From the Pastor:
“Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 
Mark 1:17 (NRSV)

The Gospel of Mark was written several decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus. For those early Christians, it was not an easy thing to be associated with the teachings or life of Jesus. Christians were persecuted and sometimes killed. To choose to follow Jesus was a critical decision – one that could mean imprisonment or sacrificing your very life.  

Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, noted by a sense of immediacy and urgency. This author seems to have no time for adjectives, adverbs and extra words. Instead, Mark urges the listener to hear the core message of the gospel of Jesus captured in verse 15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:15 NRSV)

In the first chapter of the Gospel, Mark quickly jumps into a description of Jesus calling his first disciples. There is no time for details about Jesus being born in the manger — on to the ministry and mission. Jesus begins by calling people to serve as partners in his mission.
First, Jesus passes through the Sea of Galilee and sees fishermen at work. Brothers Simon and Andrew are casting nets into the sea to catch a quantity of food. It is their livelihood. Jesus interrupts their work with a two-part invitation. These fishermen are invited to follow Jesus and to invite others to follow Jesus. Note how quickly Simon and Andrew respond. It is immediate!

Jesus walks further. He sees more fishermen, James and John, sons of Zebedee. These brothers are mending their nets, probably doing needed work for the family business. Jesus calls them immediately. Their response appears to be immediate as well as they leave their father and the hired workers.

Mark’s description is sparse. The disciples take no time to ponder or procrastinate. Jesus calls; they respond. Even if these fishermen knew Jesus from earlier experiences and anticipated his calling of them to serve, it is still very impressive. It is a call to follow and also a call to invite others to learn about Jesus.

When we were children many of us played the game “Simon says.” The leader would give a command and if it began with the word “Simon,” then all were to promptly follow the directions. Otherwise, each person was to remain frozen. The leader would try to trick others into moving without the key word “Simon” being uttered. It was a fun game and taught listening skills. 

As we got older and entered school, listening to directions became an important tool in getting through school. Teachers expected attentiveness and follow-through.
Following directions may or may not be your forte. Perhaps you like to give directions with others following you. Or maybe you have an ornery, independent streak. Or maybe you thrive in creative settings where you do not fit in any box. That’s reality for many people. 

Each of us is created with a big “ME” burning deep in our spirit. Some call it sin, spelled with a capital “I”. Unfortunately that “I” can take over our lives, leaving no room to follow Christ. Thus, we daily are called to confess and ask for guidance. 

Imagine Jesus finding you this Tuesday at 10:35 a.m. Imagine Jesus saying to you the same words he said to the fishermen, “Follow me.” Some questions: Where will you probably be on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.? What would it mean to leave what you are doing to follow Christ? How is that similar or different than the response of the first disciples?

Jesus adds another level. Not only are we to follow Jesus, but we are to invite others to follow him. Sometimes we invite by allowing people to see how we live, observe our choices, and note our values. Hopefully our lives become a witness to the incredible love of Christ. Other times we overtly ask people to learn about Christ and to follow him. We turn from an inward posture to looking at the needs beyond ourselves. . . the need others might have for Christ. One final question: Jesus talked in terms of “fishing for people.” How might you invite others to follow Christ?

Pray with me: O Christ, give me a heart and spirit to follow you, and courage to invite others to do the same.

Power to you, 
Pastor Pat

Our Prayers Are With You
♦ Covid-19: pray for those who are infected with or exposed to Covid-19.
♦ Our shut-ins: Ron Nuessle, Joan Rositano, Claudette Rezos, Rosemary Livesay, Eva Duffy (not to mention all of us sheltering-in-place).
♦ Pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones: The DeHart family for the loss of Mike DeHart.
♦ Struggling families for: Job & business stability, for those out of work and wondering what comes next
♦ Teachers and students enduring difficulties in education processes.
♦ Strength and rest to the caregivers who assist in the care of others.
♦ The ELC as they continue to provide class for students. May they continue to grow and be a blessing for parents and students
♦ The ministries we support with our benevolence dollars.
♦ World Vision, medical personnel, and frontline first responders in the battle against Covid-19, for their safety and protection.
♦ Provision & safety for the homeless.
♦ Gloria Dei for direction and motivation in our “Healthy Churches Thrive” spiritual adventure. Come Holy Spirit!
♦ Wisdom for leaders & provision for refugees from Central & South America
♦ Our nation, to heal our division with truth, justice & honesty, & for the world. Help heal us, Lord. Bring comfort to those who suffer, compassion to those who’ve lost loved ones, and help world leaders make smart & timely decisions.
♦ Continued care and support for: Gilda & Julien Carlsen, Neita and Glenn, Lou and Aase Serra, Jill Korin, Ken and Marlene Swanson, Lisa Lomeli, Terry Sullivan, 
♦ For wise leadership and positive outcomes regarding issues of racism & policing.
Lord in your mercy! Hear our prayers!

