Grace Waves 11.10.17

Friends:

“This being human is a Guest House — every morning a new arrival:  A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor – Welcome them All!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who sweep your house clean of all its furniture – still, treat each guest honorably.  God may be clearing you out for some new delight!”  Rumi

Weaving our Stories Crystal introduced to this simple and delightful process that will nurture the appreciation, understanding and friendships within our congregation.  Each conversation is about a half hour in length.  These conversations promise to make you happy!   We will continue this process through the Advent Season /December.

  • Here are the 4 Questions used to focus your conversations (copies are available at Peace too).  With each conversation you get to contribute to our Community Weaving too!
  • Where were you born and raised?  In what faith tradition did you grow up – if any?  what was most significant about or what shaped you within your tradition? What brought you to Peace?

Interested in helping Support Collin on his amazing educational opportunity to Costa Rica and Nicaragua?  During this trip (put on by Worldstrides), Collin will learn about the local cultures, hike volcanoes, see firsthand the rainforest plants and animals that live there. He will also get to practice his Spanish, and earn a high school elective credit!  While trip looks amazing, it is also quite spendy at $3300.00. The fee covers all transportation to and from, food, lodging, and education.  If you are led to help support, we would love to know who you are in order to be able to say “Thank You”.  In case you are interested, the final payment is due by 12/12/2017.  Other forms of support would be prayer!  https://olr.worldstrides.net/scripts/cgiip.exe/registeronline/paymentlogin.htm. Many thanks Collin and Julie!  (Further details in Sunday’s bulletin.)

Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service – “Celebrating Gratitude with Faithful Friends!”  Peace hosts this Annual Celebration on Wednesday, November 22; 7:30pm.  Always a rich occasion to pray with the diversity of God’s people and our humanity.  Invite friends to join you.  If you can assist with the Evening responsibilities and/or Reception, please let the Office know (office@peacejourney.org 925.648.7000)

Stewarding Sunday will be on November 19.  Materials have been sent to you via Notes of Peace, email.  Pledge cards available on Sunday.  The Council and I appreciate your support of Peace.

Sycamore Strings Academy Fall Concert:  This Sunday, November 12, 6:00pm – Young performers ages 6 – 18 play music from songs to concertos on violin and cello.  The famous Sycamore Chamber Orchestra will perform and presenting first time performance of the new Sycamore Junior Chamber Orchestra!  (The combined orchestras of twenty-nine members will play together!)

On Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were murdered while they were worshiping and praying. The victims spanned three generations, from an 18-month-old to a 72-year-old, a pregnant woman and her child, and more than a dozen children.  Who benefits from this horrific slaughter of violence and carnage?  Those who want gun massacres to continue. Those who profit from gun sales. Those who justify the mass murder of innocent children and adults with the bizarre distortion of a constitutional right.  Who benefits?  Those who deny any responsibility for the well-being of their neighbors – “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 

This is not merely about mental illness, pretending the violence is always the act of a lone, damaged person.  From Columbine to Sandy Hook Elementary School to Las Vegas – this is about our refusal as a society to act as mature, responsible adults in order to protect our children and communities.  Where is the outrage?  Do we not feel the bitter poison in our own blood stream?  “Lord, when did we see you gunned down by senseless violence?”  When all else has been tried and failed (which means practically nothing has been tried) we begin to accept murder as ordinary.  What do the children of our world learn through our failure to act?

We consider ourselves so sophisticated and yet despite these primitive acts and our pathetic paralysis to change it, we cannot recognize the loss of our humanity.   It is not enough to ask:  Why are humans evil?  Why are humans inhuman?  No, we must ask the real question (which we seek to avoid at all cost):  How may we become human again in a bestial time?

Keep in your prayers:  Bob, Denise, Heidi, Kelley’s mom, Denis, Marshall, Margaret, Gun, the families of All the Saints we prayed for last Sunday, the hungry

Ending Hunger:  A joint budget resolution passed in Congress last month (although just a blueprint) would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Legislators will need to find ways to raise money in spending bills and through tax reform, increasing the likelihood of cuts to vital anti-hunger programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, and lifesaving foreign aid.  Bread for the World

Global ClimateWorld leaders are in Bonn, Germany for COP 23 to discuss the details of the Paris Agreement, which brought 195 countries and parties together to work to cut greenhouse gas emissions and solve the climate crisis devastating our planet.  And now Syria, the only other country not part of the agreement, has announced its intention to sign on – leaving the US as the only country in the world not committed to global climate action

“Collaboration and Connection “- Exhibit Opening:  Sunday, Dec. 3;  1 – 4 pm:  Art brings together Muslims, Jews, Christians and other faiths!  This is the fourth interfaith art exhibition hosted by the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) and brings together artists from many faiths to express their commitment to interfaith understanding, coexistence, peace, and cultural dialogue. The impetus for this powerful exhibition is the desire to build bridges and create friendships through artistic collaboration. This art exhibition is sponsored by the Faith Trio, a 16 year alliance of the ICCNC with two other congregations in the Oakland area: Kehilla Community Synagogue and Montclair Presbyterian Church. The Veil Tapestry is included as part of an Interfaith Exhibit.  Congratulations to Bill for his inspiration!  Perhaps we can arrange a carpool to view this Exhibit.

Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves 11.02.17

Friends:

“Without memory, our existence would be barren and opaque, like a tomb which rejects the living.  For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope.  For people of faith, forgetting is never an option.  Remembering is a noble and necessary act.  The call of memory, the call to memory, reaches us from the very dawn of history.  No commandment figures so frequently, so insistently, in the Bible.  It is incumbent upon us to remember the good we have received, and the evil we have suffered.”    ~Elie Wiesel, Nobel Acceptance Speech, December, 1986

 We celebrate All Saints this Sunday, an occasion to remember the Loved Ones who have gone before us in life and death.  We remember them because they touched and shaped our lives and because the gift of our faith has been transmitted through the love they shared.  Our faith is more caught than taught and the embodied acts of love by the saints in our lives make that crystal clear for us.

Weaving our Stories – A Season of Listening — Forum this Sunday!    Beginning on All Saints Sunday and extending through Advent Crystal Larsen will lead us in a process of engaging one another in one-on-one discussions.  This will be introduced for us on Sunday.
Mindful of how the Saints have impacted our lives, while the chill and darkness increase around us we are invited  to seek to hear the warmth of one another’s life stories in ways we may not have heard before. And as a way of visualizing these happy connections, we will also create an Artistic Weaving to symbolize every conversation that takes place. These half hour conversations will gently deepen our appreciation for one another by enriching the friendships within the community of Peace.  Weaving our Stories nourishes stronger ties and delights in all the surprising gifts with which  the Spirit has surrounded us.  Crystal and I look forward to your participating.

Thanks to Nancy and Diana for our Oktoberfest; to Gary for his creativity….when’s the last time you sang hymn verses backwards?; and to Louis and Kari for the special van transportation arrangements for the 500th!

Forum Peace as Sanctuary – Draft Proposal II:  The conversation continues on Sunday, November 12.

The Youth Group will be meet on Sunday, November 12 at 12:30.

Keep in your prayers:  Dennis, Linda, Marshall, Gun, Margaret, Mara, Brian, Michael on the death of his mother, gratitude for those who have experience successful surgeries.

Jazz Church West presents the Jeff Denson Electro-Acoustic Quartet this Sunday.  Hear the fine compositions of this extraordinary bass player and the electric bassoon of Paul Hanson!  Reception will include meeting artist Mary LaCasse, our current Sanctuary gallery exhibit.

Peace will host our annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service on Wednesday, November 22 at 7:30 pm.

Time Change this Sunday – Fall Back….an extra hour of sleep!

Blessing of the Saints!
Pr. Steve

First Friday Film   Nov. 3  6:30pm Gathering Hall 

Join us for the Hitchcock classic thriller, North by Northwest (1959) where Cary Grant plays an innocent man pursued across the country by agents of a mysterious organization. They are willing to go to any lengths to smuggle microfilm with government secrets. Eve Marie Saint helps keep him alive up to the final literal cliffhanger at Mt. Rushmore. Run time 136 min.; not rated. Common Sense Media parents’ rating is age 14+ but kids rate it at age 10+. Please bring munchies to share.

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

 

Grace Waves 9.29.17

Friends:

 

 

“What a fine place this world would be if the humanists tried to be human with others.

What a fine place this world would be if theists tried to be their brother’s/sister’s keeper as God wants them to be.

What a fine place this world would be if fundamentalists tried to exemplify the Sermon on the Mount.

What a fine place this world would be if christians tried to keep up with St. Francis of Assisi.”  ~Peter Maurin

 

 

St. Francis and the Animal Blessing happens this Sunday.  What a joyous day it will be!  Bring all of your animal friends to worship.  You are responsible for making sure they are as comfortable as they need to be.  How magnificent to celebrate that all of creation, the animals and all sentient beings belong to the Beauty of God!

The 13th Season of our Jazz Church West opens this Sunday at 5:00 pm with drummer Sylvia Cuenca’s Trio.  Get your heart stirring and dancing!   Thanks to Ed Klitsch for continuing to serve as our Jazz Catalyst (JazzCat)!

Peace Singers:  A dozen members of Peace are beginning to sing together, strengthen their voices, nourish community and soon sing for our worship!  The group is ‘finding its stride’ with proposed rehearsals with Elizabeth  at her home on either Thursday or Friday mornings.  Details to come as the Practice Rhythm emerges.

Embodied Earth Prayer:  Aloha Qiqong and the Franciscan Legacy:  Kaleo, Elise and I will lead this this Workshop at San Damiano Retreat Center this Saturday from 9:30 – 4 pm.  Deepen your connections with St. Francis and  eco-spirituality through embodied prayer.

Peace Youth Group October 8 at 12:30 pm:  Kids and parents will be meet at Peace that Sunday to envision and organize the year’s plans.  We are delighted that Seminarian Louis Moehlman and Chaplain Intern Crystal Larsen will be leading the Youth Group this year!!  From 2 – 4 pm that same day our Youth will join the Interfaith Youth Gathering at Beth Chaim who will be celebrating Sukkot – the Feast of Booths in the harvest season.

The High Holy Days conclude with Yom Kippur this Shabbat weekend.  Please keep our friends at Beth Chaim in your prayers.

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 – outside 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.

“The heavens proclaim your glory, O God,

and the firmament shows forth the work of your hands.

Day after day takes up the story

and night after night makes known the message.

 

No speech, no word, no voice is heard

yet their span extends through all the earth,

their words to the utmost bound of the world.”  Psalm 19

Blessings,     Pr. Steve

Grace Waves 9.21.17

Friends:

“There is no future without forgiveness…..a napalmed little girl saying to the pilot 25 years later “I forgive, I forgive”……the former Dragon of the kkk now friends with a Black Muslim…..’Anna, I’m taking you home’…..mercy, mercy, mercy – ever abounding, always astounding….the confounding life of grace.”

 

Happy news for our Youth Group:  Crystal Larsen and Seminarian Louis Moehlman will be working with our Youth Group this year!  They are excited and way cool things will be happening.  On October 8 kids, parents and leaders will gather at 12:30 at Peace for conversation and then at Beth Chaim for an Interfaith Youth Group gathering from 2 – 4 pm.

Peace Singers:  11 Singers desire to create beautiful choral music for Peace and Elizabeth Hunter-Ashley is willing to lead and nourish singers voices!  The first gathering will be on Friday, September 29 from 10:45 – 12:30 pm at Elizabeth’s home.  45 minutes for vocalists and 60 minutes for developing repertoire.  Coffee and such provided.  Additional singers are welcomed.  It’s understood that not everyone can attend every week but we can now have ongoing choral contributions.   What a joyful and creative opportunity this will be for all of us!

October 1 – St. Francis Animal Blessing at Peace Worship!  Bring all your animals at 10 am to this joyful worship occasion.  Feel free to invite other human and animal friends as well.

Jazz Church West:  Our 13th Season open on October 1 at 5:00 pm with drummer Sylvia Cuenca who hails from New York City!  Will be great for your soul!

Did you hear Stephen Colbert’s “TV Industry Prayer” at the Emmy’s?  “Thank you God for our talent and for the empty void inside so many people who have to fill it with something.  Amen”   In that spirit……

The 23rd Channel – In Honor of the Emmy’s

The Home Entertainment System is my shepherd.  My spiritual growth shall want. It makes me sit down and do nothing for nobody’s sake.  It requireth my spare time. It keepeth me from my responsibilities because it presenteth so many good shows that I must see.

It restoreth my knowledge of the things of the world and keepeth me from God’s word and wisdom.  It leadeth me in the path of nonsense (except for the science channel) by failing to attend to things that matter.

Yea, though I live to be a hundred, I shall keep on viewing my TV (and hand held devices) as long as they work, for they babysit me and are my closest companions. It’s sounds and images comfort me.

It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family.  It fills my head with ideas which distract me from the love of God.

Surely, no good thing will come of my life, because my TV offereth me no good time to enjoy the presence of God; thus I will dwell in the land of make believe forever.

OctoberReformation Themes and Highlights during the whole month!

Animal Blessings Oct. 1 — during worship

Family Service Oct 8 :  Planting daffodils and Youth Group Interfaith Event at Beth Chaim 2 – 4pm

500th Reformation Celebration 

10 am with Oktoberfest Festive Lunch

Grace Cathedral Celebration at 2pm with Bach’s Cantata #80 and Festive Eucharist Liturgy at 3:00 pm

(Louis is getting us a Van which will transport 15 people.  Sign ups begin on October 1.)

Also – Thyme for Tea on Oct. 29  — 3 seats remain.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

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