Sharing Food Builds Community
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC
October 23, 2014


Building Up the Beloved Community


     In the Bay Area today, many people identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious."  But the teachings of Jesus, the letters of Paul, and the practice of the earliest Christian churches formed in the 1st century show us that the Christian life is meant to be lived in community. 


     Why is community so important to the practice of Christianity?  How do we co-create, grow, and build up the beloved community described in so much of the New Testament?  Why do the Gospels show Jesus embracing community over family?  This Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., we'll explore these questions and take time to enjoy some stories from our shared journey as a loving and inclusive community. Our scripture passages are Mark 3:31-34 and Ephesians 4:1-6.


In This Issue
Bible Study
Paul's Blog
Fun and Games with MOLOTH
Mexico Mission Reunites
Harvest Feast
A Place for REST
Let's Talk
Travel to Israel-Palestine
Prevent Bullying
Marin Showcase Theater
Take Wil and Betty Dinner
Greeters Needed
The Birth of Minimum Wage
Human Trafficking: It DOES Exist in Marin
Task Force on the Americas
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev       

This is such a wonderful and busy time in the life of the church, with mission work and social justice advocacy in full gear, great musical events coming up for all ages, fascinating discussions with the Let's Talk team after the service--so much to do and enjoy. But for just one moment here, I want to slow down and say, I am never too busy to have coffee or come sit with you when you would like a visit.  So please do feel free to send me an email, call my cell, or just ask me to come by!  Visiting is my favorite part of ministry!

With love,


October/November Calendar

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.
10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

Building the Beloved Community

Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Let's Talk about God with Cathy Sarkisian
Friday, October 31
5:00 p.m.

Halloween Open House at SHPC
Sunday, November 2
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

Sharing our Stories
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Let's Talk about Heaven with Lora East
Thursday, November 6
7:30 p.m.

SHPC Singers Rehearse at Church
Friday, November 7
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study
Sunday, November 9
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Pledge Sunday and String Quartet
Harvest Feast - All Welcome!

Sunday, November 16

9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

Children and Youth Musical
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Let's Talk about End of Life with Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina



Bible Study - Friday, October 24-
Noon - Mark 3:31-34, Ephesians 4:1-6
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 is with us ...


I am convinced more than ever, that God does not take a hands off approach to running the world.


Why do I believe this? Because the more I study scripture, the more convincing it is that in hundreds of instances the Bible teaches us that God played an active role in the outcome of events. Remember how God chose and prepared unlikely leaders (Moses, David, and others), how God brought turbulence, storms and plagues to deal with certain situations, and finally how God provided a way for all of us to be reconciled to God through Christ. These were no accidents.


In I Corinthians 2:7 - 9 we read "We declare God's wisdom a mystery that has been hidden and destined for our glory before time began ... and no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him."


God actually has things prepared for you and me. Therefore, I think we need to look for a divine purpose in all things. Some things make us feel betrayed or even make us cry, but according to scripture these things are (believe it or not) within the providence of God, and are working to bring about God's intended plan and blueprint for our future.


Boy this is tough to swallow, sometimes ... but if you and I can take a deep breath, take two steps back, and ask God to help us understand what is happening, we can be confident that God is in control -- and that with God's help, we can find purpose in what is happening.


By the way, not all "accidents" are bad. I believe God brings unexpected breaks into our lives too. I know God has in mine. The more we know God, the more we are prepared to anticipate and handle the unexpected. 


So as I wander the beach here in Florida, I will ponder and get prepared for something unexpected  and for the "next event" that I now clearly realize is "no accident". 


Join me in this "learned mentality". For the Bible says "In all these things we are more than conquerers through God who loves us" (Rom 8:36)


From Sunny Isles Florida, your friend ... Paul 


Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands


Ethan Russell, for full recovery from surgery;

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;

Jane Burroni's husband, Jerry, daughters Clare, Susan, Ann and their husbands and Jane's seven grandchildren for healing and support in this time after Jane Burroni's passing;

For the sick, for health and hospital workers, and for 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


Fun and Games at MOLOTH Game Night!


A good time was had by all at MOLOTH's Game Night last Friday night.




MOLOTH meets the first and third Sundays of the month with our Youth Leader, Charles Wei, and also for special events like Game Night. 

Please make sure the youth come to church for the next 4 Sundays to rehearse for the YOUTH MUSICAL on November 16!

Mexico Mission 2014 Team Reunites


The Mexico Mission 2014 Team reunited at Memorial Park to help the community by applying a fresh coat of varnish to the play structure. They did a great job and enjoyed a beautiful Saturday together!  Let's keep the momentum going for Mexico Mission 2015! 







SHPC's Harvest Feast!
Following the String Quartet on November 9


On Sunday, November 9th, we'll celebrate the season with our annual Harvest Feast - held after worship in the Fellowship Hall.


While your Deacons will supply turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, we encourage you to bring something to share - perhaps your favorite vegetable side dish, grandma's pumpkin pie, or never-to-be-missed salad. No need to sign up in advance, because what makes this event so fun, is all the wonderful flavors that we bring together for one meal!


Bring the whole family to worship that day and then join us for this celebratory meal. Just don't forget your dish to share! 



SHPC Action: Joining the Push for a Year-Round Shelter for REST


Our advocacy for a year-round REST shelter in Marin continued this week with Pastor Bev delivering a stack of SHPC parishioner letters to Supervisor Katie Rice at the Board of Supervisors' budget hearing on Tuesday.

The Supervisors, and the entire assemblage in the chambers, really appreciated our congregation's commitment to REST, and the enthusiasm of our youth for the letter-writing effort (pictured at right)!  


Thank you so much for writing your letters and for keeping up the effort for year-round housing for the homeless in Marin!  


Please click on the following links for more information about REST:


Marin Voice: Housing Sabbath: Hospitality and home in Marin 


Marin homeless shelter committee steps up push for funding 


Let's Talk! Fall Discussion Series
Continues October 26th at 10:45 a.m.

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

Let's Talk about God, Part II.  Last time we shared stories, mostly from our childhoods, about our first encounter with the concept of God, how we remembered it, and what form it took.  Memories included everything from saying grace before dinner, to hearing an adult angrily take the Lord's name in vain.  This Sunday we ask ourselves:  if we tried to tell a friend what our definition of "God" is now, what would it be?  There are no incorrect answers!  Hope you'll join us.


Coming up:
- November 2 - Heaven and Afterlife with Intern Lora East
- November 16: Caring for Elderly Loved Ones 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

PCUSA World Mission Invites You to Israel-Palestine

Why travel to the Holy Land with World Mission?
Too many people come only to see the holy sites, seeking the historical Jesus instead of the Christ who lives in the communities that worship, live, celebrate, and suffer in the Holy Land today.

With World Mission you will:
- See the land of the Bible, enriching your understanding of scripture
- Join in the ongoing mission of partnerships of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Be inspired by the commitment of Israelis and Palestinians working for peace
- Offer hope and solidarity to the local Christian community
- Witness and learn about the Israeli military occupation firsthand
- Reflect as a group on how you and your community can engage in just peacemaking in Israel-Palestine
- Travel responsibly, investing in the Palestinian economy

April 13-24, 2015
Cost: $2500 plus airfare (all other expenses included)
Application deadline: Nov. 15, 2014

Please contact Kate Taber for the application form or questions:

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.


The Marin Showcase Theater
Sunday, November 2nd


Our very own Scott Hamilton and Cathy Sarkisian will both be performing in the same show on November 2nd! Scott will be performing in the Golden Gate Barbershop Chorus and Cathy will be performing in the Mayflower Chorus. These two choruses have never performed at the same event, so this is a rare opportunity! The internationally acclaimed quartet, Artistic License, will also be performing. 


Anyone who would like to purchase tickets can do so through Scott Hamilton. 



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 26 and November 9, 16, 23, 30

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:

Celebrate the Birthday of the Minimum Wage - Send a Letter to the Editor Today!


This Friday, we sing a joyous 'Happy 76th Birthday' to the U.S. federal minimum wage! As we celebrate how God has blessed us through the fulfillment of vocation and the dignity of work, we also know that many people labor in jobs that do not pay a just wage. The federal minimum wage for the past 76 years has been instrumental in providing a wage floor, a guide to help employers treat workers fairly and offer a just wage. But even as we celebrate the minimum wage's birthday, we also pray for a raise in the wage to $10.10 per hour. The current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour traps workers and their families in cycles of poverty. As Christians, we are compelled to advocate for justice for the lowest-earners in our society and raising the wage would lift just under one million people out of poverty.


Will you send a letter to the editor of your local paper asking Congress to raise the wage?


At the beginning of the Great Depression, there was no minimum wage. Just like today, the disparity between the rich and poor had grown in the Roaring 20's.  The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established the minimum wage not only to mitigate this injustice, but also to spur economic growth by increasing low wage-earners' purchasing power. The minimum wage was first set at 25 cents an hour, to be raised to 40 cents the following year.


Many of the arguments against the institution of a minimum wage are still being used today. In the Congressional debate on the Fair Labor Standards Act, Rep. John McClellan of Arkansas inquired what difference a minimum wage law would make "if [a worker] then lose the opportunity to work." Similarly today, many of our legislators oppose a raise in the wage, saying it would kill jobs.


McClellan's concerns fell flat. After the institution of the minimum wage, along with other social programs of the New Deal, unemployment decreased from 19% in 1938 to 1.2% in 1944. It helped bring the nation out of the Great Depression.


Be a voice in your community for raising the wage!


Since 1968, the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation as the gap between rich and poor has continued to grow. The 1968 minimum wage of $1.60 would be worth $10.86 in today's dollars.



It's time to raise the wage. Take local action today.


We have found much hope in state legislative efforts to raise the wage. States that raised their minimum wage in 2014 saw faster job growth than those that didn't. Moreover, raising the wage would allow 1.7 million Americans to transition off of government assistance programs.


As God has blessed us with work and vocation, let us rejoice in the dignity of all those who labor. We celebrate the great gains that the worker has made with the help of the minimum wage over the past 76 years and we pray for a raise in the federal minimum wage to $10.10. It would be a great blessing of justice and peace to workers, to our government's budget, to businesses, and to our economy as a whole.



Human Trafficking: It DOES Exist in Marin 


Tuesday, October 21, Pastor Bev and I were present for a gathering of 50 Marin religious leaders to discuss a tough topic: human trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, trafficking of humans is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, and the fastest growing. While prostitution and sex trafficking is common, labor exploitation also occurs in restaurants, domestic servitude, sweatshop factory work, or migrant agricultural work.


We learned on Tuesday that in Marin County there are 60 massage parlors which engage is human trafficking, and the victims are not all foreigners. Young people (especially girls) in the Bay Area are susceptible to trafficking if they run away from home, come from an abusive or unhealthy family system, or get caught up in drug and alcohol use at a young age.


Unfortunately, this is a reality in Marin, and we are called by God to intervene. Through partnerships with the Marin County Human Trafficking Task Force and the Family Violence Division of the County District Attorney's Office, we are making progress in education and awareness around this disturbing issue. It is important that we work together with other people of faith to combat human trafficking. A walk through San Rafael is being organized for Sunday, December 7, and we will keep the SHPC community posted so we can gather with others to show support for our legitimate Marin businesses, and show solidarity with victims of human trafficking.


For more information: 


With thanks,

Lora East, SHPC Pastoral Intern  



A Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas Presentation
Thursday, Oct. 30 @ 7:30 p.m.

Tom Wilson, Executive Director of the Canal Alliance, will discuss issues surrounding the May and June increase of women and children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras crossing into the U.S., and explain what actions are being taken in Marin to provide legally mandated services and sanctuary to the undocumented.


Mr. Wilson will speak on Thursday, October 30 at 7:30 pm at the Redwoods Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 110 Magnolia Avenue (at Alexander), Larkspur. 


$5-10 donation is requested; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 


For more information, call 415/924-3227 or visit 


Marin Interfaith Task Force (MITF) conducts public education events and publishes a quarterly newsletter. We monitor the U.S. role - military, economic and political - in our areas of concern and respond to human rights violations with appropriate actions, which include an urgent action network.



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