The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness--
on them light has shined.
Light breaks into the darkness of the world in Christ Jesus! Join us as we celebrate the coming of Christ.
Thinking About Belonging
I have been reading a book this past month titled
A Church Beyond Belief: The Search for Belonging. I was intrigued by the idea that belonging trumped belief. I suppose I had some sense of this all along. I knew that all of us are on a spiritual journey. I knew that we grow in faith in step, and that faith meets us where we are in life.
I found myself feeling encouraged. At St. Paul’s we are deeply committed to the idea of being a community of respect, and a place where spirituality is explored deeply. It seems it is in our DNA to be accepting and non-judgmental. We really desire to be a place where people can be themselves. These are the first steps in being a place of belonging.
I am also aware of the challenges we face. One of the significant insights of the book is to distinguish belonging from fitting in.
“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” 
This is so important because the beginning of the spiritual life is not about conforming to some spiritual ideal but meeting God right where we are; meeting God with our questions and our confusion, with our gifts and with our own insights. To fit in misses the point totally. To belong gives us companions to face the tough questions of life.
As you begin your new year, where is it that you really belong at St. Paul’s? Where can you really be yourself? On the other hand, where do you need to adjust to fit in? The challenge for all of us is to create a place of belonging for one another.
I would love to hear your thoughts as we venture into the new year.
 Sachs, William L.; Bos, Michael S. (2014-10-01). A Church Beyond Belief: The Search for Belonging and the Religious Future (Kindle Locations 129-130). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Sundays at 9 for Adults:
In January at 9 am, in Higbie Library
Do you need to be converted? Reflections on St Paul and conversion.
This is the day the church traditionally celebrates the conversion of our parish patron St. Paul. Conversion has been narrowly understood to mean moving from one religion to another. What has conversion meant in the past? What does a journey of conversion mean now? All the converted and non-converted are welcome for a lively conversation.
Pilgrimage in modern day Israel with Bishop Swing
Encountering the people who live there now
January 25 at 11:15 am
During his years as bishop of California Bill Swing made numerous pilgrimages to Israel, and built deep relationships with people there. Those relationships continue in his current role as president of the United Religions Initiative. Join for an engaging conversation about life in this Holy Land now.
Sunday 8 am
Eucharist without music
Sunday 10 am
Sunday 2 pm - Tongan Services
Tongan Prayer - 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays
Anglican Eucharist - 2nd & 4th Sundays
Wednesday: 11 am
Eucharist and Healing
St Pauls Burlingame