Pastor’s Weekly Message: 06.18.14

Grace Waves


Those who do not open their eyes to Mystery will go through life seeing nothing. —Einstein

Solstice Celebration – Hot Fun in the Summertime!  It’s almost here – time to kick back and welcome summer this Saturday starting at 5:00 pm.  This will be the best BBQ you have all summer.  Look at this Menu:  Grilled Potato Salad, BBQ Chicken or Brisket, BBQ Veggie Burger, Brentwood Corn on the Cob, New England Baked Beans, Watermelon, Beer, Wine, Sodas, Assorted Desserts.  BRING YOUR Appetite and Friends!  (Didn’t Chuck promise you the best Crab Feed ever – and he delivered!)

Plus the steel drums, music and dancing, solstice ritual and Labyrinth Walking – what could be more fun with old and new friends and all the kids.  See you Saturday night!

What a marvelous Mozart Concert we experienced last Saturday night with the Pacific Youth Choir and Coelis Ensemble.  The musical choices were dynamic (the Swedish was impeccable), the 8 piece orchestra who accompanied the “Coronation Mass” was excellent, the lighting lit up the choir and Christine’s art work, a senior representative from the Korean Consulate attended—and it is always wonderful to sing to a full house.  The choir thanks the members of Peace for our willingness to host community cultural events and we thank Ms. Hyunjung Choi for her magnificent direction of the choirs!

Our Youth Group will be doing a variety of Service Projects during.  If you would like to assist with any of the following please let me know.

Loaves and Fishes,

CCIH/Contra Costa Interfaith Housing – helping lead a ‘Summer Camp’ on site with homeless kids who now have housing in Pleasant Hill.  (This could be fun stuff like swimming, art, basketball and more; we aren’t limited to academic material.)

Elder Care – work as volunteers with elders in a nursing care facility.

Night Ministry – walk the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco from 10 pm – till Midnight.  (I did this ministry for 10 years)

Urban Farmers – glean fruit from trees in local families yards.  The fruit is then given to our county Food Bank.

Our Clothing Free-Cycle happens this Sunday following worship.  Either brings clothes and items for exchange or just bring your good taste to choose items you really like!

Congratulations to Shannon Valenti who will be married this Saturday!

Gun, Nancy and Jeanne are off to Sweden, Ro to Puerto Rico, Thais and family to Brazil – whoever is left, know that I will be here on Sundays throughout the summer!

Please keep in your prayers:  Gen, Greg, Jasmine, Lisa, David, those seeking employment, immigrant children who are fleeing to the US in search of parents and hope, the people of Syria.

Hard to believe but Brock will conclude his time among us at the end of June.  Comments of appreciation from his Committee (Ron Elsdon, Chair, Tom Hall, Ken Budesa, Nancy Carlston, Gun Johnston and Linda Elsdon) were shared this past Sunday (see below).  Brock also received the gift of a Tree of Life Stole.  Peace has participated in the spiritual formation of more than 20 seminarians through Teaching Parish and Internship supervision.  Thank you friends of Peace for your encouragement of Brock, for insights shared and for keeping him in your prayers.

from Ron:

It has been a pleasure spending time with Brock over the last nine months.   It was also a pleasure being with our committee, so first a big thanks to Gun, Ken, Linda, Nancy, and Tom for all they brought to our committee and to Steve for bringing us together.  (Gun and Nancy are away)

  • And now to our reluctant hero, Brock.  Who has managed with grace and good humor to embrace our monthly meetings, and to divide his time between our congregation and the Federal prison in Dublin.
  • This has included being kitted out, a bit reluctantly, with a new wardrobe courtesy of our committee under the watchful and kind eye of Ken and Brock’s partner Xanthia.  This is not to suggest that a baseball cap, sneakers are amiss, though they may not fit quite so well in a service in Minnesota where Brock is from.  We’re working on a three piece suit for Brock’s next visit.
  • Since our first encounter I have been struck by Brock’s natural ability to listen well.  This comes through so clearly at the prison where his kind and gentle touch is a source of light to those in troubled times.
  • This is one of many talents that Brock will take into his future ministry, and many will be better for his presence.

As you know Brock is a keen fan of Tolkien, of all things in Middle Earth and in Lord of the Rings. So in addition to all the blessings that we give him from our faith tradition let me quote these closing words from Lord of the Rings to wish Brock well on a safe and happy journey forward.

From Linda:

I joined Brock’s committee after a couple of months of its beginning and I am glad I did.  Not only did I get to know Brock and Xanthia better but also the other members of the group as we met and shared in each others’ homes.  During this time I have seen Brock grow in the hard work of looking inside himself and reflecting on strengths and weaknesses – an important striving for all of us.

Through Brock I have had the opportunity to glimpse the world of women’s prison ministry.  Brock has a special gift to sit with others’ pain and therefore he brings the possibility of healing to the women in prison.

This poem by John Fox speaks to Brock’s inspiring potential with prison ministry.

When Someone Deeply Listens to You

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold,  fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved. When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

Keep musing on the inspiring Trinity Image from Richard Caemmerer on last Sunday’s bulletin cover.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve