36 East Victoria St.
Santa Barbara





It’s the new year and everyone is looking to the future. We’re all hoping this year will be better than the last. But what if God is able to redeem good things out of all the hardships and pain we suffer? What if he is able to use even our failures to achieve his purposes? Join us this Sunday as we begin a new series looking at the stories of 1st and 2nd Samuel and how God brings good things out of hopeless situations again and again and again.



SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 1:2-11, 19-20; 2:1-2

2 [Elkanah] had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

And he worshiped the Lord there.

And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;

    my horn is exalted in the Lord.

My mouth derides my enemies,

    because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like the Lord:

    for there is none besides you;

    there is no rock like our God.




Lord, this world is not the way it is supposed to be. 

We are bruised and broken by the curse.

Lord, we have not lived the way we were supposed to live.

We have cursed you and our neighbors.

Lord, we confess the ways we have sinned and our sinful responses to the ways we’ve been sinned against.

We have looked to other things to heal our pain.

silent confession

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Make us new.




On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land
Where my possessions lie

All o’er those wide extended plains
Shines one eternal day
There God the Son forever reigns
And scatters night away

I am bound I am bound
I am bound for the promised land
I am bound I am bound
I am bound for the promised land

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore
Sickness sorrow pain and death
Are felt and feared no more

When shall I see that happy place
And be forever blessed
When shall I see my Father’s face
And in His bosom rest





In times of crisis and confusion, we often utter the cliché, “God moves in mysterious ways.” It reminds us that God is always at work even when we don’t see him. Yet we still tend to expect that God’s work in this world will be unmistakable and obvious. How can we train our eyes to recognize the glorious work of God’s mission among us in the mundane and everyday things? Join us this Sunday as we celebrate Christmas and join the angels’ refrain: Glory to God in the Highest!



SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:21–35

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

    according to your word;

30 for my eyes have seen your salvation

31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”




To Thee I come a sinner poor, and wait for mercy at Thy door.
Indeed I’ve nowhere else to flee. O God, be merciful to me!
To Thee I come a sinner weak and scarce know how to pray or speak
From fear and weakness set me free. O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come a sinner vile. Upon me Lord vouchsafe to smile.
Mercy through blood, I make my plea, O God, be merciful to me!
To Thee I come a sinner great, and well Thou knowest all my state
Yet full forgiveness is with Thee, O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come a sinner lost, nor have I aught wherein to trust
But where Thou art Lord I would be, O God, be merciful to me!
To glory bring me Lord at last, And there when all my fears are past
With all Thy saints then I’ll agree, God was merciful to me
God was merciful to me.





It may not have been the Christmas we’re used to, but it arrived nonetheless. The gifts have been opened, the egg nog has been drunk, the cookies have been eaten, and the families have been Zoomed. But in the midst of all the festivities, did you catch the beauty and mystery of Christmas? Did you consider who that baby in the manger would be and what he would do? God’s power in the world often comes in surprising and hidden ways. It takes faith to see it. How do we learn to detect his hand at work in the world? Join us this Sunday as we worship the King who came to be with his people.



SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:1–20

2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,


“Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.




Almighty God who inhabits eternity, but dwells with those who are humble and contrite; we confess our sins to you.

We have ignored the presence of your Spirit in our lives.

Silent confession

We have failed to look to you as our Savior and Judge.

Silent confession-

Father, in your great goodness

Forgive our offenses and cleanse us from our sin, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.







We hear the words to the famous Christmas carol at coffee shops and retail stores this time of year—joy to the world, the Lord has come! Yet in reality, joy seems elusive and fleeting to most of us. Is it possible to have joy even in the midst of dark and painful seasons? Is there anything we can do to produce joy? Join us this Sunday as we celebrate Advent and learn to wait for Christ with joy.




Philippians 4:1–7

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.




Father, the light of your salvation shines in the world and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Yet we live as if your light cannot defeat darkness.
Forgive us for doubting your salvation. 

Through your Spirit, you never abandon us; your name is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

Yet when life becomes difficult, we fear your presence has left us.
Forgive us for turning to other things for comfort.

Jesus, at your return you promise to wipe away all tears and heal all pain. 

Yet instead of trusting you to restore your world, we take matters into our own hands.
Forgive us for doing what is right in our own eyes.

Lord, of these things we repent.

Help us to trust you and to live as your light, ever-waiting for your return.
Come, Lord Jesus!







A paradox is a statement that while seeming self-contradictory, actually describes reality.  The Christian life is full of paradoxes. God is one and three. God is absolutely sovereign and our choices actually matter. One paradox is that Christians are called to live in, attend to, and love the present form the world (Jer 29:4–4). Yet Chrsitians are also told not to love the world because the present form of the world is passing away (2 Cor 5:17). So which is it? Are we meant to settle down in the world or to remain detached from the world? This week will consider how to live in this tension in light of Jesus’ coming. Click HERE to RSVP to service.




1 Corinthians 7:25–30

25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.