News of the Presbytery of San Jose
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Genesis 3:19

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

The scheduled dates for pending 2021 Presbytery meetings are below. Check back on the Presbytery website closer to the respective date for registration information and the docket.

May 1st

September 25th

November 20th

Author Miriam Kishi, illustrator Jim Peterson, and artist Lucy Janjigan (all of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church) have published a children's book called God is With Us Always, Even in a Pandemic. The book is designed to help children process their feelings related to the pandemic by encouraging them to develop positive relationships with each other and find creative ways to respond to the challenges in their environment, all under the auspices of God's loving presence in their lives.

The Amazon link to the book may be found here: Click Here

Mrs. Kishi, Mr. Peterson, and Ms. Janjigan recently led a productive discussion and book reading with the LOGOS children at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church. They are available to host additional virtual discussions with young people from other churches.

Please contact Miriam at for more information.
Be sure and visit the new and improved Presbytery website at
It's also a great place for current information.
The Committee on Representation and Empowerment ("CORE") presents this five-part Lenten study for members of congregations in the Presbytery of San Jose who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to explore the ideology of white supremacy, begin to understand the process by which ‘we became’ People of Color, and build capacity for antiracist institutional transformation and work.

Join CORE Chair Rev. Annanda Barclay and Rev. Jessica Vazquez Torres of Crossroads Antiracism for this study, developed with the particular demographic of Silicon Valley in mind. Space is limited. Register today through the Presbytery website at:

The group will meet Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 pm PT: 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, and 4/25.
Roots Deeper than Whiteness

Study cohorts also meet between sessions three times. 

CORE presents a four-session study offered to anyone who self-identifies as "White."

This series will be facilitated by Pastors from across the Presbytery and members of the Peace and Justice Work Group. Based on the curriculum Roots Deeper than Whiteness this course reveals "whiteness" as a social construct imposed upon communities of immigrants, teaches how to recognize and end complicity with white supremacy, and creates a brave space to explore beyond the narrative of white privilege. 

Register here: Registration Page
An Update from Immanuel House

Immanuel House celebrated a milestone last November: five years of residential refugees. Despite the largely hostile attitude toward refugees and immigrants by the federal government during this same period, we have welcomed 63 individuals and eased their transition into a new life. We continue to work with the International Rescue Committee and Jewish Family Services to house their suitable clients. We currently have five refugees and the house manager...[Read More Here]
Covid-19 Vaccine Information
For Santa Clara County

Officials have announced that the County of Santa Clara Health System and several other vaccine providers throughout the county will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to any county resident age 65 and older, regardless of their healthcare provider or insurance. This “no wrong door” system is designed to ensure that county residents most vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19 can access vaccines more quickly and seamlessly.

The County’s website HERE provides information and links for making vaccine appointments with providers across the county. In addition, residents without internet access or who need additional assistance can make appointments for the County Health System vaccine sites through the Valley Connection Call Center at 408-970-2000. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4:30pm. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages.
The County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is updated daily with information about vaccine allocation and administration by healthcare providers throughout the county. 
There are some upcoming events for Clerks of Session:

1) The statistical report is due February 11th.

2) A records review session for 2019 and 2020 records will be scheduled sometime in the coming spring. 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.
On February 28th from 4:00 to 5:30 pm (online learning and action workshop), “A Faithful Response: Indigenous Land Rights and the Environmental Injustice of the Doctrine of Discovery'' will provide an opportunity for participants to learn and take action to support the land rights campaigns of local indigenous groups and to examine how the church can confess and repudiate its role in the Doctrine of Discovery. Co-hosted by First Presbyteran Church Palo Alto and the PJWG. Register Here.

Message Meredith Hurley for Zoom Link information at
Mission Conversations: Co-Workers to Peru

The Mission Conversations zoom series continues with Mission Co-Workers overseas who speak about their experiences. While we wait for the ability to travel again, you are invited to zoom to Peru for an early lunch on Thursday, Feb 11th to meet two PC(USA) Mission co-workers to Peru: Jed and Jenny Koball. 

Lenten Retreat
with Lauren Artress

Sat, February 20, 9am – 12pm

Wilderness or Wonderment? Using the Labyrinth to Refresh the Spirit and Nourish the Soul

The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress is Canon Emeritus of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Her latest book The Path of the Holy Fool: How the Labyrinth Ignites Visionary Powers is inspired by her thirty years of work with the Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral.

Meeting ID: 836 6440 1201
Passcode: 427235  
In Memoriam

The Rev. Sharon Hare (HR) passed from natural causes on January 21st in Eugene, OR. Sharon most recently served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Jose from 2010 - 2018. She is survived by her daughter, Michelle.

Sharon was originally ordained by the Presbytery of Blackhawk (Northern Illinois excluding Chicago) and served several churches in upstate New York prior to coming to San Jose.

In addition, the Rev. Sim Granado, pastor of St. Phillip's Presbyterian Church in Salinas passed away on February 7th due to complications from Covid-19.

Sim was the pastor of St. Philips for 17 years. We received him from the United Methodist Church of the Philippines in 2003. He is survived by his wife Luz, daughter Shema and family, and son Shechem.
Our very own Rev. Dr. Libby Boatright is being published! Libby is a "Relief Chaplain" at Stanford Hospital specializing in oncology outpatient palliative care.

Her book The Last Things We Talk About is being released April 6th (via amazon Here), and is intended to help readers and their loved ones affirm, celebrate, and remember the people and experiences they cherish from life.

It also guides readers step-by-step through the process of making aging and death-related decisions. This includes defining personal values and wishes as well as planning for practical medical, financial, and legal considerations.

Knowing Libby, this work will be a relatable and effective tool in helping families with difficult end-of-life discussions. Thank you for sharing with us your years of experience with us!
The Presbyterian Foundation is offering various workshops this spring covering stewardship, digital engagement, and budgeting. Details may be found Here.
Trinity Pres Santa Cruz
Join the Rev. Darrell Yearney, HR on February 21st from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm as Trinity Santa Cruz's Education Committee hosts a Zoom discussion forum relating to "Faith, Ethics, and Social Concern" specifically addressing racism in the Church and society.

Contact Darrell at to register.
The Rev. Deborah Troester was recently called as the pastor of Santa Teresa Hills Presbyterian Church. As we haven't had a chance to sit down with her in person after a Presbytery meeting and chat with her, I've included parts of her biography from the recent COM report to the Presbytery. Please welcome Deborah to our community!

Rev. Deborah Troester is a native of southern Illinois. As a former secondary and undergraduate instructor, she has taught English, German, and basic computer skills to students from grade six through undergraduate university level. A second-career pastor, she feels that her teaching experience helped prepare her for ministry, as teaching people of all ages is an important pastoral skill. Pastor Deborah has a B.A. from Southern Illinois University, an M.A. from Penn State, and a Master of Divinity from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. She was ordained in the PC(USA) in 2003.

She served in various ministry capacities in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She and her husband, Dr. Joe Troester, Ph.D., then became ecumenical mission partners with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - Global Mission (ELCA-GM) in 2006. Subsequently, after studying French in Burkina Faso, they were sent to Cameroon, where Deborah taught Bible studies (in French) to young women in an alternative school setting. They later served in the Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Zambia.

In the Central African Republic, Deborah taught Greek, English, and Biblical Studies at the Lutheran Theological School. She also developed a literacy program for spouses of students and preached and lead services regularly at the seminary chapel, as well as in local churches. During this time their daughter Christa attended boarding school in neighboring Cameroon. Deborah and Joe frequently visited her there, and got to know the country well, often spending their vacation time in the capital, Yaoundé, or at the beach on the Atlantic coast.

Due to the 2013 coup in the Central African Republic, Deborah and Joe were transferred to Tanzania where Deborah served in various ministry capacities. In 2018, they were transferred back to Zambia. Earlier this year, their mission service came to a close and Deborah accepted the call to STHPC.

Welcome, Deborah and Joe! We're so glad you're part of our Presbytery!
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.

Our own Bonny Doon Church has recently collected and published a book of stories relating to their congregation (available on Amazon Here). In addition to being an engaging read, may it also inspire other congregations in their own creativity and outreach.

We also look forward to ongoing updates regarding the community's recovery from last year's fire.
Pastoral Reflection

As we enter into Lent this month, it seems like we are carrying a heavy and heightened sense of our own mortality as we continue to face the pandemic. It's not just a liturgical season, we are living with and dying with the fact that we are dust and to dust we shall return.

My favorite liturgical artist, Mary Button has just released her 2021 Stations of the Cross which interpret the Stations through the lens of Covid-19. She also found inspiration in the poem "Hope" by Emily Dickinson. I share it here with you as a Lenten reflection in the storm we currently face together. May our hope have feathers; may it's ascension be a source of inspiration; and may the truth that "God's eye is on the sparrow" bring comfort and strength.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Communications Director

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: