Dreaming of a day when his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC
January 12, 2017
A Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on
PC(USA) Race Relations Sunday:
Civil War, Civil Rights, Civil Society, God's World
This Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., we'll remember Dr. King and our country's experience with race relations by journeying from the soaring promises of our founders to the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, and the reality of a nation divided. How do we get to God's way for God's world from here? Our texts include excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, Dr. King's sermons and speeches, the prophets Amos and Micah, and Luke 4:18. We'll sing along the way, and the SHPC Singers will sing for us, too.
As many of you know, remembering the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moves me greatly. I grew up in Virginia when white folks made no excuses for their racist views. My relatives villified Dr. King. As a child, I listened to the black "help" to begin to understand who Dr. King was, what he was actually doing, and how he was following Jesus.
In the last few years, many people have woken up to the ways racism persists and oppresses, but our nation remains deeply divided on race. The KKK has experienced a renewal. Hate crimes are on the rise.
What is God calling us to do? We are called to be truth tellers and justice seekers. We are called to speak up about God's values, and to engage others in moral conversations. We are called to ask challenging questions. We are called to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. Jesus will be standing with us!
This is going to be a very special Sunday, and I am so grateful to be spending it with you!
Friday, Jan. 13th
Bible Study with Pastor Bev Yoga with Karen Baigrie
Sunday, Jan. 15th
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. SUNDAY Civil War, Civil Rights, Civil Society, God's World Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome!
Wednesday, Jan. 18th
6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Hand Chimes rehearse SHPC Singers rehearse
Friday, Jan. 20th
Bible Study with Pastor Bev Yoga with Karen
Sunday, Jan. 22nd
Criminal Justice Sunday Where Marin Youth Meet Criminal Justice with Noah Block in conversation with Pastor Bev Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome!
Wednesday, Jan. 25th
6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Hand Chimes rehearse SHPC Singers rehearse
Friday, Jan. 27th
Bible Study with Pastor Bev Yoga with Karen
Sunday, Jan. 29th
Rev Bentley Stewart Coffee and Fellowship -- All are Welcome! Let's Talk - about Standing Rock
Bible Study - Friday, Jan. 13- Noon
Amos 5, Micah 6
Please Remember in Your Prayers
The family and loved ones of Betty Swalberg, who passed away Dec. 30, may God comfort our dear Wil and all of them in their bereavement;
Those for whom addiction, dependence and/or abuse on/of alcohol and other drugs is destructive to health and relationships, and for their loved ones;
Those who are in financial uncertainty and stress;
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;
Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for complete healing, and for Nancy for continued strength in companioning her;
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.
Thank you to 55 pledgers for pledging $138,213 to the life of church in 2017!
Doug, Finance Elder and Stewardship Chair
Annual Congregational Meeting
The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held immediately following the service on Feb 12th, 2017. The Annual Budget will be reviewed, outgoing officers will be thanked, the Nominating Committee's slate of officers will be voted upon, and the congregation will vote on the Pastor's Terms of Call (compensation). --Dennis Latta, Clerk of Session
Session Report from Clerk of Session for January 4, 2017 Meeting
The Session passed a balanced Budget for 2017. The Budget will be formally presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation to be held Sunday, February 12, 2017 immediately following the service. Copies will be available in advance of the meeting in print and via this newsletter. -- Dennis Latta, Clerk
Volunteer Now - to Help the Kids at Short School
The adorable kids at the Short School in San Rafael are a community at risk - both because they are mostly living in poverty, and because they come from a community where fear of deportation runs high. NOW IS THE TIME TO HELP!
Our own Jody Brockett is now coordinating the After School Enrichment on Wednesdays, and she needs:
Join us for yoga this January, ours is a community class, a place of welcome for all skill levels and experience. Bring an open heart and come as you are, everyone is welcome.
We are practicing upstairs in the sanctuary during these chillier months, walk up the stairs to your left after you enter the building.
Come early if it is your first time or you are new to yoga or would like to discuss an injury you need to work around.
This is a donation based class. Suggested donation $5-$10.We have extra mats if you don't have one.
See you on Fridays, Karen x
REST Program Needs You
(L to R) James, Wil, Carolyn, Flynn, Lucas Karen, Rowan, Jan, and Richard
SHPC served and broke bread with 22 REST guests the first Monday of January at St. Rita's (Men's program). A nutritious and delicious meal of pulled pork, green salad, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, and warm chocolate chip cookies were enjoyed by all. It was a chilly and rainy night; our unhoused neighbors deeply appreciated the hospitality and shelter from the storm.
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 RESTguests. For more info, contact Jennifer Gauna firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Greetings from Dr. Douglas Tilton, Regional Liaison for Southern Africa
Presbyterian World Mission, our guest mission worker in June 2016
Please let Pastor Bev know if you'd like to read the full text of Doug's letter, and if you'd like to support his ministries in Southern Africa.
Dear friends -
Another year is hurtling towards a close. It has been an eventful one, filled with both highs and lows. I was grateful to have a chance to spend six months in the United States on home assignment at the end of a term of mission service, before returning to Southern Africa in October. During that time, I appreciated the opportunity to take part in a number of Mission Network meetings, to serve as a mission advisory delegate to the 222nd General Assembly, and to visit many of the congregations who have so generously supported my ministry through their faithful prayers and gifts. My thanks to the many folks who offered me such spectacular hospitality throughout my sojourn in the US. It was a great delight to see longtime friends and to make many new ones. And, in particular, I was pleased to be able to share some of the ways that I have witnessed God at work in the world, with and through our partners in Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa and Mozambique and to say a word of thanks to you for your participation in this amazing collaborative global effort to enable all to know the fullness of life promised in Jesus Christ. . .
Meet at the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium (10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael).
The Corporation for National and Community Service promotes MLK Day of Service as "a day on, not off!" This important call to service is a way to honor the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and support projects that empower and strengthen local communities. Our focus will be to do just that as we work together to spruce up landscaped areas at the Marin County Civic Center. All skills levels are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. It is possible for volunteers as young as 5 years old to join if teamed with a parent or guardian. Dress in layers you can get dirty, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Snacks and extra water will be provided. In the event of heavy rain and/or high winds call (415) 763-2977 to find out about event status. RSVP's are appreciated but not required.
Congressman Huffman is hosting an Interfaith Service/Vigil on Friday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m. at
First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael. Pastor Bev and Stephen Iverson and a contingent of SHPC Singers will be there! This will be the culmination of the Congressman's Day of Action - rather than attending the inauguration, he is spending the day working with groups throughout the district including Habitat for Humanity and the Ukiah Food Bank.
This event will be open and free to the public; it's focus will be tolerance, inclusion, social justice, and peace. It will include brief speeches by people from diverse faith backgrounds, inspirational music, and the opportunity to connect with and sign up with local groups who are working to make the world a better place.
Wake up and Take Flight"
Ernest Hemingway said, "True nobility lies in being superior to your former self." So what are the keys to growing beyond where you are today, and becoming superior to your former self? Many people get stuck where they are, tread water, and resign themselves to the fact that "this is all there is." But that doesn't have to be so.
In 2017, we have the opportunity to wake up. We have the opportunity to take flight in ways we never dreamed in the past. Here are some thoughts about forming a blueprint that provides a launch pad for taking off this year.
Establish a new discipline as it relates to health, your thought life, and the people you embrace. In addition to these basics, institute a sound routine that makes sure you have a time to meditate, pray, exercise (even just a walk out of the house), and plan monthly to interact in at least two healthy social events. This is a good beginning.
However, another part of waking up and taking flight is the ability to notice eye opening signs that come straight from God.
Be ready for these. Mark 16:7 says "Signs shall follow them that believe." We all have routines, and they are necessary. In fact, Denzel Washington got it right when he said, "Sometimes you do what you gotta do, so you can do what you wanna do." I agree, but don't let your routine suffocate you or blind you from God's flash or laser beam discovery meant just for you.
God speaks through the Bible, through Church services, through the arts, and definitely through signs meant only for you. Be prepared to discover and notice these divine nudges and prods and act on them. A divine sign shatters disinterest and can shake your routine. Signs are compelling, personal, and intuitive. If you are stuck, in a rut, and and wondering what to do ... be ready, this may be when God reaches out to you. Look for it. Ask for it. When it happens, you'll know it.
Wherever you are in your life, career, or dream, take this opportunity to reboot and refocus your antenna. As Henry David Thoreau said, "The world is but a canvas to our imagination." Commit to turning obstacles into opportunity, and remember "The Lord will be at your side" (Prov 3:26).
This was all meant as much for me as for you. We are all in this together.
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.
Our presbytery consists of 48 congregations, 5,922 congregational members, and 151 minister members. Our geographical boundaries stretch along the northern California coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, including the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Lake, Mendocino, and Humboldt. We are a partnership of Christ's disciples with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. In the midst of our diversity and differences, we respect and support one another as we carry out our individual ministries and our common mission as a presbytery.
To find out more about what's going on in the presbyte
ry, click here.