News of the Presbytery of San Jose

When they told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”

Esther 4:12-14

We want to keep you informed! Below is a list of current events happening in the Presbytery of San Jose. Also remember to check the Presbytery website, particularly the Events page at

SJ PBY logo.
Presbytery Meetings

With the passing of the new standing rules, the Presbytery is consolidating the annual number of meetings to four in the coming years. The remaining date for the 2020 meetings is below. Check back on the Presbytery website closer to the date for registration information and the docket.

November 21st

The Mid Council Newsletter may be found here:

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For a list of upcoming events hosted by our own Presbyterian Women's group click here:

Bryan Franzen and Westminster Presbyterian Church will be co-sponsoring a virtual gathering with Ibram X. Kendi, author of How To Be An Antiracist, on November 11th at 6:00 pm. The registration page and more information may be found here:

Questions may be submitted to Bryan ahead of time for discussion at the event. Bryan may be reached at [email protected].
Just a reminder that the Presbytery office is now distributing a weekly announcement email based off of the Presbytery events calendar to supplement the monthly newsletter.

To assist with the weekly announcements, Collette has
created a submission page on the Presbytery website for you to use to inform of us of your newsletter/calendar entry. The link may be found here:

We hope this is a useful tool in keeping you current with all the Presbytery-wide events.

Thank you, Collette!
A Note from Ryan Althaus:

Hey all! Wanted to pass along a hunger opportunity in support of the Silicon Valley 2nd Harvest's program. I've been blessed to work with Santa Cruz' 2nd Harvest for years and hope you'll consider supporting Silicon Valley's program if your congregation could use a virtual mission. Details may be found on their website at:

Also, I have been working with the Lutheran LUX program which hosts high school eco-justice and farm camps every summer. If you have youth interested in food and eco-justice, let me know and I can connect them with this great resume builder and learning opportunity.

(Ryan may be reached by email at [email protected].)

CORE (Committee on Representation and Empowerment) has offered the Presbytery a three-part book study on My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodie by Resmaa Menakem.

The group's last (Zoom) meeting will be November 21st at 1:30 pm. Participants are asked to sign up in advance  and  purchase the book before the first session. Any questions, contact [email protected]

Your registration receipt will provide you with the appropriate Zoom link information.
The Presbytery Office has several PC(USA) 2021 planning calendars left over. If you are interested in purchasing any, please let Collette know. She may be reached at (408) 279-0220 or [email protected].
Service of Ordination for Susan McDougall

The Presbytery of San Jose cordially invites you to attend a Service of Ordination for Susan McDougall, hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos.

The event will be streamed live through three channels: 

Congratulations, Susan!
Mission Conversations:
Krissy Hutflesz,
2nd Harvest Food Bank

Hosted by the Mission and Outreach Working Group.   

In this month's Zoom meeting, our local Mission partner Krissy Hutflesz, Manager of Volunteer Recruitment for Second Harvest Silicon Valley, will report on the desperate need in Santa Clara County and share opportunities for service to individuals, families and senior citizens -- over 500,000 people --living with food insecurity during the COVID pandemic.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 868 7879 7183
Passcode: 850935  

Please invite the members of your congregation to attend. There are numerous safe opportunities for people of all ages. For more information please contact Rev. Margaret Boles at [email protected] or (650) 494-1760.
Images of
The Kingdom of God
while Sheltering-in-Place

We are continuing with our new column celebrating how the Church has continued to worship, minister in the community, and care for one another while sheltering-in-place.

Recently, the Presbytery provided Rev. Ryan Althaus our hunger advocate and director of Sweaty Sheep with a small cottage adjacent to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Cruz. He and an associate, Theresa Nelson have transformed the space into a beautiful art studio. The work of the studio will be focused on using art to foster healing and to bring people together in the community.

Currently, 1:1 workshop sessions are available by appointment. You may also schedule time to use the space for your own personal use. Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week. Various Zoom classes are also being organized. More information will follow as those become available.

Once larger groups are able to gather, Sweaty Sheep looks forward to hosting various workshops and small groups in person.

Please feel free to contact Theresa for more information regarding appointments. Her phone number is (831) 601-5361 and her email address is [email protected].
Pastoral Reflection

Evergreen Presbyterian Church has been in the midst of a preaching series on the book of Esther. We've approached it as comedy in the classic sense and noted that the inherent threat in the book doesn't conjure up the same amount of despair when seen in the light of the book's irony, reversals, miscommunications, and exaggerations. The comedy of it helps the reader lean on the reliability of God's promises to his people.

This last Sunday, our text included the famous quote from chapter four: "Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”

The question is, how do we then relate the lessons of Esther to the Church today, particularly post-election?

I believe our conversations matter. We have a choice in the coming days and weeks on how we conduct ourselves in the public square, just as Mordecai was visible in the public square in Esther's story. Not that our current events don't deserve a response, but rather, it's the tone that's important. In a recent email to the Presbytery, Joey Lee said, "I pray that our congregations would be reminded that we are not left or right, red or blue, donkeys or elephants, but that we are the body of Christ, children of God, called to be salt and light to the world." I would encourage us to be mindful of our speech and the effect it has on others.

May we live into our calling as the Church to be salt and light, as we are here for such a time as this.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Director of Communications
Presbytery of San Jose

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: