The Baptism of Jesus
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
January 7, 2016
"Baptism of the Lord" Sunday
When God is Well Pleased
     The Gospel according to Matthew tells us that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, a voice from heaven declared, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."  This is a beautiful affirmation, and one which raises many questions.  What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Son of God?  And what does it take to be God's beloved, and to please God?  And how much of our lives are we devoting to pleasing God, parents, authority figures, and others?We'll explore these questions and more this Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. on Baptism of the Lord Sunday. Our scripture texts are Matthew 3:13-17 and Romans 8:14-19.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev
What a joy last Sunday to welcome back the Baigrie family from their 6 months in Africa!  And how wonderful to hear from Rowan Baigrie during Children's Time on the subject of what is possible and what is not, that Nelson Mandela famously said, "It always seems impossible until it's done."  Amen!   

When we see by the light of God, positive outcomes are no longer impossible.  Our vision is clear, our imaginations are fired up, insights come to us, our energy is positive and balanced, and life is teeming with possibilities.  We approach problems with curiosity and optimism, and become creative problem-solvers, team-builders, and hope-bringers.  This is what we practice as a church, and it's how we build community and build world.  

This is going to be a GREAT year here at Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it!

 With joy,

January Calendar
Thursday, January 7
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers - New Singers Welcome!
Friday, January 8

Bible Study
Sunday, January 10 
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. 

When God is Well Pleased
Coffee and Fellowship - All welcome!
Thursday, January 14
7:00 p.m.

SHPC Singers - New Singers Welcome!
Friday, January 15

Bible Study
Sunday, January 17
9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
11:45 a.m.

Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Service
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome!
Let's Talk about Race, Privilege, Power



We've raised $9,600 towards the $10,000 DOUBLE MATCH!

Last Sunday, Carolyn Goodman's and the Argillas' DOUBLE MATCH CHALLENGE inspired 2 additional pledgers to come forward and 3 pledgers to increase their pledge!  Wow!  That makes 48 pledgers with 5 first-time pledgers!

This puts us at $125,930 towards our goal for 2016 of $135,000.  

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.

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


Bible Study - Friday, January 8th- Noon with Pastor Bev
Matthew 3:13-17, Romans 8:14-19

Whatever your experience with the Bible might be, you are welcome to come and learn and make meaningful friendships. 


The youth have chosen a new name for their youth group! 

Introducing POSHY - "People of Sleepy Hollow Youth"

Youth in grades 6-8 are encouraged to join us for some fellowship and discussion.

This month we will be meeting on the 3rd and 5th Sundays, January 17 and 31. We attend the service together, and then meet downstairs in Pastor Bev's office after the sermon and finish up around 11:15.

Katie Brendler, Youth Director 

Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

Ron Saunders, father of Sue Burr, for healing; and for Ron, Sue, and the family, for God's comforting and sustaining presence, made real through the love and support of those around them;
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 healing and for God's peace and comfort;
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 President Obama, and for all who work for solutions to gun violence;
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.

Directory Make Sure You're Included and Your Info is Correct in the New 2016 Church Members and Friends Directory 

A new church directory will be given out at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, Feb. 7th.

If your address, phone, or email address have changed this year, please send your new info to the church office by clicking here.
Thank you!


Save the Date!
SUNDAY, FEB. 7, 9:30 a.m.
the service

Our traditional "Fat Sunday" service takes place the Sunday before Lent.  This year Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 10th and the First Sunday of Lent is Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th.  The Annual Meeting of the Congregation for review of the 2016 Budget and election of officers will be held on February 7th following the service.

 Greetings and Peace from Friend of SHPC Hina Khan-Mukhtar

On behalf of the Muslim community, I would like to wish my Christian brothers and sisters much joy and many blessings. This year, according to the Islamic lunar calendar, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was celebrated on Dec. 24. How serendipitous that we honored the birth of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) just one day later. It is our hope that we will all try to live up to the teachings and personal examples of these two beautiful, wonderful teachers so that we may eventually find peace both in this life and in the next. Amen.

--Hina Khan-Mukhtar 
  • January Update: At St. Rita's, we served 20 unhoused male guests plus 3 St. Vincent's staff.
Volunteers included (Left to Right):
Tom Crowell, Carolyn Goodman, Jeanette Molineaux, Kit Argilla, Sebastian Molineaux,  Scott Hamilton, Carly de Frondeville, Lucas Russell, and Luke Argilla  (Not pictured):  Robin Abu-Aly, Shannon Mong

  • The Youth cooking group this month consisted of 5 students.  They made a luscious Caesar salad to serve 35, completely from scratch. The homemade croutons got rave reviews! 
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator

Please contact Shannon Mong (

Grace's Baptism - Sunday, Dec. 27

Thank you to all for welcoming Grace to God's household!  If you missed the celebration, we have beautiful photos by Ethan Russell and Tom McAfee's wonderful video.
Photo above and videography by friend of our church and videographer par excellence, Tom McAfee.  

Photography by our own amazing Ethan Russell

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
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.


JANUARY: Robin Abu-Aly Parish

FEBRUARY: Nancy/Frankie Parish

MARCH: Patti Eisinger Parish


Sign up now and keep the hospitality going!


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
How Do You Keep The Music Playing? 
I remember the night as if it were yesterday. Natalie Cole and I were back stage in Aretha Franklin's dressing room after the Queen of Soul had just finished a sold out performance in Los Angels. Ms. Franklin had arranged for a cart of "Pink's Hot Dogs" to feed us while she "held court" with the VIPs.
So there I was, trying to be graceful and composed as Natalie and I carried on a conversation - yet the relish, catsup and mustard kept splashing and splattering on us with each mouthful. There's just no easy way to eat a hot dog gracefully! We laughed and had a ball together. 
But now ... unfortunately, Natalie's gone. And, its a well known fact that she was constantly battling the demons that accompany success. 
And so do we, in our own way, for we have all been given a free will. One that allows us to make choices. Choices that ultimately determine our destiny, reputations, and activities. It is true that the "world" has a hold on each of us. Especially celebrities. Every one of us is in a tug-of-war between good and evil. 
It's good to remember that God actually breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of the first human being, (Gen 2:7). Therefore, according to the scriptures, we are created in God's image and our lifestyles and activities were intended to be in harmony with God. But this "free will" of ours allows us to make choices that sometimes turn us away from God and breaks with this intended harmony. 
Romans 7: 21 says, "Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me" ; Col 3:5 further identifies this struggle and advises us to "Put to death whatever belongs to this nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed". Worldly choices can derail us from the life God intends for us. C. S. Lewis has said, "There are two kinds of people: those who say to God ... "Thy will be done" ... and those to whom God says ... "All right then, have it your way".
I wish the music of Natalie Cole were continuing to play with her alive and still performing. But we now must accept that we only have a memory of her performances and will enjoy her recordings for years and years to come. 
Her past leaves a real lesson for us. One that encourages us to remember that we are each in a battle. One which fights the allure and seduction of that which is malicious in the world.
Knowledge of God's word (found in the Bible) is a huge advantage in surviving the forces and circumstances that stir up this battle. Being in harmony with God is the key to establishing perseverance, personal peace, and the ability to truly be who we were meant to be. 
I love this quote of George Bernard Shaw, " Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. If I were ever asked which dog wins, I'd answer by saying, the one I feed the most". 
Wishing you well ... your friend in San Anselmo ... 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.
American Injustice: 
Prison Reform in the Criminal Justice System

Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 6:30 pm, 
Sanctuary of congregation Rodef Sholom

Bryan Stevenson is one of Pastor Bev's heroes, and one of our country's most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates. He is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization providing legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system, and founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S. He is the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, a memoir that speaks to the unbreakable humanity in the most desperate circumstances, and is a powerful indictment of our broken justice system and the twisted values that allow it to continue. 

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Pastor Bev has reserved some spots. If you are interested, please contact her at

For more information on this speaker, please visit
Tween/Teen Girl Yoga with Lizzy and
 Living Gracefully Yoga will Return in February 
contact the church office to keep posted

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness Director Applauds President Obama's Executive Order to Curb Gun Violence

The scriptures remind us of God's desire for abundant living: "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). Abundant living is difficult to achieve in a society where headlines are driven by the slogan "If it bleeds, it leads." In 2010, the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a policy statement calling for a reduction in gun violence entitled "Gun Violence and Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God's Call." Since then, the PCUSA Office of Public Witness has vigorously advocated for Congress to act. But, consistently, in congressional office after congressional office we have been met with statements about the American people's opposition to any type of gun legislation. Ironically, when I visit many of these same congressional districts, constituents consistently ask, "What is your office doing about gun violence?" I concluded long ago that inaction on this issue is representative of a lack of courage. 

Last night, President Obama demonstrated that abundant living is grounded in a feeling of being safe and secure and that in order to live abundantly we must have the courage to implement its requirements. The President signed an executive order implementing common sense gun laws. His executive order includes: 

  • Keeping guns out of the wrong hands by requiring that anyone in the business of selling firearms have a license and run background checks on all purchasers of weapons (this includes online purchases)
  • Making background checks more efficient and bringing an outdated background system into the 21st century Getting more ATF personnel trained, hired, and equipped to investigate and assist with reducing gun violence
  • Offering additional assistance for people with mental illness so that they can get the help that they need (The vast majority gun deaths are a result of suicide) 

  • Boosting new technology (smart technology) to improve gun safety
President Obama's executive actions will likely be challenged in the courts. But, I am deeply impressed with his courage to stand up for the requirements of abundant living, even at the risk of being misunderstood or maligned. I pray that we will witness the same courage in state and local communities. May this bring new energy to constituents who are willing to speak truth in love to power and continue to press for laws to reduce gun violence in the United States - 50,000 gun violence incidents and 312 mass killings in 2015 alone.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness will continue its support of measures to reduce gun violence in the United States. More importantly, we will continue to lift up the prophetic vision of witnessing peace abound - a day when men, women, boys and girls will engage in abundant living and not kill one another anymore.

"Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age
Documentary Premiere

The premier of documentary Screenagers is being hosted at the Fairfax Theater on January 25th at 7pm followed by a discussion with the producer and local parent, Lisa Tabb.
Check out the movie trailer:
There are 180 seats and we anticipate it will be a sell out so get your tickets and information at 

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