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The Stone News for August 2005

Links to Stories
Zephyr Trip
Ice Cream Social
Clayton To Speak
High School
Vacation Church School
Library News
Men's Book Group
Session Beat
Deacon Doings
Adult Education
Christian Education
Community Inns
Presbyterian Women

Stone Church Has Largest Group at 2005 Zephyr Experience

The 2005 Zephyr Experience was held at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center on beautiful Lake Tahoe the first week of July. This was a wonderful intergenerational conference for families, singles, and couples. Adult classes were offered in Bible study, Spirituality, and Church and Society issues. The weather was fabulous - nothing is better than Lake Tahoe in early July!

Thirty-four adults and children from Stone Church attended. We were the largest church group, exceeding the usually larger groups from Church of the Roses (Santa Rosa) and San Anselmo Presbyterian Church. Total attendance at the conference was more than 125.

Next year, the Zephyr Experience will be held the second week of July (July 9 to 14) in the brand-new, larger Tallac Lodge, permitting more people to enjoy this great conference. Information and signup forms should be available in early February 2006.

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Ice Cream Social and Hymn Sing

Join us Sunday, August 14, at 7 pm, for a chance to socialize, show off your best homemade ice cream, and eat - eat - eat special ice creams others have brought. After the social, Derk Johnson will lead us in an old-fashioned hymn sing.

Cost is $1 for those who do not bring ice cream to share; Stone Church will provide the toppings.

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Templeton Prize-winning Author, Dr. Philip Clayton, to Speak Aug. 5 & 6

Dr. Philip Clayton will lecture at Stone Church on Evolution and the Emergence of Consciousness: Challenges to Religious Belief and Practice, on August 5, and will lead a seminar on What Does It Mean to be Religious in an Age of Science and Religious Pluralism? on August 6.

For centuries, the physical world was explained by reducing complex structures to simple building blocks; however, recent studies of self-organizing systems are re-conceiving evolution as an extended process of emergence, from quantum physics to the emergence of consciousness. This new paradigm forces us to re-envisage the nature of life and consciousness. Could human thought, art, culture and religion be part of this emergent reality? How should one re-conceive religion if emergence replaces reduction as science's central paradigm?

Philip Clayton, PhD, is Ingraham Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Claremont Graduate University. From 1999 to 2003, he was Principal Investigator of the Science and the Spiritual Quest project at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley. He won the 1997 Templeton Prize for Outstanding Books in Science and Religion and received the first annual Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Interaction of the Sciences and Religion. He is the author of seven books and over 100 articles.

The 8 pm Friday lecture is $10, the Saturday 9 am to 12:30 pm seminar, including a soup lunch, is $10, or both programs are $15. Tickets are available in the church office. Childcare is available; please indicate need when you purchase tickets.

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Stone Church Golf Tournament Date Announced

It's getting to be that time of the year again-time for Stone Church's Annual Golf Tournament. The date for this year's tournament at The Villages Golf and Country Club is Saturday, October 8, at 1 pm. Everyone is welcome to play: the cost is $70 for those over 19 and $60 for those 19 and under. This covers green fee, cart, prize fund, and snacks. We use the scramble format and give out lots of prizes for all levels of golfers. We're looking for prizes, so if you have something appropriate, call Maureen Ryan. Sign-ups will begin in early September. If you haven't already, mark that date! Got questions? Call Mike Donald or Ed Tablak.

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High School Group Plans Two Special Summer Events

The Stone Church High School group has several exciting summer events coming up.

On Sunday, August 7, a swim and barbecue will be held at the Tablak's house.

The weekend of August 26-28, the group will go camping at Sunset Beach State Park.

For more information about either of these events, please contact any of the group's adult advisors: Mary Alice Collins, Mel Goertz, Julie Ludwig, Bill Ribble, Anne Storer, Lawrence Summers, Suzanne Wolf, or Kate Wheatley.

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Vacation Church School

Jan Kieffer with kidsJan Keifer assists Aaron and Charlotte McNelis during Vacation Church School, which was held June 26-30.













Kids at VCSA group of children work on a project during Vacation Church School. VCS's theme was Around the World in 5 Days. The students traveled by train to learn about different countries and what Presbyterian mission workers are doing in each country.







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New Books in the Church Library,
from A to Z

Our younger members have some beautiful new books given by the Christian Education Board in honor of the 2004-5 Church School staff:

  • Arches to Zigzags: An Architecture ABC by Michael Crosbie and Steve & Kit Rosenthal (J 721 Cro)
  • The Gargoyle on the Roof by Jack Prelutsky (J 811.54 Pre)
  • One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor (J Bay)

New to our adult collection:

  • Jesus and the Victory of God by N. T. Wright (225.6 Wri), given by Pat Magee
  • Journey to the Well by Veshti McKenzie (248.843 McK)
  • Hymns of Faith & Inspiration from Ideals (264 Ken), given by Dulcie Janzen in memory of Hal
  • Atlas of American Religion by William Newman and Peter Halvorson (277.3 New), given by my family in memory of Hal Janzen

New to our special collections:

  • Becoming Your Own Parent: The Solution for Adult Children of Alcoholic & Other Dysfunctional Families by Dennis Wholey (Family 362.8 Who)
  • He Hit Me First: When Brothers and Sisters Fight by Louise Bates Ames (Family 649 Ame)
  • Peace, Love & Healing: Bodymind Communication and the Path to Self Healing - An Exploration by Bernie Siegel, M.D. (Spec. Needs 615.5 Sie)
  • Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left by Sara Evans (Women 301.41 Eva)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Fiction Dia)

We hope you enjoy our books. Please let Sue Williams, Library Coordinator, know what other books you'd like to see.

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Men's Book Club Selects Books for Fall Meetings

The Stone Church Men's Book Club met June 20 and chose the following books to read and discuss at their fall meetings:

  • 1776, by David McCullough, on September 19, at Art Holtz' home
  • Redneck Nation, by Michael Graham, on October 17, location to be announced
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, on November 21, location to be announced

All men are invited to join these discussions and enjoy the fellowship of sharing and refreshments.

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Session Beat

The Session held its regular meeting on July 12. No one appeared for Open Hearing, but this opportunity is available every month.

The Rev. Marge Palmer welcomed new Session members and encouraged all members to attend elder training on August 27. She talked about The Book of Confessions and its importance as part of our church's constitution.

As Moderator of the Nominating Committee, I reported that the following people nominated by Session have agreed to serve on the Mission Study Committee: Mary Stone Bowers, Barbara Krause, Rhonda Lakatos, Tina Luebcke, Cathy Marshall, Jody Meacham, Carrie Moncrief, Jerry Pearson, and Bill Ribble. They will meet with the Rev. Kent Lawrence, liaison from Presbytery.

At our August meeting, Session will approve a non-serving elder to be part of this year's Nominating Committee.

StoNews editor Emily Meacham reviewed the 2005-6 publication schedule and guidelines.

The Session asked the Personnel & Administration (P&A) Board to find a non-serving elder to moderate the Membership & Evangelism Board this year.

The Session elected corporate officers: president is Alan Decker, and vice president is Ed Tablak.

Bruce Raby for P&A introduced two changes: (1) the fund-raising policy, in order to spread out appeals and have them more closely tied to the work of the church, and (2) the schedule of fees charged for use of church facilities. Session will vote on these next month. Bruce also announced that the Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums will again present a Christmas Concert at our church on December 4.

The Community Inns Rotating Faith-based Shelter will visit us from September 24 through October 29, announced Bea Groppuso of the Church & World (C&W) Board. It will offer many rewarding volunteer opportunities. Some furniture in other rooms will be moved to Room 6, and other items may be needed.

The Session agreed with C&W to have the Interfaith Council's "Labor in the Pulpit" as part of our worship service on September 4. The emphasis this year is on community service workers.

Stan Searing of the Buildings & Grounds Board reminded us that any continuing problems related to the renovation project should be addressed during the warranty


- Sue Williams, Elder

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Meet your new Stone Church Deacons

Mike Breuleux, a member of Stone for nearly 20 years, was drawn originally by the pastor and the unique stone architecture. He has been on Session twice and once served as a Deacon. He is thrilled to have been a Journey mentor five times, introducing young people to the church. He looks forward to being a Deacon again as a way of spreading Jesus' good news to the community. Class of 2008

Mary Breuleux joined Stone with Mike in 1986. She has served on Session once and Deacons once as, well as on Budget & Finance, Buildings & Grounds, Stewardship, M & E, and Church & World. Mary feels Stone is an extension of her family with members helping her grow in her spiritual journey. She takes a good feeling away from worship experiences. Mary sees being a Deacon as an extension of God's work. Class of 2008

Gordon Meacham has been part of Stone for the past fifteen years. He currently serves on the Nominating Committee and wishes to serve Stone better by becoming a Youth Deacon. He wishes to learn from participating in boards and committees, and he wants to do something to help Stone, as it has already done so much for him. Class of 2008

Claire Ribble says: "I joined Stone with my husband, Bill, and children, Bill & Karen, in 1975 when we moved from San Diego. I was educated as a teacher at Purdue University and taught a little while my children were growing up. In 1985, I returned to teaching full time. I will be retiring this fall and am looking forward to having time to garden, decorate the house, and join groups like Deacons. I was a Deacon several years ago and enjoyed the opportunity to help shut-ins and others who needed assistance." Class of 2008

Walter & Debbie Roach moved to San Jose in 1981 with daughters, Heather and Beth. They visited Stone first in their quest to find a church and they stayed. Both Walter and Debbie have previously served as Elders and as Deacons, as well as on many boards and committees. They both enjoy singing in the Stone choir, as well as the San Jose Symphonic Choir, cooking and reading. Additionally, Walter is a woodworker, and Debbie is a gardener. They are both educators; Walter teaches 6th grade in Evergreen, and Debbie is a principal in Oak Grove. Class of 2008

Tom & Karen Scott came to Stone in 1965, and both joined the choir in 1970. Tom sang for about 20 years, and Karen is still there. From 1977 to 1985 Karen ran Stone's Senior Center. They both led the Jr. High Group for several years, and both have served on various boards and committees. Tom has worked mostly on Buildings & Grounds and has recently assisted the Liturgical Arts Group. Karen has served as a Deacon and an Elder several times. "Stone Church has been our church for over 40 years. Our children were baptized and married her, and our grandchildren have made this their church. We look forward to serving as Deacons together." Class of 2008

Emily Mertens has been coming to Stone since the age of two, and became a member two years ago. She is active in the High School Group, helps teach preschool church school, and is finishing a term as Youth Deacon. She considers Stone her church family and finds the warm fellowship here a positive and grounding influence in her life. Emily is a freshman at Mitty High School where she is active in cross-country and track. She also plays piano and is an avid photographer. Class of 2007

Jim Hagan, who joined Stone in 1976, has been both an Elder and a Deacon, and sings in the choir. He raised two children, Karen and David, both of whom are active Presbyterians. Jim recently retired from Stanford University, and he loves to travel and garden with his wife, Linda. He also likes to play soccer and snow ski. Stone has been an important part of Jim's life, and he is honored to serve as a Deacon. Class of 2007

Mike Wyllie has been coming to Stone for several years. He and wife Deborah have two sons: Mark, 13, and Alexander, 9. Mike organized a chili feed at Stone in 2003 and is looking forward to organizing a fund-raising crab feed this fall. He's made many friends of long-time parishioners at Stone, and they've encouraged him to be Deacon to meet even more Stone members. Class of 2007

Jan Keifer, a native of Maine, was an American Baptist until she and Jerry were married in 1958. Their two daughters and their families reside in the Bay Area, and she enjoys having them nearby. She became a member of Stone in 1997 and has participated in Logos, Stephen Ministers, PW Circle, and PWCT and is co-chairperson of the Women's Retreat. Jan enjoys traveling, gardening and being with people. Having been a Deacon before, Jan feels the activities of the Deacons are very meaningful, and she hopes to be able to contribute. Class of 2006

Dan Willis grew up in Stone and joined in 2003. He has taken part in Logos, summer camp at Westminster Woods, family camp, VCS, and the High School Group. He often helps his brother Andrew set up for Sunday worship and Taize services. He attends Bellarmine High School where he plays baseball and basketball and enjoys poker nights with friends. Dan welcomes the opportunity to be a Youth Deacon so he can give back a little to the church community that has been his extended family. Class of 2006

Nominating Committee Member-At-Large, Class Of 2007

Carrie Moncrief is a single mom with three children, Erica, Matthew, and David. Carrie and her sons have attended Stone since 1997 and joined in 1999. Carrie has served on the Board of Deacons, Women's Retreat Committee, Capital Campaign, and the Vision Task Force. She wants to serve on the Nominating Committee so she can encourage other Stone members to explore the many opportunities to serve, and then experience all the joy that service brings.

Nominating Committee Member-At-Large, Class Of 2006

Tina Luebcke was raised in California and moved to San Jose in 2000 to marry her husband Chris. They joined Stone Church in 2001 when they were looking for a church that would baptize their daughter Ginger. In 2004 Ginger's brother Gabriel was also baptized. Tina has enjoyed many aspects of this church community including working in the library and being in PW. Tina also likes gardening, reading and photography.

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Stewardship Says, "Let Our Enthusiasm Continue"

Two years ago, we had great enthusiasm at the start of the Capital Campaign, which raised funds to upgrade our aging facility, to make code improvements, to make better utilization of our space, and to accomplish deferred maintenance. This enthusiasm resulted in surpassing the original Capital Campaign goal. This enthusiasm has carried over into this year, as the results of a request for early pay-up during year two, as well as a request for increased Capital Campaign pledges, have both been encouraging. Also, the enthusiasm present at the events held since the reopening of the social hall has been outstanding.

In the coming years, Stone Church will experience something that has not been present for many years; the budget will contain an item called debt service. The interest on our outstanding debt should be an operating expense and should be paid from the general funds of the church. However, in the next few years, we may need to continue using Capital Campaign income to pay some of the interest, as well as to pay down the outstanding debt. Eventually, the interest and the unpaid balance of the debt will both be the responsibility of the general fund.

It is my prayer that the enthusiasm in the Capital Campaign will not fade over the remaining life of the campaign and that some of that enthusiasm will transfer to the regular pledging that supports the operation of Stone Church.

Dean Helms, Moderator,
Stewardship Board

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Variety of Adult Study Classes to be Offered This School Year

Adult Study classes will start September 11, 2005, and continue through June 18, 2006.

One set of classes will focus on the Bible and church history. Included will be The Book of Genesis: Its Meaning for Today, Introduction to the Gospel of Luke, and The First Three Hundred Years of Christianity. Two Sundays will be devoted to general introductions to the materials to be used in the Church School (the Prophets and the Life of Jesus) to assist parents in understanding and interpreting the school curriculum.

In the fall, Rhonda and Bill Lakatos will speak from their family's experience on Mental Illness and the Community of God, and the Rev. Rebecca Kuiken will lead a series on Spiritual Formation: A Way of Blessing.

In February, the Rev. David McCreath, Honorably Retired, will present Covenants of Stewardship. The annual Conversations with the Preaching Pastor will follow during Lent. After the Perdue Memorial Lectures by J. Phillip Newell on April 5-6, 2006, there will be a follow-on six-week class based on Dr. Newell's book, Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality.

More information on the fall classes will be given in the September StoNews.

And just a reminder: nursery care is always available during the adult study hour.

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Christian Education Notes

Part of God's World Family

Young people at Stone continue to have experiences that can help them see themselves as world citizens, all children of God. Many are busy reading for the Heifer Project Read to Feed effort to buy heifers. Have you signed up to be a sponsor?

Through Summer Church School, Deborah Crim has shared her experience of growing up in Korea, and Kathleen Oliver her visit to Indonesia. We're trying to arrange for a visit from a Lost Boy of Sudan, so students will be aware of the story of the many young men who have become residents in our area. Additional visits will be to the Philippines, Malaysia and Mongolia. It's good to know that we, as Presbyterians, are represented in each of those countries by mission workers.

In addition to touring Around the World in 5 Days by train, Vacation Church School participants supported a One Great Hour of Sharing project in a special way. We ordered Sweat-free T-shirts that were made by COMAMNUVI, a woman-owned sewing cooperative in Nicaragua.

Each VCS T-shirt was unique as students sponge-painted the world in green and blue. The help of T-shirt coordinator, Heather Reynolds, and her crew, Kate Wheatley, Liz Shandera, Mary Verenakadaver and Andrew Reynolds, was appreciated.

Preparing Parents

As we look ahead to fall, the Christian Education board is seeking to respond to concerns and suggestions from the Family Support Group's May meeting, as well as other shared suggestions. We're committed to providing ways to support parents as they provide spiritual nurture day-by-day for their young people.

Be watching for details on new ideas, including a Church School Overview that will give parents a preview of Bible stories that will be part of the Rotation Workshops; parents will then be prepared to discuss the stories at home and apply life lessons together.

Summer Church School continues through August 28, with all invited to Family Worship on Labor Day Weekend. We'll kick off the fall on September 11 and gather for another fun Church Picnic on September 25. Mark your calendar so you can join us!

God bless,
Miriam Kishi

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Community Inns Rotating Faith-based Shelter Comes to Stone September 24

The Church and World Board is embarking on its fourteenth year with Community Inns Rotating Faith-based Shelter. We find that we need furniture for Room 6 where the men will be housed; if you have a couch or two, or a comfortable chair, let us know and we'll make arrangements to pick them up.

The congregation will have the opportunity to sign up for many different ways to help out during the five weeks (September 24 through October 29) that the men will be fed and housed at Stone Church. Look for the sign-up table after Sunday worship.

Please contact Bill Palmer or Bea Groppuso to donate furniture or if you have any questions.

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News from Prebyterian Women

Annual Brunch

The annual PW Brunch, co-sponsored by the Session's Church and World Board, will feature the Rev. Carol Been, Director of the Interfaith Council. She has a long history of working for change in government and other organizations. She will share ideas with us on health care and women's and family needs.

This year's project will be the collection of underwear and socks for school-age children, as well as work socks for adults. (There will be no collecting of school supplies, as Sacred Heart now requires an earlier deadline than can be met by PW.)

The brunch will be held August 20 in the Stone Church social hall, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. A donation of $3 is requested. Please make reservations with Hazel James by August 15.

For Everything a Season: PW Bible Study

PW Circles will follow the liturgical calendar in their study this program year. Written by Kathleen Long Bostrom, the study considers the nature of time, the relationship of liturgical seasons and life cycles, and specific liturgical seasons in the church calendar.

On August 25, Alice Thorn will lead an introduction to this study, to give leaders some understanding as they begin their program years. (Ordinarily Marge Palmer leads this "study of the study" but was unable to lead this first session. She will be the regular leader for the rest of the year.)


August 2, 9:30 am, Focus Group at the home of Liz Shandera.

August 9, 11:30 am, Lunch Bunch at the Taiwan Restaurant; call Ida Raby.

August 20, 9:30 to 11:30 am, Annual Brunch

August 25, 9:30 to 11 am, Introduction to the PW Bible Study, Lincoln House Conference Room.

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