Pastor’s Weekly Message: 11.19.15

Grace Waves

Friends:

Praying

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 a doorway

 into thanks, and a silence in which 

another voice may speak.

—Mary Oliver

 

The Family Service was well received by all who participated.  How joyful to have the little ones…and older ones…with us in worship.  Great to have all the families getting connected and watching the children enjoy each other.  The kids Activity Bags (thanks to Charlene) are hanging on the hooks in the back of the sanctuary.  Our next Family Service will be on December 13.  Of course Sunday School, Children’s Time and Child Care are available every Sunday.

Youth Group:  Middle School and High Schoolers will meet on Sunday, November 29 from 6 – 7:30 pm at Thais and Greg’s home.  John Ashley will be teaching percussion so you know it will be a fun night!  The Youth Group meetings which incorporate one or both parents, will also meet monthly.

This Sunday is our Commitment Sunday – please submit your Pledge Cards at worship.  It is also Christ the Vulnerable Sunday which is the final Sunday of this Church Year.

Nicaragua:  “Thank you for your generosity of donating $800 to help with the food needs of our partnership community of Laurel Galan.  As you know, they are suffering from an extended drought that has affected their harvest.  Unlike us here in the States who are suffering from drought, they need their harvest to provide food for their families and animals.  The community has met to discuss their greatest needs and Entre Culturas will make the deliveries within the next month.”  (from the Partnership Committee)

Thanksgiving  Eve – Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30 pm at Beth Chaim, 1800 Holbrook:  The Interfaith of the San Ramon Valley (I-SRV) has been a leader in building relationships among people of different faiths and one of the sweetest expressions of this work is our annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service.  In the face of the wars and chaos in the world around us, I-SRV has declared this to be the year of “Welcoming the Stranger.”  We are actively responding to the pressing world refugee crisis by sponsoring a Syrian refugee family.  Please join us for this delightful and inspiring celebration!

Support for Syrian Refugees:  San Damiano is providing housing for 2 Syrian young men (21 and 19) whom I-SRV is sponsoring.  Jewish Family Services is providing professional oversight. Catholic Charities may participate with additional assistance.  Each congregation is asked to provide a Point Person and Ron Elsdon has volunteered to do this for Peace.  The Point Person will meet with other congregational representatives and serve as the Communications Liaison person with Peace.

If you want to see yourself don’t look in a mirror; look in your neighbors eyes and see what they see.

Please continue to bring your Backpacks for the Homeless to worship on Sundays.  Already 6 have arrived – thank you!  You can keep bringing them to Peace through the Thanksgiving Season and until December 6.  Then they will be delivered to the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek.

Please keep in your prayers:  Kim and Cam Murillo – soon to give birth, Heidi and Fidel – though he has been deported to Guyana he is at last a free man; the refugees, Fred and Marlene, Joan, Tom, Ed, Diane, the children and families of our congregation, the children living and dying in extreme poverty, the people of Beirut and Paris, those living with addictions, the disabled, caregivers, political prisoners and that the voices of wisdom may be heard in our times.

The UN 70th Celebration in Eskilstuna Congregation, Sweden (Comments from composer Stefan Safsten):   We had a wonderful day on October 24 and speakers that were extraordinary.  From our program you can see Henrik Hammargren, the Chairman of Hammarskjöld Foundation.  From the local perspective we had representatives from UNESCO LUCS a project for community and diversity.  Interfaith collaboration included Elias Lomfors Carlberg, Project Leader for Sweden’s interfaith Council.  Kristina Nielsen-Jerneck is a special expert on Dag Hammarskjöld and she has worked together with Bishop K-G Hammar.  Music students from St. Eskils Gymnasium (high school) played and a  children’s dance troupe from the Bolivian Association danced. The church was packed for the concert!  Karin Winberg and Marie Davoust did a great job as volunteers. The soloist Helene Lundkvist Lontos was incredibly well received, especially considering that she had such short preparation time.  So I’m very pleased!!!

And it appears we will probably get a concert in Uppsala connected with the Hammarskjöld Foundation.  (Would be an honor!)

Soloist Andrea Hagman and newborn son Hugo are doing great! Thanks for all your prayers!

The Swedish Family Outreach Ministry met last Saturday at Peace.  They had over 30 people attend!  It was a good success for parents and families.  They will continue to meet at Peace on a monthly basis.

Seminarian Crystal Larsen will share her report on Reading Congregations with the members of Peace for our Forum on December 6.  It is a fine opportunity to ‘get a read’ on who and how we are as a congregation.  Please join in.

The Sabbath:  Class participants shared a fine evening with author Wayne Muller at Beth Chaim this week.  So many insights to learn from rest itself and knowing how much time it takes to become human.  Thanks to Beth Chaim for hosting our classes.

Christmas Gifts:  A variety of books that have been utilized for Classes at Peace will be available for purchase on Sunday, December 6.  Inspirational and thought provoking, these can be wonderful gifts for people you love.

“I want the truth”, said the seeker;  “I will give you something higher than truth,” said the wise one.  “And what could be higher than truth?”  “ Reconciliation”, said the wise one.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve