Pastor’s Weekly Message: 11.07.13

Grace Waves


We were fashioned to behold the wonders all around us—to experience the liturgies of rain and autumn and dawn.

This Sunday Ron Elsdon will present further insights as to how Inequality is functioning and dominating our society.  Linda Elsdon will join him at the Forum to speak about hunger issues in our country and world.  Here are a few background comments from Bread for the World (to which we belong) to prepare you for Sunday:

Despite tremendous progress in recent decades, nearly 16,000 children die every day from hunger-related causes.  That’s one child every 5 seconds.  One in five children still live in a family that struggles to put food on the table in our richly blessed country.  Yet hunger is a fixable problem.  Many Americans believe that churches and charities alone should be the ones feeding our nation’s hungry people.  But tens of millions of people need food assistance every year in the US, and just a tiny percentage of this assistance is provided by charity.

Charity alone is simply not a realistic solution.  Instead, federal programs such as SNAP (formerly food stamps) and WIC (Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children) must be protected and improved.  These programs are our country’s true first line of defense against hunger.  The nations’ decision makers must be persuaded to lead in changing policies and allocating resources to end hunger.

At worship you will be invited to Sign a Letter to our representatives in Congress to advocate for the hungry among us.  The Bread of Life desires to feed us all.  Hopefully we will get to see the new film “A Place at the Table” together and soon.

Here is a very fine article that Bill Carmel prompted John Barry, journalist for the Contra Costa Express, to write about Shokoor’s Art and the Exhibit at Peace.

Women of Peace/Shoebox Ministry:  The Women of Peace are set up to assist Nette this next Wednesday.  Lois, Martha and Nancy have offered to drive.  If you need transportation please call one of them or the church office at 648-7000.

Thanksgiving Sing Along:  Join  us for a relaxed and informal sing along on Sunday, November 17 at 4:30 at Peace.  Gary will lead the way, you get to request your favorites, and if folks bring some goodies with them we’ll have a small reception afterwards.

Special Event at Beth Chaim:  On Monday, November 25 at 7:00 pm Jewish and Palestinian Peace Activists will speak about the current situation.  Some of you have met Eliyahu McLean before and know what a gift he is.  In addition there will be two bands—one Israeli and the other Jordanian—who will provide great music for the evening.  Please join in!

Our Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 27 at 7:00 pm at Beth Chaim.   It happen to fall on the first night of Hanukkah so Rabbi Dan is interweaving the two celebrations.  If you miss it, don’t worry because the next time this happens will only be 77,000 years from now.

“Pure Delight!”  Peace will host a community wide Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 8 at 5:00 pm.  The featured artists will be our own Elizabeth Hunter Ashley and Organist and Pacific Choir Director Hyunjung Choi.  In addition the Coelis Ensemble will sing and guest musicians will accompany the evening.   Classical works will be performed for voice and organ, portions of the Messiah will be shared, Christmas Carols and seasonal favorites will be enjoyed throughout the concert.  Fliers and postcards are being prepared for distribution now.  This will be a high-quality, Pure Delight and you need to invite your best friends to this joyful event.

Keep in your prayers:  Lance, Veronique, Ari, Dave, hungry children and families, those seeking employment, those with Parkinson’s and dementia, those who are overwhelmed, lost and alone.

Have you seen all the new material on our Website?  Keep checking out this great resource and inviting friends to see what’s happening at Peace.

In light of All Saints I trust you can handle this one:  A clergy friend of mine from the East Coast called and said he had made the decision to add to his tombstone (after his name and dates of existence) this phrase, “I knew this was going to happen!”

Of what avail is an open eye, if the heart is blind?

—Solomon Ibn-Gabirol)

Blessings,  Pr. Steve