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

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 3.29.18

Friends:

Maundy Thursday through Easter are the 3 Most Sacred Days on the Christian calendar

Here is a Prayer found at the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.

“O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.

But do not remember all the suffering they inflicted on us;

Remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to 

This suffering — our comradeship,

Our loyalty, our humility, our courage,

Our generosity, the greatness of heart

Which has grown out of all this; and when

They come to judgment let all the fruits

Which we have borne be their forgiveness.”

(It was found next to the body of a child.)

Holy Week Schedule

  • Thu  3.29  Maundy Thur – Seder (Pesach / Passover) at 6:30pm  Learn the origin of the Eucharist
  • Fri   3.30  Good Friday:  Contemplative Prayer 12:00 – 3:00p; Worship 7:00pm
  • Sun 4.01  EASTER!  10:00a Worship – Joyous Celebration with Drumming, trumpet, bass, choir
  • EASTER Continues:  Children’s Egg Hunt and Easter Brunch

Easter Sunday will be a Sunday rich in music and celebration.  There will be an Easter Brunch —  Suggested categories:  Egg dishes, pastries, fruit, bagels, other tasty items that you enjoy.  And of course our Egg Hunt for the children will follow our worship.  Invite friends to join and sit with you.

LIRS/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:  Kristy Herring from the LIRS office in Baltimore shared this story in our skype call.  Kristen Kiley sent this link to the story about the Congolese mother and daughter who were separated for 4 months when they sought asylum in the US.  It’s another Good Friday through Easter Story.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-family-separation-aclu-trump-asylum-huppke-20180316-story.html

To understand Immigrant and Refugee realities, be sure to check out the superb resources of LIRS @ www.LIRS.org

Keep in your prayers:  Olavi, Don, Danny, Drew, Dennis, Sue, Ed, Spoon, Marshall, Mike’s dad, Brian and David, Brian, children separated from their families, those living with addictions, those seeking employment and a living wage.

Why limit your celebrating to Easter morning???  Dr. John Calloway and Clave Unplugged will heal and melt your soul with the best in Latin Jazz with

Jazz Church West Sun, Apr 1 5:00pm     Only April fools will miss this!

See you at the Seder or on Easter morning.

Holy Week blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 3.22.18

Friends:

“It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.  The Love of God is not only beyond our efforts; it is even beyond our vision.”  This quote (continued at the bottom of my blog)  is by Archbishop Romero of El Salvador who was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while celebrating the Eucharist because he challenged oppressors and spoke in defense of the poor.  He has recently been made an official Saint by Pope Francis.

Peace as Sanctuary:  We had a marvelous skype conversation with Javier and Kristy Herring this past Sunday.  Since 1939 LIRS/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has been engaged in this work! Their comprehensive picture of immigration and refugee dynamics, their clear communication and the spirit in which they conveyed the realities of our vulnerable brothers and sisters has focused and galvanized our efforts here at Peace. Those present on Sunday continued in conversation for another half hour as we sought to absorb what we learned and began to discern next steps. To continue deepening our understanding of immigrant and refugee realities, please check out their website at www.lirs.org!

Elizabeth Hunter Ashley is the featured soloist with Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra on Saturday,  March 24 at El Campanile Theater in Antioch at  2 pm; and on Sunday, March 25 at Rossmoor Fireside Room, 4:00pm.  You are welcomed to attend!

Palm Sunday initiates Holy Week this Sunday at 10 am.  We will gather in the Courtyard for our Palm Procession.  Our FORUM will continue our Peace 60th Anniversary as we look at the formation and life of All Saints (one of our predecessor churches that merged to form Peace).  If you were a member of All Saints, please come and share your personal stories!

Our “Reimagining Exodus” class with author Rabbi David Zaslow was outstanding.  We will keep working with this Exodus Theme throughout our 60th Anniversary Year.

“Reimagining Exodus” has also charged our desire to celebrate another Freedom Seder this year on Maundy Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 pm.  Last chance to sign up will be this Sunday!  Don’t miss this extraordinary Meal of Mindfulness that teaches us to Remember Who We Are and unveils the Mystery of the Eucharist.

Easter Sunday will be a Sunday rich in music and celebration.  There will be an Easter Brunch —  Suggested categories:  Egg dishes, pastries, fruit, bagels, other tasty items that you enjoy.  And of course our Egg Hunt for the children will follow our worship.  Invite friends to join and sit with you.

The Monte Vista Choir has two evening performances at Peace on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Over 500 students will be performing.  You are invited!  Friday night concert begins 7:00pm.

The Jazz Church West hosts John Calloway on Easter Day at 5:00 pm. If you love Latin Jazz your heart will be danced into the heavens!  Be cool – get jazzed.

A new Art Exhibit is ready for you.  The letters of the Hebrew Alphabet have been quilted by Barb Carpenter who created these for her Bat Mitzvat project a few years ago.  Be sure to read the inscriptions about each.  They are wonderful prayer invitations.

     Archbishop Romero:  ‘We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.  Nothing we do is complete.  No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith.  No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.  No program accomplishes the church’s mission.   Rather, we plant seeds that one day will grow.  We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development.  We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.  

     We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.  We do some things and do them well.  It may be incomplete, but God’s grace enters and does the rest.  We may never see end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.  We are prophets of a future not our own.  Amen.”

Blessed Holy Week,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves / Pastor’s Blog 3.17.18

Friends:

FORUM – Peace as Sanctuary this Sunday, March 18:  We will have a Skype Conversation with staff members of LIRS/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in Baltimore and Washington DC.  They are the official agency of our national church body who have been involved for decades in immigration and refugee realities and struggles.  They will help us to understand the context in which we find ourselves as we discern the Spirit’s leading among us.  Your questions will be welcomed too!

Lent traditionally asks you to give something up.  This Lent I am inviting you to Give Yourself to one (or all 3) of these events:

  1. A delightful Interfaith Concert — next Tuesday night at Beth Chaim on Tuesday, March 20 (See flier below). If you love our Thanksgiving Eve celebration you will treasure this night as well.  We need an evening of joy, music, story telling wisdom and the heart-warming presence of each other.
  2. Seder Meal and Celebration – Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 pm.  Are you disturbed by Gun Violence and the killing of our youth?  Irresponsible leaders?  The devastation  of our earth?  Are you longing for an open, honest sibling partnership with Judaism and other interfaith friends?  Hungry for joy, celebration and hope?  Want to taste the inner meaning of the Eucharist?  Then come to our Annual Seder!  It will be charged with new insights from our Exodus Class.  You will discover how we are part of an ancient stream of hope and transformation for God’s world.  Sign up this Sunday or online.
  3. Easter is April 1 – April Fool’s Day!  Who are the friends you will invite to join you and sit with you for this amazing, uplifting, soul-stirring and creative worship celebration??  Think on this, pray on this, begin inviting now.

Our last ‘Reimagining Exodus class will host author Rabbi David Zaslow at Peace next Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm (see flier below).   Enjoy the passion of this ancient Liberation Story and discover the common DNA shared by Jews and Christians as we build our Interfaith Community in the spirit of peace and justice.

The Monte Vista Choir will be performing 2 Concerts at Peace on March 22 and 23 (Thursday and Friday) next week.  Over 500 students will be performing.  You are invited to attend.

Peace Participates:  The Peace Women and friends in this photo turned out to support the San Ramon High students who participated in the #EnoughisEnough Walkout this past Wednesday.  The students cheered our contingent when they concluded their 17 minutes in honor of the 17 students who died in Parkland, Florida.

Holy Week Schedule

  • Palm Sunday – March 25, 10 am
  • Seder                March 29 at 6:30 pm
  • Good Friday  —  March 30:  Peace open from Noon – 3 pm for Silent contemplation; worship at 7:00 pm
  • Easter           —  April 1 at 10 am

Lenten Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 2.27.2018

Friends:

For 3,300 years the Exodus story has been the core of Judaism and Christianity and it has inspired numerous Liberation struggles throughout history.  We need to understand and re-imagine the Exodus Story for our time.  This class with Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and our friends from Beth Chaim will connect our personal stories with univeral meaning as it insists the necessity of creating a future as spiritual siblings.  

BEGINNING TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY:  Re-imagining Exodus – A Freedom Story:  The story of Exodus is pivotal in Jewish and Christian communities.  Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and Pastor Steve will teach this class over four Wednesday evenings beginning Feb 28, 7:30p at Peace.  Show up one night, two nights, the entire series…  you’re welcome to any and all of the classes!

Simple Soup Supper at 6:45p, followed by class teaching.  Series continues each Wednesday, 3/7, 3/14, and 3/21 at Peace.  At our final class on 3/21, author Rabbi David Zaslow will be with us!   Purchase your copy of the book today – $10.  The book is important, even if you cannot attend – it is the core of the Lenten experience.

For more insight, an interview with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74A58GZ_VoI

 

Peace Dance with Open Floor International Saturday, March 3 from 4 – 6 pm.  Come Sweat your Prayers and move to the joy of music and movement.

 

Happy Hour for Hunger with the Jazz Church West Sunday, March 4 following the Kristen Strom Quartet performance at 5:00pm, a Fundraiser for the ELCA World Hunger.

Fresh grilled Taco Bar with Craft Beer Tasting, fine wines, and non-alcoholic lemonade and fiesta horchata!

Speaker Sharon Magnuson from our national church office in Chicago will give a brief presentation on the outstanding work our Church has done for decades to alleviate hunger in the US and abroad.  Invite friends to join you in this evening dedicated to superb music and essential support for hungry families.

Please keep in your prayers:  Eric and Julia Nieman who honored Rita at the Memorial gathering this weekend. Don Britt on the death of Linda, Brian, Bob, David, Gun,  Drew, Sue, Dennis, Ed, Danny, Mike, Zach, Michael’s father, Goran, Spoon and Liz, Pastor Lucy, disabled people, and the students, staff, and families who were killed or survived the recent Florida mass shooting.  Condolences to Isaac on the death of Naftali.

Special Thank you to our Mask Making participants for your Sunday Worship presentations!  Kaleo and Elise Ching; Shree, Ariya, and Diya; Christa, Jack and Coreen; Mary LaCasse, and Louis Moehlman.

Did you know??  The Peace Calendar is now fully online?  Any time you want to be ‘in the know’, go to our website!  AND, if you want your event added to the calendar, send an email to Office@PeaceJourney.org with ‘Calendar’ in the subject line

Lenten Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 02.22.18

Friends:

I am prayer. (Ps. 109: 4) There are three rungs to this ladder:  Third best is to talk about prayer.  Second best is to pray. Best is to be prayer.”

“How Did We Get Here?”  We begin celebrating our 60th Anniversary as a Congregation on February 25 in worship and at the Forum.  You will get to hear stories and memories about Immanuel Church (merged in 1988 with All Saints to create Peace). Throughout 2018 we will be learning about our history and discerning our future.

Re-imagining Exodus – A Freedom Story:  The story of Exodus is pivotal in Jewish and Christian communities.  Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and Pastor Steve will teach this class over four Wednesday evenings beginning Feb 28, 7:30p at Peace.   Simple Soup Supper 6:45p  Continuing 3/7, 3/14, AND, at our last class, on 3/21,  author Rabbi David Zaslow will be with us!   Purchase your copy of the book today – $10.  The book is important, even if you cannot attend – it is the core of the Lenten experience.

For more insight, an interview with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74A58GZ_VoI

Last Friday Films:  Wonder Woman!  Fantastic Food, Fun, and Film!!!   Why do teenage girls and boys around the country love this movie? Maybe it’s because of director Patty Jenkins’ (Monsters) role as the first woman to direct a superhero film. When Chris Pine lands near the Amazon’s island, he tells them of WWI raging across Europe. Diana says, “I am willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” She believes her calling – to help stop the war and end humankind’s suffering. Will she discover her powers and her fulfill destiny?

Run time 2 hrs. 21 min.; rated PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Common Sense Media Rating: 12+, kids say 11+. If you wish to be removed from this list, please let me know.

Please keep in your prayers:  Eric and Julia Nieman whose mother Ritas Memorial gathering is this weekend. Don Britt on the death of Linda, Brian, Bob, David, Gun, Naftali, Drew, Sue, Dennis, Ed, Danny, Mike, Zach, Michael’s father, Goran, Spoon and Liz, Pastor Lucy, disabled people, and the students, staff, and families who were killed or survived the recent Florida mass shooting.

Mask Making Workshop with Kaleo and Elise was incredible!!  You will see the fruits of their labor this Sunday.

Peace Dance with Open Floor International Saturday, March 3 from 4 – 6 pm.  Come Sweat your Prayers and move to the joy of music and movement.

 

Peace as Sanctuary: The LIRS / Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services report on the ELCA Sanctuary Movement was presented this past Sunday.  Visit the LIRS link – https://www.lirs.org/blog. We are intending to speak with LIRS staff by Skype on a Sunday Morning in March.

Happy Hour for Hunger with the Jazz Church West – Hosted by Melanie and Frank Hobden:  On Sunday, March 4 following the Kristen Strom Quartet performance at 5:00pm, a Fundraiser for the ELCA World Hunger program will present Speaker Sharon Magnuson from our national church office in Chicago.  Our church has done outstanding work for decades to alleviate hunger in the US and abroad.  In addition we will have a Craft Beer Tasting with a local expert to highlight the latest trends in this industry.  Invite friends to join you in this evening dedicated to superb music and essential support for hungry families.

Did you know??  The Peace Calendar is now fully online?  Any time you want to be ‘in the know’, go to our website!  AND, if you want your event added to the calendar, send an email to Office@PeaceJourney.org with ‘Calendar’ in the subject line

Aging in Place – The Facts behind Senior Hunger:  Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options. The issue is severe enough that the AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of more than $130 billion every year due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger.  The full article is posted on our website.

Reclaiming the Heart of Humanity: At the final judgment we are asked:  Were you honest in business and life?  Did you set aside times for learning?  Did you look beneath the surface?  Did you ponder the inner meaning of what you saw?  Did you live with hope?

Delegation to Nicaragua:  We are exploring the possibility of a delegation to Nicaragua in September or December.  If you are interested please send your date availability to the office at Office@PeaceJourney.org with Delegation in the subject line.

Lenten Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Annual Congregational Meeting:  The Annual Report itself is quite an endeavor. Therefore links to each of the Reports are provided below (end of blog).  I hope you will give read, absorb all that is happening through our ministries within and beyond Peace. I hope the Report will make you proud and prompt insights and questions about our ministries.

FULL ANNUAL REPORT:  2018.0201 Peace 2017 Annual Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Calendar of Events

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Connections Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Education Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Pastors Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Presidents Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Property Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Stewardship Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Treasurer Report

Grace Waves – Pastor’s Blog 02.13.18

Friends:

“Unless you are born of the Spirit you cannot enter the fullness of God.  That which is born of flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel when I say, “You must be born from above.”  Jesus

Bambalela – Never Give Up!  The Family Service was a joyful celebration.  The only critique:  It was too much fun!  The Kid’s Art was beautiful and remains on our altar; Kaleo and Elise’s masks were stunning, Nette’s cards and song for immigrant friends “What a Wonderful World” touched our hearts; and all the love from our kids and for the Danville Village elders made it a true Valentine’s and Mardi Gras event.  Thanks to Charlene and Pat for their leadership.

Ash Wednesday begins the Season of Lent tomorrow night with worship at 7:00 pm.   We will use Marty Haugen’s Vespers Service.

Please keep in your prayers:  Don Britt on the death of Linda, Brian, Bob, David, Gun, Naftali, Drew, Sue, Dennis, Ed, Danny, Mike, Zach, Michael’s father, Goran, Spoon and Liz.

Re-imagining Exodus – A Freedom StoryThe story of Exodus is pivotal in Jewish and Christian communities.  Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and Pastor Steve will teach this class over four Wednesday evenings beginning Feb 28, 7:30p at Peace.   Simple Soup Supper 6:45p  Purchase your copy of the book today – $10.  The book is important, even if you cannot attend – it is the core of the Lenten experience.

For more insight, an interview with the author, Rabbi David Zaslow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74A58GZ_VoI

Annual Congregational Meeting:  We did pass our 2018 Budget!  A lot of work is accomplished by your Council Officers and Deacons.  The Annual Report itself is quite an endeavor. Therefore links to each of the Reports are provided below (end of blog).  I hope you will give read, absorb all that is happening through our ministries within and beyond Peace. I hope the Report will make you proud and prompt insights and questions about our ministries. To entice and encourage your reading these Reports I include these comments from Boris:  I took some time to study the full report and all that I can say to you and the Council Members is, “Wow!  Great job!”

A couple of things that jumped out at me were:

There is so much going on.  I am missing out by not being at Peace more often!

The church has a very strong foundation of accountability and solid financial stewardship. 

–  A sense of purpose and community provides very strong bonds.

–  I have been a member in several Lutheran congregations around the world where strife and infighting was the order of the day.  The forums are very valuable in resolving issues and charting the path forward.

Mask Making Workshop with Kaleo and Elise — this Saturday 9:30 – 5:30 and Sunday from Noon – 5 pm.  If you wish to participate please notify the Office promptly.

Peace Dance with Open Floor International – Saturday, March 3 from 4 – 6 pm.  Come Sweat your Prayers and move to the joy of music and movement.

ELCA Advocacy Alert This week the Senate will vote on policies that could provide protection for young Americans without legal status, also known as Dreamers. During the same voting process, Senators will also consider amendments that restrict immigration to historic lows, take away trafficking protections for unaccompanied children, make it harder for people to seek asylum, and increase border enforcement. Policies that harm children and families do not reflect our commitment to God’s call to welcome the stranger and care for our neighbor.

Forum:  Peace as Sanctuary this Sunday 2/18 — LIRS / Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services:  A report on the ELCA Sanctuary Movement was made available this past Sunday.  To see it online and prepare for this Sunday visit the LIRS link – https://www.lirs.org/blog.

You may find information from the LIRS coalition partners useful as well-  http://www.weareallusa.org/newshttp://www.interfaithimmigration.org/

Happy Hour for Hunger with the Jazz Church West – Hosted by Melanie and Frank Hobden:  On Sunday, March 4 following the Kristen Strom Quartet performance at 5:00pm, a Fundraiser for the ELCA World Hunger program will present Speaker Sharon Magnuson from our national church office in Chicago.  Our church has done outstanding work for decades to alleviate hunger in the US and abroad.  In addition we will have a Craft Beer Tasting with a local expert to highlight the latest trends in this industry.  Invite friends to join you in this evening dedicated to superb music and essential support for hungry families.

“How Did We Get Here?”  We begin celebrating our 60th Anniversary as a Congregation on February 25 in worship and at the Forum.  You will get to hear stories and memories that shaped the origin of our congregational life.  And you will get to learn more throughout this year.

Last Friday Films:  Wonder Woman!  Fantastic Food, Fun, and Film!!!

Lenten Blessings,

Pr. Steve

FULL ANNUAL REPORT:  2018.0201 Peace 2017 Annual Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Calendar of Events

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Connections Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Education Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Pastors Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Presidents Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Property Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Stewardship Deacon Report

2018.0201 Peace 2017 Treasurer Report

Grace Waves – Pastor’s Blog 02.08.2018

Friends:

“To be born a human being is rarer than a star that shines by day.”  Tibetan saying.

Family Service this Sunday: We will celebrate Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Transfiguration.  Am I missing anything?  Colors, music, masks, dancing and love – what more do you need?  Bring your kids and grandkids.

Mask Making:  Feb. 17 and 18 Kaleo and Elise are leading the Mask Making Workshop at Peace.  Members and friends of Peace are invited to join in to this wonderful, transformative process.  Speak with me about details.

Peace Dance- Saturday, March 3, 4 – 6 pm:  John and Elizabeth invite you to join them and Open Floor International for Embodied Prayer through dancing for the joy of it.  Affectionately called ‘Sweating your Prayers‘ this occasion provides music and rhythms to move within and just be.  (Up until the 14th century no liturgy was considered complete without 1 – 3 dances!)  Children are welcomed.  Suggested donation – $20.

Faith, Hope and Love:  Honoring our immigrant guests of a couple weeks ago, Nette has prepared Cards of Appreciation with which to remind our friends that they are not alone.  If you wish to include a financial gift (made out to Peace) that will be welcomed too.  Cards are available again this Sunday.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent is on February 14.  Our service will be at 7:00 pm and we will use Marty Haugen’s Vesper Service.  If you need transportation please let the Office know.

“The whole cosmos is in Communion:  We are stardust, literally made of the stars.  And certainly the ‘reverse’ is equally true – The Cosmos is made of our Flesh and thus we are interconnected with everything else in the cosmos!

Our Lenten Season will be a Study of the book “Exodus” which Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and I will teach at Peace beginning on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 pm – Soup and bread will be served at 6:45. To learn more about the Exodus Story and it’s liberating significance for Jews and Christians see this interview with author Rabbi David Zaslow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74A58GZ_VoI.  Copies of the book will be available this Sunday.

From Seminarian Louis Moehlman:  I am on Facebook reading some pretty terrible news. A young high school student, Patrick Turner, in Newport Beach came to the conclusion that ending his life was perhaps the only way to make a statement to those who have created ever growing pressure around children to do well. Newport Beach is ranked nationally as the “4th wealthiest city”. Following San Ramon and Pleasanton, respectively. I can only imagine the immense pressure to do well, out perform and succeed, as Patrick felt in Newport Beach, is not an unfamiliar feeling with the youth we serve at Peace. Please keep our young people in your prayers.

The Jazz Church West presents the Glen Pearson Quartet this Sunday at 5:00 pm.  The gift of grandeur and deep contentment await you.

Happy Hour for Hunger for Jazz at Peace – save the date – March 4 at 5:00 pm!  Melanie and Frank Hobden are creating a Fundraiser to support the work of the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal through our national church body.  The Kristen Strom Quartet will perform for the Jazz Church West, Hors d’oeuvres and Craft Beers provided by local experts will be highlighted during the Reception after jazz, and Sharon Magnuson from the ELCA Chicago Office will share news on this life-changing work to end hunger.  Spread the word and plan to attend.

Sermons for All Seasons:  Through the kindness of friends, a book of Pr. Lucy’s sermons has been published and is now available on Amazon.  It costs $10.95.  A portion of the proceeds benefits Peace.  You can preview a copy at Hospitality on Sunday.  Any royalties will be dedicated to PICO for organizing work done in Rwanda under the leadership of Rev. John Rutsindintwarane.

Please keep in your prayers:  Linda, Sue, Zack, Pr. Lucy, Liz, Johnny’s mom, Michael’s dad, Dennis, Danny, Brian and David and Bob, Drew, Ed, all the jazz musicians who perform at Peace, all of our families working so hard to raise wise, compassionate and joyful children.

From Shelter, Inc. Testimony “My case manager asked questions about my personal life very carefully and without embarrassing me.  He gave me hope and was supportive.  As a widow under medical treatment for recent leg surgery, I have been treated every day like my disability did not matter, and therefore it made me think that I don’t matter.  But my case manager had great training.  This is the best thing to every happen to us and we will always remember SHELTER, Inc. in our prayers.

Speak with Jim Gunshinan about his father’s work on the Hubble Telescope to learn amazing stories.

“Your Love speaks in all people, in the silence of every heart.

Epiphany blessings,

Pr. Steve

 

Grace Waves – Pastor’s Blog 01.31.2018

Friends:

“The virtues of suffering:

Due to the shock suffering causes us, our arrogance falls away – we see life more clearly;

Suffering also gives rise to compassion for all others who are suffering; and

Because of our suffering, we avoid actions that will bring suffering to others.”

Shantideva

Our next Family Service will be on February 11.  Our  Annual Congregational Meeting will follow worship on that day.  It appears it will be a brief meeting.

Last Friday Films viewing of “Happy” last weekend garnered an audience of 20+ people.  Good film, good cooking by Ken, good friends, good times.  Thanks, Elana!

Fields of Blood:  Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong.  This in-depth historical study of the world’s 5 Major Religions reveals that religions are not the source of violence and wars.  I mentioned this in last Sunday’s homily and Armstrong’s work is a fine piece of truth telling.  While this is hard for many of us to believe, this platitude has caused enough damage. (Name the religious cause for our American Revolution, 1812, Civil War, WWI and WWII, Viet Nam and Iraq.)  Read the book and then we’ll talk.

Mask Making Workshop at Peace lead by Kaleo and Elise on February 17 and 18.  Youth and parents from Peace and Beth Chaim will be participating.  Would others of you like to join in?

Laurie England sends her love from Longview, Washington.  She is glad for her move but misses her Peace friends.

The Jazz Church West hosts pianist Glen Pearson on Sunday, February 11 at 5 pm.  This is on the 2nd Sunday of the month due to Super Bowl.

The Church Year which is based on a lunar calendar has all of our Feast Days as early as they can possibly be this year.  Ash Wednesday falls on February 14/ Valentine’s Day and Easter will be celebrated on April 1 the Fool’s Day.

The Lenten Class on Exodus that Rabbi Dan Goldblatt and I will teach will begin on February 28 and go for an additional 3 Wednesday evenings.  Copies of the book by David Zaslow will soon be available for you.

Epiphany Wisdom,

Pr. Steve