Rev. Bob Azzarito is the new pastor at University Presbyterian Church (USA), a group nested in Fremont Presbyterian Church, an Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. Azzarito is battling a caricature of his own making. He has been attempting to aid the people of his church by using his sermons to show them the difference between the EPC, and the PCUSA. His sermon series on the church site is “Another Way of Seeing,” but the advertisement for it in the Inside Publications has the headline, “Is Evangelicalism the only way to view God?” And in a neighborhood local list service UPC member, Judy Kerri, wrote an invitation to the River Park Community:
University Presbyterian Church, a new church within the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), would like to extend an invitation for you to join us on Sunday mornings for our continuing series of sermons on “Another Way of Seeing.” If you have wondered whether or not there are other ways to understand God and the Bible other than Conservative Evangelicalism, then this study might be a help to you. Over the past several decades, Evangelical thinking has dominated the airwaves, and as a result many think this is the only way to understand theology. This Sunday, our new pastor, Bob Azzarito, who was himself raised in an Evangelical denomination before becoming a Presbyterian, continues to outline some of the main differences between Evangelicalism and the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).
This week he will be discussing the topic of salvation. Did you know that the concept of being “born again,” a common term and concept in Evangelical thinking, is not a standard Biblical definition of salvation? It might also be surprising to learn that the idea of salvation in the Bible has little to do with what happens after death. Join us at 11:15 am. Sunday, in the Chapel on the property of Fremont Church, 5770 Carlson Drive.
Azzarito, isn’t just talking about evangelicalism in general because he is addressing members who did not want to follow Fremont out of the PCUSA into the EPC. They rather chose and were given the privilege of staying PCUSA while being nested on Fremont’s campus for ten years. That was part of the package that allowed Fremont to leave with their property. So with each sermon Azzarito in some way addresses the members’ experience of having chosen to not go with the other members of Fremont. And with that he attempts to show the differences between EPC and the PCUSA. For instance in the first sermon, after commiserating with the people and what has happened to them, Azzarito states, “… I’ve decided to spend some time articulating what it means to be PC (U.S.A.) and not EPC,” and “I want you to understand the distinctives.”