Rev. Paul Gaffney Leads the Memorial Procession
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
September 10, 2015
September Series Continues
What It Means to be Christian Today
Christian Solidarity

     This week the news brings us many poignant images of thousands of refugees who have left their homes with nothing more than a small pack, and often with small children, to try to find a safe home and a chance for a better life.  Here in Marin we have people in transition, too, people who have lost their housing and with it, their stability.  This Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., we welcome back to our pulpit the Rev. Paul Gaffney, Chaplain to the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy and a Supervisor in Training with the Clinical Pastoral Education Program of the San Francisco Theological Seminary.  We have invited all those who volunteered with SHPC REST to join us in this celebration of Christian solidarity with those in transition.  Rev. Gaffney will stay for Let's Talk about homelessness in Marin and the REST program, led by our own Shannon Mong and the REST leader team.  Be part of this expression of Christian hospitality and solidarity!
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From Pastor Bev
I will be with you all in spirit this Sunday, as you come together to welcome the Rev. Paul Gaffney, guests from the unhoused community, and all our REST volunteers in a service of hospitality and solidarity.  We are bringing the focus to our contemporary Christian identity this month, and the Bible teaches us that hospitality and solidarity are core values and foundational practices in Christianity.  

The Prospects for a Just Peace study team is gathering in Washington, D.C. this weekend, and I will be with them as a human rights advisor to assist as needed as they work on their report. The intention is to present the report at our PC(USA) denominational convention in Portland in June 2016.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support, and for stepping forward in so many ways here at SHPC so that I can serve the national church.  Special thanks to Rev. Bentley Stewart, here to care for you in the case of pastoral emergency while I'm away.  You can reach him at 407-489-1258.

It is such a joy to be part of this church!
With blessings,

September/October Calendar

Thursday, September 10
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Pastor Bev away through 9/14; please call Bentley Stewart for pastoral emergencies at 407-489-1258

Friday, September 11

Bible Study and 9/11 Remembrance with Paul Lambert

Sunday, September 13

9:30 a.m.

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


What it Means to be Christian Today
Solidarity with the Unhoused Community
with Rev. Paul Gaffney, Chaplain, Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
Let's Talk! about Homelessness in Marin, REST, and Being of Service - with Rev. Paul Gaffney, facilitated by Shannon Mong and the SHPC REST team

Thursday, September 17
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, September 18
10:00 a.m.


PRESBYTERY OF THE REDWOODS Meets at St. Andrew's P.C., Sonoma
Bible Study with Paul Lambert

Sunday, September 20
9:30 a.m.

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

What it Means to be Christian Today
Christian Values-Equal Dignity, Freedom, Creation Care, and Peace
Birthday Blessing
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
Let's Talk! about Where Christian Values Meet Human Rights

Thursday, September 24
7:00 p.m.

Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, September 25

Bible Study with Pastor Bev

Sunday, September 27
9:30 a.m.

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

What it Means to be Christian Today
Being the Church
Cents-ability Offering
Coffee and Refreshments - All welcome!
A Special Let's Talk! about SHPC - Our Facilities, Finance, and Future

Sunday, October 4

World Communion/Peacemaking Sunday



Bible Study and 9/11 Remembrance with Paul Lambert - Friday, September 11 - Mt. 25:35-45


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

For the refugees, may the world remember your humanity, and bring generosity to this humanitarian crisis;
Diane Latta and her family, mourning the loss of Diane's father, Ollie Weber, for God's comfort in their grief;
Leona George Davidson and Jeff Davidson, mourning the loss of Jeff's mother, Dorothy Davidson, for God's comfort in their grief;
Betty and Wil Swalberg, for God's presence and community support in this transition, and for healing for Wil's back;
Kelsey Lopin, for healing and full recovery from complications of Lyme disease, and for her family as they care for her;
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;
For the people of the Holy Land, especially the children, for just 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.







Katie is a first year seminary student at SFTS, a mechanical engineer with a masters in engineering, from Montana and NJ, by way of the PCUSA's excellent Young Adult Volunteer program.  She can explain to our youth how science and religion are friends, she has a great sense of humor, and she loves middle schoolers.  Let's all welcome her!




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

Sunday, September 20 -


Email Katie Brendler if you can drive:


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


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: or call 415-456-6957 by Wednesday, September 16th



   Our Youth Leader Katie has just moved here to start seminary at SFTS, and she needs furniture, especially a couch.  Please email her if you have one you could loan or donate:


Farm Stand Needs Volunteers for Sept. 11 and 12!

The SHPC Farm Stand on Saturday, September 5th was a great success! Thank you to all who helped harvest the tomatoes and helped with the Farm Stand.  It is a great outreach to the community and we are making lots of friends for the church, as well as bringing in funds for hunger programs.  

We have at least one more weekend for Friday picking and Saturday Farm Stand staffing 8 a.m. through noon.  Please contact Patti Vance atpv3@comcast.netif you can help out this weekend.  





Come Ride with SHPC's Own Patty Sanders 
September 20 to 26, 2015
Charity Ride for Food Pantries along the Northern California Coast

Thanks to all at SHPC for their sponsorship of our own Patty Sanders in the ride!  We raised some great support last Sunday! And thanks to Jillian Robinson for galvanizing us!

Cyclists please join the Pedal for Protein tour on the last day, Saturday 9/26:  you can ride the fantastic Sonoma/Marin coast on Hwy 1 to Pt Reyes Station with 2 options - easier route or Mt Tam to Tiburon finish.
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). Free t-shirt while supplies last, so register now at:

Please contact Patty Sanders, Hunger Action Enabler, for more information:
Cell: 415-515-6127

Jesus said, "you give them something to eat." Mark 6:37


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: SYRIA


In 2015, the number of forcibly displaced persons around the world exceeds 51 million, including some 13 million refugees who lack access to the most basic necessities of life, including food, clean water, safe shelter, health care, education, and protection from conflict, war, and violence.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been engaged in responding to the needs of displaced persons and refugees. The response has been in collaboration with and support of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) members and other ecumenical partners who are providing relief to refugees in neighboring countries and to internally displaced Syrians. PDA has also been providing direct assistance to our mission partner, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL), which is also providing relief and care.

Rebuilding begins in Homs, Syria

PDA committed $100,000 to help restore permanent infrastructure within the country, and is now committing $75,000 to help with schools.

Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States

In addition to providing funds for humanitarian response for Syrians overseas, PDA is working with our partner in refugee resettlement, Church World Service, to resettle Syrian refugees who are coming to the United States.  1,000 Syrian Refugees have now found a new home in the US, but more are ready to come. Help them find peace and a new hope this World Refugee Day.  To find out more about supporting refugees in your community please contact  Susan Krehbiel.


  • Follow the PC (U.S.A.) response on Facebook and share updates with your congregation and others. 
  • Help resettle Syrian refugees. Most coming to the U.S. do not have family or close friends here and need emotional, spiritual as well as physical support. If you are interested in becoming directly involved in accompanying a newly arriving refugee family or supporting them through in-kind donations, contact the nearest Church World Service (CWS) affiliate and ask to speak to their volunteer/outreach coordinator.  If you do not live near a CWS affiliate and still want to be involved, please contact Susan Krehbiel to connect you with other resettlement organizations around the country.
  • Sign this petition to demand the U.S. increase the resettlement of more Syrian refugees
  • Advocate for the Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act.

Sunday, September 27

9:30 a.m. Being the Church

10:45 a.m. - Let's Talk! about our Facilities, Finances, and Future!

Visioning, priorities, fellowship, and community building 

Get to know your Elders and church teams

Small group time to focus on what church means to you and to the wider community

With Fun and Food!

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.


SEPTEMBER: Nancy Elberg/Frankie Eakes Parish

OCTOBER: Patti Eisinger Parish

NOVEMBER: Marie Ongaro Parish

DECEMBER: The Deacons

JANUARY: Robin Abu-Aly Parish

FEBRUARY: Nancy/Frankie Parish

MARCH: Patti Eisinger Parish


Sign up now and keep the hospitality going!



The online sign up sheet urgently needs more volunteers!


God Never Made a "Nothing"
I was reading online a wonderful Bible Study about why bad things happen to good people and was struck with the phrase, "God never made a nothing!" I'll explain ...
As we reflect on the events of 9/11 this week, I'd like to call our attention to what it must have been like, to have been a person who lost a dear friend, their Dad, their Mom, or a son or daughter to this horrific act of terror. I remember where I was when I heard it all unfold, do you?
I was part of a group gathered around the TV in my Mom and Dad's living room.  Everyone there was in total disbelief for several hours after the initial two crashes wondering if something more was to unfold. 
Awful, destructive things do happen to good people, and in this case, to many good people. The question that puzzles us is why God allows such things and tolerate such despicable behavior?
In the Bible there is a story that I also find difficult and possibly even more devastating than the 9/11 circumstances, certainly to the Mother in the story. It's found in the Old Testament in II Kings 4. A woman's husband has died. He is said to have been a man who "revered the Lord." Upon his death the family's creditors came and reminded her that money was still owed to them, even though her husband had died. In that day, there was a tradition to take one's remaining sons (dislodge them from their roots) and force them to go to work for the creditors for seven years. WOW. I can't imagine what that women must have felt; first, losing her husband and then, having her sons removed and taken away?
In this online Bible Study the teacher expresses, "When you have very little, do you ever think to yourself I'm not worth anything and God can't use me because I have nothing to offer?  I have no real talent, I don't have enough money to get by, and I'm starting to sink. In short, I am nothing and have nothing." That may be how that Mother felt.
The teacher continues, "But you see, God never made a 'nothing.'" God asks us to "surrender whatever we have and whatever we are, and He will multiply it to accomplish what He has chosen for us."
I believe we were born to overcome. Romans 8 says, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us." The Bible also says, "Do not worry" and "Do not be anxious." God is a God of power, passion, and potential. We are clay in God's hands. God is making something beautiful with each one of us. 
We need to let the Lord continue to shape and mold us. Sometimes that means enduring circumstances that are tough and don't make sense at the time. Sometimes that means being patient. But in all cases that means living life by looking up, seeing beyond our circumstances and knowing that in us "God has made something special."
You are special. You are beautiful in God's eyes and so am I.
Let's keep Looking "up" and "beyond" no matter how tough our circumstances seem.
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.
Pastor Bev's Op-Ed Piece Published in the Sacramento Bee Aug. 30:
End Prolonged Solitary Confinement for California's Youths

Imagine you are shut into a windowless room the size of a parking spot and locked up for 23 hours a day. Imagine you have no idea when you'll get out. Now imagine you are a teenager.

This is the reality of solitary confinement, a cruel but all too usual feature of California juvenile detention. Experts call prolonged solitary confinement a form of torture, noting that it causes rapid deterioration in the mental health of those incarcerated and dramatically increases suicide rates.

California law provides no outside oversight regarding solitary confinement, severely limiting the recourse that incarcerated youths and their families have to challenge its use. We can change that.

First, why does it matter? Aren't all incarcerated people in solitary confinement a danger to society and to others in the prison system? Isn't that why they're in solitary? No, no, and no.

The truth is, close to half a million of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the U.S. today are awaiting trial.Between 60 percent and 70 percent of those incarcerated in California jails are awaiting trial. That's right; they haven't been convicted of anything. And, tragically, this practice unjustly targets people of color and the poor.

Although records are not kept, justice advocates estimate that most of the youths in solitary confinement in California are black and brown. Overwhelmingly, our incarcerated population is poor. Our criminal justice system treats the rich and guilty much better than the poor and innocent.

If our Bill of Rights is for everyone, including people of color and youths, then we need to stand up and put an end to cruel and inhumane treatment of youths. Ending solitary confinement of young people in our state matters.

There is no excuse for delay on critical legislation to prevent youths from being placed in solitary. Gov. Jerry Brown and the members of the Legislature must act with urgency to adopt reforms like those proposed in Senate Bill 124. State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, outlined how significant these changes would be for youths in state custody when the bill was introduced.

SB 124 limits the use of solitary confinement at state and county juvenile correctional facilities, and creates statewide standards that encourage the use of less damaging and more effective disciplinary actions. It allows solitary confinement to be used in juvenile correctional centers only when a young person poses an immediate and substantial risk of harming others or threatening the security of the facility.

And it demands that solitary confinement be used only when less harmful options have been exhausted. The bill also defines solitary confinement, stipulates that a person can only be held in solitary confinement for the minimum time necessary to address the safety risk, and requires statewide reporting of the use of solitary confinement in juvenile facilities.

A wide range of organizations and advocates have endorsed SB 124, from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, from the Children's Defense Fund-California to the California Public Defenders' Association. Whether we are motivated by our dedication to the rights of children, our commitment to racial justice or our religious beliefs, surely we can all agree that solitary confinement is an abhorrent way to treat our children.

As followers of Jesus, who taught that God's way for the world is equal dignity for all people, Christians must remember that Jesus was unjustly imprisoned, tortured and executed. The New Testament tells us "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.

California's youths must no longer be subject to inhumane and unnecessary solitary confinement. California's youths must be remembered. Let's put an end to this pointless cruelty and make California a more just and humane state.

Visit the Sacramento Bee web site to view the Op Ed piece.

SFTS: Coming Up Soon!
September 12 - 
Crafting Worship and Liturgy
9:00 am-3:00 pm

This workshop led by SFTS Chaplain Scott Clark offers the opportunity to explore all areas of crafting worship - from writing liturgy to creating innovative ways that congregations can interact with and respond to the Word. Working with the SFTS Worship Team, workshop participants will craft a complete worship service with interactive prayer stations. By the conclusion of the day, we hope that participants will have new worship ideas, experiences, and skills to share with their congregations in worship - from a day that is both meaningful and fun. Cost: $30.00. Register at, or find out more:
September 19 - Horizons Bible Study

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.
September: Laboring and Working
Are you dealing with a career shifts or change? Do you need help gaining perspectives on job searches, your career trajectory, or maintaining personal confidence while job seeking? Is this shift precipitated by factors beyond your control? Talking it through with a professional equipped to provide you with support as you seek the insights that will provide you with direction and conviction may help you make the best choice possible for this particular time in your career and life.
Natalie Harvey, MFT 53575
Cheryl Bradshaw, MA, MFT 39675
Richard Flout, MA, MFT #23923, 415-453-0532
Mary Spilsbury, MA, MFT #50574
Richard Engebrecht, MFT #44793
15 Austin Avenue
San Anselmo
(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,, 415-233-0384 
Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative
Fall 2015 Parent Speaker Series

September 16: Weed 101: Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Kevin A. Sabet and Jody Belsher. Kevin has served as a drug policy advisor to three Presidential Administrations; is the author of "Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana"; and co-founded Smart Approaches to Marijuana with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.  Jody is the creator of the documentary, The Other Side of Cannabis.  This event is co-sponsored by the Marin County Office of Education, Redwood, Tamalpais and Drake High Schools. 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Redwood High School small gym.
September 28: SafetyNet: Smart Cyber Choices. This is an award-winning Internet safety program created by the San Diego Police Foundation and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Parents will learn how kids today are using technology and how we can keep them safe online.  6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at White Hill Middle School.
September 30: Parenting Now for Healthy Teens Later. Tasmin Pesso and Linda Henn.  8:45 -10:15 a.m. at Brookside Elementary School.
October 7: The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.  Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure will present from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at Redwood High School large gym.  This event is co-sponsored by Redwood, Tamalpais and Drake High Schools in conjunction with White Hill Middle School.
October 28: Having difficult conversations with your teen/child around cannabis use; parent Q&A session (Jennifer Golick, LMFT and Clinical Director of Muir Wood Treatment Center together with Drake Peer Resource students). Drake High School at 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
November 18: The Mask You Live In Screening.  Jennifer Siebel Newsom's film that explores how our culture's narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men and society at large and unveils what we can do about it. Drake High School Student Center at 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 
Please refer to our Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative website for further information on upcoming events:

Training Class for Suicide Prevention & Community Counseling


Fall Class:

September 15 - November 17

Tuesdays, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

October 10

Saturday, 10:00am - 5:00pm


$25.00 fee for the training


To volunteer on the Hotline, individuals must successfully complete the Hotline Training Class. The class is supervised by the Program Director, a licensed MFT, and includes information on the following topics: identifying individuals in suicidal or other types of crisis; communication; counseling; active listening skills; and suicide/crisis intervention techniques and other subjects.


To register for this class, please call Linda Allen at 415-499-1193 x3001

ISFC: Join Us at Our Roundtable, "Resources for Hosting a Forum on Local Farming, Food, or Justice Issues"

Date: Thursday, September 17
Time: 12pm - 1:15pm
Cost: FREE

World Food Day (October 16th) is just around the corner! Between October 11th and 24th, congregations around the world will be celebrating World Food Week of Action as they join other activists in raising awareness about hunger, food justice, and family farms. Whether you use this as a chance to bring people together to learn and perform grassroots advocacy or as a time to reassess how your congregation can work for a better food system, our upcoming roundtable discussion at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses (Santa Rosa) will help with organizing work in the near future.
The roundtable will facilitate planning adult education events, policy forums and other advocacy work that congregations can organize. Participants will learn more about potential speakers available through the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative and opportunities to access documentary films. Learn from other faith leaders' experiences organizing events at their congregations to raise awareness about food justice, climate, agriculture, and much more.

Registration is not required but is strongly encouraged. Donations will be accepted to cover meal costs. 
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