Favorite Open Position

Our small congregation (70 people) is in need of a part-time pastor to be our spiritual leader. Located on California’s beautiful Central Coast, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo Congregational Church is a beacon of equality and social justice.

More information on this position can be found by clicking here.

Sept 21st – “Radical Generosity”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason Sisk-Provencio shares from Matthew:

“Radical Generosity” – In a parable, Jesus tells us about God’s generosity. He says that God is like a landowner who hires some workers early in the morning to work in his garden. He then hires a few more later in the morning, and more around noon, and even a few more only an hour before the day ended. This landowner surprises the latecomers and angers the early birds by paying all of them the full day’s wages! Those who worked all day said, and we might agree, “That’s not fair!” But the landowner responds that he has done no wrong to those who arrived first; he is being generous to those who arrived later. What is Jesus trying to tell us about God and God’s graciousness and generosity?

 Announcements of the Day

 

Sept 14th – “Thoughts While Standing at Mile Marker Eleven”

Rev. Richard KurraschRev. Richard Kurrasch returns to us and shares from Acts:

“Thoughts While Standing at Mile Marker Eleven” – Bend over … pick it up … put it in the bag … take a few steps … repeat. So it goes if you are part of a team that has “adopted” a highway: two, maybe three, times a year you walk the mile or so along “your” highway and pick up other people’s litter. It is a yucky task, to say the least. We call it caring for the earth and as a warming planet is inescapably teaching us, the earth needs more care than we are currently giving it. At issue, of course, is what is required of each of us, personally. What does it mean to do our part? What changes are now required of us? As members of a faith community, how do we nurture and live what Al Gore calls a new “environmentalism of the spirit” (Earth in the Balance), for it is increasingly clear, as he says, that the global environmental crisis is, at its roots, “the outer manifestation of an inner crisis that is, for lack of a better word, spiritual.”

Announcements of the Day

Sept 7th – “Believing in One Another”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason continues in Romans:

Believing in One Another – In this section of the letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul continues to talk about the practical consequences of God loving and including everyone. Some in Rome thought that only vegetables should be eaten; some thought that people should be free to eat meat, too. Paul doesn’t pick a side but says rather, “Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.” What might this mean for our current Christian disagreements, especially over hot button issues like the full inclusion and participation of the LGBTQ community in the Christian church? Could this be a way forward for a number of disagreements in the church today?

 

 

Aug 31 – Love is Stronger than Hate

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason share a message from Romans:

“Love is Stronger Than Hate” – Like Jesus, Paul knows that hate cannot overcome hate—it just perpetuates it. Jesus rejected the conventional wisdom of “an eye for an eye” in his Sermon on the Mount. If we return violence for violence and hate for hate, it escalates the cycle of hate and, as Ghandi said, “makes the whole world blind.” How can we, as people of faith, break this cycle? How can we as humans, who naturally experience anger at wrongdoing, learn to forgive and overcome hate?

Announcements of the Day

Aug 24th – “Rebel With a Cause”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason Sisk-Provencio shares a message from Romans:

“Rebel With a Cause” – Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome makes an abrupt shift in chapter 12. In chapters 1-11, he argued that because of Jesus, God had entered into covenant with Gentiles as well as Jews. Now everyone had the possibility of new life with God. In chapters 12-16, Paul considers how our ethical understanding has to be updated as well. One thing that Christians are going to have to let go of is the world’s tendency to exclude those who don’t share the same ethnic background or cultural customs. Paul challenges us to resist being conformed to this way of thinking about strangers, and instead see them, and those closer to you, in light of the divine inclusion of all people.

 

Announcements of the Day

Aug 17th – “Spiritual, not religious?”

Dr. Anneka ScrantonDr. Anneka Scranton is back with her message from Mark:

Spiritual, not religious? – Americans are increasingly pursuing spiritual practice and connection outside of traditional Christianity.   Can we reframe our Christian practices to celebrate a more intimate and experiential relationship with God?  Can spirituality be both bliss and balance, individual and communal? The answers I am finding in books such as “Christianity after Religion” are preliminary, but potentially very exciting.

Announcements of the Day

 

“Spiritual, Not Religious?”

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

Aug 10th – “When We Walk On Water”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason SIsk-Provencio returns with another message from Matthew:

“When We Walk On Water” – Jesus’ first disciples were not heroes of faith. They doubted, they misunderstood and they disappointed Jesus often. Jesus told them that they would do the kinds of things that he did. But when Jesus commanded Peter to walk on water, as Jesus had done, he began to sink. It started off well enough, but when a strong wind arose, he doubted his ability to do what Jesus commanded. Jesus rebuked Peter for not having enough faith—for not having enough faith to do the thing that Jesus told him to do. How often do we believe that we can’t do the things that Jesus told us we can do, and what might happen if we as individuals and as a community of faith had the same kind of faith in ourselves that Jesus does?

Announcements of the Day

When We Walk On Water

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

Aug 3rd – “An Abundant Life”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason Sisk-Provencio shares from Matthew 14:

In this passage from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus spends a whole day teaching a great crowd about the kingdom of God. When evening (and dinner time) came, Jesus’ disciples encouraged Jesus to send the crowds away to local villages to find food for themselves. But Jesus, full of compassion, told them that the crowd didn’t have to leave, and that he and disciples would feed them. The disciples didn’t understand how they could feed such a large crowd with only five loaves of bread and two fish. When Jesus blessed the small meal, it became enough to feed all of the women, men and children there. Jesus’ disciples chose fear and tried to turn others away; Jesus chose compassion and was able to do something incredible. When we are moved by compassion in our own day, we are able to do much more than we ever thought possible.

 

Announcements of the Day

An Abundant Life

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

July 27th – “Perpetual Optimism”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioJoin us as Pastor Jason Sisk-Provencio brings his message from Romans 8.

Paul knows that some of the Christians living in Rome in his time are facing persecution and personal struggles. He encourages them to continue living with confidence and faith in God, because “all things work together for good for those who love God.” God’s love and faithfulness to his creation, demonstrated in the life of Jesus, is the new context in which to understand their (and our) present struggles. God’s love has been shown to be stronger than the political powers, than violence, than our own faithlessness, and even stronger than death. Christians then and now can live with an unshakeable optimism that God’s purposes are always being achieved around—and through—us.

July 20th – “The Freedom of God”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason shares his message from Psalms 86:

“The Freedom of God” - All throughout the history of ancient Israel, God’s people trusted God to do the impossible: to free them from Egypt, to make them a unified people, to free them from Babylonian exile, and to help them be a faithful people. Time and time again, God proved that things that we considered impossible were possible for God. The writer of Psalm 86 calls upon the God of the impossible to deliver him from his enemies, whether those enemies were people seeking him, or whether they were his guilt feelings or his own divided heart. The God who comforted and surprised the writer of this Psalm is the same God who can comfort and surprise us in the midst of the challenges that we face as individuals, as families, and as a congregation.

Pastor Jason Sisk-Provencio is a regular speaker for this congregation. In addition to a BA from Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, Rev. Sisk-Provencio has a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jason has been approved for Ordination, and is a Member in Discernment and Licensed Minister with The United Church of Christ.

 

Announcements of the Day

The Freedom of God

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

July 13th – “The Daughters of Tzelophechad: Role Models for Healthy Subversion”

Rabbi Linda BerenthalWe welcome for the first time with us Rabbi Linda Bertenthal. She brings an interesting look at Numbers 27:1-11 about how our partnership with God requires of us both spiritual audacity and respectful speech:

What can we learn from the subversive five daughters of Tzelophechad: Machlah, Noa, Choglah, Milkah and Tirtza? Rabbi Linda will explore what we learn from their names, from their courage and from their speech, contrasting their healthy rebellion against an unjust law with the destructive hubris of Korach.

Rabbi Linda currently serves as the spiritual leader (Rabbi) of Congregation Beth David of San Luis Obispo.

The Daughters of Tazelophechad

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

July 6th – “The Dangers of Ingrown Eyeballs”

Default 2

“The Dangers of Ingrown Eyeballs”

In Romans 6, Paul argues that Gods grace is ultimately victorious over sin, and he encourages Christians to let grace transform us into new people. When he looks into his own heart, however, he realizes that there is a terrible conflict between the old reality, sin, and the new reality, grace, in him. He remarks that he continues doing evil things that he doesnt want to and he isnt doing the good things that he does want to! He begins to despair when he considers his own situation, and only finds peace when he remembers that through Jesus, God has already overcome sin, and that even when it doesnt feel like it, grace continues to build in us. There are times in which we feel unusually conflicted, and Pauls meditation here can help us overcome the danger of focusing on ourselves too much, and help us remember to focus on what God has done. 

