Good News, 10.28.10

Friends:

This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is a true path. At present everything does not gleam and sparkle but everything is being cleansed. – Martin Luther

What a fine weekend is ahead for us: Reformation Sunday will celebrate our ever-evolving church; George Komsky (touted as the ‘next Andrea Bocelli) will sing at worship; Michele McGeoy of Solar Richmond will be our Presenter at the Education Hour (9:00 am), in worship and for an Interfaith Gathering at 1:00pm (the Greening Committee urges you to attend one or all of these to learn about possibilities for solar energy at Peace and in our Valley).

In addition – The Diablo Valley Colleges Big Plant Sale happens this Saturday, Oct 30th, 9am-1pm. They have a good-sized CA Native Plant section with drought tolerance plants which means water and money savings for us! Check it out.

And All Nite Soul happens from 5 – 9 pm with a nonstop Jam Session with some of the Bay Area’s finest jazz artists who have played for Jazz at Peace. A meal is available in the Gathering Hall so you don’t have to miss a single note. (St. Peter’s – where Jazz Vespers began 45 years ago – had 350 people attending their 12 hour Celebration with the smallest crowd from 2 – 4 am….only 60 folk in the audience then. They send their greetings.) Clairdee has composed a new song just for this occasion entitled “Jazz Vespers” and given it as a gift to Peace. It will be on the new ‘Jazz Church West Celebrates’ cd. Art and Jazz Photos will also be on Exhibit. Volunteers are still needed to help with the evening’s tasks. Let me know if you are willing to assist. Be sure to invite your friends to join you. Drop in anytime – so wrap up Halloween at home early and then come!

For All Saints Sunday on November 7th you are invited to bring a photo of one or more loved ones who has died as an offering for worship. The larger the better. Unframed may be preferable but please bring whatever you wish to contribute. Of course you will receive them back.

The Council voted to send $500 to Beuster Congregation in Venda, South Africa in response to their church burning down. Please keep them in your prayers.

China has expressed outrage over the Nobel committee’s decision to award its prestigious Peace Prize to incarcerated Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. But the real outrage is China’s treatment of those who dare to speak truth to power. Liu, a 54-year old author and scholar, is a prominent government critic who has repeatedly called for human rights protections, political accountability and democratization in China. In 2009 Liu was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and given an 11-year prison sentence after an unfair trial for co-authoring a proposal for political and legal reform in China. His wife has now been placed under house arrest. Amnesty International has long called for Liu’s release. Please pray and act on his behalf.

The Honey has arrived from the Monastery. You will be able to purchase it soon.

Here is a hilarious contribution from Jody Larson: A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong email address!

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I’ve Arrived
Date: October 16, 2005
I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I’ve seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
PS. Sure is freaking hot down here!!

Blessings and stay cool, Pr. Steve
—–

For those who follow Good News through email rather than visiting the PeaceJourney home page, I want to make you aware that a new area has been added in the top right hand column of the home page for “Upcoming Events.” While most events are mentioned in the Good News in advance, it’s nice to have everything all listed in one place for quick and easy access to upcoming event details. Be sure to check here often because Peace is one busy and happenin’ place!  Blessings, Anita

A Little News from Anita

Dear Peace Family and Friends,

I didn’t want to wait to pass along some fun bits and bobs until Pastor Steve’s weekly Good News so I’m taking webmaster privilege and adding a post of my own.

Judy Stansbury took some truely amazing photos at our recent Animal Festival that can be viewed online here. You can also order prints from this location and if those were my furry friends in her fotos I’d be ordering wallet size and 8×10’s suitable for framing!

Pastor Steve’s homily from October 17, 2010 has been added to our sermon archives and by all reports it was a “good one” so enjoy, or if you were in church that Sunday, enjoy again.

This Sunday happens to fall on Halloween and so come for worship and then stay for a spook-aliciously silly hospitality hour with ghoulish groceries to follow.

And finally, it’s coming up on that time for our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party for our Peace Kids and this year we have 38 houses available for immediate occupancy! That’s our biggest number of houses ever and should make for some  candy-fueled creative chaos! If you have a child between the age of 3 and 6th grade, then reserve Saturday morning, December 4 to join us for what has become a holiday tradition at Peace. Sign-ups will be available beginning this Sunday at church or you can email Anita to reserve a house. Don’t delay because when House 38 has been claimed, that’s it and no more! (This is a family event so every child is to be accompanied by a parent or a special adult in their lives.)

Good News, 10.13.10

Friends:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit….not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer see the mark upon the path of the Infinite,
And bends you with his might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as the Archer loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable. – Kahlil Gibran

What preciousness we experienced with our children in the Small and Tall Service last Sunday…..passing through the sands of time. Our thanks to Kaelyn, Alden, Evelyn and Natalie and Revs. Margareta and Anita, and to Bob Winter for his Nursery Care. I hope you have enjoyed giving and receiving your ‘facial massage prayer’.

