Good News, 02.25.2011

Friends:

“Love your enemies…….If you want to see yourself don’t look in a mirror; look in our neighbors eyes to see what they see.”

The Crab Feast is coming!! Saturday – March 5 at 5pm our Annual Crab Dinner and Silent Auction is happening.  The best crab of the season will be presented to you as is our tradition.  Julie and Robert Arnone ask you to Sign Up this Sunday at church or notify the office.  Silent Auction gifts/baskets are needed.  Thanks to all the volunteers who are stepping forward.  Invite your friends!!

Mudzunga, Nzumbu and Ndamu Farisani will be with us for worship this Sunday – it may be there only Sunday with us.  Please come and welcome these dear friends.  As details of their schedule emerge I will get them published so you can have further conversation with them.  The Partnership Committee and Confirmands are two groups who will have additional time with them.  Powerful and delightful people (the girls are now in their 20’s) you will experience the vitality of our shared faith and partnership.

The Sunday Salon group will meet this Sunday at 1:00 pm at Jeanie Locklear’s home.  This is an opportunity for small group faith reflections to be shared….plus some good food and coffee always emerges.  Join in – directions available on Sunday.

Our thanks to the Collins Family for the Memorial Gift of the Transfiguration Painting given in honor of Judy.

Please keep in your prayers:  all those engaged in the transforming struggles of this time….the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.

Epiphany Blessings,  Pr. Steve

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Pastor Steve’s homily from this past Sunday, February 20, is now available online for your listening and soul’s pleasure. You may listen or download the this and past sermons by going to the audio sermons online section.

Good News 2.18.2011

Pastor Steve’s homily from this past Sunday, February 13, is now available online for your listening and soul’s pleasure. You may listen or download the this and past sermons by going to the audio sermons online section.

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Friends:

“What would happen if we would say what we mean and mean what we say? We would speak a whole lot less and say a whole lot more.”

The whole congregation is encouraged to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 – 7) during these final 3 weeks of the Epiphany Season. Read it multiple times if possible. This stunning text has inspired St. Francis, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and many, many more. You will meet the brilliance and the challenge of Jesus head on.

The Crab Feast is happening on Saturday, March 5th at 5:00 pm. This annual celebration will provide the high quality meal and Silent Auction you are accustomed too. Robert and Julie Arnone are coordinating if for us this year. Please sign up this Sunday or notify the office. Invite your friends to this delicious evening!

At our Congregational Meeting this past Sunday the Memorial Garden/Columbarium Ministry was given the “go ahead approval”. Research, design proposals, financing will continue and be presented to the congregation when each stage is accomplished.

Mudzunga Farisani and daughters Nzumbu and Ndamu will arrive next week for a visit with their friends at Peace and in the Bay Area. The Farisani family first came to us after father Rev. Tshenu Farisani’s experience of imprisonment and torture and the family’s subsequent banishment into exile from South Africa because they had been such outspoken critics of apartheid. Their presence at Peace launched the Partnership Ministry with Lwamondo Parish in Venda, South Africa. We have exchanged delegations during the past 15 years. Mudzunga has been working with the Education Department of Venda for many years now. This is a great opportunity to renew our friendship and partnership in the Gospel.

The Church Council and Clergy of Peace will be on Retreat this Saturday. Please keep them in your prayers as they seek to discern and envision God’s direction for Peace.

Clairdee presented the Premiere Performance of ‘Sing Out – Jazz Vespers’ for Jazz at Peace this past Sunday. It was very well received and has been recorded for our Jazz Church West Celebrates CD. What precious gifts we have received from all these remarkable artists over the years.

Epiphany Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 02.10.2011

Sunday’s homily from February 6, is now available online for your listening and soul’s pleasure. You may listen or download this and past sermons by going to the audio sermons online section.

Friends:

I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith. – Gandhi

The Small and Tall Family Service is always such a great joy. Our thanks to the Young Ones prepared prayers and lead our worship; to the Youth Group for their Noah and the Ark puppet story, to Pastors Margareta and Anita for creating the service, and to a Pair of Jeans (Jean and Jeanie) for their musical leadership. We will continue to have more family services in the future.

Spiritual Grounding was initiated this past Monday at Peace with an Organic Meal shared among 7 of our Interfaith (I-SRV) Partners and Sunol Farmers. The Greening Committee will provide you with a report and further information about how Peace may become involved with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Funny isn’t it, we know our bankers, doctors, teachers even baristas, but we don’t know the farmers who feed us.

Bible 365 keeps growing! At least 25 people are participating now. No one will be excluded. See you at 11:30 on Sundays!

Congratulations to Heather and Dixon – and proud grandmother Charlene McPherson – on the birth of Rae Lee! Everyone is healthy and happy. Thanks be to God.

And thanks to Susanna El Mogazi for the wonderful pregnancy announcement this past Sunday. So many blessings surround us!

If you are looking for further resources on Mohandas Gandhi you may wish to read the biography by Geoffrey Ashe or Gandhi the Man by Eknath Easwaran or Gandhi’s autobiography, My Experiments with Truth. On Martin Luther King, the biography by Jeffrey Oates is outstanding.

Our annual Congregational Meeting will follow worship this Sunday, February 13th. Your presence and participation is appreciated.

What would Jesus cut? Right now Congress is considering a budget plan that would make a 9 percent cut in discretionary spending while giving a 2 percent increase for military spending. This would be devastating for domestic programs that provide basic nutrition, health, and opportunity to poor children and international aid programs that save lives every day. Military and defense spending make up over half of the federal discretionary budget. If instead of a 2 percent increase the defense budget took a 2 percent cut, it would save almost $10 billion this year. The biblical prophets make clear that a nation’s righteousness is ultimately determined not by its GNP or military might — but by how it treats its most vulnerable people. Jesus says our love for him will be demonstrated by how we treat the “least of these.” As we have all learned from the Great Recession, our economic choices matter. We must make financial decisions based on our values and not just short-term goals. Remind Congress of this.

Valentine’s Special: Vocalist Clairdee sings for Jazz at Peace on February 13th. Her song “Jazz Vespers” was specially created and recorded for our new Jazz Church West Celebrates cd. Having performed in Tokyo, Paris and New York, and with Count Basie, Boz Scaggs and Nancy Wilson….Clairdee finally feels she is prepared to sing at Peace in Danville. Invite your friends to join you for this Lovefest!

The Women’s Group will meet at Gun Johnston’s home next week.

Seminarian Emily Weller is back with us after her January Term. She and I are teaching the Confirmation Class which is in full swing.

Pray for the people of Egypt – for those risking their lives in this nonviolent revolution for democracy; for those who have lost their lives; and for our government that we may act proactively, as Martin Luther King said, “in the global revolution of values.”

A quote from Gandhi made after the bombing of Hiroshima. “In this age of wonders no one will say that a thing or an idea is worthless because it is new. Things undreamt of are daily been seen, the impossible is ever becoming possible. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of satyagraha (nonviolence).”

In the spirit of our Small and Tall worship: Kindness in words creates confidence; Kindness in thinking creates profoundness; Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Epiphany Blessings, Pr. Steve