Good News, 11.24.09

Friends:

“O God, stir the swirling times, stir the heavens, stir the unexpected, stir the wandering flock, stir the longings of our hearts.”

The Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service tomorrow night at 7:00 pm will be a beautiful evening of prayer, music, reflection and gratitude. If you are in town I hope you participate and will freely welcome all of our interfaith guests and friends. A Reception follows so if you wish to bring snacks or dessert goodies they will be appreciated. Charlene McPherson will gladly accept your assistance.

Congratulations to April Miletich and Matt Rasmussen on their wedding this past Saturday. What a joyous occasion for both families and all their friends.

Ilah Martin and Gabriella Maneira held their own during their Baptisms this last Sunday too. What a blessing they are to all of us.

This Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Advent and the new Church Year. In honor of this great occasion, the texts for the day and lingering Thanksgiving feasting memories, we will Stir Up a Cake to anticipate the Spirit stirring up our lives during Advent. You won’t want to miss this delightful worship celebration.

Before and after worship Deacon Charlene McPherson has made all the preparations for you to make an Advent Wreath with your family. Enjoy this great tradition!

Please keep in your prayers: Denise, Genevieve, Jerry, friends at Kista Congregation, the unemployed, our partners in Laurel Galan and Venda, South Africa, the hungry, the least of our brothers and sisters, and the Laversin Family whose mother Elsie Mae’s Memorial Service was held at Peace on Monday.

Blessed Thanksgiving, Pr. Steve

Good News, 11.20.09

Friends:

Jesus was trying to open the eyes of his contemporaries to see the world differently, to see it as it really is — right side up — and above all, to see God as our loving and merciful Abba.  To see the truth of things as they really are, to see the truth of ourselves as loved is what makes you free, healed, whole and happy. –  Albert Nolan

This Sunday we will celebrate the conclusion of the Church Year – Christ the Vulnerable Sunday.  We will celebrate two baptisms with the Martin and Maneira families.  Pledge Cards can be brought to worship or mailed to the Church Office as we complete our Stewarding Season.

Congratulations to April Miletich and Matt Rasmussen who will be married this Saturday!  What joy for both families.  Endless blessings on your life together!

“Job, Jobs and Joy”  Our favorite Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Celebration happens on Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00 pm at Peace.  In the midst of  difficult and uneven times it is important to gather with friends for support, encouragement and prayer.  Gifted musicians Dallas Smith and Susan Mazer will create a dynamic evening worship with us through harp, flute, sax, clarinet.  It will soothe your soul.  Please invite your friends. Bring canned goods for the Food Bank and a contribution for Shelter, Inc.  Our gratefulness will be nourished by prayers and acts of compassion.  A Reception follows – Charlene McPherson has volunteered to coordinate this.  Who can assist her???

Green Pathways Out of Poverty:  Core Values & Critical Issues for our Times:
Sunday, November 22, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Peace

Come to this event cosponsored by the East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council and the Interfaith Council to hear Michele McGeoy speak about Solar Richmond, an organization that has successfully lifted people out of poverty.  The event is free of charge and will include a light buffet.  RSVP by November 18 to Myrna David at myrna@jfed.org or 510-318-6417.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……….meditation……dark, still, candle lit, quiet centering,  awareness-open, friends breathing peace…… and you.  Thursdays in the sanctuary from 5:45 – 6:30.

You are invited to The Gingerbread House Decorating Party on Saturday, December 5 from 10 – Noon.  This annual event is for children (ages 3 through 5th grade) and their parents. There are 35 houses available and only 10 remain available. Be sure to sign up as soon as possible…as in NOW at Peace on Sunday or send Pr. Anita an email at:  anita@peacejourney.org.  You won’t find a better family Christmas Party anywhere!  Be sure to include the number of children and adults who will be attending. (Anita asks that all those attending make plans now to stay for the entire two hours.)

After discussion with the Church Council it was decided to postpone the Christmas Tea for the women of Peace until the Spring Time, probably around Mother’s Day.  Heidi Hanzo appreciates your patience and promises you a wonderful occasion then.

Advent Wreath Making will be offered to you before and after worship on November 29th, which is the first Sunday of Advent.

Are you hungering for a deeper spiritual exploration:  maturing experiences of reflection, prayer and conversation?  The Catechumenate program may fit your need. Running from Advent through Easter this ancient teaching/prayer practise will lead you to a more profound experience of your faith.  Talk with me if you are interested.  You do not have to be a spiritual genius to begin!

Enjoy This! The Central California Band Review is held once a year in Merced for Marching Bands, Drill Teams, Jazz Bands and Jazz Ensembles.  Dozens of schools participate in this all day event.  Each group is judged on a wide range of categories using a point system, and awards are given to the top performing groups.  Also, a special award is given to the outstanding soloist from all the jazz groups. This year the judges really liked Alexei’s guitar solo on a Latin jazz number. Tthe judges panel said, ” Alexei’s solo had very good lines and changes, not just your usual chord comping from a guitarist.”  He received a trophy for his solo performance during the final awards ceremony.  Way to go, Alexi!

The SRVHS has a winterconcert on December 8.  The high school jazz groups will give the same performances as the Merced event, including Alexei’s solo.   Everyone is invited.  It starts at 7:00 p.m.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 11.13.09

Friends:

Wasn’t our Show or No Spaghetti Dinner marvelous! Such a blessing that we have a young family with a baby who loves to cook scrumptious meals for our congregation!  And the fudge and brownies – made by a true Chocolatier – were exquisite!  Anika and Brielle were fantastic hosts.  Except for Bev Harms’ excessive comments, the mini-journey through Israel was appreciated too. (Couldn’t have happened without tech-wizard Jan Johansson.)  The event raised over $800 for Peace.  Our gratitude to Raddi, Susanna and Jasper for this wonderful evening.

Your Stewarding Pledges may be presented at worship this Sunday.

Youth and Family (Yo/Fam): On November 15 all the adults of Peace who want to encourage Yo/Fam ministry are invited to meet with Deacon Christine Johansson after worship for a half hour conversation.  The Junior High Group also meets on November 15 with Ceil McCloy.

The final discussion/reflection on The Shack will happen after worship this Sunday at 11:30 with Deacon Gil Jardine.

Our Partnership Ministry continues and concludes the Nicaraguan Mercado (benefiting Lutheran World Relief and our Partnership Ministry) on November 15th.

The Beads for Life will also be made available by Pr. Anita for the final time this Sunday.  The Ugandan women whose skills have created these beads in order to sustain their families, friends and community living with AIDS/HIV, thank you for your support.

Core Values/Critical Issues: Green Pathways Out of Poverty
Sunday, November 22, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Peace.
Come to this event cosponsored by the East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council and the Interfaith Council to hear Michele McGeoy speak about Solar Richmond, an organization that has successfully lifted people out of poverty.  The event is free of charge and will include a light buffet.  RSVP by November 18 to Myrna David at myrna@jfed.org or 510-318-6417.

“Job, Jobs and Joy”  Please join the Interfaith Community for our treasured Annual Thanksgiving Eve Celebration on Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00 pm at Peace Lutheran Church. In the midst of  difficult and uneven times it has become even more important to gather with friends for support, encouragement and prayer.  Gifted musicians Dallas and Susan Mazer will create a dynamic evening worship with us through harp, flute, sax, clarinet and more.  It will soothe your soul. Join us – with canned goods for the Food Bank and in support of Shelter, Inc.  Our gratefulness will be nourished by prayers and acts of compassion. A Reception follows – Charlene McPherson will coordinate it.  Who can assist her?

The Women’s Group met this week and will meet again on Wednesday, December 9.

A Christmas Tea will be held in honor of the Women at Peace on Tuesday, December 8 in the early evening.  Heidi Hanzo will share details with you this Sunday.  You will have the option to invite a whole table of friends and create the Tea Table of your Dreams with friends beyond Peace as well.

Please keep in your prayers: Nadia Maghami on her baptism; Genevieve  who is recovering from a liver transplant; Denise recovering from surgery; Roy, Georgia, Jerry Slater; those with addictions; the unemployed; those living with mental illnesses.

The Catechumenate:  Interested in nurturing your faith through an Adult Untensive program?  This ancient teaching practise of the church may be just right for you.  Contact me if you are curious.

Don’t Miss:
Abigail Vass (Pastor Elizabeth’s 15-year-old daughter) will appear in Las Positas College’s upcoming production of The School for Scandal, the 18th-century classic comedy of wit and (very bad) manners, set in contemporary times.  Playing the role of Maria, the young heiress and main romantic interest, Abigail is earning college credit for her work in the production.  Performances are November 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and November 22 at 2 p.m.  For advance reservations, call (925) 424-1812.

And don’t let anyone kid you that the housing market is stagnant because the houses in Gingerbread Village are going fast! There’s still a cul-de-sac or two of homes left for children to decorate on Saturday, December 5 from 10:00-12:00 p.m. so sign up on Sunday or by emailing Anita at anita@peacejourney.org.  (Please remember that at least one adult is to attend with children and all who attend are asked to remain for the two hour period.)

Always remember a day without sunshine is like…………..night.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 11.03.09

Friends:

We are no less if we lead an obscure life unknown to the world.  We are no more if we are famous, if our names are in headlines or on TV.  Our true existence lies in being known by God who is love; whose “knowing” loves us into Beloved Daughters and Sons.  This is why St. Francis so often repeated: ‘I am who I am before God.’  Ernesto Cardenal

Our All Saints celebration will continue to reverberate within our hearts for quite some time.  The Shofar blowing of Dr. Warren Gould was profound (if you would like a copy of the background notes he shared they’ll be available this Sunday); the Shema text and chant from Deuteronomy is always moving; the Prayer Shawls express such love (our thanks to Lois McGee and Pr. Margareta for the Prayer Shawl Ministry); Jeanie and Sue created beautiful music; and the next time you need comfort, come to Communion holding the hand of friend as Daniel and Natalie showed us!

This Sunday our Partnership Committee will share a Temple Talk about our Partnership and present the finest Nicaraguan Mercado (“market”) you’ve seen all year!   The Mercado will be available on November 8 and 15th and will benefit Lutheran World Relief and our Partnership Ministry. Do all your shopping at Peace and make the world a better place.

The Beads for Life are available from Pr. Anita on the next two Sundays during November.   Thank you for supporting these Ugandan women whose lives have been compromised by AIDS. Honey from the Monastery can also be yours.  Keep the monks praying!

Kids Care begins this Sunday! After Children’s Time if the younger ones need time together and the parents would like to focus on the homily, Bob Winter will take the children to the Nursery.  They will return for Communion.  We are hoping at least 8 adults will participate in being with the children so this important responsibility can rotate gracefully.  Please notify Bob if you are willing to assist.

Youth and Family (Yo/Fam) will meet with teens and parents after worship on November 8 to explore possibilities and activities for this year.  On November 15 all the adults of Peace who want to encourage Yo/Fam ministry are invited to meet with Deacon Christine Johansson after worship. for a half hour conversation.  The Junior High Group also meets on November 15 with Ceil McCloy.

The NATS Recital  was indeed a beautiful concert – refreshing for the ear, heart and soul.  Elisabeth Pfeiffer sang wonderfully.

The Shack Book Discussion continues after worship on November 15th with Deacon Gil Jardine.

The Debt Retirement Committee raised over $ 2,335 this past Sunday!  December 15th is our deadline.

It is Finally Here – (and Jasper made his first Announcment at church):  Our ‘Show or No Spaghetti Dinner’ is on Saturday, November 7 at  6:00 PM. Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and Susanna’s famous brownies 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 12 and under (4 and under are free).  Pr. Steve and Bev will share highlights from their journey to Israel during dessert. Contact Raddi El Mogazi after church or by email (raddi1@yahoo.com)  – by Friday –  to buy your ticket and reserve your place.  Sign up your friends and bring a bottle of your favorite wine.

Stewarding Sunday will be November 15th.  You are asked to submit your Pledge Cards on or before that day.

The Broadway Chorus sings The Great American Songbook at the Amador Theater in Pleasanton on November 6 and 7 (at 8 pm) and 8th (at 2 pm),.  Please speak with Martha Mantei about tickets and Discount Cards!

Jazz at Peace is this Sunday at 5 pm with bassist Fred Randolph and his Quintet. Make your heart happy!

We have 3 Important Upcoming Dates for your Calendar:

  1. Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service, 7:00 pm at Peace:  Job and Jobs – hear the incredible Healing Music of Susan and Dallas Mazer (harp and woodwinds).  Invite friends.
  2. The Gingerbread House Decorating Party is on Saturday, December 5 from 10 – Noon.  This annual event is for children (ages 3 through 5th grade) and their parents. There are 35 houses available and 7 have already been claimed so be sure to sign up as soon as possible. Sign up at church on Sundays or send Anita an email to anita@peacejourney.org. Be sure to include the number of children and the number of adults that will be attending. (Anita asks that all those attending make plans now to stay for the entire two hours.)
  3. A Christmas Tea will be held in honor of the Women at Peace on Tuesday, December 8 in the early evening.  Please reserve the date now.   Further details to come.

The Women of Peace will meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is at Peace on November 11 from10 to Noon.  All the women of Peace are invited.

Core Values/Critical Issues: Green Pathways Out of Poverty
Sunday, November 22, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Peace.

Come to this event cosponsored by the East Bay Jewish Community Relations Council and the Interfaith Council to hear Michele McGeoy speak about Solar Richmond, an organization that has successfully lifted people out of poverty.  The event is free of charge and will include a light buffet.  RSVP by November 18 to Myrna David at myrna@jfed.org or 510-318-6417.

I had the opportunity to share Communion with Ki Altemus last week.  She sends her love and greetings to all of her friends at Peace.

During these next few weeks we will get to celebrate 4 Baptisms!

“In God we are created, in Christ we die, in the Holy Spirit we are resurrected!”

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Late Breaking News Headline!

Abigail Vass (Pastor Elizabeth’s 15-year-old daughter) will appear in Las Positas College’s upcoming production of The School for Scandal, the 18th-century classic comedy of wit and (very bad) manners, set in contemporary times.  Playing the role of Maria, the young heiress and main romantic interest, Abigail is earning college credit for her work in the production.  Performances are November 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and November 22 at 2 p.m.  For advance reservations, call (925) 424-1812.

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