Thursday, January 12, 2012

Steering team will meet on Feb. 5

The steering team will meet on Feb. 5, following worship. We will share a meal as we discuss church issues.

On the agenda so far are the 2012 budget, mission, buildings and grounds, upcoming events, and the next Bible/book study. Anyone who has agenda items to add should e-mail Suzy at

The meeting is open to all members and friends of the Rico Community Church.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Eve Service

The Rico Community Church will hold a candlelight service of lessons and carols at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. The service will include a children's message and communion. This will be an ecumenical celebration of Christmas; all are welcome to attend.

There will be no worship service on Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Form of Government passes

To congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

While it is not official until the Office of the General Assembly receives notification from presbyteries that have voted, it appears that, as of June 7, 2011, the proposed new Form of Government (FOG) has been approved by a majority of our 173 presbyteries.

The new FOG will replace the current version within the Book of Order of the church’s Constitution on July 10, 2011, one year after the adjournment of the 219th General Assembly (2010). The print edition of the new Book of Order will be available by late July.

The new Form of Government at its core

A new section, Foundations of Presbyterian Polity, which contains the vast majority of the first four chapters of the current FOG, will also be added to the beginning of the Book of Order. Within it are these words:

In the power of the Spirit, Jesus Christ draws worshiping communities and individual believers into the sovereign activity of the triune God at all times and places. As the Church seeks reform and fresh direction, it looks to Jesus Christ who goes ahead of us and calls us to follow him. (F-1.0401)

The foundational message of the saving love of God through Jesus Christ is timeless. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (13:8). And yet, when the Spirit has moved the church to respond to “the sovereign activity of the triune God,” the church has, in turn, worked to reshape itself to do so effectively.

While the new Form of Government will help the PC(USA) to be a faithful and responsive church in the 21st century, it also has a dimension of bringing us back to a truly constitutional document that contains broad governing and theological principles and emphasizes function over structure.

What will change?

Many Presbyterians will see nothing suddenly or dramatically different with a new Form of Government. Worship services will go on as usual, and congregations will continue to teach the faith, serve their communities, reach out to those in need, and work to further God’s realm on earth. However, what will be different is that congregations, presbyteries, and synods will have the opportunity to tailor mission and ministry to fit their own particular contexts and challenges.

The new FOG will also usher in changes in terminology. For example, ministers of the Word and Sacrament will be known as teaching elders, partnering in ministry with ruling elders who serve on the congregation’s council (session).

It is a season of much change in the church, and change is often accompanied by anxiety. Making the transition from the current Form of Government to the new one will take time, patience, and grace. We will all be living gradually into these new dimensions of the church’s governance. We commend to you the resources and guides at for assistance, including the “Frequently Asked Questions” document that accompanies this letter. Further resources will be made available over the course of the summer to help with this transition.

The best resources through this transition, however, will be each other. A new Form of Government puts all of us on the same page, as it were. Through conversation, cooperation, and collaboration, we will discover the most effective ways to move forward into this new and exciting chapter of the life of the church.

In the end, as affirmed in the Confession of 1967, “The church ... orders its life as an institution with a constitution, government, officers, finances, and administrative rules. These are instruments of mission, not ends in themselves” (9.40). The mission remains the same: to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed, and to work for the reconciliation of the world. With God’s help, may this new Form of Government enable us to be ever more faithful to that mission.

In Christ,

Cindy Bolbach Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010)

Gradye Parsons Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Linda Valentine Executive Director, General Assembly Mission Council

Landon Whitsitt Vice Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chapter 15 again for May 8

We didn't get very far into the questions last week, and I don't think we'll have much overlap between last week and this week, so let's spend another session talking about Jesus' example and how it fits with the American Dream.

And, happy Mothers Day to all the RCC mothers out there who are not able to worship with us this week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Join Jasmine and Jasper in supporting Alzheimer's research

An e-mail from Jasmine Showers:


In 2010 both my maternal and paternal grandmothers died from Alzheimer’s disease. My brother and I grew up in close contact with our maternal grandmother, whom we called Momonee. She was wonderful; both of our grandmas were warm, comforting, and accepting people. Over the last five years I witnessed Momonee’s mental decline as the disease grew more advanced. I saw her anger and confusion as she struggled to remember moments of her life, and later when she tried to remember how to eat, dress, and talk. The worst parts to watch were the sudden moments of clarity – the times she knew something was very wrong and realized that she had no control over the situation. Author Thomas DeBiaggo was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s and described the experience of the disease as “the closest thing to being eaten alive slowly.”

As the brain is slowly devoured and gradually succumbs, turning the body into an empty vessel, remembering and writing are more than difficult; they are cold receptacles emptied of content. My memories are slowly disappearing from places inhabited for so long. In themselves, my memories do not compare with the great sagas of this century, the births, deaths, tumult, madness, great art and music, and the intense suffering of so many human beings. Our immortality, such as it may be, is not contained in what we dreamed or the secrets we kept; it is how our friends and loved ones remember us. - Losing My Mind, Thomas DeBiaggo, 2003.

My brother and I want to contribute in remembering our grandmothers. After considering Momonee’s lifelong dedication to reading, writing, and learning, we decided it would be appropriate to try and raise a tribute donation for Alzheimer’s research. On May 6, we are both running the Santa Barbara Wine Country ½ Marathon in memory of our grandparents.

Please consider sponsoring us as we run to raise a tribute donation. We started a blog where family and friends can post pictures or memories. If you feel like you would like to give a little in Helen or Jean’s honor (or to support Alzheimer's research for someone else you know) please follow the “donate” button on the blog. The donations will be compiled in a donation paypal account that Jasper created and then go to Alzheimer’s research through the Alzheimer’s Association:

Link to blog:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Our Easter worship will start with children's activities at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 24. We will have a lesson, a piƱata, perhaps some surprises and no doubt some candy!

Our formal worship service will begin at 10:30 and will be filled with joyful proclamation and singing. Visitors are welcome, and of course children, with or without their parents! Bring visiting family members. Bring friends. Bring neighbors. Bring strangers, even! Our calling is to share the Good News of Christ's resurrection with everyone.

Afterward, we'll have fellowship and snacks.

Good Friday

We will observe Good Friday (April 22) with 7 p.m. service at the church. Our worship will be quiet and short, although everyone is welcome to remain in the sanctuary, or visit it throughout the weekend, to pray and meditate on the events of the week.

There will be no Maundy Thursday service because of the spring program at the school. As we all watch the children, keep in mind the new commandment — the mandatum of Maundy Thursday — that we all love one another as Christ loved us, and consider the ways we join with our community as a loving presence.