Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 9.13.19

Friends:

“Come home, come home.  Though you’ve abandoned your vows a thousand times, come home.”    ~Rumi

A splendid Homecoming Dinner awaits you!  Saturday, September 21,  4:00p with Chef Ken Cooking.  An evening to relax and share summer stories with each other.  Worship on Sunday will welcome back those who took off in the summer diaspora.  “Come home, come home.”  A blessing to be together, a community of grace, this Communion of Solitudes called Peace.  Sign up Sunday with Ken!

Forum this Sunday:  The Path to Forgiveness – Understanding the Dynamics of Forgiveness and Learning how to share an Effective Apology.  I have wonderful materials to share.  Hope you will choose to participate.

The Opening of Abra Cadabra, an Art Exhibit at Beth Chaim,  this Sunday 9/15 4:00 – 6:00 pm.  Come experience this fine art based on Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet which are considered mystical images in the Zohar of Kabbalistic Judaism.  You will also enjoy meeting the artists, new friends and noshing.

Check out Thais’ new works of Art at the Blackhawk Rotunda this Saturday from 5 – 7 pm.  Beautiful works to please your soul.

Speaking of Brazilians…….Here is a horrific aerial view of the Fires raging in Brazil.  Please keep the people, the indigenous, the firefighters and our earth in your prayers.

The Climate Strike (inspired by 16 year old Greta Thunberg of Sweden)  is encouraging students around the nation to Walk out of Classes next Friday, September 20, to demand the nation begins to pay attention to our Earth Crisis for the sake of the next generation.  As Greta has said, ” Our home the earth is on fire and nobody wants to pay attention. We won’t wait any longer.” On Saturday, 9/21 there will be a Community Climate Rally at Civic Park in Walnut Creek from 1 – 3 pm.  It is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Council of CCC.  The Youth are leading the way!

Please keep in your prayers:  Olavi, Denise recovering from surgery, Janet Barnes in this time of grieving, Bob, Ed, Margaret, our earth, friends in Laurel Galan and Lwamondo Parish.

Libby, Arlene and I got to share a Skype conversation with Eduardo and Luis of Entre Culturas/Between Cultures this week.  It was a blessing to converse but the Climate Crisis has burnt out a second harvest throughout Nicaragua and in Laurel Galan as well.  More to share in the upcoming weeks.

I-SRV Interfaith leaders met at Peace this past week.  There will be some marvelous interfaith programs coming your way this fall!

Friday Films:  Friday, Sept 27 ~ 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 movie!  Courtyard meal and movie (weather permitting).  Come join us!

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 08.21.19

Friends:

“How can you pay such incredible attention to the weather and not observe the signs of the times?”  ~Jesus

 

“So what should I do with my life?”

Become a teacher.

Who would notice?

Your pupils, your conscience and your God.   

And that’s quite an audience.”

(Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt)

~ New Art Exhibit by Sue and Cathie Britt (daughters of Ruth & Don Britt) will be coming our way next week!

~ Please keep in your prayers:  Dennis & Janet Barnes, Bob, Betty, Kimberly, Margaret, the citizens of Hong Kong, the children and families of Yemen, our teachers and children as they return to school.

FRI  AUG 23 ~ Friday Films:  Amazing Grace.     Join us Friday night 6:30p for Kenny’s roast chicken dinner with veggies & salad. Bring something to share or just show up. At 7:30, out in the courtyard on Gary’s big screen under the stars, get ready for a documentary of Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018) recording her 1972 Amazing Grace album in Watts. She was 29 years old and at the height of her career. The album went on to be the biggest selling gospel album of all time.

Backed by the Southern California Community Choir directed by Alexander Hamilton, Aretha recorded for two nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church before a live audience that included her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin and her mentor Clara Ward. It also stars Bernard Purdie and Chuck Rainey with cameos by Mick Jagger, Sydney Pollak and Charlie Watts.  It won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary Film. Run time 87 min.; rated PG.

~ Fall Tai Chi Chuan Class series begins Thursday, August 29, 7:00p at Peace.  Learn and enjoy balance, calm and strengthening your well-being.

TUES  AUG 27 ~ 9:00a—1:00pChurch Safety & Security Training, hosted by the Town of Danville Police Department.  Cost is $39 when registering more than one from same organization.  Interested in learning about Violence & Active Shooter Response Protocols?  Talk with Pastor Steve or leave your information with the church office.  Deadline for registration is Friday, Aug 23

Exuberant Blessings,  Pr. Stev

 

 

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 08.16.19

Friends:

““It is when we all play safe that we create a world of the utmost insecurity,” said Dag Hammarskjöld, former Secretary General of the United Nations.

To the People of Peace: We send the enclosed gift as a small thanks for your generosity toward Louis and Ella.  We know that the time they spent with all of you, culminating in that wonderful Weekend Farewell and Wedding Celebration, will stay in their heart’s forever.  As a people you all embody a common unity that is sadly far too uncommon in our world these days.  You truly are ‘People of Peace”.

Sun and Paul Moehlman.   A Beautiful Wind Chime gift was included as well!

 

¨ FRI  AUG 23 ~ Friday Films:  Amazing Grace.   Join us for  Kenny’s roast  chicken dinner at 6:30 and Amazing Grace at 7:30.  This 1972 documentary of Aretha Franklin laying down gospel for her album of the same name leaves most people breathless with the spirit of gospel only she can  deliver!

¨ TUES  AUG 27 ~ 9:00a—1:00pChurch Safety & Security Training, hosted by the Town of Danville Police Department.  Cost is $39 when registering more than one from same organization.  Interested in learning about Violence & Active Shooter Response Protocols?  Talk with Pastor Steve or leave your information with the church office.

River of Fire, a Memoir by Sr. Helen Prejean (author of Dead Man Walking)   In River of Fire, Sister Helen shares the story of her growth as a spiritual leader, speaks out about the challenges of the Catholic Church, and shows that joy and religion are not mutually exclusive. River of Fire is a book for anyone interested in journeys of faith and spirituality, doubt and belief, and “catching on fire” to purpose and passion. It is a book, written in accessible, luminous prose, about how to live a spiritual life that is wide awake to the sufferings and creative opportunities of our world.  The evening’s discussion will also include her efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/event-with-sister-helen-prejean-river-of-fire-tickets-67829988321. Tickets include a signed copy of River of Fire. A significant portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Contra Costa Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).   Location:  Danville Congregational Church, Co-hosted by DCC and Rakestraw Books on September 6

Our national church body the ELCA voted in its Assembly this summer to become a Sanctuary Denomination.  Certainly this was galvanized by the deportation of a Lutheran pastor in Wisconsin to Columbia. Details concerning what this means can be found on our Kiosk this Sunday. 

Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary – August 15 – 18.  Guess you should anticipate a Woodstock Liturgy this Sunday!

Blessings,  Pr. Stev

 

 

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 8.9.19

Friends:

“The Glory of God is the human being, fully alive!”

~ Iraneus, Theologian of the Second Century.

¨ SUN Aug 11:  Peace Mosaic Artist Jennifer Mitchell will lead our Forum on Sunday.  Come learn about the process and evolving mandala designs.

¨ Special thanks to Erik, Austin, and Ken for mulch muscling and the many small repairs needed this month.

¨ TOMORROW, AUG 10 ~ 5:00p:  Dynamic Change concert benefitting Contra Costa Interfaith Housing.

¨ SAT AUG 17 ~ 1:00-3:00p:  Abba-Imma Qigong with Rev. Steve Harms and Kaleo & Elise Ching.  Speaking in chorus with the 2,000 year old Lord’s Prayer and moving in the gentle, flowing harmony of the ancient Chinese Medicine practice of Qigong.  Donation suggested $25/session, benefitting RAICES.  Pre-register by Thursday, Aug 15 with Peace Office.  Three sessions:

o  8/17:  Context Inspires Longing

o 8/24:  Practice Cultivates Calm, Freedom & Flow

o 8/31:  Joy and Creativity in the communion of Solitudes

 

 

¨ FRI  AUG 23 ~ Friday Films:  Amazing Grace.   Join us for  Kenny’s roast  chicken dinner at 6:30 and Amazing Grace at 7:30.  This 1972 documentary of Aretha Franklin laying down gospel for her album of the same name leaves most people breathless with the spirit of gospel only she can  deliver!

¨ The Heart of the Matter Concert, supporting RAICES, was a wonderful success!!  Thank you to ALL for your help and support; especially to Mel & Jeanie for spearheading the event, Ken Budesa and his fabulous crew: Veronica, Austin & Erik.  In addition to the  $3,477 from the event and additional $900+ was raised via the online direct donations.  Thank YOU ALL!

¨ Congratulations to Ben & Lara Winter (grandson of Rich Collins), on their wedding!

 

Pastor’s Blog / Grace Waves 08.02.19

Friends:

Singing is praying twice!  ~St. Augustine

THIS SUNDAY – Aug 4… an old-fashioned Hymn Sing lead by Music Minister Gary Sponholtz!  Be sure to come and sing your favorites, plus enjoy the spiritual sounds of our Guest Choir Certitude from Baha’i Community of Walnut Creek.  Gary promises an hour (or less) for this morning of singing prayer.

¨ Pastor Steve returns Aug 9th!

o    Emergency coverage provided by  Rev. Ray Waespi

(Cell) 510.552.4476 or (Home) 925.820.3689  rwaespi@comcast.net

¨ FORUM:  SUN Aug 11 ~ Peace Mosaic Artist, Jennifer Mitchell, will join us for Worship and Forum.   Come learn the history, the process, and stories about the new Mandalas emerging now.

¨ SAT AUG 3:  The Way We See It ~  Compassionate Storytelling continues with a Workshop for Parents & Teens, hosted by Beth Chaim Congregation

 

 

 

 

 

 

¨ Looking AheadAre you interested in field trips later in the year??  Would you like to visit other faith traditions for worship?  Would you like to visit the museum of lynching in Montgomery Alabama? Would you like to visit in a tour group to Israel Palestine?  Talk to Howard Barto or the Church office.

 

 

 

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 07.17.19

The Pastor’s away, and the people of Peace still play!

~ Pastor Steve Vacation – Guest Preachers:   7/21-Pr. John Rutsindintwarane with Pr. Lucy presiding,  and 7/28- John Brett.  Aug 4 will an old-fashioned Hymn Sing!

~ Emergency coverage provided by: Rev. Ray Waespi  (Cell)510.552.4476 or (Home)925.820.3689

~ Friday Films July 19th  6:30p Dinner, 7:30p Movie:   Galaxy Quest!   Join us for Galaxy Quest (1999), an affectionate sci-fi spoof of the Star Trek series; Ken’s roast chicken and salad, your item to share makes a great meal!  Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Alan Rickman (Prof. Snape) star as the former cast members of the now defunct TV show.  Mistaken by aliens for real heroes, they are whisked away to save a dying civilization from an oppressive galactic overlord.  Run time 102 min; rated PG.  Laughter guaranteed!

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 7.10.19

Friends:

“We need the things we cannot see

We see the things we cannot be

We know the things we can’t understand

We stand in wonder not knowing the plan.”

     Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir

~ A joy to welcome our new members:  Elizabeth Hopkins-Kurz, Joe Frazzano and Barry McAvoy!

~ Pastor Steve Vacation: Pr. Steve and Bev have departed for the mountains and lakes of Montana!  Our Guest Preachers will be:  7/14-Rev. Karen Woida, 7/21-Pr. John Rutsindintwarane with Pr. Lucy presiding,  and 7/28- John Brett.  Aug 4 will an old-fashioned Hymn Sing!

