Pastor’s Blog / Grace Waves 05.01.19


“The living are few and the dead abound in this life — the dead being those who never let go and can’t walk away from themselves into love and laughter!”  Christian Bobin

Following their Baptismal Renewal on Easter and ancient church tradition, the Catechumens have now become Mystagogues” Mystagogues are spiritually inquisitive, delightfully ambiguous and increasingly playful as they explore the meaning and mystery of their lives.  Keep them in your prayers.

The Jazz Church West and Cinco de Mayo coalesce this Sunday at 5:00 pm.  Dr. John Calloway will be performing with his Quintet.  How long have you said to yourself, ‘I’ve got to get to jazz!’  Now’s the time!

Congratulations to Elizabeth and John Hunter Ashley on their family Cover Photo in the Blackhawk Magazine.  ‘Music, Medicine and Ministry” says it all.  A fine and fun article!

This Sunday Amaya Ghosal will share with us a Math Outreach program she has created to support students in Nairobi.  Another way for us to experience and practice our global partnership.

“Holy Envy” – Finding God in the Faith of Others:  Rabbi Dan and I will once again teach a compelling approach to thinking about God and faith.  The class will be taught out of NY Times bestselling author, Barbara Brown Taylor’s recent novel “Holy Envy”.  We will explore the question “What can we learn about our own wrestling with God by encountering the faith journeys of our neighbors?”  Three sessions on Tuesdays May 14, 21 and 28 at 7:00 pm at Beth Chaim.  The cost is $60 and includes a copy of the book.  Sign up on Sunday or notify the church office.

Sabbath Attack Poway: Once again, the time has come for us as a people and a world, to confront any form of hatred or prejudice that might lurk in our hearts.  The time has come to examine our public and religious speech to ensure that institutional violence is not unwittingly preserved in our teachings, our prayers, or our public worship.  We must make it a priority in our public and governmental life to elect leaders who will uncompromisingly stand up for human rights and not use one religion against another for political advantage.  We stand with Rabbi Anvari, who continued his sermon after being shot in the hand, by saying:  “One message from all of us in our congregation is that we are standing together. We are getting stronger. Never again. You can’t break us. We are strong.”

Our thanks to Elizabeth Hopkins-Kurz for representing Peace at the Baha’i Diversity in Unity event last Sunday.

Muse on this:  “College mental health facilities are swamped, suicide rates are spiking.  At the root of it all is the following problem:  We’ve created a Culture based on Lies including – rich and successful people are worth more than poorer and less successful people.   We pretend we don’t tell this lie, but our whole meritocracy points to it.  The message of the meritocracy is that you are what you accomplish.  If you perform well, people will love you.  No wonder it so hard to be a young adult today.  No wonder our society is fragmenting.  We’ve taken the lies of hyper-individualism and we’ve made them the unspoken assumptions that govern how we live.”  David Brooks in the NY Times

Bill Carmel’s Artist Reception The Art Gallery at the Orinda Library on Sunday, May 5 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.  See Bill’s latest paintings in three themes: Paintings Without Words, Contra Costa County Landscapes and Fractal Patterns and enjoy light refreshments.

“You’re Doing What?Older Women’s Tales of Achievement and Adventure”:  Enjoy inspirational stories encouraging women and men to view aging as an opportunity to act on long deferred or never imagined dreams.  Featuring our own Elise Ching at Orinda Books on Saturday, May 11 from 2 – 4pm.

Celebrate the Pacific Choir’s 10th Anniversary at Peace with Vivaldi’s Magnificat RV 610 & 611 on Saturday, May 18 at 7:00 pm.  Can you believe it’s 10 years?  This unique concert will feature Baroque instruments (strings, oboe, harpsichord) with soloists from Australia and the SF Symphony Chorus, plus musicians travelling from Oregon to participate in this special event.  Come honor the creativity of these 50 young people and director Dr. Hyunjung Choi.  Invite friends to join you.  Tickets are $35, seniors and students $20 and children 10 and under free.

“We need to guard not only against the negativity of this world, but against our preoccupation with ourselves, another door by which the world might creep back into us like a prowler into a sleeping house.”   Bobin

Easter blessings – Rise Up!

Pr. Steve

“God’s forgiveness is like breathing.  Forgiveness is not apparently something God does, it is who God is.”