The Good Samaritan
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPCSeptember 25, 2014

Big Tent - Who are God's People? 


     The oldest parts of the Bible tell us that the 12 tribes of Israel are God's people.  By the time of the prophet Isaiah, the prophet was calling Israel to be a light to the nations.  A more inclusive, universal understanding of God's people was born.  Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah when proclaiming the start of his earthly ministry.  He lived and taught radical inclusivity, showing us that God with us means God with all of us.


     But 2,000 years later, sectarian violence continues to rend the world apart. The nightly news brings ample evidence that the tribal mindset persists; it shows itself in the escalating horror of sectarian violence in the Middle East, in the racial divide in Ferguson, Missouri, and even in independence and secession movements from Scotland to the state of Texas.


     This Sunday, September 28, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., we'll explore the heart of the Gospel message in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We'll have a chance to reflect on who we consider to be within "our tribe", and who we've excluded from our hearts.  Our texts will be Leviticus 19:17-18 and Luke 10:25-37.


     Don't miss Sunday, October 5, World Communion/Peacemaking Sunday!  We will celebrate our confirmation class in a special service which they will lead, with our children's choir, our new youth choir, the SHPC Singers, and drummer Bill O'Callaghan.  Ellen Dodge will share how children can learn to transform uncomfortable feelings and become peacemakers. 


In This Issue
Bible Study
Paul's Blog
Confirmation Classes
Let's Talk
Bible Study Field Trip
Mexico Mission Reunion
Farm Stand Help Needed
Take Wil and Betty Dinner
Greeters Needed
Pedal for Protein
Follow up on Climate
Housing Sabbath
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev       


Last Sunday the message was about the generosity of God, and since then, I have heard from some of you who are undergoing challenging times that the very idea of a generous God who provides for us makes you feel angry or left out.  So many of us have something challenging going on in our lives right now, and in these challenging times, we may be called upon to grow into a new understanding of God.  With openness, we can experience God companioning us through suffering in small and large ways: through the kindness of strangers, through complexity becoming simple, through small things falling into place, through unexpected blessings. And always, through the love and concern of our church community.  As a church, we are God's hands and feet, and often we show God's heart for the world.  


Let us remember to pray for each other, and to come to church ready to be a friend to all those who need an uplift!

 Fall Calendar


Thursday, September 25
7:30 p.m.           SHPC Singers Rehearse at church

Friday, September 26
12:00 p.m.         Bible Study
7:30 p.m.           Ordination to Ministry of Hannah Dreitcer

Sunday, September 28
9:30 a.m.           Evolving Church Continues: 
                               Big Tent -- Who are God's People?
                               Confirmation Class #4
10:30 a.m.         Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.         Let's Talk about God - with Cathy Sarkisian

Thursday, October 2
7:30 p.m.           SHPC Singers Rehearse at church 

Friday, October 3
11:45 a.m.         Bible Study to SFTS for Bentley's Senior Sermon

Sunday, October 5
                                Confirmation Class Celebration
                                Three Choirs Sing Plus Drums!
10:30 a.m.         Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.          Let's Talk about Becoming Peacemakers - with                                Ellen Dodge

Thursday, October 9
7:30 p.m.            SHPC Singers Rehearse at church

Friday, October 10
12:00 p.m.          Bible Study

Sunday, October 12
9:30 a.m.            Evolving Church: Covenant People
                                Sacred Texts: Alive, Stone Tablets, Both?
10:30 a.m.          Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.          Let's Talk about Interpretation - with Matt Ehlen

Sunday, October 19
9:30 a.m.             Housing and Homelessness with Lora East
10:30 a.m.           Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.           Let's Talk Field Trip - Rev. Kate Taber

Save the Date:  Sunday, November 9- String Quartet and 
                        Harvest Feast for Stewardship Celebration

Bible Study - Friday Sept. 26 -
Noon - Levit. 19:17-18 and Luke 10:25-37
Bible Study meets at noon on Fridays in the Pastor's office.  Whatever your experience with the Bible might be, you are welcome to come and learn and make meaningful friendships.  

