Grace Waves 10.27.17

Friends:

“All you ask of me is truth, then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.”  ~Ps. 51

Reformation and Oktoberfest are celebrated this Sunday!  Rich music, an opportunity to reflect on our spiritual inheritance and welcome visions of the future.  Followed by Beer and Brats – ancient health food.
Bach’s Cantata “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” /A Might Fortress will be performed at 2:15 with the Pacific Choir and Orchestra at Grace Cathedral in SF.  The Concert is Dedicated to:  Fr. John Lee Tae-seok – 이태석 신부, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Lwamondo Parish, Venda, South Africa where the Church sang, preached and prayed its way to freedom!
Just another weekend at Peace…….
  • Last Saturday:  The Wedding of Maja Miletich and Jeremiah Watkins.  Sanctuary and Gathering Hall were transformed into Dinner and Dance areas after the wedding.  180 guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres on the Labyrinth.  Jeremiah is a stand up comedian from LA so a dozen+ comics, comedy industry execs and Hollywood screenwriters attended the celebration.  The after dinner party was a pure LA Dance scene with music from disco to hip hop pulsing away.  So much joy!
  • Sunday morning:  We were blessed with numerous works of Bach and Luther through the good gifts of Alice O’Sullivan and Amy McKenzie and our Peace Singers.  The Forum deepened our experience and appreciation of Bach through the context and singing of several of Bach’s hymns and Alice’s presenting his “Fantasy and Fugue in G minor” (transcribed for the piano by Liszt).  Divine inspiration.
  • That afternoon:  The Sycamore Strings Academy under the direction of Goran Berg gave their recital with 15 young artists presenting the most glorious gifts of Mozart, Janacek and many more.  Yes, heaven does touch earth.
Tax Cuts To pay for the proposed budget cuts, critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), low-income tax credits, and Medicaid would be cut over the next 10 years.  Please contact your congressional representatives to say No to punishing the most vulnerable among us.
“Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne;
Yet that Scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown,
Stands God within the shadows…..keeping watch over God’s own.”
Give yourself the pleasure of examining the 55 Volumes of Luther’s Works this Sunday.  Luther was a prolific and brilliant writer.  And take a look at our Luther Pomegranate Tree (near the Labyrinth) which our children planted as part of our Family Service a year ago.
Our next Family Service will be on November 12 at 10 am.
This Friday evening we host the Hospice Service of Remembrance at which time families throughout our county who have lost loved ones during this past year gather to remember them.  (Our Peace All Saints Service will be on November 5.)
Please keep in your prayers Linda, Heidi, Marshall, Kelley’s mom, Spoon for his release, for discernment in the choices before us, the people of Puerto Rico and Las Vegas; for ancient reformers and those reforming church and society today.
Weaving our Stories:  Crystal Larsen will initiate a process called Weaving our Stories on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 5.  As we remember the saints and ancestors who have gone before us and touched our lives so we will further connect the threads of our life together through the sharing of our own life stories in one-on-one conversations.  It’s a lovely and relaxing process we get to bask in as the community of Peace.  This process will continue through Advent.
Financial Statements regarding our Giving in 2017 year will be available at worship on Sunday.  Remaining statements will be mailed.
Tree of Life”  This beautiful metal sculpture honoring all the contributors to our Solar Panel Project was created by Haitian artists out of recycled steel drums.   As part of the Fair Trade economy, this purchase helps alleviate poverty – among the Haitian artists, their families and within their country.  Our Tree of Life symbolizing ‘Roots in the Earth and Branches reaching to the Sky’.  A gift to Peace celebrating the completion of our solar project – producing clean energy and reducing our costs.
Jazz Church West welcomes Jeff Denson and Friends on Sunday, November 5 at 5 pm!
“Let your minds and hearts be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honorable, everything that is upright and pure, everything that we love and admire — with whatever is good and praiseworthy.   Keep doing everything you have learned from me, were told by me, have heard or seen me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.”  (Philippians 4: 8 -9)
Reforming blessings,
Pr. Steve

 

Grace Waves 10.20.17

Friends:

“In our era the road to holiness must pass through the world of action. ”     

~Dag Hammarskjold

Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress) was sung by Dietrich Bonhoeffer with friends on his last day of captivity in prison in 1945.  The next day he disappeared from family and friends into the bowels of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. How empowering music is in its gifts of hope, courage and faith.

20 people have signed up for Bach’s Cantata “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott” at Grace Cathedral on October 29.  This joyful celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation continues with a Eucharist Liturgy at 3:00 pm.  The preacher is Bishop Victoria Cortez from Nicaragua.  Festive music and dance as well.

“Stirring Faith and Joy” – Sunday’s Forum:  We get to learn and listen to the‘The Religious Heart of JS Bach’ with Alice O’Sullivan.  Great riches to be experienced with Bach and Alice in worship and at the Forum!

Our gratitude to Martha Mantei and Karl Pfeiffer for their Reformation Presentations last Sunday.  It is wonderful to learn the context of the times in which Katy and Martin Luther lived as well as the impact of the Reformation on ensuing generations.

Peace as Sanctuary – Draft Proposal:  About 15 members reviewed my first draft proposal on the progress and understanding we have come to through our 4 previous Forums on Sanctuary.  I tried to share the context, history, community partners and meaning of Sanctuary for Peace.  Copies of this document will be available on Sunday.  Our reflections continue.

Keep in your prayers:  Linda, Johnny’s mom, those living with addictions, our friends in Lwamondo Parish, South Africa and Laurel Galan, Nicaragua; the people of Puerto Rico, those recovering from the devastation of fires and hurricanes.

Congratulations to Maja and Jeremiah who will be married this Saturday!

Oktoberfest at Peace on Sunday, October 29 following worship!  Bring your family and enjoy festive worship and hearty German Faire as we celebrate the 500th!  Won’t be the same without you!

“Nothing is lost,” wrote Bonhoeffer, “in Christ all things are taken up, preserved in a transfigured form, made transparent, clear and liberated from the torment of self-serving demands.  This is our joy and ultimate consolation.”

 

Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves 10.12.17

Friends:

“May Peace and Peace and Peace be everywhere. ”     ~The Upanishads

October Forums (Reformation Insights will be presented each Sunday of October)

  • 15 Peace as Sanctuary: A Reforming Proposal (First Draft)…Dialogue Continues
  • 22 – “Stirring Faith and Joy”:  The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • 29 – Oktoberfest at Peace – following worship.  Then Ein Feste Burg and Liturgy at Grace Cathedral in the afternoon.

Sunday, Oct 29th: 500th Reformation Celebration 

  • Oktoberfest Festive Lunch  – 11:30a following Worship
  • Grace Cathedral 2:00p Bach’s Cantata #80 with the Pacific Youth Choir & Orchestra, additional music by Coelis, Soprano Jennie Y. Byun, Tenor Woojeong Lee, Alto Sunhee Lee, and directed by Hyunjung Choi.
  • Festive Eucharist Liturgy 3:00p; Bishop Dr. Victoria Cortez of  Nicaragua will be preaching. Our Laurel Galan delegation met with the Bishop in August of 2013!

 

 

Reformation Festival – Our Carpool Van transporting 15 people from Peace to Grace in San Francisco is already full!  A second van carrying 6 people is available for sign ups this Sunday.

Keep in your prayers:  The many fire victims of Sonoma, Napa, and Mendicino Counties;  the Las Vegas family victims,  the people of Puerto Rico, Houston and Florida; Bangladesh; Kelley’s mom, Linda Britt, Marshall, Johnny’s mom, Kristen, Spoon,Tom.

Peace Singers Rehearsing at Elizabeth’s Home:  October 20 and 27 – Fridays.  In November we may shift rehearsal to Thursdays.  Join the dozen folks now participating.  All are welcome!

The SF Gay Men’s Chorus will be touring the Deep South on a Good Will Mission to build understanding and friendships with people who are surrounded by attitudes and experiences of intolerance.  Last Saturday the Chorus had a Send Off Concert at Grace Cathedral.  Our thanks to Gary who filmed this video.  The lyrics of this song are the words Mark Twain had carved into his young daughter’s tombstone.  Blessings on your journey!  https://vimeo.com/236522080

Baha’i assembly invites you to a celebration honoring the 200th birthday of their founder Baha’u’llah on Oct 21st,  6:00—8:00p at the Danville Community Center on Front Street. Your rsvp to the church office or  Ben Jones will assist them in planning this event.

Reforming blessings,

Pr. Steve

 

Grace Waves 10.05.17

Friends:

“We don’t see what we don’t praise!”

St. Francis Blessing of the Animals:  A joyful day watching a dozen dogs gathering as a community around the altar and howling their praise during the service.  Francis’ beautiful “Make me an Instrument of your Peace” was sung by Elizabeth, gorgeous music from Gary and the Peace Singers, a Jewish ‘Hallelujah’ to honor Yom Kippur, and tasty biscuits (communion for the hounds) after their blessing.  How blessed we are to experience the whole cosmos praising God for life!

A Tree of Life celebrating the solar energizing of Peace was dedicated in honor of the completion of our Solar Project.  This beautiful metallic sculpture  was designed by Haitian artists who work with Fair Trade organizations that work to alleviate poverty.

Family Service – THIS SUNDAY!  Join us with your children and grandchildren for another wonderful celebration.

Youth Group meets this Sunday at 12:30 at Peace and then joins the I-SRV Interfaith Youth Group at Beth Chaim for an afternoon event from 2 – 4 pm.

Daffodil Planting: Make our church home all the more beautiful by assisting Ken with the planting of daffodil bulbs  during our time of Reformation reflection in October.

Peace Singers Rehearsing at Elizabeth’s Home:  October 13, 20 and 27 – all Fridays.  In November we may shift rehearsal to Thursdays.  Join the dozen folks now participating.  All are welcome!

The SF Gay Men’s Chorus will be touring the Deep South on a Good Will Mission to build understanding and friendships with people who are surrounded by attitudes and experiences of intolerance.  Last Saturday the Chorus had a Send Off Concert at Grace Cathedral.  Our thanks to Gary who filmed this video.  The lyrics of this song are the words Mark Twain had carved into his young daughter’s tombstone.  Blessings on your journey!  https://vimeo.com/236522080

October Forums (Reformation Insights will be presented each Sunday of October)

  • 8 – Martin Luther and the Historical Reformation – Learn why this tradition exists and persists!
  • 15 – Peace as Sanctuary: A Reforming Proposal(First Draft)….Dialogue Continues
  • 22 – “Stirring Faith and Joy”:  The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • 29 – Oktoberfest after worship at Peace.  Then Ein Feste Burg and Liturgy at Grace Cathedral in the afternoon.

Reformation Festival – Our Carpool Van transporting 15 people from Peace to Grace in San Francisco is already full!  A second van carrying 6 people will be available for sign ups this Sunday.

Hunger on the Table:  On Oct. 5, the House of Representatives will vote on a budget proposal that, if implemented, would dramatically increase hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world — making it nearly impossible to end hunger by 2030. The resolution proposes cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and refundable tax credits for low-income working families. It also proposes cutting yearly spending by $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years — putting at risk programs like WIC, summer meals, global nutrition, and international development.  1 in 8 families in America struggles to put food on their tables.

Keep in your prayers:  The Las Vegas family victims,  the people of Puerto Rico, Houston and Florida; Bangladesh; Kelley’s mom, Linda Britt, Marshall, Johnny’s mom, Kristen, Spoon,Tom; gratitude for Brian’s good news.

First Friday Films – Oct. 6, 6:30 pm:  Join us for the winner of our “scary movie” contest, Beetlejuice, Tim Burton’s uproarious fantasy/comedy  as you’ve never seen it before – on the big screen!  When a recently-deceased ghost couple (Alec Baldwin + Geena Davis) find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they engage a sleazy ghost (Michael Keaton) who gets rid of humans to help them. Run time 92 min.; rated PG. Please bring munchies to share.

Our Jazz Church 13th Season Opener with Sylvia Cuenca’s Trio  was marvelous.  Incredibly fine musicianship.  And a hawk flew in to our Gathering Hall for the event.  Couldn’t have been more perfect for St. Francis’ Feast Day!

Reforming blessings,

Pr. Steve