March Window - First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica



March Window - First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
Event Newsletter | March 2015
Event Newsletter | March 2016
you’ve got this moment.
the only way is up.
Not just another holiday for chicks.
1008 11TH STREET
10:00 A.M.
Pastor’s Pen
Dr. Bill Wood
Easter. The decisive event in the history of the world. Yes, the decisive event in the history of the
world. Even that is an understatement.
There is simply no putting into words the magnitude of the significance of Easter. New life. New
hope. The greatest of God’s good gifts. Renewal. The stuff of life. It is beyond language, beyond our
ability to tell. It is also beyond our ability to comprehend.
Most of the things of God, spiritual things, things of Christian faith and life, simply can’t be
comprehended. Like the expansiveness of God’s grace. Or the power of the Creator God who made
a beautiful cosmos and kindly gave us a place in it. Or the love of a God who keeps on loving
without fail.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t understand anything about these things. In fact, we can understand
something about these things. We get bits and pieces. We get what God gives us to know. We get
something of what God has chosen to reveal to us. We get enough.
That’s the way it is with the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It is something that is simply bigger
than our power to comprehend, bigger than what we’ll ever fully get our minds around.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. There are many things that are beyond our powers of
comprehension but are profoundly real. Like the love of a spouse or parent or child or friend. The
beauty of a crashing wave or a setting sun or a snow-covered mountain peak.
The love of God in Jesus Christ is one of these things. It is something we do know something about
because of the testimony of scripture, described there in inadequate human words, told in stories
about real people, described by people who witnessed it first hand, revealed up close and personal
in the real Jesus of history.
God raised Jesus from the dead.
It may not be something we’ll ever comprehend. But we can accept it, rejoice in it, and be glad for
it. It is a gift given by God to his only Son. A gift offered to all who simply take him at his word,
accept his truth, receive that truth with gratitude and joy, and then decide to live that truth each
May this Easter be for you a time of reveling in the joyful mystery, accepting it, understanding it in
ways you can, trusting the truth of the one who offers it, and then living in the new life and hope
that it brings.
Grace and peace,
Have a Heart for the Homeless
In February our church once again participated in “Have a Heart for the Homeless.”
What I love about this event is that the whole church participates in it. Our children
made Valentines Cards for the homeless. Our whole congregation made cookies and
stuffed them in gift bags. Our teens came with us to the shelter at The Armory to
help deliver them. In this small act of love, our whole faith community chipped in.
This event is a small gesture. It is by no means meant to be a poverty-eradicating
silver bullet. But for just a moment on Valentine’s Day we got to show some people
who are often overlooked that they are valued. We helped them see that God likes to
interject moments of grace even in the hardest of times.
David Derus
Director of Discipleship
Children’s, Youth
F a m i l y M i n i s t r y March 2016
Growing in Grace and Gratitude
Children (age 3 through 5th grade)
March 6–Return with Thanks
March 13–Welcoming Zacchaeus
March 20–The King of Glory Comes
March 27–He Is Risen!
Youth (6th through 12th grade)
March 6–Students remain in worship
March 13– Elements: Water:
Healing of General Naaman - 2 Kings 5
March 20–Students remain in worship
March 27–Easter Sunday Students remain in worship
Midweek Groups
Church Mice (Preschool)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Church Mice room,
Christian Education Building
March topic: I Can Welcome Jesus
Faith Explorers February 17 to March 16
Kids in elementary school (grades 1-5) meet for dinner,
fellowship, Bible lesson, group building games, and
art projects.
5:30-6:00 p.m.–Midweek dinner in the Ren Room
6:00-7:00 p.m.–Faith Explorers meet for games and Bible
study activities led by Peter Earhart and Irene Navarro
Music Groups
We are rehearsing music for Palm Sunday and Easter. Please
contact Irene Navarro for a detailed rehearsal schedule at
[email protected]
Grace Notes (2nd through 5th Grade)
Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Cherubs (Preschool-1st Grade)
Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
Calendar of events
Sundays, February 21 through March 13-Share The Love
Friday, March 18 - Sunday, March 20-Youth Winter Camp
Sunday, March 20-Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 27-Easter Sunday
March Madness Winter Camp
The Mid High and Senior High school groups will be going to Big
Bear to particpate in Big Bear Lake’s annual March Madness winter
camp. I am excited to take a group of students, many of which
have never attended a Christian camp, to see what God has in
store for them up the mountain. Something tells me it will involve
worship, games, new friends, and a revolutionary experience with
Cost is $135
Dates: March 18th-20th
Contact David for more details ([email protected])
Share The Love Children’s Lenten Mission Project
Youth Group-Mid High and and Senior High Youth
During Lent Children’s and Family Ministry will be collecting items
3:30-5:00 p.m.–Youth are welcome to gather in the
for Upward Bound House’s Adopt-A-Unit Program.
Ren Room for Youth Study Hall
5:00-5:30 p.m.–Youth Music Group meets in the
Choir Room led by Irene Navarro
5:30-6:00 p.m.–Midweek dinner in the Ren Room
6:00-7:00 p.m.–Youth Group meets for games and Bible study activities led by David Derus
Faith and Family
How Do I Explain Easter to My Children (or Grandchildren)?
A good starting point is to realize that Easter is bigger than any of us ever fully understands so we do
not have to know all the answers. No one ever does. Easter is new life, an empty tomb, forgiveness,
resurrection, and more. That is not something to understand. It is a reality we have to grow into. The
truth is that we understand different aspects of Easter better at different times of our lives.
Adults respond enthusiastically to the Easter claim and promise of victory over death because adults
understand the finality of death and fear death. Children, however, have a hard time grasping the
reality, especially the finality, of death. Even after attending Grandpa’s funeral, a young child will
often ask, at unexpected times, when Grandpa will be visiting. This natural inability to grasp the
finality of death is supported by fairy tale princesses who awake after “sleeping” for years and
cartoon characters who, flattened by steamrollers, peel themselves off the road. Given all this, it’s
not surprising that children can’t get too excited by victory over death.
Many books and people try to get around this by focusing on new life, paying attention to eggs, bulbs,
and butterflies as new life symbols. While children are vaguely interested in these symbols, “new life”
strikes few of them (for whom all of life is “new”) as particularly significant or exciting.
Instead, for younger children, the empty tomb is the ultimate victory of the good guys (God/Jesus)
over the bad guys (Judas, the priests, Pilate, the soldiers). On Good Friday the bad guys thought they
had won. They killed Jesus and sealed his body into a guarded tomb. On Easter morning God/Jesus
blasted right out of that tomb and proved once and for all that God is more powerful than even the
worst evil the worst bad guys can inflict. The natural response to such a victory is to yell, “Hooray for
God and Jesus!” and to celebrate belonging to God who is the most powerful power there is in the
To older elementary children, who are focused on friendships and have clear expectations of “best
friends,” the most significant resurrection story is the story of Peter’s breakfast conversation with
Jesus (see John 21:1-19). Peter had been Jesus’ best friend. He had promised to stick with Jesus
no matter what. And he had been caught three times on the same night pretending he did not even
know Jesus. As a betrayed “best friend,” Jesus would have been justified in ignoring or punishing
Peter for his denials. But Jesus did not. For Peter, the resurrection happened when Jesus forgave
him, welcomed him back as a friend, and put him to work building God’s Kingdom. For older children,
Easter holds the promise that Jesus will forgive them and welcome them back when/if they betray
their friendship with him. Such Easter forgiveness is worth celebrating!
And remember the starting point—Easter is bigger than we can understand. We don’t have to know
all the answers. We probably do most harm when we fail to talk with our children about our Easter
faith out of fear that we will not get it right.
Peter Earhart
Director of Children’s and Family Ministry
From Sharing the Easter Faith with Children by Carolyn C. Brown © 2005 by Abingdon Press.
Reproduced by permission.
First Pres Community
Vawters’ Daughters
Friday, March 4th, at 6:30 p.m.
Join women of the congregation the first Friday of every
month. In honor of those spunky sisters who played such a
vital role in the history of our church, we are the Vawters’
Daughters! This month Vawters’ Daughters will be the home
of Ellen Ireland. Contact the church office for details.
]]Mariners Social
The March Mariners “lunch bunch” will meet on Sunday,
March 6th, in the Ren Room at 11:15 a.m. Join us for
sandwiches and salads for a suggested donation of $12 per
person. Enjoy a show of music and magic performed by
magician Stephen Bailey. All are welcome. Contact the church
office or one of the Mariners to let them know you will be
joining us for this special event.
Wednesday Morning Gathering
Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Looking for a way to spend your Wednesday mornings?
Come join us and work on a project or just visit with us!
We are a small group but we work on lots of projects.
We meet every Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. and have
coffee at 10:00 a.m. We are also collecting box tops for
schools. Please bring them to the church office or give
them to any of us.
First Pres CARING
Westside food bank
Sunday, March 6th
(the first Sunday of each month during the worship service)
The Westside Food Bank provides immediate hunger relief to
the people of our community. Bring your donations of cash and
checks payable to First Presbyterian Church with Westside Food
Bank in the “memo” line to church the first Sunday of every
month. Canned food and durable goods are also welcome, but
donations of cash or by check are preferred, as the Westside
Food Bank multiplies these donations tenfold through its
bulk buying power. The Mission Team Food Drive begins with a
presentation of donations during the service. Lists of needed food
items are available. Call the church office at 310.451.1303 for more
Join us Sunday, March 20th, as we will once again make
lunches for the clients of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless)
in downtown Los Angeles. Children and adults are all invited
to spend a few minutes after the service to make sandwiches
and fill lunch bags for the residents of PATH. The lunches are
always enthusiastically received.
Lenten Series: The Butterfly Affect
Leader: David Derus, 9:00-9:50 a.m. in the Library
Sundays, through March 13th.
Celtic legends say that before the first Easter morning there
was no such thing as a yellow butterfly. Yet when the stone
rolled away from Jesus’ tomb a vanguard of yellow butterflies
burst forth to announce his resurrection. They remain with us
today in every part of the world as a testimony to the risen
Lord. Join us each week in Lent to explore the story of the
resurrection. We will walk the ancient roads of pre-Christian
thought. We will stop to gaze at the work of the empty tomb.
We will look with wonder at how, much like yellow butterflies,
this event saturates every people and every land.
Greeters welcome you
The Price is Right. Do you know the TV show that gives you
prizes if you know the correct price of an item? It’s fun to guess
along with the guest, isn’t it? Today, we want you to know that
this place is right. You don’t have to know anything except that
God loves you and so do we. We greet you and give you a
warm welcome because we are happy that you are here. Please
join us in fellowship and worship. You are invited to become part
of the Greeter ministry; call the church office or contact Carole
Riggs at [email protected]
David Derus
Bible Study First Corinthians: Good News Then and Now
Thursday mornings at 9:30 a.m., Renaissance Room
Begins February 11th. The apostle Paul exuberantly wrote
to Christians in Corinth, telling God’s good news of new life
in Jesus Christ offered to all. Join Dr. Wood as we engage this
passionate, thoughtful, encouraging proclamation of the living
Christ and consider what it means for us today.
Hatha Yoga
Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Join us for yoga in a supportive, relaxing atmosphere!
Knowledgeable, trained, innovative teacher. Bring water and
a mat to the Renaissance Room, Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
The suggested donation is $25 per month. Questions?
Call the church office 310.451.1303.
Need a ride to church
If you are in need of a ride to church,
our van driver, Tyrone DuBose has been
providing transportation to First Pres
members and friends for thirty-four years.
He will make sure you get to church on time
and in style in the First Pres van, and take
you back home after the service.
To schedule a ride call Tyrone directly at 310.920.0410.
They beautify our sanctuary, honor
your loved ones and provide cheer
to our hospitalized and homebound
parishioners when deacons deliver
them. Please see Pat Alston during
the coffee hours to reserve a date
in 2016 for $62.
First Pres mission
Zambia Schools
About seven years ago the mission team was approached by
Southbay couple Bill and Jerry Tayler to help support the
Presbyterian Church USA and their efforts to build schools
in Zambia, the first one being for AIDS orphans. Since that
time a second school has been completed and they are now
working on a third, shown here.
A portion of our pledges at First Pres goes to the mission work of the church. While the
majority of our budget supports local organizations serving those in need, we also have
cherished the opportunity to be a part of the important work being done to create safe
and appropriate learning spaces for the children of Zambia. Zambia is a country that
affords more stability than many in that region to allow meaningful and effective partnerships. To date we have donated $37,500; we envision continuing with this partnership in the years ahead. Each school costs approximately $70,000 so in another couple
of years we can affirm that we will have built a school.
The school seen here is the newest project at CCAP Mtendere in Lusaka. Mtendere
Community School has been in existence for about 10 years. It currently has 4 teachers (a 5th is being sought) and approximately 180 children through grade 7. There is
a structure which has 2 classrooms and an office. Classes are also held in the church
The original church building was structurally unsound; it was knocked down around
Sept 2015. A new church building (located to the side of the original church building)
has been under construction for some time and it has now been built and roofed—as
yet it has no concrete floor, doors or windows. However, it is used for worship and for
some of the classes during the week. Funds for church construction came from sources
other than Santa Monica.
A new four room building is now being constructed on the site of the church structure
which was knocked down. At this point the foundation is in. Because of some water issues, the foundation is quite deep at one end.
A lot of gravel has been used to make sure water drainage is good. Santa Monica funds
are being used for construction of this new building. The illness of the contractor delayed the project and the instability of the currency affected purchasing of materials.
The support from First Pres is received by the people of Zambia as a special blessing.
Thank you for your generosity and your support for global children’s education.
Jan Landon and Laurence Rhee
Co Mission Team Leaders
March Birthdays
March 1- Sue Hall
March 1- Isabella Wilson
March 3 - Kathy Stickel
March 3 - Sean Olson
March 5 - Carolyn Newban
March 5 - Daniella Wilson
March 9 - Douglas McIver
March 11 - Mark Young
March 11 - Colin Hou
March 11 - James Watt
March 13 - Jack Hyde-White
March 16 - JD Harbor
March 18 - Gerald Webb
March 18 - Luke Tarsitano
March 20 - Carole Horowitz
March 23 - Kent Lewis
March 26 - Madison Wertz
March 27 - Landon Ullrich
March 29 - Pat Alston
March 29 - Catherine Hou
March 30 - Patrick Chiang
March 31 - Nikki Cross-Patrick
Ministry Team Profile: Congregational Life
The Congregational Life team looks to enrich life in our church family through interesting and fun
group activities, sometimes partnering with other First Pres teams. We strive to make visitors
feel welcome and help new members become acquainted with others in our church family. We
promote our church to the community of Santa Monica, and maintain a Church Family pictorial
Here are some examples of our activities in 2015:
We provided Coffee Hours at times when Richard was not available.
We organized the Hymn Sing Potluck.
We bought one new welcoming banner for the front of the church.
We continued to have our website regularly maintained
and maintained an active presence on Facebook.
We supported in a variety of ways several ongoing activities at the church:
Inquirers’ Classes
Distribution of Welcome Bags to visitors
Ash Wednesday Soup Supper
Men at the Manse
Adult Bible Study, Advent and Lenten Studies
Women’s Prayer Hike
Young Adult Bible Study, and other Young Adult projects and outings
We look forward to a variety of activities in 2016! Please join in!
Sherril Wood
Congregational Life Team Leader
Team members are:
Pat Armacost
•Karen Carrey
Ellen Ireland
Phyllis Kai-Kee
•Barbara Markay
•Karen Register
•David Derus (staff liaison)
Carole Riggs (staff liaison)
•Kathy Stickel (staff liaison)
Sherril Wood
David Derus
Phyllis Kai-Kee
Carole Riggs
Kathy Stickel
Barbara Markay
Pat Armacost
Karen Carrey
Ellen Ireland
Karen Register
Tchaikovsky: Music & Melancholia
Supporting Research for
Children’s Mental Health
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, at 7:30 p.m.
ALTITUDE: Music of Norgard,
Saariaho & Salonen
Saturday, March 19, at 8:00 p.m.
Visit for tickets
Composers: Per Nørgård, Magnus
Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka
Gloria Cheng: piano
Eric Byers: cello
Suzanne Waters: soprano
Lyris Quartet, Vicki Ray: piano
Alma Fernandez: viola
Alison Bjorkedal: harp
Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble
Andreas Levisianos: conductor
Baroque Elements . . .
Wind, Water, Earth and Fire
Sunday, March 13, at 3:00 p.m.
Visit for tickets
Presenting the 2016 PER ADVOCATE
Award to Commissioner
Laura Hymowitz &
Featuring Richard Kogan, MD’s
lecture & piano presentation.
You MUST pre-register to attend thru the
PER website:
Les Elements by Rebel, La Force de Nature
by Rameau, Handel’s Water Music in G, and
Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4. Earthquakes,
storms and the whole natural world comes
alive. Handel provides the water and Bach
provides the majesty and power in the 4th
orchestral suite. Led by Associate Music
Director, Gonzalo X. Ruiz.
Window | Editor Notes
First Presbyterian Church of
Santa Monica, 1220 Second
Street, Santa Monica,
California 90401
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
1220 Second Street, Santa Monica, California 90401
A Welcoming and Caring Community
Send newsworthy information
about church activities for
consideration in the Window
to [email protected]
Contact the church at
310.451.1303 ext. 24 or
[email protected]
The Window (USPS 604.320)
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to address above.
Published monthly by First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica
1220 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Periodical Postage Paid at Santa Monica, CA
Santa Monica

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