Pastor’s Weekly Message: 02.28.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

The Lord has written the promise of the resurrection in every blossom and leaf of springtime.  Martin Luther

Crab Feed – Saturday, March 1 at 5:00 pm…..“The Best Crab Feed in the Bay Area!”  Everything is prepared for you and your friends! Thanks to all who are volunteering to make this a splendid fundraiser for Peace.  We have 75-80 people signed up. Chuck Fisher and Mike Valenta are working hard to give you a delightful evening. Our Silent Auction will include:  A 43″ Samsung plasma TV, a silver filigree bracelet and several Restaurant Gift Cards. Expect a great night!

This Sunday we celebrate the Transfiguration – the culmination of the season of Epiphany.  Be sure to give yourself some time to contemplate our Transfiguration Painting by Richard Caemmerer which is in the front corner of our sanctuary.

Ash Wednesday initiates the season of Lent.  Our worship will be at 7:30 pm next Wednesday.

Love Letters will be performed at Peace on March 9 at 4:00 pm.  This is a fundraiser for Hospice of the East Bay where Bev Harms and Pr. Elizabeth work. This drama is a poignant and humorous story about letters exchanged over the course of a lifetime between two long time friends who despite going separate ways continue to share their confidences.  A reception with a popular harpist will follow.

Thanks to the 11 people who have signed up for Escrip – another easy way to support Peace. You can sign up this Sunday during Hospitality too. Those of you have received Choice Dollar notifications from Thrivent – you know who you are – please direct that money to Peace if you desire.

Forum on March 2 – The Human Heart:  Healthy and Happy (medically and spiritually) with Dr. Jan Johansson.  You will value Jan’s wisdom and insights!

The Veil Tapestry Project has raised $411 of the $426 needed to begin.  Please bring your $3.85 to church this Sunday to help Bill Carmel and the Church Council achieve its goal!

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen is a reverent 2009 biopic by director Margarethe von Trotta about the famed 12th century Benedictine abbess. Von Bingen was also a Christian mystic, scientist, physician/healer, poet, naturalist, playwright, philosopher and composer. Pope John Paul II called her, “a light to her people and for her time, she continues to shine even more brightly today.” Run time 111 minutes. Join us for popcorn during, discussion after.

The Jazz Church West hosts The Marcus Shelby Trio featuring vocalist Denise Perrier this Sunday at 5:00 pm.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 02.21.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

We glibly talk of nature’s laws

But do things have a natural cause?

Blackearth becoming yellow crocus

Is undiluted hocus-pocus.  Piet Hein

A wonderful gift to have received Chaplain Hans Hoch’s insights about Prison Ministry this past Sunday.  A copy of the ELCA’s Statement on Prison Justice is available for your review.  And thanks to Seminarian Brock Klobe for leading the second part of our series on Racism/”Many Rivers”.   Forms for your official Permission and Entrance to the Federal Corrections Prison in Dublin can be obtained or submitted this Sunday.

Brockometer:  Over $1,200 has been received toward the Matching Gift Challenge of $5,000 in support of Brock’s Internship.  Thank you for all the gifts received thus far!

Forum this Sunday – The Economic Dimensions of Racism:  The Third Part of our Racism Series will conclude with Ron Elsdon’s presentation.

Crab Feed – Saturday, March 1 at 5:00 pm!  “The Best Crab Feed in the Bay Area!”  Everything is prepared for you and all of your friends!  Thanks to all who are volunteering to make this a splendid fundraiser for Peace.  We have 60 people signed up.  Chuck Fisher and Mike Valenta are working hard to give you a great evening.  And now we have the donation of a 43″ Samsung plasma TV for the Auction!

Love Letters will be performed at Peace on March 9 at 4:00 pm.  This is a fundraiser for Hospice of the East Bay where Bev Harms and Pr. Elizabeth work. This drama is a marvelous story about the relationship of two long time friends.  A reception will follow.

Sign up for Escrip this Sunday during the Hospitality Hour.  Another easy way to support Peace.  And those of you have received Choice Dollar notifications from Thrivent – you know who you are – please direct that money to Peace if you desire.

Forum on March 2 – The Human Heart:  Healthy and Happy (Medically and Spiritually) with Dr. Jan Johansson.  You will love Jan’s wisdom and insights!

The Veil Tapestry Project has raised 2/3 of the $400 needed to begin.  Please bring your $3.85 to church this Sunday to help Bill Carmel and the Church Council achieve its goal!

…and you will be forgiven for forgetting that what you really want is love’s confusing joy!

Blessed Epiphany Season!  Pr. Steve

 

 

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 02.14.14

Grace Waves

Happy Valentine’s Day!

There are times when it seems that so much has been written about love that there is no more to be said about it. And worse, sometimes it seems that so much that has been written about love is pure drivel—unattained and unattainable. Or volumes are written about sexual manipulation without a word about the fact that good sex, holy sex, requires a good relationship. Or, pure theory of a theological kind talks about “loving” God when I have yet to understand human love, let alone the divine.

Love is something learned only by the long, hard labor of life. It is sometimes over before we’ve even known we had it. We sometimes destroy it before we appreciate it. We often have it and simply take it for granted.

But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we live long enough to grow into it in such a way that because of it we come to recognize the value of life. As the years go by, we come to love flowers and cats and small infants and old ladies and the one person in life who knows how hot we like our coffee. We learn enough about love to allow things to slip away and ourselves to melt into the God whose love made all of it possible. Sometimes we even find a love deep enough to detach us from the foam and frills of life, all of which hold us captive to things that cannot satisfy. Sometimes we live long enough to see the face of God in another. Then, in that case, we have loved.

The poets and storytellers across time have told us about the dimensions of love that last. The poet Rumi wrote:

From myself I am copper,
through You, friend, I am gold.
From myself I’m a stone, but
through You I am a gem.  (Joan Chittister)

How wonderful to celebrate Andrew and Ryan’s Baptisms this past Sunday!  And a blessing to share Natalie’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer Letter to the newly baptized.

Chaplain Hans Hoch, Brock’s Supervisor at the Prison, will join us for worship this Sunday.  Look forward to meeting him.

The “Brockometer” keeps increasing.  $1,000 has been raised toward our $5,000 Matching Fund.  Thanks to all of you who can contribute!

Your support of the Veil Tapestry Project is appreciated too.  We have raised $265 of the $400 needed toward the unique Art/Faith Project that Bill Carmel has envisioned.  To learn more about this speak with Bill or members of the Council.

The Crab Feed is happening on Saturday, March 1 at 5:00 pm.  Chuck Fisher is coordinating the event,  Mike Valenta is running the kitchen, a wonderful team of volunteers has assembled and The Generosity Pilot Project is underwriting a portion of the evening.  The only thing left:  INVITE ALL THE FRIENDS YOU CAN!  Now it is up to the rest of us to encourage all our friends to share this tasty and delightful evening with us.

Our Gospel texts during the Epiphany Season are coming from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5 – 7.   Read it several times during February, ponder these profound truths.  It will deepen your prayer and worship life as well as shift your experiences in daily life.

Forum Series on “Racism – Many Rivers” continues the next two Sundays:  This Sunday Seminarian Brock Klobe ‘The Realities of Racism in Prison Life’.  (Please read The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander to learn the true dynamics of incarceration in our society today.)  On February 23 Ron Elsdon will address the  “Economic Implications of Racism”.

March 1 Forum – Dr. Jan Johansson:  The Human Heart and Health….an Update.  Always a marvelous presentation and conversation.

You will be able to sign up for Escrip (as another means for supporting Peace) at worship this Sunday during the Hospitality Hour.

Please keep in your prayers:  Bob Mantei recovering from hip surgery, Veronique, Ari, those searching for homes, the newly baptized, Jerry, those ill with the flu, Lance, Hyunjung Choi and family recovering from a car accident, the victims of discrimination, our children, the people of Syria, and those who pray for us.

The Jazz Community also loved John Barry’s “Bainting” when his Exhibit Opened this past Sunday at the Jazz Church West.  Composer Marcus Shelby gave John a fine tribute during the course of the evening too – a special touch.   Lynne Goodman prepared a fine reception with assistance from others and all got to enjoy the delicious Noci Bella Chocolate!

Yes, it is true that Nette is from the Happiest Country on the Earth.  You will have to ask her why!

Epiphany Blessings,  Pr. Steve