News of the Presbytery of San Jose

As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle; such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. Each moved straight ahead; wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.

And above the dome over their heads there was something like a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed like a human form.

Like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendor all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

Selections from Ezekiel 1

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

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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 in next month's newsletter or on the Presbytery website for registration information and the docket.

November 21st

The Mid Council Newsletter may be found here:

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Just a reminder that the presbytery website is full of useful information on various meetings, resources, and dates; including the online application form for Ministry Funding during this difficult time for our churches. Visit us at
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For a list of upcoming events hosted by our own Presbyterian Women's group click here:

It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of Elder Charlotte Powers, on September 28th, from complications related to Parkinson's disease.  

Charlotte was an elder at First Presbyterian Church of San Jose. She was active on the Financial Affairs Committee of the Presbytery, and served as Moderator of the Presbytery in 2010. She was also a key leader on the Committee on Local Arrangements for 218th General Assembly of the PCUSA that met in San Jose in 2008. She was very active with Front Door Ministries and Lifted Spirits.

In addition, Charlotte served on the San Jose City Council representing District 2, from 1992-2000. She was a leader, mentor and advocate for the arts, affordable housing, workers’ rights and preservation of the environment.

In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, please join us in giving thanks to God for the life and ministry of Elder Charlotte Powers.

Joey Lee
Executive Presbyter

Erica Rader
Stated Clerk
Save the Date!!!
Bryan Franzen and Westminster Presbyterian Church will be sponsoring a virtual gathering with Ibram X. Kendi, author of How To Be An Antiracist, on November 11th at 6:00 pm. More information will be forthcoming. Questions may be submitted to Bryan ahead of time for discussion at the event. Contact Bryan at for more info.
Announcing a newsletter within a newsletter.

It has come to our attention that various events come up between newsletters, which makes Presbytery-wide announcements difficult to initiate in those circumstances.

Collette has been working diligently to create a calendar-based weekly email to provide reminders and announcements regarding upcoming events. We'll be using the same email database for recipients.

She has also created a submission page on the Presbytery website for you to provide us with your newsletter/calendar entry. The link may be found here:

You'll still receive my regular monthly newsletter, but you may also expect a weekly calendar list in your inbox to keep you up-to-date.

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

Thank you, Collette!
A lot is happening with Sweaty Sheep and the presbytery's Hunger Advocate, Rev. Ryan Althaus! To help you stay up-to-date with his ministry, Ryan is working on the creation of his own newsletter. If you would like to receive his specific newsletter and announcements, please submit your email address:

CORE (Committee on Representation and Empowerment) is offering 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 will meet on the third Saturday of September, October and November at 1:30 pm on Zoom. The Next Session will take place October 17th. Participants are asked to sign up in advance  and  purchase the book before the first session. Any questions, contact

Your registration receipt will provide you with the appropriate Zoom link information.
First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto is looking for a Director of Operations. The Church's webpage with details of the position may be found here:

In Times Like These - We are living in strange times…the pandemic, politics, and the difficulty of job cuts or even job loss.  A source that can help us manage our feelings is the book of Psalms. I have written a book Psalms for People Like Us: Twice Daily Devotions for Those with Mental Health Challenges.

With the world as it is, this book is for anyone looking for support whether or not you have any connection to mental health concerns. The book (including shipping) is $14.40. Make check payable to Rev. Sharon LeClaire; email her for her mailing address ( and she will mail you the book. Take comfort in these troubled times—let the Psalms soothe your soul.
On October 24th at 10am, the Church Health and Growth Working Group is pleased to be hosting a Zoom gathering with the Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger to talk about churches and adaptive change. Tod is the author of Canoeing the Mountains and the former pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church. He is currently an Associate Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.

The gathering will include time for questions and answers. Registration information may be found on the Presbytery website at

First Pres Palo Alto is hosting a Group Study!
All are welcome.

Environmental Racism Study Week 1
October 12, 2020 @ 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Organized by First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto. 
Today's topic: Fouling Indigenous Sacred Land in Santa Clara County, led by Pat Kinney. Details at

Environmental Racism Study Week 2
October 19, 2020 @ 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Organized by First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto.

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.

October 4th was World Communion Sunday. Stone Church of Willow Glen celebrated virtually showcasing diversity in the midst of celebration. It's a beautiful picture of faithful individuals coming together to form a collective and shared experience creating a reflection of communion itself. We celebrate both our individual and corporate faith in Christ when we share in the sacraments together.

Thank you, Stone Church for reminding us that corporate worship and communion continues even as we shelter-in-place.
Pastoral Reflection

I had the privilege of virtually attending the "Evolving Faith" conference last weekend. It was the first time I was able to go. It hosted speakers such as Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jen Hatmaker, and Jeff Chu. One of the talks which has stayed with me was given by Tanya Marlow, a speaker and scholar from England. Her sermon focused on Ezekiel 1 and the wondrous picture given to us of the mobile throne of God, able to move in whatever direction the Spirit willed. Her approach was to see it through the eyes of physical disability and mobility. She contrasted the picture of the mobile throne with the Temple in Jerusalem. People were used to thinking of God as residing in the Temple. He was fixed and dependable. With the deportation of the exiles and the destruction of the Temple, what did that mean for the the presence of God? Was God lost? To contrast that anxiety revolving around the loss of the Temple with the mobility of God's throne in Ezekiel 1 created a new picture for me that I hadn't previously cultivated.

It occurred to me that having shifted to electronic and online church services, many of us have lost the security associated with a regular and dependable place of worship. Perhaps we've been floundering a bit trying to find God in a different setting and in isolation. It was encouraging to to be given a picture of a mobile God unrestrained by the walls of a place of worship. God moves as the Spirit wills. There is freedom and assurance in that for me.

May you find comfort in a mobile God.

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

Phone: (408) 279-0220 Website: