Pastor’s Weekly Message: 04.01.15

Grace Waves


Now again we see that all is unbegun.  The only danger is in not going far enough.  If we go deep enough we reach the common life, the shared experience of humanity, the world of possibility.  If we do not go deep enough, if we live only half-way, there are obscurity, vulgarity, the slang of fashion, and several kinds of death.  Muriel Rukeyser

This week we enter the depths of God’s Compassion for us through the Paschal Mystery – the suffering, dying and rising of Christ.  No words can convey, no heart can deny the longing for the grace which makes us whole.  Come Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or both and you will expand the meaning and joy of Easter.

Holy Week Schedule

  • Maundy Thursday – Service at 7:30 pm
  • Good Friday – Service at 7:30 pm (The Sanctuary will be open from Noon – 3:00 pm)
  • Easter Day – Resurrection Liturgy at 10:00 am!
  • And Egg Hunt following worship – of course!

Easter Brunch:  Please bring either an Egg Dish or Fruit or Pastries to contribute to our Brunch!

If you are willing to assist in presenting and selling: our Peace Mosaic T-shirts – beautifully done; Peace Mural Posters – “There will be no peace until there is peace among the religions”; or copies of “Jesus 1stCentury Rabbi” (we sold 3 copies at Jazz this past Sunday) – please contact me.  It’s a fine time to make quality resources available .

Our gratitude to the Narrators and Singers/Musicians (John, Elizabeth and Jack; Abigail and Elizabeth; Dwane and Gary) for their contributions to our Palm Sunday Service.  Our thankful appreciation to Margit and Family for a lovely Hospitality Hour in Honor of Lars.

Pr. Margareta shared comments about Lars this past Sunday before leading a traditional Swedish Children’s Prayer from 1782.  When all of the Swedes who were present began to quietly pray this prayer with her – didn’t it seem as though all of us were surrounded by our grandmother’s prayers for us!

April Concerts at Peace

The Jazz Church West presents “Flash Mob” by Anton Schwartz on Sunday, April 12 at 5:00 pm.

(This is one of Downbeat Magazine’s Top 10 CDs for 2014 and a Special Gift for our 10th Anniversary Season.  Please invite friends to join you for this remarkable occasion!)

“Spring Delight” with the Coelis Ensemble on Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 pm.  A lovely, classical welcoming of the abundance of springtime life.  What gifts are in store for us!

(This will be a fundraiser in support of our UN 70th Anniversary Concert on June 27 at Grace Cathedral.)

You are invited to Tea at The English Rose in downtown Pleasanton on Saturday, April 25 at 11 am.  Join friends from Peace for this occasion.  Flyers are in the Gathering Hall.

Story from a friend:  Two dear friends passed away recently.  I am taking care of one of our departed friend’s cat, Nigel at Nigel’s home. I promised I would find Nigel a good home.

When my friend passed away Nigel let out three loud anguished cries while looking out the window towards the sky. He then took a nap for a couple of hours, got up and announced he was hungry…and he ate well.  He understands Easter.

Holy Week Blessings,  Pr. Steve


Pastor’s Weekly Message: 03.28.15

Grace Waves


Indeed, is it not clear that the soul of the faithful one, is greater than heaven itself?

For the skies cannot contain their Creator; only we, only we are the dwelling place of God.  —St. Claire of Assisi

Holy Week Schedule:

  • Palm Sunday, March 29 – Worship at 9:30 am.  We begin in the Courtyard for our Palm Procession.
  • Tridduum  (The Mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection can only be conveyed in worship, prayer, meditation and the Sacraments)
  • Maundy Thursday worship at 7:30 pm
  • Good Friday meditations at 7:30 pm
  • Easter Day – Worship at 10:00 am!  Invite Friends to join you!

The Ring of Solidarity:    The Muslim community (literally holding hands) recently surrounded Synagogues in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to offer prayers for their peace and protection.   Today (Friday) our I-SRV/ Interfaith Group here in San Ramon enacted this same gathering for prayer by surrounding our local Mosque with prayers for their members and children.  This was the first time this has happened in the United States and it was powerful – a true sign of hope in times of division and fear.  The occasion was blessed with the mercy we pray for and the Gospel we teach.  The Muslim families were moved to tears and said they would teach their children to never forget this day.  A fitting beginning to Holy Week.

We remember Lars, Margit and their family, Marie and Holly’s family, Alan and Monica/ Knut and Sonja and their family, Annie and her family as we begin our Holy Week journey.

May their lives be seeds of blessing for all of us.

Advance Concert Calendar:

  • Jazz Church West this Sunday present Fred Randolph’s Sextet and his new cd “Singing without Song”
  • April 12 – “Flash Mob” by Anton Schwartz – chosen one of the Top 10 Cds for 2014 by Downbeat Magazine.
  • April 25 – “Spring Delight”  with Coelis Ensemble, Elizabeth and Friends
  • “Race to Nowhere” – Chris Pancoast and our Education Committee are presenting this film on Monday, May 11 at 7:00 pm.  It examines the overwhelming stress and demands in our children’s lives.  It was filmed here in Danville and Lafayette.  Get further information this Sunday.  Don’t miss this compelling film!

They’re Back – Church Bulletin Bloopers (thanks to Martha)

Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.

“For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.”

“The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.”

Actually the last one is true – a wonderful fundraising Church Dinner is coming your way on May 2…..without the hostility we hope!

Holy Week Blessings,

Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 03.19.15

Grace Waves


We are God’s works of art, created in Christ for the good works which God has designed to make up our way of life.  Ephesians 3:10

I hope this week has been deeply enriched by encountering God’s Works of Art wherever you go!

Several members of Peace have experienced the deaths of loved ones:  Lars Johansson died this past Monday – it was a peaceful release;  Alan Laurlund lost his father Knut last week; and Holly Musta also lost her mother Marie last week.  Please keep Margit and her family, Alan and Monica and their family and Holly and Fred’s family in your prayers.

Forum this Sunday:  “All are welcome to participate in our Justice Advocacy forum on March 22 when we will learn about nontraditional career paths and discuss how they offer one route to economic justice.  Ron Elsdon will discuss the why, when and how of nontraditional career paths based on his recent book How to Build a Nontraditional Career Path: Embracing Economic Disruption.”

From Amanda and Laurel Galan:  We talked to Dona Ligia over the phone today. We will be going to visit them next Wednesday, March 18th. Originally they were going to get together this month and send a letter thru Women and Community for you, but Dona Teresa´s son (and Emerita´s brother) Filimon was killed in an accident in Costa Rica, so the community gathered instead to mourn his loss. They asked for prayers for Dona Teresa´s family (this is the second son that she has lost in the past 3 years in an accident). They said they will have a letter for you when we go out next Wednesday, as well as some prayer partner letters.

Taize Lenten Services – the final service at San Damiano will be next Wednesday March 25  from 7 – 8 pm.

Our thanks to Jordan who spoke at worship and our Youth Group last Sunday.  May your prayers be fulfilled.

“Sometimes you’ve got to get in the way in order to show the way.”  (Congressman John Lewis)

The Tour of Peace was appreciated by the participants.  If you want to see a copy of Faith and Form Magazine (An Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture) which  published an issue on ‘Sanctuaries Designed for Multi Faith Worship’ that included:  The Yale Chapel, National Cathedral in Washington DC and Peace Lutheran, Danville – ask me on Sunday.

How wonderful to celebrate our Eucharist outdoors on the Labyrinth this past Sunday.  We were surrounded by blossoms and blessings!

Jazz Church West – March Madness Relief:  Hear Fred Randolph’s new cd “Song without Singing” performed by an amazing sextet of players for a special performance on Sunday, March 29 at 5:00 pm.

Holy Week Schedule:

  • Palm Sunday – March 29
  • Maundy Thursday – April 2 at 7:30 pm
  • Good Friday – April 3 at 7:30 pm
  • Easter Worship – April 5 at 10 AM

You may as well be yourself because all the other selves are taken!

Lenten Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 03.11.15

Grace Waves


The skies cannot contain our Creator; only we, only we are the dwelling place of God.  —St. Clare of Assisi

Happy Birthday to Edith who celebrates her 90th Birthday this week!

Our thanks to the 6 Women of Peace who made our International Women’s Day Service so powerful!  Thank you Linda (Cal Fresh/Hunger), Libby (Lwamondo Parish Partners), Thais (We are all Connected/Ethiopian Children), Christine (anti-trafficking), Arlene (Laurel Galan Partners) and Nette (Shoe Box Ministry).

Taize Lenten Services continue at San Damiano on Wednesdays from 7 – 8 pm.  All the great musicians and singers are from Peace!

Our Youth Group will meet this Sunday at Christine and Max’s home.  A special presentation by Jordan will make us aware of racism dynamics in our schools today.

Forum this Sunday, March 15:  Several years ago Faith and Form Magazine (An Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture) published an issue on ‘Sanctuaries Designed for Multi Faith Worship’ which included:  The Yale Chapel, National Cathedral in Washington DC and Peace Lutheran, Danville.  Enjoy a Tour of Peace this Sunday, learn the theological and spiritual design intentions, find out what is ancient, cutting edge and why the interfaith community considers Peace their home too.  Join the Council who will begin their afternoon Retreat with this tour.

Forum for March 22 – “All are welcome to participate in our justice advocacy forum on March 22 when we will learn about nontraditional career paths and discuss how they offer one route to economic justice.  Ron Elsdon will discuss the why, when and how of nontraditional career paths based on his recent book How to Build a Nontraditional Career Path: Embracing Economic Disruption.”

An Evening of Jewish Music and World Music with the Sons of Orpheus and Bruce Silverman – this Friday, March 13 at Beth Chaim.  7:30 Schmooze, 8:00 pm Drumming Concert.  First half Jewish music (Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Mizrachi); 2 half music from West Africa, Brazil and the Middle East.  It will make you glad to be alive!

Inspired Generosity – Lenten Discipline:  Barb Kline notified us that every member of Peace can now obtain $250 – for free from Thrivent – to support a fundraising, educational or community service activity within Peace or outside of Peace.  By this creative approach Thrivent intends to multiply our ministries, encourage fresh participation, prompt generosity thinking and make our compassion real.  Your Lenten Discipline is to decide how and where you want to invest this money before Easter!  Application Forms will be available on Sunday.  Thus far 6 people have signed up.

Happy news:  Phil Stanley and Pr. Bob Lesher are home from the hospital.  Keep them in your prayers.

Our FCI Prison Ministry is getting organized.  If you would like to be a part of this ministry or learn more about it please speak with Ron Elsdon or myself.

Holy Week begins with Palm/Passion Sunday on March 29.  Easter Sunday is April 5 with Worship at 10:00 am.

Outstanding April Concerts:  April 12 – Anton Schwartz and ‘Flash Mob’.  Hear his band play the #6 CD on Downbeat Magazines Top Ten CDs for 2014.  April 25 – “Spring Delight” – Hear members of the Coelis Ensemble and the Pacific Choir present a Spring Celebration of Music at 5:00 pm.

The exterior painting of our sanctuary is now complete!

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.

Lenten blessings,  Pr. Steve



Pastor’s Weekly Message: 03.05.15

Grace Waves


To be alone with God means an utterly, pure surrendered heart.  And the only way to this is through the purification of learning to live with others and loving them.

—Ruth Burrows

This Sunday we celebrate International Women’s Day.  Members of Peace will contribute their stories.  TIME CHANGE THIS SUNDAY – SPRING AHEAD.

Taize worship continues on all the Wednesdays of Lent at San Damiano from 7 – 8 pm with a Reception afterwards.  Our own Gary, Drew, Elizabeth and Jeanie are the musical team!  Last week 100 people participated.

The painting of the final portion of the exterior of the sanctuary is happening this week.

The Education and Connections Committees have met this week.  You will learn of their Spring Plans in the near future.

The Youth Group meets on Sunday, May 15 to hear a presentation from Jordan about racism in our schools.

Please keep in your prayers:  Phil Stanley, recovering from heart valve surgery, and Pr. Bob Lesher – now in John Muir for undiagnosed reasons; for Kerstin;  for Annie’s family; for our world in need of God, center and sanity; and for all the new members of Peace.

First Friday Films – “12 Angry Men”, this Friday at 6:30 pm.  Fueled by Henry Fonda’s commanding performance, this classic courtroom drama has inspired generations with the message that one person can make a difference. Description:  After the prosecution of a murder case rests, a jury files into their back room to deliberate on the fate of young street tough. 11 of the 12 feel that the case is an open-and-shut case, but Juror #8 has his doubts. As 8 goes over and over the evidence, much to the exasperation of everyone else in the room, he slowly exposes the jurors’ prejudices about the accused, the legal system and themselves. Starring: Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, Lee J. Cobb.

Inspired Generosity:  Barb Kline notified us this past Sunday that every member of Peace can now obtain $250 – for free from Thrivent – to support a fundraising or educational or community service activity – within Peace or in the larger community.  This creative approach by Thrivent is meant to multiply the numerous ministries we are already involved in, encourage fresh participation among members and beyond, prompt generosity thinking and make our compassion real.  I am assigning this endeavor to all of you as a Lenten Discipline – you have to bless a ministry you love with generosity before Easter!  I won’t change the rules.

Every request I make of God is a messenger telling of my neediness, of my trust on God, of my willing dependence and openness to receive. Towards God

—Michael Casey

Lenten Blessing,  Pr. Steve