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

 

 

Grace Waves 09.01.17

Grace Waves

“Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world but let your minds be remade (metavoia) and your nature thus transformed, and then you will be able to discern the yearning of God:  what is good/life-generating, acceptable and mature.”  (Romans 12: 2)

 

***  The Youth Group and parents met this past Sunday at the Mitchell’s.  A relaxing and inspiring evening of catching up and designing plans for this next year.  Lots of good things cooking both at that BBQ and for the near future.

***  Summer Journeys took folks in many directions.  Here are just a few:  Martha was off to Germany; Renee, Todd and family took an RV sabbatical trip around America for 7 weeks; Mark L. went swimming in Serbia with the American Water Polo team…his parents followed behind; the Schoenings enjoyed Croatia; Mark M attended the baptism of his grandson in the same church where George Washington was a member; Ron and Linda enjoyed Wisconsin; Gun went to Sweden; Teresa and Jeff enjoyed Vermont; Gracie M. did some youth project work in Fiji; and somebody went to Viet Nam – who was that?  We got to see Len and Bonnie Nelson who send greetings from Salem – the Land of Totality.

***  Homecoming Sunday – welcome back on September 10.  Time to reconnect and get back in the groove of life at Peace.

***  Hurricane Harvey Relief:  $3 million match on personal donations*
Thrivent will match up to $3 million in personal donations made online through Thrivent.com to specific disaster relief organizations responding to Hurricane Harvey. The dollar-for-dollar match is open to Thrivent members and will lead to a total combined impact of up to $6 million. For more details and to see the list of organizations included in the match, visit the Disaster Response page on Thrivent.com.

***  Simultaneously in Bangaladesh massive storms have deluged the country so that 1/3 of Bangaladesh is now submerged.  100 times the number of people who died in Houston have died there and of course they have no resources.  Portions of India and Nepal have been equally devastated.  I am awaiting word from Lutheran World Relief how we might best help in these places too.

***  Keep in your prayers:  Ro recovering from knee surgery, Brian and David McGee, Linda Britt, Brian T., Sue Shuffield, Alice O’Sullivan and those who are threatened by wild fires, those mourning the death of loved ones,the victims of Harvey.

***  Exciting News:  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!

***  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.

***  The Stand Against Hate event at Temple Isaiah on Tuesday night was a powerful gathering of 400 interfaith people.  Superb music from a Gospel Choir, insights shared from rabbis, a Muslim woman and myself.  Several friends from Peace got to participate.  There is hope!

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

 

Notes of Peace

*** Bright Stars of Bethlehem:  August 15th, 5:30 – 8:30pm : In conjunction with our new Palestine Unlimited Exhibit, Beth Nelson Chase, the Executive director of Bright Stars , will host and speak at a Wine and Cheese Gathering at Peace.  Come learn about the realities of this ministry in Palestine.

*** Please keep in your prayers this week:Virginia Budesa (Ken’s mom), Mary Calhoun (recovering from hip surgery), Linda & Tom Hall (mourning the death of Linda’s brother Rick).

*** Pr. Steve is co-facilitating the Compassionate Conversations Retreat at the Vajrapani Institute.  “The Wisdom of Uncertainty, the Spiritual Gifts of Challenging Times” – Faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist traditions come together to acknowledge confusion and uncertainty, and then connect with resources for healing and staying present and aware in the face of uncertainty and suffering.  Finally, moving forward with aspiration, intention and a sense of community, preparing to return to daily lives.

*** Youth Group meets Sunday, Aug 27th, 5:00p at the Marting—Mitchell home.

*** ESL Tutor Training Workshop:  Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Concord, together with the Diablo Valley Literacy Council, is sponsoring ESL Tutor Training Workshops for those interested in volunteering to help adults learn English. Sat Sept 30 or Sat Oct 7.  Info and registration www.dvlc4esl.org

*** Request from Martha for Hosea  – – Hosea is a 53 yr old African American Woman, who I have come to know as a friend over the last year.  Hosea has settled into Section 8 subsidized housing after suffering many years of homelessness.  Her life has been one of deprivation and ill health.  Hosea has steady income now, through the SSI program and is receiving good health care. She has a wonderful spirit and is hopeful that this opportunity to have permanent, affordable housing will give her the peaceful life she longs for.  Hosea is still in need of assistance in paying hotel debt – If you would like to contribute to help Hosea in this way, please make your check out to Peace Lutheran Church and note Hosea in the memo line.  Thank you so much for considering my request!

Grace Waves 7.6.17

Grace Waves

Friends:

“I seem to hear whispered in my soul that God is always the friend and protector of truth.”  Gandhi

*** Danville Today – July issue:  our own Thais is on the cover with an interview about her art!

*** Mary Calhoun gets to be with us for worship this Sunday.  This is her last time to worship with us.  Our thanks to her family for making this possible.  Come and share your love.

*** First Friday Films – Evening Pot Luck Picnic and S’Mores followed by  ARRIVAL Friday, July 7  6:30p Join us OUTSIDE for this special pot luck picnic with firepit for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores; followed by  Arrival, (under the stars!), a film many  say picks up where 2001: A Space Odyssey, left off. It received an Academy Award, 48 film award wins and 236 nominations worldwide. Based on Story of Your Life (1998) by Ted Chiang, it explores the spiritual practices of deep listening and free will. Confronted by a mass landing of 12 alien vessels around the globe, military leaders seek the help of brilliant linguist Louise Banks in an effort to communicate with the extraterrestrials and determine their intentions. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, It stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg. Run time 116 minutes; rated PG-13, parents strongly cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Popcorn during, discussion after.

*** Request from Martha for Hosea  – – Hosea is a 53 yr old African American Woman, who I have come to know as a friend over the last year.  Hosea will be moving into Section 8 subsidized housing on July 15th.  She has suffered many years of homelessness.  Her life has been one of deprivation and ill health.  Hosea has steady income now, through the SSI program and is receiving good health care. She has a wonderful spirit and is hopeful that this opportunity to have permanent, affordable housing will give her the peaceful life she longs for.  Hosea needs assistance paying for her hotel room from June 30th thru July 15th.  If you would like to contribute to help Hosea in this way, please make your check out to Peace Lutheran Church and note Hosea in the memo line.  Thank you so much for considering my request!

*** Health Care Proposal: 

This boils down to a choice, a fundamental choice and the choice is this: Do you take a trillion dollars and help the poor and vulnerable and the working class in this country and their health care, subsidized by the federal government, or do you take the trillions of dollars and return it to the wealthy in the country? That’s really the fundamental choice here.”       ~Matthew Dowd former George W. Bush advisor.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”     ~Gandhi

*** Secret to Generosity:  The more frequently people attend worship, the more generous and charitable they become – not only to religious charities but they give as much or more than secular folks to secular charities.  Researchers Robert Putnam and David Campbell analyzed a variety of data sources and concluded, “By many different measures religiously observant Americans are better neighbors and better citizens than secular Americans – they are more generous with their time and money, especially in helping the needy, and they are more active in community life.”  Why are they better neighbors and more generous?  The only thing that was reliably and powerfully associated with the benefits of religion was how connected people were in relationships with their co-religionistsFriendships and group activities, carried out within a moral matrix that emphasizes selflessness brings out the best in people.  Putnam and Campbell reject the New Atheist emphasis on religious beliefs as primary cause for motivation.  Rather — it is spiritual belonging that matters for neighborliness, not strict religious ideas.

*** Solar Energy at Peace:  Everything is running well, Sky Power has proven themselves to be excellent partners, and you can monitor our solar energy generation at any time by going to: http://www.monitoring.solaredge.com ; sign in office@peacejourney.org and 4solar@peace.  ( Select ‘Dashboard’ for monthly graph, and on ‘Layout’  for panel by panel info).  Therefore our Solar Campaign is now officially concluded and our Fundraising Solar Panel was ceremoniously brought down this past Sunday.  Our thanks to our Solar Committee:  Boris, Chair; Arlene, Libby, Ken and Kari.  Well done!

*** “Palestine Unlimited” – New Art Exhibit at Peace:  This exhibit will be presented by the Bright Stars of Bethlehem Circle and, of course, is curated by our own Bill Carmel.  There will be a Special Gathering with a wine and cheese reception on Tuesday, August 15 with the Executive Director Beth Nelson Chase from 5:30 – 8:30pm. Plan to enjoy a wonderful evening of fantastic photography, wine, and food!

*** Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS): “Remember to welcome the strangers because in so doing some have entertained angels without knowing it.”   Hebrews 13: 2

What is the Meaning of this recent Ruling on Immigration?

The Court’s ruling narrows the scope of the lower courts injunctions, and will mean individuals whom the U.S. has historically offered protection through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) may be denied that protection, at least for now – despite their having been thoroughly vetted by top security and intelligence agencies, and having a community willing to offer them safety and a new chance at life.

While the Court’s decision will allow some refugees to continue to arrive there are countless others who will be needlessly denied access to the USRAP. This decision could affect our ability to protect refugees fleeing religious persecution, survivors of war with severe medical cases, unaccompanied refugee children who lost their family due to violence or war, torture survivors, and countless others who will be left waiting, denied protection simply because they lack a “bona fide” tie to the United States.

As we know too well, our world is faced with the worst displacement crisis in recorded history with nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are children. With such need, what can we do?  We at LIRS ask you to PLEASE STAND BY THE REFUGEES !

“Satyagraha (non-violent pressing for truth) is a force that works silently and apparently slowly.  In reality, there is no force in the world that is so direct or swift in working.” Gandhi

*** Bev and I will begin our vacation at the end of next week.

 

Blessings,   Pr. Steve