News of the Presbytery of San Jose
 
“Earth, do not cover my blood;
     may my cry never be laid to rest!

Even now my witness is in heaven;
     my advocate is on high.

My intercessor is my friend
     as my eyes pour out tears to God..."

Job 16:18-20
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, particularly the Events page at www.sanjosepby.org.

SJ PBY logo.
Presbytery Meeting
September 28, 2019

Join us Saturday, September 28th for our upcoming Presbytery meeting being held at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 1100 Shasta Ave., San Jose 95117 . Worship begins at 9:00 am . Check our website closer to the meeting date for a copy of the current docket.
For those who could not attend either of the two clergy boundaries training events offered so far this year, a make-up session has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 6th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Presbytery offices.

Note that clergy are *REQUIRED* to attend a training within 2019.

Lunch is included.

To RSVP, please email Collette at collette@sanjosepby.org.
Public Town Hall Meeting

Stone Church is honored in being able to host Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren for a Town Hall meeting on Sunday July 21st, at 11 AM. (Stone Church is located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Clark Way, San Jose, 95125.)

Rep. Lofgren represents California's 19th District and many of us in Congress. She's been a Member of Congress since 1995.

Rep. Lofgren is recognized as an established champion of top-to-bottom immigration reform and a national leader in immigration policy. In that and in many other areas, she has worked for social and economic justice for all.

Bring a friend and come prepared with questions. We look forward to having you there!
First Presbyterian Church
of San Jose Closed

First Presbyterian Church of San Jose's final service was Sunday, June 30th. The San Jose Mercury News documented the event well. The article may be found here:

While we grieve the loss of any church, the particular loss of such a historically pivotal congregation is deeply felt, but not without hope.

First Pres does leave behind a legacy of urban ministry. Front Door Communities, the urban ministry non-profit founded by the church is still in operation and is temporarily housed at the property. The Presbytery's Administrative Commission is in conversation with them about ongoing collaboration with the Presbytery.

As a side-note, the Commission is also working on preserving the antique stained glass windows. If you have any interest in them, please let the Commission know via the Presbytery Office.
The 35th annual Ecumenical Retired Clergy/Partner Retreat will be gathering February 4th & 5th at the San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville. The speaker this year is Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Ph.D. who is associated with both the General Conference of the United Methodists, and is also strong advocate for religious pluralism and LGBT rights.

More information regarding Dr. Kuan and retreat registration may be found here:

The Mid-Council newsletter for the denomination may be found here: Newsletter
Pastoral Reflection 

I'm currently reading a book by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher entitled Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession. It's a book about the different types of prayers offered within a liturgical service, their purpose, and ways to enhance their meaningfulness to the members of the congregation.

In the book, Wells points out that when we bring needs to God through intercession, we are asking God to intervene in our lives in a miraculous way. We may be expecting the Creator to collapse the space between the present moment and fulfillment of the Kingdom of God, and we may not receive the answer we're pursuing. Wells says that "the fact that Creation is deeply good, despite the fall, and the truth that mundane, ordinary existence is profoundly valuable and suffused with God's glory: this is what holds the Father back, because this abiding and wondrous creation is what will be swallowed up in the final coming of the kingdom, where God will be all and in all."

But that doesn't mean we are to hold back from praying or that God won't answer our prayers. Rather, it points to intercession as being about God's transfiguration of our circumstances so that they become "integral to the story of salvation" and a blessing to the world. It's about transforming despair into hope.

In other words, the Prayers of the People not about presenting a "laundry list" of needs to God. It's instead about entering into a process by which God works within our circumstances to bring about a taste of redemption. The Holy Spirit enters into this moment of dialogue and inspires our words, so that God's responsive actions usher in a sacramental hope.

As I lead my congregation through their weekly "Prayers of the People," I hope I am mindful of the process we are engaging in, that I pause long enough to recognize what is happening in the moment, and that I am able to point to the work of God in our lives. Perhaps that is your hope too as you bring your personal or congregation's needs, pain, and desires before the Creator who loves and redeems us.

Rev. Jenni Bales
Director of Communications
Presbytery of San Jose

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: www.sanjosepby.org