Autumn Beauty
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
November 19, 2015

A Heart Healthy Thanksgiving

       Thanksgiving is coming! The holiday season is upon us! Are you looking forward to the gatherings with family with joy or trepidation? Both?  What does the Bible really say about family?  Come to Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian church this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. for A Heart Healthy Thanksgiving. Bring your recipe for a joyful and peaceful heart, or find one here. Our scripture texts will be Psalm 28:7, Proverbs 17:22, and Matthew 11:28-29, 12:46-49.

In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From Pastor Bev
Is there a more beautiful place in the world this week than Sleepy Hollow?  This may well be the peak of our fall leaves, and they are absolutely gorgeous!  Treat yourself to a pause in your week to spend time taking in the colors, and enjoying the fresh air.  Soaking up the glory of nature is good for your spirit!
We have a lot of folks to thank this week, and what a joy it is to thank them.  Our Deacons put on an outstanding Harvest Feast and a grand time was had by all.  We filled our Fellowship Hall to overflowing with joy, friendship, and delicious food.  Our SHPC Singers, led by our own Stephen Iverson, sang beautifully during the service.  Thank you to the new singers for coming on board for the holiday season ahead! Our Finance Elder Peg Maclise is leading us forward with love and humor to gather our pledges so we can make our budget for 2016; thank you so much, Peg!
Building and Grounds Elder Fred Morfit and his amazing French Drain Team - Tim Baumsteiger and Richard Peltzman - gave up two precious Saturdays to solve the problem of Lake Sleepy -- scroll down to read Fred's report.  And thank you, Fred, Tim, and Richard!
Wow, last Sunday's many announcements highlighted so many great things happening here at church! Thank you to each and every one of you for your participation in the life of this vibrant community, where we show our love for each other, all people, and the earth.  I am lifting up a prayer of thanksgiving for Sleepy Hollow church!
                        With joy,  Bev

November/December Calendar

Thursday, November 19
               6:00 p.m. 
7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes - new "ringers" welcome!
Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, November 20
4:00 p.m.
5:15 p.m.

Bible Study
Tween and Teen GIRL Yoga
Intro to Yoga - Aging Gracefully

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

A Heart Healthy Thanksgiving
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!

Thursday, November 26


Friday, November 27
4:00 p.m.
5:15 p.m.

NO Bible Study, but YES YOGA
Tween and Teen GIRL Yoga
Intro to Yoga - Aging Gracefully

Sunday, November 29
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Season of Advent Begins 
Where Heaven and Earth Meet
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!

Thursday, December 3 
 6:00 p.m. 
7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes
Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, December 4

Bible Study

Sunday, December 6
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
                4:00 p.m.

Second Sunday of Advent  
Where Heaven and Earth Meet
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Youth Cook for REST


Harvest Feast was a Blast!

String quartet talks with the children

Good food and fellowship

Patti, Merle, Robin, and Carolyn prep for the feast


STEWARDSHIP/PLEDGE UPDATE from your Stewardship/Finance Team

We had a great Stewardship/Pledge Sunday! THANK YOU to all who have pledged so far!

We've received 32 pledges, including 3 new pledgers, for a total of $93,510 pledged for 2016.

Our goal is 50 pledges and $135,000 (same as the last two years) which will require belt-tightening, but no major cuts.
Thank you so much for sending in your pledges this month!

If you have any questions about church finance, please contact Finance Elder Peg Maclise at


Bible Study: Friday, Nov. 20 
Noon - Psalm 28:7, Proverbs 17:22, Matthew 11:28-29, 12:46-49
Whatever your experience with the Bible might be, you are welcome!
Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

All those who lost their lives, their loved ones, and those suffering from the violent events in Paris this week;
Syrian refugees and peaceful Muslims world-wide, may we have the courage to speak up against collective punishment; 
Betsy Fox, and all the loved ones of Betsy's nephew Evan, especially Evan's mother, father, and brother, for God's comfort in their bereavement;
Jody Schmetz and her family, for God's peace and comfort;
The SHPC Green Team, for continued creativity and spirit; may their efforts be blessed;
Patty Sanders, for continuing speedy recovery from a successful hip replacement surgery;  
Betty and Wil Swalberg, for God's presence and community support in Betty's transition to Harmony House, and for pain relief 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 continued 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 our elected leaders, and for all world leaders, for decisions for the common good and for the future of the planet;
For the people of the Holy Land, especially the children, for just peace, and for a sense of opportunity and hope for the future;
For our church community, keep us strong in our commitment to the church, and make us hope-bringers to the world.

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

A Visit to Harmony House

Our own Betty Swalberg enjoying a weekly visit with her granddaughter Jackie Baumsteiger, now a paramedic in Napa!


Marin Food Bank Donation Update

For October and November, our church donated 181 pounds of dry goods to the Marin Food Bank.

Many, many thanks to our own Wil Swalberg for his steadfast commitment to the Food Barrel ministry! 

Fridays in November:
20th and 27th

Fun and Stress Relief for Tweens and Teen GIRLS w/Elizabeth Rothschild (Lizzy): 
Fridays from 4:00 to 5:00 pm 

Lizzy's passion for yoga started at the age of 23 and has been since dedicating herself to the art and practice of yoga. She has studied extensively from many wonderful yoga teachers in the Bay Area and beyond, culminating with her teacher's training in 2013 under Nubia's care, wisdom, and guidance. Lizzy teaches yoga from her heart's joy and her intention is to bring healing and peace to the young generation, weaving the precious aspects and layers into a playful and accessible experience.
Introduction to Yoga, Aging Gracefully w/Nubia Teixeira:
Fridays from 5:15 to 6:15 pm

A Brazilian-born yogini, Thai Massage practitioner and Reiki Master, Nubia has devoted herself to teaching many different aspects of Yoga for the past 25 years. Perceiving Yoga as a Healing Art, Nubia's refinement and devotion to this ancient practice is reflected in her unique teaching, overflowing with heartfelt compassion and inspiration. A longtime dancer in the classical Indian dance tradition Odissi, Nubia joyfully infuses her classes with its' symbology and sacred geometry. She is the author of the CD Pranayama: May Breath Be Our Prayer released by Sounds True.

These classes are offered as a healing ministry, and we ask only for donations for the teachers. 


Season of Advent Starts November 29 - JOIN IN!
We're preparing for the holy season of Advent, four Sundays beginning Sunday, November 29.  Our theme this year is 
Where Heaven and Earth Meet.
Do you love gorgeous Christmas music?  Join the Singers Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. or the Hand Chimes at 6:00 p.m. - no previous ringing experience necessary!
Children and Youth! 
Sunday, Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 p.m.- Bring family, friends, neighbors!
CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR FOSTER KIDS - Frankie is organizing us to make sure Christmas gifts are delivered to kids who wouldn't otherwise get them - see her item below.
And mark your calendars for Christmas Eve Service, Thursday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m. -- All welcome!


Give a Gift To a Needy Child 

For children in Foster Care, the Christmas season can be a stressful one. Instead of being a magical time filled with family, food and fun, it can be a season of disappointments, loneliness and heartache. The Marin Foster Parent Association, in partnership with SHPC, would like to change all that. We'll be setting up an Angel Tree filled with specific children's names, ages and items on their wish list.
Please find it in your heart to select a child (or two!) from the tree, buy, wrap and address your present and place it back under the tree by December 16th. Frankie Eakes will ensure those children will have a gift to unwrap Christmas morning. With 45 children currently in need, your support can make one child's holiday a lot brighter.

Questions?  Click here to contact Frankie Eakes. 



After two LONG Saturdays of terrific work on the part of the "French Drain Team" - Tim Baumsteiger, Richard Peltzman, and yours truly, we have a solution to "Lake Sleepy" (the accumulated rainwater that threatened to flood the downstairs and made it a challenge to get into the building during rainy season).  The French Drain Team has installed a French drain along the edge of the entire patio outside Bev's office, a separate line to drain surface water that accumulates in the same area AND ties in with the rain catchment system on its way past the tank to pick up any system overflow and/or system bypass water and carry it down stream where it empties into the swale in front of the big gate into the garden. Lake Sleepy is no more (I hope! We need a big rain to prove the theory).

Tim Baumsteiner was instrumental in this project. It was his idea to rent and operate the backhoe to dig the trench.  Kudos also to Richard for bringing his usual high standards to the project and helping noodle out the engineering and installation, not to mention showing off his ancient water-level technology which, according to him, was in use when the pyramids were built. 
From B & G Elder Fred Morfit

    We need volunteers for 
Mon., Dec. 7 & Tues. Dec. 15
REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter) is in full swing.  Here is some general info about the program.  Please scroll down and sign up to serve for dates in the coming months.
About the Timing:
This year the REST season encompasses 7 months (Nov-May).  During this time the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church organizes volunteers to prepare and provide dinners twice a month -- once for the men's program and once for the women's program.  The Men's program takes place on the 1st Monday of the month (5:30-8:45pm), with meals serving about 32 guests & volunteers.  The Women's Program is the 2nd Tuesday (5:15-8pm) at the county's Health and Wellness Center in San Rafael and serves about 26 guests & volunteers.
A Reminder about What Volunteering Involves:
In addition to preparing and bringing a dish, we welcome and say a blessing with our un-housed neighbors, serve the meal, eat dinner with our un-housed neighbors, and then clean up the meal.  The men's program also involves setting up cots & tables before dinner, serving a snack, and washing pans & dishes after the meal.  We count on everyone who has volunteered to fully participate on-site.  To sign-up online, please go to: 
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator
"First Sunday" Cooking for REST - Middle and High School Students Sign Up Here!
Once a month we provide a place, supplies, and on-site support for the students to gather and prepare either a large salad or cookies for our un-housed neighbors.  This cooking session will take place once a month from 4-6pm, on the Sunday before the Men's REST meal.  The next session will be December 6.  Info and sign-ups are at: 
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator
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
Cook it yourself or bring take-out and a hug

Wil is spending afternoons and early evenings with Betty at Harmony House, so please call him Tuesday to arrange a delivery time for your delicious meal.  And bless you!



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.


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 God Inside of You Will Not Quit
I have been in L.A. the last several days and became familiar with the phrase, "the God inside of you will not quit."
The Bible agrees ... In Psalm 33:4 we read, "For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness,"  "God remains faithful, for He cannot deny himself" (2 Timothy 2:13) and "Faithful is He who called you and He will bring it to pass" (I Thessalonians 5:24), along with a favorite of mine, "Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord your God goes with you; and he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:6).
It is reassuring to know that no matter what, God is faithful and will never quit being beside us. God has the capacity to bring into our lives sudden big breaks, solutions to problems, and to repair things in the toughest of times. We can anticipate and trust God's faithfulness in the months ahead and be assured that the God inside of us will not abandon or ever stop loving us.
God will continue to help us grow, build us up, and encourage us no matter what is swirling around us. Sometimes it's health issues, a longstanding disagreement, financial stress, or a feeling of being lost in a fast-paced world.
Life is lived best in a partnership with God. Without it, we are less effective, less happy, and have increased anxiety.
Last week I had the privilege of attending the funeral of the great Minnesota Vikings linebacker Fred McNeill. His favorite song was "His Eye Is On the Sparrow", so they sang it twice. I was so touched by its lyrics:
"Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely ... when Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He!
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
Be encouraged and be thankful that the God inside of you will not quit. Not today, not ever. That truth puts wind in our sails, so let's start sailing where God wants us to go. I like what the popular singer Jimmy Dean once said: "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination".
Have a wonderful 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.
Cook's Cozy Corner

Are there green tomatoes in your Thanksgiving future?  They're very versatile, you know.  Fried green tomatoes (for what a friend of mine calls the "horse course", where you're standing around before going to the table) for sure.  And they work great as supporting ingredient in a lot of other things, nice tartness, good fruity flavor without being too dominant, and they dissolve well.  I sent around recipes last year for green tomato salsa and a green tomato and lamb dish.  This year I've been experimenting with green on green.  Here's a recipe that can work with lots of greens (the Justice Garden has chard!), but I just did it with broccoli raab.  It's an Italian green, very nutty, slightly bitter, full of flavor, that's available in cooler months.  Give it a try!

Broccoli Raab with Green Tomatoes

Slowly cook 1 cup of chopped leeks or onions in a glug of olive oil for 10 mins.  Add 2 cups chopped green tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and stew it for another 10 mins. or until the tomatoes mostly dissolve.  Add 1 bunch (maybe 4 cups) chopped broccoli raab (leave the florets intact), stir well, and cook for another 10 min.  Adjust the salt, and you're done. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Michael Durphy!
Report from Clerk of Session

Summary of Session Minutes for the November 11, 2015 monthly meeting:

Finance, Peg Maclise:  The Stewardship campaign is underway and work on the 2016 budget has begun.  

Personnel, Sharon Adams:  Our excellent Office Manager Allie Duro has taken another job. Our bookkeeper, web manager, and Katie Brendler, our youth minister, are taking on larger roles while we search for a permanent replacement.  

Nominating, Sharon Adams:  The Nominating committee will be gathering soon to begin the process of seeking candidates for two elder positions and 2-3 deacon positions for 2016.

Building and Grounds, Fred Morfit:  Thanks to Fred, Richard, and Tim, the french drain work behind Bev's office is being done.  Other maintenance/Capital Improvements projects were discussed.  A survey listing these areas and asking for feedback from the congregation will be distributed at the Harvest Feast November 15th. 

Mission, Patti Vance:  Both REST programs have started.  The Middle and Senior High kids are helping prepare one meal a month for the men's program under the direction of Shannon Mong.  The Justice Garden received a grant from the Hunger Action program of the Presbytery of the Redwoods that will enable them to move the root bound bed to a better area and procure signage for the summer Farm Stand, etc.  

Worship, Jody Schmetz:  Advent plans are underway.  The theme this year will be "Where Heaven and Earth Meet".  Artist and architect Margaret Thorp is bringing her gifts to liturgical art. 

Family Ministries, Dennis Latta:  Dennis reported on the challenges of gathering our busy youth; we are seeking a team to bring lots of family energy to this vital area of church life.

From Sharon Adams, 
Clerk of Session

A Fond Farewell to our wonderful Office Manager, Allie Duro!

Allie (pictured in the red sweater with the new printer she found for us) has taken an exciting internship with the San Francisco Film Society. Congratulations, Allie!  

We are so grateful to welcome our own Katie Brendler, Youth Director, (pictured on the right) as our Interim Office Administrator effective this week.

Our Bookkeeper, Jen Boynton, will be working closely with Finance Elder Peg Maclise to keep the financial side in great shape.

Thank you for 20 months of great service to the church, Allie.  We wish you every success!

Support Syrian Refugee Resettlement!

Tell Congress & Your Governor to WELCOME SYRIAN REFUGEES!

The Stated Clerk of the PCUSA issued a statement today calling for hope over fear.  He states, "We are a world grieving. We mourn the many deaths, not only in Paris, but also in Beirut, Baghdad, and Egypt. Any sense of security we have had is badly compromised by these horrific events; moreover, our fear of ISIS grows with every successful execution of its violent agenda...  As U.S. governors pledge to refuse Syrian refugees within their states and some presidential hopefuls promise to abandon the refugee program altogether, we the people have a choice to make. We can choose to follow those who would have us hide in fear or we can choose hope...  The way to end terror is to prove that those who demonize us are wrong. We are not a heartless secular culture. We must witness to the Gospel with generous hospitality. To hide in fear is a mistake. Fear is the ammunition of terror. Hope is the best defense."

Background: As people across the United States are donating to help Syrian refugees abroad and volunteering to welcome refugees in their communities, a number of Governors recently announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees. This is morally reprehensible and goes against everything for which the United States stands. Some Members of Congress have even introduced legislation that would stop refugee resettlement altogether. It is critical that public officials hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are being made that will drastically impact the lives of Syrian refugees and refugee resettlement in the United States.
Please take action TODAY:
Call your Representative and Senators : 1-866-961-4293
When you call, tell the receptionist that as a constituent, you want to help WELCOME Syrian refugees and that you're against the calls of some governors to reject Syrian refugees.
Ex: "I'm a constituent from [City] and I support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. I urge the Senator / Representative / Governor to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome Syrian refugees."
Here are some helpful points that you may want to mention, but the most important point is your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees!
You can also tweet your Members of Congress and your network:


In 2014, the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA) reaffirmed "the commitment of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to the human rights of all children, particularly the children of Palestine and Israel." 

Continuning to honor that commitment, IPMN commends to your attention this powerful new film. Described a "an intimate new documentary featuring the stories of four Palestinian children and their families undergoing the ordeal of Israeli military detention" it is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International - Palestine.

No Way to Treat A Child has created a study guide for the film 
and a factsheet on the village of Beit Ummar featured in the film.
Check out the No Way to Treat A Child website for other resources and action suggestions.

Please Join Us!
Marin Interfaith 
Street Chaplaincy
18th Annual 
Thanksgiving Eve Service

  First Presbyterian Church
San Rafael 
Wed. November 25th, 7:00 pm
1510 Fifth Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901
A brief reception will follow
Please bring offerings of clean or new
sleeping bags, tarps, and socks
for our friends on the street.
(no other clothing please)
Free will donations accepted to support the work of the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy
For more info contact:
Rev. Paul Gaffney (pictured) 415-302-0248

What Do You Consider Lethal? 
Parent-Teen Safe Driving Workshop

Distracted driving causes over 5,000 fatal crashes and nearly half a million injuries annually - and these numbers are rising. Distracted driving is the leading cause of fatality for young people in the US.

Tuesday, December 1
6:00 - 7:30 PM
Student Center - Sir Francis Drake High School
1327 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo

Free to parents and teens 14+

Presented by Impact Teen Drivers in collaboration with Drake High School, Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative, Central Marin Police, San Anselmo Library and Safe Routes to School

Distracted driving crashes are 100% preventable. This evidence-based curriculum empowers drivers and passengers with decision making strategies and engaging tools and resources.

For more information contact: 
Aly Geller, / 415-828-8170
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road
San Anselmo, CA  94960
Katie Brendler, Editor/Office Administrator
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221