USA Today:  One Nation Under God? Recovering Our Moral Voice
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
August 31, 2017
"Back to School" Series Continues...
 The Living, Liberating Word of God:  Compassion  

     Hurricane Harvey has ravaged Houston, and along with rising floodwaters, we're hearing rising calls of hypocrisy aimed at Houston's Christian mega-churches for preaching a prosperity "gospel" devoid of compassion.  This Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., we'll take a look at the prosperity "gospel," and then explore how Presbyterians follow the compassion-centered gospel of Jesus, and how the living, liberating Word of God frees us to bring more of God's love and justice to the world.        
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev
At SHPC, we don't talk much about what it means to be Christian in the USA today.  We do talk about what it means to be Presbyterian:  our first priority is to practice the compassion of Christ in our daily life. We are dedicated to bringing God's gracious goodness, love, and justice to all people, to nurturing people of all ages in caring community, to Christ-centered decision-making, and to caring for the planet.  That's our roadmap here at SHPC.  We truly are a welcoming and mission-centered church.  

But across the nation, are we in sync with our Christian sisters and brothers?  And what is the Christian church doing in the USA today which makes some of us feel like we need to apologize and explain?  How can a Christian wedding cake baker refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple while SHPC flies a rainbow flag in the narthex? Are we following the same Jesus?  The same Bible?  This fall we're exploring  why Presbyterians think the Bible is a living, liberating text that sets us all free.

Thank you to all of you for your warm welcome to my granddaughter Grace last Sunday!  I am following her back to NYC after church this Sunday for a week of babysitting, and the Rev. Bentley Stewart will be providing you pastoral care.  You can reach him at 407-489-1258.

With blessings of peace,

September Calendar
Friday, September 1
                 8 a.m.

Justice Garden Harvesting
Bible Study
Saturday, September 2
                 8 a.m. - noon

Farmstand on Butterfield
Sunday, September 3
                 9:30 a.m.
                10:30 a.m.
Fall Series Continues
Liberating and Living Bible?
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Wednesday, September 6
                  7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers- All Welcome
Friday, September 8
                  8 a.m.

Justice Garden Harvesting
NO Bible Study
Sunday, September 10
                 9:30 a.m.

               10:30 a.m.
Fall Series Continues: 
Rev Bentley Stewart, Homeless Chaplain, joins us
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Pastor Bev will be away on vacation Sunday Sept 3rd after church through Sept. 11th. Rev Bentley Stewart will be on call for pastoral emergencies -  407-489-1258

Bible Study this Friday, September 1 at NOON
Lots of Bible this week!
All welcome!
1 Peter 2:18-21; 1 Timothy 2:11-15, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 
Gals 3:28, Romans 8:38-39
Please Remember in Your Prayers

Nance Rosencranz, recovering from a stroke at Kaiser Vallejo Rehab Center, for full and complete recovery, for safe return home, for God's loving presence to be felt, and for strength and support for her loved ones, especially her children Trina and Alexx;
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;
Dennis Latta's father Leroy,  recently diagnosed with dementia, for God's loving presence to be with Leroy and his family;
Kalli Bane,  for relief from abdominal pain, and for restful sleep surrounded by God's love for her and her family;
Peg Maclise's sister Kim, for God's healing presence, and for PegGod's strength, love, and peace; 
Those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, their homes, and are suffering in Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, for comfort, healing, and may people far and wide be God's hands, feet, and heart bringing relief from suffering, and comfort in mourning;
Sue Burr, for a full and speedy recovery from a perforated appendix;
Alex Caldwell, for a full and speedy recovery from  a sh oulder injury sustained in Costa Ric a;
Kelsey Lopin,  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;
All those suffering from racial discrimination, racial violence, and hatred, for God's justice and healing;
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;
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.

Financial Resiliency Update from the Session
   Criteria for a Sustainable Resilient Church

Dear Members and Friends of Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church,
The conversation at Let's Talk Financial Resiliency III on Sunday, August 27 after the service was lively, with some asking why the Session brought just one resiliency option to the congregation in its letter of August 17 instead of several choices. Our answer is simple.  So far, over a year of study has brought to light only one option which meets the Session's criteria for sustainability and resiliency: downsizing from the church-owned home at 110 Tarry to a less expensive pastor housing/rental property. 

Here are The Sustainability Criteria:

(1) pastor housing option which is affordable to the church and a future pastor (note that the cost of removing the large fallen tree at 110 Tarry this week exceeded the maintenance budget for 2017 and the rental increase, so that 110 Tarry will finish the year "in the red," taking from the church operating budget rather than contributing);

(2) reduce our debt (as a tax-exempt organization we get no tax benefits from debt; debt is our third largest expense; dollars which go into paying the 110 Tarry mortgages add to illiquid equity instead of living ministry; SHPC is the 4th most indebted church of the 48 churches in our regional body);

(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 (the "structural deficit") and the church can continue to grow and flourish;

(5) direct precious volunteer energy and hours into God's work. 
The Session is postponing the survey previously promised for Sunday, and has invited the Manse and Capital Improvement Study Team to re-convene as the Financial Resiliency Alternate Team, and to accept newcomers who feel called to help them identify feasible alternates to the Session's downsizing option which adhere to the sustainability criteria above by mid-November. Please contact the church office to volunteer by  clicking here.

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
CALLING ALL JUSTICE GARDENERS - Come on over to church Friday and Saturday!  New folks welcome!

We'll harvest Friday at 8 a.m. for our Saturday Farmstand on the corner of Butterfield Rd and Green Valley Court!
Ways you can help:
   Pick on Friday morning at 8:00am
   Assist at the stand on Saturday
   ( If you are on the 8:00am 
   shift, we will meet at church to load up)
Pictured at left, St Rita's parishioner, Susanne Jones, accepting produce from our Justice Garden for their monthly food pantry that serves the neediest of their clients.  

From Susanne:

THANK YOU KIT and all of SHPC.  I just got home from the pantry and wanted to let you know how welcome the produce was.  Nearly all was taken and what little was left is going to the food bank in Fairfax tomorrow. Thank you so much for your was so welcomed by those who are especially needy.  You do a wonderful service....thank you.   - Susanne

Thanks so much to everyone for your continued support of this life-bringing mission.

See you in the garden!

The Short School is looking for volunteers Wednesdays 4-5 p.m. for gardening!!!  

They are also in need of volunteers for cooking, art, and science.
Volunteer orientation is offered Sept. 6 and then not until October, so don't hesitate--
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jody 
Let's Share the Bounty from our Justice Garden

The Deacons are looking for suggestions! Can you think of anyone who might enjoy a small basket o f produce from our  Justice Gar den during this bountiful time?

  Do you have a nearby elderly, sick, or lonely ne ighbor we should know about? 

Please email: Kit Argilla at
Cook's Cozy Corner
brought to you by Michael Durphy 

What to do with tomatillos?
Here's a pretty easy recipe for salsa that is really good to serve with grilled meats this weekend.  It's lively, spicy and works well with char.

Tomatillo Salsa 

12 to 15 husked tomatillos
a thick slice of yellow onion
1 garlic clove
2 hot peppers, such as serrano or arbol
Put these on a sheet pan and roast at high heat until they are all blackened and the tomatillos begin to release their juices.  They may not all be done at the same time, so you may have to remove them in stages.
Remove the skins from the chilis and put all of the roasted ingredients into a food processor, along with
2 cups cilantro leaves &
1/2 tsp salt.
Process until coarsely chopped.

This is best when you use it soon after you make it.
Happy grilling!
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.
Please contact Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, at
    To volunteer please click here
Fall Sermon Series: One Nation Under God?
Back to School Series Explores How Well Christianity Works for Good in the USA Today

Our fall series: One Nation Under God?  Recovering Our Moral Voice

Sunday Sept. 3:
Does the Christian Bible promote freedom for all, or oppression/suppression?

Sunday, Sept. 17 
Christianity and Gender Politics - Why should we care about the rights of transgender people? 
Let's Talk - Film Viewing and Discussion

Sunday, Sept. 24
    Should Christian religious practice           promote   discrimination? 

*We welcome Rev. Bentley Stewart to preach whatever the Spirit calls him to proclaim on Sept. 10.
On Sept. 10, we welcome Rev. Bentley Stewart to preach whatever the Spirit calls him to proclaim.

Rev. J. Bentley Stewart is the Interim Director of Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy and the Director of Student Life for Disciples Seminary Foundation in Northern California, as well as, the founding pastor of gathering-desire, a Disciples of Christ community in San Anselmo. Bentley is an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has standing in the Northern California/Nevada Region, for whom he serves as one of the anti-racism trainers. He is endorsed as a chaplain by Disciples Home Mission. In his decade of hospital ministry, he specialized in pediatrics, palliative care, clinical ethics, interprofessional communication, and cultural bridging. He holds a B.A. degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, and a M.Div. degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance prepares to send national response team to Texas

Hurricane Harvey may have been downgraded, but the torrential rains are still pounding parts of Texas. Historic flooding has forced rivers and streams from their banks, submerged homes, churches, businesses and roads, stranding thousands of people.  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is maintaining constant contact with Mission Presbytery and the Presbytery of the New Covenant.

"We know that in Mission Presbytery, the major impact of the storm has taken place," said Jim Kirk, PDA's associate for national disaster response. "Presbytery leaders are doing an assessment and addressing immediate response needs. But the latest forecast calls for torrential rains to continue for the next 48 hours so it's still an ongoing, dynamic event."
Mission Presbytery includes the cities of Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Rockport and more. Harvey's landfall was near Rockport and authorities say wind damage was devastating.
"A large chunk of the presbytery was impacted one way or another," said Alan Ford, who oversees the presbytery's disaster recovery efforts. "We're still trying to get information on the impact of the storms and flooding because it varies from the coastline to inland communities"

Ford says it's the worst flooding to hit the area in nearly 50 years.
"One of the problems is access to many of the flooded areas and a lot of the people have been evacuated. They don't know what they will be going back to," he said. "From what I've heard, many of the churches have been devastated by the storms and water."
Members of PDA's National Response Team, will be in the area on Wednesday to begin the review process.

"The team will connect with presbytery leadership to offer support, lend their efforts to assessing the damage and offer a ministry of presence to congregations as well as assist the presbytery in developing a short term response plan," said Kirk. "They will also connect with interfaith partners on the ground."
By the end of the week, forecasters say the Texas coastal areas could see as much as 50 inches of rain, the average yearly rainfall total for the area. The upper Texas coast and parts of southwestern Louisiana could see up to 25 additional inches according to the National Hurricane Center.

"There could be a lot of damage further inland as flooding proceeds downriver. The amount of rain we've seen inland has just been enormous," said Ford. "However bad it has been for us, it's bad or worse in the Presbytery of the New Covenant and we want to keep those folks in our prayers as well."

The Presbytery of the New Covenant includes Houston, Galveston and Bay City among others. Thousands of people have been evacuated and thousands more are still awaiting rescue according to the Red Cross as torrential rainfall from Harvey continues to deluge the area and bring additional threat to Louisiana as well.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Take Action to Defend DACA

News sources are reporting that President Trump is considering terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This move would turn our nation's back on immigrant youth who are valued members of our communities. Terminating DACA would place the nearly 800,000 DREAMers whom the program allows to work and live legally in the United States at immediate risk of deportation. We need to call on our elected leaders TODAY to keep the DACA program intact.
More information at
On Friday, September 1st (the day SB4 is scheduled to go into effect) United We Dream and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement are organizing an event in Austin, Texas. An estimated 50 DACA recipients will begin a hunger fast that will last until September 5th, the deadline the Texas Attorney General and others have imposed on Trump to cancel DACA or face a lawsuit.  
Faith communities across the country are joining echo actions, vigils, and solidarity fasting August 30th - September 5th  Sign up today to fast and join an action in solidarity in support of DACA and TPS.
* Please call this line 3 times to be connected with your 1 Representative and 2 Senators
Sample Script: I'm your constituent from [City, State]. I support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and strongly oppose any attempt to terminate it. DACA has provided nearly 800,000 young people the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I urge you to do everything in your power to protect DACA and stand in solidarity with immigrant youth."
See more resources and ideas for social media action in this Digital Toolkit.
Please click here  for template Op-Eds that you can localize and add personal stories. See a recent Op-Ed in Baltimore Sun by local bishops, and others at
     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! 

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: 
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
  4th Annual Sandy Daniels Memorial Bocce Ball Tournament.

In honor of our outstanding community member, Sandy Daniels of United Markets & United Markets for their outstanding community support!
A portion of the proceeds to benefit Tri-Valley SOCKs (Stepping Out for Cancer Kures)

Register for a day of fun, play, lunch and beverages!
Individuals and Teams welcome!
No skill required. . . Anyone can play  Buy Tickets Here for September 9

Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 10:00am - 4:00pm | $42 in advance | $50 at the door

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.

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 or call us at 415-453-8221