Good News, 03.26.2013

Friends:

 “I sign your eyes that you may see the beauty of Christ, I sign your nostrils that you may breathe the fragrance of the Spirit, I sign your ears that you may hear the wisdom of God.”  (Baptismal Rite)  “God is your being and who you are, you are in God.”  (The Cloud of Unknowing)

Holy Week / Still Week – Rites of Passage for experiencing the Mystery of Christ’s Passion:
Maundy Thursday Seder:  If you want to know the origin and pulsating heart of the Eucharist, come and experience the Passover Meal of Liberation at 6:30 pm.
Good Friday:  If you are willing to face the absurdity of suffering, violence and death, come to this contemplative service at 7:00 pm.  (The Church will also be open from 12–3 pm).
Easter Vigil:  If you want to taste the joy of Baptism and life emerging out of nothingness, come to this celebration at 7:30 pm.
Easter Day:  If you want to experience Hope that creates space for New Life and transformation, come to this Extravagant Celebration at 9:30 am.

You are asked to bring any festive food/rolls/fruit you would like to share for our Easter Brunch.  This allows all of us to share in creating Hospitality for all our guests this Sunday.

Of course the Egg Hunt will immediately follow worship.
(Please leave  the eggs you have filled with surprises in the Gathering Hall before worship.)

After experiencing the power and depth of our Palm Sunday Service you can appreciate our Peace Logo with fresh eyes:  palm branches waving in front of the cross.

Keep in your prayers:  Ceil and family on the death of her father, Jonathan, Melinda, Madeline Parks (Willow’s mom), our Catechumens.

“I beg you…..be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves….the search going on within your inmost being is worthy of your whole love….the point is to live everything you experience.  Live your questions now.  Do not seek “answers” which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live into them.”   Ranier Maria Rilke

Holy Week Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News 03.21.2013

Friends:

“A person has no alternative but to respond to the real setting in which one finds oneself, with a result that one’s prayer is necessarily fabricated from the various inner and outward components of one’s life.  Prayer grows out of life.  It is not an isolated department of life, it is the realization of the God-ward potential inherent in every life.”  (Michael Casey)

Holy Week:  Our Palm Sunday/Passion Narrative happens this Sunday.  It sets the stage for our understanding and engaging the mystery of the final week of Jesus’ life.

Seder – 20 people have signed up for our 6:30  Maundy Thursday dinner and retelling of the Passover Story.  Invite friends to join you. Sign up  on Sunday or notify the office.

Good Friday – worship is at 7:00 pm with a service of reflection, stillness and music.

Easter Vigil – will be celebrated at 7:30 pm.   A joyful journey through the darkness into the Light.

Easter Day – Festive Worship at 9:30 am with an Egg Hunt afterwards.  You are invited to bring something for our Potluck Brunch afterwards.

Brenda Bos sends her greetings!  We had a good conversation last week and she is enjoying her work with St. Paul’s in Santa Monica.  She is completing a project for Peace.  She is grateful for everything learned and experienced at Peace.  She and Janis send their blessings for Holy Week also.

Our thanks to the Chromatica Choir for their gift of Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine last Sunday.  They are appreciative that Peace has helped give their choir birth through our hosting and prayerful support.

This Sunday join us for our Forum:  Sing as if your Soul Depended on It!  This is an opportunity for everyone to learn and enjoy more the gift of music in a spiritual life.  You don’t have to be a singer to appreciate the transformative role that music plays in our lives.  Gary will lead us in this joyful opportunity.

The Lord of the Rings performance at Temple Isaiah was outstanding.  Eight folks from Peace were able to attend.  We hope that Gary will be able to bring the SF Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band back to Peace in future!

Sunday Salon/Bonhoeffer Study:  The group meets again for our 4th Session this Sunday at 3:00 pm at Peace.  All are welcomed to join us.

A few reflections on Prayer in preparation for Holy Week.  These insights have been shared throughout the Soup and Sacrament series this Lent.

Every request I make of God is a message telling of my neediness, of my trust in God, of my willing dependence and openness to receive.  Prayer is the moment in life where we need not fear to express ourselves in all our nonsense and imperfection.  God already knows; it is we who need to be informed and awakened.

The test of authentic prayer is growth:  growth in goodness, growth in humanity, greater serenity in living and facing hardship.  Above all genuine contact with God effects a real displacement of self as the center of our existence.

Blessed are those who delight in God’s law, who meditate on it day and night.
They are like a tree planted near running water,
That yields fruit in due season and whose leaves never fade.

Prayer requires perseverance, because there is an aspect of Purpose that is asleep and must be awakened by knocking and demanding.  When a person perseveres, the Maker of Life arises and gives in abundance.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. 
Don’t go back to sleep:  You must ask for what you really want.  Don’t go back to sleep!

Lenten Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News, 03.14.2013

Friends: 

“In prayer we discover what we already have.  You start from where you are and you deepen what you already have, and you realize you are already there.  We already have everything but we don’t know it and don’t experience it.  Everything has been given to us in Christ.  All we need is to experience what we already possess.”  (Thomas Merton, in honor of Soup and Sacrament)

 The Chromatica Choir will sing for our Healing Prayer Service this Sunday.  It is their Thank You Gift for getting to rehearse weekly at Peace.  Come honor these friends with your presence and enjoy the gift of their music as we pray for the healing of our lives, community and world.

 Forum:  The Healing Prayer Team will lead a conversation on the meaning of Healing Prayer in their lives and how it contributes to the ministries of Peace.  Come and encourage these heart friends of yours.

 The Final Soup and Sacrament for this Lenten Season is next Wednesday, March 20.  Can you believe it?  It has been a good and enriching experience to converse about and experience various forms of prayer.  You are welcome to join us for the final session…..and get to enjoy a tasty meal.

 Please start signing up for our Seder this Sunday, March 17.

 Sunday Salon/Bonhoeffer:  We gather again Sunday, March 24 at Peace from 3 – 5 pm.  Please read chapters 10 – 15.  New participants are always welcome to join us.

 We will have an Easter Brunch on March 31 along with our Egg Hunt.  It’s potluck style so bring anything you enjoy that’s tasty and doesn’t require a lot of work.

 The Lord of the Rings/Symphony No 1 by Johan de Meij:  Hear our friends from the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band perform in this free concert at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette this Sunday at 4 pm.  Gary is performing so you know it will be outstanding!

 Keep in your prayers:  Jonathan and Miki, Melinda Howard, Heidi and Fidel, those seeking employment, our Youth, Catechumens and Council, the falsely imprisoned, those living with addictions, the people of Syria, kids at risk, those living in countries with no political rights, and the new pope Papa Francesco.

I-SRV invites you to participate in an Interfaith Dinner Series.  8 people from 4 different spiritual traditions will be invited to meet once a quarter (starting in late May) to personalize our interfaith friendships, deepen understanding of each other’s traditions and share wonderful meals together.   You would meet with the same people for all 4 Dinners.  Further detailed information will be coming your way.  What a wonderful opportunity for increasing peace and understanding among all God’s people. 

 Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly Neologism Contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.  A few of the winners are:
  1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  2.  Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  3. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
  4. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
  5. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
  6. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

(Thanks to Elana for these!)

Do not give up laughter for Lent!

Blessed St. Paddy’s Day,  Pr. Steve

Good News, 03.07.2013

Friends:

“Like a deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.”  Psalm 42 

The Time Change happens this Sunday….please Spring Ahead!

Our thanks to Martha Mantei and Shirley Kaminsky for their presentation about understanding the causes and signs of suicide as well as resources for hope with the families who are left behind.  It is a blessing that we can continue to learn more about ways to prevent suicide.  Please keep the work of ASPS in your prayers.

The Youth Group meets this Saturday afternoon.  We will visit John Brett and friends at PLTS Seminary.

Forum – “Women Hold Up Half the Sky”:   See a portion of this powerful video which will be shown this Sunday in honor of International Women’s Day.  There is still such a long ways to go for women’s rights and values to be recognized in our world.

Sunday Salon/Bonhoeffer:  We gather again this Sunday at Peace from 3 – 5 pm.  Please read chapters 7 – 9.  New participants are always welcome to join us.

We need Choir Members for Easter!  Please join in the Open Rehearsal in the Sanctuary after worship this Sunday.

What a joy to celebrate Abigail’s Baptism this past Sunday.  And a blessing to have her family gathered from around the country with us.

 John Brett asks your assistance with a Mapping Project of our congregation and community for this Sunday.  Details to come then.

As anticipated – there was a Stampede of people trying to sign up to assist as Counters, Bread Bakers and Sound Board operators.  Since we cannot include everyone we may have to step back and have a Lottery Drawing so we get the appropriate number of candidates to serve.  We may have to ask members to purchase these lottery tickets as well.

Please keep in your prayers:  Lois’ daughter Lori, members of our Youth Group, the Catechumens, the hungry, those elected to positions of power in government, Heidi, Fidel, Spoon, and Albert Woodfox (who has been in solitary confinement for 40 years in Angola Prison in Louisiana).

The Lord of the Rings is being performed at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette on Sunday, March 17 at 4:00 pm.  Talk with Gary for the details.

I-SRV would like to create an Interfaith Dinner Series.  8 people from 4 different spiritual traditions will be invited to meet once a quarter or 4 time during this next year to become acquainted, deepen understanding of each other’s traditions and share wonderful meals together.   You would meet with the same people for all 4 Dinners.  We hope that the first meal will be later this Spring.  Please speak with me to learn more or inform me that you would like to participate. 

Blessings,  Pr. Steve