Good News, 05.28.09


“I’ll be released, one day, one way or another
by a beautiful real life or a beautiful real death
at the time dwelling in fear that my own death could be near
Hope touched my heart, deeply and released me from my fear.
She gave me joy and peace,
never to give up even in death, even in life
Hope touched my mind and freed me to see.”  (Spoon Jackson)

Ascension Sunday was stunning with the voices of Jarva Roster, a Baptismal Tunnel of Chanting, Swedish liturgical elements and more.  Gracious hosts Gun Johnston, Sheila and David Chiarelli, Margit and Lars Johansson, Jeanie Locklear, Jeanne Kaplan, Judy Warner graciously entertained our guests with luncheons and conversation. The Concert was powerful beyond expectations.  Our audience of 120 people or more was deeply moved.  Hospitality and Reception by Penny Sanders, Mark Miller, Charlene McPherson and Pr. Margareta were appreciated.  A wonderful gift of friendship and connection in the Global Church was given us.  The Concert at New Folsom was extraordinary.  All the members of the Choir got to meet and speak with Spoon Jackson and many other inmates.  More stories will be shared. Many thanks fo Pr. Margareta for connecting us with Kista Congregation.  Thank God for all the blessings seen and unseen and yet to come!

Tomorrow during the day our Sanctuary will be open from 10 to 4 for all impacted by the Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality who want to drop in for prayer, meditation, pastoral conversation with one of our clergy or a walking of the Labyrinth.  At 7 on Friday evening we will host an Interfaith Worship Service for healing.  All members of Peace are invited to attend and encourage friends in need to join you.  This is not a gay service but a gathering for all those who stand in solidarity and who seek courage, strength and hope in the midst of painful times.

We celebrate Pentecost this Sunday – the Birth Day of the Church.  Wear Red!

Our Confirmands survived the Night of Inquisition last night.  They will be confirmed this Sunday.  What a joyous celebration it will be.  Please keep the Confirmands in your prayers.

VBS begins June 15 – 19.  We have one teacher (3 more are needed), we need 6 adult leaders for various activities and the Confirmands will be involved.  April Miletich and I are seeking your assistance.  Please contact either of us if you are willing to be involved and/or fill out the VBS Insert in the bulletin this Sunday.

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 5.22.09


Two prisoner whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall.  The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication.  It is the same with us and God.  Every separation is a link.  Simone Weil

The Jarva Roster Choir has arrived!  Only a 27 hour journey for some of them.  All the details for permission to have the Concert at New Folsom have been completed.  Our worship will be a blessed celebration on Sunday with a Baptism and uplifting choral music.  The Interfaith Concert will be at 4:30.  Please invite your friends.  Art work by Spoon Jackson’s fellow inmate Danny Purgason will also be available for purchase.  Please pray for not only the healing and transformation of all who experience this music but that permission from San Quentin Prison will be given also.  Check out the CCTimes article about our Concert by clicking through to here.

Our VBS Program – Discovery Canyon will be offered the mornings of June 15 – 19 from 9 – 12 Noon.  April Miletich is Coordinating this effort with assistance from Kim Murillo and Katherine Beeler.  Every thing is organized with one exception:  We need 4 Teachers and 6 Project Leaders.  The Confirmands will be assisting.  Can you help?  Contact April at:  [email protected] with your questions or clarifications or fill out the Bulletin insert this Sunday.

The Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality will be handed down this coming Tuesday, May 26.  As you may know we will be making our sanctuary and clergy available during the day on Friday, May 29 for those people looking for a safe place and pastoral care. The evening service at 7:00 pm will include prayers, an outdoor labyrinth walk, and a candlelight reflection. A reception will follow.  Please keep in your prayers all who are impacted by this decision.  Share this invitation with everyone you know who will need spiritual support that day.  For further info download or review the flier here.

Keep in prayer:  Pam Squire, Marya, Genevieve, Jennifer, Bob Sweeney, Elise, Judy, Jerry Slater, Georgia, Tom Popp’s mother, Roger Bauer, the unemployed, our Catechumens and Confirmands.

Interested in the Health Care question?  This Friday evening (May 22) the Bill Moyers Journal on PBS at 9 p.m. EDT will feature a discussion with Dr. David Himmelstein, co-founder of PNHP, and other single-payer advocates, asking the question “Why isn’t a Single-Payer plan on the table in Washington?”

Furnished Room for Rent June 1st in our Peace Administrative Assistant, Marilyn Feldman’s home, in quiet, gated Blackhawk Country Club. The room, which measures 13’ x 18’, is called “Island Tranquility”, and is furnished in white wicker with pink, brown, and blue island batik fabrics. You’ll have access to a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and off-street or garage parking space, if desired. $795.00/mo., utilities included. This home is free of smoke, drugs and alcohol and pets. The room is large enough for two people, with an extra charge for second person. First/last + $100 refundable security deposit to move in. Call Marilyn on her cell phone at 925.640.2547 or write to her at [email protected] for more information.

The Confirmands will be confirmed on Pentecost, May 31.  Wear Red for the occasion!

Blessings, Pr. Steve

Good News, 05.15.2009


A person has no alternative but to respond to the real setting in which one finds oneself, with a result that one’s prayer is necessarily fabricated from the various inner and outward components of one’s life.  Prayer grows out of life.  It is not in an isolated department of life; it is the realization of the God-ward potential inherent in every life. (Michael Casey)

Please spread the word about our Jarva Roster Interfaith Concert on May 24 at 4:30.  Honor these guests, their voices and creativity with your presence.  And enjoy them within our Sunday morning worship also!  If you want an electronic copy of the promotional flier, please contact the church office. (Anybody care to host a luncheon for 7 choir members on the 24th?  Contact me.)

Mother’s Day Celebration couldn’t have been any sweeter:  Jasper El Mogazi was present with us for the first time, a lullaby from Gun Johnston honoring her new grandson Leif was very moving, hearing the voices of so many sharing what “Mama Says” went straight to the heart.  And, of course, the Eucharist.  Lyusya Griesbach promised me she’ll sing a Russian lullaby for us soon.

Jazz at Peace was much fun with Gerry O’Grosz giving us an Irish slant for Mother’s Day.

Please read the flier about our Friday After: Keeping the Faith worship event.  While it is difficult to make arrangements because of several variables, I think our Clergy Team has prepared us well.  Please invite anyone who will need comfort, hope or healing that day.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Good News, 05.08.09


God doesn’t die the day we cease to believe in God but we die when we cease to believe in the steady radiance and daily wonder of a crucified and resurrecting love which is beyond all reason.

This Mother’s Day the Partnership Committee has prepared several Gifts Baskets for you.  There will be a Raffle after worship and your mother will be very happy if you get to surprise her with one of these Special Gifts.

We will hopefully have a surprise guest attending worship with us this Mother’s Day too!

Congratulations to Gun Johnston on the birth of second grandson Leif Thomas.  The rest of the family Kenzie, Bo and Lars are all doing well in Dubai.

Thanks to the Partnership Committee for creating a special worship this past Sunday.  It appears an additional person may be joining the Nicaraguan Delegation in July.  It’s not too late for you to sign up too.

Congratulations to the McCusckey Family on the Baptism of Brady last Sunday.  Wonderful to see all the brothers and sister joining in assisting during worship.

The time is fast arriving for the Jarva Roster Choir to sing for us on Ascension, May 24.  Hosts have stepped forward to assist with luncheons in their homes and our Hospitality Hour.  I hope you will make a special effort to invite friends to accompany you for the Interfaith Concert at 4:30 that afternoon.  Our Swedish friends from Kista will have traveled a great distance to share their music, joy and spirit with us.  I hope you feel honored and delighted.

When the decision by the Supreme Court regarding Marriage Equality is issued, our Sanctuary and clergy will be available for prayer and conversation.  You may want to inform friends and families who will be impacted by the decision.  More details to come.

Have you seen how beautiful our Native Garden is? We would like to create a pathway through the Garden so guests can enjoy the plants and learn more about them.  If you have any m”left over” garden materials that could be used for a pathway, we will appreciate the donation.

Blessings, Pr. Steve