A message from Bread for the World: Hungry kids still need your help. Congress has until December 3 to renew and improve child nutrition programs. It’s not too late for your voice to be heard! Please call Sen. Feinstein and/or Sen. Boxer and tell them hungry and poor children should not suffer when they make budget decisions. This toll-free number, 1-800-826-3688, will connect you directly to the Capitol. Just ask for your senators’ offices.

As the flood waters in Pakistan are receding, the real misery for millions begins with homelessness, hunger, disease, poverty, and the “choice” of families who are forced to sell their children—as has been seen in the past during such disasters. Please keep these children and families in your prayers.

The Education Hour on Sunday’s at 9 am is having members of Peace speak/lead/present topics which are informed by the presenters professional skills or ministry passions. The Healing Prayer Team will present forums these next two Sundays on October 17 and 24. St. Luke’s Healing Prayer will be the theme of our worship this Sunday. Please participate in these excellent opportunities. Michele McGeoy of Solar Richmond will be with us on Reformation Sunday, October 31.

Partnership News: There has been severe flooding in Nicaragua but it has not impacted our friends in Laurel Galan. Unfortunately, in Lwamondo our friend Muthupei reports: On the morning of the 12th October, we were shocked to find our church office of Lwapeace at Tshifulanani Lutheran church broken into. Nothing was stolen. The burglar door was broken and the wooden door also. It seems as if it was struck by heavy object that broke the door. The damage was reported at the police. The estimated cost of repair is Rand 8,000.
On the same morning everybody was shocked to hear that Beuster Lutheran Church was burned down to ashes and the damage is huge. Everything has been destroyed. Nothing was saved. The damage is estimated to be over R 500,000 (US $75,000). Rev Tshenu Farisani was also treated for shock after witnessing this. On Saturday at 2pm there will be a prayer meeting at Beuster church center to pray for this; the Dean will lead the believers in this service.

Everyone is welcome to a Concert given by Diane Sangster (flute) , Sue Field and selected students of Sue’s at 3pm on Sunday, November 7th. Enjoy semi staged opera excerpts, flute/piano, cello/piano duos, vocal solos , duets and piano works. A reception follows the short concert and donations to the Peace Partnership Ministry are gratefully received.

Stefan Safsten is completing a new work entitled Vagen valde dig – The Way Chose You. It is based on the spiritual journal of Dag Hammarskjold called ‘Markings’. He sends his greetings and those of Spoon Jackson.

Please keep in your prayers: Raddi and Susanna on the death of Joyce, Susan Parsons, Steve Peterson’s sister-in-law Cathy, Ang San Suu Kyi, Randy and DeeAnn Cadonau, those in mourning, Friends Outside, our partners in faith in Laurel Galan and Lwamondo Parish, the children of our earth, the unemployed, those in war zones, and those who turn sorrow and crisis into hope.

Jazz at Peace/Jazz Church West: The Opening of our 6th Season with John Calloway and John Santos was a remarkable evening of artistry, improvisation and creativity. After hearing the letter from Rev. Amandus Derr welcoming Peace as the official West Coast site for Jazz Vespers the crowd of 100 people cheered and applauded. Such a diverse group of musicians; John Calloway says he plays here to receive hope and healing for himself; the singing of ‘He’s got the Whole World in his Hands’ filled the sanctuary with tears. People even came from Gilroy! All Nite Soul on October 31st from 5 – 9 pm is not to be missed.

Did you know: This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, all in one month – it happens once in 823 years. Anita said there are 7 quintillion 5 quadrillion grains of sand on the earth. She also said there are 7 billion billion billion atoms in our bodies. It is likely there are 140 billion galaxies in our cosmos. What all these numbers mean – you’ll have to explain to me.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 10.07.10

Friends:

Preach at all times; when necessary use words.  –  St. Francis of Assisi

What a joyous day we shared Sunday with worship, Pet Festival and Animal Blessings!   So easy to be with one another, so many sharing in the work and preparation, such gladness of heart among those who attended,  the joy of the animals, the graciousness of knowing we get to be part of such a loving, beautiful experience.  Thanks to the many who helped create this amazing day, who made this ministry real to the larger community and who made St. Francis proud!

Small and Tall Family Service: This Sunday we will celebrate the children in our congregation.  We will have this service 3 times during  the church year.  It is so important to raise up their importance among us and encourage their faith…….as well as their parents!   Come anticipating much joy!  Grandparents, feel free to bring as many little ones with you as you can.

10 people participated in the Tiger’s Breath Chi Kung workshop this past Saturday with Kaleo and Elise Ching.  There are so many aspects of being human to explore and understand.  We are blessed to have so many resourceful people – including Bruce Silverman and the Dream Class – sharing their gifts with us.  More to come.

The Confirmation Class is forming and soon you will get to meet these young people.  Please keep them in your prayers during this next year of faith discovery and exploration.

This Sunday launches our 6th Season of Jazz at Peace. The astounding John Calloway and his Afro-Latin All Stars will be playing.  Percussionist John Santos joins this unique septet.  These performers have international reputations, teach at universities, advise the Music Department of the Smithsonian –  and will delight your hearts.  If there is too much happiness and joy in your lives be sure to avoid this.  Otherwise, come and honor these great artists who “just love to play at Peace”!

…..and as Rev. Amandus Derr of St. Peter’s Lutheran in Manhattan wrote to us:  As we celebrate 45 years of jazz ministry here, it is my pleasure, on behalf of the people of St. Peter’s Church, to recognize Peace as our partner in Jazz Ministry in the Bay Area.  I hope that, over the years a strong partnership will develop between us and enable us to better praise God and serve all whom God loves.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 10.01.10

Friends:

It was simple when Francis thought about it now:  you find what you bring with you in your heart.  Love comes to those who have Love already.  God has first loved us and that gift is ours before we ever set out to find it.  Maybe that’s the unfolding secret of prayer:  often Francis didn’t understand the words he used in his own prayers, sometimes words just spilled out; but in time the meaning would come clear…so prayer was a discovery of the Spirit already in his heart. – from Francis: The Journey and the Dream

At last it arrives – the great St. Francis Animal Blessing and Pet Festival!  All manner of furry, four-legged, fishy and feathery creatures are joining the humanoids this Sunday from Noon – 3 pm.  The Committee has worked energetically:   Gift Baskets are arriving, blessing medallions are prepared, Rescue and Therapy animals will be here, pet resources are ready, the 4-H will be present with petting animals, tasty food will be served, publicity has gone out – now all we need is you to invite your friends to join you for this wonderful annual celebration.  When else do friends howl with sheer joy at the presence of your company?   We will join with them and St. Francis in praising God for the gift and redemption of the whole creation!

Kaleo Ching invites you to join him for the Tiger’s Breath Chi Kung Workshop this Saturday from 9:30 – Noon.  As Kaleo shared this past Sunday, “Chi Kung is a form of prayer.”  Come and enjoy the flow of your chi/energy.  It will rejuvenate you through these simple and special gifts.

The Confirmation Class began this past Sunday.  New connections between Confirmands and parents and the vitality of our faith begin to emerge already.  Keep these youth and families in your prayers.

On the morning of October 10 we will have our next Small and Tall Family Service.  These worship services are especially designed for our children and families.  We will have several Small and Tall Services throughout the year.

The evening of October 10 Jazz at Peace begins with John Calloway and his Afro-Latin All Stars. This will be pure delight!  John Santos, percussionist extraordinaire will be part of the Septet.  (The first time we’ve had a septet playing for J@P.   If you want to make your heart happier be sure to join in and experience incredible improvisational creativity.

Sue Field reports that Diane Sangster, flutist, who has played at Peace on several occasions was selected to take part in a Master Class at the San Francisco International Flute Festival. She is one of 12 performers to be chosen and the Master Class will be given by Matej Zupan. The Festival is on October 12th and will also feature performances by Tim Day, of the SF Symphony and Viviana Guzman.  Brava Diane!

The Memorial Garden Committee will be meeting with Richard Caemmerer next week to research design ideas.

Greening Committee recommendation:  Grace and Karl attended a presentation on Medicinal Herbs at Sunset Nursery (http://www.sunsetcolornursery.com/about.aspx).  Kim offers this class together with an herbologist about once a month or whenever there are enough signups.  They present an extensive list of herbs and plants that grow in our climate and their medicinal indications.  (Unfortunately, it’s always on Sunday mornings, so with permission you might get a special dispensation to participate!)

I hope you have picked up your copy of the New Directory.  If not, several copies remain.

The Hidaya Foundation has sent their gratitude for the gifts received from Peace Members to support the Pakistani people whose lives have been devastated by the flood.  This flood has wreaked more damage than the crises of Katrina and Haiti combined.

Keep in your prayers: Joyce El Mogazi,  Randy and DeeAnn Cadonau, Matthew Pontious, Jack Davis, Friends Outside, the unemployed, those contemplating suicide and those working to prevent it, the impoverished, the Millennium Campaign.

At the Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 Heads of State adopted and committed themselves to 8 Millennium Development Goals, placing people-centered development at the heart of global, national and local agendas.  The Goals are:

1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2 – Ensure that all boys and girls complete primary school
3 – Promote gender equality and empower women
4 – Reduce by 2/3 the mortality rate among children under five
5 – Reduce by ¾ the ratio of women dying in childbirth
6 – Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and incidence of malaria and other major diseases
7 – Ensure environmental sustainability
8 – Develop a global partnership for development.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve