Pastor’s Weekly Message: 10.30.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

Sweet morning – cool breezes and a clear sky.
This day will not come again.

The bulls lie under the tree in their corner of the field.

Quiet afternoon – the blue hills, the day lilies in the wind.  This day will not come again.

All Saints Sunday:  We remember the loved ones who have gone before this Sunday.  Always a powerful and blessed liturgy.

The Justice Advocacy team will gather during the Hospitality Hour.  All are welcome to join in and learn more of the important ministries we are involved in.

Jazz Church West/All Nite Soul:  This Sunday starting at 5 pm, light dinner at 6 pm and Wing It at 7 pm.  My Special Appeal:  come to church twice in one day.  It will make you twice as happy!  And bring 2 new friends with you to top off our 10th Anniversary Celebration with pure joy and pure creativity!

A Place at the Table” – you are asked to watch this powerful video about Hunger in America during the month of November.  Ideally share an evening with friends from Peace and beyond so conversation can be shared afterwards.  It is available on Netflix.  Details in Sunday’s bulletin.

Inequality and Faith – San Damiano will host this I-SRV sponsored event on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 9:30 – 3:30 pm.  Invite friend to join you for this significant days dialogue.  Details in Sunday’s bulletin.

Jesus – First Century Rabbi:  Our class with Rabbi Dan and Beth Chaim continues next Tuesday from 7:30  – 9:00 pm.  New people are still welcomed to join in.  Read sections II and III for next week.

Time Change this weekend……Fall back!  An extra hour of sleep.

God never changes God’s mind about you.
God is simply in love with you.

What God does again and again is change your mind about God. —H. McCabe

Below is a word from Nette about our Shoe Box Ministry which will be coming to us on November 9.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

The Power of a Simple Gift – step up, step in! Make a difference!

Since 1993, Samaritans Purse – Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 100million shoe boxes filled with books, toys and treats to children in more than 130 countries all over the world.

The receiving children have often been displaced by war, persecution, or genocide. Take your pick, whenever really poor decisions are made, children are at the receiving end of a situation they didn’t create and have no power to control.  They often live on city dumps or in shanty towns, sewers  or refugee camps, trapped in poverty, illness and hopelessness.

The idea is so very simple:  grab an empty shoe box, fill it with books, school supplies, toys, toiletries and treats – in short, anything you think a child should be blessed with.   Finally, please include a check for $7 or more to cover the transport of the box to its final destination:  a laughing child who, very often for the first time, receives a gift of any kind!

For more information on the suggested contents of a shoe box, please go to

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

When you pack a shoebox, please select one of these three age groups:  2-4, 5-9, or 10-14

The checks for the postage should be made out to Samaritan’s Purse.

If you prefer to participate with donations other than packed shoe boxes, please feel free to bring the following items to church on Nov. 9:

  • Board books suitable for toddlers   (Half-Price books is a good resource)
  • New or as-new stuffed toys
  • Crayons or big markers
  • Toothpaste
  • Hard candy   (Please – no chocolate as it might melt during transport)
  • Small miscellaneous toys

The donated items will be packed into shoe boxes for toddlers and will be delivered at an official pickup location during the week of November 17–24.

To allow ample time for packing the boxes, the donations must be delivered at Peace Lutheran Church by November 9th.  (Please note:  Nette will be out of the country from the end of September to November 4th)

Never has reaching so many children, with so little effort, been so easy!  Step up, step in – make a difference!

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 10.23.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

The heavens proclaim your glory, O God, and the firmament shows forth the work of your hands; Day unto day takes up the story and night unto night makes known the presence. No speech, no sound, no voice is heard—yet their design extends throughout the earth; Their silent message reaches to the utmost bounds of the world.
—Psalm 19

Reforming Church:  We celebrate the Reformation this Sunday (and the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017).

Our Forum:  What changes in faith and church life do you appreciate?  What are cool changes you would like to see at Peace or in the larger church?  What are essential commitments we need to make today?  Think on these things and come prepared to listen and speak.

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and I are co-teaching a class based on the exciting new book, Jesus First Century Rabbiby Rabbi David Zaslow.  (Copies of the book are available this Sunday.)  The class will have four sessions and will be interactive and engaging and embrace the essence of the book as we seek to deepen understanding and connections between our Christian and Jewish communities.

The four sessions are all on Tuesdays and are: October 28th, November 4th, 11th, and 18th at 7:30 pm.

In the final session on Tuesday, November 18th, Dan and I will interview and dialogue with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow and share questions that emerge from the class.

The cost of the class is $50 and includes a copy of the book ($24), entrance to the public event and any other materials for the class.  (The Men’s Brotherhood from Beth Chaim has decided to underwrite the cost for anyone who would appreciate assistance.  Simply notify Pr. Steve to receive a scholarship.) All sessions will be held at Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville.  One can register for the class by calling either Peace Lutheran at 648-7000 or Beth Chaim at 736-7146. – or signing up on Sunday.

The Embodied Prayer Series at San Damiano continues—a gift grounding and freeing your spirit.  If you wish to join in a class at any time, you can participate on any or all of the next 3 Wednesdays from  6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Reformation – Insights on Contemplation:  The practice of prayer, stillness, meditation is simply coming to view life through the heart of God; it is coming to see the world as God sees the world – as One.  The role of faith in the modern world is to develop people of substance who are immersed in questions of social significance.  The spiritual life is not the elimination of struggle; it is the sanctification of struggle as experienced in Luther, St. Francis, King, Merton, Mother Teresa, Bonhoeffer and others.  It is struggle transformed into wisdom.  The essence of a spiritual life is immersion in the world and a commitment to healing what is significant.  We know that we will have come to see God when we have come to see people and the creation as sacred.

Jazz Church West / All Nite Soul – Nov. 2 at 5:00 pm:  A special double booking awaits you for our All Nite Soul Celebration – Wing It will perform!  Friends Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter have offered many gifts to Peace over the years.  Please encourage friends to join you to experience this unique blend of dance/theatre/poetry – pure jazz!  They will begin around 7:00pm.  If you want the full jazz evening come at 5:00 pm for the Power Trio of Dan Zemelman, Mads Tolling and John Santos; a tasty meal prepared by our own Chuck Fisher and Wing It at 7.  Be good to yourself….give yourself a night filled with energy, creativity and joy!

The Sabbath is an opportunity to present your best to God!

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 10.17.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

We most need to pray when we least feel like praying.  Even when we seem unable to pray as we ought, we can trust the Spirit prays within us with sighs too deep for words, for the prayer of the heart depends not on our temperament or natural capacities but on the Spirit’s presence and gift meant for each of us. —Catherine of Siena

Our St. Francis Animal Blessing and Pet Festival was marvelous:  Worship was outstanding with all the guest musicians and singers; Fr. Vince Mesi the new Director at San Damiano Retreat Center joined us and sang;  a fine spirit permeated the afternoon; our community guests were so appreciative; more delightful music, delicious food, and the stories people shared with me about their pets and the dogs working with the blind, with children, with the elderly, with those with Alzheimer’s and working in units of local hospitals were very moving.  What a blessing to all of us human ones too!  Thanks to Greg and all the organizers and contributors.  “Only a ‘heart open to love’ can see God!”

We celebrate St. Luke’s Healing Prayer this Sunday—a day to receive healing blessings for ourselves, loved ones and our world.

Our Forums this Sunday will be our second session on Healthy Self Care—Honoring the Temple You Are!  What keeps you energized, aware, in tune with life and feeling connected with God and community?  You will receive insights, resources and encouragement.  Join in.

Please keep in your prayers:  Maili, Annegret, Margaret Beeler and her mother Betty, Derek, Juliana, Ari, Yael, all the suffering children and those who believe violence can cure social ills, for our friends in Nicaragua experiencing another severe drought; those seeking employment, those longing for the healing of relationships; for the earth, air, water, forests and animals of this beautiful earth our home, for saints, for the people of Hong Kong, the Middle East and the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

If you wish to join Charlene for prayer and music with the seniors at Danville Rehabilitation this Sunday at 11 am—you are most welcomed.  Conversation with these Seasoned Souls and the singing of old familiar hymns is a true gift to all of us.

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and I are co-teaching a class based on the exciting new book, Jesus First Century Rabbiby Rabbi David Zaslow.  (Copies of the book are available this Sunday.)  The class will have four sessions and will be interactive and engaging and embrace the essence of the book as we seek to deepen understanding and connections between our Christian and Jewish communities.

The four sessions are all on Tuesdays and are: October 28th, November 4th, 11th, and 18th at 7:30 pm.

In the final session on Tuesday, November 18th, Dan and I will interview and dialogue with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow and share questions that emerge from the class.

The cost of the class is $50 and includes a copy of the book ($24), entrance to the public event and any other materials for the class.  (The Men’s Brotherhood from Beth Chaim has decided to underwrite the cost for anyone who would appreciate assistance.  Simply notify Pr. Steve to receive a scholarship.) All sessions will be held at Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville.  One can register for the class by calling either Peace Lutheran at 648-7000 or Beth Chaim at 736-7146. – or signing up on Sunday.

Shoe Box Ministry:  Anticipated dates for those who wish to Volunteer to assist Nette:  Wrapping the Gifts – Monday, Nov. 10, 10 – Noon (please bring your own scissors); Packing the Boxes – Saturday, Nov. 22 beginning at 11 am.  2 – 6 people are needed… no more.  Youth Group members can certainly be involved.  Please let the Office know if you want to help.  Carpooling can be arranged.   Both activities will be at Nette’s home in Concord.

The Embodied Prayer Series at San Damiano continues to be an energizing blessing.  If you wish to join in a class at any time, you can participate on any or all of the next 3 Wednesdays at 7:00 pm.

Inequality and Faith:  An Interfaith Path to Wholeness will be presented at San Damiano on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 9:30 to 3:30 which includes lunch.  I-SRV/the Interfaith Community of the San Ramon Valley is sponsoring this event.  Presenters include:  Rabbi Dan, Iftekhar Hai, Ron Elsdon and myself.  Amar Khalsa our Sikh musician friend will lead the music for the day.  The cost is $35.  To register go to: www.sandamiano.org.

SLEEP FASTER WE NEED THE BEDS!
—An old Yiddish Proverb)

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 10.03.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

Human beings spend all their lives preparing, preparing and preparing….only to meet the next life unprepared.  Tomorrow or the next life – which comes first, we never know.

Congratulations to Xanthia and Brock on the Announcement of their Engagement!  All the friends of Peace are happy for them.  The wedding date has yet to be decided.

Congratulations to Linda Benatar on the birth of grandchild Sloan!

Our St. Francis Animal Blessing and Pet Festival is happening Sunday, October 12 from 12 – 3 pm.  Organizing is flowing well.  The final request of for people to set up the tables and chairs on Sunday morning at 8:30.  Additional gifts for the Silent Auction are welcomed.  Bring your friends.  Our thanks to Greg Grebe and the Committee for creating this gift to the community and making the organizing so easy.

Our Forums on October 5 and 19 will be on Healthy Self Care.  What keeps you energized, aware, in tune with life and feeling connected with God and community?  You will receive insights, resources and encouragement on these two Sundays.

Our thanks to Martha for her Forum presentation this past Sunday on Depression – Pathways to Healing and Wholeness.  We are blessed by the stories and resources she has to share.

Keep in your prayers:  Margaret Beeler and her mother Betty on the death of father and husband Ted; Pat’s son Derek who was injured in a car accident; those searching for employment, working to heal relationships, searching for a clearer sense of self, looking for a deeper spiritual life; for the people of Hong Kong, the Middle East and the Congo.

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and I are co-teaching a class based on the exciting new book, Jesus First Century Rabbi by Rabbi David Zaslow.  (Copies of the book are available this Sunday.)  The class will have four sessions and will be interactive and engaging and embrace the essence of the book as we seek to deepen understanding and connections between our Christian and Jewish communities.

The four sessions are all on Tuesdays and are: October 28th, November 4th, 11th, and 18th.

In the final session on Tuesday, November 18th, Dan and I will interview and dialogue with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow and share questions that emerge from the class.

The cost of the class is $50 and includes a copy of the book ($24), entrance to the public event and any other materials for the class.  (The Men’s Brotherhood from Beth Chaim has decided to underwrite the cost for anyone who would appreciate assistance.  Simply notify Pr. Steve to receive a scholarship.) All sessions will be held at Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville, at 7:30 pm.  One can register for the class by calling either Peace Lutheran at 648-7000 or Beth Chaim at 736-7146.

21 people attended the Embodied Prayer Series which began this week at San Damiano.  Kaleo, Elise and myself continue the series on Wednesdays from 6 – 7:30 pm throughout October and concluding on November 6.   You can come to one or all of them…..consistency though leads to greater depth.  We will integrate prayer, meditation, qiqong, scriptures and East/West practices.  Register at:  www.sandamiano.org.

The Jazz Church West opens our 10th Anniversary Season this Sunday with Mad and Eddie Duran.  Mad and Eddie took the leap of faith 10 years ago when they were the first artists to play for our very first Jazz at Peace Celebration.  Eddie is only 89 years old and a master wizard on the guitar while Mad is a superb sax player who will melt your heart –  so you may want to stop by and experience a taste of heaven.

Please join Ben Jones and I to enjoy four short films on Fri. Oct. 3 at 6;30 pm in the Youth Room.Flatland stars Martin SheenMichael York and Kristin Bell. Set in a two-dimensional land, the inhabitants are geometric shapes. Young Hex is curious about the nature of things, more curious than the authorities are comfortable with. Era is about two characters in a silent film. Friend Request Pending stars Judi Dench as a woman navigating social media sites. Helium by Anders Walter is an Academy Award winner about a boy in a hospital and the storyteller who tries to help him. See www.peacejourney.org for more info.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve