Restroom Dilemma  
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
September 14th, 2017
"Back to School" Series Continues...
 One Nation Under God?  
Gender Galaxy

     Here at SHPC, we are feeding the hungry, bringing dignity to the unhoused, and practicing the compassion of Christ in our daily lives. Our national church, the PC(USA), sends help in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and brings the love and justice of Jesus to people all over the globe.  But for many, Christianity in the USA today is the voice of intolerance, particularly towards LGBTQ people. Why do some Christians care so much about transgender people's restroom choice? And why should transgender people's rights matter to all Christians?   This Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.,  we'll explore God's gender galaxy and how we, as God's beloved community, are called to light the way forward.

     Let's Talk - Excerpts from National Geographic's Gender Revolution and discussion - in Pastor Bev's office after the service.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev
Our Membership Elder, Merle Ongaro, and I are planning a gathering for all of you who are interested in exploring membership in the church.  If you're enjoying being part of the church on Sundays and want to express your support for this caring community dedicated to building up the world, then join us. There's nothing scary or intimidating about membership, nothing to memorize or recite, no annual dues or fees. Becoming a member is a lovely and meaningful way to express your commitment to the community and to our work together to bring love and justice to the world.  If you're interested, and/or have questions, just contact me - and you can click here.   Let me know if a Sunday after church or a week night is preferred for our gathering.
Next Wednesday I'm off to Louisville, KY, the home of our PC(USA) national headquarters and site of our national board meeting.  I'll be presenting a report to the board on behalf of my team, the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, which brings research, reports, and recommendations to the board and the General Assembly (our convention) on ethical and justice issues.  God willing, I'll be back Saturday 9/23 in plenty of time to preach and party the next day. (Scroll down for the party invite.)

I wish I could take all of you with me to our Louisville headquarters.  You would be even prouder to be Presbyterian!  We have such wonderful folks doing so many terrific, creative, inspiring ministries!  May God continue to guide, energize, and bless the Presbyterian church, and all of us here at SHPC, as we serve God with all the love in our hearts.

In peace,

September Calendar
Friday, September 15
                 8 a.m.

Justice Garden Harvesting
Bible Study
Saturday, September 16
                 8 a.m. - noon

Farmstand on Butterfield
Sunday, September 17
                 9:30 a.m.
               10:30 a.m.
Fall Series Continues: 
Gender Galaxy 
Let's Talk - Film Viewing and Discussion
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Wednesday, September 20
                  7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers- All Welcome
Friday, September 22
                  8 a.m.

Justice Garden Harvesting
NO Bible Study - Bev's away
Sunday, September 24
                 9:30 a.m.

               10:30 a.m.
                   4-6 p.m.
Fall Series Continues: 
Practicing Presbyterians - Should Christianity Promote

Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Party for Pastor Bev at the Argillas

Bible Study, Noon on Friday September 15th 
Isaiah 56:1-8, 1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 19:1-15
Please Remember in Your Prayers

Nance Rosencranz, recovering from a stroke, for full and complete recovery, for God's loving presence to be felt, and for strength and support for her loved ones, especially her children Trina and Alexx;
Carolyn Goodman's sister Wendy, who lost her home to a house fire, for God's loving and constant presence, and for the loving support of all around her to be with her as she rebuilds;
Dennis Latta's father Leroy,  recently diagnosed with dementia, for God's loving presence to be with Leroy and his family;
Kalli Bane,  for relief from abdominal pain, and for restful sleep surrounded by God's love for her and her family;
Peg Maclise's sister Kim, for God's healing presence, and for PegGod's strength, love, and peace; 
Those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, their homes, and are suffering in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and their aftermath, and the Mexico earthquake, and the recent wildfires, for comfort, and healing; may people far and wide be God's hands, feet, and heart bringing relief from suffering, and comfort in mourning;
Sue Burr, for a full and speedy recovery from a perforated appendix;
Alex Caldwell, for a full and speedy recovery from  a sh oulder injury sustained in Costa Ric a;
Kelsey Lopin,  for total healing, renewed strength, continued flourishing, creativity, and energy to share her God-given gifts;
Jeri Rayford and her family, grieving the loss of Prentis,  for God's loving presence, strength, and support in their bereavement;and for her daughter Regina, recovery and healing;
Jody Brockett and her family, grieving the loss of Jody's Mother Jeanne, prayers for the family to feel God's comfort and peace, and prayers for Jody's Dad, who is transitioning to a new living situation;
Katie Brendler, may God's loving presence and comfort abide with her and her family as they mourn the loss of Katie's dear Father, and for full recovery for her Mother as she gets treatment for cervical cancer;
Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for complete healing, and for Nancy to continue to feel God's abiding presence in companioning her;
The hungry, especially all those depending on the US government for food aid here and abroad;
All those suffering from racial discrimination, racial violence, and hatred, for God's justice and healing;
Those living in the shadows and fearing deportation, for safety, security for their families and children, a path to citizenship, and sanctuary;
The incarcerated, and their loved ones, for a justice system and prison system that uphold our highest values of human dignity and fairness;
Our country, for a way forward where we live our values of justice and equality for all people; 
The refugees and displaced , almost 1 out of 100 people in the world today, for safety, homes, the basics of life, and freedom from being scapegoated;
Our Muslim neighbors, subject to Islamophobia and hate crimes;
Our planet, the world's poor, all who suffer from disruptive climate change, may we continue our work to keep the planet livable;
Praying Hands
The PC(USA), for courage and energy to continue our world-wide mission of love and justice for all people;
Dr. Doug Tilton, our PC(USA) mission co-worker in Southern Africa;
Our church, for the Spirit to continue to guide us and fill us with energy for mission and love for all our neighbors!

Please take time this week to pray for those on our list.

           Session Report - September 13, 2017

Clerk - Dennis Latta - The Financial Resiliency process and timeline were discussed thoroughly, with special attention to congregational feedback.  Scroll down to next item below.

Finance - Doug Eisinger - Monthly financial reports were reviewed. Stewardship Sunday is tentatively set for November 5, along with the Harvest Feast.  Solar contract under review.  

Building and Grounds - Ahmed Abu Aly - With the $7,500 fallen tree expense, which the Session convened an emergency meeting to address and approve, maintenance for 110 Tarry this year is at $9,250, considerably in excess of the $2,000 budget, and there is still a roof leak to repair.  
We are exploring the feasibility of a chair lift up the church indoor stairs to enable disabled folks to get to the rest rooms from the sanctuary.  

Mission - Patti Vance - Harvest is going well and Farm Stand is a great success, but we need more Saturday volunteers.

Family Ministries - Janel Stewart - Several have signed up for the Family Ministries team and will be meeting to organize a fun interim program of monthly meetings on Friday nights for middle schoolers. 

Membership - Merle Ongaro - Review of the membership rolls is complete, and new members class will be announced this week.  Bocce Day is 10/29.  

Worship - Jody Brockett - Attendance has been excellent.  Flower Guild will meet September 15 to plan fall harvest decor and advent liturgical art.  Bev will clarify that announcement time in worship is sacred space and not for discussion of church business. Questions and feedback about church business will be directed to the elders following the service.

Deacons - Kit Argilla - Parish Dinners are coming up:  Robin's is 9/30; Kit/Nance's is 10/15; and Peg/Marie's TBD soon.  Harvest Feast follows Stewardship Sunday 11/5.  Bev's Appreciation gathering is 9/24.  We are readying ourselves to support Nance with meals from the congregation.  
Those who would like to visit Nance can click here
to get the link to the sign up sheet from the church office.

Moderator - Pastor Bev - Bev will be at PC(USA) headquarters presenting a report for the ACSWP 9/20-9/23.  

The meeting opened and closed with prayer and was adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

Financial Resiliency Update from the Session
   Criteria for a Sustainable Resilient Church
                   and the Way Forward

Dear Members and Friends of Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church,
After the August 27 Let's Talk, Session invited the Manse Study Team (MST) to re-convene with new members to work on bringing forward additional sustainability options to add to the one option which the Session identified and described in the Congregational letter of August 17, 2017.  Session has heard from the MST, and will be sending a warm thank you to co-chairs Luke Argilla and Sharon Adams and the MST (Carolyn Goodman, Peg Maclise, and Mark Sarkisian) for their faithful service, and inviting any of them who feel called, along with those who signed up to join them (Lori and Chris Lopin, Cathy Sarkisian, Linda McCarron) and the Finance Elders Working Team (Steve Derr, Alan Burr) to form a new team - yet to be named, to explore fiscal options they feel the congregation should consider. The new team will be invited to the October 18 Session meeting to preview their findings, and to discuss how their options may or may not meet the Sustainability Criteria adopted by Session (below).  Session is planning a mid-November Let's Talk where Session will again outline the Sustainability Criteria for the congregation, and allow the new team to present their findings. After the Let's Talk, a survey of preferences will be conducted to aid Session on the path forward. That will conclude the discussions for this year. In January, at budget time, we will discern with the current Session, and before the 110 Tarry lease runs out, whether a strong consensus exists in favor of selling the church property at 110 Tarry, and if so, call a congregational meeting for a vote on the sale of 110 Tarry.   

Here are The Sustainability Criteria:

(1) pastor housing option which is affordable to the church and a future pastor (note that the cost of removing the large fallen tree at 110 Tarry this week exceeded the maintenance budget for 2017 and the rental increase, so that 110 Tarry will finish the year "in the red," taking from the church operating budget rather than contributing);

(2) reduce our debt (as a tax-exempt organization we get no tax benefits from debt; debt is our third largest expense; dollars which go into paying the 110 Tarry mortgages add to illiquid equity instead of living ministry; SHPC is the 4th most indebted church of the 48 churches in our regional body);

(3) establish a capital improvement/maintenance fund to meet the significant needs of the church facility, so that we invest in our church;

(4) i ncrease the operating budget without putting additional stress on our pledgers, so that unmet staffing, facilities, and program needs can be met (the "structural deficit") and the church can continue to grow and flourish;

(5) direct precious volunteer energy and hours into God's work. 
In peace,
Dennis Latta, Clerk, Doug Eisinger, Finance Elder, Jody Brockett, Worship Elder, Patti Vance, Mission Elder, Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, Ahmed Abu-Aly, Building and Grounds Elder, Merle Ongaro, Membership Elder, Kit Argilla, Board of Deacons, Moderator, Rev. Bev Brewster, Pastor
CALLING ALL JUSTICE GARDENERS - Come on over to church Friday and Saturday!  New folks welcome!

We'll harvest Friday at 8 a.m. for our Saturday Farmstand on the corner of Butterfield Rd and Green Valley Court!
Ways you can help:
   Pick on Friday morning at 8:00am
   Assist at the stand on Saturday
   ( If you are on the 8:00am 
   shift, we will meet at church to load up)
Pictured at left, St Rita's parishioner, Susanne Jones, accepting produce from our Justice Garden for their monthly food pantry that serves the neediest of their clients.  

From Susanne:

THANK YOU KIT and all of SHPC.  I just got home from the pantry and wanted to let you know how welcome the produce was.  Nearly all was taken and what little was left is going to the food bank in Fairfax tomorrow. Thank you so much for your was so welcomed by those who are especially needy.  You do a wonderful service....thank you.   - Susanne

Thanks so much to everyone for your continued support of this life-bringing mission.

See you in the garden!

The Short School is looking for volunteers Wednesdays 4-5 p.m. for gardening!!!  

They are also in need of volunteers for cooking, art, and science.
Volunteer orientation is offered Sept. 6 and then not until October, so don't hesitate--
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jody 
Let's Share the Bounty from our Justice Garden

The Deacons are looking for suggestions! Can you think of anyone who might enjoy a small basket o f produce from our  Justice Gar den during this bountiful time?

  Do you have a nearby elderly, sick, or lonely ne ighbor we should know about? 

Please email: Kit Argilla at
Family Ministries Team!  

If you have a passion to see new and welcoming ideas and programs for children of all ages, let's get together to form a team to share ideas for the coming school year.
Please contact Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, at
Yoga is Back!
Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
with Karen Baigrie 
Starting 9/19
All levels welcome

Click here to email Jody to RSVP
Fall Sermon Series: One Nation Under God?
Back to School Series Explores How Well Christianity Works for Good in the USA Today

Our fall series: One Nation Under God?  Recovering Our Moral Voice

Sunday, Sept. 17  
Christianity and Gender Politics - Why should we care about the rights of transgender people? 
Let's Talk - Film Viewing and Discussion

Sunday, Sept. 24
    Should Christian religious practice           promote   discrimination? 

A Presbyterian understanding of the 1st and 14th amendments: freedom of religion and equal protection under the law

How the Reformation helped shape the U.S. Constitution
Many of us have heard that the United States' form of government was influenced by the practices and beliefs of Presbyterians who crossed the ocean to find religious freedom. Even today, our local municipal meetings and sessions of Congress mirror what takes place in church meeting rooms around the country as elected ruling elders seek to lead each congregation. While we may understand how the church influenced the form of government, we may not always know how traditional Reformed theology has influenced the beliefs that are the bedrock of the Constitution.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." ...

Calvin emphasized a democracy within the church that we still practice today. Church members elected leaders. There was parity between elders and ministers, a practice that Reformed churches had defended fiercely over the centuries. And Calvin cultivated a position on church and state that provided a distinction between the church and the state, each being separate from the other, yet accountable to God. In all cases, Calvin placed Christians' responsibility to God above their responsibility to the state.

Over time Presbyterians moved to something like our First Amendment. The seeds were sown in the early days, but would come into a more recognizable form when Reformed people were religious minorities or found themselves living side by side with people who believed differently. In places where they were a minority, Presbyterians argued for the free exercise of their own Reformed religious beliefs because they did not want to be forced to be part of another church tradition. This desire to practice Presbyterianism resulted in church leaders' standing up for the rights of others to exercise their religious freedom.

In the late 18th century, the free exercise of religion was often thought of as the free exercise of different strains of Christianity. But as religious pluralism has grown, so has the idea that freedom of religious expression should not be limited to Christians. As we well know, affirming that someone should be free to express something is not the same as adopting their beliefs.

The nub of the 14th Amendment is that all people deserve the same protections. In the Constitution, this is specifically aimed at citizens. In our tradition, we have interpreted that more broadly as a Christian practice. This practice of equal protection is especially important in the way we think of refugees.  One of the distinctive features of the Geneva Reformation was the regularized practice of the welcome of refugees. No doubt, Calvin's own experience as a French refugee was a great influence.  ...

  As Presbyterians think about immigration in the United States, individual Christians and churches are called on to stand for their convictions, putting God above country and remembering that God alone is Lord of the conscience. There may not be a clearly Christian answer to the political question of how many immigrants or refugees the United States should accept each year. Biblically, we are called to welcome whatever immigrants or refugees end up in the United States, however they got here.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Team finds resilience among members amid the damage

Traveling around the area, one may wonder if there was any damage at all from Hurricane Harvey. Crews have worked overtime to remove debris from the main roadways in the city, but travel 20 minutes to the south or east and you can see the evidence for miles. 
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance leaders joined local church leaders over the weekend to assess the damage left by several days of Harvey's heavy rain.
We are having conversations with churches about becoming long-term host sites for volunteers," Kirk said. "There will be a lot of work for people to do in the coming weeks and months. In addition to funds, the communities need thousands of cleanup kits."
PDA also heard from some of the youth and their leaders about the struggles they've faced and the good that has come out of it.

"We had 4 to 5 feet of water in our church. But this is the first time I've felt a part of a connectional church," said Marilee Norred, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Dickinson, Texas. "It has been phenomenal to see everyone who cares about us. Churches across the country are calling us to say they support us financially and spiritually."

PDA traveled to several churches heavily impacted by high water ranging from a foot to several feet depending on the region. After hearing an update on the work teams already in place, the Rev. Keith Uffman, pastor of Webster Presbyterian Church, said it's important that they help their community get back to living.

"We did sprint a lot when this first happened," Uffman said. "We need to try and maintain some normalcy in our programs and ministry."

School resumes later this week in most of the impacted communities, including Webster.
"This will be the first time teachers are seeing their students since Harvey struck so they will be first responders for a lot of young people," Uffman said. "We continue to pray for strength, endurance and wisdom in the coming days and weeks."

To read the rest of the article, click here.
    To volunteer please click here


Looking for a way to volunteer?

We need some help ASAP to replace Nance as a counter while she recovers. The time commitment is after the service, usually once a month and simply requires you to count the collections after church.

If you are available, please contact Doug, finance elder or Pastor Bev as soon as possible. Thanks!

     Wil has moved!
Wil would like you to know that he has moved to Alma Via in Terra Linda.  YES, he still plans to come to church! At Alma Via, he'll have 3 meals a day, and so now he'll be inviting US to eat with him!  Please call the church office to get his new cell phone number.

And thank him for his Food Barrel ministry! 

NEW FOLKS - We will match you with a veteran so that you can be trained on our highly complex coffeemaker and have FUN!

Fellowship time is organized by your Deacons. We need everyone to sign-up about 3-4 times a year. 
Click below to sign up: 
Sign up now and keep the hospitality

Don't be shy, Greeting is a Treat!
We've updated the signups for the new year!  

Help with our ministry of hospitality by signing up to be a greeter! All you have to do is get to church by 9:15, light the candles, and hand out bulletins with a smile. Thank you to all who have signed up so far!

Thank you all for your continued support,
Jody Brockett, 
Worship Elder
Wil and I have participated in a bocce tournament for several years to benefit Casa Allegra.  This is an organization that supports disabled adults.  We are proudly know as the Holley Rollers and have actually won it on a few occasions.  We need one or two more players for our team (the Argilla's and Millie currently on board).  The event is Saturday October 7th at 9 - usually over at noon or later if we keep winning.  The cost is $5O and includes lunch.  Let me know if you can play.  It would be good practice for our upcoming deacon bocce roll off - you do not need to know how to play. It's easy to learn.   
Thanks - sharon Adams


Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 10:00am - 4:00pm | $42 in advance | $50 at the door

Cloud of Witnesses:
The Community of Christ in Hebrews

Spend the day learning and preparing to lead this magnificent study which invites you to explore  The Letter to the Hebrews. This is a significant book of the Bible, and is also significantly different from every other book in the Bible. It consists of thirteen chapters, all of which are packed with theology, metaphor, comparisons, and spirituality. Therefore, I've decided to approach the letter thematically, not sequentially. We will explore nine major themes, relate those themes to other parts of our faith tradition, and tie them together with the overarching motif of community. The community for which the letter was written interacts, in a sense, with all the communities of which you are a part, because you bring those groups with you wherever you go-they have helped to form you into the person you are. The community in which you study and worship, your family and friends, social and therapy groups - all are part of you.

Our prayer is that the study of community in Hebrews will help us strengthen our own communities.
Lunch will be provided.

Melissa Bane Sevier is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who, after more than 23 years as a pastor,chose in 2015 to leave the pastorate and focus on her longtime ministry of writing and photography. Melissa has a degree in elementary education (King College), an MCE from Reformed Theological Seminary, an MDiv from Louisville Seminary, and a DMin from McCormick Seminary. She lives in Versailles, Kentucky, with her husband, Jerry.
Buy Tickets at:
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to maintain sobriety through sharing their recovery experience with others. 

Looking for more information? Check out the San Francisco/Marin AA website for more information including meeting times and places, including a weekly men's meeting at Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church every Tuesday at 8:30pm

24-hour hotline is also available for immediate listening and guidance if wished -
·        6pm-10am in Marin 415-499-0400
·       10am-6pm - SF Central Office (415) 674-1821 (they will refer Marin callers to Marin resources)

Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road
San Anselmo, CA  94960
Katie Brendler,  Editor
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221