~ WHO WE ARE ~

What We Believe

about

We believe in God who gave us life and all the earth and its creatures to live with as family. We believe in Jesus who showed us the way and is the way to live in God’s love. We believe in the Spirit who is as near as our breath and who turns strangers into family.

We believe in Jesus’ Table, where everyone is welcome and there is always room at the table for everyone. Gathered by God we worship, learn, share, and celebrate together.

Our ministry is constantly evolving but the one constant is sitting around the table together. We learn where to go by saying “yes” when the Spirit calls.

We read the Bible to understand what it meant when it was written and what God might be saying to each of us in our own lives.

We come from lots of beliefs and points of view. Everybody has a story to share and wisdom to impart. We are enriched by one another as we explore the journey of life and faith together.

We encourage you to bring your talents and resources to join with ours as we work for the common good of our community.

We hope you will join us soon.

WHAT WE DO

In the middle of this beautiful and productive organic farming region, many people in Esparto don't have access to healthy food. So we decided to focus our ministry around food. We can't do everything, but we can welcome people to the table.

Saturday night everyone is invited to a Pot Luck Fellowship Supper with a discussion, prayers, songs and great food. (With Covid 19 we are not meeting. We will restore this supper and social time as soon as we are able to.) Watch our Calendar

Through Sunday's Table we provide fresh meats, eggs, bread and produce to everyone who wants it. After our morning worship, while members and neighbors wait in line, we get to know each other, sing and pray in Spanish and English, share coffee.

We also have a Cooking and Canning Group (Stir It Up), and are beginning a Kitchen Garden.

We were beginning to host Monthly Movie and Music with a theme of community, food and farming. Our first was, “Biggest Little Farm.” We have also enjoyed a fiddle and guitar duo, a magician, and speakers for community gatherings. (This is on hold because of Covid 19).

We welcome everyone to join us in this joy-filled ministry.
 









 

Our House Is Your House

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We welcome community groups, families and individuals to use our church for classes, meetings, small groups, book clubs, meditation, weddings, quinceañeras, concerts, plays, art classes, music groups, lessons and practice rooms… give us a call.

Groups currently renting and sharing space with us are, Head Start Preschool, Calvary Baptist Church, Iglesia Pentecostal, Al Anon, AA, Yoga.

OUR LEADERS

Rev. Dr. Kathy was the pastor at Countryside in the 1990's and came back to serve as pastor again in the fall of 2016. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1977, Kathy has been serving in pastoral leadership with inner city congregations in Chicago and Detroit, in suburban congregations in Illinois and California, and here in Esparto. She has loved each church.

Kathy has a Masters of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree (focusing on the faith experiences of children). She is married to Tom, a clinical psychologist, and together they have one child, Ben, who is midway through college.


One of the marvelous things about Presbyterian churches is that we are democracies. Our members elect their own church leaders (called elders) who plan, organize, nurture and lead the congregation along with the partnership of the pastor.
Our elders are:
Elder Sherrie Barnett
Sherrie Barnett
Elder Cindy Brock
Cindy Brock
Elder Jim Durst
Jim Durst
Elder Ruth Gonzales
Ruth Gonzales
Elder Laurie Hayes
Laurie Hayes
Elder Betty Koeppen
Betty Koeppen
Elder Monica Martin
Monica Martin
Elder Dan Royer
Dan Royer

Our Church Heritage

In October of 1922 a group of local Christians started a Children's Sunday School in Esparto, and in March of 1923 they formed the Countryside Community Church as a Presbyterian church with the help of Rev. N.M. Fisk of Davis Community Church. In May of 1923 the first pastor, Rev. Samuel Holsinger, began leading worship at the Esparto High School, and by October of 1924 they had built and moved into their new church, the beautiful pink brick building on the corner of Fremont and Grafton. All in 2 years!

 

Over the years this church has housed boy scouts and campfire girls, AA, NA and Al Anon, book clubs and quilting clubs, Bible studies, movies and games, art shows, concerts, teas and jitney dinners*. The church ladies also served big breakfasts on tables at the high school entrance to celebrate the students' victories in sports or academics. All over the Capay Valley there are adults with fond memories of attending Vacation Bible School at Countryside Church every summer when they were children.

*(In the early part of the 20th century, jitney was a little bus, with cheap fares of a nickel. A jitney dinner then was a little buffet dinner which served hearty food, one big scoop for a nickel.)

 

Our Presbyterian Beliefs and Connections

Presbyterians affirm that God comes to us with grace and love in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and rose for us so that we might have eternal and abundant life in him. As Christ's disciples, called to ministry in his name, we seek to continue his mission of teaching the truth, feeding the hungry, healing the broken and welcoming strangers. God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us the energy, intelligence, imagination and love to be Christ's faithful disciples in the world. Within this framework we encourage members to think for themselves and we believe God calls each of us to use our variety of gifts for God's purpose and love.

America's government was patterned after the structure of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in the 1700s, with elected leaders governing and representing each congregation, larger geographical collections of churches called presbyteries, and even larger regions called synods. All are part of the Presbyterian Church USA. We are independent but we are also sister churches who help and support one another. You can learn more about our history, theology and mission works that spread the Gospel throughout the USA and around the world at www.pcusa.org.

Our Purpose

To help people experience God's love for them personally, in their own lives

To help people express the love of God in the lives of those around them

To be a spiritual home in Esparto where the hospitality, love and peace of God are available to all

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