Pastor's Blog

November 23, 2019

This weekend, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens to screens nationwide, a tribute to the life and work of Fred Rogers, played by actor Tom Hanks.  We Presbyterians are very proud to be associated with this particular pastor.   The Presbyterian Historical Society celebrates the impact of this uniquely gifted child of God:

Fred Rogers grew up in western Pennsylvania in the town of Latrobe, where he attended Latrobe Presbyterian Church. As a student at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he majored in music composition, he had his first encounter with television, and was appalled by the children’s programs he saw. He thought, “Children deserve better.”   In 1953, he was invited by WQED in Pittsburgh, the nation’s first community-supported public television station, to co-produce a daily program called The Children’s Corner. The experience convinced him he had a future in children’s television.

August 24, 2016

At the beginning of this year, Will & I had the opportunity to step in as the interim youth directors. During this time, we partnered with the other volunteer leaders to teach the message to the students each week. Our favorite series was titled CLOSE, and we wanted to share one message brought to the youth by Tim Bernsau, that really stood out to us and the youth.

One day Tim walked into our leader meeting with a shirt so wrinkled it looked like he just woke up. I did not think much of it, but it was quite out of the ordinary.  Come to find out, as Tim began sharing that weeks’ message it soon became clear that the wrinkles had a purpose. Tim said:

 “This morning, I grabbed my shirt and found that it was very wrinkled. I pulled out the ironing board and spent the next 10 minutes ironing my shirt.  But, as you can see, it didn’t work too well, did it?.  Why do you think that is?”

After a series of very creative scenarios proposed by the students, Tim shared what actually happene...

May 18, 2016

Wikipedia defines Fellowship Hall as “a large room in a church building where certain activities take place, such as, dinners, breakfasts, meetings, workshops, etc.”  Did you know that our own Fellowship Hall was the original sanctuary long before the “new” sanctuary, completed in 1962, was even a dream?  So much living has happened in that building.  Imagine a time lapse camera placed up in the corner some 65 years ago that never stopped snapping pictures.  The resulting film would tell of unnumbered wedding vows, memorial receptions, youth group meetings and senior celebrations, Sunday classes and International Fellowship dinners, community gatherings and food packing events, Red Cross blood drives, VBS day camps and Christmas fairs, the prayers of a thousand elders and deacons, and ten thousand nursery school naps!  That camera would also tell of the inevitable wear and tear; the holes made by an over-zealous game of dodge ball, that leaky roof, and those clogged kitchen drains....

May 11, 2016

What our leaders were sharing at the February Leadership Retreat was a little surprising, even shocking in a way, but let me back up a little.  If you haven’t heard, St. John’s current goal is “to be a place where our discipling relationships inside the church help us to disciple people outside the church.”  For the past two years we’ve been encouraging each other to build relationships with folks outside the church, learn how to articulate our personal story of Christian faith, and share the gospel in a meaningful way.  That’s a tall order in a culture that encourages us to keep quiet about our faith.  Yet, many in our congregation reported that they were starting to form authentic friendships outside the church, and even had opportunities to share their faith in the super-natural course of conversation.  That’s something to celebrate!
But when our leaders gathered at Serra Retreat in Malibu we also heard something that could potentially derail this goal or energ...

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