Good News, 01.21.10

Friends:

Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By “they” I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness. Think of it pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out places we have stripped away. Listen to its wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech. Nobody started it and nobody is going to stop it. The rain will speak as long as it wants and I am going to listen. – Thomas Merton

The Council has committed $500 as a “Matching Fund” for Haitian Support this Sunday through Lutheran World Relief. LWR has pledged $1 million to overall relief work in Haiti. LWR is accepting donations to the “Haiti Earthquake Fund” on its website, by phone at 800-LWR-LWR-2 and by mail at P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21298-9832. Members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans can get their gifts to LWR matched. Thrivent is giving $1 for every $2 donated. For more information or to have your gift matched, visit Lutheran World Relief: Haiti Earthquake.

Sue Field invites you to attend any or all of the CAPMT Recitals this Saturday at Peace. Recitals are at 10:30, Noon, 2:00 pm, 4:00 and 5:00 pm. The performers are from all over northern California who have achieved a superior rating in their Fall Performances.

Lori Eickmann sends her thanks to all who assisted with her Ordination. That includes: the congregation of Peace for hosting this celebration, Maili Malvre for serving as the Scripture Bearer, Charlene McPherson for Altar Guild coordination, Brielle Strom as our Acolyte, Karl Pfeiffer our Crucifer, and the Hospitality Team consisting of Gun Johnston, Nancy Carlston, Pat Thergesen, Lois McGee and Marlene Garrity. Musicians Alice O’Sullivan and Bruce Silverman presented marvelous musical gifts. The offering for the Ordination went to support another woman seminarian preparing for ministry at PLTS Seminary. Bishop Mark Holmerud said he was impressed with Peace and the creative worship too.

The Catechumenate Class begins Sunday evening, January 31st. There are 5 people in the class. If you want to participate you are welcomed. Share your questions with me if you have any.

The Early Communion Class begins this Sunday, January 23 at 3 pm at the Warner’s home. Children in grades 2 – 5 are encouraged to participate.

The Partnership Committee invites all members of Peace to our Partnership Retreat on Saturday, February 20, at 1:30 p.m. here at Peace. The purpose of this retreat is to provide you with in-depth information about our partnership ministries in Nicaragua and South Africa (including travel reports), and do develop objectives for future projects/activities. If you usually don’t attend our regular meetings, this retreat will be a great opportunity to learn more about our Partnership in a single afternoon. The retreat will conclude with a light meal.

Please keep in your prayers: Spoon Jackson, Tammy Winter, Jim, Denise, Richard, Ed, Randy, Declan, Jerry Slater, Gerry Grosz, Dick Byrum, the family of Susan Fetzner the unemployed, the people of Haiti, and Peace Counseling Center.

We look forward to meeting recently birthed Antonio Eloy Garzon and Marko Andre’ Johansson!

Love your enemies. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, the command to love one’s enemy is an absolute necessity for our survival. Love for our enemies is the key solution to the problems of our world. Jesus is not an impractical idealist; he is a practical realist. We have followed the practical advice of violence throughout the ages which has led us inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. We must find another way. Love, the creative force of Christ’s life, is the most potent resource available to us today. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 01.15.10

Friends:

There is a certain wisdom that settles into a life that does not attempt to control what everybody else ought to be thinking, saying, doing or voting on.  Wisdom, health, life and love cannot be found in trying to control the wind, but rather in harnessing the wind in the sails of receptive engagement of the present moment.  Enjoy the Spirit’s breathing. –  Martin Laird

We celebrate Lori Eickmann’s Ordination this Saturday at 3:00 p.m.  Please keep Lori in your prayers and participate in this blessing affirming her calling.

Children in 2nd – 5th Grades are welcomed to participate in the Early Communion Class which will begin on Sunday, January 23rd.  This is a delightful experience for the whole family.  Contact me with your questions or for more information.

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

Be sure to examine the Crosses from Bali and Ethiopia that Margaret Beeler’s family have presented to Peace.  There are so many expressions of our faith.

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be on February 7 following worship.

There was a refreshing Spirit at our Open House last Sunday.  Bev and I are thankful for all who could attend.   We promise that there will be more!

Keep your camel bags ready for travel in surprising Epiphany ventures.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 01.07.10

Friends:

O Christ, you saw the world through the eyes of a Child.  Save us from pride, anxiety, fear and apathy.   May we see ourselves with clarity, in simplicity and honesty.

Bev and I invite you to our Open House this Sunday from 3 – 6 pm.  Our address will be in Sunday’s bulletin and it’s in the Directory.  If you want to bring finger foods you may.  Please come by.

We will take our Christmas Tree down after worship this Sunday.  Your assistance is appreciated.  Also Tammy Valenta invites those who love to sew to bring your sewing machines to church so we can complete costumes for next year’s production.

Congratulations to Margareta and Jan Johansson on the birth of grandson Marco yesterday.  Quite an Epiphany gift!

An Early Communion Class for kids in 2nd – 5th Grades will begin on Sunday, January 24.  If your child would like to participate, please speak with me .

Lori Eichmann’s Ordination Service is Saturday, January 16 at 3:00 pm.  Please attend and offer your prayers for her ministry. Maili Malvre is coordinating the Reception.  Speak with her if you can assist.

Jazz at Peace this past Sunday was astounding!  135 – 140 people gathered to celebrate, sing and dance the love and peace presented by the Richard Howell Quintet.  Richard’s 11 year old son is an amazing conga player.  Half a dozen people said to me, ‘I can’t believe this is happening in a church!”

A new Tai Chi Chuan Class begins on Thursday, January 21 at 7:00 pm. New participants are welcomed.

The Women’s Group will meet next Wednesday, January 13 from 10 – 12 Noon at Peace.

Please keep in your prayers: Declan, Richard, Ed, Genevieve, Denise, Heather’s cousin, Jim Heinemeier, the unemployed, those living with addictions, the monks of Bat Nha Monastery, those searching the dark for light.

Wasn’t Shanise our guest singer a gift on Sunday? Thanks to Sue Field for creating beautiful music with her.

Congratulations to Parisa and Ro LoBianco who appeared in the Bay Area Kids Magazine in an article on how local couples and families celebrate Interfaith Holidays on occasions like Christmas.  The article is posted on our Kiosk.  Ro is willing to autograph copies but Parisa isn’t so sure.

Blessed Epiphany!  Pr. Steve