News of the Presbytery of San Jose
And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me
blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for
me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Luke 1: 46-55

We want to keep you informed!
Below is a list of current events happening in the Presbytery of San Jose.

Also remember to check the Presbytery
website at
SJ PBY logo.
Presbytery Meetings

With the passing of the new standing rules, the Presbytery is consolidating the annual number of meetings to four in the coming years. The dates available for the 2021 meetings are below. Check back on the Presbytery website closer to the date for registration information and the docket.

February 6th

May 1st

September 25th

November 20th

The Mid Council Newsletter may be found here:

PW logo
The Presbyterian Women's group invites you to join in Stone Church's virtual Taize service on January 3rd at 2:00 pm as a way to gather for Epiphany in the coming year. Contact Rosaleen Zisch at [email protected] for link information.
Just a reminder that the Presbytery office is now distributing a weekly announcement email based on the Presbytery events calendar. These weekly distributions supplement the monthly newsletter.

To assist with the weekly announcements, Collette has
created a submission page on the Presbytery website for you to use to inform of us of your newsletter/calendar entry. The link may be found here:

We hope this is a useful tool in keeping you current with all the Presbytery-wide events, and also serves as an easy way to make announcements.

Thank you, Collette!
First Pres of Palo Alto invites you to attend their Advent Jazz concerts on December 16th and 23rd. The virtual concerts will play from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm.

The event registration page may be found here:

Virtual Taize services are happening every Tuesday night during Advent at Stone Church of Willow Glen. The remaining dates are December 15th and 22nd starting at 6:35 pm.

Zoom information may be found on the church's website at
For various reasons, churches sometimes need an official letter from the denomination stating their 501(c)3 non-profit status. The contact person for obtaining these letters has changed. For any future requests, please contact Rebecca Rayner at r[email protected].
Your email request should include the name and address of the church, as well as the tax identification number. Please be sure to also include the name, email address and phone number of the contact person.
An update regarding the Watsonville Administrative Commission and the Beach St. Property (formerly UPCW):

The Commission has recently implemented a two-phased strategy for the property due to the overarching impact of the pandemic.

Phase 1 is comprised of short-term leases currently being extended to Salud Para La Gente, Martha's Kitchen, and the Discovery Church and School organizations.

Phase 2 includes a continuation of the Commission's discussion and discernment for the long term plan of the property.

We will continue to keep the Presbytery updated.
An update regarding the Downtown Property Commission and the San Jose Urban Ministry Center:

The architect has more or less completed the floor plans at this point.

We are expecting a section by section cost estimate from the contractor in the next few days.

We hope to submit the architectural plans for the remodel to the City of San Jose in the next couple of months. Feedback from the City will be forthcoming.
There are some upcoming events for Clerks of Session:

1) Clerk Training on Saturday, Jan. 16th from 9:30 am to 11:00 am on Zoom. Link will be provided by email and on the presbytery website soon.

Save the date for clerk training! We encourage experienced clerks to attend to share your knowledge with the new ones. The training is also recommended for new clerks to help prepare you for the new position.

We will be reviewing the clerk's responsibilities, provide time for a Q & A session, and also briefly cover the statistical report.

2) The statistical report will be due mid-February, 2021. The specific date TBD.

3) A records review session for 2019 and 2020 records will be scheduled sometime in the coming spring or summer months. Various meeting options will be available depending on pandemic developments.

Please ensure your congregational and session minutes are in chronological order and that any pertinent congregational changes has been transferred to the church register.
Be sure and visit the new and improved Presbytery website at
It's also a great place for current information.
Images of
The Kingdom of God
while Sheltering-in-Place

We are continuing to celebrate how the Church worships, ministers in the community, and cares for one another while sheltering-in-place.

The attached picture includes members of Evergreen Presbyterian Church getting ready for a virtual Advent worship service. Thanks to the contributions of a few members, everyone received an advent wreath and candles this year to use at home. During the lighting of the wreath on Sundays, we all get to share in lighting the candles in our place of worship. We miss being together in person, but meeting online has been a welcome alternative. Tradition, fellowship, and God's presence crosses pandemic boundaries.
Pastoral Reflection

I love including the Magnificat in my worship every year during Advent. It's an amazing theological reflection which embraces the significance of the first advent of Christ, the universalism of the Christian faith, and the justice embedded in the Gospel message.

I learned this year that it's traditionally been used in daily evensong services. What a wonderful way to bring the spirit of Christmas into the balance of the year! I also learned that historically, it has been experienced as a powerful source of inspiration in liberation movements. In British occupied India, for example, the Magnificat was prohibited from being sung in church, a ban offering up a commentary on colonialism and privilege despite sharing in a common faith. Public recitation of Mary's song was also outlawed during the 1980's in Guatemala as it stirred the impoverished masses. It was also forbidden to be used in public in Argentina as mothers protested the disappearance of their children during the "Dirty War" in the late 70's and early 80's. The Spirit moves in powerful ways through these ancient words.

As we celebrate Advent and Christmas this year, may we unsatisfied with the comfortable familiarity of the nativity story, and instead, be driven to pursue the transformative life-changing power of Christ's advent.

Merry Christmas!

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Director of Communications
Presbytery of San Jose

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: