Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 09.12.18

Friends:

“There was something formless and perfect

before the universe was born.

It is serene.  Empty.  Solitary.  Unchanging.

Infinite.  Eternally present.

It is the mother of the universe.

For lack of a better name,

I call it the Tao/ the Way.”  (Lao-tzu)

Marvelous and transcendent moments this past Sunday with our Psalm, “Taste and See” and Eucharist.  God is good.

Communion of Solitudes:  Our Forum revealed how essential silence and solitude are to the members of Peace.  Without contemplative stillness our clarity disappears, decision-making gets foggy and commitment to act on our values flags.  Henri Nouwen said,  “The church is a communion of solitudes.”  We bring our inner stillness to one another and this creates the wisdom and peace of the spiritual community.

“Pure prayer begins at the threshold of silence.  It says nothing, asks for nothing.  It is a kind of listening.  The deeper the listening, the less we listen for, until silence itself becomes the voice of God.”  Stephen Mitchell

Meditation at Peace (from 6 – 6:45 pm) begins again on Thursdays, September 20.  It includes 10 minutes of Kinhin/Walking Meditation.  If you cannot participate but would like to learn the basics and intention of Meditation practice, please contact me and I will gladly teach you.

Save the Date;  Peace 60th Birthday Party – October 28:  Worship in the morning and an Interfaith Festival – Salaam/Shalom/Shanti Sangha Celebration – at 4:30 in the afternoon!

Rhythm and Spirit: — Bruce Silverman leads our next Embodied Prayer Event with a Drumming Circle on Saturday, September 22 from 4 – 6 pm.  When ancient Israel collapsed and went into Exile, the Babylonians refused permission for the Jewish people to bring their drums with them because the drums would give them hope, energy and courage.  Are you ready for some joyful energy?!  And you are invited to bring your children and grandchildren who will never stop thanking you.

The High Holy Days conclude with  Yom Kippur on September 18. Anti-Semitic fliers were posted at or near five Bay Area synagogues ahead of Rosh Hashanah. The fliers with vile caricatures and comments were from the far-right website Daily Stormer.

We remember the martyr Stephen Biko who was murdered 41 years ago this week by the South African apartheid regime.  Biko was the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement and the author of “Frank Talk” a profound collection of reflections on restoring dignity and consciousness to oppressed peoples.  Stephen Biko was also a close friend and inspiration for Tshenu and Mudzunga Farisani.

Keep in your prayers June, Margaret, Bernie, Shivani’s father, the 90 countries participating in Eco-Summit Gatherings around the world; Denise, Laura Patterson on the death of her mother Phyllis, Samantha and John who will be married this weekend.

Homecoming Sunday – September 23!  The New Life Band from Tanzania will lead our worship that day. Friends from Tanzania, Rwanda and hopefully South Africa will join us for worship.  A tasty Luncheon of Tanzanian and American foods will follow with a selection of African crafts available for purchase, too.  Anticipate a joyful day!  Invite friends to join you.

Tai Chi Chuan Classes (a 12 week series) begins on Thursday, September 20 at 7:00 pm.  An open mind and loose clothing are all you need.  Tai Chi combines physical exercise, martial arts and meditation in movement.  Tai Chi means The Great Uncontainable in Form.  Check it out, spread the word.

Wed  Oct 3:  National Day of Korea Concert at Herbst Theater, 7:00 pm featuring our own Pacific Youth Choir.  Tickets are FREE – Reserve your seat with the office (925.648.7000 or Office@PeaceJourney.org) Reserve by Sun 9/23

If you forget to be grateful for your life – read the Psalms.   They will renew you with deep, exuberant praise for the gift of now!

” Let the heaves and the earth rejoice,

     let the waves of the ocean roar,

   let the rivers clap their hands, 

     let the mountains rumble with joy,

   let the meadows sing out together,

     let the trees of the forest exult.”

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 07.11.18

Friends:

The Lord cares for the righteous and watches over the merciful, is near when our hearts are broken; and when our spirits are crushed, God is with us.  And though we may undergo hardships God fills us with blessings in the end.     ~Psalm 34

  • My deep gratitude for the uplifting prayers!  Knowing the Peace Congregation, Healing Team, Tai Chi class, and the full community of spiritual friends has been with me has been very special.  My thanks to you all!

Plans are for hospital release some time on Thursday.  A “Meals & More for Steve n Bev” sign up has been put together so the community can now lend their physical support along with their spiritual.  Go to :   https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0448AAA72DABFA7-meals

Please contact Kari at Peace with questions:  Office@PeaceJourney.org  925.648.7000

  • Summer Hours

July 9 – July 20     Tues / Wed /  Fri     2:00 – 5:00p

July 23 – Aug 3     Tues / Wed / Thur     8:30 – 11:30a

  • Our Thanks to Night Ministry Lyle Beckman for sharing last Sunday with us, and to the Nowell’s for their musical gifts.  We will see more the John and MaryEllen while Pr. Steve and Gary are away this summer.
  • Welcome Pr. Lucy to the pulpit this week!  She will be guiding us a few weeks this summer, along with Louis Mohelman, and perhaps another visit from Pr. Lyle.

Failure is an opportunity.     If you blame someone else

there is no end to the blame.

Therefore, the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes.  She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others. 

From the Tao te Ching

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

The writing below is a letter from a former Peace member, currently living in Maine and deeply connected to the immigration issue.

Dear Friends at Peace:

There are now three lawyer-level positions in my office besides my own position, plus a full-time admin and we just brought in two part-time interns.  We are swamped.

My office has represented and is representing many, many Central Americans who are victims of gang violence.  I cannot impress on people enough that these gangs are ruthless in ways that would have made SS soldiers blush.  A 15 year old Guatemalan boy selected for recruitment by a gang (MS-13, MS-18) might be given three days to decide.  Join or die.  A lot of these boys leave the country during that three day period.  The probability of death is very high if they stay.  A store owner in Honduras is told to pay $800/month.  If she doesn’t make a monthly payment, she’ll more likely than not be shot.  Dead.   No hesitation.  No guilt.  No willingness to listen to pleas for mercy.  This is what’s going on.

And don’t even get me started on what goes on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa).  Or Gabon, where political opponents are targeted for ritual occult murders, involving organ harvesting, BEFORE the victims die, as the harvested organs supposedly need to come from live bodies in order to be effective (per the witches/shamans/) for use in occult (i.e. satanic) practices.  You can’t make this stuff up.  We have two Gabonese cases with this kind of occult horror.

The Congolese cases tend to be political opponents of the Kabila regime.  Joseph Kabila has no problem ordering the killing of opponents, though I suspect a lot of the killings are done by his underlings without any consultation with Kabila.

SO, my point–some people do come to the US with completely fraudulent stories.  Most of the Sub-Saharan Africans come because torture and often death are their only options.  At least the nationalities we see–Congolese (Kinshasa and Brazzaville), Angola, Gabon, Cameroon, Burundi (horrible place) and Rwanda.  And the Central Americans (Guatemalans, Hondurans & Salvadorans) are leaving countries controlled in part by gangs that make the Italian mafia look genteel, if not charming, by comparison.  In these countries there are really no ‘safe’ places to live once the gangs are after you.  Their tentacles can reach anywhere.

The President has no clue about these things.  He is just using the undocumented as a device to instill even more fear into his base, which is understandably afraid of the future.  Who isn’t to some degree?  Being afraid is not, however, an excuse to go after people who don’t look or act just like you.

Keep the immigrants in your prayers.

