USA Today:  One Nation Under God?
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
August 24, 2017
"Back to School" Series Begins:
One Nation Under God?
 Religion in the Public Square Today  

     This Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., we'll begin our fall series with the fascinating story of how a Presbyterian minister convinced President Eisenhower to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and then examine the values set forth in the Pledge and their religious foundations.   If our founders and foundational documents intended separation of church and state as a protection against tyranny, what is "under God" doing in the Pledge?  Is the USA a Christian nation? Let's explore whether religion in the USA today is contributing to unity or division, liberty and justice for all, or merely some.   

      Let's Talk Church Financial Resiliency - all are invited this Sunday after the service - Grab your coffee and come back to the sanctuary.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev
The newsletter ordinarily goes out earlier, but today was an unusually busy day at church!  Half of a huge tree has come down into the back yard next door at 110 Tarry, the church manse.  Fortunately the church's tenants, Maury and Barb Zilber, and the house, and the neighbor's house are all fine. But what a lot of tree work we have to do! Please thank our intrepid Building and Grounds Elder, Ahmed Abu Aly, and our faithful manse liaison, Steve Derr, for all the time they are giving over the next few days to getting estimates and taking care of this for us.  Ahmed is also working hard to make our church facility 
more welcoming for folks who are disabled, so that we can live our inclusive love.  

Our Justice Garden experienced a power outage which shut off its water a few weeks ago, and all is restored, but the harvest is a bit slower than usual this year.  Even so, our faithful team is harvesting tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and you are all welcome to join in.  It's a peaceful and restorative experience!  Thanks to Deacon Moderator Kit Argilla, we'll be taking our organic produce to our mission partner St. Rita's food pantry, where about 10 families who love organic veggies will be happy to see our basket!

If you love the church and are wondering where your gifts and interests might contribute most, come see me.  There are so many ways to bring more goodness and peace to this community and to build up the world.

With love,

August/September Calendar
Friday, August 25
                  8 a.m.

Justice Garden Harvest!
Bible Study
Sunday, August 27
                 9:30 a.m.
               10:30 a.m.
               10:35 a.m.
Fall Series Kickoff:
One Nation Under God?

Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Let's Talk Church Financial Resiliency

Wednesday, August 30
                  7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers- All Welcome

Friday, September 1

Bible Study
Sunday, September 3
                 9:30 a.m.
                10:30 a.m.

Fall Series Continues
Liberating and Living Bible?
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome

Bible Study this Friday, August 25th at NOON

Isaiah 61:1-4 & Luke 4:14-21 
Please Remember in Your Prayers

Nance Rosencranz, recovering from a stroke in East Idaho Regional Medical 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;
Kalli Bane,  for relief from abdominal pain, and for restful sleep surrounded by God's love for her and her family;
The families and friends of the 3 dead, 7 missing, and 5 injured US Navy soldiers after the collision of their ship with an oil tanker in southeast Asia, for healing, strength, peace, and comfort in the midst of tragedy;
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 sh oulder injury sustained in Costa Ric a;
Kim Alling, sister of Peg Maclise, for God's healing presence, and for Peg, for God's strength, love, and peace; 
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;
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 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.

This Sunday 
Let's Talk Church Financial Resiliency
Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 10:35 a.m.

The final 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 and mailed out a report of the study to the congregation with findings to share. See the report of the August Session meeting below for more information.  The report is available here:

Dennis Latta
Clerk of Session 

Monthly Session Report
August 16, 2017

Clerk - Dennis Latta - Most of the meeting was devoted to finalizing the congregational letter which was mailed and emailed August 17, and to preparing for the August 27 Let's Talk Church Financial Resiliency educational discussion.  Pastor Bev reported on the Presbytery Church Mission Finance (CMF) committee meeting, where CMF approved the Session's process to date and the process going forward for Presbytery approval.   The Session's intent is to evaluate all feedback from the congregational letter, the discussion Sunday, August 27, the financial retreat held in May, the evening discussion held in June, and an upcoming survey.  At its regular monthly meeting on September 13, the Session plans to review all the feedback, and with God's guidance, discern whether there appears to be a strong consensus among the members of the congregation to restructure its finances by downsizing from the existing manse at 110 Tarry to a less expensive property. Only if that is the case, would the Session proceed to notice a congregational meeting.  A meeting will not be noticed or take place if the feedback to the Session does not warrant it.   On the procedural advice of the Executive Presbyter, Dr. Bob Conover, CMF approved (with Pastor Bev abstaining) a sale of 110 Tarry "IF THE WAY BE CLEAR," which means, IF the congregation votes for it at a duly noticed meeting.  That meeting would take place no sooner than October 1 to allow for adequate notice.  CMF's approval would go to Presbytery on September 16 IF and ONLY IF the Session has discerned that there is a strong consensus in the congregation in support of a sale. The Presbytery's approval in no way binds the congregation, which is free to vote its conscience at its congregational meeting.  Dr. Conover's recommendation for Presbytery pre-approval recognizes that after the September 16 meeting, the next meeting of the Presbytery is in February 2018.  
Committee reports were received from the elders, including a report from the LMP Renewal team.  The Session has approved the terms of the extension and expects the renewal to be finalized when LMP returns to school later this month.  Janel presented her proposal to try to partially fund the return of Charles Wei as part time youth director.  Pastor Bev's vacation 9/3-9/12 was approved, with Rev. Bentley Stewart scheduled to preach on 9/10 and provide pastoral care coverage while Pastor Bev is away.  

Dennis Latta
Clerk of Session 

Fall Sermon Series: One Nation Under God?
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 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.

We'll harvest Friday at 8 a.m. and then see if we have enough 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)
    Or help on a later date!
You can also check out the Marin Master Gardeners' article linked below which includes our Justice Garden! You can find the article by going to their website and clicking on the "Read  these stories about Marin's gardens" to get to the pdf article.

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

See you in the garden!
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 
Coming to you by popular request this week: TOMATOES!

First an easy one, and just a reminder for many of you.

Tomato toast
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. 

Garden lasagna
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.
Please contact Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, at
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)
Yellowstone Presbytery see long road to recovery

"It's bad, Dust Bowl bad." That's how Kathy Goodrich, co-general presbyter of the Yellowstone Presbytery, describes the impact of Montana wildfires this summer. Hot, dry conditions have proven costly for communities across the state as wildfires continue to spread.

"More than 270,000 acres have burned, over 460 square miles with 80 - 100 percent loss of grazing lands," said Goodrich. "More than 1,400 miles of fencing, valued at $15 million, have been lost. Some ranches, already drought-stricken, are in serious jeopardy."
A hotter-than-expected June dried up vegetation, creating conditions for the wildfires, something state officials had not anticipated. As a result, the state is quickly spending its firefighting fund. Forecasters, meantime, are predicting major wildfire threats through October for eastern Montana, southern California and the western Dakotas.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has provided a $7,500 grant to the presbytery. Jim Kirk, PDA's associate for disaster response, has been in contact with Goodrich. Part of the grant will be used to provide a pastoral presence in the impacted communities currently without a pastor. ...

Dan Holland, an elder with First Presbyterian Church of Bozeman, is a cabinet leader with Yellowstone Presbytery. In a prayer written in the presbytery newsletter, Holland describes the feelings of residents impacted by the flames.
"Day after day the thermometer hits ninety and a hundred and they haven't seen rain in so long, they forget how it feels when those big summer raindrops fall on sunburned forearms," the prayer reads. "We pray that not another house will be lost, not another barn will be torched."

To read the article in it's entirety, click here.
Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries holds Women of Color Consultation
Presbyterian women from across the country gathered in Daytona Beach, Florida in study, prayer, community and worship as they celebrated the 2017 Women of Color Consultation.

In an ongoing effort to fulfill the 222nd General Assembly (2016) mandate directing "the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) to Plan a Women of Color Consultation (WoCC) that focuses on the inclusion of women of color of all ages in leadership and decision-making in Presbyteries and Synods and/or their successor bodies",  Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries  (RE&WM) of the PC(USA) recently held the consultation in conjunction with the New Immigrant Clergywomen's Leadership Institute.

The consultation brought together a diverse group of women with representation from churches all over the United States. "It was an intentionally small gathering," said Jewel McRae, Associate for Women's Leadership Development and Young Women's Ministries. "We wanted to extend invitations to women who had never attended an event sponsored by Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries."

"This event provided opportunities for attendees to network and connect with new immigrant clergywomen, to deepen relationships and provide support to one another in their ministries," said McRae. "We brought together young women, seminarians, clergywomen, chaplains, elders, women in calls and women seeking calls to engage in dialogue about their future and ministries."

The mandate also directed the PMA to extend listening groups to proactively include voices of racial ethnic women. To that end, "women's listening groups" were formed and women of color voices were included at both the Woman of Color Consultation and the New Immigrant Clergywomen's Leadership Institute.

" Women of color are an important part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)," said the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, director of RE&WM. "Sadly, their voices and experiences have been undervalued in the very church in which they faithfully serve."  Hunter continued, saying, "In Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries, we support and partner with women of color through leadership development opportunities, recruitment and networking, cultural humility trainings in the church, and women's listening visits. Institutional racism, sexism, and gender identity discrimination are obstacles for women of color ministers, elders and leaders in the PC(USA). Our goal is to create an environment and opportunities where women of color thrive and can serve fully in ministry." 

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Did you know there are over 200 immigrant detainees in the West County Detention Facility which is located in Richmond? These people have no right to a public defender and have difficulty getting outside lawyers to take their case. The pro bono attorneys take only the easiest cases. Many of the detainees in this facility have run into trouble with the law for minor offenses. They have served their time for those charges only to be detained by ICE upon their release. SHPC members Dennis Latta, Kit Argilla, and the Derrs have been part of the visitation ministry of End Isolation.

CIVIC offers a telephone hotline where detainees can connect with family at no charge, opens communication with families, works to insure they are getting adequate medical attention and are treated humanity. We have also worked to assist families in raising bonds, and helped detainees once released on bond. We hope to let the detainees know that there are many people "on the outside" who care about their situation.

How can the congregation help?
We have been offering detainees a small amount of money for the commissary to purchase stamps, paper, envelopes or snacks. We currently have a small grant for this that is almost depleted. Donations to our fund for this is one way to be helpful.  Contact Kit Argilla.

The Marin Interfaith Council is joining with Congregation Kol Shofar for Love Lives in Marin: a Community Interfaith Prayer Gathering on Friday, August 25 from 6-7 pm at Congregation Kol Shofar (215 Blackfield Drive in Tiburon). Love Lives in Marin is a new MIC initiative that fosters a welcoming community for all by promoting our shared values of inclusion, justice, and love.

As we face the aftermath of deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, coming together to stand for love is even more important. The violence demonstrated to American Jews the veracity of Elie Wiesel's words: "We must always take sides." In the face of evil, Wiesel's words ring true. There is a great heaviness in our hearts even as we stand firm. Judaism calls out in a full and passionate voice that every human life is made in the image of God.

Yet those who know Jewish history are not surprised. There are those who feel powerless, latching on to nationalism as a grounding force in their lives. But this attachment leads to eruptions of violence. We know from our history that virulent hate, racism and violence can lie just below the surface. But when it is unleashed, we have a pogrom: a frenzied outpouring where innocent lives are violently taken. We have seen this before.

But as Americans, we commit to building a pluralistic, inclusive democracy. We pledge to be a country where freedom and liberty are intertwined with responsibility, to be a country that reflects the awareness that we are all connected. We are one. We re-commit to renewing our passion even as we grieve for the victims. After a week like this, we need this commitment more than ever. What we are experiencing is not normal.

Join the Marin Interfiath Council Tuesday, Aug 29th at St. Anselm Church (Hall) in Ross from Noon - 2:00 pm for a Religious Leaders' Gathering with Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity &  Rabbi Elana Rosen-Brown of Congregation Rodef Sholom. 

Topic: How to become a Sanctuary Congregation. What does it mean to provide sanctuary? What are the levels of sanctuary? What is the process to become a sanctuary congregation, and what are the challenges/risks?
Feel free to bring your bag lunch. Tea & light snacks to be provided by MIC.

No RSVP necessary. Donation to MIC at the door.

     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

Note that Kit is stepping in to lead for Nance while Nance is recovering.
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

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