Pastor’s Blog / Grace Waves 03.22.2019

Friends:

“King Hsuan of Chou heard of Po Kung-I, who was reputed to be the strongest man in the whole kingdom.  The King was dismayed when they met, since Po looked so weak.

When the King asked Po how strong he was, Po said mildly, “I can break the leg of a spring grasshopper and withstand the winds of an autumn cicada.”

Aghast, the King thundered, “I can tear rhinoceros leather and drag nine buffaloes by the tail, yet I am shamed by my weakness. How can you be famous?”

Po smiled and answered quietly, “My teacher was Tzu Shang-chi’ui, whose strength was without peer in the world but even his relatives never knew it because he never used it.”

~ Lenten Sundays:  Seminarian Louis Moehlman preaches this Sunday.  On March 31st we’ll celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our Sanctuary on this site.  On April 7 we will have a Healing Prayer Service.

~ Lenten Forums:  This Sunday – Partnership:  History, Context and how our Partnerships Emerged.  March 31 – Aesthetics Tell the Truth:  How do the Design Elements of Peace convey our Faith (Everything is integrated at Peace!)  Come and learn this fascinating story of Beauty and Brilliance honoring our 20th Anniversary.  (Peace was one of the 3 Finalists for Danville’s Best Designed Buildings in 1999.)  April 7 – The Grace of Healing Prayer.

~ Lenten Services:   Unfortunately, Rabbi Dan has a conflict.  We will teach a class on Holy Envy (the good stuff of other religions) later in the Spring.

  • Wed  Mar 27:   Soup & Sacrament 6:30p ~ Creation, Passover & Easter
  • Wed  Apr 3  :   Soup & Sacrament 6:30p
  • Wed  Apr 10:   Soup & Sacrament 6:30p

~ The San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band Concert is this Saturday, March 23 at  6:00 pm at First Congregational Church in Oakland.  If you would like to carpool to this event, contact our Office promptly!  Keep up the joyous work, Gary!

~ Here is a delightful article by our own Bill Carmel on the Monet Exhibit in San Francisco.  Read the article here:   The Immersive Experience: Monet at the de Young, February 16 to May 27.   Should some of us go together?

Keep in your prayers:  The people and especially Muslim Community of Christchurch, New Zealand and the people of the Midwest deluged by unimaginable storms.

~ Friday Films:  March 29th Becoming Astrid (2018), a coming-of-age biopic focusing on the formative years of famed author Astrid Lindgren who created the beloved character Pippi Longstocking – and a seminal event that will turn her into a titan of children’s literature. Not Rated; run time 2 hrs. 3 min.  6:30 pm dinner, 7:30 pm movie Bring something to share if you like, and bring a friend!    Becoming Astrid Trailer

~ The Monte Vista Choir holds their second concert at Peace this week TONIGHT Friday at 7:00pm. Come and enjoy these wonderful performances!

~ A new Tai Chi Chuan Class series begins on Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 pm.  All are invited to attend or explore.  Thanks to all who have participated in the classes over the years.  It has encouraged my practice and the deepening of my teaching.  Fascinating isn’t it, that Po like Jesus never used the strength he had to overcome or dominate.  Wisdom and compassion always open the way.

The Way of Life

A person is born gentle and weak.  At the time of death we become rigid and stiff.

Green plants are tender and filled with sap.  At their death they are withered and dry.

Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.

The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The hard and the strong will fall.

The soft and flexible will overcome.

Lao Tzu

Lenten blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 03.05.19

Friends:

“Turn,

turn and return

to the holy, the dark illuminating night.

Over there  – far and close by

lies the world, sunken in a pit….like a desert, a lonely place.

In my heart a deep sadness blows through with a longing for love.

In dewdrops of mercy I will sink and mix with the ashes.”

 

~ Ash Wednesday Service tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm.

~ International Women’s Sunday this Sunday, March 10 with Pr. Ruth Lesher presiding and Seminarian Ella Vandervlugt preaching.  Ella and Louis are engaged and we are fortunate that we will get to have Ella with us at Peace during this Spring Semester!

~ Qiqong Liturgy at Peace on March 17.  Kaleo and Elise Ching are helping me design a worship service incorporating the body wisdom of qiqong.  This will be a marvelous meditative worship.  A flier will come your way.

If you wish to learn How to Meditate during Lent and cannot attend our Meditation Gatherings on Thursdays from 6 – 6:45 pm, please let me know and I will provide you with instruction.

~ Thanks to Drew and Gary and our Umbrella Dancers for a rich and delightful Fat Ash Celebration!  Jet lagged Josie danced all the way from Egypt!

“My soul’s the present shadow of a presence gone.”  Fernando Pesoa

Lenten Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 03.01.19

Friends:

“Do I not destroy my enemies by making them my friends.”  Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War’s conclusion

~ Fat Ash Sunday:  In the spirit of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday and as preparation for Ash Wednesday (March 6 at 7 pm) we will combine these two as preparation for our Lenten Season with a Dixieland Jazz Liturgy created by our own Drew Cremisio this Sunday, March 3.  It shall be forever known as Fat Ash Sunday.  Expect a great fun and celebration.

~ Goran Berg and the Sycamore Strings Academy:  A simply stunning concert was presented by the Academy this past Sunday evening.  We are so blessed to have these incredible young musicians regularly performing  their concerts at Peace.  And thank you, Goran, for both being a gifted teacher and creating these superb feasts of the soul.

~ Friday Films – Last Friday 32 people attended “Bohemian Rhapsody“!  Thanks to Elana and Ken for creating these delicious meal and movie evenings!

“Love your enemies do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; turn the other cheek; lend without calculation of return; do not judge; the excess you practice will be the measure of excess you receive.”  Jesus

~ Greetings from Mark Miller!  We bought a home in Mount Vernon just 1.5 miles down the Potomac from George Washington’s home. We are located about 60 yards from the river, with great views. Our home is on property once owned by George Washington. Neighbors include G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame and an ex-Redskin quarterback.  We see our grandsons a couple of times per week and my wife and I both have siblings located 30 minutes to an hour away. I see a far greater degree of poverty than we had in the Tri Valley area. People begging for food at a local McDonalds and Safeway, which are about 4 miles from our home. I have bought food for a couple of people and put one homeless man up at a hotel during a cold period. I will probably join Nativity Lutheran church in Alexandria.  Best regards to everyone at Peace!

~ International Women’s Day – March 8: In 1961, three courageous women challenged the male-dominated realms of California conservation and politics. They took off their aprons and created a force that changed the future of our Bay.  Sylvia McLaughlin, Kay Kerr and Esther Gulick were environmental pioneers who started a movement to stop massive companies, wealthy landowners, and powerful politicians from filling in our Bay. They succeeded!

~ Keep in your prayers:  Frank, Betty, Margaret, Olavi, our Catechumens, Brenda, Kathy, Adel, Liz, Cynthia, Katie, Ed and Ed, Brian and David, Ralph, Drew, Jim, Seminarian Louis, the family of Doris Graesser.

~ Day of Remembrance, February 19, 77 years after the signing of Executive Order 9066:  We recall that dark time when the U.S. government deemed Americans of Japanese descent the enemy. Families, even young children, were forced to abandon their homes and lives for an uncertain future. Those children behind barbed wire were the youngest victims of racial prejudice.

It is crucial that we remember the deep wounds of Executive Order 9066. When we see children today separated from their families, it is our responsibility to stand with those subjected to unfair and discriminatory policies. Children are not the enemy and they should not have to question our government’s values.  Norman Mineta, Chair, Japanese American National Museum.

~ Our Jazz Church West celebration hosts Kristen Strom’s Quartet at 5:00 pm.  You won’t be the same person when the concert concludes!

“You can only go halfway

into the darkest forest; then you are coming out

the other side.”  Chinese proverb

Transfiguration Blessings,

Pr. Steve