Best Regards,

George D. Hepner, III  (former member and President of Peace Congregation)

Law Office of George D. Hepner III  –   850 Main Street, Westbrook, Maine

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 06.29.18

Friends:

  • “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.
  • An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.
  • As St. Thomas Aquinas said, ‘ An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law’
  •  Any law that uplifts human beings is just.   Any law that degrades human beings is unjust.”  Martin Luther King

 

Dear Friends at Peace:  We wanted to share the good news with you that on May 29th, we welcomed our second daughter, Julia Isabella, two weeks early but weighing almost 8 pounds! We hope that you are doing well and enjoying the summer months. Amanda & Memo      Peace Partnership Laurel Galan:  The Situation in Nicaragua has us very concerned, especially because of its unpredictability and not knowing when it will end or what the future holds for our beloved country. We give thanks to God that we and the communities that we work with are safe and also continue to pray for peace and justice in the midst of turmoil.

Two months ago, the government announced reforms for the social security system, and students took to the streets to protest. On the second day of protesting, there were students killed, and this created a chain reaction of people protesting in response to the deaths.

The last 2 months have completely changed the reality of Nicaragua, and there is widespread insecurity, violence and roadblocks which cut off transportation of people and goods. We hope that this struggle will ultimately lead to something better and richer for everyone, but are shocked by the levels of violence. So far, more than 200 people have lost their lives and hundreds have been hurt, thousands of jobs lost and families torn apart, and it’s unclear what the future holds. We especially pray for the July 19th anniversary of the Revolution, that there are no mass confrontations. Currently the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from the Organization of American States is here investigating the deaths and disappearances and who is responsible. And the archbishop of Nicaragua has traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis and discuss the situation, since the Catholic Church has been mediating the dialogues between the government, the students, and civil society. One of the requests of the students and other sectors is that Presidential elections would be held early, possibly in March of next year.

We have not been able to visit the community since April, because of the roadblocks. But we continue calling Dona Ligia and checking in to see how the community is doing. They have told us that they have food available, and that it’s been raining so they have enough water. The main problem is that they aren’t able to get in to Managua for doctors visits or other appointments.

We ask you to continue praying for the situation, and the women of Laurel Galan.

Abrazos, Amanda for Between Cultures 

  • Join the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Norwegian choir SKRUK on their west coast tour!  Gospel Choir alongside Scandinavian choral music – what a collaboration!  Saturday, June 30, 7:00 pm at The Lesher Center in Walnut Creek.  Tickets are $22 – 25.

Summer Fun at Peace!  The Hacienda School brought their Summer performances to Peace with Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in our Ears and Other Stories.

Immigration Facts and Figures

Immigrants added and estimated $2 trillion to the US GDP in 2016 (Center for American Progress)

Researchers estimate in California they added between $4.6 and $8 billion. (CAP)

In 2017, 43% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants and the children.

A ‘pre-decisional brief’ proposes moving 47,000 immigrant families to a tent city at the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents since April  by the zero-tolerance policy.

The prior policy of apprehending undocumented immigrants and calling them to appear in court after releasing them was effective nearly 99% of the time.

Comments

The insidious Spiritual Lie fearing the ‘outsider’ always claims these families and children are less than human.  Every person, regardless of their immigration status is made in God’s Image!

Dehumanizing and denigrating immigrants is sinful.  Separating families is sinful.  Comparing immigrants to insects is sinful.

US policies toward Central America since the 1980’s have significantly contributed to

the current instability in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  We need to learn our own history.

  • ¨ Collecting Interfaith Stories  I-SRV has created a process to gather personal and congregational stories to nurture interfaith connections.  We hope to have two or three interviews occur in each congregation during the summer months.  These written stories will be shared in home congregations an then made available to interfaith partners.  It is likely they will be electronically formatted in the future.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Friends:

“Sin, is a refusal to keep growing. ” Gregory of Nyssa

“Please join me as together we find our voice and act individually and corporately to finally and fully end this monstrously evil policy of separating families. I encourage you to pray, preach, teach and talk about these issues – as we continue in our hope to be communities of moral deliberation, prayer and advocacy. We will continue to provide information in the coming weeks for the people of our congregations and ministries to share with others. The events of the past few days clearly demonstrate that our voices and our advocacy do matter, so let us prayerfully and boldly speak and act.” Presiding (national) ELCA Bishop Eaton

 

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: There is a specific appeal being made to help support the 148 removed children LIRS is currently sheltering. If you wish to assist go their website at:  www.lirs.org

Pr. Lucy and Libby and Pr. Elizabeth attended a 2 day Conference on Sanctuary recently.  They shared highlights this past Sunday.  They have gathered materials that provide a thoughtful and rich context for understanding the dynamics and practices of our broken immigration policies and sanctuary responses.  These will be collected and made available (hopefully online) for our congregational review.

The Pure Pleasure of Summer!  What a blessed and joyful and Concert we experienced last Sunday with artists Stefan and Maria Safsten.  Their creative interpretations of art, poetry and literature were stunning.  This concert was their Thank You – prompted by their desire to ‘give back’ to Peace for our efforts and partnership in presenting numerous choral events during the last 12 years….from New York to San Francisco.  An amazing history.  Their CDs are available for purchase this Sunday.  It was pure pleasure!

Keep in your prayers:  Sloane and Merrit mourning Mary Calhoun’s death; Parker and Hailey; June, Margaret, Spoon, Marshall, Sue, Ed, Children separated from their parents; for the courage and tenacity to get at the root causes of hatred, racism and poverty.

It’s pride week!  Pride parade on Sunday  6.24  We are proud to have been supportive for 25+ years!   Never forget we helped to liberate the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Freedom Band SF when they performed in Danville.  Here’s a part of their history – thank you, Gary!

If you missed Pastor John Rutsindintwarane’s presentation on organizing in Rwanda or if you’d like a copy of some photos and information he offered, please pick up a copy on the table in the Gathering Hall.    Also, if you are interested in forming a Giving Circleto help fund the organizing work, please talk with Ken B or Pastor Lucy.  What’s a giving circle?  It’s a number of folks who commit a certain amount (your choice) per month to the work and agree to get updates about what’s happening.  The money will be sent to the PICO office in Oakland to be forwarded to the Rwanda account.

LAST FRIDAY FILMS:  A Wrinkle in Time – June 29  6:30  –    The movie is different from the famous book by Madeline L’Engle its story is derived from, but still raises tween age-subjects: bullying at school, going on a quest to help someone you love, trusting your abilities, asking for help and accepting your faults. Both the book and the movie ask a big question, What is worth believing in? All you math lovers, get ready for Tesseracts!  Directed by Ava DuVernay, it stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine.  Run time 109 min.; rated PG – Parental Guidance Suggested – Some material may not be suitable for children. Common Sense Media recommends age 10+; kids say 9+.

On the Illusion of Superiority

“I don’t really care.  Do you?”

“Somebody has to stand when other people are sitting. Somebody has to speak when other people are quiet.”   — Bryan Stevenson

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 06.14.18

Friends:

“God asked:  What is this proverb I hear bandied about — ‘The father ate sour grapes ad the children’s teeth are on edge?’

Foolish, God thundered, No more of that!

No hidden idolatries, No cheating, lying, stealing; No oppression of others; No usury.

Rather this:  Feed the hungry, clothe the naked. Purpose no evil act, render just judgment.  In behavior and speech act in accord with truth.’

(Ezekiel 18)

What a joyful surprise to have a 2nd Baptism on Sunday!  Congratulations to Parker Murillo and Hailey Lepore!  And to Grandpa Dan for paying attention!!

Please complete your Survey if you’ve not done so yet.  It takes barely 10 minutes and your input is valuable.  Here is the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/?sm=Zs8aAJI5KyoV0RXsXGzxok6ybB5tBKK695TONYkmUPk_3D

Rhythm and Spirit:  Enjoy the photo below from this prayerful, spirit-stirring experience!  Thanks to John and Elizabeth!  (Drumming coming on September 22; Qiqong and World Music on November 17.)

 

 

Bill Carmel has written a marvelous review of the SFMOMA Exhibit on Magritte.  A worthy and enjoyable read.  Here is the link: https://www.danvillesanramon.com/blogs/b/art-space?i=31

Thanks to Fr. John for his presentation on PICO this past Sunday.  And thanks to the 15 people who were able to participate.  It was fascinating and profound to hear the stories of Refugees like Fr. John and Maili.  Lord have mercy on all those who must flee their homes.  For more information on PICO:  www.picointernational.org

Keep in your prayers:  Margaret Bender, June, Drew, Sue, Ed K and Ed R., Dennis, the Peace Process with North and South Korea.

The Pleasure of Summer Concert with Stefan and Maria Safsten is this Sunday, Father’s Day at 4:30 pm.  Come bask in the beauty of the day, the music and this season.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

 

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 06.08.18

Friends,

As of today, only 20 surveys have been received online so we are moving the deadline to June 17.

The Peace Council has begun this process to assess our future.  We know the future depends upon the gifts and skills of those who are creating the present.

Our first step was designing a Survey for members and friends of Peace.  That process required thoughtfulness, design and several weeks of evaluation.

Your responses will help us clearly assess who we are, where we are and essential priorities.  The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

There are many ways in which people connect to Peace.

All experiences and perspectives are valuable to us because they help us to discern the best ways to connect with and nourish spiritual vitality in our lives and community.

So thank you in advance for your insights.  Since Peace is a guilt-free church you can’t make any mistakes!  SURVEY LINK:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/?sm=Zs8aAJI5KyoV0RXsXGzxok6ybB5tBKK695TONYkmUPk_3D

Memorial for Mary Calhoun will be held this Sunday, June 10;  4:00pm at the Graham Hitch Mortuary, 4167 First Street, Pleasanton.

Paz, Pr. Steve

 

 

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 06.01.18

Friends:

“Praying”

It doesn’t have to be the blue iris – it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones;

 

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)

JazzCat Celebration:  Join us for the conclusion of our 13th Jazz Season this Sunday at 5:00 pm when vocalist Clairdee will perform and we will honor Ed Klitsch for his creative endeavors throughout these years.  This is one of the coolest ministries Peace has.

Rhythm and Spirt….and Sweat your PrayersFor those who love dancing and drumming and feeling alive in your body — our next Event is Saturday, June 9TH from 4 – 6 pm!

Tanzania/Rwanda – PICO Organizing:  Fr. John Rutsindintwarane (Rwandan by birth but who grew up in a Refugee Camp in Tanzania) is in the States and would love to share the impressive work that is happening within the Church Community in his home countries.  He’ll arrive at Peace at Noon on Sunday, June 10.  We’ll have an hour’s conversation over pizza.  A few Tanzanian friends are intending to join us as well.  This will be a fine opportunity to get a global perspective on the church and justice work.

For the Pure Pleasure of Summer!  June 17, 4:30 pm Swedish artists and friends Stefan and Maria Safsten (Words of Realness, New Folsom Prison Concert and UN 70th Concerts in New York and Grace Cathedral, SF) are visiting Spoon Jackson, poet and lifer (whose release we are praying for) and friends in the Bay Area.  They offered to present a Concert at Peace for Piano and Organ – for the sheer joy of music, friendship and summer.  Delightful yes?  You are invited.  It’s an occasion to welcome summer and bathe in life’s beauty.

Goran Berg’s Sycamore Chamber Orchestra will be touring Sweden in the end of June!  What a gift to these young musicians.

Please keep in your prayers:  Margaret Bender,  Mary Bibbs and family Jose and Karen, June Jones, the family of Mary Calhoun as they mourn her death, our young people and teachers as they conclude another school season.

Greenheart exchanges seeks Volunteers Hosts for French teens: June 26 – July 24. Established in 1985, Greenheart Exchange is a nonprofit international educational exchange organization. Our mission is to promote cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace. Greenheart Exchange is designated by the United States Department of State as a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsor and is currently granted full listing by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). All of our group students give back to their host community by participating in one or more volunteer projects.  Families with teens find this especially beneficial.

Contact Gulya for more information: gulyagehring@hotmail.com; :  925-200-8959

Gun Violence in America:  Every day 93 Americans die from gun violence.  Since Newtown, there have been over 200 School Shootings – one almost every week.  American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in other developed countries.  Moms Demand Action encourages us to participate this Saturday on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bavarian Catholic Cardinal rebukes Premier for Ordering Crosses placed in State Buildings:  Cardinal Reinhard Marx has said directing all state buildings to hang crosses amounts to “expropriating the cross in the name of the state.” Bavarian Premier Markus Söder sparked nationwide criticism for the move.  Most of the Lutheran bishops sided with the cardinal while the council chairman at the German Protestant church federation (EKD), welcomed Söder’s order — though with a twist:  Those who hang up a cross must also take its message seriously, he told Bavarian public TV station. “This stands for human dignity, stands for charity, stands for humanity,” he said. The son of God, he added, had been tortured to death on the cross. “If we take that seriously, then we stand on the side of those who are vulnerable.”  In light of Bavaria’s resistance to chancellor Merkel’s acceptance of refugees, it’s another way to turn the tables on this new policy.  (Thanks to Karl Pfeiffer for this item.)

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 5.11.18

Friends:

“Children want to understand the spirit of religion.  They want to connect with their questions because they have an enormous curiosity about this universe….and they hope they somehow answers will come to them especially through their moms and dads and God.”  The Spiritual Life of Children by Robert Coles.

Mother’s Day Worship is this Sunday.  Bring all the Mothers you love with you to church.  And if they can’t join you – bring them in your heart.

Mother’s Day Spring Concert at 2:00 pm at Peace.  Presented by the Sycamore Chamber Orchestra and Goran Berg.  This is a fundraiser for the SCO Tour of Sweden this summer!  This is sure to be a delightful concert and such a precious way to let your mother know how much you love her!

May 20 will be Pentecost, the Third High Feast Day of the Church Year.  A wonderful celebration is planned.  And you are asked (if you have available) any clothing/ garb/ costume which conveys the ethnic/cultural roots of your family.  Hats, vests, shawls – anything and everything is welcomed!  I hope the whole congregation will be adorned in unique and intriguing garments.

Congratulations to Kim and Cam Murillo on the birth of Parker!  Of course Grandmother Barbara Ghinazzi is equally proud!

Keep in your prayers:  Margaret Bender, Spoon, Gina and Madison, Marshall, Sue, Drew, Kathy, Danny and Liz.

Thyme for TEA – a reservation for 8 (or more) has been made for SATURDAY, MAY 26 at 2:30 pm. The cost is $35.00 each and that includes tax and tip.  Notify Diane Kurtz or the Office if you wish to attend this lovely event!

Last Friday Film: “The Shape of Water” — (R rated).  Join us for this intriguing film on May 25 (Date change) with dinner at 6:30 pm.  The quality of this story is fine art and though it has an R rating it warrants being seen and reflected upon.  Therefore please note that you must be 18 to attend.

“Know that the outward form passes away
But the world of reality remains forever.
How long will you play at loving the shape of the jug?
Leave the jug; go, seek the water!”
  Rumi

 

Disaster Preparedness in CCC – May 22, 10 am – 3 pm at the Methodist Church in Lafayette.  A coalition of faith-based, non-profit and business organizations are coming together to share resources about how to help survivors and our communities in the time of a disaster.  How do we Prepare, mitigate, respond and recover?  Training and coordination is needed throughout the County.  We need one or more representatives from Peace to attend.  To register:  www.eventbrite.come/e/cccvo(On the day of a disaster volunteers will be turned away because they have no training!) Event Flyer:   2018.0522 CCC Disaster Prep

Blessings,  Pr Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 04.27.18

Friends:

“The human body is nearly 90% water.  We are basically cucumbers with anxiety.”

