Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 11.08.18


“The friendship of wise ones is tasteless as water.

The friendship of fools is sweet as wine.

But the tastelessness of the wise brings true affection

And the savor of fools’ company ends in hatred.”  Chang Tzu (250 BCE)

 ~ November is Stewarding Month at Peace! 

 ~ Jazz Church West was a wonderful evening of music with my trio featuring Dahveed Behroozi & Dillon Vado and inspiring words by Pr. Steve . (I always deeply appreciate his open-mindedness and how he incorporates teachings/philosophies from other faiths into his comments. This time he brought in a lesson from Taoism.)  Ed Klitsch is deeply valued by many here in the SF Bay Area Jazz scene for his love of the music and the wonderful series he created at Jazz Church West…which is 14 years old now! Thank you, Ed!  (Jeff Denson, composer, singer and bassist)

 ~ Veil Tapestry Evolving:  A woman in Australia, Sandra Wright, saw an image of the Veil in the Interfaith Gallery and asked for a print of it for a wedding present for an interfaith couple.  I sent her a digital file to avoid printing complications.  She was grateful and wanted to compensate the “artist” (which floored me).  I requested that she make a contribution to Peace instead.  Bill Carmel

~ Rhythm & Spirit:  SAT Nov 17th, 4:00p –   Dance to World Music with Kaleo Ching!  This is a fundraiser for a refugee Afhgani family.  $10/person.  Check out the raffle!

 ~ Thanks again for the Interfaith Festival and congratulations on 6 Decades of exemplary work of the kind that transforms hearts and thereby lays the only credible foundation for a future Golden Age.”  Friends from the Baha’i Assembly

 ~ Chromatica at Peace!  Sat Nov 10th, 7:00p  $20


~ Peace served as a Polling Place for the Elections this week and approximately 1,000 people voted here.  There was a constant flow of voters throughout the day.

 ~ A Call for Change:  For the month of November, the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa will be featuring “A Call For Change”, an exhibit of PhotoVoice artwork that brings together photos and messages from people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa County. The artwork will be displayed in the lobby of the County Administration Building at 651 Pine Street in Martinez for the month of November.

 ” The constant objectification of people and organizations as enemies and outsiders must come to an end. Political, religious, and civic leaders have the responsibility to exemplify what it means to face the important issues of the day with respect and decorum. How we speak about an issue is as important as the issue we speak about. Those charged with leadership must raise the caliber of the discussion to the human and humane level.”  Fr. Tom Bonacci

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 10.17.18


“Without courage we can never attain to true simplicity.  Cowardice keeps us “double-minded” — hesitating between the world and God.  In this hesitation, there is no true faith – faith remains an opinion.  We are never certain, because we never quite give in to the wisdom of an invisible God.  This hesitation is the death of hope.  We never let go of those visible supports which, we well know, must one day surely fail us.  And this hesitation makes true prayer impossible — it never quite dares to ask for anything.”  Merton

The Johnson Family singing and playing for worship, a theatre production performed twice during the weekend, recitals and the previous week jazz and the Blessing of the Animals.  It seems we are constantly enriched with an abundance of blessings.

Seminarian Louis will preach this Sunday.  Anticipate a great occasion!  And thanks to our Seminarian Committee that has begun to guide and shape his pastoral formation at Peace.

Peace 60th Birthday:  On October 28 we will have an abbreviated worship with 2 wonderful Surprises to honor our 60 years….and the 501st Anniversary of the Reformation. 

A delicious Oktoberfest will follow with 





all the traditional meal of bratwurst and sauerkraut and German biers!  With a little rest in the afternoon you’ll be able to return for the Interfaith Festival at 4:30.  Be sure to sign up to help with the  Celebration!   We are all Hosts for the Event so welcome everyone you can and invite others to join you!  

Community Letter From Laurel Galan From Entre Culturas Visit 9/26/18

We know that you are always thinking about our social, political and economic situation. We know that in your prayers you ask God for us and that gives us strength and increases our hope for a better life.

We thank you for the help you plan to send us because it will help us meet some of our basic needs. During this second planting we have received the blessing of the rain twice and we have faith in God that we will harvest even if it is just for the consumption for our families.

We stand in solidarity with you through our prayers so that your petitions have a response in God’s time. We want to share with you that the community meetings are being held in the homes of each of the group members.

Thank you for the candle, the photograph of our sister Enriqueta and the drawing symbol of the Holy Spirit that guides us every day.

With love, Your sisters from Laurel Galán.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 10.03.18


“Even if you are only a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”  (Gandhi, whose birthday is October 2)  “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (Jesus)

St. Francis and the Blessing of the Animals:  Bring your furry, feathered, scaly friends to worship this Sunday at 10 for one of our favorite annual celebrations.  It’s okay if they don’t know what they believe….you can bring human friends, too.

Drawdown:  The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming (Paul Hawken, editor). Looking for 100 Substantive Solutions to reverse global warming based on research by scientists and policymakers from around the world?  This is it!  These solutions already exist, are economically viable, and communities around the world are enacting them with skill and determination.  A copy of this book will be available for your review during Hospitality Hour on Sunday.

Our 14th Season of the Jazz Church West begins this Sunday at 5:00 pm with the Erik Jekabson Sextet including internationally acclaimed Percussionist John Santos.  Whether you want to be cool or need to impress a hot date – the Jazz Church is the place for you!

This Saturday at San Damiano Retreat Center:  Aloha Qiqong and the Legacy of St. Francis.  I am co-leading this retreat with Kaleo and Elise Ching from 9:30 – 3:30.  If you would enjoy learning an earthy Qiqong practice and wisdom about our Patron Saint of Ecology, join us.  837-9141 to register or

Earthy, animal blessings in the spirit of St. Francis!

Pr. Steve

Grace Waves/Pastor’s Blog 09.12.18


“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 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


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 :

Please contact Kari at Peace with questions:  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


  • “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.


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


“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:

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


“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:

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:

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:

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


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:

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



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:; :  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