Pastor’s Weekly Message: 06.18.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

All the last minute arrangements for the International Premiere of  “The Way Chose You” Concerts in New York and San Francisco and at Peace are being concluded.  I head to New York this Friday to join the Kloster Vocalis there.  Please keep us in your prayers.

I hope you will encourage as many friends and family to join you as possible for this historic 70thAnniversary occasion.  I know you will be pleased by the Concert.  The details can be found at:   www.un70charter.org.

An attendee at the Pacific Choir and  Coelis Vocal Ensemble last Saturday said to me, “This music made me feel as if I had the strength to accomplish anything and simultaneously I felt like was just the wisp of a cloud.”  This is an experience of the best of art and the Gospel.

This week  I will share with you the Letter of Congratulations I wrote for the Concert Program last weekend.   I’ll see you at Peace on June 26 at 7 pm or at Grace Cathedral at 3:00 pm.

“Congratulations on your continued commitment to lift out spirits with Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and stir within us the best of classical and contemporary music!

I have enjoyed hearing your concerts for several years now.  It is striking for me to experience the evolving depth of your musical heart and maturing passion for life which you have sung and  expressed so elegantly.  You encourage all of us by your presence and performances with hope and refreshed gratitude for life.

It is said of preachers that when our lives conclude we will get to hear all the sermons we ever preached  – and then have to decide if we are in heaven or hell.  When the day comes that you get to listen to all the music you have ever sung as members of the Pacific Choir and Coelis Vocal Ensemble – you will know you are in heaven!

I am thankful for your Founder Ms. Hyunjung Choi who leads you with such vision and competence, grace and wisdom; and for your whole Leadership Team who invest themselves in organizing the myriad details which must be accomplished in order for a fine choir to sing with greatness!

Know I am grateful that tonight’s “Gloria” is raising funds to support the 70th Anniversary Concerts (at Peace and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco) celebrating the United Nations Charter Signing  at the end of WWII in June of 1945.  But I am thrilled that the Coelis Vocal Ensemble and Pacific Youth Choir will be performing at both concerts as part of this historic event!  Your Voices deserve to be heard and need to be heard in our global cry for peace.  Joining with the Kloster Vocalis Choir from Sweden and the Sycamore Chamber Orchestra, your participation in “The Way Chose You” will ensure that our Prayer for Peace (inspired by Dag Hammarskjold of the UN) will be heard internationally and blessed by the heavens.

May God continue to bless you with harmonic imagination as you encourage the dignity of our humanity for which we were created.”

Blessings,  Rev. Steve Harms

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 06.11.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

To preserve the silence within – amid all the noise.

To remain open and quiet,

a moist humus in the fertile darkness

Where the rain falls and the grains ripens – no matter

How many tramp across the parade ground

In whirling dust under an arid sky.

It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy

– from lack of character.

Never, “for the sake of peace and quiet”,

deny your own experience or convictions.

Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.

—Hammarskjold

 Reconciled in Christ/RIC: 24 years ago Peace officially and publicly affirmed the participation of Gay and Lesbian people within the life of our congregation.  It is likely the Supreme Court will rule this month in favor of Gay Marriage.  Our choices and commitments as people of faith make a difference!  Who else needs our advocacy now?

Splish-Splash!  Children are invited to join us during Worship for Summer Sunday School SPLASH. Water will be the theme of our Bible story exploration and activities with a lineup of GUEST STARS who will share their expertise in art, science, movement, games, and music throughout the summer. Join us for some WET AND WILD fun!

Qi and Grace: An Embodied Lord’s Prayer – Kaleo and Elise have their new book available on Sunday.  It shares the spirit and intentions of Qiqong and how this ancient Taoist practice has been integrated with our Lord’s Prayer.  During Forum you can learn more about the richness and depth of this incarnated prayer expression.

Concerts:

  • Vivaldi’s “Gloria:
  • Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm – “The Way Chose You”:  Hear the Swedish Choir Kloster Vocalis perform the International Premiere of this gorgeous composition based on the inspiration of Dag Hammarskjold’s “Markings”.  The Coelis Vocal Ensemble, Pacific Choir, Sycamore Chamber Orchestra and Sax Vobiscum (a sax quartet led by Anton Schwartz) will also perform.  It is free and donations will be requested.
  • Saturday, June 27 at 3:00 pm at Grace Cathedral in SF:  Hear the same Concert – perhaps with a thousand people or more!  It is free but tickets must be reserved.  Go to:  www.un70charter.orgto reserve yours and learn more about the entire Saturday.

“The Way Chose You” is now officially booked for a performance at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the UN Chapel and at St. Peter’s Lutheran in Manhattan – our Jazz Church partner!

Watch “Mosaic” at 5:00 pm on Channel 5 this Sunday to see an interview with Victor Kazanjian and Sally Mahe from the United Religions Initiative/URI who will speak about this great UN 70thAnniversary Celebration coming to all of us!  They have been working with Pr. Margareta and I in the organizing of this event which also celebrates URI’s 15th Anniversary.

Justice Advocacy had a wonderful gathering last Sunday.  Great energy and great commitments!

In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. —Hammarskjold

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 06.05.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

Peace and Harmony:  Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because the one who forgives you – out of love – takes upon themselves the consequences of what you have done.  Forgiveness, always entails a sacrifice.  The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself.
—Dag Hammarkjold

Brock Klobe will be Ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament this Saturday, June 6.  Please keep him and Xanthia in your prayers.

Hopefully your Meditations on the Trinity will continue:  you can practice Trinity Tree swaying, enjoy the Dance of the Trinity (perichoresis in Greek), savor being blessed like Kiki and Chris’ baby, listen to church bells – or just glow like Pam.

The Pacific Choir and Coelis Vocal Ensemble invite you to their Concert at Peace on Saturday, June 13 at 7:00 pm.  This is a fundraiser for the UN 70th Anniversary of the Charter Signing Celebration which will occur at Grace Cathedral in SF on June 27.  For further details about that event check out:  www.un70charter.org.

“The Way Chose You”  composed by Stefan Safsten in inspired by Dag Hammarskjold’s spiritual journal “Markings” in honor of the United Nations 70th will also be performed at Peace on Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm.  The Kloster Vocalis Choir from Sweden, Sax Vobiscum – a Sax Quartet, the Sycamore Chamber Orchestra, Coelis Vocal Ensemble and Pacific Choir will all participate in this evening.  It is guaranteed to be stunning.  Please begin inviting your friends to join you now if you cannot attend the Concert at Grace on Saturday!

On Behalf of Gallery 4:20, please accept this invitation to our annual Open Studios event!  You will see amazing art and meet this suave, cultured and eclectic group of artists.  There will be large and small works on paper and canvas as well as gorgeous jewelry and mosaic art, metal sculpture and mixed media art. There are treasures to be uncovered here within every budget!  June 6 and 7 – 11 – 6 pm; June 13 and 14:  11 – 6 pm.  Gallery 4:20 at 420 Peterson St., Jingletown, Oakland.  Thanks, Bill Carmel

Please inscribe your gift on the Veil Tapestry this Sunday!

The Peace Council had a fine Retreat this past Sunday.  Details and visions to emerge.

The New Friends of Peace shared a wonderful Dinner this past Sunday.  What gifts of connection are made through the Spirit!

First Friday Films – this Friday!  This month’s film is a visual and auditory delight – click on the trailer for a sample. It won nine international awards and features some voices you will love to hear.  Sophie – an overworked teenager – is cursed by a spiteful witch into the body of an old woman. Her only chance of breaking the spell appears to lie with Howl, a self-indulgent young wizard. Howl and his helpers live in his magical house which walks on webbed legs all over the countryside. To her surprise, Sophie finds hidden powers being in an old body and uses them to learn how to be true to herself. Along the way she discovers how to break the spell binding her and is able to help others break free as well.  Explore themes of conscious aging, anti-war sentiments, care-giving and living with heart. Nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2006 Academy Awards. Enjoy popcorn during, discussion after….Elana.

Jazz Church West – 10th Anniversary Finale:  Come and enjoy vocalist Clairdee and Dmitri Matheny, flugelhorn extraordinaire in a superb evening of the finest jazz.  You will hear all these people in heaven – so why not bathe in their gifts now….starting this Sunday, June 7 at 5:00 pm.

And……enjoy new art work by Thais!

Isaac Luria, the great 16th century Kabbalist from Tzfat, taught – in the beginning God poured light into the container of the world, but the vessel was not strong enough and it shattered – sending the sparks of light in every direction. This did not happen once, but many times. Our work is to repair the shattered worlds by gathering the Holy Sparks and releasing the light within  all living beings that is hidden in husks of habit and forgetfulness.

Trinity Delight,  Pr. Steve