Pastor’s Weekly Message: 12.18.14

Grace Waves

Friends:

A Daily Prayer:  Be with all beings—help us find love and nourishment; overwhelm our hearts and minds with compassion so it may be the meter by which our world is built; and allow none to use violence as a means to their ends.  Grant us community vision and follow through.  Thank you for mountains, rivers, sky, plants, animals, trees, relationships, drama, laughter, love and joy.   Let friends, family and loved ones walk in your light and do your good works. —Elias Harms

Blessed News:  Today St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Hicksville, NY (Long Island) voted to call me as their pastor! I have been in the interview process with them since October (shortly after finishing my internship/seminary studies in August), so this final step is a joyful one that has been a long time coming. Dan and I are both thrilled to be a part of this warm and welcoming community! My first services with them will be on Christmas Eve, though I won’t start full time work there until the new year. Shortly after Christmas, we plan to move into their parsonage in Hicksville, and then after visiting some family my work will officially begin the first or second week in January. The date of my ordination is still pending, but will likely be in late January or early February in Ohio. My official installation will be at a similar time at St. Stephens.

Thanks to each and every one of you for the love and support you have shown along the way! I hope that the coming Christmas season will be a time to reconnect with many of you, and to hear what life has brought you in these past few months.  Much love!  Emily Trubey-Weller

“Pure Delight” Christmas Concert.  This will be an outstanding experience of great artistry, spiritual depth and the joy of Christmas.  Our own Elizabeth Hunter Ashley and Hyunjung Choi have invested tremendous energy and love in creating this event for our Valley Community.  Gary Sponholtz and friends will lead us in concluding this occasion with the sing along “Hallelujah Chorus”!  Spread the word – invite your friends.  (If you can assist as an usher, with the ticket desk, the reception or clean up please let me know.)

Please return your Giving Tree Gifts this Sunday, Dec. 21.  Make sure the Ornament is attached and the Room # is written on the outside of the gift.

A group of singers are joining our Christmas Eve Choir.    You too can be part of this exceptional group by letting Gary know – soon!

Christmas Caroling:  You are invited to join a group of Carolers from Peace this next Monday, Dec. 22 at 7:00 pm.  Gary will lead the way with his accordion.  You can bring percussion, crazy hats and whatever else heightens your Christmas Joy!  We had great fun last year.  Keep this ancient tradition alive.

The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander:   This is an excellent analysis of the history and current realities of racism in America.  It also addresses the issue of the mass incarceration of African Americans in an age of ‘color blindness’.

Blue Christmas:  Though joyous for many, some people find they have no heart for the cheer and the bustle, the anticipation and the excitement and Christmas. Across the country congregations recognize the struggles grieving people often face during the holidays. In the weeks before Christmas they focus ministry efforts on special worship services that speak to the needs of the downhearted. A list of Blue Christmas Services around the Bay Area is posted on our Kiosk.  Or contact Martha if you want to assist a friend prior to Sunday.

We pray:  for an end to torture and our belief in torture; for an end to the madness of terrorism which cannot see the humanity of children; and for an end to the greed of the powerful which fuels such anger and despair in our world.

We celebrate Mary Sunday this 4th Sunday of Advent.

Thanks to those who helped decorate our Christmas Tree last Sunday!

The 4 Paradoxes of Advent:

Hope – where there is none;

Discover new life in the desert;

Cherish Community  and speak a critical word to community when necessary;

Prayer leads to justice and justice leads to prayer.

Christmas Eve

  • 5:00 pm  – Children and Family Service
  • 10:00 pm – Candlelight and Communion

Christmas Day 10:00 am – Carols and Communion

Blessed Advent, Pr. Steve