Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr - Leading with Love
Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Newsletter
Weekly Happenings at SHPC    
January 28, 2016
When No Becomes Yes
     Last Sunday we were blessed to hear from KC Vlah Kelly and Virginia Valle about wake up experiences that brought home how far our society has to go to give everyone a fair chance.  We were reminded that as God's forgiving people, we need to give those transformed by God a second chance.  

     When and how does NO become YES?  Five years ago, our church, the PC(USA), after 30 years of study and debate, finally stopped saying NO to LGBT candidates for ministry based on their orientation. Fidelity to Jesus became our standard for ordination.  In 2014, our church said YES to marriage equality.  This Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., the Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr will take us on the journey from NO to YES.  How do we know when to stop saying NO?  What makes YES difficult?  Come explore these questions with the person who has brought so much love and light to the PC(USA).  Bring friends and neighbors!  
In This Issue
Quick Links
Bev piano
A Note From 
Pastor Bev
A huge thank you to KC and Stephen for sharing deeply with us last Sunday about life changing experiences inside San Quentin. And to Virginia, as well, for sharing her experience parenting a child newly arrived from Mexico. Your authenticity, vulnerability, and courage inspire us all. 

I hope you will all be here this Sunday to join me in welcoming the Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr as guest preacher.  Janie has brought the love and justice of Jesus to the PC(USA) through her lifetime of work for equality and healing for the LGBT community. Her life and ministry prove that beliefs and attitudes can change.  NO can become YES, when we let God's love lead us.
                           With joy,


January/February Calendar
Friday, January 29  

Bible Study
Sunday, January 31
 9:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
4-6 p.m.
Guest Preacher Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr
Coffee and Fellowship - All Welcome!
Youth Cook for REST
Monday, February 1
10:30 a.m.
Men's REST
Wednesday, February 3
7:30 p.m.
SHPC Singers - New Singers Welcome!
Friday, February 5

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

NO Bible Study Today - Bev in Santa Rosa for Presbytery 
Presbytery of the Redwoods at Cove, SR
Sunday, February 7
9:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.
New Orleans Sound with Gregg Elberg and "The Church Boys"
Wednesday, Feb. 10                   Season of Lent Begins
                 6:30 p.m.                  ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE 
                 7:30 p.m.                  SHPC Singers - New Singers Welcome!

Bible Study - Friday, January 29th- Noon with Pastor Bev
Esther 1:5, 7-12, 16-22 and 
Luke 10:29-37

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

SUNDAY Jan. 31
during and 
after the service
for two dramas -
Queen Vashti says NO to her King !!
And the Good Samaritan

4-6 p.m.

Youth ages 11 and up are WELCOME!

Katie Brendler, Youth Director  
Please Remember in Your Prayers
Praying Hands

For all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, or any loss that leaves them sad and vulnerable, we pray for healing and comfort;
For the sick, we pray for healing, support, and encouragement;
For the disabled, we pray for health, mobility, love, hope, and the resources to make life comfortable;
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, complete 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 the PC(USA), to continue its prophetic voice;
For our church community, keep us faithful to the love and justice of Jesus, 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.
New Baby and Parent Group
with Marsha Podd, R.N., C.L.E.

    WED FEB. 3rd
    11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

          SPREAD THE WORD!  


Marsha Podd, R.N., C.L.E.         
Infant and Toddler Consultant
Lactation Specialist


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

Our traditional "Fat Sunday" service takes place the Sunday before Lent.  We are delighted to welcome back Gregg Elberg; our musicians will take us to New Orleans with their sweet sound! 

Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 10th and we will have a 6:30 p.m. service. The First Sunday of Lent is also Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th.  

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation for review of the 2016 Budget, approval of the Pastor's Terms of Call (compensation package), and election of officers will be held on February 7th following the service.

Report from the Nominating Committee
Sharon Adams, Chair, 
Sue BurrKoren Grubb

The Nominating Committee was elected by the congregation at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation in 2015, and charged with the task of developing a slate of candidates for the offices of deacon and elder to replace the outgoing officers.  The slate will be presented to the congregation for election at this year's Annual Meeting, which is set for Feb. 7 immediately following the service. 

Our outgoing elders are Sharon Adams and Peg Maclise; outgoing Deacons are Moderator Carolyn Goodman and Patti Eisinger. There will be an opportunity to show our appreciation for their service at the meeting.

Here is the Nominating Committee's slate of candidates for ordination/installation 2016:
Doug Eisinger, Finance Elder
Janel Stewart, Family Ministries
(Dennis Latta will replace Sharon as Clerk, Personnel, Nominating for his final year on Session.)
Kit Argilla, Deacon Moderator
Nance Rosencranz, Deacon.
Nominating Committee:  Dennis Latta, Sue Burr, and Koren Grubb

--Respectfully submitted,
Sharon Adams, Sue Burr, and Koren Grubb, Nominating Committee

Volunteers include (Left to Right):
Carolyn Goodman and Patti Vance
  • Volunteers are needed to cook and serve dinners on January 31 for Youth REST, Feb 1 and Feb 9 for Men's REST.  To sign-up online, please go to: 
  • 7th-12th grade students can sign up online to prepare food (cookies on 1/31) at:
With thanks,
Shannon Mong
REST Volunteer Coordinator

Please contact Shannon Mong (

ABOUT SIGNING UP for Fellowship, Greeter, and Wil's Dinners
"Volunteer Spot" Explained

Hello faithful readers! SHPC recently switched to Volunteer Spot as our host for sign-ups. When you click to access their link, you are asked to input your e-mail. This is so Volunteer Spot can send you reminders after you sign up.

When you select the slot you want to sign up for, an informational box will appear asking for your phone number and name, and giving you the option to 'Receive updates and special offers from Volunteer Spot' and to 'Sign up to receive exclusive one-time offers'. For now, please uncheck unwanted boxes.  We understand this is an inconvenient step in the sign-up process, and I, Sophie (the office admin) will work to find a better solution. 

In the meantime, I thank all of those who have stepped up and continue to sign up for the very necessary volunteer positions to help serve the members of Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church!

Please reach me at with any other further concerns or questions in regards to this issue! 
Sophie De Quattro, Office Administrator, Communications Associate
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


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
What's on God's Mind? 

I woke up this morning in Las Vegas, where I have business this week, and as I looked out my hotel window I felt like I was on top of a cloud looking over the great beyond. Those of you who have been in Las Vegas know how high these hotels get and how flat and endless the horizon can be.
I imagined God must have moments like this where the Lord sees activity, people, and movement from a distance and ponders things. I actually thought to myself, I wonder "what God is really thinking" - right now? This very instant.
I went to the scriptures to look for answers.
I started by reading "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5). I believe the clues to understanding "what's on God's mind" lie in our desire to possess the "mind of Christ". The Bible seems clear about this. It confirms that it is possible to have the "mind of Christ" in spite of our life history. 
Everyone has the God-given chance to be transformed by the "renewing of our minds" (Romans 12:2). If one imagines discipleship as a journey, then we learn that as we move forward, the more time we spend with God, the more we will understand a Christ-like way of thinking. The "mind of Christ" stands in sharp contrast to the mind we possess. With the Holy Spirit's guidance we can embrace this fascinating coalition between God and all of us. By doing so, we can develop new and different responses to personal problems, others' criticism, distrustful situations, and irritating hypocrisy.
Having the "mind of Christ" changes our perspective, behavior, and ultimately our personality. In my case, it means taking a step back, sometimes taking a deep breath before reacting. I am a competitive individual and have always had a tendency to pounce and confront. I'm sure you have qualities or traits you would like to work on and "renew" too. This is exciting stuff.  Discerning more about "the way God thinks" is the key to the journey of what God meant you to be. 
Do you feel unsettled? Unhappy? Uncomfortable? Worried? God wants us to begin addressing these situations head-on by letting "our requests be made known to God" (Phil 4:6-7). God is waiting to hear from us. God wants to be part of our solution. This verse goes on to convey that when we make our requests known to God, a peace - a special divine peace, one hard to explain or understand - comes over us. Being at peace with God helps reduce worrying. It keeps anxiety from spilling over into destructive health and paralyzing us from positive accomplishments.
Today, I am convinced, that what's on God's mind is that the Lord truly loves me, that the Creator cares about my moods, my challenges, and today's tasks before me. I know the same is true for you. I hope you'll take time to ponder this, just as God does. The Bible reassures us that    "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28). 
So no matter what is on my platter, I believe that "what is on God's mind" is to protect me, guide me, and be instrumental in the renewing of my mind. Take this to heart, it's true for you too. Focus on embracing the mind of Christ; it's the best way to discover the answer to the curious question ..."What's on God's mind?"
From the Nevada desert ... 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.
Bryan Stevenson Calls Us to 
Stop Society's Cruelty to the Most Vulnerable

SHPC was well represented at Rodef Sholom last Tuesday night, with seven of us in attendance to hear from Bryan Stevenson, defender of children and the poor, NYU Law professor, attorney, criminal justice reformer, successful advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, author of NYT Notable Book Just Mercy, and Founder of Equal Justice Initiative, which provides free legal representation to poor people and is educating and advocating for racial justice.

He shared his own life story, why he answered the call to serve the poor and free innocents from Death Row, and told stories of success and of heartbreak. The stories of abused children who were tried as adults and sent to adult prison to be abused and die in prison were devastating. Why is our criminal justice system so cruel to children?

EJI has put together a Racial Injustice calendar which helps us understand why Bryan Stevenson says "I don't believe slavery ended in 1865.  I believe it just evolved." 

For more information on Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative, please visit
President Obama Ends Youth Solitary in Federal Prison,
but what about the States?
"Society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes."
--Pope Francis

President Obama continues to make headway in reformation of the criminal justice system. In his latest of advocacy for reform, Obama has enacted a ban for solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons. There is a shift occurring towards the treatment of the incarcerated, with more focus on humane mental health treatment. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Obama writes, "Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences. It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior. Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones." For juveniles, sometimes first-time offenders and targeted due to their race, this can lead to irreversible damage. An example used by Obama is the case of Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old African-American male from the Bronx. In 2010, he was convicted for stealing a backpack, sent to Riker's Island Jail, and awaited trail in solitary confinement for nearly two years. Released in 2013 without having stood trial, the transition back to society proved to be intolerable for him and he committed suicide by hanging himself in 2015. Correctional facilities have become notorious for abuse and neglect of prisoners, and it is vital for juvenile delinquents to receive more of a restorative justice program. Here in Marin, we have a YMCA Marin County Youth Court, which serves as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system. Their website explains, "the Youth Court's transformative power is derived from its non-adversarial, peer-to-peer restorative practices. The program has diverted over 900 youth from the juvenile justice system in the past ten years." Instead of locking up juveniles with prohibitive bail, we can provide treatment and restore them to being productive members of society.  
Tween/Teen Girl Yoga with Lizzy and
 Living Gracefully Yoga with our own Karen Baigrie start up in late February, just in time for spring! 
contact the church office to keep posted

Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PST)

San Francisco Theological Seminary- Montgomery Chapel - 5 Richmond Road. (Corner of Bolinas Ave and Richmond Road). San Anselmo, CA 94960

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

Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church | 100 Tarry Road | San Anselmo | CA | 94960