Good News, 03.25.09

Friends:

One always learns about one’s mystery at the cost of one’s innocence.

Thanks to the Healing Prayer Team, the Confirmands and Pr. Margareta for all their work in creating last Sunday’s Healing Prayer Service.  Isn’t Taylor’s painting deLightful! [Images from Sunday’s worship below]

Healing Prayer is also available during the week with two or more people from the Team ready to pray with you.  Contact me if you would like to request this.

The Partnership Committee would like you to consider being part of a Delegation to Nicaragua July 6 – 16.  You’ll be learning more about this opportunity these next Sundays.

We will have fun celebrating our 10th Anniversary this Sunday.

Please sign up for the Seder this Sunday.  The Confirmation Parents (who have teenagers in their homes) are coordinating this Passover Celebration at which Jesus instituted the Eucharist.  You can assist by volunteering to prepare some of the food as well.  Holy Week is April 5 – 12.  Seder is Thursday, April 9.  You are encouraged to invite friends.

We will have to postpone the Deep Clean/Green Clean scheduled for this Saturday.  I know this announcement causes great wailing and gnashing of teeth but sometimes that’s just the way it is.

Sr. Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, speaks at the Mt. Diablo UU church in Walnut Creek on Monday evening at 7:00 pm.  A flyer with details is available for you on Sunday.

Annie Haines Garage Sale was so popular she’s continuing it this Saturday.  Thanks for the support from all the Peace people.  Join her after 9am at 2825 Stratford Dr. in San Ramon (just off of Pine Valley).

Jazz pianist Dan Zemelman recorded his next CD at Peace this past Sunday.  He loves the piano, space and acoustics.  A wonderful use of our sanctuary don’t you think?

You are God’s Works of Art!

The Church Gathers

Good News, 03.19.2009

Friends:

Sometimes we judge the quality of our prayers to be poor or think “real prayers must be better than mine”.  False expectations of prayer leave us frustrated.  Here is a comment from John Chapman that will encourage you:  “One must pray for God’s sake; but you will not get any satisfaction out of it in the sense of feeling ‘I am good at prayer’ or ‘I have an excellent method’.  That would be disastrous,  since what we want to learn is who we are before God and face our own need, vulnerabilities and emptiness.  One should wish for no prayer, except precisely the prayer that God gives us – which is usually very distracted and unsatisfactory in every way.  But this prayer is true to who God knows and loves us to be.  (Spiritual Letters)

We will have a Healing Prayer Service this Sunday.  I think you will find this a service of comfort, strength and encouragement.

The Baha’i Assembly of Danville thanks you for your prayers and the signing of the Letters of Support for the imprisoned leaders in Iran.

The Spring Equinox occurs this weekend.  Join the Confirmands in Walking the Labyrinth after worship and hospitality – if you aren’t going to the Gnosticism Class.

A Garage Sale is happening this Saturday at Annie Haines home – 2825 Stratford Dr. (off of Pine Valley) in San Ramon starting around 9 am.  If you want to help her and Ro muscle some things out on to the driveway – feel free to join in earlier that morning.

Nancy Reeder-Daubenmire invites you to attend a Recital for her piano students at Peace on Saturday at 1:15 pm.  Most, not all, the students are beginners.  But you never know how artists will surprise you!

Our Church Directory has been updated is available for you to pick up at worship this Sunday.

Green Cleaning: Our Deep Cleaning of the sanctuary on Saturday, March 28 from 10 – Noon has become a Green Cleaning event.  Ro and members of the Green Committee will educate and provide you with top eco-friendly solvents to use in addition to your elbow grease.  There will be good coffee available too.

Our 10th Anniversary in our new Sanctuary is being celebrated with special festivities on March 29.  This will be a fun occasion to share stories, offer gratitude and give thanks for the life we share together.

There will be an Acolyte Training after worship on the 29th too.

Holy Week begins April 5 with Palm Sunday.  Sign up for the Seder this Sunday.  Easter is April 12.

I trust you enjoyed the Confirmands 20 Commandments last Sunday.  Surely someone out there is following all of them!

The next time the Lights turn on in your home, on the street or in your minds and hearts – remember you are already in God’s Temple!  (from – “Sunday Worship Experiences I will Never Forget”).

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 03.13.2009

Friends:

In prayer we discover what we already have.  You start from where you are and you deepen what you already have, and you realize you are already there.  We already have everything but we don’t know it and don’t experience it.  Everything has been given to us in Christ  All we need is to experience what we already possess. (Thomas Merton)

Members of the Bahai Assembly invite you to join them after worship on Sunday in signing letters in support of the imprisoned Bahai Leaders who are to go on trial in Tehran, Iran. Your prayers and loving actions are appreciated.

Several people expressed appreciation for our Lenten/Easter Choir last Sunday.  The choir loves encouragement and if you wish to join them during this season you can do so by arriving at 9 am on Sunday for rehearsals.

Our 10th Anniversary is on March 29. 10 months from now it will be 2010.  It is possible – because of another $60,000 Matching Gift given recently that our debt could be gone by then.  We are well aware of the stressful economic times we are in.  Yet there are 10 months left in this year.  If you can give $5 each month that will be $50 by year’s end.  If you can give $50 each month that is $500. If you can give $100 each month that is $1,000 by 2010.  Please consider what is best for you knowing that prayer and acts of encouragement are incredibly significant.  Two weeks ago our debt was $84,000 and now it is down to $64,000.  We are making surprising progress in the midst of painful times.

On Saturday morning March 28 you are invited to a Deep Cleaning Party at Peace.  We will honor our 10 Anniversary here by thoroughly cleaning the Sanctuary and Gathering Hall by making them fresh for Easter. Undoubtedly good coffee will be available!  Bring your elbow grease and happy hearts.  Join in the Festive Service on March 29.

This from Pr. Anita…

Family Springtime Cookie Decorating and Play Party
Saturday, April 4, 2009
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Peace Lutheran Church

I’d like to invite you and your kids to join in on a fun morning of cookie decorating, games activities, an indoor picnic lunch and a surprise or two. The children will be making Springtime sugar cookies, marshmallows lollipops,  and Rice Krispy Easter eggs.  We’ll also be working together on a special activity that will provide color and fun to  the next morning’s Palm Sunday worship service and playing a game or two that will lead into our lunch time together.

Cost: There will be a donation jar provided to help with expenses

What to Bring: Dress your children in play clothes as the frosting and sprinkles will be flying! Bring a
blanket to sit on and pack a picnic lunch for your family. Anita will provide  beverages, dessert, and the ants!

RSVP: Please let me know if you’re coming and how many children and adults will be attending  no later than Thursday,  March 19. I will be baking the cookies that week and  purchasing all the decorating supplies so an accurate count is needed. Please let me  know at that time if there’s some reason you’ll be arriving late or leaving early due to  other activities scheduled for that morning so I can plan any additional activities such as  games during the time when most children will be there. I hope that everyone can  arrange now to be with us for the full 2.5 hours.

‘Twill be a fun Easter Party!  Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 03.04.2009

Friends:

All that we do now ………must be done
In a Sacred manner.
We are the ones
We have been waiting for.”  Hopi Elder

Soup and Sacrament began this evening at 6:30.  It is a relaxing evening with a light and delicious meal, followed by conversation about your “Most Intriguing Questions about God and the Spiritual Life”.  We conclude with an informal Eucharist around 8:00.  Join us.

The Gnosticism Class is off to a great start with a marvelous presentation by Pr. Elizabeth this past Sunday and a gathering of 15 enthusiastic folk.  There is room for more.  Don’t miss out on Sundays after worship.  You’ll be surprised by the incredible, evolving nature of the Christian Community throughout the earliest centuries.

The final Psalms Class is tomorrow evening (Thursday) at 7 pm in the Youth Room.  Even if it is the only class you can attend please come and enjoy gifted teacher Maili Malvre!

The Crab Feast has over 100 people attending!  It will be a fantastic evening – especially with the Michigan University Tennis Team that Dana Squire is bringing!  Silent Auction items are still welcomed.  See you Saturday at 5:00.

There will be an Acolyte Training after worship this Sunday.

A blessing to share the Baptism Celebrations with Alden and Evelyn Tackett and their family this past Sunday.  What a gift for them to have Godmother (and Birthday Girl) Lois McGee praying for them too.

Keep in your prayers: Julie, Judy, Jasmine, Joan, Georgia, John, Maya, the Confirmands, Catechumens, those who are ill, seeking work, Peace Counseling Center, friends in Lwamondo Parish and Laurel Galan, Nicaragua.

You are invited to an Interfaith Prayer Gathering this Friday, March 6 at 7:30 pm at Community of Christ Church in Walnut Creek to pray for the seven members of the Bahai Leadership Council in Iran who have been in prison for nearly a year and who are about to stand trial on false charges of spying for Israel and insulting Islam.  Nobel Laureate and Legal Counsel, Shirin Ebadi, has not been permitted to see his clients.  Please pray for them.  We will learn more about this at Peace on Sunday too.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Belated Good News, 03.03.09

My apologies for not getting this posted on the website and out to you in email last week. – Anita

Friends,

A person complained to her Spiritual Teacher about how foolish most of her fellow workers were.  The Teacher responded, “It takes a very calm mind in order to see the virtues in others.”

The Gnosticism Class with Pr. Elizabeth and Joan Michel-Lehman began last Sunday after worship in the Youth/Art Room.  Please plan to attend for your personal and Lenten edification.

Hope you got to see the Photo Board of all the Early Communion Class kids preparing our Bread for last Sunday.  What a joy this class has been.

Soup and Sacrament gatherings will happen on Wednesday evenings during Lent from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  Enjoy a simple meal and then a delightful conversation with friends.  Our Theme this year is:  “Real Questions – What I really Want to Know from God”.

The Lenten/Easter Choir is rehearsing on Thursday evenings at 6:30.  You are always invited to join in!

One year ago we began having weekly Meditation, eventually settling on Thursdays from 5:45 – 6:30 as our regular time.  If you would like to try meditation feel free to drop in.  Brief instruction can be offered if it is desired.

I trust you know the details about our Crab Feast on Saturday, March 7 at 5:00 pm.
$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
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 us know about items they have for The Silent Auction.  Invite your friends to enjoy this great event with you.

Finally a word from the Interfaith Council:

We hear from the Baha’i community that seven members of the ad hoc administrative group that supervises the affairs of Baha’i believers in Iran, who have been under arrest for a year, will be put on trial on charges of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”  You are urged to contact your federal congressional representatives on this matter, expressing your concern about the safety of the Iranian Baha’i leaders.

Please keep these leaders in your prayers along with each other and the desire for a meaningful and transformative Lenten Season.

Blessings, Pr. Steve