The Word is very near you; it is on your lips and in your hearts!

You may have noticed, this week, that you started receiving notifications in your inbox from a new group on Realm, called Sharing on the Road. This is our attempt at streamlining the process for continuing our shared reflection and sharing throughout the week, beyond when we are gathered on Sunday mornings.

As such, one way to approach it would be as an extension of sermon sharing, in which we are all invited to share our experiences as they relate to the week's texts & sermon. Additionally, it could be used to share our own thoughts & reflections on things we're learning about, or questions we have that we want communal input on.

It is not, however, a place for sharing articles (unless the focus is more on your personal reflections than on the article itself), memes, photos (as much as we love them!), etc. That stuff is all GREAT and has its place in our Facebook group. If you use Facebook and you're not already in that group, then make sure to join that, as well!

If you'd like to not participate in Sharing on the Road, that is also okay - just remove yourself from the group (or ask for help in doing so). We are approaching this group as being focused on congregational sharing, rather than another small group, and so are therefore proceeding on an opt-out basis.

Listen for God speaking in each other's stories and in the silence!

Preaching, Listening, and Silence
Paul preaching
I am a preacher whose work is grounded and rooted in love. I hope my preaching is for people’s transformation, engaging everyone to speak the Gospel. As a preacher, you and I are in a kind of dance, paying attention to each other so that the steps are graceful and lead to our experience of the Living Word. In the harmony of this motion, we both are formed—including in the silence. 

Silence is one of those things that I can either love or hate. I love silence when I can settle into myself, listening for whatever it is that the Spirit is breathing through me. I hate silence when it feels critical. Often, I block silence by saying somethinganythingto keep the silence at bay. One experience feels like love, and the other feels like judgment. These two experiences are front and center whenever I preach and open the sermon to youthe congregationfor your reflection.

Sermons differ from speeches; sermons are about listening to the whole community, not just what the preacher brings. Sermons arent about a carefully wrapped package that leads to a clear moral lesson. Sharing work in the sermon is much messier, sometimes heartbreaking, and occasionally annoying. Preaching at St. Gregorys is our shared struggle to hear the Living Word present with us. In this, we stand on the promise that God is speaking in each of our stories. 

Yes, God is speaking in the stories that everyone has to offer. But these stories are not just witty anecdotes or brilliant opinions; they are Gospel. And when they drift toward opinion, it is hard to hear the good news. Yet, despite our imperfections, God wants to be known in what the preacher says and in the congregation’s response. In our imperfections, the Gospel shines through. This means that we trust that the Spirit is speaking in our words and listening in our ears.

Sometimes the silence just needs to go on without a word being spoken by the congregation. And these are the moments when I, as the preacher, feel most tempted to hate the silence. My hope, and the spiritual practice that I must attend to, is loving the silence—even when it makes me uncomfortable.
Our Shared Life
  • This week we pray for Peter and Kaitlin, who are soon to have their baby—for their health and safety.
  • If you would like to participate in our Sunday Liturgy as a reader in person or on Zoom, you can sign up by contacting Peter, who will share the new sign-up information with you.
  • We are actively recruiting more deacons, zoom hosts, and camera deacons for our hybrid service. If you'd like to help out, contact Peter.

Announcements from Friends
and Partners

  • AA Big Book Meeting takes place at 10:00 am every Saturday at St. Gregory's. Enter by the ground floor admin building entrance.
  • The Food Pantry gives away free food every Saturday, Noon to 2:00 pm. Come at 9:00 am and help set up.
  • Mission Fusion dance comes to St. Gregory's on Saturday, August 6, from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am. Everyone is welcome to come and share in social dance and great company.

Calendar & Links for Events
Click the event name for the link. All times in PST.

Every Sunday:
  • The Early Liturgy (8:30 am, in-person). This 45-minute service features creative storytelling using Godly Play, gospel enactment, congregational singing, embodied prayer, and Eucharist. All ages are welcome and encouraged to come.
  • The Adult Forum is taking a break for the next few weeks. Watch this space to see our upcoming plans.
  • Contemplative Prayer (9:30 am, in-person) meets in the chapel. Everyone is welcome to come and share the silence.
  • The Late Liturgy (10:30 am, hybrid). This 75-minute liturgy highlights song, prayer, reflection, and personal sharing. All ages are welcome and encouraged to come.
  • Fifteen Good Minutes (following the late service). This is a 15-minute conversation about the Sunday liturgy, specially designed for visitors to learn more about how we make church together.

Every Week:
  • Zoom Morning Prayer (Tuesday-Friday 7:30 am, on Zoom). This 45-minute intimate gathering for prayer and reflection on the day's scripture follows the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. Contact Ebba for more information.
  • In-Person Morning Prayer (Monday-Friday 8:00 an in-person) meets at the church for a 30-minute time of song, silence, scripture, and singing.
  • The Bible Study (Wednesdays at 12:00 pm, on Zoom) is taking a break until September.

Other Upcoming Events:
  • The Icon Painters Group (Sunday, August 7, 12:30 - 5:00 pm, in-person). This group is for icon writers who would like to develop their craft with others. Contact Betsy for more information.
  • The Elder Women's Group (Monday, August 8, 11:00 am). This group is for St. Gregory's women over 65 and meets on Zoom. For more information, contact Tonia or Ebba.
  • East Bay Evensong (Thursday, August 11, 6:30-8:30 pm). This group meets on the second Thursday of each month for Gregorians in the East Bay to share prayer, fellowship, song, and a meal together. For more information about East Bay Evensong or to attend, contact Leesy.
  • The North Bay Group (Saturday, August 13, 2:00 pm, in person). This group is for folks living in the North Bay to connect spiritually with each other, meeting on the 2nd Saturday of each month. Contact Laurie for details.
  • St. Gregory's at Anchor Taps (Sunday, August 14, 12:15 pm) everyone is welcome to join us for refreshments and food.
One Last Thing...

Peter is heading out on leave at the end of this week! He'll be away for a month to spend time at home with Kaitlin and his baby, and will be back in early September.
Stay Connected: