Grace Waves 6.30.17

Grace Waves

Friends:

“Love alone is the only thing that can satisfy us.  Nothing else can.  And you know that.  Love always rewards the one who loves, but I will admit that sometimes Love seems to come all too slowly, at its own snail’s pace.  You can’t hurry it, though, so don’t ever let yourself give up on God, your community and Her Love.” (Hadewijch)

 

*** What a wonderful surprise to have Brock and Xanthia worship with us this past Sunday.  They are doing well and send their love to all their friends at Peace.

*** Thanks to Barb and Corrine for leading the Forum on Teen Challenge last Sunday.  If you wish to contribute you can do so this Sunday with a gift to Peace that the Thrivent Action Team grant of $250 will help match. (Barb as our Stewarding Deacon will be the catalyst for educating the whole congregation about how to use our personal $250 to encourage ministries we have a passion for within and beyond Peace.)

*** First Friday Films – Arrival   Friday, July 7  6:30p Join us in the Gathering Hall to view Arrival, a thought provoking film. Many have said it picks up where 2001: A Space Odyssey, left off. It has received an Academy Award with another 48 film award wins and 236 nominations worldwide. Based on Story of Your Life (1998) by Ted Chiang, it explores the spiritual practices of deep listening and free will. Confronted by a mass landing of 12 alien vessels around the globe, military leaders seek the help of brilliant linguist Louise Banks in an effort to communicate with the extraterrestrials and determine their intentions. It stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg. Run time 116 minutes; rated PG-13, parents strongly cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Popcorn during, discussion after.

*** The New York Times recently requested stories from people around the country about the impact of the newly proposed healthcare bill upon them. Our own Kersti Malvre submitted her story which was included in the Times.  Read Kersti’s article in the N.Y.Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/24/opinion/sunday/obamacare-repeal-health-care-bill.html?ref=opinion

*** Homelessness – A Byproduct of Income Inequality:   More than 60 percent of Oakland’s homeless people lived in homes in Alameda County for more than 10 years before they landed on the streets. And nearly 60 percent said money problems, not addiction or mental health issues, were the primary cause of their homelessness.  “People are stuck. It’s very, very rare that somebody chooses to be homeless,” said Mark Shotwell, director of Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless, which sends doctors to camps to provide medical care.   “It is the accumulation of years and years of affordable-housing shortages. There is just no place for people to go.”  To learn more: Homeless camps becoming entrenched in Oakland  (thanks to Martha for this article)

*** Eating with Compassion:  Food is central to religious life – from rituals to sacraments to soup kitchens – and looking more carefully at our food choices can be a revealing exercise. CoolHarvest.org has tips and resources to walk you through this, so you can make healthier and more sustainable food choices for your congregation and community.  In the United States around 25% of food is wasted at home. Food waste that goes to the landfill produces methane; methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. By learning simple ways to preserve our food and lowering our food waste we can care for the gift of abundance from Creation and reduce our carbon footprint.  Almost one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions comes from the food industry and our food choices.  We can reduce the carbon footprint of our food by up to 7% by eating locally and learning how to preserve seasonal produce.  Download your “Canning for the Climate” Kit today.

*** The UN 70th Anniversary celebrated 2 Years Ago – Dear Friends:  These days of the year remind us of our tour to the United Nations in NY and Grace Cathedral in SF!  A lot of memories come up on Facebook all the time these days.  These events were so amazing. One of the favorite memories on Facebook was our visit and ‘concert’ in Muir Woods, the UN birthplace. A holy moment! But all this is not just memories now, I know it has inspired many of us to proceed working for peace and building bridges between religions, people and different groups.  Regards, Stefan Safsten

Great that the summer time weather has arrived.

Blessings,

Pr. Steve

 

 

 

Grace Waves 06.24.17

Grace Waves

Friends:

“If the church does not recapture its poetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral and spiritual authority. If the church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and for economic and racial justice, it will forfeit the loyalty of millions and cause people everywhere to say that it has atrophied its will.  But if the church will free itself from the shackles of a deadening status quo, and, recovering its great historic mission, will speak and act fearlessly and insistently in terms of justice and peace, it will enkindle the imagination of mankind and fire the souls of men, imbuing them with a glowing and ardent love for truth, justice, and peace.  People far and near will know the church as a great fellowship of love that provides light and bread for lonely travelers at midnight.”         ~Martin Luther King

¨HONKYJune 24th & 25th at Peace!  Director Eric Hayes, a son of the congregation, invites all of you to attend this provocative and hilarious play.  (* At the conclusion of Grace Waves is A Letter to my Nephew, written by poet James Baldwin 5 decades ago, and published in his book “The Fire Next Time.”  Hopefully it will inspire you to see Honky!)

A pair of sneakers triggers a tragedy…  and a unique conversation about race relations in America.  Honky is a very provocative and funny look on the very serious subject of race and racism in America. Political correctness goes out the window as five people, both black and white, muddle through one of the most difficult discussions of our time.  Each performance will be followed by a dialogue with the cast, guest speakers, and you!  Tickets half price for Peace – email your request for tickets to office@peacejourney.org for will call at the door.

SOLAR AT PEACE:  Our new solar panels are providing maximum energy for us at Peace and keeping us cool in the process.  Want to have a look at our solar energy generation?  For your convenience, from any computer with internet access:

  1. http://www.monitoring.solaredge.com
  2. email = office@peacejourney.org
  3. password = 4solar@peace

Family/Father’s Day– I trust you enjoyed our Father’s/Family Day service with Shimmering, Chating, Drumming, the Tuning of the Chimes, Hand Dancing and beach balls leaping!  Our thanks to Charlene and Pat.

This life is God’s gift to you; may who you become be your gift to God.

ELCA Health Care Statement:  Our enduring commitment to support health care for all people comes in grateful response to God’s saving love in Jesus Christ that frees us to love and seek the well-being of our neighbor.” 

UPDATE: Senate leaders finally released draft legislation that would make it harder for millions of Americans to access affordable health care. This legislation cuts Medicaid for low-income working families and rolls back important improvements recently made for women and people living with disabilities, mental health challenges or pre-existing conditions. Please tell your Senators to improve access to health care; don’t tear it apart. Your voice makes a difference!

ELCA leaders pray and urge the Senate to act in this way:

  • Expand Medicaid into all 50 states with adequate funding;
  • Maintain the ability of young adults under the age of 26 to receive health insurance under the parents;
  • Stand with women in maintaining reproductive health mandates; and
  • Protect coverage for people living with disabilities, mental health challenges, or pre-existing conditions.

PRAYERS:  Keep in your prayers:  Jerry, David, Brian, Marlene, Sue, Marshall, Nette, Gun, Nancy, Renee’s mom, Ed K., Peter, Clifford, Kathy, Johnny’s mom, Brian T., Joyce and Ann; those seeking homes, employment and healthcare, those persons (young and old) contemplating death by suicide and their families.

Oak Tree:  The Oak Tree in honor of Fred Garrity was Ken’s inspiration.  A fitting tribute for Fred.  It is taking root at the corner of Camino and Old Blackhawk Rd.

Teen Challenge:  Barb Ghinazzi invites you to support a new Teen Challenge Center through Thrivent Action Teams this Sunday

Slavyanka Russian Chorus  was incredible!  They want to return – let’s hope they do!

Facebook!  All of our events and ministry activities are now being directly posted to Facebook so you can spread the word quite easily to your friends.

Our Jazz Church West applied to the Hewlett Foundation for a $200,000 Grant but we were denied.  However, the process has helped us to focus on new arenas of development for our Jazz Ministry.

“Woe to those who enact unjust decrees, who compose oppressive legislation to deny justice to the weak and to cheat the humblest of my people of fair judgment.”  Isaiah 10: 1

* “Letter to my Nephew”

This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it…..It is their “innocence” which constitutes the crime.

This innocent country set you down in a ghetto in which, in fact, it intended that you should perish.  The limits of your ambition were thus expected to be set forever.  You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being.  You were not expected to aspire to excellence:  you were expected to make peace with mediocrity.  You have defeated this intention!  And by a terrible law, a terrible paradox, those “innocents” who believed that your imprisonment made them safe are losing their grasp on reality.

But these men and women are your brothers and sisters — your lost, younger brothers and sisters. And if the word Integration means anything, this is what it means:  That we, with love, shall compel our brothers and sisters to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and to begin to change it.

For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great people have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what it must become.  It will be hard, but you come from sturdy, peasant stock, ancestors who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads, and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity!

You come from a long line of poets since Homer. 

One of them said,  “The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.”

We cannot be free until they are free.  God bless you and Godspeed.   ~James Baldwin

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

Vacation Bible School 2017:  Jul 24-28!  PEACE youth and teens are invited to partner with St. Timothy’s and Mt. Cross Vacation Bible School: The Water of Life. Visit http://sainttimothysdanville.org/grow/vacation-bible-school/ for forms,registration & information.

 

Pastor’s Weekly Message 06.08.17

Grace Waves

Friends:

“Where the Church is Alive there is always Surprise!”

“Only in humans has the evolution of the creation reached the point where reality encounters itself in decision and choice.  Outside of humanity, the creation is neither good nor evil.

Only when you descend into yourself and encounter the Other, do you then experience goodness as the ultimate reality — united and living — in God and through you.”

~Dag Hammarskjold

Congregation/Community Events Below (FFF, VBS, Concert, Honky)

Pentecost – Confirmands:  Impossible to convey the experience of Pentecost this past Sunday.  That’s why we worship – to participate in the wisdom and grace which make communion with life possible.  Our Confirmands – precious, thoughtful, works of art themselves – loved by their families and treasured by the community of Peace.  Often the best we can offer is ‘Thank you, God.’

The 3 Determinants of Happiness – Ancient Spiritual Teaching (confirmed by science) for Confirmands and Adults:

  1. Doing good to/with/for Others;
  2. Nurturing Strong and Supportive Networks of Relations (beyond our own families); and
  3. Having a sense that one’s life is worthwhile, meaningful, and matters – to one’s self and others.

Trinity Sunday:  Join us for this exquisite Sunday when we explore the great and godly Dance of Love.

Forum on Sunday – Peace as a Sanctuary Church:  Come learn and discuss the 4 Ways in which Sanctuary Churches can provide care and protection for those living under intimidation and threat of deportation.

Keep in your prayers:  Jerry, recovering from surgery; Ed, Brian T, Marshall, Peter, Brian M., Gun, Nancy, Sue, Johnny’s mom, Mary, those held captive by poverty, discrimination or intimidation.

“Brothers and sisters, we wish you joy; try to grow in maturity; encourage one another; have a common mind and live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with the holy kiss of peace.” 

2 Corinthians 13: 11 – 12

Big Questions Forum“How Does your Faith Path provide guidance in understanding and dealing with Suffering?”  I have been invited by the Rossmoor Interfaith Council to participate in a panel presentation/discussion on the topic of suffering next Monday, June 12 from 1:30 – 4 pm at the Club Room of the Creekside Restaurant.  It is open to the public.

Family Service – Father’s Day, June 18 at 10 am.

If you are lucky we will schedule a Work Day yet this June.

“He turned all his time into a holy leisure in which to engrave wisdom on his heart; so that, if he did not always advance in awareness and compassion, he would still not give up.”  (A comment on the life of St. Francis.)

Pentecost Blessings,  Pr. Steve

FIRST FRIDAY FILM:  FRI JUN 9  6:30p  Join us for a rescheduled  screening of this award winning film based on the book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.  In the race to space between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, three black female mathematicians play a key role in launching astronaut John Glenn into outer space, making him the first American to orbit Earth.  Run time 127 min.; rated PG – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Popcorn during, discussion after.

Vacation Bible School 2017:  Jul 24-28PEACE youth and teens are invited to partner with St. Timothy’s and Mt. Cross Vacation Bible School: The Water of Life.  This VBS week is a Day Camp 9:00 – 3:00, staffed by Mt. Cross College and Adult volunteers working with teen CIT’s and youth as young and Pre-k.  A week of fun, song, crafts and learning for the week; campers and staff will bring lunch each day, concluding with a celebration on   Friday 9:00—1:00.  Visit http://sainttimothysdanville.org/grow/vacation-bible-school/ for forms,registration & information.   Contact the office 925.648.7000 for questions/more information.  REGISTRATION DEADLINE – JUNE 15

Slavyanka Chorus: On Sunday, June 11th at 5PM, Slavyanka Chorus will present a concert of rarely heard Russian and Serbian choral music at Peace Lutheran.  The program will include sacred and secular music by two of Russia’s greatest choral composers, Pavel Chesnokov and Sergei Taneyev (often called “the Russian Bach” in his homeland, but almost unknown here) — and a cycle of charming and lively folk songs about simple village life by Serbia’s most beloved composer, Stefan Mokranjac.  Iskra Etno, a wonderfully talented Serbian and Balkan ensemble of eight women singers, will also perform.  Tickets are $17 online at www.slavyankachorus.org, or $20 at the door — children under 12 admitted free. For more information, please visit the chorus website, or call Paul Andrews, 510-798-7966.

¨HONKYJune 24th & 25th at Peace!  A pair of sneakers triggers a tragedy…  and a unique conversation about race relations in America.  Honky is a very provacative and funny look on the very serious subject of race and racism in America. Political correctness goes out the window as five people, both black and white, muddle through one of the most difficult discussions of our time.  Each performance will e followed by a dialogue with the cast, guest speakers, and you!  Tickets through Role Players Ensemble  http://www.roleplayersensemble.com/

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 06.01.17

Grace Waves

Friends:

“The day will come when, after harnessing  the ether, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, humans will have discovered fire.”  Teilhard de Chardin

We celebrate Pentecost, the Third High Feast Day of the Church Year this Sunday at 10 am.  The Descent of the Spirit and the Birthday of the Church!  We also celebrate the Confirmation of our 10 Confirmands.  What a joyous, creative and fiery occasion this will be.  Invite friends to join you.

¨ Many thanks to all involved in organizing and proving food for Fred’s memorial reception.  In gratitude a donation has been made to the Solar Halos project.  I’m forever grateful.      ~ Marlene

FIRST FRIDAY FILM:  FRI JUN 2  6:30p  Join us for a screening of this award winning film based on the book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.  In the race to space between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, three black female mathematicians play a key role in launching astronaut John Glenn into outer space, making him the first American to orbit Earth.  Directed by Theodore Melfi, it stars Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell. The main spiritual practice this film focuses on is Justice.

Run time 127 min.; rated PG – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Popcorn during, discussion after.

Jazz Church West – Delicious!  Gerry Grosz & The Jazz Kitchen

Gerry will do his magic (les  entrees -le plat principal) mainly on the vibes. Mixing in a few bites of very tasty piano- ( la pate) No reservation needed come as you are – hungry for Great Jazz! Bon appetite! 5pm  SUN  Jun 4th

Gerry and his jazz sous chefs will make their spicy jazz menu soar for this  12th Season Finale!   As the season closer-  Le desserts will be served at the reception which follows.   Do not miss this extra special free jazz treat.

 Vacation Bible School 2017:  Jul 24-28!  PEACE youth and teens are invited to partner with St. Timothy’s and Mt. Cross Vacation Bible School, The Water of Life.  This VBS week is a Day Camp 9:00—3:00, staffed by Mt. Cross College and Adult volunteers working with teen CIT’s and youth as young and Pre-k.  A week of fun, song, crafts and learning for the week; campers and staff will bring lunch each day, concluding with a celebration on   Friday 9:00—1:00.  Visit http://sainttimothysdanville.org/grow/vacation-bible-school/ for forms,registration & information.   Contact the office 925.648.7000 for questions/more information.  Register this week to guarantee your t-shirt size!

¨ Slavyanka Chorus: On Sunday, June 11th at 5PM, Slavyanka Chorus will present a concert of rarely heard Russian and Serbian choral music at Peace Lutheran.  The program will include sacred and secular music by two of Russia’s greatest choral composers, Pavel Chesnokov and Sergei Taneyev (often called “the Russian Bach” in his homeland, but almost unknown here) — and a cycle of charming and lively folk songs about simple village life by Serbia’s most beloved composer, Stefan Mokranjac.  Iskra Etno, a wonderfully talented Serbian and Balkan ensemble of eight women singers, will also perform.  Tickets are $17 online at www.slavyankachorus.org, or $20 at the door — children under 12 admitted free. For more information, please visit the chorus website, or call Paul Andrews, 510-798-7966.

¨ HONKYJune 24th & 25th at Peace: Save the date!!  A pair of sneakers triggers a tragedy…  and a unique conversation about race relations in America.  Honky is an absurd and hilarious take on the language of race and racism.  Political correctness goes out the window as five people, both black and white, muddle through one of the most difficult discussions of our time.  Tickets through Role Players Ensemble http://www.roleplayersensemble.com/