Good News, 9.26.2008

Friends:

There will be no peace on earth until there is peace among people of all faiths. – Hans Kung

It was wonderful to have such a full house for Homecoming.  As Pr. Anita said Sunday, “Y’all come back now.  There’s church next Sunday too!” Several people have requested that the Council interpret Biblical texts like Jonah on a regular basis now.  The Prayer Shawl Lois made for Susanna was deeply appreciated. Don’t you think the congregation walking the Labyrinth is the perfect picture of Peace:  our lives interweaving, swirling in action and stillness simultaneously, always moving toward the Center.  And all the children (and adults too) being reminded that they are always welcomed home!

Beginning this coming Sunday, plan to linger after church for hospitality hour! A group of Peace Lutheran’s finest bakers and/or cookie buyers will be providing refreshments every Sunday after church. We encourage you to stay and add some more fellowship (and calories) to your week!

The Spaghetti Show or No Dinner was such a delightful evening.  What a blessing Raddi and Susanna gave us to relax and feast together.  The brownies were an experience of infinite chocolate. Many thanks to Raddi and Susanna!

The Holy Convergence is set to go for this Sunday.  Invite your friends to this unique Interfaith Festival.  Last year folks attended from Morgan Hill, Santa Cruz, Marin County, Santa Rosa and the Sierra foothills.  3 Tents are coming from the Methodist Church; 15 members from the LDS are coming on Saturday morning for set up and tearing down afterwards on Sunday; Sikhs, Buddhists, Bahai’s, Jews, Muslims, Sufis and many more are converging at Peace to create peace.  Join them and make the trek to this compassionate, joyful event of hope for our families and planet.

Confirmation got off to a great start.  Thanks to Margit and Lars Johansson for hosting us!

Don’t miss the Junior High gathering immediately after worship this Sunday.  All the cool people will be there and Ceil is leading this up and coming crew!

Pet Festival/Animal Blessing: The word is getting out but we really need your help to carry off our first Pet Festival on October 5.  ARF is co-sponsoring this with us and has already gotten word out to 500 people.  Community folks are excited and calling about details. We need you to invite friends and bring your kids and grandkids and be present on the 5th.

During the afternoon Anita will be hosting a children’s craft area where kids will be invited to decorate canvas treat tote bags for their dog, cat, bunny, bird, or pet rhinoceros. Canvas bone-shaped and fish-shaped food mats can also be decorated to keep their dog and cat’s dining area tidy. During the afternoon there will also be times for children to put down their crafts and play a game. Some of the games include:

  • The Ring a Duck Pool
  • Animal Coin Toss – Children are encouraged to bring pennies and other coins for this game. All change received will be donated ARF.
  • Animal Bingo
  • Leaping Frogs!
  • Pet Carrier Surprise
  • Puppy, Puppy, Where’s Your Bone?and who knows what other games Anita is purrrrrrrrrrrrrrfecting….

Please help Kersti get things delegated after worship on Sunday!!

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its members are always there to help in times of need. We are experiencing one of those times again this year as Hurricane Ike has impacted many Thrivent Financial members and their neighbors. Thrivent Financial is calling out to its chapters and initiating another National Chapter Response effort where your chapter members can be directly involved in helping those affected by the hurricane. Contributions for this effort will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2008. Through this response effort, your chapter members can form service teams to raise funds that will go to help those in need. For every $2 received by chapters nationally, Thrivent Financial will provide an additional $1, up to a total of $250,000.  All funds received will be distributed among these two disaster relief organizations to meet needs specifically related to the Hurricane Ike Response.  More information is available here.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 9.18.2008

Friends:

C’mon Home – though you’ve abandoned your spiritual vows and promised 10,000 times – C’mon Home.  We turn our backs on God day by day but not for one second has God ever turned away from us.  C’mon Home! – Rumi

Homecoming Weekend kicks off with our Show or No Spaghetti Feast on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  Even at this late date you are invited and will not be turned away – even on Saturday night!  Bring friends for a delicious and relaxing evening.  If you can’t make it, your support of this fundraiser is still appreciated.  Raddi and Susanna El Mogazi will be serving you their very rare Lebanese-Italian pasta specialty.  Bring a bottle of wine if you wish.

Our Homecoming Worship will celebrate the Sign of Jonah and the Fall Solstice.  Hear some of the most delightful comedy Scripture has to offer!

Charlene McPherson, the Worship Committee and Church Council invite you participate in Heard the Word which starts at 9:30 on Sundays.  It’s a chance to reflect on the Gospel for the day which will enrich your entire worship experience.  We will meet in the Gathering Hall.

The Hospitality Committee has 10 people signed up.  They’ll meet after to worship to organize themselves.  If you wish to join them and assist with goodies after worship, they will probably let you join them.

The Confirmation Class has their first class this Sunday afternoon at 3:30 in Margit and Lars Johansson’s home.  The whole congregation will be involved during the course of the year with these young people.  Please keep them in your prayers.

The new Junior High group will meet after worship on the 28th.  Ceil McCloy will be leading this group.

The Holy Convergence is happening Sunday, September 28 from 2 – 5:30 pm at Peace.  Bring friends to experience this delightful Interfaith Festival.  Would you like to help “person” the Peace Table?

The Animal Blessing/Pet Festival organizing Committee is in need of people to distribute fliers to local Pet Businesses this next week.  Can you help drop off fliers?  ARF is co-sponsoring this event with us and now is the time to get the word out.  You will receive promotional fliers about all our wonderful Fall Activities this Sunday.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 9.12.2008

Friends:

Community is not some sentimental ideal place or time where everybody lives together, loves each other, and always gets along.  That’s never going to happen.  Community doesn’t require total emotional harmony.  Rather it offers us the context where we try to love one another and receive the love and care of others.  – Henri Nouwen

Thanks to all who signed up for the Prayer Circle, Hospitality Committee and Prayer Shawl groups.  We’ll circulate the clipboards one more time this Sunday too.

