our choir gathered for the fist time in over a year! Socially distanced, they began working on music for worship.
We can't wait until these folks can once again raise their voices in song to the glory of God!
Reopening Week 1. Am I Moving Forward or Backward
Zoom Access: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85848163251
Meeting ID: 858 4816 3251
Reopening Christianity Trailer:
Reopening Week 1. Am I Moving Forward or Backward
We know that having squirmy kids in the sanctuary can be a handful for parent. While we love having kids in the sanctuary, we understand the struggle to keep a kid quiet and engaged. The lack of nursery and childrens’ church can be a deterrent for families with young kids. Please know that the Pastors and Session are discussing the best strategies for bringing this valuable resource back.
Before the pandemic kids we offered cloth bags with various activities for children. While these bags are still unavailable, we want to provide kids with a coloring that they can use during the service. These kits contain coloring pages and crayons for the child to keep. They will be available in the narthex, just ask an usher for a coloring kit when you check in.
I know that our adults are excited and would love to spend the service coloring fun pictures, but we ask that these kits be only kids. You’ll have to bring your own supplies.
Many of you know that I am passionate about small groups. I think that everyone should be in a group because group life is where we take Christian learning and apply it to our real-life experiences. Small groups cultivate community that keeps us connected to God and each other. In small groups we grow in faith and friendship, together.
Being a part of a small group is important, but even more essential is having wonderful small group leaders. A small group leader is not the person with the biggest Bible, but the biggest heart. They are not spiritual scholars but facilitators of conversations. A small group leader’s primary responsibility is not to ensure that the group completes the lesson, but to create a welcoming environment where community is built.
This Spring we are going through a small group series called The Good Life. While I think this series will be great, what I really love are the four amazing small group leaders. Four women from San Pedro are leading two of our small group leaders. Shelly Buschfort and Bobbie Kelner are leading our Monday Night Group. Jann Rouille and Gina Williamson are leading our Tuesday Afternoon Group. Perhaps you have received an e-mail, postcard, or phone call from one of them. They would love to have you be a part of their group. They are working to create a caring environment where you can grow in your faith and strengthen friendships with others from our church.
Small group are important, but small group leaders are essential. Next time you see Shelly, Bobbie, Jann, or Gina, thank them for their willingness to serve God and others. These women are amazing, and you are too. I hope you will consider being a small group leader in the future.
One of the questions I keep getting asked is, "Will there be a 2021 Mission Trip?"
Now, I love mission trips and was in the midst of planning our 2020 trip to New Orleans when the pandemic hit. I was excited for our chance to serve in that community because I have never been to New Orleans, except their Greyhound station, which in another story. I would love to say that we are are without a shadow of a doubt having a 2021 Mission Trip, but there are many factors that must be considered.
Because many places are slowly opening up and capacities are questionable, it is difficult to know what is available. Also, I typcially start planning the mission trip in the fall and kick into high gear in the winter. Because of the uncertainty of the pandemic I am way behind the ball on planning one. That does not mean it is not possible, but it may not be as elaborate or intense as previous years. Plus, we still need to take into consideration issues surrounding COVID and the precautions we need to keep ourselves and those we serve safe.
As I look toward this summer I am considering various options about our mission trip, but I could really use people's input. I have created a simple survey to help me know what families think, so that I can plan the best possible experience for all involved.
Please take a few minutes and complete our 2021 Mission Trip Survey.
It has been almost nine years since I started here at San Pedro. I remember hosting myt first Riser Sunday here and only recognizing some of our high school grads and none of our college grads. It is exciting being here so long that I have the pleasure of knowing both of these groups, high school and college grads. I even know our rising elementary students and am excited to welcome them into youth program.
This year's college graduates were about to enter their 8th grade year back in 2012 and now they are setting their sights on this great big exciting world. Our high school graduates were still in elementary school and now they are about to open up the next chapter of their lives. It has been such a joy watching both of these groups grow into men and women of God. I am blessed to know that God has used me, in some part, in these students' lives and I am excited to see how God will use them in the years to come.
I am working with our High school graduates to help share their story with the congregation. It is always a beautiful thing to hear how God works through our faith family to nurture students in the faith. I hope you will join us on Riser Sunday as we hear these powerful testimonies. I want to take a moment to thank all of our youth leaders, past and present, for how they have poured their heart, time, and energy into our students. You are a vital role in souls of this rising generation.
As we start planning our 2021 Riser Sunday, one of the thing we look for is a list of people from our congregation who have graduated from college. If you know someone from our faith family that is graduating from college or acquiring a post-graduate degree, please let me know. Send their name, Institution, degree, a way to contact them (email or phone) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riser Sunday will be on May 23. It is also Pentecost Sunday so we are encouraging everyone to wear red!
Are you happy? Are you content with your life or are you always desiring something more? As a Christian, we know that God calls us to be people who are filled with joy, but often our reality feels anything but joyful. Life can be difficult, but there must be a way for us to experience happiness beyond our circumstances.
The Good Life is a book by Pastor Derwin Gray, in which he outlines how to experience true, godly happiness. One might think that Derwin Gray was living the dream, he grew up on the west side of San Antonio looking for an escape from poverty. He turned to football and made it all the way to the NFL. Yet, even with all his success, there was something missing. He writes, “Trying to find lasting happiness is like chasing your shadow; what starts as childish fun erodes into adult frustration, failure, and disappointment.” Eventually discovers that happiness does not come from worldly achievements, but from Jesus Christ. “Jesus of Nazareth was the happiest person who ever lives. He is the ultimate portrait of the good life. He is the prototype of what humanity was meant to be.” By following the example of Jesus, we discover a happiness, a joy, a blessedness that the world can never offer.
So how do we discover this happiness? Derwin Gray suggests that we follow Jesus’ Happiness Manifesto, the Beatitudes, bullet points of blessedness that start the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12). Maybe you’ve heard them before, “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who morn… Blessed are the humble…” In true Jesus fashion, he flips our understanding of what happiness is upside down.
This April we will have three adult small groups based on The Good Life, an eight-week series with video and discussion.
- Monday Nights at with Shelly Buschfort & Bobbie Kelner on Zoom.
- Tuesday Afternoon with Jann Rouille and Gina Williamson on Zoom.
- Tuesday Night with Dave Reiss at the church (Fireside Room)
If you are interested in being in a small group, please let me, Dave Reiss, know at email@example.com
When I first arrived at San Pedro Presbyterian, almost 12 years ago, one of the first people I met was Ed Olson. At the time, I think he was our Worship Deacon. There is a reason I'm not 100% sure.
Over the years I have witnessed Ed serving on multiple committees, serving on the Session, running the soundboard, repairs on our computers, working to compile our Congregational Report, working alongside our treasurer and Finance Committee . . . the list goes on.
Several years ago, I spoke with Ed about the possibility of improving our internet and online capabilities. Ed jumped in with both feet. He looked into setting up more wireless connectivity throughout our campus and made it happen.
When we began broadcasting online last year, it became clear that we needed a better internet connection. In the midst of the pandemic, Ed again stepped up and got a high-speed, dedicated fiber optic line for our church.
When you join us for worship online, when you see videos in the Narthex, when you get online at the church, you have Ed Olson to thank.
Ed has found so many ways to minister to God's people using his various gifts and talents. When you see Ed again, offer him thanks for all he's done, and continues to do for God's church.
April 6th COVID UPDATE
Our COVID Task Force approved an increase to 50% for sanctuary in-person worship. We maintain the following requirements for best health and safety practices.
- Wear a mask at all times on campus
- RSVP for in-person worship every week
- Arrive 20 to 30 minutes early for in-person worship to avoid congestion in our buildings
- Contact Mabrie Casbeer to RSVP a room for any group gatherings and to confirm the latest safety protocols for on-campus meetings - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have had full capacity crowds for our latest in-person worship, so get your RSVP in early for in person worship. Links are found within each event on our EVENTS PAGE
submitted by the San Pedro Safety Task Force members
As we begin our new sermon series, Find Your Fit, I was reminded of one of our members, Tom Workman. Tom serves as Finance Deacon. He keeps an eye on our finances working with Mabrie and all of our deacons.
But there's more!
In addition Tom serves as the unofficial/official photographer of San Pedro Presbyterian Church.
Over the last year I have shared hundreds of photos with the people of San Pedro before online worship. People have asked where this photos come from. They come from Tom Workman's camera. Tom has done great work putting a photographic history of San Pedro over the last 10 years.
Tom has discovered a way to minister to God's people using his gifts and talents in numerous ways. So, the next time you see Tom, offer him a word of thanks for all he does for San Pedro.
The Easter Bunny showed up again this year at our Easter Egg Hunt! Member Becky Hooper has been a regular participant since the Easter Egg Hunt started several years ago. From Becky's Facebook page:
"I had the best time at the San Pedro Presbyterian Church egg hunt today! This outfit has served me well since I had it made in Itaewon, South Korea in 1982! The mask is new this year..."
Thanks for being there for our families and kids Becky!
It was great to have folks from every generation join us for worship on Easter Sunday. Family is folks of all ages. Children, Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren, Parents, Grandparents . . . that's what family is.
As we return to in person events, let us be mindful of making space for new family members. Somebody may be sitting in your seat when you show up, be gracious and kind and mindful of what it is like to look for a new church home. They want to be family, too. Hospitality takes all of us, of every generation, to make folks feel like they've come home.
We're in a unique time in history. People are thinking about routines again, and that includes looking for a church. We've had several new guests and folks tell us they're ready to join our church. Let's do our part to make everybody, of every age, feel welcome - even if they're sitting in your seat.
Special thanks to these great San Pedro Presbyterian Church members. We cleaned the courtyard and entrance to sanctuary in anticipation to a wonderful Easter Sunday service.
Thank you everyone who donated shoes to the Soles 4 Souls Shoe Drive benefiting CAM. Through your generosity, SPPC was able to deliver a truckload of shoes to help the San Antonio homeless population.
The evening before this year’s Palm Sunday service I woke in the night. To pass the time till sleep came to me again, I opened up my Facebook feed. Right at the top I found several comments from orchestra members who were playing Palm Sunday with us this year. I was so moved and touched by their comments that I wanted to share some of them with the congregation. They wrote:
“Always happy to play this gig :)”
“The highlight of my weekend was getting to play with friends at San Pedro Presbyterian. I’m blessed to have played my 17th Palm Sunday service with them today. May we enjoy many more years of making music together.”
“At least that many for me…love this place.”
“I believe it’s 22 years I have been playing at this wonderful church.”
“I think it’s 15 years for me.”
“Yes! This is always a joy!”
I wanted our San Pedro Presbyterian members to know how these prayer services affect the musicians. There is a significant spiritual outreach here to them as well as to the congregation. They have often brought their families in the past. Thank you for supporting such an impactful ministry and please continue to hold our musician guests in your prayer. They notice your kindness when they meet you on these Sundays. “They know we are Christians by our love.”
Have you ever wondered what the sanctuary looks like from the top? I have.
We had some electricians come by the church today to change out the lights over the chancel. In order to get up that high, they brought in a 40' lift. I asked if I could take it all the way up to get a picture.
They said no.
I asked if they would take a picture for me, and they took this shot.
So, that's the view from above!
Founded in 1903, PCHAS provides Christ-centered care for children and families in need. The agency has two core goals of (1) permanent homes for children and (2) self-sufficiency for their families. The San Antonio programs include Transitional Living for young adults aging out of foster care; Single Parent Family provides housing and services to give struggling single parents a chance to raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment where they can all succeed; and Child & Family to stabilize families in crisis.
The San Antonio campus expansion which began in 2020 is finalizing the first homes to be occupied soon. The caring congregation of San Pedro Presbyterian Church has helped to secure many home essentials for the new units which will be occupied by families and young adults in the near future. To learn more, feel free to visit pchas.org.
Suppose you get a small, quiet, inspiration. Some whispering voice or insight tickles the back of your mind, a tiny light bulb goes on or a spiderweb thread connects two ideas. Maybe a question trips up the otherwise smooth flow of your ideas, and you think to your self there might be a spiritual idea there that you could explore to your benefit.
If you are like me, what might happen is you think, “I should dig into that someday” and that is pretty much the end of it. The followup gets procrastinated into oblivion.
But, suppose instead, there were a schedule! You considered the inspiration just enough to subdivide your exploration of it into a handful of themes, and decided to look at one theme per week. Then each week, you pick up that theme, hunt through the Bible or research in other sources to get more insight on that theme, and put together a few central points on that theme. Even better, you then get to present the few central points, and a whole panel of thoughtful, attentive people give you their feedback, share their ideas, connect and weave the theme into their experience of the world, and amplify it.
How rewarding that is! I say so with complete confidence, having been privileged to lead a few classes at San Pedro. Most recently, the Les Miserables class this winter was a truly wonderful experience. There was the weekly panic, “do I have enough to make it worth-while for people to attend”, then the digging into the source material (Victor Hugo’s monumental novel, in this case), the research to find connections throughout the Bible and references in later works, finding alternate interpretations relevant to my themes (turns out, there’s a pretty good musical in this case…) and finally, getting to sit down and bounce my ideas back and forth with interested, engaged people from the San Pedro family. Afterwards, each week, there’s sitting back and digesting their suggestions and just feeling warm and happy for days (until next week’s panic).
Christianity is all about relationships. Shared exploration of inspirations turns out to be a great way to build and strengthen relationships. Leading a class discussion is a fantastic experience, and I commend that experience to every one of you.
The next time a little, quiet voice tickles the back of your mind, be aware what it’s inviting you to - you will get a lot out of it if you accept the invitation. Note it down, drop an email to me or Dave, and get a schedule. The rest will exceed your expectations.
We are excited to have the handbells rehearsing again. Kat has been working hard to arrange pieces for four ringers for both our Maundy Thursday service and our Easter service. These ringers are practicing in Reynolds hall wearing their masks and socially distancing. Good job ringers!
Habitat for Humanity has built over 1,000 new homes in our area. Habitat families invest hundreds of "sweat equity" hours working alongside volunteers to help build their homes. San Pedro PC is joining up with other Presbyterian churches in 2021 to sponsor and help build our 26th Habitat home. The build began on Saturday, January 30, 2021 and continues every Saturday through March 30, 2021. Our church provided lunch to the build volunteers on February 6th.
Special thanks to Leslie Anderson who made the lunches, and Cindy Mapes and Gene Trevino who delivered the lunches to the build site!!
It was great to have our students back for in-person youth group. It has been since December when we were last together. It was great to see their smiling eyes (since we were all wearing masks) and catch up on their lives. I anticipate that our youth will thrive as they begin to reconnect with each other in person. Virtual youth programs have been difficult, especially with all the time students must spend on screens for school these days. I am looking forward to being back with our students on a regular basis.
Since we are back together, we have returned to watching and discussing The Chosen, a TV series based on the ministry of Christ. This week’s episode was about the wedding in Cana. Twice during the episode, the question was asked, “If not now, when?” We asked this question of our students. Jesus invited people to follow him, and he invites us too. We can always create a list of excuses why we can’t follow him. It’s too scary. It’s too risky. I’m too busy. I’m too young. I don’t know enough. Jesus did not call his disciples to follow him when they balanced their calendars and gained a lot of knowledge. He calls them, and us, to follow him now. So, the question is, if not now, when?
I want to invite all our youth, students in 6th-12th grade, to join us on Wednesday nights from 6:30 -8pm in our main youth room. We are taking the necessary precautions to keep our students safe, while helping them know, grow, and show the love of Christ. If you have any question, feel free to email; email@example.com.
What a joy!
A week ago I was privileged to be one of 8 Bell Choir members that met in two separate groups for rehearsal. Kat had arranged two quartets, one to play for the Maundy Thursday, and one to play for Easter Sunday. Her arrangements allowed ringers to be socially distanced and independent (full bell choir pieces often require sharing bells). This was the first time many of us had rung a bell in over a year. Even with masks, seeing friends’ faces in person was such a boost. I am so looking forward to the time when we can resume rehearsals for the entire choir. Thank you, Kat!
As we begin to see the real possibility of returning to a time that our lives together feel more normal, lots of folks are working hard to be sure we are ready. As I came out of the church today, I ran into Susie Guerrero and Jonette Simpson with an armful of choir robes. They are just a part of a group of folks who are working to get the robes for our choir cleaned and ready for use. In addition to Susie and Jonette, Rachael Trevino, Charlotte Noll, Nancy Lowry, Charlotte Randolph, and Bobbie Kelner have been working on this project.
It's easy to forget all of the pieces that have to come together for worship, and for a healthy church to function. At first glance, these small tasks can seem inconsequential. But the reality is that these tasks are vital. Ecclesiastes 9:10 reminds us, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . ."
Never let yourself think that your contribution to God's kingdom is small, regardless of what it is. It's important. It's significant. So, do it with your might for the glory of the Lord.
The cross wall is back up! Last year all the crosses were removed as part of the renovation of the Narthex. The Mission closet was created, the walls were painted, blemishes of the years removed, and a new canvas was created to revitalize our “Crossroads.” Covid 19 surprised all of us. In early March 2020, we were scheduled to hang the crosses. The many crosses that represent our congregation were stored in boxes, very much like our membership sheltering in our homes, ready for rebirth.
This week of March 1-4, 2021, it has been our honor to once again “raise our crosses!” We have revisited the diversity of the church in the individual with hanging the crosses. We have reread the stories of the crosses, and relived your Christian journeys. With the enormity of the task, we have had many “God moments” where crosses that didn’t seem to fit found their natural place and became a continuous sculpture of church life. We have found a few crosses that are in need of repair. There are crosses that have been repurposed to other places in the church. You can see one of them on the mantle in the Fireside Room. Some will be in Sunday School classes. Framed cross art may turn up in the parlor. If your favorite is not on the wall, please ask us about it. We have tried to respect everyone’s place in the church.
Our “Crossroads” is finished, but the journey of the cross at SPPC has not ended. If you have not yet contributed a cross for your family, we are continuing the tradition. We ask you to prayerfully consider a cross that represents your journey. Due to future space restrictions, we would like to request the crosses be no longer than 8 inches and have an anchor suitable for safe hanging on the wall. If in doubt, ask us about the size. We have plans to create other small cross sculptures throughout the church. The crosses donated may not be immediately displayed until we have the needed amount.
You have touched our lives in many ways this week. See you in church soon.
Diana Grippi Marilyn Juarez
Deacons are the "hands and feet of Christ," serving in ministries of compassion and complementary roles to the elders. At San Pedro Presbyterians the deacons are organized into organizational committees that cover a broad variety of service. Each deacon, as with elders, commits to a three year term. So with each calendar year, four deacons are rolling off their active service to make room for four new deacons to roll into active service.
Current Deacons and their ministry leadership positions
- Doug Boom (chair)
- Mark Tapley (adult education)
- Brown King (children)
- Rose Solis (fellowship)
- Bob Gibson (financial development)
- Tom Workman (financial management)
- Marcia Blankenhorn (member care)
- Diane Redin (missions)
- Lori Hockley (marketing and outreach)
- Harvey Juarez (property)
- Geoff Morgan (worship)
- Cindy Mapes (youth)
Habitat, like most non-profits, has had to change the way they do their ministry and fulfill their mission. They have fewer volunteers because of COVID restrictions, which means San Pedro has fewer slots for our faithful servants to work into with this build. Nevertheless, we continue to provide meals for workers when needed - and hammers, hands and hearts of compassion when we can.
We currently support Habitat with around $6000 per year for local area builds. Each home goes to a new owner who has worked with Habitat to ensure they have the support they need to care for their new home.
"Hey Pastor Bryan, what exactly do you do?”
Pastors often receive some form of the following inquiry, "What exactly do you do all day?" When entering seminary for the ordination process, new candidates are dispelled of the notion of a pastor hunkered over a Bible, hands clasped fervently in prayer while pondering the divine mysteries of the universe. However, each pastor is challenged to discern must his or her particular priorities and spiritual fit within the larger purposes of the church.
I've conveniently focused my calling into three "P's", (Preaching, Pastoral Care, and Priorities). Preaching planning involves working with the worship staff to ensure a healthy balance of scriptures from both the Old and New Testament are covered throughout each calendar year. My second priority at San Pedro is Pastoral Care, and my third commitment is to the constant refinement of the Priorities of the Church. Note that Pastoral Care is a change from my previous call that emphasized People management in lieu of pastoral care. Care is one aspect of ministry that energize me in coming to San Pedro - returning to pastoral care ministries as a priority of my calling to serve the Body of Christ.
So as you read this, I ask you to pray for a vision for how our faith family might prioritize pastoral care for one another. The Elders and staff will work through other priorities, business and strategic planning. But for now, my privilege is to get to know the saints who are currently serving in areas of care, to understand how pastoral care is done here, and how together we can work to ensure every member is cared for in times of need. It's an honor to focus on that aspect of life together, and your prayers are appreciated.
The above photo of Pastor Paul playing the guitar was taken by San Pedro member Tom Workman. It serves as a visual reminder of the powerful truth conveyed by the Apostle Paul. We are called to serve the Lord, and there are many ways to serve.
"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues." 1 Corinthians 12:27-28
We find no references in Scripture to the notion of "retirement" from service unto the Lord. What God calls each of us to do may change, but commitment to stewarding our resources of time, talents, and treasures continues throughout our lifetime. The challenge for our faith family is to make space for Holy Spirit to reveal each of our callings in Christ. Every church of every size has a divine purpose from God, and we clarify how each of us plays a part in what we read as the "body of Christ."
So how will we do this? As we celebrate how our church organically affirms the talents of others (like Tom's pictures and Pastor Paul's preaching and musicianship), let us consider the intentional ways we might nurture the calling of others. Who are the teachers, helpers, care givers and leaders of the future? Let us commit to the journey of discovering the talents and treasures God has put within each of our members of every age.
Presbyterian governance (the fancy term is “polity”) consists of a group of elected women and men who rule/govern the local church. Every neighborhood church is shepherded by a group of elected Elders called the Session (often referred to as a “church board” in other denominations). At San Pedro, we have six elders who serve three year terms. This means every year a class of two elders is rolling off the Session while two new Elders roll onto the Session.
Elders have authority over almost every aspect of our church life together, including how our church is organized (committees, ministries, missions), and how our church is managed by staff. However, much of the management of the church is delegated to our pastors and staff because it would be impossible for Elders (who are volunteers) to keep up with the ongoing operations from day to day. At each Session meeting staff and committees provide information to the Session as monthly updates.
Pastors have exclusive authority over what is preached and only ordained pastors can baptize and officiate at the Lord’s Supper, but otherwise elders and deacons have a significant influence over our church health. Our polity is designed to be a system of checks and balances between pastors, officers (Deacons and Elders), and our local presbytery (Mission Presbytery) to ensure accountability and authority is rightly balanced.
Every church has leeway in determining details about the number of officers, committee structures, and details within daily operations according to church by-laws. Who Presbyterian churches elect as officers is extremely important.
Current Elders at San Pedro:
Class of 2021 Libby Fleming, Eric Mapes
Class of 2022 Shelly Buschfort, Ed Olson
Class of 2023 Patrick Maio, Jonette Simpson
Who's ready for lunch? San Pedro Mission's team delivered 45 sack lunches to SAMMinistries in February. Our prayer: "God use these meals to nourish and bring hope. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Let us remember, with gratitude, the privileges and blessings bestowed upon us as a church family. And in light of the grace gifted to us, let us also answer the call to serve those in need in our San Antonio community. During COVID many people have shown up to food banks and area non-profits in record numbers, hungry and scared and in need of assistance.
When you give to San Pedro Presbyterian you make it possible for our Missions Team and volunteers to deliver desperately needed items to our immediate neighborhood and community. We give thanks for those who serve, and for those who give generously to our San Pedro missions and ministries.