The Stone News for April 2003
Pastor's Message for April
"And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.In times of "war's alarms and deadly pestilence," the Word offers us a critical corrective to our grief, worry and discouragement. God promises to guide us and lead us to rebuild, repair and restore. Remember? God's reign is real even if we only catch it in glimpses. Remember?
This Lent, let us listen for God's creative plea amidst the noise of CNN, our own self-defeating behaviors and habits, and the busyness of Silicon Valley. We may need to mend a broken relationship. We may need to cultivate a more rhythmic pattern of prayer. We may need to respond to issues of hunger and justice.
This Lent, you and I are invited to participate in a powerful and historic witness to our Faith - our Christian hope in hard times. We are being asked to "raise up the foundations" for a nursery, Christian Education wing and social hall.
In the larger church too, I frequently go to the PCUSA.org web site - where I am reminded of efforts at restoration and rebuilding in Afghanistan and elsewhere. I know that we will be present for the Iraqi victims of war as well.
When we allow ourselves to be shaped by God's word, we find the power to participate in the new reign where feet are washed, bread is shared, and where rejoicing is still possible amid suffering. May it be so for us...
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Quarterly Financial Statement
Please pick up your quarterly financial statements (through 3/31/03) after worship on April 6, 13, and 20th. Help us save on postage!
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One Great Hour of Sharing
by Alison van Diggelen
When I first moved to the United States, Frank and I lived in a picturesque artist town in Colorado, called Manitou Springs. It nestles in the shadow of Pikes Peak, the mountain famed for inspiring Katharine Lee Bates's poem: America The Beautiful. Words for which we're all familiar,
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,As a person who thought that Scotland had the last word in dramatic unspoiled mountain scenery, I was suitably humbled by the majesty of this snow-capped mountain and became more prideful of my newly adopted homeland. Nine years later and my pride gained more strength when I became a citizen of the United States in 2001, one month before the tragedy of September 11. My husband and I eagerly grasped the mantle of the US and waved our flags like the rest of this saddened country.
Today, I worry that this wonderful country is moving against the tide of international opinion. As a citizen of the world, there's an impetus to DO something. Are you with me? In our eagerness to do something, this year's One Great Hour of Sharing really could not come at a better time. Palm Sunday (April 13th) is the special time when simultaneously, all across America, across denominations, a special collection is made. Did you know that over half the funds raised go beyond our national borders? It gives us a way to reach across the divide, to show to the rest of the world that we care about them, and help the less fortunate, those like the refugee widows and very poor of Afghanistan. For the price of a night out, your $25, $50 or more can make an infinite difference in someone's life (just $17 covers a child's vital immunizations.)
In this uncertain world, there is still one certainty: there will always exist those in need. Perhaps even more so in this war torn era. Don't let them lose the certainty that love and compassion still exist in abundance in the hearts of caring Americans. Let Stone Church of Willow Glen lead the way. Please give generously in the special envelopes on Palm Sunday (or drop the enclosed one off at the church office) and help your kids fill the colorful fish with coins.
Remember, you only give once a year to this special fundraiser, but in these uncertain times, you can make a difference forever. That's certain.
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,Top of Page
New Dates for Children's Clothing Drive!
The Children's Clothing Drive/Shopping Trip to Mervyns has been rescheduled for Saturday April 26th. This event benefits children living at the Sobrato Family Living Center (a program of Emergency Housing Consortium). All volunteers will meet bright and early the morning of the 26th at the Sobrato Family Living Center where you will be assigned 2-3 children to drive to Mervyns. Stone Church provides gift certificates for the children to buy clothing with. Once at Mervyns, Stone Church volunteers help the children select clothing that doesn't exceed the gift certificate amount. Afterward the children receive a snack and then are driven back to the center. If you are interested please sign up in the Social Hall after worship or call Jenny Kirchhoff.
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Pastor Emeritus David Beamer Returns
The First Weekend In May
Believing Is Seeing . . . How To Change Beliefs That Limit Us
"Our beliefs are the blueprints of our physical reality. It is becoming increasingly clear to the scientific community that the brain, the electrochemical apparatus which controls the body, is wired and rewired according to our beliefs." - David Beamer
Pastor Emeritus, David Beamer, will present a lecture on Friday evening, May 2, in the Sanctuary and a workshop on Saturday morning, May 3, in the Social Hall. This two-session seminar/workshop will provide participants an exciting opportunity to learn about, and practice, some of the powerful tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming tools which can not only uncover unconsciously held limiting beliefs, but also provide resources for changing them into beliefs that will manifest the outcomes we truly want. There is no charge for either session.
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Stone Church Work Day
Reserve Saturday, April 26, to work and socialize with your brothers and sisters at Stone to maintain our beautiful grounds and facility. Tasks will be available for all kinds of skills and levels of expertise. You can garden, clean, fix, paint, bring food; whatever matches your abilities or desires. We'll provide the supplies and tools or bring your own. Come for the full day or whenever you have a spare hour or two. Sign-up at the table in the patio on Sundays, or give Jerry Pearson a call. We're looking forward to seeing you there.
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Taizé Service for Lent - April 1, 8 and 15
Tuesdays at 6:45 p.m. Sanctuary opens at 6:30 p.m. for music and personal meditation.
In the shadow of our troubled times, the weekly Lenten Taize service offers sanctuary, nourishment, and healing for our personal and communal spirit. Come gather in the candle-lit sanctuary for a time of meditation, chanting, and sacred silence.
This contemplative service comes from the tradition of the ecumenical community in Taize, France. The simple service follows a rhythm of silence, intercession, and meditative singing. With instrument and song, a trio of musicians leads the meditative singing of one or two-line songs. In between, a scripture reading followed by a deep silence, allow the words of the reading to sink deep into the heart. The service ends with lighting intercessory candles and bringing joys, concerns, and prayers to the cross.
Childcare for children ages 5 and under will be provided.
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Souper Bowl Report
The Middle School students are grateful for the congregation's support of their Souper Bowl Sunday project. $152 and 91 cans and packages of food were received for Second Harvest Food Bank. Over 3.4 million dollars has been reported nationally from participation of 12,000 churches! Isn't it amazing what Christians can do working together?!
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Updates from your Church and World Board
Peace in the Holy Land?
A speaker from the Pilgrims of Ibillin will be at Stone Church on Tuesday March 4 after the Taize service. Please join us in the social hall at 7:30 p.m. for this presentation. The Pilgrims of Ibillin is a group of American religious leaders (mostly Christian) dedicated to supporting Christian communities in the Holy Land in their efforts to promote peaceful coexistence between Jews and Muslims. They work primarily with the Mars Elias Educational Institute (MEEI) in the village of Ibillin in the Galilee region. The MEEI was founded by Father Elias Chacour and has brought together Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Druze students, faculty and staff to provide an education and learning that fosters hope and understanding and consequently the possibility of peace among the young people in that region. Father Elias Chacour has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received the World Methodist Peace Prize and the Niwano (Buddhist) Peace Prize. Stone Church gave 25% of it's Peacemaking Offering to the Pilgrims of Ibillin in 2002. Come hear more about the Pilgrims of Ibillin and the MEEI and their work toward promoting peace.
Changes in 2003 Church and World Budget
When the 2003 budget was presented in January to the congregation, it was mentioned that the Church and World Budget would be impacted this year. Please see the Church and World Bulletin Board for details on the differences between 2002 and 2003 in funding for the various mission projects Stone Church supports.
Children's Clothing Drive
Beginning February 23rd after service, Church and World Board members will be taking sign-ups for volunteers to help with the annual Children's Clothing Drive. There are approximately 30 children living at the Sobrato family Living Center (an Emergency Housing Consortium program), these children will receive a $50 gift certificate to spend at Mervyn's in Santa Clara. Stone Church is looking for volunteers to help drive the children on Saturday, March 29th. Please call Jenny Kirchhoff for further details.
A Few Other Items ...
Copies of the 2003 Mission Yearbooks have arrived and are in the Library for anyone who is interested.
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Facilities Task Force
Congregation Approves $1.25 Million Capital Campaign
for Major Facility Renovation
At a special meeting following worship on Sunday, February 9, the Congregation approved:
A comprehensive education program will be undertaken so that all church members are informed about this project.
All members of the congregation will be invited to participate in the capital fund raising campaign.
A recognition plan that fittingly honors donors and/or memorializes family members will be made available to members who support the campaign.
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Membership & Evangelism
M&E recently sponsored a Family Potluck and Games Night, which turned out to be very successful with 40 or so people in attendance, including 11 families and all their children. A good dinner started things out and then the groups just went to the most interesting table they could find. The young men played card games that they knew and some adults played hearts. A mixed group played a charades game, another worked on a jigsaw puzzle, and yet another worked with playdoh with their kids. It was like a big family gathering. There was much enthusiasm for another gathering so we have scheduled one for May 17th. Come and enjoy the food and games and the general camaraderie.
Also in full swing at this time is the Guardian Angel program for new members. All the new members this year now have a Guardian Angel who will shepherd them through the activities in Lent and introduce them to other members and generally help them feel welcome. As new people join Stone, we will be calling on you to help with this program. Please tell June Tablak if you would like to be asked to be a Guardian Angel.
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Art Mills opened with prayer, acknowledging our need for "light to the world in the midst of the present dark time." Deacons provided treats fresh fruit, juice and dessert for us to enjoy.
To receive four new members Bob Fraser, Cathy Marshall, Gretchen Keagle and Deborah Wyllie we broke into four small groups, visited with them then reported to the whole body. All said they felt welcomed and challenged by our open-minded, questing community.
Our clerk, Catherine Amos, reported that Karen Hagan, now studying at Princeton Theological Seminary, will be visiting Session on May 13th as part of her advancing from Inquirer to Candidate for Ministry. We then nominated the Rev. Rebecca Kuiken to be an alternate delegate to the 2004 General Assembly. The election of delegates will be at the April 5, 2003 Presbytery meeting.
Linda Appleton reported that the Capital Fund Campaign is organizing for its official April 6th start. We then approved a $1000 budget expenditures to P&A, to handle purchase of a laser printer which can process the 11" x 17" paper which the Stonewall News will need with its new design.
Deacons and Session will hold a daylong retreat on May 17th at Woodhaven. Rev. Dr. John Turpin, a widely sought theologian and former minister of First Presbyterian Oakland, will lead us.
As our Boards and Committees reported, we learned that the Vacation Church School will be using a Habitat for Humanity curriculum that ties appropriate Bible stories to that groupšs work. The High School group will travel to the Central Valley to take part in a home building project. Church and World cancelled its regular February meeting, to host the Rev. Donald Griggs presentation on behalf of the Pilgrims of Ibillin. This group works in Israel to support efforts by Christians to live peacably with Jews and Muslims in that troubled part of the world.
Rebecca Kuiken closed us with prayer, at about 9 PM.
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Men's Book Club
Here are the dates and book titles for discussion the next two meetings:
April 21 - House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
We will meet at the Ribble's home at 7:30 pm
June 16 - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
(The meeting location will be announced in the church bulletin.)
You are invited to participate in our informal, sociable discussion of books we select to read. We meet in each other's homes approximately every other month for refreshments and discussion. The books we choose reflect the varied interests of the participants. May we add you to our e-mail notification list? If so, or if you would like more information, please contact Bill Gum or Bill Ribble.
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We thank Stone Church members and friends for their generous support of the Fair Trade coffee and tea project and for making it possible for coffee farmers in El Salvador, Latin America and Nicaragua to receive a fair price for their harvest. To date members and friends have purchased: 71 packages of decaf coffee, 104 packages of regular coffee, and 8 packages of tea
Dates to Remember:
April 1 - Focus Group on Women's Issues. 9:30 AM at June Tablak's home.
April 2 - Amethyst Circle. 1:00 PM in church library - Jan Keifer is the leader.
April 3 - Emerald Circle. 9:30 AM - Catherine Amos is the leader.
April 8 - Lunch Bunch. 11:30 AM - Ida Raby is the leader.
April 14 - Sapphire Circle. 7:30 PM - Dorothy Stevens is the leader.
April 18 - Book Group II. 2:30 PM - Claudia Hamm is the leader.
Recognition for Jeanette Rapp: The ARMSS group (the Association of Retired Ministers, their Spouses or Survivors) recently chose Jeanette Rapp's design for their national logo. See the Stone Church bulletin board for an article on Jeanette and a picture of the logo. Congratulations, Jeanette!
Special Invitation: It's green. It sparkles. It's precious. It is Emerald Circle! We are green and growing. Our members sparkle with energy to serve our God and Savior. It is our time together for fellowship, information, and Bible study. You are invited to come join in fellowship. Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month, September through May. We meet in homes so if you know you want to attend, please call Catherine Amos.
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Mar 23 - Apr 17 (4 weeks): Church and World Focus
Leader: Jenny Kirchoff
Mar 23 - Catholic Charities
Mar 30 - CONTACT
April 6 - Emergency Housing Consortium
April 13 - Mission Advocates, San Jose Presbytery
April 20 - Easter, no Adult Study Class
April 27 - Bill Wilson Center
Congregational Meeting -- No class May 4
May 11 - Jun 1 (4 weeks): Moslems: Our Neighbors in Silicon Valley
Speakers will be provided by the Outreach Division of the Moslem Community Association located in Sunnyvale. A chance to interact with and learn about our Moslem neighbors.
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Church School Looks at Jesus' Resurrection and Appearances
As students focused on Holy Week, they made a Communion tablecloth to be used in the sanctuary during Lent. It includes footprints reminding us that we are all following Jesus, though our paths may go different directions and that Jesus directed us to "Love One Another." Students will now turn to the resurrection and some of Jesus' appearances thereafter. On Sundays, March 30, April 13 and 27 the students will consider how these appearances reaffirm Jesus as the Messiah. The workshops will include using art and story to look at Mary Magdalene's report of the empty tomb, joining Thomas asking questions in a game about Jesus' resurrection and appearances, and cooking bread and fish to reenact the story of Jesus' appearance on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
On April 6 Communion Sunday students will review Holy Week led by the Middle School class. Students who have not yet painted a "Love One Another" bowl can do so, and all will be given a guide for families to use with their bowls through Holy Week. It's a good reminder of Jesus' week and of how we can love and serve one another. They will also hear stories of children refugees helped by the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering. Students are to return their fish banks on Palm Sunday, April 13.
On Easter, April 20 students will be welcomed to the sanctuary to worship and celebrate with their families. Care will be offered in the nursery and preschool rooms for ages four and younger. Workshops will continue on April 27. I hope your family will participate in these experiences and be able to celebrate in a deeper way the gift of God's Son, the resurrected Messiah.
P.S. Parents, encourage your students to help refugees through the OGHS offering collected April 13 (or as soon after as possible) and develop the habit of bringing an offering regularly. Envelopes are in my office. Remind them 1/3 of their regular offering will help us buy llamas for families in need through the Heifer Project.
Just a little more information... Vacation Church School Dates!! Mark the week of June 23-27 on your calendar now for a great week of Vacation Church School! The Christian Education Board has chosen the curriculum produced by Habitat for Humanity called "Under Construction." It will be a fun way for the students to learn about Habitat's impressive work providing homes for those in need around the world, as well as to make things to help others. If you, as an adult or youth, want to get in on the fun and help make VCS happen, let Miriam Kishi know. Be sure to save the dates in your summer schedule!
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A Good Season For Reading
The younger members of our family will find these new books:
-- Sue Williams, Library Coordinator
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