Christmas Love Pageant
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
December 10, 2015
Third Sunday of Advent - Love
Where Heaven and Earth Meet

Christmas Love Pageant at 9:30 a.m.
Christmas Music Jubilee at 7:00 p.m.
     This Sunday, December 13, 2015, bring friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate the season with the love and joy of our Youth Christmas pageant at 9:30 a.m.* and our All Ages Music Jubilee at 7:00 p.m.  In the morning, our children and youth will be singing original music by Youth Musical Director Hallie Foster, the Boomwhackers will delight us, and we'll experience the story of the birth of the baby Jesus anew while we explore the meaning of Christmas.  In the evening, we welcome back Grandma Millie's Sol Food Jamboree for bluegrass, enjoy musical and comic stars from our own congregation, and sing beloved carols.  This is the Spirit of the Season!  

       Plus an Opportunity to Shop and Do God's Work in the World:
Our own Patty Sanders is bringing us the Equal Exchange - Fair Trade sale this Sunday, Dec. 13 after worship at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

* PARENTS -- please bring the performers at 9 a.m.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev
Last night at the monthly Session meeting, I asked the elders, what do you usually get too much of during the holidays?And when the season is over, what do you usually feel you didn't get enough of?  Many of us agreed we get too much food, but that the overeating is mostly enjoyable!  In the "not enough" category were:  quality time with loved ones and music of the season.  Not the music we hear in the mall, but the music that uplifts our spirits.  You might think about those questions today, while we still have 2 weeks before Christmas day, and set an intention to make this year a little different.  I'm setting my intention right now for two weeks with a little less sugar than I crave, and with more food for the spirit -- prayer, quiet, fresh air, church music, and being present for those who are having a hard time.   

Today is Human Rights Day!  Please do scroll down to learn about what the PC(USA) is doing about that!  And continue reading to let the Spirit speak to you about what God is calling us to do as a congregation to bring more peace to the world.

           In the peace of Christ,  Bev

December Calendar
Thursday, December 10
                6:00 p.m.
                7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes
Choir Practice 

Friday, December 11
                4:00 p.m.

Bible Study
Teen Yoga

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

Third Sunday of Advent 
Kids arrive for pageant 
   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

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
Sunday, December 27
              9:30 a.m

First Sunday after Christmas -
2015 in Review, from God's Point of View


$23,400 Needed to Make Goal

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 today, we've received 42 pledges, including 4 new pledgers, for a total of $111,600 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 before the end of the year.

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


Bible Study - December 11th - 
Noon - All Welcome!
Our texts this week are Matthew 2 and Luke 2, the birth narratives of the Christ child.

No matter what your experience with the Bible is, come and grow spiritually and make great friends.
Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

All those who are struggling and experience the holidays as stressful, sad, or lonely;
All those suffering from gun violence, and all those who want to find solutions to this epidemic;
All those working for a solution to climate change, and for world leaders and environmental stewards everywhere;
The SHPC Green Team, for continued creativity and spirit; may their efforts be blessed;
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;
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 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.

Season of Advent 
The holy season of Advent, four Sundays beginning Sunday, November 29, is here.  Our theme this year is 
Where Heaven and Earth Meet.
with original music!
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 TO CHURCH BY THIS SUNDAY DEC. 13 PLEASE- Thank you so much to Frankie Eakes for her loving leadership, and to all who are participating!

Sunday, December 20 at 9:30 a.m.
CANDLELIT Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m. -- All welcome!

Natalie Cox will be our guest artist in worship on Sunday, December 20th, starting at 9:20 a.m. with the Prelude!

Natalie Cox has been a professional harpist , specializing in all forms of classical music, for thirty five years. Natalie is well versed in solo, chamber, and orchestral playing. She was principal harpist with the Oakland Symphony from 1980-2014.

Natalie has numerous recording credits to her name , including CDs as well as tv, radio and film scores. With her chamber ensemble, The Pacific Arts Trio, she can be heard on YouTube.
She teaches harp privately and at Dominican University. 

She also founded Harps of Orpheus, a performing student ensemble of Celtic harps, to promote the joy of learning and making music with friends and colleagues.




Questions?  Click here to contact Frankie Eakes. 



The REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter) program hit its stride with the oncoming rains.  On Sunday, December 6, ten middle/high school students gathered in the church kitchen to bake 180 (no, that's not a typo) cookies for this week's meals for the men and women (see photos below).  Thanks to Linda Peltzman for her incredibly efficient (and good natured) dish washing, as well as extracting tray after tray of hot cardamon cookies from the oven!   

On Monday, December 7, nineteen men were served a delicious meal by Scott Hamilton, Kit & Luke Argilla, Liz Girvin, Megan Jones, Liz McNamara, Brian West, Diane Latta, Nancy Elberg, Pastor Bev, and DHS students including Mexico Mission veteran Jackie Lozaw.  Our Children's Program provided table decorations.  

Then on Tuesday, December 8, a small but efficient volunteer crew, Millie Millar, Carolyn Goodman, Peg Maclise, and Patricia Bardoul, served the women (with Nance Rosencranz contributing a lovely fruit salad).  Thanks to everyone for the loving hands and caring hearts that you shared with our neighbors this month!
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator

Please contact Shannon Mong (

Tween/Teen Girl Yoga with Lizzy this Friday
December 11 at 4 p.m.!

Teen yoga will be held at the church this Friday, December 11th at 4 pm. We have mats. The class is on donation basis.

The Membership Nurture Team 
would love your clean Mason canning jars to re-load with their special bean soup fixins' which they give to visitors! Please leave them in the marked box in the upstairs office. 
--Linda Peltzman, Membership Nurture Elder

in "Pastor Bev's MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM" 
--Dennis Latta, Family Ministries Elder
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.


DECEMBER: The Deacons

JANUARY: Robin Abu-Aly Parish

FEBRUARY: Nancy/Frankie Parish

MARCH: Patti Eisinger Parish


Sign up now and keep the hospitality going!


I enjoy gifts ... don't you?
The thought of scouring for gifts and discovering bargains this time of year is at the forefront of much of our thinking and activities right now. Finding that right gift for a special person or family member is quite an accomplishment. Some look for days in stores, others go online and search and search, but its truly a victory whenever you think you've found an ideal match between a person and a gift. Psychologists say that a sincere heart in gift giving is healthy and invigorating. So, lets pursue this December tradition with great enthusiasm.
In addition to thinking about it, though, I'd like to share a little different twist on some other amazing gifts. Ones that cost a lot less  - yet are worth a lot more. 
The first one is the gift of "acceptance of others;" the next gift is "a parent's unconditional love;" third, is "realizing you have talent" and making sure you "use it to help and better others;"  fourth is the gift of "imagination and creativity;" and finally, the gift of "restraint" (this is a biggie for me). Today's new social media and exaggerated soundbites encourage people to blurt out ridiculous thoughts without restraint. I believe the proper use of "restraint" could be one of the smartest gifts anyone could give this season.
There's also one more gift I'd like to suggest you give yourself, and that is "a desire to have a better knowledge of the Bible." For in the Bible, we find guidance, answers, reassurance and perspective on a number of tough subjects like: What to do when I am afraid? See Isaiah 41:10 and Psalm 27:1 ; What to do when temptation rears its head ? See I Cor 10:13 and James 4:7 ; What to do when I'm confused and paralyzed by a situation? See Psalm 32:8 and Proverbs 3:5-6 ; What to do if I fear I just don't have what it takes to be a good Christian? See Ezekiel 36:26-27 and Psalm 32:8. 
In 2016, I hope we can all be imaginative and creative in both the visible gifts we give and the invisible ones that have to do with our self improvement and personal actions. 2015 could be one of the most enjoyable gift-giving years ever. I certainly enjoy getting gifts, but I especially want this year to focus on these other personal gifts - meant for us- that are bound to make a big difference in our attitude and actions in the year ahead. How about you?
It's good to be back home after being in LA and Las Vegas these past few weeks.

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.
Human Rights Day is TODAY, December 10th!

Human Rights Day, observed each year on December 10, commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign called "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." The campaign recognizes the 50th anniversary of two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Dec. 16, 1966.

The two Covenants, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are viewed as the International Bill of Human Rights.
"As Christians, when we talk about 'human rights', we are talking about truly seeing each other," says Shannon Beck, violence and reconciliation network catalyst for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) World Mission. "And when we witness the beauty and dignity of all God's children, in their particular economic, social, political, spiritual and geographic situation, we cannot help but cry out for justice and peace. Presbyterians want to see the world and our sisters and brothers. There is no more profoundly Christian impulse than this. Thank God we have these declarations to help guide us in our common work."

The United Nations says many people are still unaware of the existence of the International Bill of Human Rights. Although half a century has passed since the adoption of these documents, it says many countries have much to do to build political institutions, judicial systems and economies that allow ordinary people to live with dignity. It cites the growth of hate speech against religious and racial minorities, the justification of rights violations in the name of combatting terrorism, the clawing back of economic and social rights in the name of economic crises or security, and the failure to respect the right to privacy in the digital age, in respect to the relevance of the two Covenants and the need to respect them.

"For followers of Jesus, human rights are rooted in the affirmation that all people are made in God's image with worth and dignity; in the biblical message of justice, freedom, and peace; in Jesus' call to love God 'with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind' and to 'love your neighbor as yourself' (Matthew 22:37-39); and in the belief that every person deserves to live the abundant life proclaimed by Jesus," says the Rev. W. Mark Koenig, director for Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

"The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations encourages Presbyterians to celebrate Human Rights Day and provides a variety of resources for their use," he continues. "Over the coming year, the ministry will share information about the 'Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.' campaign as well as ideas for how Presbyterians may live into God's vision of justice and peace and work for human rights in our communities, country, and around God's world on Human Rights Day and every day."

"The world has changed since the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Two Covenants in 1966," says Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. "The Covenants, together with the other human rights treaties, have played an important role in securing better respect and recognition during the past five, at times turbulent, decades."
"The freedoms set out in these documents are universal," Al Hussein says. "They apply to everyone, everywhere. Traditional practices, cultural norms, cannot justify taking them away."

What is God calling our congregation to do about gun violence? Here are some suggestions from the PC(USA):

10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Gun Violence
  1. Contact your representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask that they support:
    a. universal background checks and waiting periods for all gun purchases.
    b. a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons, armor piercing handgun ammunition and .50 caliber sniper rifles
  2. Identify the organizations in your community engaged in gun violence prevention and get involved.
  3. Attend a peaceful demonstration or public prayer service to end gun violence.
  4. Contact your mayor and city council members and demand that steps be taken in your community to prevent gun violence.
  5. Help close the gun show loophole that allows purchases with NO BACKGROUND CHECKS.
  6. Schedule a screening of Trigger:  The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence for your group or organization. Visit the Trigger website at  to order materials and get suggestions on hosting a screening.
  7. Join or form a local chapter of Heeding God's Call, a faith-based movement to end gun violence.  Visit for more information.
  8. Ask the leaders of your worshipping community to address gun violence in worship services (with periodic preaching, liturgies and prayers) and education classes that can be found on this page.
  9. Learn about your state's concealed carry laws (that may allow guns to be carried openly, including into houses of worship).  Encourage your places of work and worship to prominently display signs that prohibit carrying guns onto their property.  
  10. Encourage those you know (citizens, hunters and law enforcement officials) who regularly handle weapons properly to be wise examples in reducing risks and teaching how to prevent the misuse of deadly force.
For more information, check out

Rebecca Barnes is our Associate for Environmental Ministries Presbyterian Church (USA) and is currently attending the Paris Climate talks. Check out her blog at: 

Update from Paris

I am in Paris at the COP21 - the climate conference - and it is truly amazing. There are so many advocates and delegates here who want to do the right thing to protect our climate, but there are a powerful few who don't. And many of those obstructionists to international climate cooperation are members of the U.S. Congress.

A major sticking point is - you guessed it - money! As the world's largest economy and the number two carbon emitter (and largest historical emitter), the United States has an obligation to help vulnerable, poor, and low-emitting nations cope with climate impacts and build renewable energy infrastructure.

In fact the U.S. has pledged $3 billion to do just that - through the Green Climate Fund - but our first installment of $500 million this year is being held up by Congress.

As an American, you have extraordinary power over what happens in Paris. Please urge your senator to support the Green Climate Fund today. Please take two minutes right now to send a letter.

As people of faith, our responsibility is clear: We must lift up the moral case for climate action and remind our political leaders of our obligation as a world leader to protect the most vulnerable from catastrophic climate change, such as rising seas, extreme weather, and deadly heat waves. Our country must rise to the challenge - not only by limiting our own emissions, but also by assisting other countries like Tuvalu, the Maldives, and Bangladesh - who will be hit the hardest by climate impacts.

Here in Paris, all eyes are on Washington. You have the power to make a difference. Please take action today.
With thanks,
Susan Stephenson
Executive Director

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