Pastor’s Weekly Message: 11.20.13

Grace Waves


God is not a concept.  A god whose existence or nonexistence you can argue is a thing, a concept for approval or rejection.  God is not an idea but the living wholeness of reality, seen not by the physical eye of the scientist but by the gaze of the mystic, the inner eye of love. —Paul Tillich

Pure Delight – A Christmas Concert on December 8 at 5:00 pm:    Peace is preparing to host a community-wide Christmas Concert.  The featured artists will be our own Elizabeth Hunter–Ashley, a lyric coloratura soprano and Organist and Pacific Choir Director Hyunjung Choi.  In addition, the Coelis Ensemble will sing accompanied by guest musicians.  Classical works for voice and organ will be performed, the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s “Messiah” will be celebrated, Christmas Carols and seasonal favorites will be enjoyed throughout the concert.  General admission will be $15; Student admission will be $10; and Ages 10 and Under are FREE.  This could be the start of a great tradition and a wonderful classical concert series.  Please invite and encourage your friends to attend with you.

Forum, November 24:  Spiritual Nurture for Children: Come learn and converse this week with Charlene McPherson about the spiritual nurture of our children through Sunday School education and Children’s Time.  This is a critical time in their lives for spiritual formation.

Our Thanksgiving Sing Along was a joyful and refreshing occasion.  Thanks to Gary for his leadership, the collage of images and videos and to all who sang for the love of music!  It was unanimously agreed that we will go Christmas Caroling in December.  Date to be decided.

Pilot Project—Thrivent and Peace:  Thanks to those who participated in the Stewarding Conversation this past Sunday.  (Pledge Cards can be returned at worship this Sunday.)  We began moving towards concrete ideas/suggestions for how to create and support mutual ministry projects.  The sub-Committee will be meeting in early December.  We will keep the Council and Congregation in the know with our ideas.

Only this Congress would take away food from struggling families as they gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This is the wrong time for Congress to prevent families from putting food on the table.  Cuts to the SNAP Program have meant 200 million meals have already been eliminated this month! Think of it this way: that’s like every child in America going without food for three and a half straight days. As you plan your Thanksgiving keep offering this prayer: God, empower us and inspire our leaders to fill the hungry with good things.

Pre-Holiday Clothing/White Elephant Swap—Sunday, November 24 After Hospitality: Have a closet full of clothing you don’t wear anymore? How about some items you don’t want or need which could be re-gifted? Bring any clothing/accessories or white elephant items you are ready to say good-bye to; drop them off on your way into church. Volunteers will sort them onto tabletops; there will be designated areas to try on clothing/shoes, etc. No stains, rips, etc., only good wearable clothing (pants, shirts, blouses, vests, jackets, skirts, dresses, coats, hats, shoes, boots, sandals, sneakers, handbags, gloves, scarves, jewelry, etc.) and items new enough to be re-gifted. Questions? Contact [email protected]

November 22—The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President Kennedy:   No one alive on November 22, 1963 forgets where they were when they received the news of President Kennedy’s murder.  For an in-depth read of all the events surrounding his death you may wish to read “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters” by James Douglass.  This is an exhaustive, well written and documented examination of those times and the spiritual risks that were at stake.

Our Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Celebration is on Wednesday, November 27 at 7:00 pm at Beth Chaim.  Click here for a fascinating article by Rabbi Dan that you will enjoy.

This Sunday is the final Sunday of this Church Year called Christ the Vulnerable Sunday.  What are the gifts for which you are thankful from this past year?

With gratitude for a rich year together,  Pr. Steve