Communion will be celebrated.

June 29th – “Healing through Hospitality”

Default 1

“Healing through Hospitality” — In this passage (Matthew 10:40-42) from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus challenges his earliest followers to embrace a radical hospitality in their mission to share the good news of reconciliation with God. Even the act of receiving the disciples’ hospitality spreads the new creation—whoever welcomes the disciples welcomes Jesus, and whoever welcomes Jesus welcomes God. Hospitality is at the very heart of the Christian movement because it includes people, just as God has included all of us in Jesus. How might we as contemporary followers of Jesus offer more hospitality in our everyday lives, and graciously receive hospitality when it is offered to us? The ability to give and receive hospitality moves us away from the open or hidden hostility in our lives and in our culture, and moves us closer to the heart of God.

Pastor Jason Sisk-Provencio is a regular speaker for this congregation. In addition to a BA from Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, Rev. Sisk-Provencio has a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jason has been approved for Ordination, and is a Member in Discernment and Licensed Minister with The United Church of Christ.

Announcements of the Day

June 22nd – “Unstoppable Grace”

Unstoppable Grace” – In this passage from Romans (6:1-11), Paul contrasts the two great powers that operate in our lives: sin, the power that disrupts our lives and our relationships, and grace, the presence of God in our lives that works to transform us into who God intended us to be. Jesus (and Paul) assure us that God’s grace will ultimately be triumphant, but what about sin, that is still operating in even the best of people? Should we ignore it and just trust in the victory of grace? Should we ignore grace and focus all of our energy on overcoming sin? Paul avoids both extremes and gives us a life-affirming, Christ-centered approach that takes both sin and grace seriously.

Pastor Jason Sisk-Provencio is a regular speaker for this congregation. In addition to a BA from Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, Rev. Sisk-Provencio has a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jason has been approved for Ordination, and is a Member in Discernment and Licensed Minister with The United Church of Christ. 

Default 1

June 15th – “To Interfaith: a verb”

Anneka Scranton Our special guest for the 15th is Dr. Anneka Scranton, she brings her message from Acts 10:

“To Interfaith: A Verb” – What are the challenges and joys for Christians, particularly UCCs, working with other faith communities? Drawing on my experiences organizing across religious boundaries on behalf of justice, Dr. Scranton will explore different approaches to connecting with diverse groups.   How do we stay true to our Christian beliefs while building trust and friendship with those who disagree?  Dr. Scranton will also integrate readings from recent theological works, especially Brian McLaren’s “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed cross the road?”.

 

“June 1st – “Waiting for God”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioPastor Jason Sisk-Provencio continues sharing from Acts:

“Waiting for God” – Acts picks up right where the gospel of Luke ends. The spread of God’s new kingdom is unstoppable—the powers of the old age tried to silence Jesus on the cross, but God raised him from the dead. Now Jesus is leaving his disciples, but he tells his followers that they will be receiving the Holy Spirit, and that they will be empowered to carry out the mission of spreading the good news. Unfortunately, he doesn’t give them an exact time, and his disciples are left again wondering exactly what to do and how to do it. Our sisters and brothers in the ancient church were in the same predicament that so many of us are in today—we want to do God’s work, we want to be faithful disciples of Jesus, but we’re not always sure what that means. The beginning of the book of Acts has good news both for them and for us today.

Communion will be celebrated.

 

 

May 25th – “God is Not a Stranger”

Rev. Jason Sisk-ProvencioOur Pastor Jason has a message that is close to his heart from Acts:

God is Not a Stranger” – There are two very different ways of thinking about God among Christians today. Some Christians think of God as completely mysterious and unknowable, and we only know about God through revelation from the Bible. Other Christians think of that God has made himself known through God’s liberating and healing acts throughout history, first in the lives the Israelites and later in the lives of all people. The Bible is meaningful because it tells us about these mighty acts. But God’s activity didn’t simply stop with the events recorded in the Bible; God’s activity continues in our own day. In this story from Acts, Paul argues against the idea that God is unknown, but that God has revealed himself all throughout history, especially in Jesus. Paul even cites “secular” poetry and philosophers to support his claim that God is not a stranger to anyone.