~ Emergency coverage will be provided by: Rev. Ray Waespi  (Cell)510.552.4476 or (Home)925.820.3689

~ Friday Films July 19th  6:30p Dinner, 7:30p Movie:   Galaxy Quest!   Join us for Galaxy Quest (1999), an affectionate sci-fi spoof of the Star Trek series; Ken’s roast chicken and salad, your item to share makes a great meal!  Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Alan Rickman (Prof. Snape) star as the former cast members of the now defunct TV show.  Mistaken by aliens for real heroes, they are whisked away to save a dying civilization from an oppressive galactic overlord.  Run time 102 min; rated PG.  Laughter guaranteed!

Pastor’s Blog / Grace Waves 07/02/2019

LSTC community rallies around one of its own: Betty Rendón  

Betty Rendón, an LSTC alumna who was serving Emaus Lutheran Church in Racine, Wis., was deported to Colombia in the early morning hours of May 28, along with her husband Carlos Hincapié. They were taken from their home in early May during a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The LSTC community has rallied around her family, especially daughter Paula Hincapié-Rendón and granddaughter Layla, who did not have a chance to say goodbye, and who lost their grandparent support network. A fund set up by LSTC supporters raised more than $10,000 in 36 hours, and is more than $12,000 on its way to a new goal of $17,500.

Just after Betty and Carlos were taken into custody, supporters gathered downtown at ICE headquarters demanding a hearing, and gathered in Augustana Chapel for a prayer vigil attended by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Paula (pictured, along with her daughter, and Emily Heitzman, pastor with Edgewater Congregations Together and an LSTC graduate). 

Betty graduated from LSTC in 2013 with an MDiv. She had been a “synodically authorized minister,” which allowed her to preach and preside at Emaus. She was to begin her DMin study at LSTC this summer.

Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 06.05.19

Friends:

“From now onwards we will not consider anyone by human standards, even if we were once familiar with Christ according to human standards, we do not know Christ in that way any longer.  So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a New Creation!  The old order is gone and a new being is there to see.  It is all God’s work who reconciled us to God and one another through Christ and gave us the Ministry of Reconciliation.”  (2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 19)

We celebrate Pentecost – The Third High Feast Day of the Church Year this Sunday.  Wear Red!  We honor the inbreaking and outpouring of the Spirit upon we the Body of Christ who are called to Reconcile, Heal and Transform God’s precious world.  Expect surprises and delights!

Weekend Celebration – June 22 and 23

The Seminarian Committee cordially invites you to celebrate the work, presence and pastoral formation of Louis Moehlman with us during this past year!  Please join us for a Congregational Dinner (prepared by Chef Ken) on Saturday, June 22 at 6:00 pm.  This opportunity encourages connections with new and old Peace Friends, provides a tasty meal, allows you to express your gratitude for Louis and enjoy the beginning of summer!  Your RSVP is helpful.

The Wedding of Louis and Ella will then be celebrated on Sunday Morning at 10 AM as our Eucharist Worship for the day!  Special guests will participate, the children will be included and your presence will heighten the joy!  Let’s pack the house for this unique and memorable occasion!  A Reception follows.

Light Globe:  How this gift has wonderfully touched our lives already.  Simple, eloquent prayers offered by lighting a candle…..an expression of sighs and longings too deep to name.  Our thanks to Pr. Margareta and family for uniting our hearts with our Global Family (especially refugees and immigrants) and creating a way to nourish our connection with God.

Congratulations to Taylor Ziegenfus on her graduation!  She will enter the Naval Academy in the Fall.

Thanks to Amaya Ghoshal for initiating the Math Project at Peace.  $500 was raised through the generosity of Peace Friends to support this work!  More to come.

Congratulations to Austin Cook on his Graduation from the Academy.  We will have a Party to celebrate his accomplishment during Hospitality this Sunday.

Keep in your prayers:  Betty, Bob, Spoon, Nette and Frank, Margaret, caregivers, Ruth’s niece, Edith, Charlotte Maybelle, Marshall, the Mystagogues, Ed Klitsch, Carol, Ed Rethers, Lois and family mourning Brian, the targets of hate and racism, those who died in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, gratitude for Drew and Daniel, and that the children and we have a delicious summer.

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their days.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures everything, in short, except that which make life worthwhile.”  Robert Kennedy

Advance Calendar for Summer

Building Bridges through Story 

July 13 – Stories of Immigration:  Learn from SRVUSD teachers and principals about their personal experiences of immigration.  Invite immigrants from your congregations and those who need their views expanded.  Peace will host this from 3 – 5 pmIf you are willing to assist the Hosting Committee please notify the Church Office or myself.

August 3 – “The Way They (We) See It” – Profiles of Compassionate Acceptance:  Join Jacki Malik for a special storytelling event for teens and young adults to tell their stories – raw and radically honest, about what is influencing their lives!  Participants can share their story at the ‘Open Mic’ or just listen to the stories of their peers.  Beth Chaim will host this from 3 – 5 pm.

The Jazz Church West concluded our 14th Season:  Clairdee and the Ken French Trio were simply fantastic this past Sunday.  We were transported to indescribable realms by the voice and spirit of this fine vocalist.  How blessed we are at Peace to experience/enjoy/savor – on an annual basis –  the richness of Gary and Elizabeth, jazz artists, classical performers, the visual and performing arts.  Someday the walls of Peace will share all that has been spiritually imprinted within them.

“Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of Good Order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise…..We say: killing is disorder, life and gentleness and community and unselfishness is the only order we recognize. For the sake of that order, we risk our liberty, our good name.” Fr. Dan Berrigan

May Pentecost create the graceful order of God within us,

Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Blog 05.15.19

Friends:

“If the soul could have known God without the world, the world would never have been created.”  Meister Eckhart

The gift of the Light Globe from Pr. Margareta and family was well received and celebrated on Mother’s Day last Sunday.  This is a beautiful invitation to prayer when we can’t find the words to express our hearts’ desire.  The Light Globe will be introduced to our AA and NA groups also for their use and prayers.  The Light Globe will always be available to you on Sundays or whenever you come to Peace.  Thanks to Pr. Margareta for preaching and to Johannes for transporting it all the way from Stockholm!

 

 

A joy to hear our Peace Singers perform.  Looks like they are having fun too.

 

The Holy Envy Class began onTuesday at Beth Chaim.  Two more classes will follow on May 21 and 28 at 7 pm.  You are welcomed to join in this exploration of various faith traditions.  As Lutheran scholar and bishop Krister Stendahl taught:  A) Learn from the adherents of another religion not from its enemies; B) Do not compare their worst to your best; and C) Enjoy experiencing Holy Envy!

Keep in your prayers:  Margaret Bender, Lois on the death of son Brian, Pr. Margareta on the death of her mother, Bob Mantei, Ed, Betty, Ralph, Spoon Jackson, Eddie and Mad, those seeking homes, those struggling in their relationships, the lonely, the unemployed, nurses, teachers, our children and grandchildren.

 

Vivaldi’s Magnificat – with the Pacific Choir and full Baroque Orchestra — Saturday at 7:00 pm, 10th Anniversary Concert!

Come honor the 10 Years of Partnership with the Pacific Choir, encourage these wonderful  young people and feed your soul with spiritual delights!

How blessed we are (and how exceedingly rare for a congregation) to have the Abundance of Artistic Performances (classical voice and instrumental, jazz, visual, cinematic, theatre, dance, poetry) that we experience at Peace on a regular basis.  Be amazed!

 

 

“Do not depend on the hope of results.  When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, (essentially healing, compassionate work) you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.  As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.  And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people.  The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relations that saves everything.”  Thomas Merton

Easter blessings,

Pr. Steve