Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPCMarch 13, 2014


Sacred Circle - Born from Above 


     When our spirits wake up so that we experience our connection to the Spirit of Life on a daily basis, life feels fresh and new. We see possibilities that we weren't able to see before. Our refreshed imaginations bring new solutions to old problems. We enjoy being part of a greater whole, and our energy skyrockets! This Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., we celebrate new life and new commitments with the blessing of baptism and welcoming new members to the church. Let's surround them with love! Our texts are Psalm 121 and John 3:1-17.  We'll be singing "Spirit," Hymn #319, and "Rain Down."


In This Issue
Bible Study
Reach Out
Children of Uganda Tour of Light Dance Troupe
Mission and Social Justice Meeting
Mexico Mission Kick Off BBQ
One Great Hour of Sharing
Lenten Devotionals
Forty Days for Food Justice
Quick Links

Bev piano
A Note From
Pastor Bev       


     What a beautiful spring we are having here at church! The green hills, tender blossoms, birdsong, and laughter of children make it easy to start a prayer of thanksgiving each day. My Lent commitment is to take time to pray first thing in the morning every morning, and yes, life feels so much better when the day starts with prayer.


     Last Sunday I meant to mention Anne Lamott's book on prayer, Help, Thanks, Wow, and to say that she wasn't recommending confining our prayer life to three syllables. Apparently she lives in ongoing conversation with God, sharing authentically about everything important in her life. Her title isn't meant to limit our conversation, but can help us with three conversation starters.  


     My prayers often start with thanks, and move on to I'm sorry, and then lift up all those in our community for healing and comfort (sometimes I pray going through our directory name by name) and then ask for direction.  Then I need to let go and let the Spirit of God speak!  It is a beautiful experience.


     Thank you to all of you who made last weekend sensational!  From the Children of Uganda evening to the Sacred Circle Sunday and the Mexico Mission BBQ, wow and thanks!  

     See you Sunday to welcome our new members and celebrate our shared commitment to the new life of this wonderful church!


                           With joy,


                                          - Bev


March - April  Calendar


Thursday, March 13 

   7:30  p.m.       Choir practice at the church 


Friday, March 14
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study with Pastor Bev


Sunday, March 16

   9:30 a.m.        Second Sunday in Lent: Sacred Circle - 

                         Born from Above with Pastor Bev

                         New Members Join the Church 

 10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
 10:45 a.m.        Green Team Meeting - All are welcome
                         Mexico Mission Intention to Participate and 
                         Application Forms Due 

Thursday, March 20 

   7:30  p.m.       Choir practice at the church 


Friday, March 21
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study with Pastor Bev 


Sunday, March 23

    9:30 a.m.        Third Sunday in Lent: Sacred Circle - Living Water

                          with Pastor Bev

  10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

     1:30 p.m.        CROP Walk


Thursday, March 27 

   7:30  p.m.       Choir practice at the church 


Friday, March 28
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study with Pastor Bev


Sunday, March 30

    9:30 a.m.        Fourth Sunday in Lent: Sacred Circle - Healing

                          with Pastor Bev

  10:30 a.m.         Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

  11:00 a.m.         Mandatory Meeting for Mexico Mission

                          Participants and their Parents until 2:00 p.m. 

                          All Application Forms Due 


Thursday, April 3 

   7:30  p.m.        Choir practice at the church 

Friday, April 4th

  12:00 p.m.        Bible Study with Pastor Bev 


Sunday, April 6th

    9:30 a.m.        Fifth Sunday in Lent

                          Musical presented by SHPC Choir

  10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

    5:00 p.m.          Mexico Mission Mandatory Meeting and

                          Movie Night until 8:00 p.m. 


 Thursday, April 10 

   7:30  p.m.       Choir practice at the church 
 Friday, April 11
  12:00 p.m.       Bible Study with Pastor Bev 


 Sunday, April 13

    9:30 a.m.        Palm Sunday, with Pastor Bev

                          Collection for One Great Hour of Sharing

  10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!


Thursday, April 17

   7:30  p.m.        Choir practice at the church 
Friday, April 18
    7:00 p.m.        Good Friday Service with Pastor Bev 


Sunday, April 20

    9:30 a.m.         Easter Sunday, Rejoice! with Pastor Bev

   10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - Egg Hunt for kids

Thursday, April 24

   7:30  p.m.         Choir practice at the church


Friday, April 25
  12:00 p.m.         Bible Study Recess 

Sunday, April 27 

    9:30 a.m.         Second Sunday of Easter, with Pastor Bev

   10:30 a.m.        Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

     4:00 p.m.         Mexico Mission Mandatory Meeting:

                           Team Building


Bible Study


Bible Study meets regularly at noon on Fridays in Pastor Bev's office.  All are welcome, and you are invited to bring your lunch. If you are new to studying the Bible, join us! This week our texts are Psalm 121 and John 3:1-17.


Moving God's Future Forward


I was reading Rev Scott Clark's devotional this morning in the San Francisco Theological Seminary's on-line Daily Devotions.

He used a phrase that jumped out at me ... "Moving God's Future Forward".


I realized that is precisely our job. When I think of all the gifts we collectively possess within our congregation, I thought

this phrase is incredibly relevant. Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church is a center for personal healing, spiritual growth and a catalyst for service opportunities.


Two short years ago the Church was a small body of believers who had at its nucleus a handful of incredibly dedicated individuals. I know they prayed. I know they sought a Pastor. And I know they had a deep faith that the Church would once again regain its significance in the Sleepy Hollow, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and San Rafael communities. It is amazing the progress the Church has achieved over the past 2 years. And its outreach and effect goes far beyond these local communities.


God definitely has a future for this Church ... and each one of us play a role in accomplishing it. 


I took a moment and reflected on this past week's activities ... the Church hosted (and helped) the Children of Uganda Dance group, had an ongoing vibrant pre-school in session, a Bible Study group who regularly meets, a terrific choir who faithfully gets together, we had an enthusiastic kick off barbecue for the Mexico Mission project, a new members session, and of course a lovely service on Sunday ... complete with Sunday School for the children...  and one which featured an imaginative circular floral and art display in the sanctuary.


These are all activities that are "moving God's future forward".  If you have other ideas the Church might consider and incorporate into God's blueprint for SHPC please give them to Pastor Bev. She welcomes any and all ideas that will help "move God's future forward" here in Sleepy Hollow.


Hope to see you in Bible Study this Friday at noon ... the group keeps growing ... and is fun. Join us.


Paul Lambert


Children of Uganda Dance Troupe Event a Success!
Friday evening March 7th, was a very special time at SHPC as we welcomed the Children of Uganda Tour of Light Dance Troupe. We witnessed a vibrant performance of East African song, dance and storytelling and then dined with dancers at a delicious potluck dinner, organized by our Deacons. The teens and youth of our church had a wonderful opportunity to converse with the dancers who live thousands of miles away, have undergone many hardships, and yet exude a great optimism. Thanks to facebook, some teens in our congregation have the chance to stay in touch with some of the dancers. It was especially rewarding for the dancers sponsored by Pastor Bev, Kelsey Lopin, and Ellen Dodge to return to our church and be warmly welcomed here. 
A great deal of preparation went into this tour. The tour participants first had to audition for the tour and hope to be chosen. Then, because the dancers attend many different schools across Uganda, the rehearsals must take place during school breaks.  So most of these performers give up the chance to return home to their families on school break in order to prepare for the tour. The tour route is planned well in advance, with host facilities consisting of churches, universities, K-12 schools and public facilities. The two month tour this year began in early January in West Virginia, passed through Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, continued up through New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, proceeded on to Ohio, Illinois and Texas, and then concluded in California.
If you attended the Friday event or helped prepare our church to welcome the dancers, thank you so much for your support and participation! If you want to blog about the performance, you can do so here:  

If you were unable to attend the event on Friday, but are interested in supporting the Children of Uganda organization, please click here to see their website, or click here to connect with them on facebook. There are many ways to support the good work of Children of Uganda, from small donations to full scholarships. Every bit of support helps the this organization in their mission to support children and orphans suffering from extreme poverty. 



Green Team Meeting

Sunday March 9th, 10:45  a.m.


Please come join the SHPC Green Team and help our church become good stewards of the earth's resources! We are making good strides. The church was just awarded a $500 grant from the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative to put in an organic garden, we have switched "Deep Green" with Marin Clean Energy, and we are making plans to reduce waste and to conserve water and energy. We are also investigating options for supporting a local farm through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Please grab a cup of coffee after worship this Sunday and head to Pastor Bev's office. We welcome your ideas and your participation.  


Doug Eisinger

Green Team Chair


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CROP Walk 
Sign Ups Sunday March 16th 
Walk Sunday March 23, 1:30 p.m. 

This Sunday March 16th, Robin and Ahmed Abu-Aly will be recruiting walkers and sponsors for the 18th annual Marin CROP Hunger Walk which will be held on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.. The walk, with its theme of "Ending Hunger One Step at a Time", is co-sponsored by Church World Service and the Marin Interfaith Council. The 5K walk starts at the First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, at 1510 Fifth Street.  


The goal of the CROP Hunger Walk is to increase awareness about hunger issues and to raise funds for local and international anti-hunger programs. This is a family friendly event which invites both adults and youth to walk together in support of a social justice program. Packets for participants, with forms to obtain sponsors, will be available at the church this Sunday, as well as on March 9 and March 16th. We would love to have a group from SHPC march together like last year. 


For more information about the event, please contact Robin at or 271-5169. 


Mexico Mission Update

We are off to a good start! 70 people at our Mexico Mission Kick Off BBQ on Sunday evening, where team leaders were introduced, folks learned about the program and we all enjoyed a tasty BBQ and pot luck side dishes. Thanks to everyone who made this evening possible, including Pastor Bev, Matt Ehlen, Mark Sarkisian, and Chris Lopin, along with many other adult leaders from the Marin community. 


Two upcoming dates to note:  This Sunday March 16th is the deadline for Intent to Participate and Application Forms, and Sunday March 30th is the next mandatory meeting at the church from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you then!  



One Great Hour of Sharing 


Since 1949 Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God's love with our neighbors-in-need around the world. Your generous gifts to this Special Offering help provide relief those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and assist in helping to empower the poor and oppressed.


This Sunday March 16th, we continue our Lenten practice of saving for the One Great Hour of Sharing collection which will take place on Palm Sunday. We will continue distributing fish banks at and after worship this Sunday. For the next four weeks of Lent, please make regular contributions to your fish bank. This can be done at meal time, in lieu of the Cents-ability contribution, as well as at other times.  On Palm Sunday, we will all bring our fish banks to church for the One Great Hour of Sharing collection. This special Lenten collection is split between Presbyterian hunger relief programs, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and programs supporting the Self Development of People. To learn more about how these funds have provided help to people in need click here.


Please Remember In Your Prayers
Praying Hands

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 Uncle Mo;

Alexa Ehlen, stepmother of Matt, for healing;

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, and mourning the loss of his mother;

Clyde Ongaro, for healing;

For those who have lost loved ones in East Harlem, and in Austin, Texas;

For our new members joining the church, and for the church to bring God's love and justice to the world.


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


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Lenten Devotionals  


The San Francisco Theological Seminary invites you to pray as a part of the SFTS community this Lenten season, with and through the SFTS Lenten devotionals. Each Advent and Lent, the broader SFTS community enters into a season of prayer with devotions written by members of the community - students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni. The devotions are sent out by email every morning, and we have the opportunity to pray together - wherever we are - grounded in a shared scripture and a shared devotion.


If you would like to receive the Lenten devotions each morning by email, you can sign up on the SFTS website here. You can also find the devotions each day by following us on Twitter or by liking us on FacebookWe hope that you will be a part of this community of prayer. 


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Forty Days for Food Justice: 
A Lenten Resource 


The "40 Days for Food Justice" project is a free, online Lenten resource for use in teaching, worship, or devotional practice, in which forty different voices speak out on behalf of food justice.

Each day one individual will offer their perspective on food justice: what food justice means to them and where they see people and communities at work to promote greater food justice. To sign up for the program, click here. To get a taste of what folks are writing about, enjoy this first entry by Rev. Margaret Anne Overstreet, a Presbyterian Minister and Food Justice Advocate. 


Because It Matters


by Rev. Margaret Anne Overstreet


I've been teaching classes and workshops about food, and the global implications of our daily food choices, for several years. Over the course of those teaching opportunities, I've discovered a pair of questions that really gets a lively discussion started.


The first question is: What are your values?


In other words, what are the ideals by which you live your life, by which you decide right or wrong, by which you choose to go left or right? This question evokes a variety of responses: compassion, equality, kindness, justice, respect for others, joy, connection, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.


The second question is: What are your food values?


In other words, what are the criteria by which you make your food choices, three times a day, every day? Again the responses are varied, but are almost always very different than the answers to the first question: price, convenience,  speed, taste, health.


As people of faith, we try to live by a moral compass, espousing those values that our faith teaches us are the foundation of a life that reflects our belief system. When we make choices with great awareness, those choices reflect our values. When we make choices with less awareness, sometimes even unconsciously, our choices are less likely to reflect our values.


Like so many of us, much of my life has been spent eating unconsciously, making food choices with little or no awareness of the way my food choices affect my body, my brothers and sisters around the corner and around the world, or the planet. The road to more conscious eating, and to bringing my food values more in line with the values of my faith, has not been quick or easy.


So, why do I do it?


Because it matters.


There are seven billion people on earth and they all need to eat. These food choices are all connected and they have cumulative effects on the environment, the farmer, the farmworker, food policy, and much more.


Wendell Berry wrote, "Eaters, that is, must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used."


I care about how the world is used. I care about those who grow and transport food. I care about those who do not have access to enough food or to healthy food choices. Those are my food values. And eating with ever-increasing awareness of the implications of my food choices helps me live out those values. 


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