Good News, 09-05-2012


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

          What a joy to find myself back at Peace Lutheran serving as your interim pastor while Pastor Steve is on sabbatical!  What a wonderful surprise!   During the fourteen years I served as a pastor of Our Saviour’s in Oxnard, I became very aware of the need for a sabbatical (time away) to renew, re-tool and re-energize.  Sometimes deadlines, pastoral care issues, and even exciting projects rolled toward me with relentless fury, leaving me depleted.  So, I hope that Pastor Steve uses this time away to rest; to be immersed in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi; and to reconnect with the people of Lwamondo Parish in South Africa.  As it says in Isaiah 40:31,  …those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles…God willing, he will “soar” when he returns!

            All of us need rest and renewal!  It is my hope and prayer that Sunday morning worship will be our time for joy-filled spiritual renewal and deepening.  May the joys and sorrows, pains and problems we carry in our hearts encounter the healing presence of our Lord as we celebrate Word and Sacrament together.

            A word about me…  I am a born and raised Californian.  I grew up in Garden Grove when it was both a garden and a grove – actually played in orange groves.  Then, we moved to Long Beach for the rest of elementary and high school.  For college, I attended UCLA, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology, and eventually taught medical microbiology.  After some years in middle-management at a hospital, I answered the call to ministry – graduated from PLTS, completed my internship at Peace Lutheran in Danville (more later), and served for almost 14 years at Our Saviour’s in Oxnard, CA.  When I retired, I moved to the Bay Area to be near family (sister, her husband, their six children and six grandchildren). In addition to faith-related activities, my interests include: walking/hiking with friends, gardening, playing my cello, eating chocolate, reading books of many kinds, and playing with my two cats.

            I look forward to getting acquainted with each of you and pray that our journey together will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom!

            Blessings, Pastor Mary Ann

Congratulations to Pr Mary Ann who will be installed as our Interim Pastor and John Brett who will be installed as our Teaching Parish Student Sunday!   Pr. Mary Ann will be at Peace on Sunday and Tuesday.

Reminder: The Office Hours  are Tuesday-Thursday, 9-5 pmNo one will be here on Monday and Friday.

9/11  reflection
There is no way to peace, peace is the way:  What if we began walking together—like the Pilgrimage Journey on the Labyrinth—to help people honor all the victims of 9/11 by walking and talking kindly with neighbors and strangers, in celebration of our common humanity and in defiance of fear, misunderstanding and hatred?  Wouldn’t it be great if 9/11 became a day for Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone else to step over boundaries and walk kindly with ‘the other’ in the same way as Martin Luther King Day has become a day for community service?  It takes a little bit of hope and courage.  Step outside your door, greet a stranger or two you meet along the way… 


Beuster Church, Lwamondo Parish, SA— Building Gifts: our Delegation would like to take a gift to help defray costs for the rebuilding of the Beuster Church which was destroyed in a fire last year.  A large funding gap remains before the church can be finished.  If you would like to contribute, please make your check out to Peace and note “Beuster Church” on it.  Thanks to those who have already contributed! 

Pet Festival on Oct. 7  Noon to 3 pm— Fliers are ready to distribute for the Pet Festival after worship on Sunday.  Be thinking about a gift basket or service you might donate for the Silent Auction!

See Bill Carmel’s art at the BridgeHead Gallery in Alameda!  . To arrange a visit, call the sponsor, Chuck DiGuida, 510-523-3686 or talk to Bill. Directions on Facebook:

You can attend a San Damiano Retreat on Sept. 29, 9:30 am-4 pm:   “Engaging Spirituality—Live deeply, Love broadly”  to explore the intersection between Christian spirituality and social engagement.  Email Cindy Townsend [email protected] before Sept. 15 to sign up.

Long shot:  does anyone have a “spare car” which our Seminarian John Brett might use during this next year?  Contact John or Teaching Parish Chair Cindy Townsend if you think you could help.

Fr. Tom Bonacci  from the Interfaith Peace Project is presenting a 3-part series to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II on Tuesdays Sept. 18-Oct. 2 at  7PM at St. Joan of Arc (San Ramon).  St. Joan’s will be arranging more events during this year-long  commemoration.  See Linda Benatar for more information.

Founders’ Day on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary will have the theme “Bonhoeffer’s (and our) Postracial Blues“.  The program lasts from 8:30-3:00, with lunch included.  Register online
John Brett was on the program committee for this event!

HOMECOMING SUNDAY is Sept. 23 and Sunday School during 9:30 worship will begin that day.  Sunday School will start with Children’s Time in the service (early in the service) followed by Activity Time in the classroom, which last about 25 minutes.    The children will return when the “Gifts are Brought Forward’ (after the Offering) to join their families for the Eucharist.  Sunday School Teachers:  We now have 4 teachers–and would like to have 4 more.  There will be an Orientation and prepared lesson plans.  Are you willing to join this special group?  Contact Pat Leong or the Office if your are willing to help.

Please pray for Martha Mantei who is having surgery this week, grieving families, loved ones with serious illnesses, and all our children as they return to school.  Let’s also pray for Pr. Steve who left for Italy on Tuesday.

Blessings to All!