Adam and Eve Expelled from the Garden of Eden
Michelangelo - the Sistine Chapel
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
July 9, 2015

Summer Storytelling Series Begins

Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas 

Serpent + Apple = Fall of Humanity?


     This Sunday, July 12, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., we begin our Summer Storytelling Series, Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas, with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  What happened back there, and how did it lead to the idea of Original Sin and the subordination of women in church and society?  How much of today's Christian church is built on the moral peril of sexual sin?  Who are the serpents in our lives today?  Bring your ideas, thoughts, and feelings for a lively exploration of this hot topic!


     Please stay after the service for an engaging Let's Talk discussion of Microlending with Millie Millar's granddaughter Tanya Cothran of Spirit in Action and our own Laurie O'Hara.


In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From Pastor Bev


We're embarking on our summer fun series of Old Testament stories, and this summer our theme is Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas (the latter borrowed from economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman).  We all have so many choices to make each day of our lives, and it's a good idea to bring more of them up to conscious level and make them intentionally.  Why ARE we doing what we're doing?  And why are we NOT doing what we're not doing?  A closer look at what is on our "plate" and who and what have dropped off can reveal for us whether we're living our values. 


Showing up is so important!  Bringing your energy and bright spirit to Sunday service, to fellowship, to choir practice, to REST, to the Justice Garden, to Wil and Betty's house with a Wednesday night meal -- these are the acts of kindness and service that make life meaningful and bring the world closer to God's kingdom here on earth.  Thank you all!


With blessings,


July Calendar

Thursday, July 9
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, July 10

Bible Study

Sunday, July 12
9:30 a.m.

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

Summer Storytelling Series Begins
Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas:
Serpent + Apple = Fall of Humanity?
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
Let's Talk! about Micro-Lending Near and Far

Thursday, July 16
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, July 17

Bible Study

Sunday, July 19
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Summer Storytelling Series Continues
The Flood - Noah - Fresh Starts?
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!

Thursday, July 23
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, July 24

Bible Study

Sunday, July 26
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Summer Storytelling Series Continues
Father-Son Sacrifice in 3 Abrahamic Faiths
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!

Thursday, July 30
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, July 31

Bible Study



Bible Study - Friday, July 10 -
Genesis chapters 1-3, especially 3 -
The Fall of Humanity and Sin!


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

Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Those who lost their lives in the Charleston church shooting and all their loved ones, and all who yearn for racial justice and an end to racial violence and hatred;

Larry Mong, for freedom from suffering from his illnesses, and for grace and strength for Shannon and the family as they support him;

Lesli, Brandon, and their daughter Lindsey Dumler as they mourn the loss of their son and brother, Preston;
Kit Argilla for healing, full recovery, and safe travel with her family;

Wil Swalberg, for healing for his back and full mobility;

Wanda Latta for successful surgery, healing, and full recovery;

Marie Ongaro for healing and full recovery;

Skye Bailey and her daughters as they mourn the loss of Michael;

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 blessed assurance of God's constant presence;

For those struggling financially, for relief from anxiety and an answer to prayers;

For those struggling with addiction and dependency, for recovery;

For the lonely and down-hearted, for an uplift;

For our church community, for creativity, compassion, unity in the Spirit, and energy for mission.

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


Back to the top 

Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.  Hebrews 13:3

Places to start: 


(1) Bryan Stevenson's book Just Mercy, his organization Equal Justice Initiative, and their website  Stevenson: our criminal justice system treats the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent.  EJI frees innocents from death rows, plus much more.


(2) A good look (great pie chart) at who is incarcerated in the USA (highest per capita incarcerated population in the world) can be found at  Note the number awaiting trial/not convicted is 428,312.  And that 94,600 of 216,362 in federal prison are incarcerated for drug offenses.


(3) SB124 would limit juvenile solitary confinement in California to 4 hours per day and provide tracking data - Sen. Leno of SF is sponsoring SB124 and it has passed the State Senate, and last week, the Assembly's Public Safety Committee. It should come up for vote in the State Assembly in August, and we need lots of phone calls and emails in support to Assemblymember Marc Levine:


(4) National Religious Campaign Against Torture has taken their solitary confinement replica on the road; they are collecting signatures to end prolonged solitary confinement at


(5) An excellent local organization engaged in incarceration prevention as well as lessening suffering for inmates and families during incarceration and help with re-integration into society upon release is Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland at  On their website at About Us, they say the problem is mass incarceration, and the solution is JUSTICE REINVESTMENT. 


(6) Project Avary in San Rafael serves children of incarcerated parents and needs support - at  


Let's Talk! about Micro Lending Near and Far 

Sunday, July 12 at 10:45 a.m.

Special guest Tanya Cothran (Millie Millar's granddaughter) 

of Spirit in Action, a micro lender 

which has worked wonders in Africa, 

and our own expert Laurie O'Hara


Tanya Cothran, SIA Executive Administrator, had the opportunity to travel with her parents and sister to Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and parts of the South Pacific and Europe. Tanya hopes that these past experiences, her spiritual practice and dedication to supporting others will serve as a foundation for her work spreading peace and empowerment throughout the world. For more information please visit the Spirit in Action website:
Thank You! SB 124 to end cruel Juvenile Solitary Confinement has now passed the California State Senate and the Assembly Public Safety Committee - Stay tuned for the vote on the floor of the Assembly next month!

Huge Thanks to all REST Volunteers 
and to our own Shannon Mong:
"Deep joy comes from being in a community that serves our community."


     Last Monday night at St. Anselm's we had a great turnout from our Middle School youth, and we are looking at making that a regular feature of our fall-winter 2015-16 REST program.  


ictured from left to right: Scott Hamilton, Carolyn Goodman, Shannon Mong, Lucas Russell, Merle Hunter & Koren Grubb


 Pictured above: Carolyn Goodman & Patti Vance

(not pictured: Sharon Hamilton, Robin Abu-Aly, and Clayton Noack)



If you'd like more information about what's involved with volunteering, or anything else related to the REST program), please contact Shannon Mong at 

Green Thumbs?

The Justice Garden is thriving and our busy season of harvest and farmstand is right around the corner.  If you feel called to join the team, please contact Patti Vance at




Update from our own Alec Kenilvort, drafted by the Colorado Rockies as a pitcher in 2014

Everything is going well for me.  I left Arizona earlier in the month after working out in Extended Spring Training and am now playing in Boise, Idaho in the Northwest League.  I'm staying with a host family with three lively kids ages eight, eleven, and thirteen so we have a lot of fun.  It's been really nice to be in a homey environment again.  The schedule is busy but I've learned to love the grind.  We are currently on the tail end of an eight game road trip to Eugene, Oregon and Everett, Washington, both places I have never been to before so it has been very cool to see some new cities. 


I heard that Mexico Mission was another success this year!  Both my brother and dad went down this year and they had great things to say about the experience, as always.  I still receive and read the choir emails each week and it seems that all is well on the singing side of things as well.


I will be back in mid to late September when our season ends (playoffs pending) and I look forward to reconnecting with the congregation then!




Greeters Needed for the month of July

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
Let's keep our church 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.


JULY:  Marie Ongaro

AUGUST: Robin Abu-Aly


Sign up now and keep the hospitality going!



Wil and Betty are pillars of our church family, and we are so grateful for their food barrel ministry and their Cents-ability ministry. Thank you and bless you to all who have signed up to take a hot meal and your love to Wil and Betty on Wednesday nights. The online sign up sheet urgently needs more volunteers!


SF-Marin Food Bank Update
Thank you Wil and Betty for bringing a total of 108 pounds of dry and canned goods to the SF-Marin Food Bank!

Check out the SF-Marin Food Bank website for more information about this wonderful organization:


What it's Like to Have God's DNA in Us


I was excited this week when I heard a terrific speaker say we have God's DNA inside of us. Pondering that thought, I've been thinking what exactly does that mean?


After thinking about it, I believe it means we have the ability to go beyond our "natural" selves and become "imitators of God" (Eph 5:1) as well as the fact that we have a deeper capacity to love and accept others as God does. 


However, in understanding how this works, we have to understand that there's a conflict going on inside of us and we are victims of a huge tug-of-war. The problem is that, in addition to having God's DNA, we also have "our" DNA - a DNA that harbors evil thoughts, jealousy, deceit, envy, pride, and greed. Therein lies the conflict, "Do I or don't I?" and "Should I or shouldn't I?" Questions whose answers define to others who we really are.


In order to "imitate God" we have to increase our knowledge of God. 


God is not an absentee God. God has promised to "never leave us or forsake us" (Heb 13:5) and will be an "ever present help in trouble"(Psalm 46:1). In James 3:17 the Bible instructs that "wisdom from heaven is pure, impartial, and sincere." We have the privilege of seeking this divine wisdom (and should) whenever needed.


I don't know about you, but I have to admit the way I handle certain things is often not the way God would handle them. I'm aware of it and have started to work on many of these habits and situations. One of the biggest steps for me is to be patient and listen to others. Not to over-react, pre-judge, or pounce inappropriately. 


I am optimistic about making these changes because I have God's DNA in me. God wants us to make big changes and is providing believers the desire, capacity and a way to make them.


I hope you will commit (with me) to make certain changes by capitalizing on the fact that we have God's DNA in us.


Try to clear your schedule this summer and spend time getting to know God better; study and reflect on how God would handle your toughest situations; come to Bible Study here at the Church at noon on Fridays; make coming to the Sunday 9:30 a.m. service a high priority; and if you'd like, call Pastor Bev and make a private appointment to have her explain and help you unlock so much more of God's power that rests in the Lord's DNA embodied inside of you.


To making changes ... your friend, 




Paul Lambert is a member of SHPC who travels extensively for his career as a producer of Broadway-bound musicals.  He is a graduate of Moody Bible College who studies the Bible daily and attends our Bible Study whenever he's in town. He posts this blog each week no matter where he is, to the delight and comfort of many.  SHPC thanks you, Paul.

From Rev. Carol Hovis at Marin Interfaith Council: Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston & Beyond

On August 9th, it will be one year since 18 year old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Since last August, there have been multiple deaths across our country of African American boys and men by law enforcement which have garnered national attention and soul-searching about the issues of race, ethnicity, class, violence and law enforcement.  Not to mention the thousands of senseless deaths nationwide due to gun violence which never make nightly news.  Then came Charleston, revealing again the deep and persistent reality of racism in our country. 


Simultaneously, across the country, there have been numerous signs of hope, justice, real change and human compassion experienced as a result of the challenging and devastating events this past year. 


With all of this on our minds and hearts, one way to be in solidarity with one another, as people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, is to strengthen the fabric of our relationships and connections right here in Marin.  Many of you do that every day, in a myriad of ways. 


Two current & concrete ways to build bridges between our communities across ethnicity, religion, class and geography are the following: 


1)      Marin City's Hannah Project's Freedom School, one of the national freedom schools associated with the Children's Defense Fund, is in their 3rd week of this summer's operation in Marin City.  This is the 5th annual Freedom School in Marin City hosted by the Hannah Project.   The Marin City Freedom School serves more than 40 children of many ethnicities to focus on reading in an environment of learning the history of the Civil Rights' movement as embodied in the Freedom School curriculum.  One of the biggest needs every year is transportation.  It costs $800 each time a bus is used for a field trip.  The Freedom School specifically needs either vehicles and drivers or financial donations, to sustain their Friday field trips.  There are 3 more field trips:  Fridays, July 10th, 17th and 24th.    If your congregation or community is able to assist with vans and drivers or financial support, please contact Ms. Bettie Hodges at: or 415-887-9740.


2)     Join the Marin City community for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Grand Opening of the George "Rocky" Graham Community Park, Saturday, July 11th, 11:00 am-3:00 pm, 800 Block of Drake Avenue, Marin City.  Program begins at 11:30 am.  Click here to see attached flyer


In peace and solidarity,


The Reverend Carol Hovis

Executive Director

Marin Interfaith Council

Prophetic Spirituality: Transforming Self, Transforming Community

July 20-23


There is still time to register for the July 20-23 Program in Christian Spirituality Retreat taking place Monday through Thursday, July 20-23. Please contact Ruth T. West at, or 415.451.2838. Scholarship opportunities are available. Please help us get the word out about this amazing event! Forward this email to anyone who think may be interested.


Register Here


As part of God's creative community, how do you...

  • Faithfully engage realities of hatred, oppression, and indifference;
  • Help your faith community make a difference in issues of injustice and peace;
  • Overcome obstacles to "love your neighbor"?
Poverty, violence, race relations and mass incarceration are crucibles for understanding how faith sustains and transforms us to live fearless and abundant lives. 

Explore empowering spiritual practices for the transformation of self and community through presentations, worship, readings, and exercises.

Click here for complete retreat information.

Interfaith Counseling Center:

Growth, Hope and Healing


The Interfaith Counseling Center offers a variety of services to promote the healing, growth, and wholeness of individuals, couples, families, and congregations. All services are non-denominational, inter-religious, confidential, and available to persons without regard to race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. A sliding scale of fees for service is available.

Birthdays and Aging


The Journey into Age: Perspectives on aging change. New categories are being explored, like being a "novice senior," that is, someone over 65 but below 80.


The lifestyles that we adopt, the habits that we create can have a direct effect on the aging process. Navigating the choices, options, alternatives and elections that help smooth the aging process is complex and often bewildering. For example, transitioning into retirement, managing the stress of becoming a caregiver to a beloved partner or parent, avoiding isolation, and appointing the proper executor for estate matters and health care are all difficult rites of passage.


There are helpful guidelines, strategies and perspectives that can help you sort out these challenges and support you as you determine the best course of action for you and your family.


- Nancy Rhine, MS, CPG LMFT #51127,,

(415) 378-6577


- Joyce E. Thomson, RScP, MFT #37969, Rosen Method Bodywork,, (415) 384-0953


- Ruth Schweitzer-Mordecai, MA, MDiv, MFT #21841, (415) 258-9382


- Barbara E. Nelson, MA, MFT #33773,

(415) 332-4194

Note from Pastor Bev - Our own Jan Ardell is a great resource for those seeking help with gambling addiction - from shame to healing!

Contact Jan Ardell, MFT #M16147,, 415-233-0384


West Marin Players with The Dance Palace Presents: "The Most Happy Fella"


MOST HAPPY FELLA IS A MOST HAPPY MUSICAL! -- West Marin Players is producing Frank Loesser's beloved gem of a Broadway musical.  Set in the Napa Valley around 1927, it is the endearing story of a May/December romance. All-in-all this a heartfelt love story with drama, comedy and sublime music.  Don't miss it!



Friday & Saturday, July 10 & 11, 8 PM 

Sunday, July 12, 2 PM 

Cost: $30 general, $28 seniors & kids


PURCHASE TICKETS NOW! OPENING NIGHT DINNER & SHOW: The Gala admission gives you wine and appetizers, dinner, dessert and admission tickets with preferred seating--$85 opening night.


For more information go to - or 415-663-1075

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