Good News, February 10, 2010

Friends:

“…and so on his final day St. Valens passed a note through his cell door to the jailer’s family who had been so good to him.  The note said,  ‘I love you.’  The family never forgot him and a great tradition began.” (The Origen of Valentine’s Day)

A beautiful Small and Tall Family worship awaits you this Sunday with a special  celebration of Valentine’s.  This service is for all our children and grandchildren…and the young at heart.  Come share the love.

Wasn’t Vukani Mawethu outstanding!  They brought the delight of our Partnership to life while Ceil and Karl gave us the joyful meaning of this important ministry.  The Delegation being planned for October has expanded now by one.  7 people are planning to make the journey to Lwamondo Parish in Venda, South Africa!  If you wish to become a part of this delegation please speak with myself or Karl.

The blessings don’t stop:  Mudzunga Farisani sent word that she and daughter Ndamu will be arriving this weekend for a 10 day visit in the Bay Area.  Hopefully they will be with us this Sunday or next.  This will be another opportunity to learn in depth about our Partnership at the Adult Education Hour.

Please keep in your prayers:  Joe Hester, William Hunter, Kersti, Diana, Lisa, Rick, the unemployed, our partners in Nicaragua and South Africa, all of our children.

Keep practicing our Abba/Imma Chi Prayer.   The link is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE59xtyGds8

The US Deficit:  Fact, Fallacies and Fixes with Mark Miller will be presented for the Interfaith Community at Peace on Sunday, February 19 at 4:00 pm.  Urge friends to join you for this cogent presentation.

Our Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday on February 22 with worship at 7:30 pm.  Our Lenten Soup and Sacrament Series will focus on Exodus:  Liberating Identity of Israel and Christianity. It will be led by our own intrepid Dr. Phil Stanley!  You will not want to miss this Wednesday evening series!  Details to come.

Mask Making:  Members of our Art and Spirituality Team and the Youth Group participated in a head and torso mask making process this past Sunday.  This mask will become part of our Lenten Journey into the Pascal Mystery and all of the members of Peace will get to assist in the creative process.  Expect surprises on Transfiguration – February 19!

The Jazz Church West hosts the Marcus Shelby Trio with vocalist Kenny Washington this Sunday at 5:00 pm.  It promises to be a sweet Valentine’s gift too!

A word of Introduction and Background from our new Seminarian John Brett.  You will enjoy getting acquainted with John who is with us for the next year and a half.

Greetings, Peace Lutheran.  Thank you for inviting me to accompany and grow along with you as I embark on the next chapter of my pastoral formation journey.  It would be an understatement to say I am excited to take this walk along with Peace.  Giddiness might be the right word.  From my first Sunday with you when I found art on your walls that I myself had once almost purchased, to your graceful welcome and my participation with you in the Tai Chi Prayer of Jesus, imagining the opportunities and potential growth and healing Peace offers astounds me.  As a pastoral mentor of mine once preached as he was accepting a new call, much discernment in life is about finding the right fit, and I feel Peace is the right fit for me in this time.

I’ve contemplated beginning seminary since my junior high and high school years in Wenatchee, Washington, which is located not all that far from the residence and retreat center where the designer of your worship space resides.  Walking into Peace was like walking into a second home, familiar.  Early in life I grew up on a wheat farm, a half-hour outside town, an only child frolicking in and upon creeks, natural tree forts, and hills.  Later, after moving to town, I found an interest in theatre and choir, student government and community service, as well as participation and leadership in my home church.  After high school, excited to take over the world, I left the U.S. to spend a year on exchange in Chile, where I learned Spanish and my awareness of the world deepened.  Returning to the states I enrolled at Dartmouth College where I spent a few tumultuous years finding my way as I engaged in any number of justice-inspired extracurriculars, from LGBT activism to political and ecological causes of local and national scope.  Through this time I continued to occasionally ponder a future at seminary, amongst all the other ways I felt called into the world.

The first time around I didn’t quite finish college, and returned to my hometown of Wenatchee where I sought balance and slowly worked my way into the non-profit world.  After serving a year as a VISTA*AmeriCorps member and after various non-profit positions including work at Holden Village, I became the Executive Director of a small civil legal services start-up, coordinating pro-bono legal assistance for low income people.  However, after three years there I knew that my right fit in the world still called me elsewhere.  I decided to leave Wenatchee and journey toward completion of my college degree.  This path took me through Seattle and Evergreen State College, as well as a seven month ELCA volunteer mission service term in Mexico City before I completed my studies at Dartmouth last spring.  After completing my undergraduate degree, having applied to PLTS thinking that I would enter seminary in the fall of 2012, a series of events, and a lack of excuses which would have allowed me to further postpone my vocational exploration, led me to enroll this past fall.

So, here I am, looking forward to growing with you, discovering my path, seeking my right fit in the world.  Together, God will lead our journey.  Thank you for your welcome and the grace-filled embrace I already feel from Peace Lutheran.

Epiphany Blessings,  Pr. Steve