Grace Waves 9.15.17

Friends:

“Praying:  Just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate; this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks…and a silence in which another voice may speak.”                             ~Mary Oliver

 

Homecoming It was the Twins Julia and Violet who brought us all home last Sunday.  Jesus put a child in the disciples midst when they inquired “who was the greatest“?  The twins beaming, quiet presence revealed the answer to us!

Singers Welcomed!  We now have 11 Singers willing to work with Gary and Elizabeth in creating a variety of music settings for worship at Peace.  Quite exciting!  More men are invited too.  Details will emerge as our organizing progresses.

Forum – Reforming our Songs and Hymns: This Sunday we gather to reflect on the themes of our times which singing could address.  This is brainstorming – we need your ideas.  Luther took the songs of his day and added contemporary lyrics — we are doing the same thing.  Luther also said, “She who sings, prays twice!”

First Friday Films – what a night!  As attendees shared last Sunday – “The BBQ , movie, s’mores and marvelous company were so wonderful!  Great film – and half a dozen new folks attended.  Thanks to Austin and Gary for the BBQ and Big Screen and to Elana for coordinating the evening and film series!  Come the end of October you can anticipate nothing but Scary Movies for Halloween!!

Council Retreat:  The Council retreated this past Sunday for several hours.  It’s a blessing to give ourselves the time to reconnect and refresh.  The flow of a whole year’s events began to come together by the conclusion of our session.  These details will be published soon.

St. Francis Animal Blessing – October 1:  This year we invite all your furry, feathered, scaly friends to join us for worship at 10 am.  Invite your humanoid friends who love the winged and four-legged to join you as well.  We ask each family to be responsible for all the creatures they bring.  Anticipate a marvelous worship celebration!

Hope you enjoyed the Luther Special last Tuesday evening.  He was a man with great gifts and great flaws living in a time of great challenges. Thankfully his wife Katie was a woman of great strength and faith too.

International Day of Peace:  Consider practicing peace for 24 hours on September 21 – at the office or supermarket, while sitting in traffic – give yourself a day to gently examine the deeper levels of peace-making.  Practicing awareness of our thoughts and emotions is invaluable:  noting our irritations and disappointments….then just let them go (fighting with them gets us nowhere); be mindful of if or how harshly you judge yourself and others – allow kindness to replace your condemning attitude.  Remember: “those who hurt or frustrate me must already be hurting themselves” throughout the day.  And you may decide to read and reflect upon the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights as a thought-provoker for that day.

Jazz Church West – 13th Season Opens October 1 with Sylvia Cuenca, San Jose native now part of the busy New York City jazz scene!

Family Service – October 8th

500th Reformation AnniversarySunday, October 29:  2:15 Bach’s Cantata #80/ Ein Feste Burg performed with Orchestra.  3:00 pm a Festive Eucharist Liturgy with fiesta reception following.  Carpooling will be arranged.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

 

 

Grace Waves 09.06.17

Grace Waves

“Bless your persecutors; never curse them; rejoice with others when they rejoice; give the same consideration to all others; pay no regard to social standing, respect humble people on their own terms; do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom; never pay back evil with evil, as much as is possible be at peace with everyone; never try to get revenge; master evil with good.”  (Romans 12: 14 – 21)

 

***  Homecoming Sunday is this Sunday!  Time to gather from the Four Winds of Serbia and Fiji and South Africa and Canada and to rediscover our rhythm in the praise of God, gratitude for life and the nurturing of Christ’s New Creation.  Come home – to yourself; come home – to the joy; come home to your friends!

***  First (second) Friday Films – Sept. 8!  Join us for a Peace BBQ at 6:30 pm in the  Courtyard when we will grill a variety of veggies and proteins. Please bring side dishes to share. For dessert we’ll enjoy S’mores toasted over a copper fire pit. Dinner delights followed by a screening of this Academy Award winning Harry Potter prequel on the big screen at 7:27 pm when the sun goes down. J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay.  You will meet magizoologist Newt Scamander, who studies, watches over and nurtures magical creatures. He arrives in New York City 70 years before Harry Potter reads the book Scamander will author, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Run time 113 min.; rated PG – 13.

***  Singers at Peace:  All are invited to meet with Gary at the Piano after worship this Sunday to decide how best we can rehearse and offer our musical gifts to worship and for special events at Peace.  Duets, quartets, chant, contemporary music are all options we will explore.  8 people are already involved.  If interested, please join in.

***  The Council will have our Fall Retreat this Sunday after the Hospitality Hour at Peace.

***  Last Sunday $450 was given by the congregation for Harvey Relief Efforts.  Thank you for your compassion.

***  Forum – Creating Reformation Hymns for our Times:  On Sunday, September 17 we will have a chance to reflect on themes for music that speak to our times.  The Affirmation of the Contemporary was one of the major contributions of the Reformation 500 years ago.  Lutherans were known as the Singing Church and all music lovers know we have to sing our way into the resurrection!  Thanks to Pr. Lucy and Boris for leading this creative endeavor.

***  Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: The Reformation led to many things that we hold dear and often take for granted today:  worshiping in our own languages, public education, free access to bibles and other religious literature, democracy, an insistence on personal and human rights, an emphasis on the economic well being of the community, and cultural affirmation through all the arts….with a special gratitude for the works of JS Bach!

***  October 29 at 2:15 pm at Grace Cathedral The Pacific Choir will perform Bach’s Cantata #80 Ein Feste Burg with full orchestra.  A Eucharist Liturgy will follow at 3:00p. Reserved parking is available at the Masonic Garage.  If you wish to participate and carpool please sign up on Sundays at Peace.

***  Please keep in your prayers:  Those deluged by the storm and flood waters of Harvey; the people of Bangladesh where 1/3 of the country is now submerged; Jerry, Marshall, Gun, those mourning the loss of loved ones.

***  The Veil Tapestry has been accepted into the Interfaith Art Exhibition “Collaboration and Connection”.  Bill Carmel had a conversation with Arash the curator almost two years ago which inspired the title of this Exhibit.  The submission form was visited by over 900 artists from the US and other countries including Finland, Qatar, France, Canada, UK, Pakistan, Ireland, and Germany.  There were 40 submissions which included 80 artists and 3 big projects with students ranging from 60 – 90 students.  The Exhibit will open later in the Fall.  Details to come!

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

 

Grace Waves 09.01.17

Grace Waves

“Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world but let your minds be remade (metavoia) and your nature thus transformed, and then you will be able to discern the yearning of God:  what is good/life-generating, acceptable and mature.”  (Romans 12: 2)

 

***  The Youth Group and parents met this past Sunday at the Mitchell’s.  A relaxing and inspiring evening of catching up and designing plans for this next year.  Lots of good things cooking both at that BBQ and for the near future.

***  Summer Journeys took folks in many directions.  Here are just a few:  Martha was off to Germany; Renee, Todd and family took an RV sabbatical trip around America for 7 weeks; Mark L. went swimming in Serbia with the American Water Polo team…his parents followed behind; the Schoenings enjoyed Croatia; Mark M attended the baptism of his grandson in the same church where George Washington was a member; Ron and Linda enjoyed Wisconsin; Gun went to Sweden; Teresa and Jeff enjoyed Vermont; Gracie M. did some youth project work in Fiji; and somebody went to Viet Nam – who was that?  We got to see Len and Bonnie Nelson who send greetings from Salem – the Land of Totality.

***  Homecoming Sunday – welcome back on September 10.  Time to reconnect and get back in the groove of life at Peace.

***  Hurricane Harvey Relief:  $3 million match on personal donations*
Thrivent will match up to $3 million in personal donations made online through Thrivent.com to specific disaster relief organizations responding to Hurricane Harvey. The dollar-for-dollar match is open to Thrivent members and will lead to a total combined impact of up to $6 million. For more details and to see the list of organizations included in the match, visit the Disaster Response page on Thrivent.com.

***  Simultaneously in Bangaladesh massive storms have deluged the country so that 1/3 of Bangaladesh is now submerged.  100 times the number of people who died in Houston have died there and of course they have no resources.  Portions of India and Nepal have been equally devastated.  I am awaiting word from Lutheran World Relief how we might best help in these places too.

***  Keep in your prayers:  Ro recovering from knee surgery, Brian and David McGee, Linda Britt, Brian T., Sue Shuffield, Alice O’Sullivan and those who are threatened by wild fires, those mourning the death of loved ones,the victims of Harvey.

***  Exciting News:  The Veil Tapestry has been accepted into the Interfaith Art Exhibition “Collaboration and Connection”.  Bill Carmel had a conversation with Arash, the curator, almost two years ago which inspired the title of this Exhibit.  The submission form was visited by over 900 artists from the US and other countries including Finland, Qatar, France, Canada, UK, Pakistan, Ireland, and Germany.  There were 40 submissions which included 80 artists and 3 big projects with students ranging from 60 – 90 students.  The Exhibit will open later in the Fall.  Details to come!

***  First (second) Friday Films – Sept. 8! Join us for a Peace BBQ at 6:30 pm in the  Courtyard when we will grill a variety of veggies and proteins. Please bring side dishes to share. For dessert we’ll enjoy S’mores toasted over a copper fire pit. Dinner delights followed by a screening of this Academy Award winning Harry Potter prequel on the big screen at 7:27 pm when the sun goes down. J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay.  You will meet magizoologist Newt Scamander, who studies, watches over and nurtures magical creatures. He arrives in New York City 70 years before Harry Potter reads the book Scamander will author, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Run time 113 min.; rated PG – 13.

***  The Stand Against Hate event at Temple Isaiah on Tuesday night was a powerful gathering of 400 interfaith people.  Superb music from a Gospel Choir, insights shared from rabbis, a Muslim woman and myself.  Several friends from Peace got to participate.  There is hope!

Blessings,  Pr. Steve