Pastor’s Weekly Message: 05.27.15

Grace Waves


Forward!  Your orders are given in secret:
May I always hear them – and follow.

Forward!  Whatever distance I have covered, it does not give me the right to halt.

Forward!  It is the attention given to the last steps before the summit which decides the value of all that went before. —Markings, Dag Hammarskjold

We celebrate Trinity Sunday – the Great Mystery of God –  this May 31.  It will be as intriguing and fun as Pentecost!

On May 19, Pastor Steve officiated a marvelous 70th Anniversary walk in Muir Woods which brought the past and future together in the splendor of old-growth coastal redwoods. The magical Cathedral Grove contains some of the oldest redwoods in the world which once looked down upon a delegation of 500 people from around the world who were celebrating the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco.

On May 19, 1945, the “retreat to the redwoods” of the UN delegation was both an invitation to contemplate UN goals for peace (in the midst of WWII which had not yet ended), and also a commemoration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had been instrumental in both the founding of the UN and the declaration of Muir Woods as a National Monument.

Exactly 70 years later to the day, a group made up of UN officials, rangers, writers, and nature lovers joined Pastor Steve who read very touching passages from the writings of Dag Hammarskjold’s “Markings” as we enjoyed the light, peace, and towering redwoods in the Cathedral Grove. We were guided through the woods by a ranger who provided an outstanding historical narrative of the history of Muir Woods and its connection to the founding of the United Nations. What a marvelous start to the 70th anniversary celebration of the United Nations, which Pastor Steve is leading. If you had to miss this event, I’m sure Pastor Steve will provide bulletins of more UN commemoration events to come.

United Nations Charter Signing 70th Anniversary Celebration – June 27 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  Check out the website at:  The Concert will also be offered at Peace on Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm.  (“A more spiritual way is needed to resolve the antagonisms of our time.” Gandhi)

Panama-Pacific Centennial Concert/Palace of Fine Arts, June 20 at 8:00 pm.  The Panama–Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) was a world’s fair held in San Francisco between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The Fair was constructed on a 635 acre site along the northern shore now known as the Marina District.  Our own Gary Sponholtz is playing for this Concert and he is dissembling and reassembling our Peace Organ at the Palace of Fine Arts for this occasion!  You are invited to attend!

The Veil Tapestry resides at Peace these next few Sundays and you are invited to add your contributions during Hospitality Hour.

Our Peace Council will have their Retreat this Sunday afternoon.  A New Friends of Peace Dinner will be held in the early evening.

If your son or daughter is graduating from High School or College, please let me know so they can be honored at worship on June 7!

On the Road:  Barb Kline is off to France, Nancy is back from Arizona, Phil and George are returning to Greece, Tim and Ting are in Italy, Pat and Carl are in Hawaii, Dana is back from Hawaii, Grace and Mike got to Twain Hart, Elise and Kaleo are in Mexico, Christine has been in Red Bluff, Gun is off to Sweden, Brock and Xanthia have arrived in Ohio, Ceil and Dave are soon off to Paris, Holly and Fred enjoyed Sedona, Dabbie and Steve are back from North Carolina, Matt is back from Pennsylvania, Arlene is heading to Oregon…. does this congregation sit still?

Invitation from PFLAG/Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays:   In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Marriage Equality in June and anticipating a YES   –  a “Celebration Party” will be held that evening, at 6:00 PM at Luna Loca in Danville in the Livery Mercantile.  Members of the Interfaith Community are invited to this  ‘spontaneous party’ celebrating this historic Supreme Court decision.

Jazz Church West – A Two Part Finale to our 10th Anniversary Season:  Join in on Sunday, June 7 at 5:00 pm to hear the exquisite vocalist Clairdee and the fine flugelhorn of Dmitri Matheny.  Will be good for your body and soul.

Jesus ‘lack of moral principles’ – he sat at dinner with publicans and sinners, he consorted with harlots.  Did he do this to obtain their votes?  Or did he think that, perhaps, he could convert them by such “appeasement”?  Or was his humanity rich and deep enough to make contact (even in them) with that in human nature which is common to all people, indestructible, and upon which the future has to be built? —Hammarskjold

Pentecost Blessings,  Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Weekly Message: 05.22.15

Grace Waves


May all that is unforgiven in you

Be released.

May your fears yield

Their deepest tranquilities.


May all that is unlived in you

Blossom into a future

Graced with love.

—John O’Donohue/Aging Gracefully

Pentecost is This Sunday.  Wear Red in honor of the Third High Feast Day of the Church Year!

Thanks to all who contributed to our Nepal Relief Fund.  We sent $550 to Lutheran World Relief.

A New Friends of Peace Dinner will happen on Sunday, May 31, 4:30 – 6:15 pm.  All who are curious are invited.

Check out the “Importance of Play” display in the Gathering Hall this Sunday.  This was Chris Pancoast’s Master’s Thesis.

Our Sunday Hospitality List is in need of a few more folks signing up in order to keep the congregation happy after worship.

The “Panama-Pacific Centennial / 37th Annual Pride Concert” commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition  will take place on June 20 at the historic Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.  The  San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco are eagerly preparing to make their contribution to the city-wide, year-long celebration by presenting an entertaining and educational evening like no other! Our own Gary Sponholtz will be participating AND so will the famous Peace Organ which Gary will deconstruct and reassemble in San Francisco for this occasion.  Speak with Gary about details, tickets and the fabulous occasion!

