Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
January 4, 2018
Meet Pastoral Intern Andrew P. Quick

      This Sunday, January 7, at 9:30 a.m., we celebrate Epiphany! This is the holy day when we time travel back to the first century to journey on camels by starlight with the magi so that we, too, might experience the revelation of God in the Christ child.  Epiphany invites each of us to notice the moments in our lives where truth is revealed, where something which has eluded us falls into place. Let's experience Epiphany!

     This Sunday we'll be warmly welcoming our new pastoral intern, Andrew P. Quick, who joins us part-time for the next 10 months. Andrew is a second year M. Div. student from SFTS, a professional clown, and a wonderful addition to our staff.  
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from Pastor Bev

How are you doing with your New Year's Resolutions?  My first run at New Year's Resolutions included all the most common ones:  eat less, exercise more, etc. But after wrestling with the article we talked about last Sunday (about the limits of willpower), I changed to just one resolution: Be Heart Healthy in All Ways.  

A healthy heart is about so much more than eating right and exercise.  Our hearts are truly healthy when we practice gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness every day.  By practice, I mean just opening up our hearts to God, so that God can fill us with gratitude, and soften us, so that we can experience compassion and forgiveness. We don't do this on our own.   Especially forgiveness.

Let's let God be God!  God wants to do God's wondrous work on our hearts this year! Grudges which have burdened us for years can melt away. God's light can shine on something which has seemed impossible or unbearable, and the load can be lifted.  Epiphanies abound!  

Please join me in welcoming our new pastoral intern, Andrew P. Quick, to church this Sunday. Our Youth Director, Charles Wei, and Andrew and I had our first staff meeting yesterday, and we are so excited about serving this vibrant church in the year ahead!

With blessings of peace,

January Calendar
Friday, January 5

Bible Study 
Sunday, January 7
                9:30 a.m.
              1 0:30 a.m.   
               4-6 p.m.
Welcome Andrew P. Quick 
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome
Youth REST cooking 
Tuesday, January 9
Women's REST at the Wellness Ctr. SR
Wednesday, January 10
                 7:30 p.m. 

SHPC Singers
Friday, January 12

Bible Study

Sunday, January 14
                   9 :30 a.m.
                  10:30 a.m.
         GAME NIGHT!    
Honoring Dr. King Sunday
Of Dreams and Love Power
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome


Bible Study this Friday, January 5 - Noon
Isa. 60 and Matthew 2:1-12
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.

Please welcome our new Pastoral Intern,
Andrew P. Quick!
Men's REST Update

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

From our REST Leader, Carolyn Goodman:  Thank you and bless you to all who served on Jan. 1st; Please scroll to next item to 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,  carolyn@goodmanmarketing.com or 415.250.6264.
To Middle and High School YOUTH and their PARENTS from Charles

Happy New Year!

As we transition from one year to the next, many of us reflect on the things that happened and the things that we did in the previous year. Many of us also look forward to the year to come and all of the opportunities that this new year represents. For our kids, I know that this new year will be an exciting one, as we move forward with our videos and start reaching out to our wider community.

During the month of January, the wider church will be focusing on several issues relating to racial justice. January 14th is Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, and our youth will be playing a key role during the worship service on that day. It is vitally important that our kids come to church these next 2 Sundays so that they can prepare and lead worship on the 14th.

January 21st is Criminal Justice Sunday. In recognition of this, the youth group will be filming our second video, which will focus on how ethnicity affects incarceration rates in United States prisons. After several discussions with our kids, I know that this is a topic that many of them are quite knowledgeable and passionate about, so this should be a good video.

There's a lot going on this month, and it's a lot of responsibility for our kids, but I know that they can be the leaders that God is calling them to be. 


Always feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback by clicking here.

See you all soon, and blessings for the new year!

Charles Wei
Youth Director
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church

   This Sun. 1/7 at 4 p.m.

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  
B and G Maintenance Update - January
from Ahmed, your B and G Elder

The end of last year brought us 4 water leaks, two of them major, and we are still in the process of getting our plumbing and irrigation lines repaired and upgraded.  And getting our MMWD bill reduced!

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.

Our sidewalk around the church is uneven and needs leveling so it's not a tripping hazard.

If you have questions, ideas, and/or would like to help out, please contact me at aabualy@yahoo.com .  
Stewardship Update 
from James and Karen Baigrie,
Stewardship Chairs

As of today, $ 151,030 has been pledged and we have exceeded our goal of $147,000!  Thank you very much to our 57 pledgers (10 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: 
Step Towards Sustainability Budget Approved by Session January 3; Congregational Review at Annual Meeting on February 4

Thank you to all for the wonderful participation in the Stewardship campaign.  Thank you so much to the 57 pledgers  who have donated so far, including our 10 first-time supporters!
Based on good year-end financial results, the successful pledge drive, and Session's commitment to sustainability,  the Session approved the Step Towards Sustainability budget described below at its 1/3 meeting.  This is not a balanced budget, but a budget with an intentional deficit to make progress towards addressing our structural deficit (underfunded 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.
The Step Towards Sustainability budget will be fully presented to the congregation in the Annual Report and at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation scheduled for Feb. 4.  At that meeting the congregation will review the entire budget, and vote on the Pastor's terms of call, which is a key component of the budget.  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:
Survey Coming Out This Week
The Session continues to lead the whole church in a discernment of God's way forward to become a financially sustainable church. If you are just tuning in to the church finance discussion, Session has prepared FAQs for you.  Click here.  

Session has completed its due diligence work with the Presbytery's CPA and a licensed general contractor in response to feedback from the Presbytery and our own congregants' questions about the likely cost of, and other issues related to, the manse conversion proposal presented as an alternate to Session's option on 11/12.  The Session appreciates the considerable effort which the Financial Options Study Team (FOST) put into analyzing the options available to the church to become financially sustainable and resilient. Session undertook due diligence to assess how proposals brought forward met or failed to meet the sustainability criteria below. As part of that process, Session consulted with the Executive Presbyter and sent the FOST booklet to the Presbytery CPA for review. The strong advice of the Presbytery was to obtain an estimate of the work from a licensed general contractor, which the Session has done. Davis Marin Construction provided a detailed estimate of approximately $128,000 to convert 110 Tarry into two dwelling units. This estimate does not include any legal vetting, permit costs, or lost rentals. We recognize this is only one estimate, and it is possible to get different cost estimates from different contractors. However, we have sufficient confidence in this contractor and their estimate to assess that, at a big picture level, the costs to split the 110 Tarry Home into two rentable dwelling units will be substantially greater than what was originally estimated by the FOST. That means the building renovation work would likely add substantially to the church's debt burden, and fail to meet the sustainability criteria Session has outlined. A copy of the contractor's estimate is available through the church office: click here.

Additionally, the Presbytery expressed serious concerns about increased debt, lack of funds to do necessary deferred maintenance and to address needed safety and accessibility work on the church, and the lack of substantiation for the expected rental income after the conversion.

Lastly, the Presbytery CPA pointed out that in the Session's downsize proposal, funds from rental of a downsized unit and from an investment account would not be restricted to capital expense, but instead are available to supplement the church's operating budget.

Session now 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 a consensus to sell is found to exist, Session will call for a vote at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 4 immediately following the service of worship.   

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 Committee Seeks  Deacons with Focus on Compassionate Ministry 
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 is scheduled for February 4, 2018, and thus the Nominating Committee is at 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 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 has decided to try a new thing, and move the fellowship coffee and refreshments duties to 12 Hospitality Hosts, supported by the entire congregation, with each family serving two times per year, to relieve deacon burn-out and spread the responsibility around.  

The Nominating committee is thus seeking 3 Deacons who feel called to the compassionate ministry described in the Book of Order at G-2.0201:  a ministry of compassion, witness, and service, sharing love with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, the burdened, and anyone in distress.  

Members of the congregation are welcome to contact members of the committee to explore whether they might be called to serve as an officer of the church. 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.


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: 
January:   Marie'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 shpchurch@comcast.net or call us at 415-453-8221