The Season of Advent Begins
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
November 26, 2015
First Sunday of Advent - Hope
Where Heaven and Earth Meet

What to Do While We Wait?
     How do you feel about waiting?  Some of us go to great lengths to avoid waiting, designing our days to drive at off-peak hours, carrying on our bags to avoid waiting at the baggage claim, and pre-ordering our pizzas for quick pick-up.  But what do we do when waiting can't be avoided?  This Sunday, November 29, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., the mysterious and lovely season of Advent begins, and it begins with waiting for the hope of the world, the long-expected Jesus.  Our liturgical artists have prepared fresh and evocative art for us, and our Singers will transport us to another land with their carols.  We'll discover the spiritual gifts which come with waiting!
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev
Blessings to all of you on this Thanksgiving day!  I hope you are enjoying family, friends, and of course, food!  Let's all make some space today for breathing deeply and soaking in the beauty of the day, so that we can really experience gratitude for the gifts God has brought into our lives.  
     Church has been a fun and busy hive of activity this week with preparations for Advent and Christmas in full swing.  Something special and surprising awaits you each of the four Sundays of Advent; it is going to be glorious!  
     Thank you to all of you who are being extra generous with your time and resources to make this a season of giving and caring. Our church is faithfully feeding the hungry, providing hospitality to the unhoused, and welcoming the stranger in the Spirit of Jesus. When we see the overlooked with eyes of compassion, we know that God is working in and through us.
                        In peace,  Bev

November/December Calendar

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 - Hope
Cents-abilty Offering for the Hungry
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 - Peace
    Holy Communion
    Guest musician Duane Light with     
    Native American wind instruments   
    and meditative chant
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Youth Cook for REST
Thursday, December 10
                6:00 p.m.
                7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes
Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, December 11

Bible Study

Sunday, December 13
               9:30 a.m.
             10:30 a.m.
              7:00 p.m.

Third Sunday of Advent 
   starring Children and Youth! 
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Christmas Music Jubilee
Thursday, December 17 
               6:00 p.m. 
               7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes
Choir Practice - New singers welcome!

Friday, December 18

Bible Study

Sunday, December 20
              9:30 a.m.

            10:30 a.m.
Fourth Sunday of Advent  
Where Heaven and Earth Meet - Joy
    Guest musician Natalie Cox 
    with Orchestral Harp
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!

Thursday, December 24
              7:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve Candlelit Service


STEWARDSHIP/PLEDGE UPDATE from your Stewardship/Finance Team

THANK YOU to all who have pledged so far!  Your commitment to the church strengthens us in our ability to do God's work in the world.

As of Thanksgiving, we've received 35 pledges, including 4 new pledgers, for a total of $97,210 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.

We are working on the 2016 budget and it would be a huge help to have your pledges in hand as we plan for next year.

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


No Bible Study this week, 
November 27th
Our scriptures for Sunday, Nov. 29 are Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Romans 8:22-25, 15:13. 
See you next week!
Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Those who are without a feast, family or friends on this Thanksgiving day;
All those suffering from the violent events in Paris and Mali, and all those in war-torn parts of the world;
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 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.

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! 

Friday, November 27th

Stay tuned for further dates in December and January.

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
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.
CONTEMPLATIVE PEACE SERVICE - Sunday, Dec. 6 at 9:30 a.m. with Native American wind instruments
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. 


Fun Flower Guild Luncheon at Merle's House  
L. to R., (standing) Frankie, Jody, Linda
(seated) Millie, Patti, Peg, and Merle

Artistic bread by Patti
Where Heaven and Earth Meet
Advent Liturgical Art in the making  
Jody and Margaret in the midst of the creative process


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., Jan 4 and later dates;
December slots are filled.
Thank you for volunteering!
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!


Every "new" life is precious and matters!
Meet baby Elayna, who came into the world just a few days ago. I've had the joy of experiencing the effect this child has had on the Marin General Hospital staff, her parents, and those of us fortunate enough to be nearby as she becomes more and more conscious of her surroundings. Her presence makes everyone happy and noticeably unselfish - and I see in Savana and Jason (her Mom and Dad) a total commitment  to do what's best for her, and a devotion to put her needs and priorities before theirs.
I have very little experience with new babies, but they sure cause us to sit up straight and pay attention. It seems that most people are comfortable sacrificing on behalf of a baby, and its obvious that new borns possess a special innocence about them, and have unique needs as well as limitations.
I believe we too are needy and each of us has limitations. Our backgrounds, upbringing, and personalities cause us to need help and encouragement. We too need the love of others, the patience of others, and certainly appreciate the sacrifice of others on our behalf.
At times we feel weak, confused, and apprehensive. The good news is, God sees this and has made certain commitments to every one of us.
The Bible says ... "God gives power to the weak, and strength to the powerless" (Isaiah 40:29); "God will never leave us nor forsake us" (Heb 13:5) ; God promises that ... "neither death nor life, neither Angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers will be able to separate us from the love of God" (Romans 8:38).
As I see the effect of baby Elayna, I am reminded of the spiritual gifts we each have access to with the help of our Lord. The gifts of joy, peace, kindness, goodness, love and faithfulness. 
God wants us to be patient with those with whom we disagree. To be kind and helpful to those less fortunate than us. We are God's extension and divine catalysts in our communities. Baby Elayna has power too. She has power in her mere presence. For she causes everyone to be patient, joyful, and unselfish when we're around her. Looking into her eyes I see hope, I feel happy, and I feel there are great things ahead for her and her family.
This Thanksgiving is especially wonderful for me ... for my Mom who is over 90, and baby Elayna who isn't even a month old are both sources of exuberance and encouragement to me. The reason why? They both reinforce and remind me that every life is "precious" and every life "matters". And for that, I am grateful. 
Have a great week ...and reach out to someone in need ... because they are special and matter.
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.

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 last 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!


By the Reverend Dr. J Herbert Nelson, II
Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Office of Public Witness
The United States Congress and Planned Parenthood
Two months ago we were on the verge of a possible government impasse regarding funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Planned Parenthood" as it is commonly referred is one of the largest reproductive health service providers in the United States of America. The health services they provide include, but are not limited to parenting skills; counseling; mammograms; birth control; and STI testing and treatment. Most notably, Planned Parenthood is known as a provider of low cost healthcare for poor women. Despite the range of services that Planned Parenthood provides, the most debated aspect of its work revolves around abortions. Planned Parenthood reports that only three percent of its services are abortion related. However, when one takes under consideration services related to abortions such as counseling, health education and money received as revenue for services, the percentage of Planned Parenthood spending dedicated to abortion services could rise to 12 percent. It must be noted that it is illegal for government money to be used for abortions. Therefore, arguments on Capitol Hill, state legislatures and local municipalities are morally based rather than directly related to the utilization of government funds for abortions. At the center of the debate is discontinuing government contracts for Planned Parenthood as a service provider for poor people.

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