~~Celebrating 80!  Arlene Reed invites everyone to her 80th birthday celebration during hospitality following worship on Sunday, April 29th.  She will be providing champagne, sparkling cider, and birthday cake to the festivities.

~~National Poetry Month – April has been National Poetry month… take your favorite Poet out to lunch!

~~Sublime Seas – Bill Carmel’s article on Akomfrah at SFMOMA has been published locally.  If the intersection of social justice and art is a passion of yours, you will thoroughly enjoy this article and the Exhibit.  The link:  https://www.danvillesanramon.com/blogs/p/2018/04/16/sublime-seas.  Of course, conversation with Bill is welcomed.

~~Sanctuary: Caminando Hacia la Libertad is a 2-day convening that serves to strengthen and organize people of faith in our sanctuary work across California.  Pr. Lucy will be attending and invites others to join her.  June 1 and 2, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Islamic Cultural Center in Oakland.  Join us to learn tools and best practices to create moe prophetic path toward liberation.

~~Keep in your prayers: The Britt Family on the death of Don, Margaret Bender, Isaac, Sue, Ed K., Marshall, Madison soon to be baptized, Spoon, Mike’s dad, Drew, Liz, those living with grief, friends in Laurel Galan and Lwamondo Parish, for the people of Syria, for a return to the belief in and practice of truth; and pray for our Earth – that we learn to respect and care for our incredible home.

TODAY!  Last Friday Film  April 27th,
6:30p BBQ  ~   7:30p Film
The Greatest Showman (2017) is a biopic with lots of singing and dancing about the beginnings of what became the famous Barnum & Bailey CircusHugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum who introduced folks to “the curiosities” of the world; he celebrated those called outcasts and risked everything to give them a home. Spirituality & Practice says about the film, “Blessed are the inclusive.” Rated PG, parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. Run time 1 hr. 46. min.

~~”Welcome to the Cancer Café by This one-woman piece about the courageous journey of a person dealing with an incurable cancer is a testament to the human spirit.  The piece is filled with insight, humor, depth, tenacity and soulfulness.   It is a deeply spiritual journey that inspires and up lifts.  Conversation with the writer/performer and her partner, Rabbi Chaya Gusfield, a full-time chaplain, follows.  Suggested donations are $18 and all proceeds go to the AriYael Jewish Healing Center.

~~50 Days of Prayer for Peace:  There are 50 days between Easter and Pentecost (May 20).  I invite you and friends to Pray for Peace each day for the next 50 days.  Pray for:

  • Peace in our hearts Peace in our community
  • Peace among our loved ones Peace with Korea; and
  • “May Peace prevail upon Earth”(as our Peace Pole encourages)

~~SAT  MAY 19 7:00p:  Pure Delight Concert at Peace! MOZART and More!  A special invitation to Peace Members: With your advance reservation (by April 30th) you may attend this concert for FREE!  Reserved seating for this concert requires advanced reservations.  A portion of proceeds will benefit Eden Housing.  www.pacificchoir.org

~~Jazz Church West hosts the Lorca Hart Trio on Sunday, May 6 at 5 pm.  Drums, piano and bass with a Brazilian twist.  Spread the word.

“Our mentioning of the weather is neither perfunctory nor idle.  Perhaps we have a deep and legitimate need to know what the day is like, to see it and feel it in our entire being.  I myself am a part of the weather and part of the climate and part of this place and this day.  A day in which I have not shared truly in all this is no day at all.  This day and the feel of creation is certainly a part of my life of prayer.”  Thomas Merton

Easter blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 4.5.18

Friends:

‘Hatred is too deep a burden for anyone to carry.’  Martin Luther King (April 4 was the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination; the resurrection of his dream is still going on)

Easter was a joyful celebration with Bruce Silverman and all our drummers, Susanne on the bass, Bradley on the trumpet, Gary of course and our Peace Singers.  Mary Magdalene and the Egg, the Egg Hunt, and Egg Shakers given to our kids created eggstasy!

