Pastor’s Blog / Grace Waves 01.29.20

Friends,

“Even if you are only a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”    ~Gandhi (assassinated on January 30, 1948)

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be held this Sunday, February 2 after worship.  (It will conclude long before the Super Bowl.)

Our Early Communion Class meets next on Saturday, February 8 from 4 – 6 pm.

We celebrate our Partnership with Lwamondo Parish in South Africa this Sunday!

Friday Films: Happy! Friday Jan 31: 6:30p Dinner, 7:30p Film ~ Back by popular demand… How do most people define happiness? A NY Times article listed the US as the 23rd happiest country in the world. Hollywood director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty) read it and asked Academy Award nominated filmmaker Roko Belic to make a documentary about happiness. It combines cutting-edge science with real-life stories and takes us on a kind of cultural travelogue on the happiness trail through 14 countries. Join us for one of Kenny’s roast chicken dinners at 6:30, film at 7:30. Run time 73 minutes; unrated.

Jazz Church West – Second Sunday Feb 9, 5:00p with the Glen Pearson Quartet

Keep in your prayers:  Heather, Olavi, Bob, Ed, Betty, Mary, Janet and Nancy, the children in our Early Communion Class, gratitude for the Peace Council and all who work to sustain and inspire Peace, for the Uighers detained in mass incarceration in China, for Lwamondo Parish, for those participating in the mass protests of India, for the leaders of our government in this time of important deliberation.

Hesburgh (the film); Sunday, February 9 at 1 pm at St. Perpetua in Lafayette:
The Hesburgh film chronicles the life of “One ordinary man. One extraordinary life”: The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. – long-time president of the University of Notre Dame.
“Hesburgh offers a unique glimpse at more than fifty years of American history. Educator, civil rights champion, advisor to presidents, envoy to popes, theologian and activist, Hesburgh was called on by countless world leaders to tackle the most challenging issues of the day. Through it all, he remained a man armed with a fierce intelligence, a quick wit and an unyielding moral compass – a timeless example of bipartisan leadership that would serve us in today’s increasingly polarized times.”
A post-film discussion will be facilitated by Notre Dame alumni Alameda County Superior Court judge David Krashna.

The Ancient Prayer of our Jewish and Christian Ancestors:  “Holy One may your wisdom rule on earth as in heaven; may your enemies and those who hate the people of G-d be cast down….and healed; and may the new age dawn speedily and soon, in our time and in our days.”  Amen

Epiphany Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Friends:

This age of environmental crisis and political divisiveness challenges us to break open our minds and hearts and bodies to the fullness of the beauty and the suffering before us. It is upon us to nourish our bodies and souls, so that we may care for the well-being of others as fully as we can, and so that we may dedicate our strength to co-creating the world that is always be-coming––a world of balance and justice, fecundity, equity, and interconnection–-by whatever loving means possible.”   ~ Rabbi Diane Elliot

From Brenda Bos (former seminarian at Peace):  I should have reached out at the time this 30th Ordination Anniversary article came out. I loved it and marvelled at God putting you and I together when I was at PLTS. Just started my 2nd call. Assistant to the bishop in southwest California. Guy Erwin and I do not take it for granted the positions we inhabit. Thanks for writing this piece. And for being there to begin with!

Water:  Our Disaster Preparedness Team has launched a year long educational campaign to equip members and friends of Peace resources that would be needed in the time of a crisis.  Water is the first and most pressing issue in California!  Philippa gave us an excellent presentation and recommendation for 5 gallon canisters – that we can purchase for a fine discount – by March 4.  A few details:  The Lamorinda CERT group obtains 5 gallon (or barrels) canisters that are 25% less than those offered on Amazon.  You can place your order on their website:  www.lamorindacert.org – OR we will assist you in placing an order after worship on Sundays.  Either way the price is the same.  (Click on the tab labelled “Resources”.)  Arrangements will also need to be made to pick the canisters up on March 13 or 14.  We will make those arrangements later.

The Early Communion Class began this past Sunday with 6 children and parents participating.  Please keep all of us in your prayers.

A Proposal from the Peace Council to establish an Interfaith Deacon member of our Church Council:  ProposalThe Interfaith Deacon shall be responsible for building relations with I-SRV (our Interfaith Partners); educate and encourage Peace members to participate in interfaith Dialogue and Activities (e.g. Storytelling); and be the advocate nourishing our understanding and commitment to the larger spiritual community.  Our Annual Meeting is February 2 after worship.  We will vote on this proposal then.

Observe the flow of the Spirit —  A Message from our friend Buddhist monastic Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi:  I have just been invited to share stories of my work teaching the Stanford Compassion Training to incarcerated folks at a conference at Vanderbilt University Divinity School this March. Jorge (one of our Mandala artists)  was in this class, and he and the others have such moving stories about how this training enabled them to open up, and feel empathy and compassion towards not only the people they are surrounded by, but also family members, and their abusers (almost all are trauma survivors).  I asked Jorge’s group to write something I can read at the conference, in either English or Spanish, and I expect to be fighting back tears as I read their words!

I will also have a chance to go into death row in a prison in Nashville with one of the friends who invited me to this conference. He is an ethics professor at the Divinity School and has started taking the students from his classes in to death row to do sessions with the men there, and has been asking my advice about this, as prison work is new to him. Just amazing the work that is happening.

See the movie Just Mercy!

Humor in light of the 30th Anniversary:   “The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.”    — Lynn Lavner

Friday Films:  Happy!  Friday Jan 31:  6:30p Dinner, 7:30p Film ~  Back by popular demand…  How do most people define happiness? A NY Times article listed the US as the 23rd happiest country in the world. Hollywood director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty) read it and asked Academy Award nominated filmmaker Roko Belic to make a documentary about happiness. It combines cutting-edge science with real-life stories and takes us on a kind of cultural travelogue on the happiness trail through 14 countries. Join us for one of Kenny’s roast chicken dinners at 6:30, film at 7:30. Run time 73 minutes; unrated.

ANNUAL MEETING:  Sunday, Feb 2 ~ Following Worship

Jazz Church West – Second Sunday Feb 9, 5:00p with the Glen Pearson Quartet

Epiphany Wisdom and Grace,

Pr. Steve

 

 

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 01.09.2020

Friends:

“How many things have to happen to you before it occurs to you…..maybe I could change?” Robert Frost, adapted

Skype Call with our Prayer Partners in Nicaragua – THIS SUNDAY after worship! Finally a chance to meet our Prayer Partners face to face. This will be the first of occasional Skype Calls with our Hermanamiento/Partners in Laurel Galan, Nicaragua. This Sunday we get acquainted. In the future we will begin to share more of our community life with each other. Anticipate a wonderful blessing!

Disaster Preparedness at Peace: Saturday, January 11 at 4 pm the Committee (18 people) will meet to look at the multiple needs that msut be addressed to ensure good caring for our members and the community around us should there be a crisis of any sort. Already Philippa, Austin, Bev and Margaret have received wise counsel from the Red Cross. Much more to come! All are welcomed to participate.

New Member Dinner this Sunday at 4:30 at Peace. Ken is cooking, Diana and Howard are assisting. It is always a joy to get further acquainted with new friends at Peace.

Keep in your prayers: Susan and her mother, Betty, the people of Australia, for a year of Clear Vision, those who pray for us, children who are vulnerable, those dancing near the edge.

The Peace Mosaic Mandala Project is gracefully moving ahead. Jennifer Mitchell’s visit stirred many new connections. The Tibetan Buddhist project with a prisoner in Soledad is proceeding slowly but surely. New Mandalas with the Hindu community, Islamic Center, Taoist practicioners and Sikh friends have been initiated. What a marvelous interweaving of our lives and spiritual understanding this creative process gives us. And such a beautiful way to manifest Peace with our interfaith friends in this world.

Compassionate Storytelling: Charlene is coordinating 2 Presentations at St. Joan of Arc for their GIFT Educational program on January 16 at 10 am and January 22 at 7 pm. Both workshops are free and worthy of your participation.

Tattoos on the Heart – Fr. Greg Boyle , author of “Tattoos” will speak for the conclusion of the GIFT Series at St. Joan’s on Sunday, January 26 at 3:30. Shall a contingent of Peace folks carpool together??

From a Jazz Lover: Jazz has always been a moving experience for us. I think I shared the story that after Sunday morning and mid-day activities and returning to the house and putting our feet up for a short spell, we look at each other and ask, “do we really want to go to Jazz.” Every time the answer is yes ! Though it would be nice to hang around the house and chill, we go to Jazz because it has never disappointed, i.e. we always walk away saying, “Wow, we are glad we came.” This last Sunday was really excellent – Start to Finish. Thanks.

Epiphany blessings,
Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 01.02.2020

Friends:  Welcome in the New Year with an Epiphany Open House at the home of Pastor Steve and Bev Harms!  Saturday, January 4th  ~  3:00 – 6:00p

¨ JAN 4 CHORAL AUDACITY Concert, FREE! at Peace Lutheran; Saturday, January 4, 7:00p

¨ HONEY from the Monastery! $7/each; $20/3; $75/case. Multiple flavors available.

 

¨ JAN 5: Jazz Church West with the Erik Jekabson Quintet

¨ JAN 9: Meditation (6:00p) and Taiji (7:00p) – new series begins

 

¨ JAN 11: Disaster Prep meeting; 4:00p at Peace
¨ JAN 12: New Member Dinner; SUN 4:30p. If you’d like to have a conversation with Pastor Steve about joining in advance of the dinner, please contact him: Steve@PeaceJourney.org or 925648.7000