Youth Director Charles Wei (left) and our Youth Group
at Sunday's World Premiere of Collective Voices Initiative's Original Film:
Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
December 14th, 2017
Third Sunday of Advent 
One Love Youth Christmas Pageant
Costuming and photos at 9 a.m.

      This Sunday, December 17, at 9:30 a.m., we time travel back to Bethlehem, to the manger where Jesus was born.  All children and youth are welcome to participate - please get to church at 9 a.m. for costuming and a little rehearsing!  Our Pageant reminds us of the meaning of Jesus and celebrates the unique event which brings God to us. We'll all be singing carols and our theme song, One Love, as we shine in the Light of the World and feel the One Love which includes and connects us all.  
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev
One of the loveliest things about the holiday season is taking the time to have an extra warm chat when we bump into folks we know on the streets of San Anselmo, or in the grocery store, or wherever the Spirit leads us.  (And that IS the Spirit leading us, giving us opportunities each day to shine brightly!) In ordinary times we might smile or wave and keep going, but in the holiday season the Spirit of the One Love which connects us all calls us to extend extra hospitality and friendship.  

Notice this season who you are bumping into; the Spirit may be giving you a chance to extend an olive branch of peace to someone you have viewed as an enemy. God asks us to forgive, but doesn't expect us to do it all by ourselves.  The Spirit guides and directs us, and softens our hearts.  This is a great season for letting go of grudges and resentment.

Yesterday in the produce section of the grocery store, a man who's attended our church a few times asked me how to pray.   We talked about what he wanted to pray about, and about naming the Sacred, and then we formed a prayer.  It was a blessed encounter.  

May each of you experience the great blessings of this season!
With love,

December Calendar
Friday, December 15

Bible Study - LAST ONE FOR 2017!
Sunday, December 17
                 9:30 a.m.
              1 0:30 a.m.    
Third Sunday of Advent - Love
One Love - Youth Christmas Pageant
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Shop at Ethan's Gallery to benefit the church.
Tuesday, December 19
                4-6:30 p.m. 

Cookie Exchange at Peltzman's home, 
1 Valley Road San Anselmo.
Wednesday, December 20
                 7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers- Christmas! All Welcome
Friday, December 22

NO Bible Study - See you in 2018!

Sunday, December 24
                  9 :30 a.m.
                  10:30 a.m.
                  7:00 p.m.
Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve
Joy!  Symphony Harp and Angel Carols!
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Candlelight Christmas Eve

Bible Study this Friday, December 15, Noon
Isaiah 11:1-9 , John 4:7-15, 25-30,  Matthew 8:5-13
Luke 1:26-38,  Luke 2:1-7,  Luke 2:8-14,  Matthew 2:9-11 
All are welcome. 
This week will be the last Bible study of the year. 
Please Remember in Your Prayers

Marie Ongaro and family,  mourning the loss of Marie's mother, for God's accompaniment, comfort, and peace as they grieve;
Those impacted by the Southern California fires,  for the firefighters, and for all those whose homes and businesses have been destroyed and lives disrupted, may God bring healing and give you strength; 
Dennis Latta and Diane, Juliet, and the extended family as they mourn the loss of Dennis' father Leroy, for God's accompaniment, comfort, and peace as they grieve;
Nance Rosencranz, recovering from a stroke, for full and complete recovery, for God's healing presence;
Carolyn Goodman's sister Wendy, who lost her home to a house fire, for God's loving and constant presence, and for the loving support of all around her to be with her as she rebuilds;
Peg Maclise's sister Kim, for God's healing presence, and for PegGod's strength, love, and peace; 
Kelsey Lopin,  for total healing, renewed strength, continued flourishing, creativity, and energy to share her God-given gifts;
Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for complete healing, and for Nancy to continue to feel God's abiding presence in companioning her;
Our Muslim neighbors, subject to Islamophobia and hate crimes;
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;
Our country, for a way forward where we live our values of justice and equality for all people; 
The people of Puerto Rico, still suffering from Maria, and t he refugees and displaced , almost 1 out of 100 people in the world today, for safety, homes, the basics of life, and dignity;
Our planet, the world's poor, all who suffer from disruptive climate change, may God energize us to continue our work to keep the planet livable for all people;
Praying Hands
The PC(USA), for courage and energy to continue our world-wide mission of love and justice for all people;
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.
REST Sign-ups!  Our Life-Giving Ministry to the Unhoused Community

Women's REST volunteers (L to R) Cat, Millie, Sharon, Jody, Peg, Patty, and Fiske
Please sign up to help bring friendship, food, and dignity to the unhoused community through the REST program -- the men on the first Monday of the month at St. Rita's in Fairfax, and the women on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Wellness Center in San Rafael. We need YOUR help!
Please volunteer to make food, set up, serve, share the meal, and clean up:

To volunteer to be a part of the women's program, sign up here
To volunteer to be a part of the men's program, sign up here
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our REST coordinator, Carolyn Goodman, or 415.250.6264.
ADVENT ART was a blast!  


To Middle and High School YOUTH and their PARENTS from Charles
The youth group debuted their first video, Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas, during worship last Sunday. Before the video, each of our kids introduced themselves with their "agent name" and I briefly described the group's name: the Collective Voices Initiative. We chose the phrase "collective voices" because each of our kids has their own unique individual voice, their own thoughts and ideas. Our goal is to give our kids a platform where they can be heard and where they can make a real difference in the world. And, they're bringing those voices together to speak about the topics that are important to them. They are an "initiative" because they are not going to sit idly by while injustice happens. Instead, they are going to be a voice for justice, practicing respectful listening, and modeling peace and inclusivity.
The idea for this video was actually Van Ike Stewart's, or Agent Holiday's, and the kids agreed that this would be a fun and interesting video for us to make. We discussed the topic as a group in the weeks leading up to the filming, as this seemingly simple topic can be fraught with complex issues about social norms, culture, and the assumptions that we make about other people. But, I want to point out that the things that our kids say in the video are their own spontaneous opinions, and were not lines that were given to them. In the video, I present the two sides of the issue and I ask the kids to speak to those points. We encourage you to watch it and share it in the spirit of peace for the season.
The video is now live on YouTube, here: Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas CVI 
P.S. Don't forget, the Christmas Pageant is this Sunday! For those participating, please be at church and in the Sanctuary no later than 9:00am, this Sunday, December 17, so that we can figure out costumes and stage directions! See you there!

Grace and peace,
Youth Director

A Joyful Christmas  Jubilee!
Thank you Hallie, the Millars, Stephen and the SHPC Singers, and all participants!

One Love
This year's Christmas pageant will be Sunday, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. (costuming at 9 a.m.)

Last minute walk-ons always welcome!

Support the Church - Shop at Ethan's Gallery
Sunday, Dec. 17 noon - 5 p.m.

Our fellow church member Ethan Russell is inviting all members to his new gallery in downtown San Anselmo on Sunday, December 17th (12 noon to 5 pm). 100% of any purchase of his 8x10 signed, open edition prints, or any of his notecards will be donated to our church. He will assist with framing if desired.

Support the Angel Tree Foster Children's Gift Program!
(L to R) Frankie, our Angel Tree leader, with Millie, Alison, Linda, Diane, Peg, and Jody
Blessings to all of you for taking a mitten and returning with a gift/gift card to brighten the Christmas of the youth of the Alternative Family Service program, Salvation Army group home, and Court Appointed Special Advocates programs.

Please return your gift with the mitten attached by December 15-17th.

Christmas Cookie Exchange!
Coffee, tea and cookies!!

Tuesday December 19. 4:00-6:30 we will gather at the Pelzman's home, 1 Valley Road San Anselmo.

Bring 2 dozen cookies and leave with a beautiful assortment from your friends for the holidays.

If you have questions, please contact Linda Peltzman
The next Food 4 Good will be on January 7th! 
Come join us:  Food 4 Good,   SHPC's Youth R.E.S.T. Cooking Program 
We meet the first Sunday of every month from 4-6pm to cook. 

Hope your kids can join us! Please sign up online here.

Questions? Contact   Judy or Jen  
Building and Grounds Monthly Maintenance Update - December
from Ahmed AbuAly, your B & G Elder

Right now, your B & G team is working on irrigation repair after a major water leak in the bell garden which led to a $1,500 water bill for 2 months.  We're working on repair and asking for an adjustment!

We also had a water break in the playground at the drinking water fountain; repair in progress.

We also had a water leak in our church kitchen. [Note from Pastor Bev: Thank you, Ahmed, for obtaining and installing the new faucet!}

Upcoming Projects:
Our outdoor lighting needs to keep the building illuminated enough for safety and be earth-friendly.  

We are evaluating what to do about the sanctuary windows, which may not be repairable.

We are in the process of planning and design for wheelchair access from upstairs to downstairs.  BIG thanks to Bill O'Callaghan on the research and design! 

Most exterior doors need repair or replacement.

If you have questions, ideas, and/or would like to help out, please contact me at .
Stewardship Update 
from James and Karen Baigrie,
Stewardship Chairs

As of today, $148,380 has been pledged and we have exceeded our goal of $147,000!  Thank you very much to our 53 pledgers (9 first-time pledgers).  We are dreaming big and still hoping to raise more funds for our part-time youth director and a pastoral intern to support Bev; it's not too late to pledge! If you have any questions about church finance, you can email Doug Eisinger, Finance Elder, by clicking here, and if you need a pledge card, click here. Together, we are building up this caring community of peacemakers for the good of the world!
          With gratitude, 
          James and Karen 

Report from Your Finance Elder

As of today, $148,380  has been pledged. We have had wonderful participation so far, and have already met our goal to fund our base case 2018 budget, including hiring a part-time pastoral intern to help Pastor Bev. Thank you so much to the 53 pledgers  who have donated so far, including our 9 first-time supporters
As further pledges arrive, Session will improve on the base case budget to make progress to address the structural deficit which has been identified over the course of the last year of financial study, and which the Session has asked the congregation to address by considering a financial reorganization.  Additional needs include administrative support, youth leader funding, maintenance, and modest Pastor salary adjustments to help approach regional norms. The table below highlights differences between our base case and a "step towards sustainability" 2018 budget that more fully supports the church's programs, staff, and mission.
Session will formally adopt the 2018 budget at its January meeting. Pledges received by then will guide our 2018 planning process. We have already had a successful fund drive this year, and deeply appreciate all contributions received. Please know that any additional pledges received will be put to good use to address our important structural gaps. Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic support and dedication to our vibrant church community!
Anticipated Budget Decisions Based on Pledge Drive Outcomes
Base Case (Status Quo) 
Step Towards
Sustainability Budget
 Pledge Drive Scenario: 
Differences in Budgeted Support: 
  • Admin support (clerical salary funding)

  • Youth leader support


  • Maintenance (church and manse)


  • Pastor partial salary supplement

  • Pastor pension, med., SECA supplements


Church Financial Resiliency Update
Steps Towards a Financially Sustainable Church
from Session 
If you are just tuning in to the church finance discussion, Session has prepared FAQs for you.  Click here.  

Over the last year and a half of education, discussion, and discernment, Session has gathered and carefully considered feedback from many voices, and is still in the process of receiving feedback and discerning the way forward. If you still need information, or would like to express your feedback to Session, please contact one of us directly or through the church office.  Session is completing its due diligence on the proposal to subdivide the manse by working with the Presbytery's CPA (since the Presbytery must approve any re-financing and all loans, leases and sales of church property), and a general contractor in response to feedback from the Presbytery and our own congregants' questions.  In January, at budget approval time, and before the 110 Tarry lease runs out, the current Session will discern whether a strong consensus exists in favor of selling the church property at 110 Tarry, and if so, will call a congregational meeting for a vote on the sale of 110 Tarry.   

Here are The Sustainability Criteria:

(1) pastor housing option which is affordable to the church and a future pastor;

(2) reduce our interest-bearing debt;

(3) establish a capital improvement/maintenance fund to meet the significant needs of the church facility, so that we invest in our church;

(4) i ncrease the operating budget without putting additional stress on our pledgers, so that unmet staffing, facilities, and program needs can be met (unmet needs, aka "the structural deficit") and the church can continue to grow and flourish;

(5) direct precious volunteer energy and hours into God's work. 
In peace,
Dennis Latta, Clerk, Doug Eisinger, Finance Elder, Jody Brockett, Worship Elder, Patti Vance, Mission Elder, Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, Ahmed Abu-Aly, Building and Grounds Elder, Merle Ongaro, Membership Elder, Kit Argilla, Board of Deacons, Moderator, Rev. Bev Brewster, Pastor
PC(USA) Co-moderators call for "deeper cultural shift" on sexual harassment and abuse

In an open letter to the church dated December 6, 2017, Revs. Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston cited "concrete tools for addressing these issues" and "strongly encouraged" Presbyterians to "use these [tools] in your ministries." They listed resources for setting policies, teaching, and preaching. 

This "deeper cultural shift," the Co-Moderators wrote, includes coming to terms "with all the ways we victimize and objectify people, including actions that are often less noticeable. We have to be willing to examine and confess implicit gender biases that show themselves, among other ways, in pay disparities and comments about personal appearance." In sum, they concluded, "We must be a church committed to gender equity in all areas of our life together."

The full text of Revs. Denise Anderson's and Jan Edmiston's letter can be read here.
In the Holy Land, PC(USA) Stated Clerk calls upon President Trump not to move U.S. embassy

The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, General Assembly Stated Clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), asked U.S. religious leaders to "call upon President Trump to not make his reported decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."
Nelson, who was in the Holy Land with a group of PC(USA) leaders, wrote in an email to Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), that "this move will create chaos and possible violence and dim the possibility for a just and lasting peace" in the region. "Furthermore," Nelson wrote, "it will disrupt the call to celebrate our Christian witness to the coming of the Prince of Peace during this Advent season."

Winkler responded that the NCC was preparing a statement and "will note your witness on behalf of all of us by your presence in the land we call Holy."
President Trump was expected to announce that the U.S. government would be changing its longstanding stance and declaring it is recognizing Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, as the capital of Israel. What is not clear is what the president will say about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city that is claimed as central to all three Abrahamic faiths-Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Soliciting prayers for the safety and witness of the PC(USA) delegation, Nelson said, "As we lift up prayers for peace and safety for the Middle East region, it is clear that our God has placed us here in this moment to witness on behalf of the coming 'Kindom.'
He continued: "Faith compels us to witness where we are in this present age. Therefore, we are here in this hour to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Advent reminds us that God comes in many ways. Once again, we are called to receive and witness to the advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

You can read the complete statement by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
General Assembly Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by clicking here.

Big thanks to Wil and to all who keep contributing to Sleepy Hollow's Food Barrel, which goes to feed the hungry through the Marin Food Bank. 

A generous donor filled the barrel and Wil reports we have set a record with the Food Bank! Thanks so much to all who donated. Please continue to keep the food bank in mind as the holiday season can be a particularly high demand time. Your donations are greatly appreciated. 

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. 
Click below to sign up: 
December: Nance's Parish
Sign up now and keep the hospitality

Don't be shy, Greeting is a Treat!
We've updated the signups for the new 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!

Thank you all for your continued support,
Jody Brockett, 
Worship Elder
Stephen's new album for preschoolers is available now on iTunes. You can find it by searching for Stephen Iverson or the album title, What Duck!?, to check it out. 
 For more  information, click here.
If you are interested or have questions, please contact Sue Burr
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road
San Anselmo, CA  94960
Katie Brendler,  Editor
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221