John the Baptist's Disciples Feel Called to Follow Jesus
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
January 29, 2015

What Are You Looking For?

Jesus, John 1:38


           This Sunday, February 1, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., our own Lora East will share with us some of the gifts of her month of intensive study with San Francisco Theological Seminary's Program in Christian Spirituality. We'll explore the healing power in storytelling, with examples from the Gospel of John (1:35-39), Lora's studies, and our congregational life. Our Youth Group will assist in worship leadership, and after the service they'll be discussing:  The Bible +Science = Friends.


In This Issue
Bev piano
A Note from 
Pastor Bev

What an exciting week at church!  Last Sunday, for Criminal Justice Sunday in the PCUSA, we had a great crowd in the morning digging into the tough topic of how the rich and guilty make out better in our courts than the poor and innocent. If you're not convinced, read Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson's gripping book of true stories of innocents, mentally ill, and developmentally disabled on death row, and children serving death in prison sentences.  To learn more about the work of his Equal Justice Initiative, or to find out how to help EJI, go to The Bible teaches us that we are called to minister to the imprisoned, and we are in the process of exploring ministry partnerships in this area.

Sunday afternoon we filled up the downstairs with over 80 children, youth, and adults for BOTSWANA NIGHT - a spiritual adventure with the Baigrie family.  James and Karen are both artists and photographers, and their photos and stories of encounters with people and wildlife were outstanding and moving.  Thank you to the Baigries for inspiring us!

One more exciting development:  our rainwater catchment tank has arrived!  If you have any questions about this wonderful stewardship/sustainability project of our Green Team, ask any Green Team member to fill you in.  It is a great step for the church!
I'm off to the coast this weekend for a few days, and Lora is here for you in the event of any pastoral care emergencies.  Her number is 832-654-0902.
                   With gratitude,
January/February Calendar

Thursday, January 29
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New Singers Welcome!

Friday, January 30
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study with Lora East

Fri., Jan. 30 - Sun., Feb. 1

Westminster Woods Women's Retreat

Sunday, February 1
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

Pastoral intern Lora East preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Let's Talk - about Change

Thursday, February 5
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New Singers Welcome!

Friday, February 6
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, February 8
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m.

What Keeps the Unity in Community?
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!
Let's Talk with Jack Hamilton - Conflict, the Unexpected Gift!

Thursday, February 12
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New Singers Welcome!

Friday, February 13
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, February 15
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

"Fat Sunday" Musical Extravaganza
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Wednesday, February 18
7:00 p.m.

Ash Wednesday
Service of Contemplation and Music

Friday, February 20
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study

Sunday, February 22
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

ANNUAL MEETING of the Congregation
Coffee and Refreshments - All Welcome!

Thursday, February 26
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New Singers Welcome!

Friday, February 27
12:00 p.m.

Bible Study



Bible Study w/Lora East - Friday, Jan. 30 @ Noon - John 1:35-39

Whatever your experience with the Bible might be, you are welcome to come and learn and make meaningful friendships.  

Is God Really the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever?


I sometimes sit in my hotel room and ponder about God. What is God like? How active does God choose to be in my life? And is the God I read about in the scriptures the same today as in times past?


I know I need God in my life. I need God's influence, intervention, and God's people close to me. On my own, I can drift. On my own I'm not nearly as effective, stable or happy as when God is intertwined with my daily thoughts and activities.


Over 600 times in scripture God is described as the deliverer. God focuses on delivering us from strenuous situations. 


However, as we read more and more scripture we discover how deeply God is concerned for us. God really loves each one of us, especially now in 2015. It's important to know that God loves us right where we are, today, in whatever situation we find ourselves. God is patient. It's never too late for us to reach out to God for help. One's circumstances are never too dire, our scars never too deep for God to patiently straighten things out and make any of us who are wounded or hurt, whole again.


God has called us beyond what we can anticipate. So part of the excitement of life today is a quiet discovery of this calling and momentum. God has equipped us for it. I believe we are each like a cocoon harboring a beautiful butterfly inside. 


So, as I ponder the question "Is God the same today as in the past?" I say "you bet." Because God has big plans for this day and age and we have been chosen to execute these plans.


So let's look up and reach out. We are needed and wanted.


I love Pharrell Williams's lyrics "Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof...Clap along if you know what happiness is..." To me, happiness is rooted in the fact that "Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."


Yes, "God is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb 13:8). And, yes, God loves you and me in the same way God loved Noah, Ruth, King David, Mary, Joshua, Ezekiel, Job and Esther. It is God's unchanging character and commitment to each of us that serves as the basis for our stability, that gives us peace of mind, and allows us to head into unknown territories. Join me, God is calling us to make a difference and do great things.


Your friend (from New York), 



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Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Cat Caldwell and her family as they mourn the loss of Cat's mother;

The family of Clyde Ongaro, who died December 30; may Clyde's spirit be blessed and may Merle and the family be surrounded by God's comfort;

Ahmed Abu-Aly, for healing;

Patty Sanders, for healing for her hip;

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;

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

For all those impacted by the criminal justice system, for justice and restoration; For relief from oppression for prisoners everywhere; 

For victims of violence everywhere, may they know healing and peace;

For the unhoused community as the winter storms come;

For our elected leaders;

For the people of the Ukraine;

For the PCUSA, for unity in the Spirit, following God's lead on 14-F, and energy for mission.

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


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Congratulations to A.J. Torres!

Our very own A.J. Torres, son of Laurie O'Hara, and brother of Isabel, is the Marin IJ's Student of the Week! We are proud of you, A.J.!

MOLOTH (Middle School Youth Group) - FEBRUARY SCHEDULE


Sundays with Charles Wei:


- Sunday, Feb. 1 @ 9:30 a.m.

Science and the Bible - in harmony! Bring your questions!

- Sunday, Feb. 15 @ 9:30 a.m. 

Musical Extravaganza!


Thank You to the Baigries!


A huge THANK YOU to the Baigrie family for sharing their beautiful photos and stories from their time in Botswana! We can't wait to hear about their next adventure!


Let's Talk! Changes?
February 1 at 10:45 a.m.

What changes have we seen in the world, our country, our community, ourselves? What changes would you like to promote and/or see happen?

Richard Peltzman
Ethan Russell
Cathy Sarkisian
Fred Morfit
Presbytery of The Redwoods to Vote on Marriage Equality Amendment 14-F
Tuesday, Feb. 3
Fairfield Presbyterian Church

Sharon Adams, Clerk of Session, and Pastor Bev will be driving to Fairfield on Tuesday, February 3rd to vote on Marriage Amendment 14-F. This is the proposed amendment to the Presbyterian constitution which changes the definition of marriage from between "a man and a women" to between "two persons."  It passed on the national level last summer, but now needs to be ratified by more than half of the 171 presbyteries (regional bodies).  If you would like to attend the Feb. 3 meeting, please contact Pastor Bev.


The Covenant Network of the PCUSA reports:

86 of 171 Presbyteries need to vote to ratify Amendment 14-F for this Constitutional Amendment to pass. As of January 28th, 26 have voted YES and 11 have voted NO. It has not been uncommon for the vote in presbyteries to be decided by 5 votes or less - and a tie counts as a 'no.'  Furthermore, margins and overall vote totals matter going forward.  Even in a presbytery anticipating a no vote, witness to inclusiveness represents progress.


Everyone can do something to help. Please consult our simple organizing outline here.  


And please be in prayer.  Others will be praying for you! 


The Covenant Network has a growing set of online resources to help spur your own thinking; included are biblical reflections demonstrating that those favoring a more inclusive understanding of marriage do so because of, not in spite of, the teaching of Scripture.  In addition, here are

It is important that every supporter shows up! 


Building a Movement to End Mass Incarceration

From January 14-16, representatives from 

 20 community-based organizations in 13 states convened to discuss the findings from the community-driven research project on the effects of mass incarceration on formerly incarcerated people and their families.


During the convening, co-hosted by the Ella Baker Center,  Forward Together, and Research Action Design, discussions revolved around the biggest struggles people face as they re-enter society, and everyone brainstormed possible policy solutions. 


With partners, The Ella Baker Center is building a movement to end mass incarceration by moving funding away from prisons and towards the kinds of resources that will help people succeed, like jobs, education, and healthcare. 


More resources:


Support Our Youth in Spring Musicals!


Several of the SHPC youth will be performing in the upcoming Spring Musicals through the YES! organization. Help support our students/youth and the arts!








If you wish to find out which students are in which production, please contact Janel Stewart:


Click here for more information about purchasing tickets to the upcoming Spring Musicals.


For more information about YES! click here.


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 are making our church so warm and welcoming 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.


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: March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 (The Season of Lent)

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: Sign the Petition! Support our Partners in Colombia and Denounce Death Threats


Sign a petition to support our partners and denounce the death threats were received on January 11, 2015 by three of the pastoral leaders in our partner church, the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. Thanks to the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Presbyterian World Mission for creating the petition. Thanks to the Stated Clerk for sending a letter on behalf of our partners.


We are writing to communicate that death threats were received on January 11, 2015 by three of the pastoral leaders (Rev. Milton Mejía, Rev. Jairo Barriga and Elder Germán Zárate) in our partner denomination, the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC) and by the communities and leaders that we have been blessed to walk alongside in the ministry of accompaniment for the last ten years, including Jerry Garavito, Esq. who works with both the IPC and many of the human rights and displaced communities we serve.


We denounce in the strongest terms these threats and acts of intimidation. These threats represent sin, believing the lie that violence is the only way to gain power and control. As followers of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace-we reaffirm the words of Jesus in Matthew 26, "Put down your sword, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." We stand committed to the fullness of life that comes through following Christ and his path of nonviolence. We stand with churches and communities of nonviolence in all places, today in Colombia.

We invite all people of good will, who love and work for peace, to offer their signatures on this letter as a sign of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Colombia and the communities they walk with. Your signatures are a tangible, important and vital sign to the communities and people under threat that they are not alone-and a signal to those who threaten them that this situation is being watched by many.


Sign your name now to affirm that you stand for peace, you stand with our leaders and others who have been threatened and that you will not be a silent bystander to these acts of intimidation that seek to derail the cause of peace and offend those whose allegiance is to Jesus Christ alone.


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