Pastor’s Weekly Message: 04.26.17

Grace Waves


“Tov” is the Hebrew word usually translated as ‘good’ but it’s core meaning is actually ‘life generating’.  Enjoy this definition when you read the Creation Story or pray/meditate on the Creation Mantra you received Sunday.  This translation invigorates everything!  The purpose and joy of our evolving Creation (like the daily choices we face) is that everything we engage becomes life generating!

Earth Day – “I used to think the top environmental problems were Biodiversity Loss, Ecosystem Collapse and Climate Change.  I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address those problems.  But I was wrong.  The top environmental problems are Selfishness, Greed and Apathy.  To deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation – and we scientist don’t know how to do that.”  Gus Speth

(As I said on Sunday, we in spiritual communities do know how to do this, not because we have solutions but because we know how to begin again, how to turn and return, how to respectfully nurture consciousness.  Isn’t it exciting to build this creative partnership with the scientific community now!)

Bill Carmel wrote an article on ‘Matisse into Diebenkorn  for our local paper about a current exhibit at the SF MOMA.  Over 300 views already.  Check it out at:  Way to go, Bill!

Two Forums – Peace as a Sanctuary Church:  This Sunday we will attune our Listening Skills to hear each other’s stories and learn the formative elements that have shaped our values.  On May 7 Laura Magnani of AFSC will join us to expand our understanding of Quaker historical commitments to justice (Underground Railroad, women’s suffrage, Japanese internment) and how the Sanctuary Movement is contributing to that history.

Healthcare Community Meeting  Saturday, May 20th, 10:30a – 12:00p  Join concerned citizens and allied organizations for an educational forum — Health care is a human right in all industrial countries except the United States.  Come watch the 35 minute documentary Now Is The Time and learn how the United States can join the rest of the world and provide its residents with universal health care.  California is currently taking steps to go beyond Obamacare and guarantee affordable health care to all for life.  Learn how you can be a part of this movement.  Question and answer period will follow screening. Event facilitated by Gerri Field, Health Care Activist, CaPA (California Physicians Alliance) Board of Directors.

The Four Seasons and More Concert performed by the Sycamore Strings Academy was superb.  How luscious to hear such uplifting music wafting and reverberating through our sanctuary.  The 15 young artists playing violins, violas, cellos and bass are incredibly gifted.  Our gratitude to Director (and Peace Friend) Goran Berg for eliciting their best in music and spirit.  (It was tov!)

Mother’s Day Tea at Thyme for Tea on Saturday, May 13.  Reserve your setting with Diane or Pat.

Our Confirmands met last Sunday.  We shared reflections on Holy Week: Seder, Good Friday and the Resurrecting Love of Easter (Mark 14 – 16:8); we examined the ‘spiritual teachings/environment’ of our Sanctuary; walked the Labyrinth; studied the Peace Mosaic, spoke about the dynamics that prompted the horror of the holocaust; and enjoyed earth day moments.  Keep Gracie, Jack, Reese, Nik, Julia, Mark, Kyle, Luke, Julia and Alex in your prayers.  Their Confirmation Celebration will be on Pentecost, June 4.

Defusing Hatred Program – Keep Calm and Defuse the Tension:  Learn nonviolent communication skills in a safe environment and develop tools for responding to uneasy situations and hate speech..  Enjoy and informative, visual presentation followed by conversation and hands on experience through role-play.  We host this program to build communities of care who will protect the vulnerable and targeted around us.

Sunday, April 30 at 7 pm at St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon.  Co-lead by Rev. Will McGarvey and myself.

Wednesday May 10 at 7 pm at Peace with a variety of Community Advocacy Groups.  Same leaders.

KCOV/Korean Church of the Valley:  This Sunday Pastors Daniel and Connie Chung will retire and KCOV will officially close their congregation.  Members of KCOV will disperse to join other congregations.  Of course they are being invited to join Peace as well.  We offer our gratitude for their years of ministry among us and in the San Ramon Valley.

The choral group Chromatica (who was given birth at Peace) will perform this Sunday at 6:00 pm.  Tickets are $20/person.  A beautiful evening awaits you.

The Interfaith Yom HaShoah Remembrance Service at Beth Chaim was very powerful.  The prayer below is offered in honor of the 6 million Jews who were murdered, along with the 1 million disabled people, the 1 million gay people, the 1 million intellectuals, artists and political dissidents, and 2 million Eastern Europeans who were murdered.  May we have the courage to oppose bigotry and protect all who are scapegoated in our time.

The Redemption of Saving Grace

O Lord, remember not only the men and women

of good will, but also those of ill will.

But do not remember all the suffering they inflicted

on us;

Remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to

This suffering — our comradeship,

Our loyalty, our humility, our courage,

Our generosity, the greatness of heart

Which has grown out of all this, and when

They come to judgment let all the fruits

Which we have borne be their forgiveness.

(Prayer found by the body of a dead child at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp)

On Resurrection: 

Each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history.  —Pope Francis

Easter Blessings,

Pr. Steve