February 13, 2015

February 2018

St. Andrew Messenger

February 2017

Love, Celebrate, Nurture, Share and Serve

St. A’s Family News

Worship in February 

26:          Transfiguration of the Lord

Worship in  March

1:        Ash Wednesday; Service of Ashes, 7:30 p.m.

5:        First Sunday in Lent

12:       Second Sunday in Lent.

19:       Third Sunday in Lent.

26:       Fourth Sunday in Lent.

Worship Notes

In March, we move from the season of Epiphany, water of baptism and light, into a more somber and reflective season as we descend into Lent. The Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, remembers the unique event of Jesus’ transfiguration before the very eyes of his disciples. This is a “prefiguring” story, a reminder of the Easter resurrection glory to come.

Then, we will begin the ancient observance of Lent with a service of ashes. This is a recent development in Presbyterian liturgical observance, a result of the conversations among denominations over the past 40 years as we sought closer cooperation and greater unity. Ash Wednesday signifies a time to turn around, to change directions, to repent. This first day of Lent reminds us that unless we are willing to die to our old selves, we cannot be raised to new life with Christ. The first step of this journey calls us to acknowledge and confront our mortality, individually and corporately. This is symbolized through the imposition of ashes — placing a cross of ashes on one’s forehead. On Ash Wednesday we begin our Lenten trek through the desert toward Easter.

More than handing out a bulletin

Every Sunday, there are two people greeting you in the narthex. The greeters at the door are part of the work of the Board of Deacons. Each Deacon is assigned a month to either be greeter or arrange for someone to welcome with a smile. The usher is responsible for giving out the order of service, making sure the candles are lit on non-communion Sundays, discretely seating latecomers, taking the offering and tracking the attendance for that Sunday. Sign up in the Social Hall if you would like to usher or call the church office or email us.

► We need a few people to know how to open the church Sunday morning at 8:15 once in a while.  There are ten things such as turning on lights and opening the Sunday School rooms, etc., which need to be done to prepare for the Sunday service.   There is a printed list to follow. Hal Humphrey can show you: (650)580-3845 hal.humphrey@cengage.com.

►Remember those occasional 4 or 5-minute Faith Talks during Sunday service?  [someone telling how she or he wound up here]    We haven’t had one for a while, but we’d really like to July 30, October 29, and December 31.       Let Hal Humphrey know if you would do this for us.

►It’s not new, but ushering Sunday morning is a simple thing which needs to be done every Sunday. If you could assist once in a while, it would really help things run more smoothly. Sign up and put NEW by your name, and someone will partner with you the 1st time. Or see David Koblitz or Hal Humphrey.


Terra Nova Christian Preschool/Day Care

We provide a safe, nurturing environment for children age two to pre-Kindergarten five days a week, 11 hours a day, at our Terra Nova Christian PreSchool & Day Care. The pre-Kindergarten program has been designed in consultation with Pacifica Kindergarten teachers. If you have a TK or K student at Ortega School, we provide an afternoon program for that age with pick up from Ortega. There is a 10% discount for church members. If you would like to know more, please contact the Director, Janis Brunori, at 355-2962, or check out our website at www.pacificapreschool.org.

Mission News


Upcoming Community Mission-based Projects at St. Andrews     January-April  2017        Nancy Crawford

In the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew, the questioner asks, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?  See thee a stranger and welcome thee, sick or in prison and visit thee?” 

And Jesus replied, “”Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.”

Jesus here challenges us to open our hearts to the least of us, and see the spirit of God within each of us.

The sense of mission and compassion has always been a strong force at St. Andrews.

We have a number of projects and events happening here in the next few months.  Here is a short summary:

Donation baskets for non-perishable food for the Resource Center and for school supplies for Oceana High School.  There are lists of requested supplies on the table in the fellowship hall.  You can take one of the lists and tuck it into your wallet for reference the next time you go shopping.

For the past few years, St. Andrews has provided a dinner for approximately 150 people at Old First Presbyterian Church.  The food preparation day is February 18 and the serving day is February 25.  Here is the real life example of “Lord, when did we see you hungry?”  You can talk with Deborah McCarthy for more information on how to be of assistance in this.

Also on February 25, from 2-4 p.m. St. Andrews will be hosting a presentation by the Islamic Networks Group titled “Getting to Know American Muslims and their faith”.  The talk will cover the major beliefs and practices of Islam, and discuss common misconceptions.  There will be an opportunity for questions and answers after the presentation.  You can find out more information about this on the St. Andrews Facebook page.

During Lent, we will have the opportunity to contribute to the One Great Hour of Sharing.  This special offering is for world-wide projects supported by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Self-Development of Peoples programs, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.  Many of our St. Andrews folks have been hands-on participants in the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance project in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

After Easter, we will have the opportunity to participate or support the local Rebuilding Together project and the Earth Day projects.  More information on this will be forthcoming.

Please join us for an educational event on Saturday, February 25, 2017,  2-4 p.m. in Reiden Hall. 

In order to be more supportive and aware of our religious neighbors, we are hosting a presentation by Ismael Nass, a speaker from the Islamic Networks Group (ING). ING is a non-profit organization whose mission is to counter prejudice and discrimination against American Muslims by teaching about their traditions and contributions in the context of America’s history and cultural diversity, while building relations between American Muslims and other groups. The topic will be “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith”.
This presentation begins with basic terminology and the demographics of Muslims in the United States and the world, describes the major beliefs and practices of Islam, including major Muslim holidays, and expands on the faith’s principal theological teachings, including its relation to Judaism and Christianity. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.
Please feel free to invite others or bring a friend.                                                                                                        Meg Hunter

            Wide Spread Flooding Increases Demand for Presbyterian Disaster Kits

According to the USGS, the US has experienced historic flooding between 2015 and 2016. Persistent precipitation accompanied by strong winds and tornadoes in some areas blanketed two large bands of area from Texas to Ohio and Mississippi to North Carolina. Just as the large-scale flash flooding of 2015 began to recede, the nation started 2016 with major floods in the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi River basins that set new records exceeding the 1993 and 2011 floods in some locations.

In April of 2016, the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Center at Ferncliff, Arkansas sent every Gift of the Heart kit they had to Shreveport, Louisiana to assist flood survivors. It totaled 41 pallets and included flood buckets, hygiene kits and school kits,” says Cameron Stevens, Associate for Constituent Relations at Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “We are thrilled about the enthusiasm and involvement in this ministry as we prepare for tornado season and, eventually, hurricane season. Efforts will help Ferncliff rebuild their stock of kits and enable PDA to help more survivors in the coming months.”

On Thursday, June 23rd heavy rainfall began to accumulate in West Virginia. By the following morning, 44 out of 55 counties in the state were declared a State of Emergency.

Starting August 11, 2016, regions in Louisiana and Mississippi experienced extreme rains and flooding. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber estimates that more than 140,000 homes in the metropolitan area were affected in the flood areas. Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes appear to have suffered the most damage.  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is there for the long road to recovery.

In the wake of Hurricane Mathew in October 2016, the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina identified Gift of the Heart Flood buckets on their list of urgent needs in Lumberton, North Carolina and other hard hit areas.

The first few weeks of 2017 have now brought severe wind, rain, and flooding to the Northwest and perhaps to some of our own front doors.  Your donation to “Gift of the Heart” Disaster kits just got personal.

Clean up Buckets Needed

The Mission Committee will once again be accepting money gifts to support the demand for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Gift of the Heart Clean up buckets.

Another year of record storms, tornadoes and flooding have raised the urgent need to replenish
“ Gift of the Heart” Clean up buckets.  Your financial gift will help Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to purchase clean up buckets loaded with critical supplies.

Packed with sponges, cleaning supplies, trash bags, disinfectants and more, an Emergency Cleanup Bucket offers essential resources for families beginning the overwhelming task of cleaning up after a disaster. And it tells them, “We care.”

PDA together with our partners, Church World Services estimates the value of each clean-up bucket with supplies to be $75. An additional $2-3 is also needed to cover the cost of sorting, packing, and insurance involved in shipping each kit from PDA centers to their final destination.

For more information, or to make a donation of any amount, please visit a Mission Committee representative at the opportunity table in Reiden Hall beginning Sunday, January 22nd through Sunday, February 12th. You are also welcome to drop a check in the offering plate. Be sure to clearly designate your check for “Cleanup Buckets” in the memo line of your check to ensure that your donation makes it to the necessary PDA – Gift of the Heart outreach program.

~  Thank you for participating in the important work of Mission.

A letter from the Pastor

As I write this column, the college football has just come to an end.  Clemson beat Alabama in a stunning upset and now I have to wait eight months for it all to start over again.

During the season, I love early Saturday mornings.  That is the quietest time of the week in my house.  Unlike weekdays, when everyone is rushing to get Julia to school, and Sundays, when I am rushing to get to church, on Saturdays everyone sleeps in.  On Saturday morning I am able to get up early and sit on the couch to watch “ESPN’s College GameDay.”  I seldom get to watch sports without someone objecting  and insisting on their choice of program, but on Saturday morning I’ve got the TV all to myself.

I like to watch “College GameDay” because I love college football and I love to hear experts talk about college football.  Most of all, I like the show because I used to enjoy hearing Lee Corso talk.  Corso was a longtime coach at several colleges, and he has been a broadcaster with ESPN since 1987.  He is famous for putting on the head of the mascot uniform of the team he thinks will win and dancing around.  He also has a famous catchphrase: when his colleague, Kirk Herbstreit, makes a prediction, he always says, “Not so fast, my friend!” and then goes on to point out how Kirk is wrong.

It is human nature to want quick answers and snap decisions.  No matter how much we might enjoy slow-cooked food, when we’re in a hurry we always turn to fast food or the microwave oven to get dinner.  When a crisis occurs somewhere in the world, the press always insists that the president provide an immediate response.  There is no time for quiet reflection before people make decisions in our hurry-up world.

Some things demand a slow response, however.  Every so often we need to say, “Not so fast, my friend.  Let’s take our time.”

This is especially true when it comes to searching for a pastor.  When Pastor Penny left after a long and distinguished tenure, it was natural for many of you to believe that the best thing to do would be to find another pastor immediately.  Just put the nets out and snag the first good minister that floats by.

Not so fast, my friend.  There is something to be said for taking our time and getting it right.  We need to carefully consider what qualities the next pastor should have to meet the needs of St. Andrew in the next twenty years.  To do this will take time to study and reflect, as well as time to read resumes, listen to sermons and interview candidates.

The Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery has asked that we expand our Long-Range Planning Report into a full Mission Study.  This will involve more data-gathering and writing, and that will take time.  Don’t be discouraged or dismayed, and don’t be impatient.  This new task will not take as long as the original study took, and the new information will help the Pastor Nominating Committee to focus on their task

Not so fast, my friends.  Keep praying for the Mission Study Team and give them all the time they need to do the job right.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tom


Mizpah Tea and Craft Fair1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, May 6

At the beautiful Shelldance Orchid Gardens,  2000 Coast Highway, Pacifica

Please join us for complimentary tea and  refreshments!  Handmade crafts and beautiful plants for sale.

Free admission – Donations Appreciated.   Proceeds benefit Mizpah Scholarships and other local community service projects.


Do you know anyone looking for a housemate or renter, or trying to rent out a room in their home? HIP Housing’s non-profit Home Sharing program can help make that a safe, comfortable process. HIP Housing has given free, long-term support to those who need it most in San Mateo County for 42 years. This is especially important now, as our county has become one of the most expensive areas to live in within the United States. The need for extra income is a common one, and renting out a room in your home is a great way to reduce costs and help your community. For more information, contact 650-348-6660 x303 or visit www.hiphousing. org.


For the taking: copies are available on the table in the narthex or social hall of our February newsletter; the magazine, Presbyterians Today;  your 2016 giving statements and the wonderful, riveting 2016 Annual Report.