You can also sign up to assist with the Pet Festival on October 5 which Kersti Malvre guarantees will be a fantastic occasion!

Keep Kim Ghinazzi and Cam Murillo in your prayers as they will be married this Sunday!

The Middle School Group will meet with Ceil after worship on September 28.

Keep in your prayers:  Bob Haines, Brayden Keller, Mark Miller on the death of his mother and friends who are unemployed. Unfortunately the Open House and Birthday Party for Bob Haines must be postponed.

Silly Sports Saturday. One thing we know is that for a party to be a party, party-goers are generally needed and so to confirm we have enough kids planning to join us at Super Sports Saturday on October 4 (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.), we’re asking that anyone planning to attend the party with their children RSVP no later than this coming Monday, September 15. Just email Anita directly at anita@peacejourney.org, and include the names and ages of the children attending and the number of adults that will be coming with them. If we have 12 children RSVP then the party’s a go. If less than 12 children RSVP then Anita will postpone Silly Sports Saturday until late Spring before the summer-fall sports programs kick into gear.

The Holy Convergence is an Interfaith Festival where we celebrate common aspirations with music, song, dance, chant and prayer.  We learn from religious leaders in Dialogue Panels about our differences and similarities.  We get to enjoy one another as cherished creations of God.  Join us on September 28 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 pm.  Drop in whenever you please.  Gen Estenson highly recommends you attend!

Confirmation begins on September 21 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  It will be an incredible year of discoveries and exploration.  Friends of Confirmands are invited to join the class also.  Remember Christy’s advice:  If you are asked to be a Mentor, the answer is Yes!

Homecoming Sunday is September 21.  I would love to gather the whole congregation back together on that Fall Equinox day after a night of Feasting on Spaghetti at the ‘Show or No Spaghetti Feed’ on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 5.  Will be a great time with lots of friends.  Sign up this Sunday or contact Raddi El Mogazi at: raddi1@yahoo.com.

Martha Mantei reminds you that the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Survivors of Suicide Loss will be at Crissy Field in San Francisco on September 27.  You can receive additional material about this important event from Martha.

Meditation and Contemplative Prayer are always available for you on Thursdays from 5:45 – 6:30 pm in the Peace Sanctuary.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News, 9.4.2008

Friends:

If more of us could serve as center of love and oases of peace, we would turn around a great deal of conflict, hatred, jealousies and violence.  This is the way we take on suffering and transform it.  Let us watch our words:  it is too easy to discourage, criticize, complain and rebuke.  Let us try to see even a small amount of good in a person and concentrate on that.  Let us be quick to praise, express gratitude and be gentle with God’s people. – Bishop Tutu

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Kimberlea Green, Northwest Regional Coordinator for Thrivent Financial writes:  “My team is thrilled Peace Lutheran and the Mosaic project were featured in the Thrivent magazine.  The members of Peace Lutheran have made a huge leap toward promoting interfaith communication and tolerance, and the magazine was the perfect tool for sharing your inspiration with all our members. Congratulations!” Click here to view the article online.

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Friends of Bob Haines are invited to an Open House in honor of Bob’s 85th Birthday on Sunday, September 21 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  No gifts please but cards are welcome.  Directions to follow.

The Confirmation Class is beginning on Sunday afternoon September 21 at 3:30 p.m.  If you know any 8th and 9th graders who should be involved, please notify Christy Winter or Pastor Steve.  Friends of our young people are welcomed also.

Ceil McCloy has offered to lead a Middle School Group this year.  We are gathering parents and young people together for a start up meeting after worship on September 28.  More details to follow.

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Homecoming Sunday is September 21 when we try to get all the members and friends of Peace back together after all of the varied summer activities and scatterings.  Mark your calendars so you can get back in the flow and rhythm of the Fall.
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To Kick Off this fun weekend we will have a “Show or No Spaghetti Dinner” on Saturday night the 20th at 5:00 p.m.  Spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread for those that choose to show, or a free night to do with as you wish for the “no shows.” $20 per adult, $15 per child. Contact Raddi El Mogazi after church or by email (raddi1@yahoo.com) to buy your ticket and reserve your place.  Sign up your friends and bring a bottle of your favorite wine.

Silly Sports Saturday

Four hours packed with a ridiculous amount of fun!
Games! Races! Crafts! Goofy Sports Cartoons!
Prizes and Surprises!
Major League Ballpark Lunch!
Silly Sweet Sundaes!

For all Peace Kids
preschool through 4th grade and their parents / grandparents
Saturday, October 4
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Peace Lutheran Church

RSVP at the Church or by emailing anita@peacejourney.org

A word from Rev. Brian Stein-Webber, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council:  Some say that politics and religion don’t mix.  Well, that may be true in that politics is about open-mindedness and compromise and dialogue (when it is at its best) and religion is usually about proceeding from a settled position and convincing others to think rightly.  (One could certainly characterize both politics and religion differently.)

But here’s one place where the two categories can mesh.  Religionists, through their spiritual practices (prayer, meditation, non-violent action, determined advocacy, speaking the truth in love) can interject spiritual values into the political sphere.  These values would include care for the poor, concern for unbridled greed, desire for justice and fairness, awareness of the tender precariousness of our existence, turning away from materialism.

There will be plenty of opportunity for religious “workers” to act in the coming months.  Make sure you’re busy in your practices!

Blessings, Pr. Steve