Wrestling With God
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
August 13, 2015

Stairway to Heaven?  Or Wrestling with God? 

Jacob Part Two


     Have you ever had a spiritual dream?  Did it change your life?  This Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 9:30 a.m., we'll continue our Summer Series with more about Jacob, the spiritual dreamer who was always in a struggle with someone. Last week we learned how he tricked his twin brother out of their father's blessing, and then fled for his life.  This week we'll explore his adventures on the lam, including his amazing dream of a stairway to heaven, and his all night wrestling match with - God.  Where would you rather be?  On that stairway with the angels, getting a glimpse of heaven, or in a wounding wrestling match? The SHPC Singers will sing something special for us.  

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


We had a wonderful crowd of children at church last Sunday, and our playground has been hopping this week, so school must be about to start! 

Every September we go "Back to School" 

here at church and take on a special challenge.  This fall we're taking on two!  We're going to start the month with What It Means to be Christian, a good look at the central teachings of our religion and at the distance between those tenets and what our culture associates with Christianity.  

Then on September 27 - please save the date! - our Session and special guests will host us in Let's Talk about Being the Church: Facilities, Finance, and Future.  All of you have a voice in the church's priorities and future, and the elders want to hear from you.  We plan to have jokes and make it lively!


As most of you know, I'm flying to Tel Aviv on Monday to spend 10 days in the Holy Land with a study team from our PCUSA national office's 

Advisory Committee for Social Witness Policy. As I walk where Jesus walked, and pray where he prayed, I will have you all in my heart.  


Friend of the church and wonderful pastoral care provider Rev. Bentley Stewart is here for you for pastoral care emergencies while I'm away.  He can be reached at 407-489-1258.


Blessings to each and every one of you!


August Calendar

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 with Paul Lambert

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.
10:45 a.m.

Holy Land Update - Pastor Bev preaching
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
Let's Talk about the Holy Land 



Bible Study - Friday, August 14 at Noon - Genesis 28 and 32; Philippians 2:5-7a


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


Ollie Weber, father of Diane Latta, who is hospitalized in serious condition, and Diane's mother Joy, and for Diane and Juliet, with them in Canada, assurance of God's presence and God's comfort;
Betty and Wil Swalberg, for recovery for Betty from a small stroke, and for them to be back home together again soon, and for healing for Wil's back and full mobility;

Kelsey Lopin, for healing and full recovery from complications of Lyme disease, and for her family as they care for her;

All the students preparing to go off to college and their parents, especially those who will be experiencing the "empty nest";

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

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;

Wanda Latta, Dennis's sister, for continued healing and full recovery from surgery;

All those grieving the loss of their homes and suffering from the impact of the Rocky fire, the Jerusalem fire, and for all the fire fighters, for health and safety;

The people of Ferguson and all those impacted by racial injustice in our country;

The prisoners, and those in solitary confinement, for humane treatment;

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

The people of the Holy Land, especially the children, 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 


Let's Talk! is on break August 16 + 23

Back Sunday, August 30 at 10:45 a.m. 






Come Ride with Us, September 20 to 26, 2015
THIS JUST IN:  We have a special for cyclists to join the Pedal for Protein tour on the last day, Saturday 9/26. For only $100 (save$65) you can ride the fantastic Sonoma/Marin coast on Hwy1 to Pt Reyes Station with 2 options - easier route or Mt Tam to Tiburon finish.
You will be helping grassroots food pantries as $50 of your registration will be a donation to the food bank pantries. We will have rest stops along the way with snacks and lunch at the end of the ride. Sag support is also provided. Transportation from the finish at Tiburon PC out to Tomales is available for only $15 on Sat. am for you and your bike (limited space available). Sign up by August 31 for this special. Price will go up on Sept.1. Free t-shirt while supplies last, so register now at: http://www.imathlete.com/events/pedalforproteinĀ 

Pedal for Protein Sept 20-26, 2015         Charity Ride for Food Pantries along the Northern California Coast
for Info:
Patty Sanders
Hunger Action Enabler
Presbytery of the Redwoods
Cell: 415-515-6127
Jesus said, "you give them something to eat." Mark 6:37


Justice Garden News
Stay Tuned for our Butterfield Road Farm Stand and
Thank you for your GREAT Support of our Fellowship Farm Stand on Sunday Mornings

     We'll be harvesting from the Justice Garden and delivering fresh produce to our senior friends at the Bennett House tomorrow, Friday, August 14. Koren, Jack, Natasha and I will pick in the morning and share with the seniors at 10:30.  
     Special thanks to Frankie and Robin for each taking a week to water the new beds.
--Patti Vance, Mission Elder

The Cook's Cozy Corner

Easy (No Cooking!) Tomato Sauce
There was a beautiful basket of tomatoes on our farm stand table last Sunday, and I have a feeling there will be even more this week.  Now, tomatoes are not something that people have trouble figuring how to cook, and everyone has their own go-to recipes.  My secret tomato recipe is the simple tomato sandwich-sliced dead-ripe tomato, salt and mayo (or aioli) on toasted grainy bread.  A three napkin lunch.  In fact, simple and tomato go together, never better than in this pasta recipe.
Cook to al dente 1 lb. spaghetti or fettuccini. 
While this is cooking, put into a blender:
1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts or almonds
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped tomato
2 cloves garlic
some pepper flakes
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar is OK)
1 tsp. salt
2 T. good olive oil
1/2 c. basil leaves
Puree all this until really smooth and toss with the cooked pasta along with:
1 lb. halved, salted cherry tomatoes
Garnish this with more chopped basil and grated pecorino.
Take it out on your deck on a warm evening with a salad and a bottle of sauvignon blanc and appreciate how lucky you are to have such beauty in simplicity.
Happy Cooking!
Michael Durphy
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.


AUGUST: Robin Abu-Aly


Sign up now and keep the hospitality going!


Thank you to our Flower Guild!

It is such a delight to enjoy fresh, fragrant, and beautiful flowers each Sunday!

Thank you to Patti, Jody, Linda,
Frankie, Peggy, Merle, and Millie.

We love our floral artists!

The online sign up sheet urgently needs more volunteers!


I just can't do that ... 

I was watching a brave Mother boarding a plane this week, who was struggling with her 2 young children. One was still a babe in her arms and the other was a daughter, probably about 2 or 3 yrs old who was full of questions and insisted on a lot of attention.

I thought to myself, I just couldn't do that. Be a Mother? No way. This wonderful lady, however, seemed to be fine, taking everything in stride. 

There are many things I can't do, but God has given me the aptitude and the talent to engage in many things "I Can Do". We, as believers are part of a team, a Christ-directed team. One with a plan and a set of divine objectives. God chose us to be the players on this team because we "Can Do" the job.

I'd like us to focus this week on a "Can Do" attitude. We have to remember, "We are no longer [sitting on the side lines]." "We are members of God's household" (Ephesians 2:19-22). Therefore, we each need to play to the best of our strengths and function as we were designed.

While I can't be a patient Mother, others can. While I can't sit quietly and be a good listener and counsel individuals struggling with emotional problems others can. I can't preach like Pastor Bev, arrange flowers like our flower guild, or play musical instruments like Michael McCarty and Stephen Iverson --- but I can write blogs, be an active member of the Bible Study and small group program, and produce theater.

Proverbs 19:21 states, "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's plan that prevails". And in Isaiah 14:24 God declares "Surely I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen."

Let's focus together this week on God's plan in our neighborhoods and how we fit as active participants. Let's make sure we're adopting the "I Can" mentality instead of the "I can't mentality". God chose to use us on various local playing fields so "God's will ... can be done on earth ... as it is in heaven". 

We're the team that's been chosen ... and you want to know why God chose us? ... because for generation after generation God has chosen ordinary people, just like you and me. 

This week, let's celebrate our differences and tune into the "Can Do" network. Change the channel if you need to and lets GO!

Your friend in LA this week,


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.

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) of the PCUSA

Keeping the church informed so that we can live God's values

Mission Statement

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) serves the prophetic calling of the whole Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by providing the General Assembly with careful studies of pressing moral challenges, media for discussion and discernment of Christian responsibilities, and policy recommendations for faithful action.


Visit the PCUSA website for more information about ACSWP.

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 and supported by the National Religious Coalition Against Torture*) 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


* Pastor Bev is working with the National Religious Coalition Against Torture in support of SB124 and welcomes your help!


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.
August: Issues and Outlooks About Authentic Sexuality
Living Joyously and Unapologetically:  Are you unclear about your sexual orientation and want to explore your thoughts and feelings? Have past experiences of hurtful rejection due to your sexual orientation made you afraid to come out to your family and friends? It is possible to find support and helpful perspectives about these issues. 
Denison, Thomson, Wright, Harvey, Nelson, Bradshaw, Hixon, Cortright, Schweitzer-Mordecai
Kathleen Denison, MA, CHT, Spiritual Director,
Joyce Thomson, RScP, MFT 37969, Rosen Bodywork Practitioner,
joycethomson@sbc global.net (415) 384-0953
Becky Wright, MS, MFT30710,
rebecwright@gmail.com (510) 225-5595
Natalie Harvey, MFT 53575
Cheryl Bradshaw, MA, MFT 39675
15 Austin Avenue, San Anselmo, 415-256-9701, www.interfaithcc.org
(Near downtown, off Kensington between Ross and Bolinas)
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 

5th Annual Youth Gleaning & Work Projects for Green Gulch Farm - 

Sunday, September 20


1:00 pm picnic in the garden (bring your own!)

1:30 pm Introduction to meditation in the Zendo

2:00 - 4:30 pm Gleaning and work projects


Green Gulch Zen Center: 

1601 Shoreline Hwy

Muir Beach 94965


Calling youth of faiths: See what a broccoli plant looks like. Learn about our food system. Hear about how the fields are connected to Buddhism and other faith traditions, and get your hands dirty in the sun. This is a youth event (primarily grades 6-12). We will be gleaning and doing other work on the farm. Long pants, socks and close toed shoes are encouraged. Please remember sunscreen & water. Click here to view flyer.


RSVP: programs@marinifc.org or call 415-456-6957 by Wednesday, September 16th

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