Good News, 02.19.09 and a Crabby Correction

Please Note: The Crab Feed is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 and not Saturday, March 5 as previously announced. If you arrive on March 5 (Thursday) you will have an insufferable wait for your bowl of cracked crab! Now, on to the Good News!

Friends:

Blessed are you Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to the little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.  (Matthew 11: 25)

Join us for worship this Sunday as we celebrate the Eucharist with the 11 children of our Early Communion Class.  They will have baked the bread for communion.

Please join Maili Malvre for the Class on the Psalms beginning tomorrow night, Thursday from 7 – 8:30 pm.  You will learn about their background, literary design, poetry and hear musical interpretations.  The 3 sessions are on Feb. 26, March 5th and 12th.

The NATS Recital was marvelous.  A fine array of singers.  Great encouragement for the young singers involved and we heard some profound, mature voices as well.  Thanks to Sue Field for incorporating this Recital within the life of Peace.

Congratulations to the newly elected members of our Church Council:  Judy Warner, Secretary; Gil Jardine, Education Deacon; Denise Dawson and Heather Macloed, Co-Deacons for Justice Advocacy.

The Crab Feast occurs March 7 at 5:00 PM at the church.  $40 / adult; $20 for children 12 and under.
Includes salad, spaghetti and meatballs, bread, soft drinks and a small dessert.  Bring a bottle of your favorite wine if you wish.  The Crab is served pre-cracked, but bring ‘crab crackers’ if you have them  People can email Raddi at raddi1@yahoo.com to sign up and to let him know about items they have for The Silent Auction.  He will also be available after each service to collect money and sign people up.  An accurate head count will greatly help ensure we spend our money wisely.  This is our biggest fund raiser of the year, so anything we can do to encourage people to sign up their friends, families and neighbors would be greatly appreciated!

Ash Wednesday begins Lent next week on February 25th.  Please join us for worship at 7:30 pm.

A few tiles remain in the Gathering Hall.  Help us distribute their beauty to all of your friends.  All the proceeds will benefit Peace.

GNOSTICISM IN THE EARLY CHURCH AND BEYOND
A Lenten study course for adults led by Rev. Elizabeth Felts and Joan Michel-Lehman
Sundays after worship in the youth room, beginning March 1

As children, we were taught that there are 27 books in the New Testament, but in fact there were hundreds of Christians writings in circulation during the church’s early centuries.  Some of the more controversial were the “gnostic” texts, many discovered only very recently, which claimed to convey secret wisdom that Jesus did not reveal in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Gnosticism was the root of some interesting practices in the early church, including cross-dressing and communal living, and some theological beliefs that modern Christians would find shocking.  In our class, we will learn about the gnosticism of the early church and see how gnosticism has endured to our time in religion, art, literature and film.

I hope you will participate!  Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 02.14.09

Friends:

There is no greater treason than to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”  T.S. Eliot

Welcome to all our new members:  Gil and Bobbie Jardine, Joan Michel-Lehman, Heather Macleod and Denise Dawson, Greg and Nancy and son Ryan Reeder-Daubenmire, Ro Lo Bianco, and Robert and Alessandra Kath and children Sarah, Paul and Elizabeth.  You are a blessing to Peace!

The children’s prayers from the Early Communion Class this past Sunday are as pure as it gets.  They will bake the Communion Bread for us and their Class Celebration will be at worship on February 22.

The Psalms Class with Maili Malvre was so appreciated that several people have asked that it be offered again in the evenings so that more people can participate.  Maili has agreed to teach 3 sessions on the Psalms (background, literary design, poetry, musical interpretation) on Thursday evenings from 7 – 8:30 pm starting February 19, 26 and March 5.

Thanks to the Greening Committee especially Ro Lo Bianco and the Youth Group for the New Plantings in our Native Garden.  Our Youth are tried and true – ready to get in the mud and do what needs to be done.  Thanks for caring about our Earth!  (The Altar Guild reports we are also reusing our Communion glasses now too.)

The Junior High Group had a great meeting last Sunday and learned about interesting parallels between CS Lewis’s work The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and passages in the Bible.  Their motto is:  Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22: 37 – 38, The Great Commandment) .  They will be providing the goodies for our Hospitality Hour this Sunday!

The Crab Feast occurs March 7 at 5:00 PM at the church.  $40 / adult; $20 for children 12 and under.
Includes salad, spaghetti and meatballs, bread, soft drinks and a small dessert.  Bring a bottle of your favorite wine if you wish.  The Crab is served pre-cracked, but bring ‘crab crackers’ if you have them  People can email Raddi at raddi1@yahoo.com to sign up and to let him know about items they have for the Auction.  He will also be available after each service to collect money and sign people up.  An accurate head count will greatly help ensure we spend our money wisely.  This is our biggest fund raiser of the year, so anything we can do to encourage people to sign up their friends, families and neighbors would be greatly appreciated!

A Class on Gnosticism will be taught by Pr. Elizabeth Felts and Joan Michel-Lehman during the season of Lent.  It begins on March 1 after worship and Hospitality and then continues for the next 4 Sundays.  (Pr. Elizabeth specialized in this topic in her Seminary Days.)  The group will meet in the Youth/Art Room.  We hope scheduling the class at this time will make it convenient for you.  You will be delighted by all you learn about the struggles the Early Church engaged in in order to understand the life, meaning and work of Christ.

Jazz at Peace was simply amazing with Marcus Shelby and his Orchestra.  A crowd of 250+ people enjoyed the evening.  One of the 3 vocalists, Kenny Washington, flew out on a red eye flight that night – after our event – so he could sing at Lincoln Center the following evening.  My thanks to so many members of Peace who participated in the evening by sharing the work load and spreading the word.  Especially to the Jazz at Peace Team who have faithfully made this ministry perform:  Lars and Margit Johansson, John Baker, Jan and Pr. Margareta, Bob Worthington, Joan and Dana Squire, and Ed and Libby Klitsch.

Congratulations to Matt and April Miletich who have become engaged!!

Please keep in your prayers:  Ceil’s dad who has a broken hip, John McVicar, Bob Sweeney, Nancy van Diest, Annie.

Must Move Tiles Now! Annie Haines has had artistic tiles available for purchase.  Now it is time to clear the inventory.  Prices are being drastically cut to $1/tile.  If you paid full fare last Fall ($5/tile) you get 3 for Free.  All proceeds will benefit Peace.  Thank you.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent is February 25.  Our Service will be at 7:30 pm.

From Brian Stein-Webber and the Interfaith Council:

We all knew that recent economic downturns would be difficult on a wide range of our society.  But Tim O’Keeffe of SHELTER, Inc. recently wrote me in an email, “Our midyear service numbers show a 70% increase in the number of people coming to us for help.  It’s overwhelming.  Please ask your congregations to pray for the poor in our community, especially the working poor families, our political leaders, and the service providers who are struggling to meet the need.

We also hear from the Contra Costa Crisis Center that volume on their emergency numbers is crushing.  With a slowed economy, our ability to help others is curtailed.  But for those of you who still can, and those of you in the middle, please be as generous as possible to those in need, and encourage our lawmakers to hold the line on cuts to our most vulnerable.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 02.05.09

Friends:

God sees only Christ in us and we must see Christ in others.  We must put love and strength and courage where there is none and we will find it.  This is how we bring Christ to birth precisely where there is no room – in our hearts and in the hearts of others.  –  Dorothy Day

This Sunday you get to hear the wonderful flute duo of Jeanie Locklear and Linda Beirn in addition to the singing of Elisabeth Pfeiffer.  We will also welcome New Members.  Should be a marvelous morning.

martinlutherkingihavedreaml“Jazz speaks for life,” said Martin Luther King at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964.  “The blues tell the story of life’s difficulties – and, if you think for a moment, you realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.  This is triumphant music.”

Sunday at 5:00 pm Jazz at Peace honors Black History Month with Marcus Shelby and his 15 piece Brass Orchestra.  Jazz Vocalists Faye Carol, Kenny Washington, Jeannine Anderson  and Nicolas Bearde will also participate.   Through our efforts to get major publicity out for this unique Spiritual and Cultural Event in our county, I received word that one guest is already bringing 17 friends with him!  The Jazz Team hopes that you are coming with friends to share in this musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.  Additional people are needed to help with the set up at 4 pm or the Reception following the event.  If you are willing to help please let me know or just show up!  Thanks.

The Church Council asks you to sign up for Peace Keepers during the month of February.  In these difficult times we as a congregation have a variety of resources to share which are not strictly financial.  Peace Keepers is a way of networking our resources for the good of Peace and the benefit of our members and friends.  A flyer will be presented to you on Sunday. You may have other needs to request or gifts to share.

Maili sent word that our Estonian guest Rein (who spoke about Tartu Jaani kirik /St. John’s Church) last Sunday shared he was most impressed by the genuine openness and friendliness of our congregation “Rein mentioned to me that he has seldom met a more attentive and warm audience in all  his lecture tours.  And that he will carry all the good will and warmth back to Estonia. I am happy for us and for him.” If you would like to see pictures of this remarkable church please examine the booklet in the Gathering Hall after worship on Sunday.

You asked for it and we delivered!  A class on Gnosticism, led by Pr. Elizabeth and Joan Michel-Lehman will be presented after worship in the Youth Room on Sundays throughout the season of Lent beginning on March 1.  Details to come.  Make this part of your Lenten experience.

Sue Field invites you to attend  the NATS Recital at Peace on Sunday, February 15 at 3:00 pm.  All are welcomed to enjoy these 8 gifted singers in a one hour concert.

For the month of February Pr. Anita and Dana are hosting a Bead Party after worship.  The necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and loose beads come from an organization called Beads for Life.  The craftsmanship is beautiful and the mission awesome!

Our Congregational Annual Meeting will be Sunday, February 15 after worship. Brief and focused, your participation is requested.

It is said that there is no life without a Crab Feast!  Ours is scheduled for Saturday, March 7.  Details to come!

Please take a minute to check out the updated Media Library and the Music Ministry page which provides the upcoming choir rehearsals for the Lenten Season and Easter Sunday. All are invited to participate.

Blessings, Pr. Steve