Good News, 11.03.2011


“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?  This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.  We spend millions every minute on training people to kill and destroy and on bombs and missiles.  But we spend hardly anything in comparison on teaching human beings the nature of life and death nor on helping them, when they come to die, to face and understand what is happening to them.  What a sad situation, how revealing of our ignorance and lack of true love for ourselves and each other!” (Thomas Merton, Monk)

November 6 is All Saints Sunday at which time we remember those who have died during this past year.  Our faith embraces every moment of life and beyond or as Dana Squire likes to say, “The church is here for those who are hatched, matched, patched and dispatched.” We pray for those who grieve; we rejoice in resurrecting promises.

This is the Time when Walls are Falling Down! What a Reformation! Aren’t we blessed by the richness and depth of our Clergy!  Pr. Anita – “If there was a Straight Pill, I would not take it”; Pr. Margareta – no female clergy existed when she received her calling…despite rejection by male clergy she discovered a path to ordination; Seminarian Brenda Bos – “as people of faith we need to risk living beyond the pretense of a color-blind world”….and Pr. Elizabeth has a strong and large class reading the whole Bible!  In addition our thanks to Jim Griesemer and Sue Field  for the wonderful dulcimer music and song.  Keep your eyes open – don’t look for things you’ve seen before.  From the Arab Spring to the American Autumn – this is the time when walls are falling down.

For Reformation Kaleo choreographed an “Abba Chi Kung” – a chi movement sequence that embodies the Lord’s Prayer in sacred movement. The ease and flow of these movements within the stillness of the whole congregation graced us with a quiet, centering power.  We will continue to use and learn our new “Abba Chi Kung” with Elise and Kaleo on Nov 20, Dec 18, and Jan 8.  You are encouraged to practice it in your garden, at the beach or among the Redwood trees.  When we are comfortable with this prayer we may do a short video of the congregation on a Sunday morning during service and put it on the internet.  Aren’t you glad to be reforming!

2017 will mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Special plans have already begun in Europe.  Germany began a 10 year count down four years ago with Special Themes marking each of the years.  Karl Pfeiffer is keeping us aware of a variety of ways to celebrate, educate and enact the Reforming Movement.

The results of the secret ballot following our Hospitality Hour arrived and it was decided…  Pr. Anita has been elected our Halloween Queen!

The Women of Peace and the Mom’s Group (now coordinated by Grace Cavallaro and Sheila Chiarelli) will share an evening together on Wednesday, November 16 at Peace.  More details to come.

The Partnership Committee has sent $500 to our friends in Nicaragua to help alleviate the suffering there after the flooding catastrophe.

Spoon Jackson sent a letter thanking us for our prayers, encouraging our healing prayer work (“of which love is the chief component”), and informing us that he has completed a Libretto for Stefan Safsten.   We now have a copy of his book “By Heart” in our library.

Please keep in your prayers:  Kersti, Mary (Linda’s sister), Lisa, those who are grieving, the unemployed, Nicaraguan friends, those in prison, those who pray for us.

All Nite Soul: John Calloway’s incredible band on Sunday evening gave us entrance to Latin Music Nirvana.  What a profound and delightful celebration.  One guest said, “I am 68,  I grew up in Manhattan,  I’ve been going to jazz clubs since I was 14 – including Birdland.  I have lived in Europe and Cuba and heard the best jazz but tonight was the finest night of jazz in my lifetime!” Master Guitarist Eddie Duran (at the mere age of 86) commented how we need music and dance to counter the difficult times we are in.  We enjoyed a feast and face-painting as well.  Thanks to our Jazz Team for their continued preparations and hosting.  Too much joy, too much joy – if you have too much joy in your life you had best avoid the Jazz Church West.

World Community Day:  Lois McGee invites you to “Living our Faith, Unlocking Action” which is sponsored by Church Women United and held at Peace this Saturday, November 5.  Registration and coffee is at 9:30.  The free program goes from 10 – 11:15 am.  A Diabetes-related presentation by Virginia Smaelser, RN Health Educator at John Muir Hospital will also be presented.  Join in!

BJ invites you to From Good to Great a workshop utilizing yoga and acupressure to build personal resilience…at Peace on November 12 from 10 – Noon.  Click here to see the flier.

Someone asked:  Why do you like jazz? The finest things in life have no reason or explanation.  They penetrate, pulsate and reverberate from the inside out.  Art, a child playing absent-mindedly, a madrone tree, a creek flowing, friends laughing, the incomprehensibility of this vast universe are all grace and pure bounty.  God – especially God – has no why or wherefore or reason.  The immensity of these blessings overwhelm our grasping minds but the joy they stir liberates the heart and births our souls alive.  If you only want what ‘makes sense’ in life you will soon be shrunken by pettiness and despair.  The best things in life are ‘unfounded’ – they cannot be comprehended only tasted and experienced.  Like the space in between the stars – empty?  Hardly…that dark space lets us see that nothing is ordinary.   See the world through the Beloved’s eyes and you will see the Beloved’s face everywhere.

Blessings, Pr. Steve