Mexico Mission Homebuilding June 2013
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPCFebruary 6, 2014


Celebrating Community


There is nothing better for the spirit than living life in a community where we share our joys and sorrows and practice living in a way that brings more joy, kindness, justice, and peace to the world.  Together we gain perspective, make meaning, and companion each other through life's challenges. Together we celebrate our shared joys and build something that matters. This Sunday, February 9, 2014, we'll share stories about our own SHPC community, and be blessed with music from our SHPC Singers. Our texts are Matthew 5:13 and 1 Peter 4:7-11.


All are invited to stay for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation immediately following the service. The elders will present their yearly reports, we'll thank our outgoing officers, and new officers will be elected. Pastor Bev's terms of call will be voted on, and the 2014 budget will be reviewed.


In This Issue
Bible Study Vacation
Is God Big Enough?
Message from the Clerk
REST for Unhoused Men
Book Angels and Classroom Volunteers Needed
News from the Presbytery
Valentine's Day Labyrinth Moon Walk
Meditating on the Miracles
Quick Links

Bev piano
A Note From
Pastor Bev


This Sunday is our Annual Meeting, and traditionally the sermon is our church's version of the State of the Union address, except funnier, with good stories and laughs from the last year of shared church life. 


Let's all celebrate what we're building together here, and give thanks for the many blessings of an ongoing, intergenerational community where we can be real about what's happening in our lives and in the world. Here we pray for each other, laugh and cry together, help raise each other's beautiful children, find ways to bring justice to the world, and find meaning in whatever happens in life. Here we model kindness and practice peace. It is such a blessing to be part of this church!    

                                          - Bev


February Calendar


Thursday,  February 6th 
   7:30  p.m.      Choir practice at the church - new singers welcome

Friday, February 7th
  12:00 p.m.      No Bible Study 
                        Bev preaching at SFTS Montgomery Chapel 

Sunday, February 9th
   9:30 a.m.         Celebrating Community with Pastor Bev
                         and the SHPC Singers
 10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
 10:30 a.m.        Annual Meeting of the Congregation to Elect
                         Officers and Review the Pastor's Terms of Call 

Wednesday, February 12th
  6:30 p.m.        Session Meets with New Officers; Officer Training

Thursday, February 13th 

   7:30  p.m.      Choir practice at the church - new singers welcome

Friday, February 14th
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study - Love in the Bible
Sunday, February 16th
   9:30 a.m.        Called to Lead, with Pastor Bev
                         Ordination and Installation of New Officers  
 10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, February 20th 

   7:30  p.m.      Choir practice at the church - new singers welcome

Friday, February 21st
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study 
Sunday, February 23rd
   9:30 a.m.        Merle Ongaro on Mardi Gras, Lent, and Easter
  10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, February 27th 

   7:30  p.m.      Choir practice at the church - new singers welcome

Friday, February 28th
  12:00 p.m.       no Bible Study - Pastor Bev out of town 

Bible Study Mini Break


Bible Study is not meeting this Friday, February 7th. All are welcome to hear Pastor Bev preach at the SFTS Montgomery Chapel on Friday at noon. This is a half hour service primarily attended by students and faculty of the seminary, but all members of the community are welcome. Bible Study will resume on Friday February 14th when we will explore the topic of Love in the Bible. 

Is God Big Enough To Take Us

Through The Unexpected Jolts?


I am currently in Las Vegas working with the creators of the music for our "The First Wives Club" Musical. 

Pictured around the piano is Diane Louie (of the Tonight Show), Eddie and Brian Holland (the great Motown writers), and Simon Phillips who this year is doing 2 things ... directing our show and directing Andrew Lloyd Weber's new Musical.


But even with all this talent ... and high expectations ... the "unexpected" rears its head and at times throws me for a loop.


I'll bet that's true with you too! 


When we feel we that everything's on course  - and on solid footing - we are often hit with an unexpected tidal wave. An illness hits, a fractured relationship erupts, someone looses their job, an addiction takes more and more control,or a slip of the tongue causes damage and has a huge ripple effect.


It's important to remember ... God is on our side. And, God is preparing our comeback from our setbacks even before they occur.

Each of us are going to be jolted with a situation we didn't expect. We are human and are going to slip ... maybe even fall flat on our touch. But the good news is, while we're down ... we can look up. And there is our Lord waiting to lend a hand.


The Bible says  "The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers that individual from them all" (Ps 34:18). "God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will provide a way out" (I Cor 10:13).

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you ... God will never leave you ... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged' (Deut 31:8).


Aren't those verses wonderful? 


There are many more that Pastor Bev will share, discuss and point to in the Bible Studies held in her downstairs office on Fridays at noon. 

If you have been interested and meaning to come please plan to start next week Feb 14th (note ... there is no Friday Buble Study this week as Pastor Bev is speaking at the seminary). These quiet and small group sessions are so helpful, informative and provide such a lift - especially if something unexpected has surprised us.


Until I see you again ... be well ... and know that I miss the services, coffee hour fellowship, and Bible Study terribly. 


Off to LA next. I'm sure I will be hit with something I hadn't expected.


Paul Lambert


Message from the Clerk

Dear friends, this week we will hold our annual meeting to review the year that has passed and look ahead to what is before us. It is a chance for us all to gather as family and community to share how the spirit has moved us as individuals and as a whole.


Session will present the annual report summarizing the business that has been tended to along with a budget for 2014. We will also elect new Session members and Deacons to serve this coming year.


This will end my term as Clerk of Session which has bridged a period of change at SHPC. During this time we transitioned from one pastor to a time of lay person leadership to the welcoming of Bev as our new pastor. We have seen dire financial conditions which have been improved to a secure financial position with a positive future. I am grateful to Bev, who really needs much more from the Clerk of Session, to Megan Jones who helped me transition to this position and supported me during her time as office administrator, and to the wonderful officers who have been alongside me on this journey. 


The past few years have seen forces in life that have drawn me away from continuing an active involvement in the life of SHPC. It is a blessing that this church community is carried by so many and will continue to touch the lives of those both near and far. 


Thank you for this wonderful experience - the blessings we know are gifts from those who share our lives.


In peace,

Ned Adamson

Outgoing Clerk of Session


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REST for Unhoused Men  


I think we all probably take our homes for granted. We've lived in them many years, and we probably don't have a threat of losing them. The REST program takes care of some who lack a regular, adequate nighttime residence, one night at a time.  


This past Monday night we had the opportunity to serve a group of 20 unhoused men at St. Rita's church. We provided warm lasagna, delicious sausages, fresh salad, bread and butter, fruit, juice and cookies, as well as toothbrushes, socks and hand sanitizers. Our volunteers conversed with those wishing to talk, and provided quiet companionship for those who preferred silence and peace. Many thanks to everyone who helped last night including Wil and Betty Swalberg, Chris Lopin, Mark Sarkisian, Luke Argilla, Scott Hamilton, Chrissy Kerr, and Haden Ongaro and his team from Cornish and Carey Commercial: Susi Boldt, Mac Cranford and Alisa Belew. Every person has something unique to offer. Thanks so much for sharing yourself for the evening. 


Kit Argilla  


Book Angels and Classroom Volunteers Needed for Underserved Children in San Rafael  

Recently, I started volunteering in the classroom at Short School in San Rafael. The school is located near Gerstle Park - near D Street on your way over Wolf Grade Road.


It's a kindergarten through 2nd grade school housing 160 children who aren't able to attend their neighborhood school, Bahia Vista in the Canal, due to overcrowding. Two thirds of the children at Short School are bused in daily. 88% are English learners while 93% qualify for the free lunch program and are from families below the poverty level.


Two things this school desperately needs:

1) Volunteers to help in the classroom; even an hour a week to help children learn their numbers and letters. Some classes have zero parent volunteers (most are working).

2) Books for children to take home to read. Eventually the school district will develop space for a library, but at the present time, there is only a book cart that all seven classes share, so there are no opportunities for children to take books home to read with their families. There's also the challenge of parents qualifying for a public library card which requires applicants to list their driver's license number, so depending on a parent's legal status, most children don't have access to a library.


We've started a drive to get used books donated to Short School. We also hope to raise funds to purchase new titles -  childhood favorites and classics that would not find their way into a donation box. If you would like to support either of these efforts - classroom volunteer or book angel, contact me at  Books can also be placed in the donation box downstairs. The tax ID # for the school is 68-0194365 if you would like to make a monetary donation.  Checks can be made out to Short School - donation letter to follow.


Thanks for any and all assistance.  Feel free to pass the word to families, book clubs, student volunteers, companies and other organizations that might want to sponsor this project!



Patti Vance 


Please Remember In Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Jake Greenberg, brother of Barbara Zilber, for healing;

Andrea Proster, sister of Nancy Elberg, for healing, and Nancy, for strength in companioning her; 

The Paige Family, dear friends of Diane Latta, and for Diane, for comfort in mourning the loss of Aunt Glo and for comfort for Uncle Mo in his illness;

Jeri Rayford's sister-in-law Lee Livingston, recovering from stroke, and for her loved ones; 

Jerry Lambert, mother of Paul, for healing;  

Beth Gilmartin and her mother, for healing;

Patty Kuehn and her mother, for healing; 

Gregg Elberg, recovering from surgery;

Clyde Ongaro, for healing;

For SHPC, that we continue to be a blessing to the community and the world.  


Please take time this week to pray for those on our list.


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News from the Presbytery 

Report from February 1, 2014 meeting of the Presbytery of the Redwoods: 


SHPC was represented by elder commissioners Matt Ehlen and Peg Maclise, Pastor Bev, and also Patty and John Sanders, who presented and spoke beautifully.  All four overtures before the body were approved and will be sent on to the General Assembly in Detroit this summer. The overtures (1) ask for an amendment to the Directory for Worship of the Book of Order to change the language concerning Christian marriage from "man and a woman" to two persons, (2) ask for an Authoritative Interpretation of the constitution which would protect pastors officiating at same gender marriages in jurisdictions where those are legal from disciplinary proceedings, (3) ask the Board of Pensions to divest from fossil fuel stocks, and (4) advocate for Palestinian justice and ending the occupation of the West Bank. For more information about these overtures, click here for the presbytery website.  


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SFTS Valentine's Day Labyrinth Moon Walk
Friday February 14th, 7:30-9:00 p.m.


This year, celebrate Valentine's Day by gazing at the stars on San Francisco Theological Seminary's outdoor terrace. Under a full moon, enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Tamalpais while walking the labyrinth, an exercise that focuses the mind and induces a peaceful, meditative state.

The labyrinth has existed for over 4,000 years, first appearing in Neolithic rock carvings in southern Europe. Labyrinths can be found on coins from Knossos, Crete around 300 B.C., and on mosaic floors during the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, labyrinths that were large enough to walk on were constructed on the floors of cathedrals and used by Christians who could not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.


Unlike a maze, which has many pathways and dead ends, a labyrinth has a single path which leads to the center and back out again. The path becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives, touching our sorrows and releasing our joys, a symbol of life's journey. The spiral symbolizes the process of growth and evolution, a process of coming to the same point again and again, but at different levels, so that everything can be seen in a new light.


Those who walk the labyrinth say that the exercise focuses the mind, slows the breathing and induces a peaceful, meditative state. We invite you to walk the labyrinth with an open mind and an open heart, and allow the labyrinth to lead you into blessing, healing, clarity, and balance as you engage with this embodied form of prayer. Time spent here is healing and refreshing. We invite you to pray for peace in world, for peace in your own heart, and for peace in the hearts of all.

At the entrance to the path, pause for a moment and ask God, the Holy Spirit, to be your guide, and offer this time to God to be at work in you.


For more information, call 451-2830 or see click here for the SFTS website. The San Francisco Theological Seminary is located at 105 Seminary Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960. 


Companions on the Inner Way Retreat
March 9th to 14th 
Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, CA 

Meditating on the Miracles is the theme of the next retreat by Companions on the Inner Way. If the miracle stories in the Gospels were few in number and limited in spectrum, they could be dismissed as pre-rational accounts of explicable phenomena.  But there are 32 of them, and some take up whole chapters.  What if their purpose were to offer profound insights into the nature of God and humanity?  What if they provided a mirror for the soul?   What if we moved from marveling at to engaging with? Consider joining this event, which will be led by John Bell, an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community in Scotland. For more information and to register click here, call 510.484.3078 or email Hope to see you there! 


Ann Pope


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