Moses Brings the Stone Tablets Down from Mt. Sinai
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPCOctober 9, 2014

Evolving Church - Evolving Bible

From Stone Tablets to Spirit of Life


This week Pope Francis urged nearly 200 Roman Catholic bishops gathered in Vatican City to "Speak freely of everything you believe" about controversial subjects like birth control, premarital sex, gay unions, and permitting divorced and remarried Catholics (who have not obtained an annulment) to receive holy communion. The meeting is one of two called to help chart the Roman Catholic church's course regarding family life in contemporary society.  Could the Catholic church change its longstanding teaching on the "indissolubiity of marriage"?  How would such a change be justified?  On the other hand, how can excluding so many people from God's grace be justified?


This Sunday, October 12, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., we'll take a look at how the Christian church moves forward to stay relevant and life-giving, and how the Bible guides us forward as we evolve.  Our scripture passages are Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:6-9:15, 2 Cors. 3:6 and Romans 7:6.

In This Issue
Bible Study
Paul's Blog
Game Night
Let's Talk
A Place for REST
Mexico Mission Reunion
Prevent Bullying
Take Wil and Betty Dinner
Greeters Needed
Presbyterians do VOTE
Human Trafficking in Marin
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev       


Last Sunday was a celebration of our children and youth, and of this congregation's beautiful longstanding commitment to young people and their families.  Thank you to each and every one of you in this life-giving community for your support of our confirmation class!  They were terrific worship leaders with your support and encouragement!  

The Spirit is blessing us with visitors and new friends each Sunday, and each one of us is called to help make this church welcoming, friendly, and hospitable.  In that Spirit, could each of you please sign up for co-hosting fellowship?  The Deacons have been struggling to staff coffee hour, and we all enjoy coffee hour so much!  We need everyone to sign up just once every six months, that's twice a year, to co-host.  Come learn how to make (4 pots please) coffee!  The food doesn't need to be fancy; it's your smiles and love that count the most!

                    With thanks and love,


 Fall Calendar


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 Concludes--
                                Sacred Texts: Alive, Stone Tablets, Both?
10:30 a.m.          Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.          Let's Talk - Of elephants, parables, truth and                                  interpretation - with Matt Ehlen
3:00 p.m.            Support Permanent Shelter Action at Kol Shofar 

Thursday, October 16
7:30 p.m.            SHPC Singers Rehearse at church

Friday, October 17
12:00 p.m.          Bible Study
6:00 p.m.            Game Night - All Welcome!
                           sponsored by Family Ministries and MOLOTH

Sunday, October 19 - MOLOTH MEETS
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 to First Presbyterian San                                   Anselmo - Rev. Kate Taber, PCUSA missionary to                             Israel/Palestine

Thursday, October 23
7:30 p.m.            SHPC Singers Rehearse at church

Friday, October 24
12:00 p.m.          Bible Study

Sunday, October 26
9:30 a.m.             Building the Beloved Community
10:30 a.m.           Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
10:45 a.m.           Let's Talk about God with Cathy Sarkisian

Friday, October 31
5:00 p.m.             Halloween Open House at SHPC

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

Bible Study - Friday Oct. 10-
See our scriptures in the top item in today's newsletter!
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.  

God, Thank You for Another Day...Let's Rock!

I appeared on the Debbie Nigro radio show in New York last week in a segment entitled "Dialing down with busy people." The focus was on what active, successful people do to "dial down" from their fast paced lives?
Busyness can be an addiction. A lot of people I know feel anxious and guilty when they aren't either working or doing something to promote their work. I have learned to become a person who gets my work done, but it doesn't consume my entire brain. I actually think busyness sometimes serves as a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life can't be trivial or meaningless if you are busy, right? Wrong! 
Appearing busy or being busy can sometimes be a manufactured way of hiding something deep down. Sometimes we need to make sure we are focusing on what is really important rather than coasting and glossing over hidden issues.
I've started to set time aside for "idleness" and to take a step back to regularly reevaluate and "reboot" my priorities. When I do, it's a chance for me to think about what is really important. A chance to eliminate distractions and focus on what needs my attention. 
Many times those thoughts are about personal issues not professional ones. When I die I doubt that I will look back and say "I wish I could have worked harder," instead I'll bet I will say "I wish I'd spent more time with the people I love, doing things I enjoy."
I want to share with you some of the scripture that was meaningful to me while I was "busy" here in New York. Some reassurances from God, "Do not fear, for I am with you ... I will strengthen you and help you." (Isaiah 41:10); "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world." (John 16:33); "Cast your anxiety on the Lord for God cares for you." (1Peter 5:7). 
After my interview with Debbie Nigro on the radio I asked how she finds the energy to be as busy as she is and do a big time radio broadcast five days a week? She said, "Paul, I start each morning very early out on my deck, have a cup of coffee and say a little prayer: 'God, thank you for another day ... Let's rock!'"
Every day is special if we invite God to be with us (no matter where we're headed). So, together with God, Let's rock!
From New York ... Paul


Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands


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 family and loved ones of the 4-year old child who died of the Enterovirus D68, and for all those impacted by this virus;

For the sick, and the family and loved ones of all those impacted by Ebola virus;

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 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


Confirmation Class Youth 
Continue as MOLOTH
First and Third Sundays of the Month
Friday, October 17 from 6- 8:30 p.m.


Going forward this terrific group of middle schoolers will be meeting after the service on the first and third Sundays of the month, led by our Youth leader, Charles Wei, M. Div, Pastor Bev, Intern Lora East, and our Youth Choir director, Hallie Foster, for art, singing, discussion, service projects, and fun.  The other Sundays we hope they will come to church and they are welcome to help out with the younger children or stay upstairs during the service.


GAME NIGHT!  All are welcome for this fun evening of pizza and games of all kinds.



Let's Talk! Fall Discussion Series
Continues October 12th 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!

Oct. 12:  Of elephants, parables, truth and interpretation, with Matt Ehlen 


Coming up:
- Oct. 19: Israel/Palestine with field trip to meet Rev. Kate Tabor, PCUSA missionary to Israel/Palestine

- Oct. 26: Let's Talk more about God with Cathy Sarkisian

- November 16: Caring for Elderly Parents and End of Life Issues with Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, SFTS Faculty and expert on Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care

- December: Religion and Science - can they talk?

Watch the calendar for more dates and topics.

Richard Peltzman
Matt Ehlen
Cathy Sarkisian
Fred Morfit

MOC Action 
Reimagining Marin: A Place for REST


BIG NEWS: On Thursday, October 2nd, the Town of Fairfax voted unanimously to allocate $16,392 to funding a year-round REST emergency shelter program!!! Fairfax is our Nachshon, the first town to take a leap of faith and support the future of REST with a financial commitment beginning in April 2015.


Congratulations to you all. We are building momentum towards funding a year-round REST emergency shelter. This week, leaders made a presentation to the Novato Town Council with over 50 Novato residents from REST congregations turning out in support. In the next six weeks, we will present to the Corte Madera and Mill Valley Town Councils, and make a proposal to the Board of Supervisors for increased county funding for REST.


Now, it's time to build momentum to establish a single, year-round site for the REST shelter. At our action on October 12th, we will celebrate the momentum we have built, and mobilize public support for a site, a place for REST. Click here to view the MOC Action flyer.


Reimagining Marin: A Place for REST

Sunday, October 12th

3:00 - 5:00 pm
Congregation Kol Shofar, Tiburon


For more information and resources on the Housing Sabbath, please contact MIC Executive Director Carol Hovis at

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




October is National Bullying Prevention Month


Research shows that parents and caregivers who spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with their child can build the foundation for a strong relationship and help prevent bullying.


The time you spend will help boost your children's confidence and build effective strategies for facing bullying-whether children are being bullied, engaging in bullying, or witnessing bullying.


Take a few minutes and "check in," by asking about school, their friends, and any challenges they face. KnowBullying has simple conversation starters to begin a discussion with your child.

App Features:
  • Conversation Starters: Start easy, meaningful conversations with your children.
  • Tips: Learn strategies to prevent bullying for ages 3-6, 7-13, and teens.
  • Warning Signs: Recognize if your child is engaging in bullying, being bullied, or witnessing bullying.
  • Reminders: Talk with your child when the time feels right: a quiet moment on the way to school or a game, during dinner, or relaxing outside.
  • Social Media: Share successful strategies and useful advice via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages.
  • Section for Educators: Prevent bullying in the classroom and support children who are being bullied.

Join over 4,500 people who have already downloaded the free KnowBullying mobile app and help support bullying prevention this October. Put the power to prevent bullying in your hand.



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: October 12, 19, and 26

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
Action Alert:
Take the Pledge to Vote in the November 4, 2014 Elections!

The 2014 Midterm elections on November 4 are just one month away! Are you registered to vote? You can still register to vote in 25 states. What is your plan-- are you voting early or voting on election day? Are you encouraging your friends, neighbors, and members of your church to vote? If you are outside of the state in which you are registered to vote, make sure to request an absentee ballot in time (this is different for every state). For those who aren't eligible to vote, use your voice to encourage other people to vote! Voting is both one of our fundamental rights as citizens and is a vital way we speak to the values of the kingdom of God in the political realm.


Click  here to take a pledge to vote today.



As a member of a congregation, how is your congregation getting out the vote? You might assume churches can't be involved in elections because of their non-partisan 501(c)(3) status, but there are many ways that you can. Here are some do's and don'ts of congregation and clergy involvement in  political action.



  • Educate community and congregation members about issues important to you and your community.
  • Support church and community members on Election Day by providing rides, preparing to-go dinners for voters, or offering childcare for parents.
  • Incorporate voting into your Sunday worship service or host a voter informational session after your worship service.
  • Protect the right to vote at polling places. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report any violations you observe or hear about on Election Day.
  • Host a Bible Study on living into the roles of both Christian and Citizen.



  • Churches may not endorse specific candidates for office.
  • Churches may not contribute to political campaigns.

Why should Christians vote?


Presbyterians have long expressed the importance of Christian participation in public life, and by extension the democratic process. The Confession of 1967 laid out the reasons the body of Christ should be involved in the reconciliation of society, saying, "In each time and place there are particular problems and crises through which God calls the church to act." By voting, we choose the leaders who then act for the reconciliation of society to which we are called.


The 200th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a policy statement called "God Alone is Lord of the Conscience" that affirms the importance of religious community participation in public life. "According to the Reformed demands engagement in the secular order and involvement in the political realm."


Midterm elections are an especially crucial time to get out the vote. Americans with the most extreme political views on both sides tend to vote in midterm elections. We must exercise our rights and speak with our voices of faith to who we want to be as a nation.


Other Resources


Check out The United Church of Christ's "Our Faith, Our Vote" resource.


Visit the Interfaith Alliance's Election year Resource Center.


Don't forget to pledge to vote today


May we leverage our collective voices of faith to promote the common good in our nation and around the world. We'll see you at the polls!





Marin Interfaith Council
Human Trafficking - On Our Doorstep


Religious Leaders Gathering

Human Trafficking - On Our Doorstep
Tuesday, October 21st

12:00 noon - 2:00 pm

First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael 


Sex and labor trafficking exists right here in Marin. Based on their research, the Marin Organizing Committee will inform us about this issue and how our community is responding. Together we will discuss steps that our faith community can take to raise awareness, identify children at risk and help victims. 


Speakers include: 

  • Emily Sims, Executive Director of West Marin Advocacy and key member of the Marin County Task Force on Human Trafficking
  • Chuck Cacciatore, Deputy District Attorney who heads the Task Force in developing a protocol for Marin Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Rev. Alison Hendley, pastor at First United Methodist Church in San Rafael
  • Diane Doubleday, Attorney
  • Lynn Bauer, BOAC Board Chair
  • along with other Marin Organizing Committee (MOC) leaders.

Please bring your lunch.


$10-$20 donation requested at the door.


Click here for more information about Interfaith Council and Community Events.


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