Hagar and Ishmael
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
July 30, 2015

Sarah and Hagar- Another Look


     The book of Genesis tells us that Abraham's wife Sarah, barren and desperate, provided her slave Hagar to Abraham to start a family.  Once Hagar became pregnant with Ishmael, the female rivalry started; Hagar and her son Ishmael were cast out and left in the wilderness without water.  Last week we learned that the Islamic tradition picks up the story there and makes Hagar a hero.  In our own tradition, how do we reclaim the story and find God at work here?  This Sunday, August 2, at 9:30 a.m., we welcome back Lora East, our Pastoral Intern 2014-15, to bring us a new vantage point on the stories of Sarah and Hagar.  The SHPC Singers will sing a beautiful anthem for us!

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


Good news!  My granddaughter isn't here yet!  That's good news, because her Dad, my son Andy, has just completed the three day California Bar Exam (to be licensed to practice law in CA) late this afternoon. 

Now, it's baby time!

In hopes that the baby will be right on time, I'm heading down to Southern California this weekend for a good visit with both my children and daughter-in-law.  Lora East will be here for pastoral emergencies while I'm gone, and her phone number is 832-654-0902.


More news!  The Advisory Committee for Social Witness Policy of the PCUSA has asked me to travel to Israel/Palestine August 17-26 as a legal consultant to a PCUSA study team which will be reviewing our denominational policy there.  I am honored to serve the national church and I am overjoyed to return to Jerusalem, to walk where Jesus walked, and to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  I know you will pray for me and the team and that I will have a lot to share with you on my return.


But first, we have some great Sundays coming up in August - scroll down for all the news!

With blessings,


July/August Calendar

Thursday, July 30
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, July 31

Bible Study

Sunday, August 2
9:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

Sarah and Hagar Revisited- Lora East preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!

Thursday, August 6
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, August 7

Bible Study

Sunday, August 9
9:30 a.m.

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

Sacrament of Holy Communion
Summer Series Continues: Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas - Fractured Families - Jacob and Esau - Pastor Bev preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
Let's Talk! about Fractured Families and Family Conflict with Jan Ardell, MFT

Thursday, August 13
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, August 14

Bible Study

Sunday, August 16
9:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

August Birthday Blessings
Summer Series Continues: Hard Choices and Seriously Bad Ideas - Wrestling with God - Jacob Part II - Pastor Bev preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!

Thursday, August 20
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, August 21

Bible Study

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

Cents-ability Offering for the Hungry
Rev. Bentley Stewart preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!

Thursday, August 27
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, August 28

Bible Study

Sunday, August 30
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Holy Land Update - Pastor Bev preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!



Bible Study - Friday, July 31-
Noon - Genesis 16, 21, and 
Romans 8:31, 38


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

The bereaved loved ones of Rev. Gene Burris, former SHPC pastor;

Kelsey Lopin, for healing and full recovery;

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

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

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;

Those who are 9 months pregnant, and pregnant women everywhere;

Those in need of the basics of life for their children;

The people of the Holy Land, for peace;

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 

In Memoriam - Rev. Gene Burris


The Rev. Gene W. Burris died Tuesday morning, July 28, 2015, at home, surrounded by his wife, Lynda Hyland Burris, his daughter, Susan Burris and his beloved pups, Gilligan and Guido.  Gene attended Multnomah School of the Bible, and Seattle Pacific University.  His first call was at age 19, before he even went to seminary, as pastor of Hope Chapel in Seattle, Washington.  Gene graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with a Bachelor of Divinity, in 1959.  He was called as associate pastor at Mountain View Presbyterian Church where he spent two years, before moving back to Marin to serve as pastor of Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church.  Gene served his entire ministry in the Presbytery of the Redwoods, except for three years in Southern California in the Presbytery of the Pacific.  He was active in Presbytery, serving on Committee for Preparation for Ministry, which he chaired for two years, and Committee on Ministry.  He officially retired in 2001, but continued to serve part-time and interim positions until 2007.  When Lynda retired in 2010, the Burris's moved to Napa, Lynda's home town.  In addition to Lynda and Susan, Gene is survived by his son, Richard; his sister, Helen, and his nieces Jo Anne Anglin, Loydene Beer and Lori Svir and their families.  A celebration of Gene's life will be held on Sunday, August 9, 3:00 p.m., at the St. Helena First Presbyterian Church, 1428 Spring Street, St. Helena. 


If you would like to send a message to Lynda and family, please mail to:

Lynda Hyland Burris

26 Glenwood Drive

Napa, CA  94559


Or send an email to Lynda at: furrieburries2@yahoo.com



Interfaith Conversation with a Muslim Woman of Faith July 26--

A Thank You from our guest, 

Hina Khan-Mukhtar to Pastor Bev to share with our congregation:


"I cannot thank you enough for how warm and welcoming you and your entire congregation were today. My husband Zeeshan and I both felt so comfortable and we really hope you will thank everyone on our behalf for their hospitality and kindness. I will definitely keep you updated on any upcoming interfaith activities; we would be so lucky to have your cheerful presence with us! Praying for peace and understanding in the world..."


Much love,




Let's Talk! is on break for Sunday, August 2

and will return Sunday, August 9 at 10:45 a.m.

to discuss Fractured Families - Family Conflict

with Jan Ardell, M.F.T.


A HUGE Thank You to everyone who helped 
make "REST Plus" a success!!


The Cook's Cozy Corner


While we're waiting for our tomatoes to go into full swing, we're seeing lots of basil coming out of our Justice Garden right now.  Some of you might never have had the simple pleasure of making pesto from scratch, and so I offer you encouragement, and a method.  This will sauce one pound of pasta.  

Put 2 c. basil leaves, 3 T. pine nuts, 1 clove garlic, a few parsley leaves, and a pinch of salt into a small food processor.  Blend, then add 1/4 c. or a little more good olive oil, starting slowly with the processor running.  When the pesto has the consistency you want, stop adding oil and pulse in 3 T. freshly grated pecorino or parmesan.  Taste for salt.  When you sauce your pasta, thin the pesto with a little pasta cooking water.  Serve with extra grated cheese.

This recipe is flexible depending on your mood and what you have on hand.  For example, I like to substitute 2 T. walnuts for the pine nuts, but you could also use pecans or almonds (I haven't ever tried it with peanut butter!)

Of course before there were food processors, your Nonna would have made this with a mortar and pestle, and if you have one and are feeling adventurous you can try it.  Pound the garlic and some coarse salt to a paste, then incorporate the basil a few leaves at a time.  Add the pine nuts 1 T. at a time and pound them into the paste.  Add the cheese and pound it in.  Then stir in the olive oil, again starting with a little bit at a time.  This is supposed to produce the freshest tasting pesto, but I've never directly compared it with the food processor version.  However, it doesn't take too long and it is a good upper body workout.

Happy summer!


Happy Cooking!

Michael Durphy


July Session Report from your Clerk

Session held its regular monthly meeting on July 15th in the Pastor's Office. 

Finance/Peg Maclise:  6 month statements will be mailed to all with a report on the church's financial status halfway through 2015.

House and Grounds/Fred Morfit: we have received an estimate to complete the lighting needs for the front pathway. More specifics from the contractor have been requested.  A presentation was made regarding the possible addition of solar to our Church.  A more in-depth discussion will be held later, when Doug Eisinger, Green Team chair, returns. Fred presented a letter from LMP with a proposal for LMP office space, which will be vetted for county and RVFD compliance. 

Deacons/Carolyn Goodman: reported on a request for SHPC to join a softball league.  

Coming up: The session will be meeting with the congregation in September to bring all up to speed on our facilities and finances, and to do congregational visioning for the church's future.


Sharon Adams, Clerk of Session


In the Wake of Charleston
Recommended Reading about Race in America
from Bryan Stevenson of
Equal Justice Initiative



So many names now - add Sandra Bland to Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Rev. Clementa Pinckney and so many others.  For an overarching commentary on race in America by scholar and activist Bryan Stevenson:


Please visit the Equal Justice Initiative website for more information: eji.org


Greeters Needed!

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


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!


There's a Place for Us...


I have a number of fun friends who I enjoy immensely -  I'll bet you do too. When we're together we celebrate our imperfections, kid and laugh, and feel good about life and where we're headed.


But fitting into today's world, no matter who you are, can be a big challenge. In discussing this week's blog with one of my close friends, he said to me, "you know, I think we're all kind of like a piece of a puzzle ... looking for the right place to fit." I thought to myself, what a great analogy.


Its so hard to be productive if we're not in a place where we're appreciated, loved and "fit." Many people are stuck, treading water, and need to look up and ask for God's help because where they are is not a "good fit" or the "right fit."


Finding a place where you fit is critical because God wants each of us to be productive and engaged. Jesus said "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). There is no greater goal for us than to be productive and participate in a worthwhile life. In order to do so, we need to be clear headed, alert, and able to function effectively.  Finding the right place where you fit is a huge part of being able to function positively with our God-given talents.


A wonderful minister friend of mine has said "God gives you the sight, the right, and the might to do great things, but you have to develop the fight"(Tim Storey). Developing that fight has a lot to do with our surrounding influences and a healthy self esteem. I can attest to the fact that being in the right place, a place where we fit and are encouraged is the best motivator for meaningful activity.


In the mid fifties a group of talented artists took a melody from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and another melodic phrase from Beethoven's "Emperor" piano concerto and created the amazing song, "Somewhere ... (There's A Place For Us)," with lyrics that say "There's a place for us, a time and a place for us. Hold my hand and we're halfway there. Hold my hand and I'll take you there. We'll find a new way of living. We'll find a new way of forgiving" (West Side Story).


Wherever you are, and whatever situation you're in, know there's a place for you. God has prepared it. Look up and ask God to help you discover it. When you do, believe me, you'll find a new way of living.


"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has imagined the things God has prepared for those who love the Lord." Have a great week.


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 Institute 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.
Please Help End Youth Solitary Confinement

Senate Bill 124, a bill introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would limit the solitary confinement of youth in California's prisons. 


SB 124 is coming up for a vote soon and we need you to let Assembly members know that we will no longer stand for this abuse of our youth.


This legislation (co-sponsored by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Youth Justice Coalition, Children's Defense Fund-CA, and the California Public Defenders Association) would also provide a uniform definition of solitary confinement and require statewide reporting of its use.


Right now, California's youth prisons routinely lock up young people for 23 hours a day or more, for weeks at a time.


Nationally, over half of the youth who committed suicide while in a correctional facility were in solitary confinement at the time.


Please e-mail your Assembly member today and help bring an end to this inhumane practice.


With appreciation,

Jennifer Kim
Director of Programs
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights


Action Alert: Congress, Protect the Human Rights of Migrants!


It's almost the end of July and the season of Congressional appropriations is in full swing! By September 30, Congress must pass 12 different appropriations bills to fund the U.S. government for fiscal year 2016.[1] One of these appropriations packages, the State Department and Foreign Operations bill, includes various forms of aid to other countries.


The House version of the bill (H.R. 2772) conditions humanitarian aid funding for Central American countries on their commitment to improving border security and interdicting migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors, trying to reach México and eventually the United States. [2]


The Northern Triangle of Central America-- Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua-- have erupted into levels of incomprehensible violence due to the rising control of gangs and lack of economic opportunity. The mass exodus of Central American children and families has been the result.[3] These conditional provisions in the bill seek to strategically keep Central Americans from ever reaching our southern border. The United States has already begun this process to externalize our southern border. Since last year, the U.S. has funded, armed, and trained Mexican, Honduran, and Guatemalan law enforcement to stop migration from Central America, without regard to the well-being or human rights of migrants.[4] The provisions in the House bill would amplify these efforts to keep Central Americans from exercising their internationally guaranteed right to flee trafficking, persecution, and violence as asylum seekers[5] to the United States and other countries.


We must not continue down this path. Instead, we should be investing in protection and post-repatriation services for migrants, along with addressing the root causes of migration-violence and poverty.


Contact your Senator and Representatives about appropriations for Central American countries!


The Senate version of the bill (S. 1725) does not include these damaging conditions. It does, however, include positive provisions to condition assistance to Northern Triangle countries on their efforts to combat corruption and ensure transparency, protect human rights, implement policies and reforms to address root causes of poverty and violence, and reform the police and the role of military forces in policing, among many.[6]


When the House and Senate go to conference to reconcile their two bills, we want provisions like those in the Senate bill to remain and border security provisions like those in the House to be eliminated.


What does the PC(USA) say about asylum-seekers and refugees?


The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has affirmed many times (1990, 1994, 1999, and 2014)[7] the need for U.S. immigration policy to protect the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, in accordance with the Gospel mandate to care for the most vulnerable.


In 1990, the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) resolved that any immigration-related policy must "uphold international standards and accords regarding protection to refugees and persons in refugee-like situations..." and "address the U.S. economic, political, and military policies that may contribute to conditions compelling human displacement and migration."[8]


Tell Congress that you want your tax dollars to protect, not transgress the rights of migrants.

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, nancyrhine@aol.com,

(415) 378-6577


- Joyce E. Thomson, RScP, MFT #37969, Rosen Method Bodywork,

joycethomson@sbcglobal.net, (415) 384-0953


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


- Barbara E. Nelson, MA, MFT #33773, tendingrowth@earthlink.com

(415) 332-4194

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

Contact Jan Ardell, MFT #M16147, janardell@yahoo.com, 415-233-0384 

Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church, 
100 Tarry Road, San Anselmo, CA  94960
Allie Duro, Editor/Office Administrator
E-mail us at shpchurch@comcast.net or call us at 415-453-8221