“Praise the Lord”
♦ Kim Markie has new housing.   
♦ Mel Fadness and his grandson Jake are home.
♦ Rebuilding of Christopherson’s home.
♦ Rich (Joyce’s nephew) for 3 years cancer free
♦ Lord’s Pantry is back in operation
♦ Robert doing well after heart attack (Grace’s son)
♦ Donna had no lasting problems from fall
♦ Tony and family recovered from Covid
To submit a prayer request:
Please contact Joyce Boddie,
Gail Castle, or Pastor Pat.
You may also email the church office
to add people to the Prayer List.
We Pray for many people
whose names are not published
Leadership Team Meeting
was held on
January 19, 2021
Here are some highlights
Our next Congregational Meeting will be on January 31st

Healthy Churches Thrive— Our Outreach Workshop was held on January 9th. Over 20 people attended and others watched online after the fact. The Action Team will continue to meet regularly to see that we are moving forward with our plans.

Solar Project— K-12 Energy has submitted plans to the City of San Jose for approval for permits. No change yet. Still waiting.

ELC— School continues. Carpet has also been installed and work is planned on replacing the back fence.

Lord’s Pantry— The Pantry continues to be busy. The special Christmas Toy Giveaway in December was successful. Volunteer coverage is low and has hampered daily activities. We have sufficient food.

Caring Ministry— Donna continues to serve our community through home visits, and hundreds of phone calls. Health Ministry Corner articles are sent out by Constant Contact each week.

GDLC Finances/Budget— The budget completed in a very positive way.
Loan payments of $43,583 have been paid through 2020 for our Thrivent Loan. Current total of the loan is under $175,000. Please contact our Treasurer, Barbara McCalment if you have specific questions. As always, members are encouraged to use the “digital” platforms to make their tithes and offerings. If you need help with any of the plans, feel free to contact Dan Rinerson, who can help!
Worship Activities— We continue to worship online, either by live-streaming the service at 9:30 am Sunday, or replays later by Facebook or YouTube from the church's website.

Our Small Group Studies continue through Zoom.  

We continue to do monthly “drive through” communion. We will have it again on Sunday January 31st, and our 2020 Annual Report will be distributed at that time. 

Psalm 38:10a 

My heart throbs, my strength fails me.
Heart disease does not discriminate between men and women. Unlike the field of sports which often does discriminate against girls and women. The following information is from their websites:

National Wear Red Day this year
will be celebrated/observed on
Friday, February 5th

Every year the first Friday of February has been dedicated to National Wear Red Day as an awareness day for American women to understand their number one health threat - heart disease. The day encourages women to know their Blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels, as well as their body mass index (BMI) to better understand their health risk for heart disease.
February 3, 2021, Marks the 35th Annual
National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) 

Every year this celebration inspires girls and women to play and be active, to realize their full power. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the importance of staying mentally and physically healthy during challenging times.​ Whether virtual or other, we invite you to safely celebrate NGWSD in your community and to join the Women’s Sports Foundation as we Lead Her Forward in 2021.
February Health Observances: American Heart Month, International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, February 3 National Girls and Women in Sports Day, February 5 National Wear Red Day, February 22- Feb. 27 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Foothill Presbyterian, a neighboring Church and strong supporter of our Pantry, is offering a Pandemic Cookbook with all profits going to the Lord's Pantry.
Please feel free to Share with Friends & Family
Click below to order yours!
Additional Food for thought on our Pastor's Message

What Does it Mean to Become Fishers of Men?

Simon and Andrew were fishermen, as were James and John. That was what they did; it was their identity. They weren't ever going to be anything other than fishermen. Certainly in the case of James and John, fishing wasn't just their identity - it was a family identity. Jesus talks to them about what they know, fishing, and uses it to give them a vision of what God can do through them.

Christian philosopher Dallas Willard once wrote: “Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you.” You might not be a fisherman, but you are a *something*.

What if Jesus wants to use you in whatever it is you spend your time doing, to bring about the Kingdom of God where you are? That's discipleship, and as we go about our primary call of following Jesus, we gradually become more like him so that others around us can see Jesus in us.

Excerpted from: What Being 'Fishers of Men' Really Means by Jack Skett, Published April 2018, Christian Today

2 Marlene Swanson
7 Rikky Bakken
& Mike Glantz
10 JT Dehart
14 Dennis Eliason
17 Sal Rositano
23 Kim Markie

Thoughts on Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
~Luke 4:7-12 (NIV)
I am a Christian 

When I say “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I am saved.”
I’m whispering “I get lost”
That is why I chose this way.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
And need someone to be my guide.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I am weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are too visible
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I seek HIS name.

When I say “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority
I only know I’m loved.

~Maya Angelou
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