Jazz Church West hosts vocalist Clairdee and Dmitri Matheny, flugelhorn on Sunday, June 7 at 5 pm.  A fine opportunity to hear the fine singer who created our “Jazz Vespers” our Jazz at Peace theme song – hear it on our website!

Ascension Blessings,  Pr. Steve


Pastor’s Weekly Message: 05.14.15

Grace Waves


This world is so big, my eyes are so small….how can this Great Love be in me!

Our thanks Ava for her wonderful dance of “5 Foot 2”, Jack and Noah for their prayers, Julie for our lesson, Leo for drumming, Lars-Leif-Annika and Gun for “Sunshine”, and to all the kids for participating in our Eucharist Prayer.  Thanks to Pr. Margareta for Small and Tall worship.  All our children are such a blessing!

“Race to Nowhere” – special thanks to Christopher Pancoast and our Education Committee for this powerful about the educational realities and the stress of growing up in our Valley.  Keep our children, parents, teachers, and administrators in your prayers.

You are invited to Muir Woods this next Tuesday at 3:00 pm for a Contemplative Walk through the Woods to the UN Grove honoring our global intentions to act boldly for peace in our times.  We will meet at the front entrance to the Park. There is no charge (contributions are gratefully received by Muir Woods staff). We will walk in silence:  to remember our history, to prepare ourselves for present commitments – and to be kind to the spotted owls who are nesting now.

Hospitality:  We need  folks to sign up for our Hospitality Hours during the rest of May – starting this Sunday.  Thanks to the many of you who already contribute and make this community time so delicious!

Abba-Imma Qiqong – An Embodied Lord’s Prayer:  This Saturday from 9:30 – 4:30 you are invited to join this Retreat Day at San Damiano to learn the theological and spiritual background/context of the Lord’s Prayer and this new expression through qiqong movement and embodied prayer.  Kaleo, Elise and I will be teaching together.  The cost is $60 which includes lunch.  To make a reservation call 837-9141 or email Kateri at:  [email protected].

It’s never too late for a happy childhood.”  Wavy Gravy

Easter blessings,  Pr. Steve

Pastor’s Weekly Message 5.7.15


“God is love – anyone who says they love God and acts indifferently toward their neighbor is a liar.” (1 John 4) Comment:  Isn’t the fulfillment of our duty towards our neighbor an expression of our deepest desire?  It may well be.  In any case, why torture ourselves wasting our lives hurting others?  –Dag Hammarskjold

Small and Tall Worship for Mother’s Day:  Join us for a purely joyful worship this Sunday with our little ones and those who love them!

“The Race to Nowhere”:  Our Education Committee, Chris Pancoast and Rob Stockberger urge you to see this film at Peace next Monday, May 11 at 7:00 pm.  It is a powerful film, made right here and it is about the real experiences and stresses our young people are growing up with and under.  Please invite friends to join you.  A Panel Discussion will follow the film.

Millennium Goals of 2015:  Our thanks to Mackie Dobson and Rob for contributing to our worship about Global Issues and Improvements this past Sunday.  The concert “The Way Chose You” based on the spiritual journal “Markings” by Dag Hammarskjold, second Secretary General of the United Nations, will be performed at Grace Cathedral on Saturday, June 27 and at Peace the night before on June 26.  Mark your calendars now.  The Kloster Vocalis Choir performed “The Way Chose You” this past Sunday at Eskiltuna Congregation in Stockholm.

A New Member Dinner will be held at Peace on Sunday, May 24 from 4:30 – 6:15.  To learn more about this gathering please speak with me.  Children are invited too.

“Californian Golden Autumn”:  The Opening of Thais’ Art Exhibit was well received by both our congregation and the Jazz Crowd this past Sunday.  It will be on Exhibit for the next month.  Invite friends to enjoy it with you.  Our thanks to Bill Carmel for serving as our curator too.  (See Bill’s Exhibit at the Oakland Islamic Center during the month of May too.)

“Aging Gracefully” – for men and women….continues on Tuesdays at 1 pm in our Peace Sanctuary.

Training at FCI for the Reentry and Mentoring Programs will be on May 19.

Hammarskjold Reflections

Concerning the way to peace and harmony – The truth is so simple that it is considered banal, yet it is continually denied by our behavior. Every day furnished new examples:

  • It is more important to be aware of the grounds of your own behavior than to understand the motives of another.
  • The other’s “face” is more important than your own.
  • If, while pleading another’s cause, you are at the same time seeking something for yourself, you cannot hope to succeed.
  • You can only hope to find a lasting solution to a conflict if you have learned to see the other objectively, but at the same time to experience their difficulty subjectively.
  • The person who “likes people” disposes once and for all of those who despise people.
  • First-hand experience is most valuable and he/she who has given up looking for it will one day find – that you lack what you need.
  • A closed mind is a weakness – and whoever approaches persons or painting or poetry without the youthful ambition to learn a new language and so gain access to someone else’s perspective on life – BEWARE!
  • An error which has to be corrected is heavier burden than truth.
  • Never fear to be unpopular – that is to seek the appearance of influence at the cost of reality.

Easter blessings and insights!

Pr. Steve