In the Peaceful Kingdom, the Lion is Vegetarian and the Lamb is Safe!
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
December 15, 2016
Fourth Sunday of Advent - Joy
A Little Child Will Lead Us - Isa. 11:6
     This Sunday, December 18, 2016, we celebrate JOY Sunday with an abundance of glorious celestial music!  Please come to church a little early for the prelude with symphony harpist Natalie Cox and the introit with our own soloist Charlotte Phillips.  We'll be singing all the angel carols, and welcoming God's messengers, the angels in our midst, into our lives to light our paths.  Our SHPC Singers, led by Stephen Iverson, and Hand Chimes, led by Hallie Foster, are bringing us lovely music of the season.  
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev

Surely angels are in our midst blessing this church this Advent season!   I have heard from so many of you, and so many in the wider community, about the impact of our Peacemaking service on Sunday, Dec. 4 with the Islamic Center of North Marin.  We cried together and our hearts expanded with newborn compassion. 

And then we followed that up with our fresh new Peaceful Kingdom Children's Pageant last Sunday, which is one of my favorite Sundays of the year.  This year we were blessed with 23 children participating with roles from Holy Mountain to baby Jesus.  ENJOY the photo gallery below; it's a Christmas gift! 

This church is bursting with great energy after an outstanding year of worship, fellowship, and mission in 2016. The Spirit is blessing us, guiding us, and energizing us!  Thanks be to God!

With Christmas love and joy,

December/January Calendar
Friday, December 16th
 5:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, December 18th
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
Celestial Music - Guest Orchestral Harp
Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome!
Wednesday, December 21st
7:30 p.m.

SHPC Singers rehearse - All are welcome!
Friday, December 23rd
 5:00 p.m.

NO Bible Study - off until January 6th
Yoga - "Om for the holidays"
Saturday, December 24th
7:00 p.m.

Candlelit Christmas Eve Service
Sunday, December 25th
9:30 a.m.
                 10:30 a.m.
Christmas Morning Service of Joy
Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome!
December 26th-30th 
Holiday Break
Sunday, January 1st
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Fresh Start
Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome!
Advent/Christmas Season of Peace  
Advent Wreath designed by
Merle Ongaro

Celestial Music with Guest Orchestral Harp - Sunday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Candlelit Christmas Eve - Saturday, December 24 at 7 p.m. This is a child-friendly service without children's program.  No fellowship after the service.

Christmas Morning Service of Joy - Sunday, December 25 at 9:30 a.m.  We do have children's program and fellowship today.

January 1st - Fresh Start  Sunday Service at 9:30 a.m.

Bible Study -  Friday, Dec. 16 at NOON - 
Luke 1
Please Remember in Your Prayers

The children and families on our angel tree, most of whom are living in poverty and without the basics, for their basic needs to be met, and for dignity, love, and hope;
Those who are lonely or depressed at the holidays, for God's presence to comfort and bring hope, and for the church to provide warmth and friendship;
Ara Jo, who perished in the Oakland warehouse fire, and all those mourning the loss of Ara Jo, including Nancy Elberg, Nancy's nephew Grant Gleason, and Ara Jo's extended family and loved ones, may God's peace and comfort wash over and accompany them in their grief.
Our Muslim neighbors, subject to Islamophobia and hate crimes;
Our country,  for deep healing, and for a way forward where we live our values of justice and equality for all people;
The world's poor, all who suffer from disruptive climate change, and our planet;
The refugees and displaced, almost 1 out of 100 people in the world today, for safety, homes, and the basics of life;
Laurie O'Hara and her family, for God's loving presence and comfort in mourning the loss of her mother, Carolyn;
Kelsey Lopin, for healing and full recovery from complications of Lyme disease, and for God's abiding presence, comfort, and love;
Steve Derr's Father, for recovery from stroke, and God's presence, and for the family, God's comfort;
Ryan Burk s, son of  Warren and Jackie Burks, for healing, and for strength and hope for his family;
Praying Hands
Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for complete healing, and for Nancy for continued strength in companioning her;
Betty Swalberg, for God's presence and peace, and  Wil Swalberg, for God's comfort and community support;
Paul Lambert's Mom, blessed assurance of God's constant presence; 
The PC(USA), as it strives to speak up effectively for justice for all people, especially the vulnerable and marginalized;
Dr. Doug Tilton, our PC(USA) mission co-worker in Southern Africa;
Our church community, renew us and grant us fortitude to continue to bring light to a dark world.

Please take time this week to pray for those on our list.
Children's Christmas  Pageant 2016 -
A Little Child Shall Lead Us
Jessie, the child leader

Aiden, the snake handler
Paige, the lion

Kalli, the lamb
Heidi as Mary

Reagan as baby Jesus
Natasha as the prophet Isaiah

The Child leader makes peace
3 Kings Max, Winston & Jack
Angel Piper brings glory to shepherds Aiden, Flynn & Rowan 
Rhys as Joseph w/baby Jesus
The holy mountain
The Blechen family lights the advent wreath (Cooper as innkeeper, Heidi as Mary)
Jessie tames Aiden's snake for the baby Jesus as Nathaniel, Rhys, Coda, and Mina watch

Pledge News -
A note to our faithful readers - All are invited to participate in the pledge drive in any amount to show your support for the church and its peace and justice ministries.  Please consider SHPC in your year-end giving and click on Doug, below, to let him know of your gift.  Thank you for helping to build a kinder, more just and peaceful world!

           GREAT NEWS!  
Thank you to 48 pledgers for pledging $131,500 to the life of church in 2017! We are getting close to last year's finish of 55 pledgers and $135,000, and also nearer to our goal of $148,000.  Your Finance Elder and the Session have begun the budget process for 2017 and would like to balance the budget without making major cuts when Session next meets on Wed., January 4.  This would be a great time to pledge your support to the church!

Just click on  Doug  to pledge by email. Pledges in any amount are very much appreciated.

With gratitude,
Doug, Finance Elder and Stewardship Chair
red_gifts_angel.jpg Children's Gift Program

If you have signed up for a "Child", please bring the wrapped  gift to Church on Sunday. 

Please put put the Snowflake/Mitten on the package if possible, or  just write the name and number on a card put on the gift.  If you are not sure of the number, the sheet is in the narthex
or you can email Frankie

Please put your gift in the corresponding box (1-26), (27-38), or (39-49).

There is a separate box for Marin Foster Parent Association, which should remain unwrapped.
There are 9 new children ages 6-14 on the tree and 5 remaining from the original. Please help out and take another if you can. Thank you for helping bring joy to children in our community this holiday season.
SHPC welcomes Islamic Center of North Marin with Interfaith Peace Service and Fellowship
Sunday, Dec. 4 - Peace Sunday

A Letter to Pastor Bev and SHPC:

We are so thankful for spending time with your amazing folks. We have never felt this comfortable. What a display of hospitality!! I look forward to doing a joint program of any kind in January. 

We are quite new in providing service to others. We have a lot to learn from your ongoing efforts and look forward to partnering with your congregation in future events.

Peace be on all of you.  On behalf of Islamic Center of North Marin kindly convey our sincere thanks.


Mubarack Muthalif, pictured with Pastor Bev

Justice Garden 2016 Year-End Donations to Hunger Programs
Your support of the Justice Garden and Farm Stand Made this Possible!
Through your donations to the Farm Stand and countless hours supporting this year's Justice Garden, we were able to raise a total of $3,200 that will go to the following six organizations!  Thanks for your support in making this year a success!

$1,600 - Marin Food Bank
$   500 - Pedal for Protein
$   500 - Interfaith Sustainable                   Food Collaborative
$   200 - Presbyterian Disaster
               Assistance (Syria)
$    200 - Short School
$    200 - Marin Interfaith Street 
--Patti Vance, Mission Elder

Yoga Friday Dec 16, 5-6pm  

This is such an amazing an auspicious time of year in so many traditions that to stop and pause, is such a gift amidst all the hustle.

Join me tomorrow for our Friday Flow, which will be in the warmth of the Sanctuary. We will warm our bodies, ease our cold-weather and rain soaked limbs and create stillness in our busy minds.

Dec 23, 5pm-6:15pm will be a special holiday class -  "Om for the Holidays" - bring family and friends as we stop to celebrate the true heart of the holiday season. It is a free class, but we will have a donation basket for programs that feed the hungry. 

SHPC Holiday Fair Trade Faire Success!
Thanks to the Sleepy Hollow congregation's support, the Holiday Fair Trade Faire last Sunday resulted in Sales of $667 which will provide $290 to the Cents-Ability program!                                                                  Thank you for all your support!
--Patty Sanders, your Hunger Action Advocate for the Presbytery of the Redwoods
Your Deacons Say THANKS!
Have you contributed to our Fellowship Hour this year?
Brought cookies, made sandwiches, cleaned up?
Responded to your Deacon's plea?
Then your name is among the entries in the
First Annual Deacon Thank You Christmas Basket!
Drawing will be during the Sunday service on December 18th!
Good Luck! (and Thank You!)  
Session Report from the Clerk of Session
    Monthly Meeting - December 14, 2016
Clerk/Personnel/Nominating - Dennis Latta: Personnel committee met last week and will be scheduling staff reviews starting in early 2017; Nominating committee will be meeting early in January.   Building and Grounds Elder Fred Morfit has moved to Colorado, and his resignation from Session was accepted with recognition of his contribution to the church.   ANNUAL MEETING of the CONGREGATION PRELIMINARILY SET FOR FEB. 12, immediately following worship.

Finance - Doug Eisinger:  Year-end projections, Stewardship update and projection, and Proposed Budget 2017 were discussed in detail.
Building and Grounds:  Guest Richard Peltzman updated Session on the LMP sunshade proposal.
Family Ministries - Janel Stewart:   Friday, December 2 Advent Art evening event was a great success with 16 youth happily creating art for the sanctuary guided by liturgical artist Jody Brockett; Sunday, December 4 Youth Cooks for REST/ Food 4 Good event went very well as did Sunday, Dec. 11 garden event, with appreciation to Judy Ford and Jen Gauna; Children's Pageant Sunday, December 11 was a delight with 23 youth from 11 families and over 100 in attendance; January youth events to be scheduled with Sandra starting Jan. 8th.  
Mission - Patti Vance:  Justice Garden disbursements to hunger programs reviewed by Session and Garden Team was commended by Session for its excellent and faithful work to care for the planet and feed the hungry.  Patti also updated Session on the Environmental Leadership/Youth Event planned for Friday, April 21, with hopes that Cynthia Scharf can return to participate.
Worship - Jody Brockett:  Advent attendance has been terrific, with over 100 the last two Sundays; feedback on the youth window art has been very positive; next year we need to start earlier on scheduling and publicizing the Music Fest, which was excellent, with appreciation to Hallie and Stephen, the choir and the Millar family.
Deacons - Kit Argilla:  Deacons have prepared a Fellowship Voluneer Thank You basket for the holidays and will present it this Sunday in worship.
Moderator - Pastor Bev:  We are receiving wonderful feedback from within and outside our church community about our Dec. 4 service with the Islamic Center.  Balance of report postponed to next meeting, Wed. Jan. 4th, due to lateness of the hour.
--Dennis Latta, Clerk of Session

From Compassion Peace and Justice Ministries

Compassion, Peace, and Justice ministries of the PC(USA)'s Presbyterian Mission Agency has 4 priorities, and this week we are focusing on
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
Two cents

It only takes 2¢ A-Meal to help alleviate hunger and poverty.  The last opportunity to donate this year is Sunday, December 18th.

Jimmie Hawkins to become new director of Office of Public Witness
Jimmie R. Hawkins. (Photo provided)

The Presbyterian  Office of Public Witness  has a new director. The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins has accepted the call to the Washington, D.C. office. Hawkins follows the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, who led the OPW from 2010 until last summer when he was elected as stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
"It is extremely humbling to be called to this position. This is a calling from God and I feel I've been led to this and the church has been a blessing in my life," Hawkins said. "I see this as the next step in my call to ministry."
Since 1996, Hawkins has served as the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in New Hope Presbytery. He previously served as the yoked pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Holmes Memorial and Trinity Presbyterian in Peaks Presbytery.
Although he loves his current role as pastor, Hawkins says he looks forward to the challenges in his new role and the changing landscape in Washington.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Solar Grant

Thank you to the County of Marin and our own Supervisor Katie Rice for a $3,000 grant towards the SHPC Solar Panel Project - a key step forward in greening the church and environmental leadership!
REST Program Needs You

Thanks to the many volunteers who make it possible for our unhoused neighbors to sleep in a safe location with delicious food in their bellies!

We will continue to host meals through April.  To  read more information about REST and to sign-up online, please click on this link:   

SHPC  will continue to organize Middle and High School students to contribute to REST -- this year youth will prepare soup and bread for our REST guests. For more info, contact Jennifer Gauna at

If you have questions, please contact Shannon Mong at (phone is 415-279-2402).  
In advance - thanks for your support of this year's REST evenings!

Wil LOVES an invite for lunch or dinner!

Thank you and bless you to all who have reached out to invite him over for a meal.  You are lighting up his life!

And thank him for his faithful and continuing FOOD BARREL MINISTRY.


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: Marie's Parish
Sign up now and keep the hospitality
Don't be shy, Greeting is a Treat!
We are in need of greeters to sign up through the signup genius website. 

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
Christmas introduces ... "I Am With You Always"

Today I am in Manhattan. Chestnuts are roasting outdoors, it's snowing, and the Fifth Avenue windows are dazzling.  However, it's in the mid 30s and the wind chill is even colder.
As I see all the reminders of Christmas I regrettably begin to think about the challenges and sufferings Jesus faced after His teenage years. Jesus's birth was just the beginning of a series of activities and circumstances that have incredible significance for us. 
I wonder why He was subjected to so many painful situations throughout His life?
He experienced taunting, resentment, jealousy, abandonment by some of his closest friends, and eventually a terrible excruciating death. Jesus could have avoided many of these obstacles but didn't.
He was human in all ways. He had feelings, faced temptations, got hungry, road in boats, went to weddings, worked with His hands, worried, prayed, and at night got tired and went to sleep ... just like us!
Those who lived and worked with Jesus had a mirror into what God is like. By being "up close" to Jesus they knew full  well there existed a vulnerability to His love and compassion for both multitudes and individuals. Through His own experiences He had an understanding of what we go through and can relate with our struggles.
In light of this, Jesus promised " I am with you always". 
Always...24/7; or night; good times and bad.
It is gratifying to know that whatever you and I are facing, God is with us. Not maybe, but for sure! Our thoughts and prayers can trigger divine wisdom and supernatural power that is applied to what we're experiencing and going thru.
Heb 4:15-16 says,"Jesus understands every weakness of ours because He was tempted in every way we are, but He did not sin. So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness and we will find help."
One of the greatest gifts we can embrace this time of year is Jesus' promise, "I am with you always". We can reach out to Him even today and ask for help, insight, and patience - we can even ask for a sudden big break. As I tackle what I am tackling here in NY this week, I am glad God is with me. I'm not alone, and neither are you.
Merry Christmas ... from the "winter wonderland" ... Paul

Paul Lambert is a member of SHPC who travels extensively for his career as a producer of Broadway-bound musicals.  He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute who studies the Bible daily and attends our Bible Study whenever he's in town. He posts this blog each week no matter where he is, to the delight and comfort of many.  SHPC thanks you, Paul.
Women's Weekend ~ January 20th-22nd, 2017
Click here for more information and registration

From our own Jen Boynton:
Come hear the music play!  Come to the Cabaret!

Enjoy an evening of Broadway song and dance by MMTC performers and other outstanding members of the Marin theater community while raising funds for our wonderful Playhouse and MMTC!  

The evening includes wine & beer, appetizers, raffle prizes, and a fabulous silent auction. Auction items include airline tickets, Disneyland passes, dinner parties, a private tour of Pixar, ballet and theater tickets, and more! 

Doors open at 7pm, performance at 8pm
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