Resting in the Shadow of the Almighty...Even in New York


New York is a busy place. I use to live here and participate in its energy, fast pace, and multitude of attractions. I'm here again for two weeks after a long absence. I actually feel like an outsider. 


One of the big changes in my life since leaving is the amount of Bible study and teaching I've received here at Sleepy Hollow. Pastor Bev has talked about us listening to God, she has reminded us that we are forgiven and that we have a great opportunity to understand ourselves better as we understand that each of us is hand picked and has been gifted to be a meaningful player in God's Kingdom.


When I think more about God and reflect on the personal bond between us, a quietness, a calmness and a peace comes over me. I'm less competitive. I feel protected. Most of all I feel safe.


The Bible says "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1).


May I encourage each of us to think about "dwelling in the shelter of the Most High." To me, that is a secret place of solitude set aside by God for our friendship. God wants to fellowship alone with us, God is anxious and more than ready for us to be truthful, share our frustrations and talk like best friends. 


Each of us has our own "made to order" shelter in God's presence. And in this Psalm it states that we who dwell there can focus, rest (and get away from so much else) because we reside and are protected by the Shadow of the Almighty."


So while I am in New York, one of the busiest cities in the world, I want to share with you that I have found my own quiet shelter carved out for God and me. When I go there, we chat, I listen, and am surrounded by a huge "divine" safety net. 


Wherever we are this is possible. It's the one place we can get away from the distractions, be protected from temptation, and feel totally embraced by God. The Psalmist later goes on to state "If you say, The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you."


Those are terrific promises. Especially when residing right across the street from Madison Square Garden.


From New York ... Paul


Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands


Our confirmation class youth, for their wellbeing and flourishing;

Patty Kuehn's mother Diane, for complete recovery; 

Carolyn O'Hara, for healing, and for strength and support during her recovery;

Evan Peltzman, for healing and complete recovery from a broken heel, and for strength and support during his recovery;

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

Clyde Ongaro, for healing;

Jerry Lambert, for healing, and for blessed assurance of God's constant presence;

For the unhoused community as we approach winter without a permanent shelter in Marin County, and for our local government, for the wherewithal to create and fund a permanent shelter;

For all those struggling with depression and isolation;

For all those struggling with addiction and dependency, and their loved ones;

For all those struggling with financial insecurity;

For the caretakers, that they may have more rest and joy;

For all those living in places of darkness and violence, for peace, shared humanity, and hope.


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


Back to the top


SHPC Confirmation Class with Charles Wei, M. Div., Pastor Bev, and Lora East

Our last September Confirmation Class is this Sunday, September 28th during worship. We will have a celebration of our confirmands in a special service Sunday, October 5th, World Communion/Peacemaking Sunday.


We start upstairs at 9:30 and continue after the service with music, art, discussion, Q&A, and fun.  We try to finish at 11:30, but appreciate a little flexibility on our finish time.  And we'll celebrate our confirmands with special worship and a presentation on Sunday, October 5 at 9:30 a.m.


Let's Talk! Fall Discussion Series
Continues September 28th at 10:45 am

In our increasingly polarized culture,
is it possible to dive into charged topics and emerge friends?  Can we learn from people who don't see eye to eye with us on key issues? We're going to show the world it can be done!  So far we are doing great!

Sept. 28 - Let's Talk About God with Cathy Sarkisian


Albert Einstein said he had a "humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."  Do you remember the first time you heard the word "God"?  What impression did you get and how has it evolved since then?   Let's Talk about God and our attempts to understand such a sacred concept!

Coming up:
- Oct. 5 - Kimochis, Feeling Our Way to Peace, with Ellen Dodge
- Oct. 12 - Interpreting the Bible and other foundational texts, with                       Matt Ehlen
- Oct. 19 - Israel/Palestine with Rev. Kate Tabor, PCUSA missionary
- November - End of life, heaven, and afterlife
- December - Religion and Science - can they talk?

Watch the calendar for more dates and topics.

Richard Peltzman
Matt Ehlen
Cathy Sarkisian
Fred Morfit

Bentley Stewart's Senior Sermon
Friday, October 3rd
12:05 p.m.

Our own Bentley Stewart will be giving his Senior Sermon on October 3rd and we would love for our SHPC friends to join in the special service. Bentley will be preaching on the theme of "Why Seminary?"


The worship service will be held in Montgomery Chapel 

5 Richmond Road (corner of Bolinas Ave. and Richmond Rd.)

San Anselmo, CA


The service will be 12:05pm - 12:35pm and includes Communion.


Community lunch will be held after the service in Upper Alexander Hall (40 Kensington Rd.) and will cost $8 cash at the door.



Janel Stewart



Volunteer Opportunity for Mexico Mission Team 2014


While we were down in Mexico several of you asked what we could do as a group when we get back home AND HAVE FUN.


The answer has arrived. Several youth and adults have been working on a Civic minded party and you are INVITED!


Most of you have played at Memorial Park as a kid - now it is time to have fun and give back. Click here for a little more information.


Saturday, October 18th from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm


If you haven't yet gotten the evite to do a little work for a great cause, eat some awesome BBQ and most of all have fun with your MM Teammates, email Chris and let him know. 


With thanks,

Chris Lopin and MM Adult Leadership




Volunteer to Pick Produce and/or for Saturday's Farm Stand


Volunteers are needed to pick our beautiful produce Friday, September 26th, and also for the SHPC Farm Stand this Saturday, September 27th at the corner of Butterfield and Green Valley Court. Sign up for Saturday at either 8:15am - 10:15am or 10:15am - 12:15pm.


Make new friends and provide fantastic tomatoes to benefit local hunger programs!


Please contact Patti Vance, to sign up.





Thank you to the Grubb Family for the colorful Farm Stand sign!


Now's your chance to share your cooking and your love! Thank you and bless you for taking a hot meal and your love to Wil and Betty on Wednesday nights.

Greeters Needed for Sunday Mornings: September 28 and all of October

Help with our ministry of hospitality by signing up to be a greeter!  All you have to do is get to church by 9:15, light the candles, and hand out bulletins with a smile. Thank you to all who have signed up so far!

Jody Brockett Schmetz, 
Worship Elder

Pedal for Protein at Finish Line


The Redwoods Presbytery Hunger Task Force Pedal for Protein six day ride made it to the finish line of the Sausalito Presbyterian Church today around 1:00 pm.  The 15 riders began their trek in Orick and have traveled with stops in McKinleyville, Fortuna, Garberville, Fort Bragg and Gualala.  They had a grand time!




Bob Conover in Fort Bragg


Avenue of the Giants



Let's Talk Team Resources from Doug Eisinger on Climate Change


The Let's Talk Team thanks Doug Eisinger for a great session last Sunday!  And for follow up, Doug sends us this:


A good "one-stop" place to go for background on climate change and actions that people can take is the U.S. EPA website:


An alternative is the United Nations website with comparable information:


Finally, for those more interested in the science details, and the international consensus view among scientists, I suggest they visit the website for the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC):


With thanks,

Doug Eisinger

Housing Sabbath
MIC & MOC Partnership: Response to the Marin Housing Crisis


The Marin Interfaith Council (MIC) and the Marin Organizing Committee (MOC) are partnering to create a Housing Sabbath, the weekend of October 10th - 12th, 2014, during the Jewish Feast of Sukkot.


The Housing Sabbath culminates with an action on Sunday, October 12th, in the Sukkah at Congregation Kol Shofar, 3-5pm. Save the Date!


Click on the link below to register or RSVP. 

We are grateful for your commitment to advocating for justice and building community in Marin.  We hope to see you October 12th.




The Reverend Carol Hovis (Executive Director)

Marin Interfaith Council




Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church, 
100 Tarry Road, San Anselmo, CA  94960
Allie Duro, Editor/Office Administrator
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221