Easter Greetings from Mudzunga Farisani:  Peace Lutheran Church is also remembered here as well. My family in particular continues to be grateful to God that Peace Congregation was a vessel used by God during trying times. Steve, it was not fashionable to associate yourselves with the exiles but the spirit of Ubuntu which is a reflection of Christianity was behind everything. For me that was real Christian love in action. Peace friends remain in our prayers.

Boris asked after the service if there will be classical orchestras playing in heaven since I mentioned on Easter that our drumming was a taste of heaven.  I assured him my inside information guarantees there will be numerous orchestras and you won’t have to make a reservation!

“Hatred cannot drive out hatred, only love can do that.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”  MLK

Immigrant Advocacy:  Between April 2 and April 6, LIRS (lirs.org) is mobilizing our network of supporters to hold national leaders accountable for resettling at least 45,000 refugees in FY18 and secure a commitment from the administration to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in the year to come. And we need your help!!    There are three key ways that you can take part in this Week of Action:

  1. Advocate in Person: Organize in-district delegation visits to your members of Congress. Access LIRS talking points here.
  2. Flood the Phone Lines: Urge your congregations and communities to make phone calls to your members of Congress. Download a script!
  3. Put it in Writing: Mobilize your congregations and communities to send letters to your representatives. A sample letter can be found here.

50 Days of Prayer for Peace:  There are 50 days between Easter and Pentecost (May 20).  I invite you and friends to Pray for Peace each day for the next 50 days.  Pray for:

  • Peace in our hearts
  • Peace among our loved ones
  • Peace in our community
  • Peace with Korea; and
  • “May Peace prevail upon Earth” (as our Peace Pole encourages)

(Thanks to Pr. Lucy for this beautiful prayer suggestion)

“We must learn to love one another as brothers and sisters or we will all die.  Because the choice is no longer between nonviolence and violence, it is between nonviolence and nonexistence.” MLK

 

Whenever you see an Exit sign…Think Exodus!  From Egypt (Constriction) to Exodus (Expansion and Flourishing) This Pulsating Movement (constriction to expansion) is sown into the fabric of nature and our Cosmos; and it has become the Liberating Story of Human HistoryPassover and Resurrection!  We are called to pay attention, to enlarge our vision, appreciate the vastness of God’s self-giving love and trust the transformative energy we have received wherever we encounter constriction/darkness/oppression.  The heart of Christ’s Beloved Community  (‘malkuta’) is well formed, well focused energy, creativity and empowerment!  Malkuta is the dynamic of a lively and healthy spiritual community.  May Peace expand and flourish in this endless grace!

“When you can’t speak the truth be quiet.”

Voices of Spring with Jamie Davis, Clairdee and Kenny Washington.  The Jazz Church Wests hosts a Benefit for up and Coming Young Jazz Artists this Saturday night at 8;pm.  It is sponsored by the Unity Music Foundation.  Tickets are $25/person.  This is another way in which Peace keeps pulsating love and support into our community!

Join us for a Potluck Luncheon with Two of the Precious, Wise and Inspiring elder women featured in the book Sifting Through Gold by Mary LaCasse.                  Tuesday, April 24th     12:30 – 2:30p

Meet Sr. Dorothy and Evelyn Bennett, sharing their stories and insights in person.  RSVP to Peace Lutheran Church with your attendance and anticipated lunch delights!  Office@PeaceJourney.org or 925.648.7000

Earth Day Grounds Clean-Up:  Saturday, April 21st.   9:30 – 12:00pm  Ken invites anyone and everyone to join him in the beautification of Peace!!

Bambalela – Never Give Up!  Yetziah/Exodus – Flourish!  MLK – Malkuta/Beloved Communithy  – Rise Up!

Pr. Steve