Thank God for Rain
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC
November 20, 2014

Where Does Gratitude Comes From?


     The Buddha said, Happiness springs from a grateful heart.  And next week, at many Thanksgiving dinner gatherings, we'll express our gratitude by saying grace and by going around the table counting our blessings.  Before we get there, this Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., we're going to take a look inward to explore our own hearts. Is your cup running over with the wellspring of gratitude which leads to happiness?  If not, how can we cultivate that?  Our scripture text is a wonderful passage from the Gospel according to Luke, 12:13-21 (The Parable of the Rich Fool), 29-34.  The SHPC Singers will be singing for us!


In This Issue
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev       

In the Presbyterian church, we don't make a big distinction between members and friends of the church.  According to our PCUSA Constitution, membership is required to vote at congregational meetings and to serve as an officer (elder or deacon) of the church.  This is the time of year when the Nominating Committee begins to look for officers to fill any vacancies, in time for the new officers to be elected at our Annual Congregational Meeting February 1, 2015. If you would like to vote at that meeting, or if you are feeling called to serve as an officer, this would be a great time to join the church.


To join the church, you first meet with me to learn more about our Presbyterian history, theology, and government (more interesting than it sounds, really!)  Then you meet briefly with the elders of the church.  And finally, you are "sworn in" at a service of worship where you promise to participate actively in the life of the church. It is a meaningful commitment, and one well worth making.  Just let me know if you are interested.

                        With joy, 


November/December Calendar

Thursday, November 20
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers Rehearse at Church

Friday, November 21
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, November 23
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Gratitude Sunday
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Sunday, November 30

9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
1st Sunday in Advent: The New Has Come!  
How Well Do We Wait?
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, December 4
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers Rehearse at Church

Friday, December 5
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, December 7

9:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

2nd Sunday in Advent - The New Has Come!
New Reality Means Change-  Yikes!
Guest soloist Jen Boynton sings 
O Holy Night
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, December 11
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers Rehearse at Church

Friday, December 12
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, December 14

9:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

3rd Sunday in Advent - The New Has Come!
Christmas Pageant - How Do We Show Our Love?
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, December 18
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers Rehearse at Church

Friday, December 19
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, December 21

9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
5:00 p.m.

4th Sunday of Advent - The New Has Come!
Our New Purpose and Re-Purpose
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Holiday Music Fest

Wednesday, December 24
7:00 p.m.

Candlelit Christmas Eve - Our Surprising God


Bible Study - Friday, Nov. 21-
Noon - Luke 12:13-34
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.  
Never Give Up on Yourself 
We all face times when others make snide remarks about us, belittle our accomplishments or hurl jealousy at us. Life's unexpected curve balls can cause one to feel down, and, at times, affect our confidence and self esteem. 

But, we need to remember that God is interested in what we are becoming, not what we presently are. Even in our darkest hour and worst failures God is there rooting for us and wanting to help us.

In God's eyes each one of us is singular and noteworthy. God has promised to love us, protect us and never abandon us. When you feel down or are going through a tough time, remember Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this that God who began a good work in you, will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ," and Joshua 1:9  "Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Franklin Roosevelt said, "When you get to the end of your rope, for God's sake tie a knot in it and hold on," and Winston Churchill said, "If you're going through hell ... keep going!"

I am like you, there are times I get discouraged and there are times when circumstances stop me in my tracks. But, with the knowledge that God is the wind in our sails I am more courageous. And you know, courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it's that quiet little voice at the end of a day that whispers and prompts us to say, "I'll try again tomorrow."

Your friend heading to L.A. this week...Paul


Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Jean Brockett, mother of Jody, for successful surgery and full recovery, and for Jody and her father;
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 for her sister Nancy Elberg, for strength in companioning her;

Clyde Ongaro, and his loved ones, for God's comforting presence;

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

For those living in fear of deportation and their families;

For those dealing with financial stress as the holidays approach;

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 the winter rains come without a permanent shelter in Marin County, and for our local government, for the wherewithal to create and fund a permanent shelter;

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, health, housing, food, and hope.


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


Back to the top 

Children and Youth Musical - Photos!

     Thank you to Hallie Foster, Lora East, and the cast of 20 young actors/singers for the original sparkling musical One, with its wonderful message that Everybody Counts!








Volunteers Needed for REST!


SHPC is providing meals and a warm welcome to our unhoused neighbors on the first Monday (men at St. Rita's in Fairfax) and second Tuesday (women at the Wellness Center in San Rafael) of each month from December 2014 - April 2015.  


Volunteers are needed!!  Information and sign-ups available online:


If you'd like more information about the program, you can contact Shannon Mong at 



With thanks,

The REST Team


Let's Talk! Fall Discussion Series
from 10:45-noon each Sunday

November 23: Social Justice and the Birth Lottery - Do we all deserve a fair share? with Richard Peltzman
Coming up:
- November 30: End of Life Medical Ethics - with Fred Morfit
- Starting in December: Religion and Science - can they talk?

Richard Peltzman
Matt Ehlen
Cathy Sarkisian
Fred Morfit

Food Barrel Ministry & Donations

As Thanksgiving approaches, our own Wil and Betty Swalberg want to remind us that donations of non-perishable food items are greatly appreciated! Here are some suggestions for food items to donate:


Canned Proteins: tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter


Canned Fruits (in own juice or light syrup preferred): pears, peaches, pineapple, fruit cocktail


Fruit Juices (100% juice preferred): all sizes including juice boxes


Grains: pasta, rice, macaroni & cheese


Packaged Beans: pinto, black, great north


Canned Vegetables (low sodium/no salt added preferred): corn, carrots, green beans, peas, spinach, mixed veggies


Soups, Stews & Chili: vegetarian and meat


Multigrain Cereals: Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran, Kashi, etc.


Alternative foods: wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan

SHPC Session Votes to Sponsor Short Elementary School's Garden Project


Our own Patti Vance has befriended the Short School in San Rafael, where 93% of the children are at or below the poverty level, and where our fresh garden tomatoes are more delicious than candy.  Now Patti is helping the Short School put in their own garden.  At its November meeting, the SHPC Session voted to sponsor the project,

which will help pave the way for grants to the garden, and our Mission team is providing a seed donation of $500 to the garden. Talk to Patti if you feel called to help the Short School Garden Project.

The Cook's Cozy Corner

The green tomatoes in our Justice Garden are striving nobly to ripen as our days get shorter and cooler.  When the cold weather and rains come (as they will!) most of them will still be hanging there in their unripe state, but nonetheless begging to be put to good use.  Most people don't realize that green tomatoes are delicious in their own way.  They can be battered and fried, of course, and what isn't good battered and fried?  And they make wonderful pickles.  But they also have lots of other uses where bright flavors in a sauce are called for.  Here are two links to New York Times recipes and one of my own adapted recipes that let green tomatoes show their stuff.  So stop into the garden corner this Sunday and bring home some of our beautiful green tomatoes.

Green Tomatoes Get A Go Signal From Lamb

Green Tomato Salsa Verde 

Green Tomato Gazpacho

- 1 1/2 pounds green tomatoes

- Broil or grill until lightly charred all over, then cut them up into chunks and put into a food processor along with:

- 2 avocados

- 2 slices dried day-old bread

- 2-3 T olive oil (extra virgin)

- 1/4 C orange juice

- dash or two hot sauce

- 1 1/2 C water


Puree until it's the consistency you like, then add salt to taste (it will probably take a teaspoon or more, but start with 1/2 t.) and mix again.

Serve at room temp, with chopped cilantro and more olive oil as a garnish.


--Michael Durphy


Prayer Shawl Learning Circle 

Dear SHPC Knitters and Crocheters, 


My good friend, Kathryn Lee, has started a Prayer Shawl Ministry at her church, Christ Episcopal Church in Sausalito.  On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, we meet in their Fellowship Hall and bring our hooks, needles, yarn and prayers.  As we gather in the Spirit, we work and pray and reflect.  It is a wonderful time and open to any and all who wish to join. Yarn kits are available for anyone who wishes to make a shawl or compassion stole!  (Perfection is not required nor desired! All skill levels wanted!)


Once the shawls are done they are blessed and given as requested.


Interested in learning more? 


Prayer Shawl Learning Circle

Saturday, Nov 22 from 10:30 am - 12 pm


Ellen Graves, owner of K2TOG in Albany, will be joining us. She is an excellent teacher if you would like to learn either crochet or knitting or take your work to the next level. Prayer shawl kits will be available for either knit or crochet projects.


If you would like to carpool or request a prayer shawl for someone in need, please contact Janel Stewart

With thanks,
Janel Stewart


Fiddler on the Roof at San Anselmo Playhouse 

Our very own Sasha de Frondeville will be playing the lead role of Tevye in the performances of Fiddler on the Roof at the San Anselmo Playhouse on the following dates:

Saturday, November 22 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, November 23 at 1:00 pm


In the other performances, Sasha will have a smaller role as Lazar Wolf.


Tickets are on sale at this link:  


Hope to see you there!


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.
It Takes a Village 


If the the noise around the coffee urn each Sunday is any indication, it sounds like most of the congregation enjoys Fellowship time following Sunday service.


Fellowship time is organized by your Deacons, but we rely on everyone pitching in to help. While each Parish is assigned a month for Fellowship, that time may not be convenient for your schedule. So now you can sign up online! Just click here and pick a Sunday that's most convenient for you.


You can choose to set up and make coffee, bring a savory snack, a sweet snack, supply juice for the kids and creamer for the coffee, or help with clean up. Please take a moment to sign up now... or wait until your Deacon calls on you for help in these months:


November - Parishes: Cat Caldwell and Laura Taylor

December - Parishes: Patti Eisinger and Carolyn Goodman

January 2015 - Parishes: Cat Caldwell and Nancy Elberg/Frankie Eakes

February 2015 - Parishes: Laura Taylor and Patti Eisinger

March 2015 - Parishes: Nancy Elberg/Frankie Eakes and Patti Eisinger


Sign up now before the good slots are all taken!


Greeters Needed for Sunday Mornings: November 30 and December 14, 21, 28

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
17th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service

You are invited to join the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy's 17th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
7:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
1510 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael

A brief reception will follow. Please bring offerings of clean or new
sleeping bags, blankets, raingear and socks for our friends on the street (no other clothing please).

A free-will offering will also be received to support the work of The Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy

For more information: Chaplain Paul 415.302.0248

Contemplative Service of Music & Light  - MOLOTH Welcome! 

Intern Lora East will be contacting our MOLOTH youth and families to see who's interested in attending this event.


Youth from several different spiritual traditions will lead a Contemplative Service of Music with simple teaching about the holy days that occur in the month of the winter solstice. All are welcome to this free public event.  


Tuesday, December 9, 2014
7:30 p.m.

Congregation Rodef Sholom
170 N. San Pedro Road
San Rafael

For more info send an e-mail to: or call (415) 456-6957

Please click on the link below to let us know you are coming:

We look forward to seeing you on December 9th!

With thanks,
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