Pastor’s Weekly Message: 11.17.16

Grace Waves


Courage is coming to realize that what does and does not happen in the world does so because of what you and I fail to say – not when silence is right, but when we fear the cost to ourselves of speaking out.  —Joan Chittister

Family Service – A service of joy and delight is coming our way this Sunday.  Bring all your kids and grandkids to celebrate Thanksgiving and the gift of life which is ours!  The little ones will lead our prayers and praise and the Confirmands will teach us.

Pr. Margareta will officially retire from her responsibilities at Peace this Sunday.  Here is a poem in Honor of her Ministry among us these past 15 years:

I Celebrate Children – who laugh out loud, who walk in the mud and dawdle in the puddles, who put chocolate fingers anywhere, who like to be tickled;

who scribble in church, who whisper in loud voices, who sing in louder voices, who run…and laugh when they fall, who cry at the top of their lungs;

who cover themselves with Band-Aids, who squeeze the toothpaste all over the bathroom, who slurp their soup, who chew cough drops, who ask questions;

who give us sticky –paste-covered drawings, who want their picture taken, who won’t use their napkins, who bury goldfish and sleep with the dog;

who hug us in a hurry and rush outside without their hats and coats.  I celebrate children!

 Embracing Hope:  Living beyond Fear — Thanksgiving Eve Interfaith Service next Wed., Nov. 23 at 7:30 at St. Joan of Arc church in San Ramon . The election results have made it clear we need to encourage and be present for each other.  This annual service which Rabbi Dan and I have prepared will be a source of inspiration and hope for you.  Refugees will be present to tell their stories.  Invite your friends, bring canned goods, your donation will support our I-SRV Refugee Resettlement Program, and meet new friends of other faiths at the reception.

Want to live on Food Stamps?  Try living on $6.32/day during Thanksgiving Week and you will discover the reality of what poverty means.

Pacific Choir Award Ceremony:  Last Saturday a Certificate of Honor was presented to 10 Choir Members by The General Consul of the Republic of Korea  who attended the ceremony.  Quite an honor!

Your Pledge Cards can be brought to Peace this Sunday or mailed to the church office.

It is estimated that a thousand people voted at Peace last Tuesday.

Solar Halos:  Thanks to all who are contributing to our solar campaign.  Go to our website to check out updates.  Remember the purchase of Linda Elsdon’s photography will benefit Solar Halos as well.  Save the Date:  Jon Bronstein will join us for the Forum on December 4 to talk about the process and benefits of the newly installed Solar Panels at Beth Chaim.  For those who wish a tour at Beth Chaim will be available at the conclusion of the Forum.

Our Recycling efforts have intensified at Peace.  Pay attention to the Green and Blue cans and the Liquid Disposal Pitchers.  These new habits will serve our earth and future generations well.

Water is Life – Standing Rock, Water Protectors:  In April Tribal Elder LaDonna Brave Bull Allard called for an encampment to protest and block the construction of a pipeline through their Sioux ancestral lands.  Over 200 tribes are now represented with over 8000 people participating.  The proposed pipeline pathway crosses the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.  Originally the pipeline was north of Bismarck, ND but was altered to the south because of public concerns about leaks endangering the city’s water supply. Now it crosses the Standing Rock Reservation.  No Environmental Impact Assessment has been done.  The heavy handed use of tear gas, rubber bullets, attack dogs, drone surveillance, and strip searches of arrestees continues.  Please keep these indigenous friends in your prayers.  For them clean water is sacred not a right for purchase.  The indigenous wisdom tradition implores tribal peoples to discern key life decisions in light of how their choices will impact their descendants 7 Generations from now.

We celebrate Christ the Vulnerable this Sunday, the conclusion of this church year.  What a year it has been.  A reflection from Bonhoeffer to use as preparation for Sunday.

Only when one knows that the name of God may not be uttered – may one sometimes speak the name of Jesus Christ.

Only when one loves life and the earth so much that one feels the anguish of everything seeming to be lost and at its end – may one believe in the resurrection of the dead and a New Creation.

Only when one accepts the law of God as binding for oneself – may one perhaps sometimes speak of grace.

Only when the wrath of God against everything that destroys life is recognized – can a something of forgiveness and the love of enemies touch our hearts.

Blessings,  Pr. Steve