Good News, 08-09-2012

Friends,

   Pr. Steve and Bev are enjoying a family vacation in Montana.  Meanwhile we have some special events right here!

Our Youth Group will be reading South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s book God Has a Dream this fall.  It is a powerful book. Here is one quote —somewhat chosen because this has been a week of Olympic competition.

Just like a mother loves her child no matter what, so God loves you even if you don’t succeed, even if you don’t win.  Our society despises weakness, vulnerability and failure, but God knows that failure is an inevitable part of life and that weakness and vulnerability are a part of creaturehood.  They are part of what makes us human.  It is through this weakness and vulnerability that most of us learn empathy and compassion and discover our soul.

            Desmond Tutu

Work party this Saturday August 11–Join other church members this Saturday at 9 am to rake weeds , spread chips, trim branches and gussy up the back part of the church property to make us and our neighbors happy! Coffee, donuts and OJ will be provided!!  You’ll need water, work-gloves and a hat.  It’s really important to have a large group so that we can finish before it gets too hot!

An Evening of Sacred Folk–Be sure to come to Peace this Sunday afternoon at 5 pm for a free concert of folk music featuring two great folksingers and composers: Verlin Chalmers and Bekah Barnett.  To download a copy of the flyer for this special event click here. There will be a reception after.  Could there be a better way to spend an August afternoon??

Update on Memorial Garden/Columbarium from Pat Leong:
There was a neighborhood meeting at Peace on July 23, 2012 with regard to our Application to build a Memorial Garden/Columbarium.  Many people turned out to express their opinions, and the Memorial Garden/Columbarium Committee and Pastor Steve were present to hear and respond to the concerns.  A meeting has been set up with the local Homeowners’ Associations for next Monday night, and members of the Memorial Garden/Columbarium Committee and the Church Council will be present. 

You might also enjoy the article in the San Ramon Times this morning http://www.contracostatimes.com/danville/ci_21256226/danville-church-hopes-build-columbarium

Sunday School Teachers—we have decided to organize a teaching staff of 8 for our Sunday School program beginning Sept. 23.  We already have  4 teachers, so we’re half way to our goal!  There will be an Orientation.  Contact Pat Leong or the Office if you have questions or are willing to help.

St. Francis Pet Blessing Festival on Oct. 7— Greg Grebe needs one more person to help organize the Pet Blessing Festival. Is it you?  Contact Greg or the Office if you can assist with approx. 10 hours of labor.  Thanks in advance.

Native Garden Request.  Ro LoBianco could use rebar to fortify the new fence around the garden.  Let the Office know if you have rebar for this project.

Sign-up for Hospitality-  Martha Mantei sends this note:
Dear Friends of Peace.  We have all enjoyed the Hospitality Hour every Sunday that was established by Pr. Anita.  In order to keep this great event going every Sunday, Libby and I need your help!   We need volunteers for the following dates through the end of October: 

         Sept 2, Sept 9, Sept 16, Sept 23, Sept 30, Oct 7, Oct 14, Oct 21, Oct 28

Your tasks include making regular and decaf coffee.  Please bring a soft beverage (apple juice, cranberry juice) for our children and non-coffee drinkers as well as pastries or breads or cookies; a savory of some type (cheese & crackers, nuts) ; bite sized fruit and/or veggies.  Whatever is easy and fun for you to bring!   All paper products, flatware and cups are provided as well as sugar, sweeteners and cream for coffee.  We have table cloths for you to cover our round or oblong tables.  You are asked to load the dishwasher with the cup, plates and flatware that are used.  And best of all  Instructions are available from any hospitality host on Sunday or from Martha or Libby.  

 

 

Summer Blessings to All !  
The Office

 

 

Good News, 08.01.2012

Friends:

Who can utter
the poignance of all that is constantly
threatened, invaded, expended

and constantly
nevertheless
persists in beauty,

tranquil as this young moon
just risen and slowly
drinking light
from the vanished sun.

who can utter
the praise of such generosity
or the shame?”

Denise Levertov

The Sabbatical Blessing on Sunday was beautiful.  It feels like I can ‘go in peace’.   And the musical contributions of dual pianos, piano and organ and flute was so uplifting.

Bev and I are glad for all of you who were able to attend our Ice Cream Social.  Always such a gift to relax with Peace Friends and enjoy all the tasty goodies.  And the champagne was a special touch!

If you want to see the KTVU coverage of our Memorial Garden/Columbarium story (interviews with  neighbors and myself) click here.

Katherine Beeler has done such a fine job with our Youth Group. We were blessed to have her leadership this past year.  This next year will also be built on insights she has shared with me.   Offer her your gratitude when you see her next.  This Fall she will resume Graduate Studies in Washington.  A rich and delightful year is evolving for our youth.

The Healing Prayer Team will be coordinating Prayer Partners within Peace this Fall during my sabbatical.  You will be asked to pray for another member of Peace and for our whole congregation.  Details to come.

Sunday School Teachers:  The recruiting is going well – we have 4 teachers already.  So I have decided to recruit a total of 8 – that way in rotation one need serve only once every two months.  Would you like to join this Revered Group?  Please contact the office if you are willing.  There will be an Orientation so you will know how to conduct this 25 minute Activity Period with our children.  Homecoming Sunday will be September 23.

Sacred Folk for Sacred Folk:  Our own John Baker is creating a beautiful evening of Folk Music with artists Verlin Chalmers and Bekah Barnett on Sunday, August 12 from 5:00 – 6:30.  A perfect gift for a summer evening and it is free.  Spread the word with friends. To download a copy of the flyer for this special event click here.

The Memorial Garden/Columbarium Committee and Council met this past Sunday to discern our next steps.  The Committee will make a presentation to the congregation on Sunday, August 12.

“The universe is not only stranger than we imagined, but stranger than we can imagine!”  (Sir Arthur Eddington)  Adds David Finkelstein, “We haven’t the capacity to imagine anything crazy enough to stand a chance of being right.” This past Sunday Mark Miller confirmed the accuracy of these physicists comments and…. that the Gospel affirmation and renewal of life is as crazy if not crazier than the theoretical  grapplings of physics with reality!

Turns out that Dana and Anita will be traveling in Italy when I am there – only they will be heading south as I am going north.  Great to have friends on the planet wherever we go.

Still in the Storm:  This will be a Workshop on Congregational Justice Organizing presented by Just Faith at San Damiano Retreat Center on Saturday September 29.  All are invited.  Details to come.  Notify the office or Deacon Cindy Townsend if you are interested.

There is only Christ:  Christ is everything and in everything. (Colossians 3:11)  To the outsider this sounds like an overstatement or only poetry, but to the practitioner of faith this is the wisdom that insists there is no life without love – which means life for all!   (We are “planted in love and built on love” as our  Ephesians text said this past Sunday).  Such disciples may appear dangerous for their compassionate convictions.  But they have no time to waste on being against things; now there is only time to be for!  “Strengthen your inner life in order to trust the God who can do more than we can ask or imagine.”

We shall not cease from exploration
And the End of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion…….

T.S. Eliot

I hope you are enjoying the sunflowers!

I will see you in Advent/December.  Keep me in your prayers.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve