Christmas Love Pageant
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
December 17, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Advent - Joy
Where Heaven and Earth Meet
with Guest Harpist Natalie Cox

Orchestral Harp at 9:20 a.m.
     This Sunday, December 20, 2015, starting at 9:20 a.m., experience the joy of the Christmas season with orchestral harp, our own amazing SHPC Music Ministers and Singers, and our Hand Chimers sharing their musical gifts!  The Fourth Sunday of Advent is JOY Sunday, and we will un-pop our corks so that we can experience effervescence!  Our scripture passages are Matthew 2:7-12, Luke 1:39-45, and John 15:9-12.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev
This Sunday is JOY Sunday, so I've been thinking about what stoppers us up, and keeps us from experiencing JOY.
It's a little different for each of us, but here are some common stoppers:  too much rushing, too much routine, too much work, too much traffic, too many bills, too many grudges, too many aches and pains.  And then there's too little sleep, too little free time, too little play, too little fresh air in God's good creation, not enough hugs and smiles.  One good reason to come to church is that we are great at hugging and smiles!  

This is a good time to remember that God is surprising, and some surprises are good for your spirit.  Why not surprise yourself today, drop everything, and take a few moments to find something or someone beautiful to notice and appreciate.  Let awe and wonder be a part of your day!  

                         In Joy, 

December/January Calendar
Thursday, December 17 
               6:00 p.m. 
               7:00 p.m.

Hand Chimes
Choir Practice

Friday, December 18

Bible Study

Sunday, December 20
              9:20 a.m. for the                   harp prelude
             10:30 a.m.
Fourth Sunday of Advent  
Where Heaven and Earth Meet - Joy
    Guest musician Natalie Cox- Harp
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!

Thursday, December 24
              7:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve Candlelit Service
Friday, December 25
No Bible Study Today
Sunday, December 27
              9:30 a.m
            10:30 a.m.
Baptism of Grace McGoldrick Brewster
2015 in Review - God's Point of View
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Thursday, December 31
Choir resumes next week
Friday, January 1, 2016
No Bible Study Today
Sunday, January 3
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. 
Sacrament of Holy Communion
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Thursday, January 7
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers - New Singers Welcome!
Friday, January 8

Bible Study


$21,770 Needed for 2016 Budget

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 43 pledges, including 4 new pledgers, for a total of $113,230 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 - Friday, Dec. 18th - 
Noon - All Welcome!
Our scripture passages are Matthew 2:7-12, Luke 1:39-45, and John 15:9-12.

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 who are traveling during the holidays - traveling blessings of safety, patience, and human kindness;
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;
Sharon Adams, speedy recovery from surgery;
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.
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church received the Spirit of Sustainability Award on October 20, 2015 from the ISFC
SHPC's Environmental Leadership Featured on front page of Marin IJ!

Our Green Team's next step - to raise funds to put solar panels on the roof of our church - leads off the front page article in last Sunday's Marin Independent Journal about what Marin churches are doing to address climate change.  Many thanks to Green Team chair Doug Eisinger and Garden Team chair Patti Vance, and to their teams for making our church environmental leaders!  Let them know if you'd like to be part of this great effort!


Season of Advent and Christmas
Our theme this year is 
Where Heaven and Earth Meet, 
and we are blessed by the gorgeous and evocative art in the sanctuary created by liturgical artist Margaret Thorp and Worship Elder Jody Schmetz, as well as the Advent wreath created by Merle Ongaro.  Coming up:
Sunday, December 20 at 9:20 a.m. (harp prelude)
CANDLELIT Christmas Eve Service
Thursday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m. -- All welcome!

Sunday, Dec. 27, First Sunday after Christmas, at 9:30 a.m. 
Baptism of Grace McGoldrick Brewster

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.
Christmas Love Pageant a Great Success!
Thank you to Hallie Foster for 
the delightful script and original music, to Terrie Carpenter
and Melanie Carpenter Quintana for bringing us Emmie, the Baby Jesus, and to Tom McAfee, for the beautiful photos!


Christmas Jubilee Shines with Spirit of the Holidays
Thank you to Hallie Foster, emcee, comic, and hand chimes director, to Stephen Iverson, SHPC Singers director, soloist and more,
Michael McCarty on piano, Bill O'Callaghan on drums, the Millar Family, and all our talent, including Jessie Gauna!

Frankie Eakes


Meet Our New Office Admin!

     Sophia De Quattro, graduate of       Dominican University of California, joined our team this week as Interim Office Administrator/ Communications Associate. We warmly welcome her to the community and look forward to her contributions as the newsletter writer and social media coordinator!

       Sophia will generally be in the office Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30 -4:30.
Youth Group Reunion with Charles Wei Fun for All!
Note:  Youth Group is off January 3 morning, but on for REST cooking 1/3 p.m. by sign up; we're meeting Jan. 17 a.m. 

  • Volunteers are needed to cook and serve dinners on Jan 4, and Feb 1, and Feb 9.  To sign-up online, please go to: 
  • 7th-12th grade students can sign up online to prepare food (salad on 1/3, cookies on 1/31) at:
  • NOTE:  Our Youth REST cooking Pilot Program is off to a great start and we have more young volunteers than we can accommodate with our limited kitchen.  We are looking at ways to grow the program! What a blessing!
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator

Please contact Shannon Mong (


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

SHPC Book Club Library

Do you have a book you have read that you would like others to read? Or would you like to pick up a book recommended by someone you know? Join the SHPC Book Club Library; lend a book, borrow a book. You can add a book to the library just by adding a "checkout card" so others will see who else has read this book. You can borrow a book just by stopping by and picking one out. We hope you'll want to discuss the book with others.  There is no checkout procedure. It's that simple. The Book Club Library is located 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
Or bring HIM home and cook together!

Pictured at right, Wil baking cookies in 
Nance's kitchen

Wil is spending most afternoons with Betty at Harmony House, so please call him to arrange a time.  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!


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of working on a musical in Melbourne, Australia, at Christmas. I realized at the time how happy everyone was, how strangers smiled to one another, and how much fun I was having with a cast (none of whom I knew well) simply because it was Christmas.
In a different year, I produced a Christmas show with Mary Wilson (of "The Supremes") and "The Four Tops" in bitter cold Chicago for 14 days. It was near zero every day - freezing cold - with wind off Lake Michigan that was biting. Yet, in the streets and sidewalks people smiled and were in fantastic spirits, because it was Christmas.
So what is it that makes Christmas the "most wonderful time of the year?" - whether in Melbourne, Chicago, or San Anselmo (where I get to be this year).
I decided to explore the lyrics of several Christmas carols in search for the answer. While I looked at several (and had a ball doing it) one struck me like a bolt of lightning, and that was "and heaven and nature sing".
Jesus's birth was a uniting of heaven and earth, the marriage of divine essence with our human natures. William Cameron has said, "There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries". That day, that star and that child were real. I will always struggle with understanding precisely the total significance of Jesus's birth, but one thing for sure, through it and because of it I have a greater appreciation for how much God loves all of us here on earth. Pope Paul VI stated "We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. We who have faith know this truly; let all of us rejoice."
This year let's realize anew that we are about to enter a dynamic 2016, 2017 and 2018 with more talent, capability, and experience than we have ever had before. Whatever God has put in your heart as a dream in the days ahead, be assured you have the divine provisions and power to achieve it. Why? I believe because of this magical bond between heaven and nature. This is a great time of year to understand better that this bond is two-sided. On one side is the dream God has implanted in you, and on the other side is the wherewithal to accomplish it. 
Let's finish strong in 2015, because the journey ahead is one we take together with God at our side. That's an amazing thought ... to have the presence of God with us wherever we are, wherever we go, and in whatever we do. I believe sometimes you have to do something you've never done, to get somewhere you've never been. Have faith and let 2016 be that year that heaven and nature join perfectly in your own destiny.
So this year, as we sing ... "and heaven and nature sing" ... just think, and think and think about all that this really means. Wow, its like a bolt of lightning.

Merry Christmas from your friend, Paul

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.
Tween/Teen Girl Yoga with Lizzy and
 Aging Gracefully Yoga Return in January
contact the church office to keep posted

"The Real Work Begins Now"

Rev. Rebecca Barnes is Associate for Environmental Ministries of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and she attended the Paris Climate talks on our behalf. Check out the summary of the negotiations here: 
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

Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church
100 Tarry Road
San Anselmo, CA  94960
Sophia De Quattro, Editor
E-mail us at or call us at 415-453-8221