Good News, 11.17.10

Friends:

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. – Estonian Proverb

Christ the Vulnerable:  This Sunday concludes the Church Year.  It will also be our Pledge Sunday when you are invited to submit your pledges and ministry commitments during worship.  (Advent and the New Church Year begin on November 28.)

We are the recipients of two recent and beautiful musical contributions.  Sue’s Concert blessed us with a variety of gifted singers.  An uplifting afternoon for the mind and heart along with the generous support of our Partnership Ministry.  This past Sunday Tamara Bohlin’s cello interpretations were  unique and spirit-moving.

The Soul of the Movement compositions by Marcus Shelby and played by his Jazz Orchestra  for Jazz at Peace were profound expressions of the crises and times of the Civil Rights Movement.  What a powerful way to convey history.  He appreciated the standing ovation too!  Marcus said, “My guys love playing here…and you know how cynical musicians can be.”  Two of his musicians said, “Normally we have to be covert about our spirituality but not here.  People are dismissive or don’t want to hear about it but it is the core of why we are making music.”  One man told me:  when you speak I hear you inside my head not just with my ears.  You get to the essence of things.   And an atheist family was enthralled….they told me:  we will never miss this again. ‘Jazz Church West’ – it’s all about the connections and vitality through the music.  I hope you’ll get copies of our new CD to share with friends and continue to transcend the boundaries of “insiders and outsiders”.

Please keep Bill, Michael and Keri Koski in your prayers as they mourn the death of wife and mother Kathy.

Congratulations to Mark and Sheila Miller on the wedding of daughter Kathleen to William Flouck!

The Gingerbread House Making Party is on Saturday, December 4 from 10 – Noon.  Pr. Anita has made preparations for 38 children.  Reservations must be made and 20 are already booked.  Don’t miss out on the best annual Christmas Party!

Ten Women of Peace will be attending the ELCA Women’s Retreat in Asilomar this weekend.   Should be a joyful experience!

The Lector Team had its second meeting of the year.  It is wonderful to hear their experiences and learn the challenges of this ministry dedicated to proclaiming the Word.

“Kids Night In” is dedicated to a new ministry with our Middle School kids and supporting their parents.  They intend to gather on the 2nd Saturday of each month.  Jeanne and Peter Kaplan are initiating this ministry.  Keep them, our children and youth, our Confirmands, the Yo/Fam Ministry and Deacon Christine Johansson in your prayers.

The Thanksgiving Eve Interfaith Service will be at the Islamic Center in San Ramon on Wednesday, November 24 at 7:00 pm.  The Center is located across the street from the Town Offices in San Ramon.

Classic Signs of Inner Peace
(Warning:   the following symptoms are contagious;  they may disrupt anxiety and conflict and lead you to rest and relaxation.)

An increasing desire to enjoy daily moments
A diminishing interest in judging self or others
Episodes of appreciation and gratitude
Outbursts of laughter and happiness
A diminishing capacity to worry
Spontaneous actions of caring
Feelings of contentment and connection with others and nature
A loss of interest in control and ‘forcing things to happen’
A tendency to trust life and God
A susceptibility to love and a willingness to express it.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News, 11.03.2010

Dear Free Thinkers,

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of faith work you have taken on, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no worth at all; if not perhaps, results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you will start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, and the truth of the work itself. – Thomas Merton

Praise God for: Nargiz and Megan who received the Word with a “Shower of Kisses”, for Dee and Jack who have joined us, for George Komsky’s singing, for Michele McGeoy’s solar possibilities, for the Eucharist, for Luther’s boldness, that we can change, for all reforming spirits (‘we are not yet what we shall become’)…..and that we don’t have too many scary tigers in our congregation! Happy Reformation!

For our All Saints Celebration this Sunday please bring a photo of a loved one who has died for our All Saints Presentation. You will receive the photo back after worship.

The “Musical Sampler Concert” that Sue Field is organizing will be presented this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Selected students will perform flute, piano, and vocal excerpts. A Reception will follow and all are invited. You will enjoy the gifts of these talented students. All proceeds will go to the Peace Partnership Ministry. The event flyer may be downloaded and viewed here.

“Muscle Retreat” – this Saturday, November 6th from 9 – 11 am there will be a “clearing of the shrubs” so a topographical map can be prepared by and for our Memorial Garden/Columbarium Committee. Your assistance is appreciated. Coffee and donuts provided. This is a chance to show off your muscles, tan and intelligence! For more info contact Deacon Everett at: slyrett@comcast.net.

November is our Stewarding Month. You will soon be receiving information about the ways to continue your ongoing support of the ministries of Peace.

All Nite Soul was an outstanding Jazz Event. The Music presented magical moments; the Meal was delicious; the Guests (120-140) relaxed in the Grace and Ease of this high quality evening. You will want to purchase copies of the new CD ‘Jazz Church West Celebrates!’ for holiday gifts. This Sunday please thank the members of the Jazz at Peace Team + additional friends whose loving energy created a marvelous gathering. We are blessed to experience how this amazing ministry continues to evolve and serve.

“Can’t Help Singing!” – Martha Mantei invites you to a Broadway Chorus Performance of the music of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Andrew Lloyd Webber on November 12 and 13 at 8 pm and November 14 at 2 pm at the Livermore High School. For details and ticket purchases: www.broadwaychorus.org or 402-2121.

We’re also happy to share with you that to honor Peace for its 10th Anniversary, an article was written for a national publication, Faith and Form Magazine. You may download and view a PDF of the article here.

Blessings, Pr. Steve