Christ Healing the Blind, El Greco, 1567 
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPCMarch 27, 2014


Sacred Circle - Spiritual Sight


    Are we seeing ourselves, others, and the world through clear eyes?How can we tell? This Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., we explore the story of Jesus healing the man born blind. Jesus restores him to sight, and the man is healed, but his community finds this new reality too threatening to accept. Is our spiritual vision healthy enough for us to welcome the healed and accept God's gift of transformation? Bring your thoughts and concerns about areas of blindness that are getting in the way in your own life and in the life of the world, and we will offer them up in prayer. Our text is John 9


In This Issue
Bible Study
We Were Meant for More
SHPC Youth Program Kick Off
Youth Corner
New Schedule for Bye Bye Birdie
SHPC Musical
All That May Freely Serve
Online Donations for Mexico Mission
CROP Hunger Walk a Success
In Memorium
Cesar Chavez Day
Faith and the Common Good Lecture
Food Justice Through Agroecology
Quick Links

Bev piano
A Note From
Pastor Bev       


     Last night I had the great joy of sitting in the front row at the Drake H.S. Little Theater for the student production of Bye Bye Birdie.  All the kids were wonderful, bringing enough sparkle and enthusiasm to the stage to light the town. The high point for me was our own Sasha de Frondeville singing "Put on a Happy Face":  


     Gray skies are gonna clear up,
     Put on a happy face;
     Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
     Put on a happy face...  

     And spread sunshine all over the place...


     Yes, authenticity is the foundation for spiritual growth. We need to be real to heal. Our church community is called to be a safe place for people to share their struggles and sorrows.  We don't need to put on a happy face to be accepted and loved here! I deeply believe all this is true.  


    And I also believe that Spirit reminds us to make space in our lives for joy and laughter in the midst of our struggles and sorrows. This is not ever meant to diminish the difficulty of life or the serious heartache which many of us bear.  But let's remember to let God work on us and in our lives.  Let's not postpone enjoying our lives until all our loved ones are behaving and work has settled down and we're fully vegan and our bills are paid. Plus that happy face does wonders for others who are uplifted by our smiles. So I'm singing now!


                     With joy,


                                           - Bev


March - April  Calendar


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 - Spiritual  

                          Sight, with Pastor Bev

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

  10:45 a.m.         Green Team Meeting

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

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

                          All Application Forms Due

    3:30 p.m.        Youth Group Start Up with Charles Wei and 

                          Pastor Bev, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.


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!

  10:45 a.m.        Adult Discussion with creators of The Stranger

    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 Stephen Iverson 


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 

                           Guest Preacher Rachel Pence

   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 text is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9. 


We Were Meant for More


Remember that popular Peggy Lee song "Is That All There Is?" ...

Often times we become so ensconced in our routines, responsibilities and anxieties that we are blinded from what "breaks" and new opportunities are just around the corner.
I am convinced that if we could remove these blinders we would possess the keys to "utmost living" instead of almost living. So many are so close. We have the talent, the desire, but get stuck on auto pilot.

Some get stuck on their past, or low self esteem, or some embarrassing situation. That's true of many of us. I'd like to encourage us to get out of the shame and get back into the game. Get unstuck. 

If you fall down, get back up. And don't give up.
The writer in Psalm 139 says "God knows me and understands my thoughts". So let's start this about face by realizing God knows what we are feeling, what we are struggling with, and how to change it.
Have faith that God has that new opportunity for you waiting just around the corner.
This Friday, Pastor Bev is going to teach on John 9 in our noon Bible Study. Make sure you come and see how a man blinded from birth, ridiculed by his peers, and rejected by the religious community still found his "break". It all started with Jesus who knew the circumstance, knew the person, and offered the solution. But watch what he did and how he did it ...(John 9).
I'm leaving Ft. Lauderdale today and heading for Las Vegas. After reading John 9 this week I'm convinced Peggy Lee's song needs a sequel. 
Paul Lambert
SHPC Youth Program Kick Off 
Sunday March 30th, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. 

All youth and teens ages 11 and up are invited to come to church Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m to hang out, play games, and get to know each other and our new youth leader, Charles Wei.  Charles and Pastor Bev want to hear from you about what you'd like this group to be and do; this is a co-creation!  Bring friends! 



Youth Corner 


VanIke Stewart lives in San Anselmo and is a 5th grade student at Wade Thomas Elementary School.  Many at SHPC have seen him perform in the SHPC children's musical this past Fall. VanIke is also active in other drama productions. He just completed his 2nd production with Yes Theater & Wade Thomas Players. Last year he played Candy Kid James & an Um-pa Lump a. This year he was the Game Show Host "Sir Prize" in Once Upon a Mattress. He plans to play rugby next year so he will not be performing on stage but perhaps will try for a spot in the crew with Kid Tech!   



Change in Performance Schedule for Bye Bye Birdie 


If you still want to see Bye Bye Birdie at the Drake Little Theater, it is not too late. Opening Night yesterday, March 26th, was a big success, with catchy songs and hilarious lines well played by the performers. Remaining performances are tonight, Thursday March 27th, at 7 p.m., Saturday March 29th, at 7 p.m., and Sunday March 30th, 2 p.m. The Friday evening show was cancelled, as were all activities at Drake Friday afternoon and evening, so that students could travel in buses up to Sacramento and cheer for the Drake Basketball Team at the State Championship. The Sunday matinee has taken the place of the Friday evening show. Tickets, sold at the door, are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Doors open a half hour before showtime. Watch for Sasha de Frondeville, member of the SHPC Choir, in ensemble roles as a teenager, police officer, and waiter. 



SHPC Musical 

Sunday, April 6, 9:30 a.m.


Sunday, April 6, during worship the SHPC Singers will present "The Stranger," an original musical featuring Wil Swalberg as the Stranger, Scott Hamilton as John, Sharon Hamilton as Jamie, and Nate Hamilton as the Youth. The Singers function as a "Presbyterian chorus," commenting on the proceedings. All characters appearing in this work are figurative. Any resemblance to persons mentioned in the Gospel is purely intentional. Please stay for an informative discussion with the creative team and cast after the service to discuss the play, its basis in scripture, and the creative process that Hallie Foster (music and lyrics), Cathy Sarkisian (book), the Singers, and the Cast have been engaged in these past few months!


SHPC Support for 
That All May Freely Serve

Bans on marriage equality are failing legal challenges across our country. Now the front has shifted to an argument about religious freedom.  The question that is seriously being debated is whether individuals and organizations can deny basic rights to gays and lesbians on religious grounds.  The legal arguments concerning conflicts between individual rights and religious freedom already have quite a bit of precedent, and on that basis there's reason to hope that legal battle will be relatively short. But there is danger of long term damage. The debate over full enfranchisement for LGBT people is causing a rift within our own Presbyterian community, even as overtures for marriage equality make its way to the General Assembly for a vote later this year.


There is no question of where SHPC stands. Our church supports marriage equality. I applaud the work of Rev. Ray Bagnuolo and his organization That All May Freely Serve, (TAMFS), a group that advocates for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the Church. The SHPC Mission Fund is donating $500 in hopes that it will help continue this good work, which is not only in service of the cause of freedom and dignity, but also attempts to heal the rift in our community.


To find out more about TAMFS or to make your own donation go to


Respectfully submitted,


Matt Ehlen

Elder for Mission and Social Justice



Mexico Mission Donations Requested


The Mexico Mission, in its 17th year, gathers high school and college students each spring, provides training in team-building and leadership, home construction, respect and neighborliness, and collaborates with nonprofit Amor Ministries each June to build one or more homes for poor families along the border with California. 


SHPC will launch its week long Mexico Mission trip this year on June 14th. In the Spring, participants are busy raising funds to support their participation in the trip, as well as for those less financially able. The cost per participant is $925. If you would like to help sponsor a particular participant or if you would like to make a general donation to the program, it is easy to do. Just click here to make a tax deductible donation online on the SHPC website. Every donation to Mexico Mission in any denomination is truly appreciated. 


Marin CROP Hunger Walk a Success 

On March 23rd, over 90 people came out to San Rafael for a 5K walk to raise awareness about hunger and to raise funds for hunger prevention programs. This year the walkers together raised over $13,000.The SHPC team, led by Robin and Ahmed Abu-Aly, raised just over $1,000, a record for our church team. Many thanks to Robin and Ahmed for all their work in recruiting sponsors, making signs, emailing people, and leading the SHPC team on the walk. If you went on the walk, thank you for raising awareness by walking the walk. If you sponsored any participant, or team, including the SHPC team, thank you so much. If you have not had a chance to support this program, but would still like to do so, you can go online here, select the SHPC team and make a donation. 


Patty Sanders  


In Memorium 

It is with sadness that we share the news that Paul Kreider, elder of this church, died on Saturday, March 22, at home. Please pray for his family and loved ones. May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, bless his spirit and his loved ones, now and forever.  


Please Remember In Your Prayers
Praying Hands

The Schmetz family, mourning the loss of Karl's father, Frank, who died on March 24th; 

The family of Paul Kreider, who died on March 22nd; 

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, mourning the loss of Aunt Glo and Uncle Mo;

Alexa Ehlen, stepmother of Matt, for healing;

Jerry Lambert, mother of Paul, for healing;   

Gregg Elberg, recovering from surgery, and mourning the loss of his mother;

Clyde Ongaro, for healing;

For the work of San Francisco City Impact, an organization that serves the less fortunate in inner city San Francisco in tangible ways; 

For those who are developmentally challenged or dealing with disabilities of every kind, and for those who love and care for them.


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


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Cesar Chavez Day

Monday March 31st


Cesar Chavez Day is a time to remember the great organizing efforts for the dignity of farmworkers made by Cesar Chavez. It is an official state holiday in the state of California. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. You might not have a day off of work, but there are small things to do to honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez. One possibility is to take a moment at dinner time to contemplate who picked the vegetables and fruit for your sustenance. Another option is to go see the new 

major movie, Cesar Chavez, which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 28. A third option is to support the work of the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM), a faith based coalition formed in 1920 which supports farmworkers as they organize for justice and empowerment. To learn more about NFWM click here



Faith and the Common Good Lecture at the San Francisco Theological Seminary

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dinner 6:00 p.m. 

Lecture Only 7:30 p.m.


The Faith & The Common Good Lecture is a continuing education event at SFTS that offers an opportunity for alumni, students, friends of the seminary, and the wider community to hear from and become inspired  by people of faith who serve others through their vocations.


Dr. David Batstone will be this year's featured speaker. He is the Professor of Ethics at the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Management, and President and Co-founder of the nonprofit organization Not For Sale, which raises awareness about the 27 million human slaves in the world today and combats human trafficking throughout the globe. 


The $30 Dinner is optional, and begins at 6:00 p.m. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m., with an optional donation.  Both the dinner and the lecture will be held at Alexander Hall, 40 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960. To register, click here. For more information, contact Janel Stewart at 415-451-2830. 


Food Justice Through Agroecology 
An Entry from Forty Days for Food Justice

The 40 Days for Food Justice project continues with daily Lenten entries on food justice. Patti Sanders highly recommends the reading for Day 17, written by Rev. Andrew Kang Bartlett, associate for national hunger concerns for the Presbyterian Hunger Program. If you want to get the remaining entries directly, click here For more information about Presbyterian hunger programs, click here.


Day 17: Food Justice Through Agroecology

March 24, 2014 


By Rev. Andrew Kang Bartlett


Did you know that you practice agroecology when you buy a pint of organic blueberries grown by a nearby family farmer, or, when you pick up your share of produce for the week? You further promote agroecology when you plant an heirloom tomato seed. And, even when you collect water off your roof into a rain barrel, you're participating in agroecology by joining with agroecological water harvesters around the world.


This means you're helping, perhaps without knowing it, to stem the tide of climate change, reemphasize traditional farming practices, and increase access to healthy foods. What would happen if we began to do these things with greater intentionality locally, nationally and globally?


As the term itself suggests, agroecology is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the practice of agriculture. It asks a basic question that has a number of complicated answers: how can we produce food while living in harmony with God's creation? The core principles of this science include:

  • conserving and using farm resources, such as manure, on the farm rather than bringing them in from other places (sourcing from an outside producer, like a chemical fertilizer or pesticide);
  • generating and conserving energy on the farm;
  • raising both crops and livestock to take advantage of mutual benefits;
  • practicing agroforestry where plants, shrubs and trees with varied heights are all used to increase productivity; and
  • diversity of genetic resources through cultivation of multiple plant and animal varieties and seed saving.

At its foundation, agroecology is about listening to the small farmer. The knowledge of those who work the land and protect biodiversity is critical for developing local solutions to the challenges faced by producers-challenges like climate change-induced droughts and floods, debt incurred through the purchase of expensive patented seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and insufficient prices paid for their crops and livestock. The science of agroecology complements the social goals of food sovereignty, which are greater local control, dignity and justice for producers, workers and consumers, and the ability of people to provide sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food for themselves, their community and their nation.


Ultimately, agroecological practices are based on the knowledge of people whose survival depends on a healthy relationship with nature. That's what led the Presbyterian Hunger Program to connect with Chavannes Jean-Baptiste and Haiti's Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP), which for more than 35 years has been running a tree nursery and an agroforestry program. "I can say for sure that the country will continue to go from catastrophe to catastrophe if nothing is done to change the situation," says Jean-Baptiste. The MPP has planted more than 20 million saplings on deforested hillsides in Haiti. Trees hold the soil in place, preserving precious nutrients that improve food-crop production.


Even if you are not a farmer, you are a person whose survival depends on a healthy relationship with nature. God has provided this abundant planet, and we survive only to the extent that its ecosystems are healthy. Future survival will rely in no small part on agriculture. Our species has converted 50 percent of the world's surface area into land for grazing and farming-in the process losing about half the forest cover, the "lungs" of the earth.

Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, from deforestation to livestock production. Scientific advances have only increased the impact. Modern agriculture has shifted away from traditional, organic farming methods, and now fossil fuel is used throughout the food and farm system. Current food production and consumption practices are estimated to account for between 17 and 32 percent of global greenhouse gas emissionsBut, by  growing our food more responsibly, we can begin to reduce our negative impact on the earth and increase the chances that adequate food will be available for the almost 1 billion hungry people, most of whom live in rural areas of the Global South.


Some argue that only high-input, industrial agriculture can feed the world, but multiple studies prove otherwise. A global assessment of agroecological projects throughout the developing world documented clear increases in food production over some 71,660,560 acres, with nearly 9 million households benefiting from increased food diversity and security. In the African region, two United Nations agencies demonstrated that using organic methods increased agricultural productivity by 116 percent in impoverished countries where hungry people directly benefit.


These are some basic facts of agroecological practice. But how are we, as people of faith, called to get involved? While the term agroecology may be new, this field's essential concepts are not, and many of them can be found in Scripture. God has called us to be good stewards of God's creation (Gen. 1:26), to care for our land and animals (Ezek. 34), to avoid excess and live sustainably (James 5:5), and to offer even the land a Sabbath of rest (Lev. 25:2).

In all that Jesus said and did, he proclaimed the reign of God. The original word for "kingdom" or "reign" in Aramaic, malkuta, can be understood as the "ruling principles that guide our lives toward unity" and wholeness. When it comes to the food system,malkuta envisions a more organic and balanced way of producing sustenance. (From 'Toward Food Sovereignty For All' Report, The United Church of Canada, 2013.)


For the people of the Bible-farmers, fishermen, shepherds-faith and science went hand in hand, because the food they cultivated and ate was a gift of the land created by God. And God's laws ruled that land. May it be so once again. 


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Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road, San Anselmo, CA  94960
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221