Pastor’s Weekly Message: 01.05.17

Grace Waves


Axial Age – the Qualities that birthed Human Potential.  (Xavier Le Pichon is puzzled why we only talk about the skills and tools of ancestors when Neanderthals and early humans cared, at great effort and sacrifice, for people who were injured and disabled.)  The early ones organized themselves around the small ones, the babies, because otherwise no life was possible.  That we share with all the mammals.  But they also organized around people in great difficulty, those suffering or sick, because of handicap, or because life was coming to an end.  And that’s really very new and special.  It became a society which we call human or humane in French.  There is a new touch, a new kindness, a new softness, a new way of living , which is completely focused by the fact that you put the weakest at the center of the community. 

We celebrate Epiphany – The Arrival of the Wise Ones this Sunday.  Please bring photos of your children or grandchildren to place in the Manger!

Forum -Volunteer Career Services at FCI Dublin with Ron Elsdon –  Sunday, January 8 after worship:

“Volunteer career services in a prison can offer a valuable benefit given the substantial career support needs of people approaching re-entry to society after incarceration. Having been privileged to deliver more than 50 career classes at FCI Dublin over the past two years this forum provides an overview of the form this has taken, how it has evolved, and the benefits and challenges.”  Please join us!

Christmas Tree Decorations – during Hospitality this Sunday you are invited to bring down our decorations. Many thanks to Ken for creating a beautiful tree this year!

Please keep in your prayers:  Ruth Lesher on the death of her father Pr. Bob Lesher, Maili and Kersti Malvre on the death of daughter/sister Astrid, my sister Rae Neunaber and family on the death of her husband Dave, Brian Turner, Renee’s mother, Brian McGee, Margaret Bender, Kari Schoening’s father, Peter, Fred Garrity, Ed Klitsch, those looking for shelter, the children and families of Aleppo.

From Bill Carmel:  It is my great pleasure to announce my upcoming Show at the Orinda Library Art Gallery. I will be showing 28 works including cast bronze, epoxy resin and pewter works as well as paintings with three themes: Wild Animals, Calligraphy and Landscapes.  The show, curated by the Lamorinda Arts Council, runs from Jan. 3 to 31, 2017. See  I hope you can join me at the artists’ reception on Saturday, January 7, from 3-5 PM and will include light refreshments.  Contact info:  Visit the gallery at 26 Orinda Way during normal library hours – Mon. through Thurs., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sun., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m /  925-254-2184 or visit

Solar Halos – Three Highlights to report:   After further negotiations the total cost for our 80 Panels has been reduced from $90,000 to $86,000; we have raised $62,000 (with $60,000 already in hand); 30 people have contributed to our project; and Linda Elsdon’s photography has raised $830!  We are getting there.

Jazz Church West welcomes the Lorca Hart Trio with Brian Ho on the Hammond Organ, Mike Clark, guitar and Lorca on the drums.  Makes you feel so good to be in church with the Three Wise Ones!

Tai Chi Chuan:  this 12 week series classes begins again on Thursday, January 5 at 7:00 pm.  All that is required is loose, comfortable clothing and an open mind.   Sitting Meditation / Zazen also resumes on Thursdays from 6 – 6:45 pm.  It includes  10 minutes of Walking Meditation during this 45 minute period.  Get centered, grounded in prayer and wise!

2nd Friday (January 13) – Film:  Join us for a screening of The Giver starring Jeff BridgesMeryl StreepAlexander SkarsgardKatie Holmes and Taylor Swift. The book this film is based on won the 1994 Newberry Medal and has sold more than 10 M copies worldwide and is on many middle school reading lists. A 2012 survey based in the US designated it as the fourth-best children’s novel of all time. In a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a 16-year-old boy is chosen to earn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. Run time 97 min., rated PG-13.

Three Dr. Martin Luther King Celebrations!

Monday, January 16: Noon – Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave., Walnut Creek.  Hear St. Benedict’s Gospel Choir and Fr. Kwane Assenyou preach on Dr. King:  Tough Mind and Tender Heart.

2:00 pm -Standing in Solidarity – On the corner of Civic and N. Broadway.  Let your presence and prayers be visible as we support our Syrian, Iraqi, Latino immigrant and refugee siblings.  Love your Neighbor!

4:00 pm:  The 10th Annual Celebration of MLK – SRV United Methodist Church, 902 Danville Blvd., Alamo, CA

The Martin Luther King Peace and Justice Committee and Interfaith Council of the San Ramon Valley invite you to an Interfaith Celebration of Dr. King’s Dream of Nonviolence and Peace.  The service will be followed at 5:45 by a Candlelight Peace Walk at the Iron Horse Trail at Prospect Avenue in Downtown Danville to celebrate the unity of our faiths.

Family Service – our next celebration will be on January 20 at 10 am!

We will become fully human the day we design our Foreign Policy around the needs of the children of the world.
— AJ Muste

Epiphany Blessings,

Pr. Steve