Social Justice Blog

Ethical conduct and Social Justice are the fruits of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospel.    People of faith are called to open their eyes and hearts to the cries of those who suffer unjustly and to act compassionately for and with them.

The purpose of our Justice Blog is to hear and present our various perspectives in order to clarify our thinking and commitments.  Speak the truth you know in love.

Good News, 08.28.2013

Friends:

The Racist Question we must Face:  “Are we willing to cast ourselves as a society that creates criminal conditions for some of its members, and then acts out rituals of punishment against them – as if engaged in some awful form of human sacrifice?” Economist Glenn Loury

This will be the last Good News delivered from our old website since our New Website will launch on September 3!

Martha Mantei sends word that this Labor Day weekend Sept. 1 Hospitality will be ‘potluck’.  Those of us staying here can bring whatever we have to share–fruit, crackers, veggies etc.

Our Nicaraguan Partnership Delegation will share their Report Back with us on Sunday, September 8 in worship and for our Forum.

Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington when Dr. King gave his “I have a Dream” Speech.  To learn more about the status of current race relations in our nation, you may wish to read the following:  The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander; and March: Book 1 by Congressman John Lewis – the only speaker at the March on Washington in 1963 who is still alive.  Resource:  All of Us or None is a national organizing initiative of prisoners and former prisoners who work to combat discrimination and prejudice experienced when attempting to reenter society after incarceration.  Learn more at:  www.allofusornone.org.

Did you know that we have hundreds of Spirituals (all of them anonymous) and not one of them speaks of revenge or retribution.  Imagine the spiritual depth and thread that pervades this music, composed by those experiencing innocent suffering.

Keep in your prayers:  Ralph Reed, Phil Stanley, Joan (Tim Spengler’s mom and Holly’s Aunt) Annie, Marlene, children with diabetes, Ari, Ed, members of Peace with dementia or Parkinson’s, the incarcerated both innocent and guilty, the parents and children of Syria and Egypt.

First Friday FilmsEat Drink Man Woman (directed by Ang Lee) on September 6 at 6:30 pm.  This Taiwanese film highlights the tensions between generations, East and West, and tradition versus modernity.  A Master Chef has 3 daughters whose search for new values/ways to live press their father beyond his limits.  This movie is “food for the heart”.  Join us for relaxation, popcorn and discussion.

St. Francis Pet Blessing Festival on Oct. 6.  Invite your friends to attend with their pets!  Let Charlene McPherson know if you can donate  a gift basket or service for the Silent Auction.  We had 25 donations last year and they were very popular.

Unique Opportunity:  Want to learn how the great Hindu Texts (Ramayana/Bhagavad Gita) encourage our becoming ‘More Human’?  New friends of Peace Mohan and Sitarama (who has his Ph.d in Sanskrit Studies) will be presenting insights for dialogue at Peace on Sunday, September 15 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.  There will be music, participation in sacred words, food, wisdom, laughter and a chance to learn about the origin of yoga.  This is an opportunity to learn more about people and the teachings of other faiths – especially ‘Shanti’.  “There will be no peace on earth until there is peace among the religions,” said Hans Kung.  When asked about teachings beyond the Christian Religion, St. Augustine said 15 Centuries ago:  “If it is true then it is of God.”  Invite friends to join you.

This Sunday:  Come and meet Brock Klobe, our Seminarian Intern who will be us for the next year. Half of his time will be spent working at the Federal Prison in Dublin and the other half with Peace.  Internship is the opportunity to engage in the work of ministry full time for one year without any academic responsibilities.

“None of us are free if one of us is chained – None of us are free!”

 

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News 08.21.2013

Friends:

“Thank you, God, that the real hope in the world does not depend upon my endurance but upon your strength and Spirit in me.”

Amazing! We have met our financial goal of raising $6,000 for our new website. Thank you to all who were able to contribute! Dabbie Bowron has been investing her time throughout the summer to understand, provide material, organize and prepare to serve as our new Webmaster. Our thanks to Jade Orchard for their excellent work with us in building the site. Our new site will launch on September 1.

“Lincoln” – be sure to watch this great movie in preparation for our worship this Sunday which will focus on The Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th Anniversary, the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech as well as the current trials of racism.

Forum Presenter: Mark Goodwin has recently completed a Master’s Degree in Theology at PLTS. The topic of his research was the mass incarceration of people of color in the US.

Our thanks to Amar and Sahibomar Khalsa for their music leadership this past Sunday. All present seemed to be deeply appreciative. If you would like to learn more about Meditation and Contemplative Prayer, please speak with me regarding personal and/or group practice. Several members inquired if we might worship at the Sikh Temple in San Leandro sometime. Amar suggested we participate in a Gurdwara which is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of each month. A future date will be chosen.

Shoe Box Ministry: “When you hold a child’s hand, you hold the mother’s heart.” Nette is inviting us to support a ministry she has been involved in for many years. She will be sharing details with us in the near future.

We Are All Connected: 3 of the 4 copies of ‘This is a Soul: an American Doctor’s Remarkable Mission in Ethiopia’ were sold this past Sunday. If you would like to learn more about the local work happening in our community, please speak with Thais.

Congratulations to Mark and Sheila Miller on the wedding of their son Kurt last week in La Jolla! His charming wife’s name is to be shared with you soon.

The St. Francis Animal Blessing and Pet Festival is coming on Sunday, October 6. If you would like to help please speak with Greg Grebe, or Pam and Chuck Fisher.

Keep in your prayers: Annie, Marlene, Ari, those with diabetes, Heidi and Fidel, those working to overturn racism, the creative endeavors of our congregation in so many fields of life, the people of Egypt, Syria and Nicaragua.

Hi Friends at Peace: I hope you are well. I have thought about my visit to Danville on most days since I have been back in South Africa and each time I have, I’ve been overwhelmed. There are no words that can express how touched I will always be by the love the Peace family showed my mom and I. From the great church service, to the meeting you set up to interact with congregants, to the lovely meals and of course our trip to shop at Ross! All of those moments and more that we shared meant so much to me. It’s a blessing to know all of you and I will forever be grateful for the hospitality you have shown us over and over again. You have such a beautiful hearts and it is people like you that never let me forget all the goodness and hope in the world.
All my love, Ndamu Farisani

Ken Budesa is in the wilds of the Yukon and Alaska with his cousin. They have journeyed for several weeks in the wide open spaces of Arctic edges. “Absolutely peaceful and beautiful “ he reports of all the mountains, rivers and lakes…..and it never gets totally dark. He also enjoyed seeing the Northern Lights as well as the people living in distant villages. “God does wonderful things.” Love to all the friends at Peace.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 08.15.13

Friends:

“I thank You God for most this amazing
day; for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and sings; and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)”

e.e. cummings

Our Delegation has arrived safely in Nicaragua. They will orient for a few days in Managua and go to Laurel Galan. Gary is videoing their experience. Keep John, Libby and Gary in your prayers.

This Sunday Sikh friends Amar and Sybomar Khalsa return to Peace to lead our music for worship. We will get to enjoy and experience Sanskrit Chants and other beautiful music.

We hope to launch our new Website in early September. Dabbie announced that we are only $500 shy of our goal. Already this week $270 has come in. Thank you for your support. Dabbie and I trust you will be delighted by our new website and its incredible capabilities.

Please keep in your prayers: Annie, Marlene, our children and grandchildren, Joan, Fidel, and those who pray for us.

Stratford School had the Education Wing painted this week. It looks wonderful and they have covered the bill for this one.

We had 14 people join in the Rehearsal for our Jazz at Peace theme song: Sing Out! Clairdee and Ken French are great teachers – much fun was had. Details to come about the future rehearsal and recording date in September.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 08.07.2013

Friends:

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart, and
what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.”

(Fr. Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General of the Jesuit Order)

This Sunday we will have the Blessing and Sendoff of our Nicaraguan Delegation:  Libby, Gary and John.  Forum will present a 12 minute video about Nicaragua from the film Harvest of Empire.  It will be shown in the Youth Room.  Thank you for all of your donations.  Keep Laurel Galan, Amanda and Memo in your prayers.

“Sing Out!”– our Jazz at Peace Theme Song:   Jazz singer Clairdee and pianist/composer Ken French would like to reproduce this song with a full Community Chorus.  Youth from our Korean Pacific Choir, members of the Jazz at Peace crowd, and  all interested youth and adults from Peace and Beth Chaim are invited to participate.  Next Monday, August 12th a rehearsal is happening  at 7:30 pm. It’s an evening to get acquainted, learn the music and  enjoy the spirit of the music.  Come observe or join in the choir.  Then in early September (date to be decided) Ken and Clairdee will bring in the rest of the band, a sound engineer for the recording of this song and our own Brenda Bos (former Peace Seminarian) for the filming of the performance.  It will be a great addition to our new website.

PS:  Brenda has just completed her Internship at St. Paul’s in Santa Monica.  She will be awaiting a Call in Southern California.  She sends her greetings to everyone.

On August 18 Amar and Sybomar Khalsa, long-time friends from the Sikh Community, will be our music leaders for the day.  You can expect a variety of chants in English and Sanskrit.  Invite others to join you.

August 25: In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington/I Have a Dream our worship will focus on racism and its dismantling.  Our Forum Presenter will be Mark Goodwin, a recent Seminary Graduate (and friend of John’s) whose thesis addresses the spiritual crisis caused by the mass incarceration of people of color in our country.

PS: View or Review the movie “Lincoln” in preparation for worship on the 25th.

Keep in your prayers:  Uncle Jack – 100 year old relative of Gen Estenson who got to celebrate Gen’s 90th Birthday, Mackenzie Dobson who is in India, our Nicaraguan Delegation, Ari, and Elizabeth Wetherell on the death of her husband Rev. Paul Schulze.

Our thanks to Pr. Ruth Lesher and Seminarian John Brett for the worship leadership during July.

God is your being, and who you are, you are in God.” (The Cloud of Unknowing)

Blessings,  Pr. Steve