SHPC Brings the Love - It's Been a Very Good Year!  
Cat, Millie, Sharon, Jody, Peg, Patty, and Fiske at Women's REST
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
December 28th, 2017
Twelve Days of Christmas
New Year's Eve!
Ending the Old Year with Peace;
Beginning the New Year with Hope

      This Sunday, December 31, at 9:30 a.m., we come together to bring the year to a close with peace in our minds and hearts.  At year's end we have a choice.  We can look back with disappointment, resentment, and the like, feeling that we've fallen short, and that others have too.  A more liberating choice is to look at life with God's "score card" - a very different set of metrics - and one that lets us close the year in peace, and set intentions for the new year with hope and joy!   
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev

It's the 12 days of Christmas, the holy time between the birth of the Christ child and Epiphany. Whatever is on your schedule, please make time to look up and around for the beauty and goodness that surround you. You are invited to soak in the sweetness of life in all the small and precious moments. And don't forget to laugh at anything that tickles your funny bone.  Life is a gift.  

With love and blessings of peace, 


December/January Calendar
Friday, December 29

NO Bible Study - See you in 2018!
Sunday, December 31
                9:30 a.m.
              1 0:30 a.m.   

New Year's Eve

God's Score Card

Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Monday, January 1
                5:30 p.m.
Men's REST @ St. Rita's Church Hall, Fairfax
Wednesday, January 3
                 7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers- See you next year!
Friday, January 5

Bible Study

Sunday, January 7
                   9 :30 a.m.
                  10:30 a.m.
                  4-6 p.m.
Meet Andrew P Quick
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Youth REST cooking

NO Bible Study this Friday, December 29
Bible Study resumes January 5, 2018!
Please Remember in Your Prayers

The family and friends of Gabriel Whooley, for all those mourning the loss of Gabriel, may they feel God come alongside them in their grief, giving them the peace that transcends understanding;
Marie Ongaro and family,  mourning the loss of Marie's mother, for God's accompaniment, comfort, and peace;
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 Hurricane Maria, and the 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.
Men's REST Update

Men's Coordinator Scott Hamilton with Kit, Luke, Ethan, Nancy, Frankie, Ana and family

Frankie Eakes reports from Men's REST:  Kit and Lou prepared a wonderful Sirloin Tip BBQ, and the men were amazed at their good fortune; me too! We added our touches, but the wonderful part was the participation of the students from Drake who participated in meeting and greeting.  The Students, especially  their leader (Charlie), were very mature and caring, which brings a special  touch. The men also received shirts, and goodie bags, with socks that were supplied by the St. Vincent's organization within St Rita's. They come often with wonderful gifts for the men. (Kit adds: Frankie generously added to their supply of socks.) 

From our REST Leader, Carolyn Goodman:  Thank you to all who volunteer! The next men's REST day is January 1st; scroll to next item for the sign up.
REST Sign-ups!  Our Life-Giving Ministry to the Unhoused Community

Women's REST volunteers 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.
One Love
Youth Christmas pageant 
Thank you to all participants, to our teachers Andy, Justine, Sydney W. and youth director Charles, to our musicians and choir, and to Ethan!!
Huge thanks to Ethan for the wonderful photos! 
You can view all of Ethan's photos from the pageant  at 
Children's Program Teacher Sydney Greenlee
back from college for the Pageant
with sister and current Teacher Justine

We are blessed!
To Middle and High School YOUTH and their PARENTS from Charles

Hi everyone!

This year's Christmas pageant was a smashing success! With stories pulled from several different places in the Bible, the pageant explored the theme of "One Love," with enemies becoming friends, and strangers being welcomed. With the backdrop of different kinds of wreaths that our kids made joined together with strings of light, and the the choir singing a modified version of Bob Marley's "One Love," the whole thing came together beautifully.

The kids and the congregation had a great time, and I'm sure that the story they shared will live with them for a long time to come.  

Here's the link to the Youth Group's video on YouTube, in case anyone missed it: Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas CVI
Youth Group resumes December 31, and we'll begin preparing for Dr. Martin Luther King remembrance Sunday, Jan. 14.

Happy New Year!

Charles Wei
Youth Director
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church


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  
Thank you, Foster Child Gift Angels!
from Frankie Eakes:

Diane Latta and I delivered 50 wrapped presents to Alternative Family Services and CASA y esterday plus $110 in donated cash. Marin Foster Services is picking up a loaded unwrapped present basket today that we put together with our mission partner Little Mountain Preschool. 

Thanks to everyone that gave and made a difference in a Child's Christmas!

B and G Maintenance Update - December - UPDATED
from Ahmed, your B and G Elder

Yet another water leak from a broken pipe caused our water to be shut off last Saturday, and we have more repair work to do in the front yard near the mailbox!  

This is in addition to the 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. 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.  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, $ 150,495 has been pledged and we have exceeded our goal of $147,000!  Thank you very much to our 56 pledgers (9 first-time pledgers). We are dreaming big and still raising funds for our part-time youth director and a pastoral intern and extended admin hours 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 

Thank you to Ethan Russell
from James and Karen Baigrie,
Stewardship Chairs,
Doug Eisinger and the Session,
and our whole church!
We raised $3,140!

We are so grateful for Ethan's Sunday fundraiser at his beautiful Best Seat in the House gallery at 556 San Anselmo Ave. pictured above!  Many church folks enjoyed the gallery, invested in art for gifts and for themselves, and benefitted our church.  The afternoon was a great success! Thank you, Ethan, for your tremendous generosity!

Report from Your Finance Elder

Thank you to all for the wonderful participation in the Stewardship campaign.  We have exceeded our goal, which funds our base case 2018 budget (see below), including hiring a part-time pastoral intern to help Pastor Bev. Thank you so much to the 56 pledgers  who have donated so far, including our 9 first-time supporters!
Session hopes to improve on the base case budget to make progress towards addressing our structural deficit (unfunded needs in staff, program, and maintenance). 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 Next Steps
The Session continues to lead the whole church in a discernment of God's way forward for a financially sustainable church. If you are just tuning in to the church finance discussion, Session has prepared FAQs for you.  Click here.  

Session is completing its work with the Presbytery's CPA, who has reviewed the spreadsheets presented at Let's Talk #4 on 11/12.  (The Presbytery must approve any re-financing and all loans, leases and sales of church property.)  Session is also working with a general contractor in response to feedback from the Presbytery and our own congregants' questions about the likely cost of the manse conversion proposal presented as an alternate to Session's option on 11/12.

Following the January 3 Session meeting, Session plans to send out a survey to the congregation for a show of preferences to assist the Session in discerning whether a consensus exists in favor of selling the church property at 110 Tarry.  If so, Session 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

Church Nominating Process Begins 
for Election of Elders and Deacons for the Coming Year
At the Annual Meeting in Feb. 2017, the congregation elected Dennis Latta, Clerk of Session, as Nominating Chair, along with Sue Burr, Nancy Derr, Koren Grubb, and Cathy Sarkisian to serve as its Nominating Committee.  Next year's Annual Meeting will likely be February 4, 2018, and thus it's time for the Nominating Committee to begin its work. 

The current Session is made up of Dennis Latta, Clerk, Jody Brockett, Worship Elder, Doug Eisinger, Finance Elder, Patti Vance, Mission Elder, Janel Stewart, Family Ministries Elder, Merle Ongaro, Membership Elder, Ahmed Abu Aly, Building and Grounds Elder, and the Pastor.  The Moderator of the Board of Deacons, Kit Argilla, has voice but not vote.
The elders meet once or twice monthly for about 3-4 hours and depending on their area of church life, generally spend about 5-20 hours/month serving the church on top of that time commitment.  This year the time commitment has been heavier than that due to the Financial Sustainability work.
Based on strong feedback from the Moderator of the Board of Deacons, Kit Argilla, who will be leaving her position in Feb. 2018, along with the rest of the deacons (Robin AbuAly, Peg Maclise, Marie Ongaro, and Nance Rosencranz, bless them all!), the Session is reaching out for more feedback and considering moving the fellowship coffee and refreshments duties to another committee, to relieve deacon burn-out and spread the responsibility around. Since this is not yet resolved, we aren't sure yet whether the deacons will be responsible for fellowship in 2018.  

Nevertheless, since the Nominating committee generally commences its work at this time of year, members of the congregation are welcome to contact members of the committee to explore whether they might be called to the office of elder or deacon. Individuals can nominate themselves, and nominations from the floor of the congregational meeting are accepted.  

The Session is anticipating openings for Worship Elder and possibly Finance Elder (if Doug Eisinger rotates off early, after just 2 years of service).  The Worship Elder meets weekly with the Pastor and Director of Music to plan each service, and attends church faithfully to set up, prepare the elements for the sacrament, and manage the many things that come up each service.  Similarly, serving as Finance Elder is a commitment to be present at church and work closely with the staff to manage church finance, since we do not have a business manager.  This has been an intense year for the Session, and the Session recommends for continuity and the good of the church that Dennis Latta, Clerk, stand for re-election for one additional year.  

If you are interested in exploring God's call to church leadership, you can contact any of the members of the Nominating Committee:   Dennis Latta, Sue Burr, Nancy Derr, Koren Grubb, or Cathy Sarkisian, or talk to Pastor Bev, who serves ex officio on the committee.

Report from Clerk of Session - 
December 13, 2017 Session Meeting

Financial Sustainability -
Session - Discussion of due diligence to date on manse conversion (alternative to Session's) proposal, including Presbytery Executive, Presbytery CPA, and General Contractor, discussion of next steps, including communications w/r/t due diligence, congregational survey following Jan. 3 meeting, and annual meeting of the congregation.  
Finance - Doug - review of monthly reports, stewardship update, budget work; Mexico Mission policy approved: " All MM donations/participant fees received are donations to SHPC, as sponsor of MM; in cases where the trip generates a surplus above budgeted amounts, Session will determine how to direct the surplus after consultation with the MM adult leaders."  
Personnel - Dennis - Review of Pastor's Job Description, additional personnel matter (confidential);
Nominating - Dennis - Discussion of Deacons' Role - Continue fellowship responsibility in 2018?  Further work to be done here.
Building and Grounds - Ahmed - Irrigation and water leaks, outdoor lighting issues, work in progress for wheelchair ramp design, thank you to Bill O'Callaghan and Paul Krohn for the drone photo and the topographical survey!  LMP still needs to perfect its non-profit status with CA and Cy of Marin so that church isn't billed for 50% property tax; Board member Jim Waite is working on this.
Family Ministries - Janel - We are thriving!  
Mission - Patti - Update on Youth Climate Summit and Community Media Center opportunity; REST is going very well
Membership - Merle - excused absence
Worship - Jody - attendance and art are wonderful!
Deacons - Kit - excused absence
Moderator - Bev - opening and closing prayers
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. 

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
Join the Office of Public Witness
for our new
Witness in Washington Briefing Series

January 23, 10 am - 12pm
100 Maryland NE
Washington, DC

Come hear policy experts discuss the pressing justice issues facing our country and the world. Learn how you can lift your voice with other people of faith and speak truth to power! 

More information on speakers and specific issues to be addressed will be announced in January.  This is the launch of our new quarterly briefing series - we are also planning future in-person briefings for May, September, and December.
We are looking forward to seeing you!
We encourge participants to make appointments to meet with their members of congress in the afternoon after the briefing.
If you need assistance please feel free to contact us at 202 543 1126.
To RSVP and save your space click   here.
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