Pastor’s Weekly Message: 09.17.15

Grace Waves


COME – whoever you are!  Wanderer,

worshipper, lover of learning.


This is not a caravan of despair.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken

your vows a thousand times,

still and yet again

Come, Come, Come – Come Home!

It’s time to Come Home – you don’t have to qualify, earn it, deserve it, pass a test; just come home to God, to yourself, to your joy, to the unconditional compassion that wants to set you free.  Come home to the laughter and the wisdom which makes everything else worthwhile.  Come home – bring your excuses, your faults, your irritating habits…and the amazing gift of who you are – come home.  Come home to the love and the friends that make you happy.  There is no right time, there is only now.  Come home!

Homecoming is this Sunday, September 20 with our New Worship time at 10:00 am.  A Potluck Brunch begins the day at 9:30.  A brief Congregational Meeting to elect new Council Members will follow worship.

The International Day of Peace Concert sponsored by the CC Interfaith Council and hosted by Peace will be celebrated this Sunday at 4:00 pm.  Fr. Tom Bonacci in his promotion of this event wrote “We take this opportunity to thank Peace Lutheran for all the work they have done over the years to make peace a reality in the lives of so many people”.  If you are attending please “play the host” and welcome as many guests as you can.  A lovely concert awaits you and it is free.

Keep in your prayers:  Prayers of gratitude for Laila and the safe delivery of Luke Hardy Johnson, Grace and Karl as they mourn the death of Rosalie, Grace’s mom; Fidel and Heidi, refugees, those who have suffered through the fires and firefighters, and those who educate our children.

“Living alone?  Contact TELECARE to receive a daily reassurance phone call with a friendly hello from a trained volunteer from the Assistance League of Diablo Valley.”  Know anyone who would appreciate this daily connection?  Notify the church office and we will get them connected through Linda B. and friends.

Meditation:  Thursday evening at 6 pm we will have sitting and walking meditation in our sanctuary.  All are invited.  If you are new to this practice, Pr. Steve will provide instruction.

“Thoughts in the Presence of Fear”:  Our Forum for September 27 will be a discussion based on this article by Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer, poet and philosopher.  This was his response to the attacks of 9/11 and his article has been reprinted in 73 countries and seven languages.  Copies will be available this Sunday or can be found on our website –  This is a constructive reflection leading us toward cultural healing and recovery.

“Aging Gracefully” continues on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 pm.  Come experience and enjoy the wisdom of this group lead by Pr. Margareta.

The Justice Advocacy committee met and here are a few highlights: Martha attended an excellent AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)workshop in Livermore  for caregivers; Linda (Elsdon) has been active in enrolling participants in CalFresh (food stamps) at Loaves and Fishes in Martinez, and, with Ron, at the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek, Food Bank barrel Donations are always gladly received; Ken is planning a forum on stress reduction; Libby gave an update on Laurel Galan, Nicaragua – they would love to have a delegation of 6 people from Peace next summer; Norma continues to volunteer with a team that provides lunches for about 50 homeless people each Monday at the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek, she also participated in an Interfaith Council role play activity on poverty/homelessness;  Ron is delivering another series of career workshops at FCI Dublin; Bev participated in a presentation at John Muir on the book Being Mortal, which is also the basis for a weekly series at Peace, she also plans to see if she can identify someone who could deliver a forum on the new, Dying with Dignity initiative in California, in the New Year; Linda (Benatar) described participating in the Assistance League of Diablo Valley; Gun also reminded us about the plight of refugees in Europe, with Lutheran Disaster Response (mentioned in the bulletin) as one means of providing support.  Steve shared Nancy Carlston’s suggestion of possibly adopting a refugee family.  Our thanks to Ron and Linda for Chairing our Justice Advocacy Committee!

Martha and AFSP Walk Out of Darkness:  On September 27th, I will be walking with other survivors of suicide loss and those who continue to struggle with mood disorders.  We walk from Mission Creek Park, along the Embarcadero to the Oakland Bay Bridge and back.  This wonderful venue gives our cause lots of visibility as we seek to help reduce the stigma associated with suicide and  mental illness.   Please have a look at my page below at the website of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  I ask for your prayers, good wishes and, if you are able, your contribution to this worthwhile cause.  If you would like to walk with me, click on Tri-Valley Starz on my page and follow the instructions to join the team.

Bill is taking the Veil Tapestry to the Methodists Congregation in Alamo for the month of October.  It will keep circulating during the year through all of our Interfaith Congregations.

Our St. Francis Blessing of the Animals will be on Sunday, October 4 from Noon – 2 pm.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve