The Christmas Love Pageant
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC
December 18, 2014

The Fourth Sunday of Advent 

The New Has Come! 


     How does the coming of Jesus into the world 2,000 years ago make all things new today?  The new comes when we say yes to a fresh start. The new comes when we answer God's call to bring more light into the dark places in the world.  This is our purpose:  to bring light into darkness. If we've been orienting our lives differently, it's never too late to re-purpose!  This Sunday, December 21, at 9:30 a.m., we'll explore our priorities and passions, contemplate why we are here, and celebrate the gift of Jesus, who makes all things, and all of us, new. The Church Boys and our own Hallie Foster and Sharon Hamilton will bless us with music of the season!

In This Issue
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev

Can Christmas really be just a week from today? Michael and I still don't have our tree decorated! (This is because it took so long to get our massive tree with a Sequoia-like trunk-- which didn't seem overly big standing with the final few in the SRHS lot-- into the house, upright, and hopefully stable.)


At any rate, thankfully, at church we still have three more very special opportunities for all of us to experience the beauty, love, and joy of the season.  Bring friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances to church to celebrate the birth of the Christ child and fill up with the spirit of love and peace.


Sunday, Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m. - Joy!

Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. - Holiday Music Fest

Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. - Candlelit Service


This is truly a warm and welcoming church, and all are welcome here! 

With blessings for a joyful and meaningful holiday season,


December/January Calendar

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!
Let's Re-Purpose
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Holiday Music Fest - with cookies and cider afterwards

Wednesday, December 24
7:00 p.m.

Candlelit Christmas Eve - Our Surprising God  


Sunday, December 28
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Making Meaning - A Very Good Year?
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Sunday, January 4  

                9:30 a.m.              Epiphany means we're awake!

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


Bible Study - Noon Fri., Dec. 19 -
Jesus' Purpose - Two Lenses:
Isa. 61 and Lk. 4:16-29
Isa. 9:1-7 and Mt. 4:12-17

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.  
From This Day Forward...


During the Christmas season family conflicts and unresolved tensions often cast a shadow over upcoming holiday get-togethers. Long standing resentments can really affect one's joy and fun.


One therapist said, "There is a lot of bad stuff out there behind the sheen of holiday joy and togetherness; undermining barbs, emotional abuse, bad memories, betrayal and the effects and lingering consequences of different forms of addictions." Yet, for the sake of the holidays our chins are up and we "attempt" to squeeze out a smile and get through all of the dysfunctional family stress. 


Is this something you are experiencing?


If so, I'd like to direct you to some Biblical principles that may help. First, whatever the problem, Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me;" Colossians 3:13 states "Bearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving one another, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive."


And finally, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" I Cor 13:4-7.


God loved us while we were "unlovely" and terribly self-centered. As God's children we are now capable of loving (and forgiving) others who are "unlovely" and self-centered.


I believe that God will give everyone going through these tough situations a special measure of patience and strength if we ask. I think it's important that we each stay in God's presence through the holidays, pray often about these tough situations, and ask God to take your problem and solve it however God chooses.


If you do, you can claim from this day forward that this situation is now God's situation. You've turned it over to the Lord. You choose not to give certain relatives or individuals the power to upset you ...  you are right with the Lord, you are forgiven, and you know God will deal with the other person in ways we can't even imagine.


Keep in mind, just because you don't know the answer, it doesn't mean one doesn't exist. 


From L.A. ... your friend, Paul


Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

The families of the schoolchildren, staff, and teachers killed in the Peshawar, Pakistan shooting tragedy;

Those who lost loved ones in the Sydney, Australia cafe tragedy;

The family of Kris Cadigan;

Jean Brockett, mother of Jody, for full recovery, and for Jody and her father;
Carolyn O'Hara, mother of Laurie, for healing, and for strength and support during her recovery;

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

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

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

For our service people, especially those away from home for the holidays, and for their loved ones;

For all children who are living in poverty;

For a way forward to bring justice where racial injustice prevails;

For those dealing with financial stress and job insecurity;

For the sick, and for all those struggling with medical conditions during the holidays;

For the unhoused community as the winter storms come;

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 


Photos From the Christmas Love Pageant!














Christmas 2012 Singers Annual Holiday Music Fest 
Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m.
Singing - Fun - Singing - Joy


Bring family, friends, neighbors, any and everyone looking for a holiday burst of joy!  Our SHPC Singers, the Millar family, and many special guests will delight us with song, and we will all sing favorite carols, too!


Stay for cider and cookies and more joy!

REST Volunteers Host Two Warm Meals on Dec. 1st and 9th


Thanks to our wonderful volunteers for preparing and hosting a delicious warm meal for 21 unhoused guests at St. Rita's Church on Monday Dec. 1st!  The men we shared a meal with that night were touched by the warm welcome, home-cooked food, and gift cards. Pictured in the photo (left to right) are that evening's REST volunteers: Tom Crowell, Pastor Bev, Scott Hamilton, Shannon Mong, Chris Harris, Kara Harris, Kit Argilla, Luke Argilla, with Lucas Russell in the front (and Robin Abu-Aly behind the camera).



Our REST volunteers hosted unhoused women at the Wellness Center in San Rafael on Tuesday, Dec. 9th. Pictured in this photo (left to right) are: Kit Argilla, Sharon Adams, Peggy Maclise, Millie Millar, Lora East, Robin Abu-Aly, and Jennifer Gauna.



If you would like to volunteer to help host men or women in the REST program, please sign up online at 


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



With thanks,

The REST Team



The Cook's Cozy Corner - 
Home-Made Doughnuts!

Christmas brings up a flow of nostalgia for me, with all its welcome memories (and some I'd rather forget).  One warm memory is doughnuts.  Our family had a custom of Saturday morning doughnuts.  My dad drove off to the local doughnut shop (in the days before Krispy Kreme) and came home with an assortment that could get our family of six through a hungry Saturday morning.   

At some point he decided that if the bakery could do it, he could too.  So he got himself a deep fat fryer and a recipe for doughnuts and began to crank them out.  Once he established he could do it, they became a special occasion treat.  We were all very happy when we got up on holiday mornings and saw the fryer out on the counter.  They were pretty plain doughnuts, but hot out of the fryer they were beyond compare.  Can you imagine my surprise, and maybe a little pride, when a couple of years ago Aram, my son, suddenly decided he wanted to make doughnuts for his family.  And they were almost as good as my dad's.  I promise, I had nothing to do with it! 

Here's a recipe that's pretty close to what I remember.


From Mark Bittman in the NYT:

click for recipe

This can be used for filled or plain doughnuts.


Happy Holidays from Michael Durphy

Brownie Troop Brings Joy to Bennett House

Last Saturday, Dec. 6th, 10 eight year-old girls sang, shared holiday cookies, and 'interviewed' the Seniors at Bennett House. The girls met Phyllis (a Rosy the Riveter) who was a welder in WWII (how cool is that!) and Dori who is an accomplished pianist and known as the belle of Fairfax. A perfect afternoon!  Many thanks to KC Vlah, mother of Paige and Piper, and Patti Vance, for making this joy happen!

Let's Talk! is on Holiday Break - See you in January for more fascinating discussions!

Richard Peltzman
Matt Ehlen
Cathy Sarkisian
Fred Morfit

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 --
Thank you so much to all the volunteers who have made our church so warm and welcoming in 2014 with coffee hour hospitality!


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.


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: December 21

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
PCUSA Office of Public Witness Celebrates President Obama's Work on Cuba


The Office of Public Witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejoices in the news of the release of US citizen Alan Gross from prison in Cuba, along with the release of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino, three Cubans being held in prison in the United States. The release of these prisoners has opened the way for historic changes in US policy towards Cuba.


"The release of Alan Gross and the three Cuban prisoners is an example of how nations can find common ground.   When there is a will to live as true neighbors as Jesus Christ has taught us, we find a way towards justice and reconciliation," Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Office of Public Witness stated.


The announcement by President Obama of momentous changes in US policy towards Cuba is welcome news to all who have been working towards the normalization of relations with Cuba. The Presbyterian Church USA has been advocating for changes in policy towards Cuba for over 50 years.  Most recently the Office of Public Witness has organized religious delegations from Cuba, led a coalition of denominations and faith based organizations calling for a change in policy towards Cuba, and organized meetings with members of congress and the administration urging an opening of relations between the two countries.


The Stated Clerk of the PCUSA, Rev. Gradye Parsons, recently participated in delegations to Cuba and Washington along with the Reverend John L. McCullough, president and chief executive officer of Church World Service, and Rabbi Elhanan "Sunny" Schnitzer, executive director of the Cuba-America Jewish Mission, in order to urge officials to release Alan Gross and the three Cubans. The Stated Clerk's statement on their release can be found at


Daily Devotions for Advent

The San Francisco Theological Seminary invites all to join the community in daily email devotions for the season of Advent from Dec. 1-25. Devotions are written by students, faculty, staff, alums, trustees, and are emailed near and far to those who wish to connect with SFTS during this season of waiting. The theme this year, "Listening for the Word Made Flesh," invites us to join the multitude in awaiting the arrival of the Word incarnate, Jesus the Christ, and look for signs that he is in our midst to this day. 


Just follow this link to sign up and receive emails.  


With thanks,

Lora East


A Christmas Carol (The Musical)

The Stapleton Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol (The Musical) at Drake High Little Theatre


Dec. 18-21

Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.


To purchase tickets visit: or call 800-838-3006


With thanks,

Jen Boynton


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