News of the Presbytery of San Jose
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
Matthew 11:29

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 [email protected] 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
Hey Presby-pals! As many of you know, our SJP hunger program is partnered with Common Roots Farm in Santa Cruz as a means of addressing physical hunger via organic produce and hunger for acceptance via empowering employment opportunities for alternatively-abled neighbors.

Well, I'm excited to share the news that our super special crew has been vaccinated we are ready and revved up for volunteers!!!  

We can start hosting churches and individuals (email me with interest); however, we are also looking for farm interns!!! 

We hope to find one or two people who sense a call to our social mission and who are eager to learn about farming. Live-in accommodations, fresh eggs and produce, and a small stipend are available benefits.

Learn more at: Common Roots Farm March Newsletter here:

Rev. Ryan Althaus

On March 14th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm, join the Peace and Justice Working Group as we talk about how “Pollution is Segregated Too!'' This education and action workshop explains why communities of color are more impacted by pollution and how faith communities can respond.

Register Here:

Message Meredith Hurley for Zoom Link information at [email protected].
Covenant Presbyterian Church & the Presbyterian Outlook

Covenant Presbyterian Church was recently featured in the Presbyterian Outlook publication. Click on the link below for the full article on "What's right about the church..."

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!
The Presbyterian Foundation is offering various workshops this spring covering stewardship, digital engagement, and budgeting. Details may be found Here.
The Rev. Katheryn McGinnis' installation as the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (Santa Cruz) is coming up soon! The pre-recorded service will be available at 10:30am and 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

For those who would like to attend the virtual service, the Zoom link for both viewing times is below: 

Meeting ID: 826 2846 7741
Passcode: 515425

Congratulations, Katheryn!
Upcoming PW Event!

Author Angelica Shirley Carpenter will share the story of Matilda Joslyn Gage from her two latest books, Born Criminal (a biography) and The Voice of Liberty (a picture book). 

Zoom Link:

Zoom Meeting ID: 881 7694 3774, passcode 907421. 
Are You a Published Author?

There have been so many wonderful publications coming out of our Presbytery recently, that we will be dedicating a page on our website for promoting them. If you have authored a book, magazine article, journal article, or regularly publish a blog, please contact us about creating a link for your work.

Email Collette at [email protected] or Jenni at [email protected].
The current Mid-Council Newsletter may be found here:

Celebrating Jane Odell, Safe Church Coordinator

After serving for many years as the Presbytery Safe Church Coordinator, Jane Odell is stepping down from the position.  Recent health challenges have led to this decision.  We were one of the first, if not only Presbytery to have a dedicated position for Safe Church practices.  And from the initial task of how to make our churches safe for children and youth, the ministry expanded to include older adults, clergy boundaries, and active shooter precautions.  Jane has keep these issues on the forefront of the minds of our presbytery.  I certainly will never forget, “We report, we do not investigate.”

To be clear, Jane is not going anywhere.  She continues to reside in Los Gatos, is active at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Aptos, and continues her committee assignments.

The Stated Clerk and I will take this opportunity to look at the position and make necessary adjustments or updates.  In the meantime, please join me in giving thanks to God and to Jane for her many years of service as our Safe Church Coordinator.

Thank you, Jane!

Joey Lee, Executive Presbyter
Internet Links for County Information
Relating to Covid-19

Monterey County

Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County has been moved into the Red Tier. More information may be found on the County and State websites. Link below:

Santa Cruz County

CA State Site with County 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.

In organizing a free e-waste recycling event for this coming Saturday, March 13th, Westminster Presbyterian Church is both addressing an environmental concern and creatively providing a valuable service to the surrounding neighborhood. What a great way to love one's neighbors!

Pastoral Reflection

I was recently reminded of how many of us are still trying to cope with exacerbated mental health issues as we wait out our sheltering-in-place mandates, grieve the loss of loved ones, and/or manage stressors about uncertain futures.

As a reflection exercise several years ago in an Old Testament class, I was asked to journal a personal "wilderness experience." Liturgically, as we are still in the middle of Lent, we are still in a spiritual desert space. Not only that, but the year-long pandemic has felt like a wilderness journey of sorts and has forced us to grapple with our mortality on a daily basis. The "wilderness" can be exhausting, disorienting, and disheartening.

In Matthew, Jesus says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." If only a simple prayer could immediately alleviate the burdens we carry! Rest doesn't saturate our souls that proficiently though. There seems to be somewhat of a journey and different practices involved. The yoke provides us with a picture of healing involving time, movement, watching, listening, partnering, and learning.

For those who feel like just taking on half the yoke is a struggle, the Presbyterian Mental Health Network has published a flyer laying out some wise guidance in coping with mental health challenges. May it and your faith be a help to you as you navigate "the wilderness."

Link: PMHN Memo

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Communications Director

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: