Hearts are breaking in our nation with hate groups and hate speech dominating the news. Following Jesus, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us often that we are called to answer hate with love. But how?
This Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., we'll conclude our Summer Storytelling Series with the story of Ruth and her courageous border-crossing love. We'll explore the many points of connection between Ruth's world and our own, refresh our spirits, and gain peace and wisdom for living in challenging times.
We are living in challenging times, friends, but God has equipped us for just such times as these.
We do have the moral courage and clarity to speak up for human dignity for all people, and to oppose hate and violence. We do have the compassion to reach out in friendship and caring to those who are suffering and struggling. We do have God's Light illuminating our paths and directing us, and God's Spirit filling us with peace, joy, and energy for daily life. We do have a church community dedicated to bringing more goodness and kindness to the world.
This is a good time to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors who are distressed and feeling overwhelmed or hopeless about the state of our nation. As you'll see from the items below from our national and DC offices, Presbyterians don't retreat from the world. We engage in a meaningful way, lifting our voices for truth, justice, and equality for all people. Together we will move forward, building up the nation and the world, in solidarity with the vulnerable, bringing joy and hope to the hopeless, and caring for everyone's children. We are called to bring more light and love to the world.
What a blessing to serve SHPC in times like these!
With love and peace,
Friday, August 18
Sunday, August 20
Summer Storytelling concludes-Book of Ruth Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Wednesday, August 23
SHPC Singers- All Welcome
Friday, August 25
Sunday, August 27
Fall Series Kickoff: One Nation Under God? Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome Let's Talk Church Financial Resiliency
Bible Study this Friday, August 18th at NOON
Book of Ruth
Everybody is welcome!
Please Remember in Your Prayers
The loved ones of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed in Charlottesville, all those injured, and the people of Charlottesville, for God's healing, comfort, and peace;
All those suffering from racial discrimination, racial violence, and hatred, for God's justice and healing;
Sue Burr, for a full and speedy recovery from a perforated appendix;
Alex Caldwell, for a full and speedy recovery from a shoulder injury sustained in Costa Rica;
Wil Swalberg, for a full and speedy recovery from his Double Carpal Tunnel surgery;
Kim Alling, sister of Peg Maclise, for God's healing presence, and for
Peg, for God's strength, love, and peace;
for total healing, renewed strength, continued flourishing, creativity, and energy to share her God-given gifts;
Jeri Rayford and her family, grieving the loss of Prentis, for God's loving presence, strength, and support in their bereavement;
Jody Brockett and her family, grieving the loss of Jody's Mother Jeanne, prayers for the family to feel God's comfort and peace, and prayers for Jody's Dad, who is transitioning to a new living situation;
Katie Brendler, may God's loving presence and comfort abide with her and her family as they mourn the loss of Katie's dear Father, and for full recovery for her Mother as she gets treatment for cervical cancer;
Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for complete healing, and for Nancy to continue to feel God's abiding presence in companioning her;
The hungry, especially all those depending on the US government for food aid here and abroad;
Those living in the shadows and fearing deportation, for safety, security for their families and children, a path to citizenship, and sanctuary;
The incarcerated, and their loved ones, for a justice system and prison system that uphold our highest values of human dignity and fairness;
Our country, for a way forward where we live our values of justice and equality for all people;
The refugees and displaced, almost 1 out of 100 people in the world today, for safety, homes, the basics of life, and freedom from being scapegoated;
Our Muslim neighbors, subject to Islamophobia and hate crimes;
Our planet, the world's poor, all who suffer from disruptive climate change, may we continue our work to keep the planet livable;
The PC(USA), for the way forward to be illuminated, and for our mission and ministries to be salt and light for the world;
Dr. Doug Tilton, our PC(USA) mission co-worker in Southern Africa;
Our church, for the Spirit to continue to guide us and fill us with energy for mission and love for all our neighbors!
Please take time this week to pray for those on our list.
Back to School Series Explores Where Religion Meets the US Constitution
Sunday, August 27th we'll kick off our fall series: One Nation Under God?
Each Sunday through the end of September* we'll be exploring where religion meets the US Constitution, and examining what values and behaviors religion promotes.
Let's Talk discussions after most of the services will provide a chance to discuss:
Does the Bible
as interpreted in the US today promote freedom or oppression?
Is our country moving towards or away from separation of church and state?
Should Christian religious practice promote discrimination?
Why do we care about the rights of transgender people?
*We welcome Rev. Bentley Stewart to preach whatever the Spirit calls him to proclaim on Sept. 10.
JUSTICE GARDEN UPDATE
Patti and Michael report that we'll be taking a week off from Friday harvest and Saturday Farm Stand THIS WEEK due to a weather-related slow down in ripening. We plan to be be back in business the following weekend.
Coming to you by popular request this week: TOMATOES!
First an easy one, and just a reminder for many of you.
Toast a couple of slices of bread (ideally the kind that is dense, and doesn't have a lot of big holes), until pretty crispy, ideally over a fire. (Note from Bev-- toasters work too!) Then cut a garlic clove in half and rub it against the bread. Drizzle on some good olive oil, and let it soak in for a few minutes. Then take a juicy, overripe tomato, cut it in half at the equator and rub it against the bread, using the bread like a grater to dissolve all of the tomato (down to the skin) into the bread. A sprinkling of salt on top and you're ready to go. If you want be really Spanish, you can lay a very thin slice of jamon, or prosciutto will do in a pinch, over the top.
Here's something a little more time consuming, but people have been liking it lately.
This is basically a lasagna with no meat or cheese, but lots of tomatoes and a couple of our really big zucchini. Use amounts that work for you depending on the size of pan you're using.
Cook your noodles until mostly done, then drain and put them in some cool water until you need them. Making your own noodles is a wonderful extra here. Cut the zukes into planks: I use a cheap mandolin and slice them about 1/8" thick by about 5" long by whatever width you have.
Put about a handful of fresh marjoram, about double that amount of fresh basil, and half that amount of fresh thyme, plus 3-4 garlic cloves into a food processor and chop it up thoroughly. Add 4-5 cups of your least pretty tomatoes and a teaspoon or so of salt and chop very coarsely.
Thinly slice several large tomatoes, saving your pretty ones for the top layer.
Now build your lasagna, alternating layers as you like, adding some extra salt and pepper, and throwing in some bread crumbs to soak up the extra tomato juices. Finish with your best tomato slices and then a layer of bread crumbs.
Bake your architectural creation at 350 for about an hour and a half.
Family Ministries Team!
If you have a passion to see new and welcoming ideas and programs for children of all ages, let's get together to form a team to share ideas for the coming school year.
Let's Talk Church Finance discussion is scheduled for Sunday, August 27th after the worship service. The Session has now studied our church's finances in depth, and e-blasted out a report of the study to the congregation today with findings to share. The report is also going out by USPS and is available here:
Statement on Charlottesville from the PC(USA) DC Office:
Saturday was a horrific, tragic day in the annals of the United States of America. Peaceful protestors were confronted with violence. A young woman lost her life simply for daring to say no to racism. A hate group gathered to spread its toxic message and committed an act of terror.
The Office of Public Witness, alongside many Presbyterians, is outraged, shocked and saddened by the violence that engulfed the beautiful town of Charlottesville. But we are not defeated nor deterred. We are determined to move forward so that our country can continue to journey toward racial progress and inclusiveness.
So, what can we do?
We continue to pray for justice, comfort, forgiveness, repentance, unity and faith which produces endurance, patience and grace.
We continue to stand boldly in the face of hate and white supremacy and condemn the white nationalist, KKK, alt-right, Nazi, and any racist groups or individuals who are responsible for the spread of racial hatred in this country.
We mourn with those who have lost children, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, daughters and son to violence.
We continue to work to create a country where our history of racial inequality is replaced by equal opportunity and fairness for all Americans.
We stand tall as witnesses to our faith in a God who overcomes division and promotes unity, healing and peace.
We continue to promote an understanding of our common humanity and the value of all human beings.
We continue the long, slow journey towards justice for all.
This is a day which demands a call for mourning and lament, protest and outrage, prayer and peace. The legacy of racial and ethnic hatred must end. Our children deserve a better message and a brighter future of tolerance and peace. As people of faith we offer ourselves in service to a God who is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love". (
Nehemiah 9:31; Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Psalm 86:5; Psalm 86:15; Joel 2:13)
Stated Clerk's statement: 'Are we complicit in the racism of the alt-right?'
Nelson: 'Proclaimers and hearers of the gospel must engage this uncomfortable issue that damages the soul of our country'
Office of the General Assembly
J HERBERT NELSON II
Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:25-26)
White supremacy raised its head and occupied a weekend of the news. We are reeling as a nation from President Trump's cursory statement that failed to aggressively condemn the existence of the alt-right and their promotion of vitriolic racial rhetoric and white supremacy. No longer can we make statements of denial that racial hatred and bigotry are isolated occurrences in our society. We witnessed the blatant actions of white supremacists giving declaration to their views of dominance, control and superiority in the streets of Charlottesville, a prestigious university town in Virginia. If the espousal of white supremacy was not enough, we now know that James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio is the driver of the car that killed one person and injured dozens more in the name of white supremacy. These occurrences are the result of a protest organized by the alt-right to maintain a statue of another white supremacist, Robert E. Lee.
The handprint of racism is all over the United States in the 21st century. My question is: Where are we in the Church with the racist attitudes that have now been given an extreme voice from the highest offices in the land - both governmental and corporate? Where are the modern-day prophets - not simply in the streets and on television, but in local communities, organizing for a new day in the United States?
Having lived as a child through the civil rights activity of my father, uncles and other clergy, I know that this strain of white supremacy in the United States is nothing new. New African-American pastors and others of color have adjusted their sermon preparation in response to Trayvon Martin's Saturday (midnight) verdict; the Emanuel AME prayer meeting/Bible study shooting (midweek); the Walter Scott shooting by police (Saturday afternoon) and the countless numbers of detention lockups, deportations and police-sanctioned violence against their communities, including new immigrants. Midnight sermon challenges are not new. ...
President Trump affirmed this past weekend that white supremacy is not simply grounded in individual acts, but is often sanctioned by the complicity of systems that provide support through their silence and well-crafted statements that fail to name the structural "isms" of our society. Therefore, structural racism is deeply connected, even within the church. We are complicit through what we do and refuse to do. Therefore, to have ignored the issues of white supremacy and racism in our delivery of the Word of God this weekend was to be complicit with the very acts in Charlottesville. ...
Jesus reminds us in the gospel of John, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever" (John 14:15-16).This word advocate comes from the Greek word advocare, which means to "stand beside or stand with." Its connotation is akin to a lawyer standing beside a client. Jesus is preparing them to live a life in faith without his physical presence, while reminding them that the spiritual presence that guided him will still be with them; will stand beside them; will be an advocate for them. We use the words justice advocacy to explain the power of walking beside the victimized in our society. Racism represents a historic ill and victimization of people of color in this nation. It is a cancer in the soul of our country that can be driven out only by love. This love makes both the believer and nonbeliever uncomfortable, because it causes us to recognize that we can do more when we take our eyes off ourselves and place them on the Almighty.
White supremacy will not be eradicated until faith leaders become willing to risk their very lives (professional and otherwise) for the sake of the gospel. The Scriptures remind us that "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it" (Luke 17:33). Our denomination must be willing to lose its life for the sake of eradicating more than 400 years of white supremacy in the United States. Our great celebration of the Belhar Confession at the 222nd General Assembly was a joyous occasion and signaled to the world that we are prepared to begin a new journey of turning the world upside down, by engaging our (PCUSA's) complicity in racism.
An excerpt from the Belhar Confession states: "We believe that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine."
We must witness to a new age regarding race in the United States. Our risk is not in engaging the issue of white supremacy. Our greatest risk is in failing to make every effort possible through the gospel to eradicate racism with the help of the Lord.
Proclaimers and hearers of the gospel must engage this uncomfortable issue that damages the soul of our country. God is calling us to be a viable witness in these times. This requires courage and a deep faith to speak truth in love.
To read the article in its entirety, please
Clergy link arms to provide a barricade during Saturday's counter-demonstration as white supremacist groups march on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo by Heather Wilson
From the Presbyterian News Service at national headquarters in Louisville, KY-Local pastor and organizer of pre-event prayer vigil was witness to violence
LOUISVILLE - Opposition to white supremacist, KKK and neo-Nazi groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, for a "Unite the Right" rally over the weekend included several Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) clergy and members. The Rev. Ken Henry, of
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, was one of the organizers of a Thursday prayer vigil that preceded the events of the weekend. He was also present at Saturday's counter-demonstration.
"I thought there should be a place for congregations to participate in praying for peace," Henry said. "The inspiration was the idea of congregations coming together at a time when fear is rampant in our cities. I was surprised by the good response."
Henry was part of the several-hundred-strong clergy contingent that stood in opposition to rallying white supremacists on Saturday when much of the violence occurred.
"I have never had a day like that one, to see so much hate, it just wears you out," Henry said. "You're standing there and see people dressed up in militia gear and hard hats, people throwing punches and others bleeding as they walk by. It's unreal."
Henry said the most poignant moment of the day for him was seeing a pre-teen white supremacist dressed in battle gear.
"I looked across the street in the midst of tear gas and everything, watching people screaming and yelling. I saw this 10-year-old boy dressed in army fatigues, wearing a hard hat and he looked like he was getting ready for battle," Henry said. "He had a small bat in one hand and an American flag in the other. His face showed nothing but hate. If we are teaching our children to be this way, its no wonder we have so much gun violence in our country."
The Rev. Jill Duffield, publisher of The Presbyterian Outlook, also attended the clergy counter-demonstration and said in a
written reflection, "only two sides were represented: good and evil, right and wrong.
Affirming the inescapable nature of sin, the reality that none of us righteous and all have fallen short of the glory of God, is no excuse for moral equivalence," she said. "White supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK came to this progressive, college town, the cradle of the American democracy, to escalate their 'summer of war' as they chanted 'Blood and soil' and 'Jew will not replace us.' They alone came to Charlottesville with this explicit, vile agenda."
Rhyne plans to assess what sort of help and assistance churches need to respond in the days and weeks ahead. He was contacted by
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Sunday morning and will work with them and local congregations to provide resources and grants as needed.
"I think many people are just dumbfounded and confused about what to do and what the next step should be," Rhyne said. "The ministers in the area are very concerned about their congregations and the impact this event has had on them. I think it is a shock for all of us and a realization that we were fairly naïve and didn't realize how deep racism is in this country."
"One of the things that contributes to the healing of communities after public violence is the will, hope and power of community," said the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, coordinator of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. "We are already seeing these at work in the actions around the counter-demonstration as well as the response from the mayor, governor, chief of police and clergy who stood up with fellow citizens and said there is no place for hatred, Nazi ideology and racial targeting in American communities."
The Marin Interfaith Council invites your prayers for the people of Charlottesville and for our nation after this weekend's hate-inspired violence. As people of faith, we unequivocally oppose every form of racism and white supremacy, and we wholeheartedly and prayerfully work together for equity, peace, inclusion, reconciliation, and justice for all.
EJI is excited to share with us some highlights of their latest efforts to promote justice and to fight for society's most vulnerable, including the release of their new short documentary film, Abbeville.
a documentary that illuminates the lasting impact of racial terror lynchings.
The film follows community members committed to spreading the truth about the lynching of Anthony Crawford, an African American
businessman who was lynched 100 years ago in the town square of Abbeville, South Carolina, after asking for a fair price for cottonseed. We learn from Doria Dee Johnson, his direct descendant, that his family still feels the effects of this act of terror.
Wil has moved!
Wil would like you to know that he has moved to Alma Via in Terra Linda. YES, he still plans to come to church! At Alma Via, he'll have 3 meals a day, and so now he'll be inviting US to eat with him! Please call the church office to get his new cell phone number.
And thank him for his Food Barrel ministry!
WE ALL LOVE FELLOWSHIP--PLEASE SIGN UP TO HELP OUT
NEW FOLKS - We will match you with a veteran so that you can be trained on our highly complex coffeemaker and have FUN!
Fellowship time is organized by your Deacons. We need everyone to sign-up about 3-4 times a year.
Help with our ministry of hospitality by signing up to be a greeter! All you have to do is get to church by 9:15, light the candles, and hand out bulletins with a smile. Thank you to all who have signed up so far!
Cloud of Witnesses: The Community of Christ in Hebrews
Spend the day learning and preparing to lead this magnificent study which invites you to explore The Letter to the Hebrews. This is a significant book of the Bible, and is also significantly different from every other book in the Bible. It consists of thirteen chapters, all of which are packed with theology, metaphor, comparisons, and spirituality. Therefore, I've decided to approach the letter thematically, not sequentially. We will explore nine major themes, relate those themes to other parts of our faith tradition, and tie them together with the overarching motif of community. The community for which the letter was written interacts, in a sense, with all the communities of which you are a part, because you bring those groups with you wherever you go-they have helped to form you into the person you are. The community in which you study and worship, your family and friends, social and therapy groups - all are part of you.
Our prayer is that the study of community in Hebrews will help us strengthen our own communities.
Lunch will be provided.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Bane Sevier is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who, after more than 23 years as a pastor,chose in 2015 to leave the pastorate and focus on her longtime ministry of writing and photography. Melissa has a degree in elementary education (King College), an MCE from Reformed Theological Seminary, an MDiv from Louisville Seminary, and a DMin from McCormick Seminary. She lives in Versailles, Kentucky, with her husband, Jerry.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who help each other to maintain sobriety through sharing their recovery experience with others.
Looking for more information? Check out the
San Francisco/Marin AA website for more information including meeting times and places, including
a weekly men's meeting at Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church every Tuesday at 8:30pm
24-hour hotline is also available for immediate listening and guidance if wished -
·6pm-10am in Marin 415-499-0400
·10am-6pm - SF Central Office (415) 674-1821 (they will refer Marin callers to Marin resources)
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
Katie Brendler, Editor
E-mail us at email@example.com or call us at 415-453-8221