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The Stone News for August 2006

Links to Stories
Au Revoir, Rebecca!
Mark Your Calendars
Sept. Conference
Crossen Coming
Retreat Center Fire
Christian Education
Protein Bar Recipe
Adult Education
New Service Website
Library News
Presbyterian Women
Church and World
Welcome, MJ Nesbitt
Stone Gets WIFI
Deacon's Doings

Au Revoir et Bonne Chance, Chére Rebecca!

Be sure to attend the Good-bye Potluck Lunch being held to honor our departing pastor, the Rev. Rebecca Kuiken, on Sunday, August 6, immediately following the Worship service.

Bring a dish to share, and to recognize Rebecca's love of all things French, food with a French flair or connection is especially welcome.

For more information, please contact Deborah Crim.

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Coming Summer Events

The summer months have not slowed down Stone Church at all! There are many summer events yet to come.

Patio Fiesta, July 30

The Patio Fiesta luncheon, originally set for July 23, will now take place Sunday, July 30, at 11:30 am. This is a wonderful opportunity to continue our church fellowship after worship with a delicious lunch featuring southwestern cuisine prepared by our church chefs, Walter and Debbie Roach.

Ice Cream Social, Aug. 20

If you love ice cream, be sure to come to the Ice Cream Social and Hymn Sing on Sunday, August 20, at 7 pm.

Bring your favorite ice cream, homemade or otherwise, or your favorite topping.

Also be sure to bring your singing voice!

Rally Day, September 10

Rally Day, an all-church family reunion, is back this fall with the theme: Setting Great Expectations for Our Church in 2006 - 2007.

With the days of summer and vacation turning into warm memories, photo albums and humorous stories, our church family will gather Sunday, September 10, for a kick-off of our church's fall program season.

Our first worship service for the fall will include the chancel choir's return from the summer break with new and exciting musical offerings.

After our worship service, you can learn about all of the various church groups and activities available at Stone. Each group will have information about their plans and goals, so you will see what will be happening during the upcoming program year.

You can get new Stone Church outerwear, sign-up sheets for educational events, handouts about upcoming events and much, much more.

Be sure to attend this exciting day in our church family life!

If you have any questions, please call Fred Oliver, Membership & Evangelism Moderator.

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Conference on Politics and Spirituality to be Held in Pasadena in September

Are you concerned about the issues facing our country and our world? Do you wish you could have more power to influence our political process? Do you wonder how we as Christians can better respond to the call to work for justice in our communities? Would you like to join with others who share your passion about this?

Then consider going to Pasadena, CA, for the Conference on Politics and Spirituality, September 8 - 10 (registration info: This gathering addresses what has been billed as the most relevant issue of our day: the vital connection between our inner spiritual lives and our outer public witness. Keynote speakers include Jim Wallis, Anne Lamott, and Richard Rohr, and sponsors include Sojourners and The Center for Action and Contemplation.

Sojourners is a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the Biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice, and they currently focus on multi-media journalism as a way to work toward a more just world. CAC, founded in 1987 by Father Richard Rohr, attracts people from around the world who seek peaceful, positive alternatives and solutions to the challenges of our often materialistic, irrational, and violent world.

Check the websites ( and to learn about these organizations and to discover ways they could provide resources for our work here at Stone Church, and consider attending this conference.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a group from Stone Church as part of this gathering to bring back ideas, enthusiasm and connections to assist us in taking seriously our call to care for our planet and to create peace?

    - Mary Alice Collins

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John Dominic Crossan coming October 27 - 29

Internationally acclaimed New Testament scholar and author, John Dominic Crossan, will be the Henrietta Perdue Lecturer on October 27 - 28, and guest preacher on October 29. The Historical Jesus Then and Now - The Challenge of the Kingdom of God will be the topic of Dr. Crossan's lectures.

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Fire Destroys Building at St. Francis Retreat Center, Popular Women's Retreat Location

The St. Francis Retreat Center, in San Juan Bautista, suffered a major fire, which destroyed the main building (pictured at left) on June 23. The Stone Church Women's Retreat has frequently been held here, and as many women remarked, "It was like losing an old friend ... "

It is not known yet whether this will affect the Women's Retreat, which was scheduled to be held at the retreat center in early 2007. We'll report updates in The Stone News as we receive them.

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Students Show Compassion in Historical, Global Experiences

Vacation Church School

Our Vacation Church School's Jerusalem Marketplace gave 32 children grade 5 and younger, plus 7 middle schoolers, a chance to experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Jesus' day. Each tribe took seriously their daily responsibility of getting water from the well and baking bread, as well as using a Habdaleh candle, spice box and mezuza. They learned traditional dances and games, as well as new songs teaching them about the Shema and focusing on Jesus' role.

They enjoyed trying Marketplace crafts related to 29 AD, including grinding spices, weaving, making clay pottery by hand and with a man-powered wheel, making a variety of leatherwork accessories and jewelry, as well as making dreidels and musical instruments. Of course, they loved the visiting animals: pygmy goats, bunnies, even a hen laying an egg!

The stories of Jesus' last week came alive as Biblical figures reported the events in the midst of the Marketplace. It was obvious the students had learned the familiar stories and had compassion. As disciples expressed horror when Jesus was arrested and taken away, students reassured them they knew the end of the story, and it would be okay! More than once the actors were told that Jesus was going to die, but he would rise again!

After learning about present-day children in Palestine/Israel, the students responded to the chance to Build Peace on the Desktops of Children by donating $316 to the Mar Elias schools in Ibillin for their expanding elementary school.

Summer Church School

Each Sunday, Summer Church School students are responding with compassion as they learn how Christian Love Encircles God's World. As they sing They'll Know We Are Christians by Our Love and learn each week how Presbyterians are doing mission in another country, they are taking seriously our responsibility to be witnesses of the good news everywhere.

So far the students have visited Malawi, Haiti and Zimbabwe, as well as Kenya with the help of native Toni Muiriri, and Cambodia with Cham Yean and Connie and Jerry Pearson as guides. Rosaleen Zisch will take them to Russia, Dale Bracey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Julie Ludwig to Guatemala. The visit to Madagascar will be enriched with pictures from Dorothy Stevens, and a visit to Brazil by gifts from the visitors to our Presbyterian Women's gatherings. What great resources we have in our church family!


Heifer Read to Feed

Many students are busy reading this summer to help families in need by buying rabbits through our Heifer Read to Feed project. I hope you will support our readers in this worthwhile project. Donations can be given directly to readers or sent to the church (make checks out to Stone Church with Heifer Project in the Note). It's another way for all of us to respond in Christian love.
    - God bless, Miriam Kishi

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Recipe for Tasty Protein Bars

Here's a healthy recipe that children and adults alike will enjoy. It was initially prepared by Church School students on July 30. This recipe has been tested by the children and youth, and it includes their alterations for improved taste! Miriam Kishi offered adults at the summer fiesta a sample and they demanded the recipe!


    2 3/4 cups quick oats, uncooked
    1 cup nonfat dry milk
    1/2 cup vanilla whey protein (from Trader Joe's)
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds (also from Trader Joe's)
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup honey
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    Water (as needed so that the mixture remains stiff and not soupy)
Protein Bar Directions: In a large bowl, stir together quick oats, dry milk, and whey protein. Add raisins and sunflower seeds; stir well. Add honey, vanilla, and water; stir all until thoroughly mixed. Grease a 9 by 13 inch glass or metal pan. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Why did they prepare these? Their study that day focused on the severe malnutrition of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the plan of Presbyterian churches and health clinics there to plant moringa trees. The moringa tree grows quickly and its leaves can be eaten green as part of a salad, or they can be dried and then ground into a hearty protein powder and used in almost any dish! Dale Bracey showed them photos of folks preparing this protein flour in large wooden buckets. Presbyterian health centers use the flour to make protein bars for children.

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Adult Study Looks at Economic Divide, Living the Questions

Adult Study in August will feature two areas of focus: economic disparity and discovering the relevance of Christianity for our time.

Carol Been

The Rev. Carol Been, Lutheran pastor and Director of the Interfaith Council, will speak to us Sunday, August 20, about the spiritual crisis in our society that has created a deep economic divide between the wealthy and poor. Rev. Been will share the connection between immigration, low-wage workers and the corporations who hire them through a case study of the hotel industry. Hotel workers will join her and share their stories of courage and struggle as they work to provide comfort for the stranger against enormous odds in the workplace, including increasing workloads, understaffing, unattainable health coverage, daily indignities, harassment and intimidation when they try to speak up.

(In the picture just above, the Rev. Carol Been, of San Jose, Calif., left, is handcuffed at the wrist to Father Richard Estrada, of Los Angeles, as the two joined a large crowd of immigration supporters for a gathering and march on the lawn of the Capitol, Monday, March 27, 2006, in Washington. Photo by Haraz N. Ghanbari, of Associated Press)

A new and exciting DVD series, Living the Questions, featuring Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, will be the topic of the other Sundays in August. Here is a quote from the foreword to this thought-provoking series: Living the Questions is for those who are looking for a resource within the institution that encourages questions and sparks open dialogue ... There is a revolutionary re-visioning of Christianity already emerging in the world. It is our hope that Living the Questions will play a part in your discovery of the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century and what a meaningful faith can look like today.

    - Pat Magee, Adult Study Coordinator

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New Website Established for Elderly, Disabled

For all seniors, people with disabilities, caregivers, and service providers, the Council on Aging - Silicon Valley has created a new website that should be very useful in improving and better coordinating long-term care services locally.

To reach this website, click Here.

The website includes a comprehensive directory of the approximately 1000 service providers in Santa Clara County, as well as many other useful links, news articles, and information.

Many thanks to Deacon Maureen Ryan for alerting us to this new resource.

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Library Adds Books on Jesus, Grandmothers, Tolkien, & More!

Our church library continues to add books about many fascinating and diverse topics. Come browse in the library, and let the staff know what you would like to see.

Here is a list of books that our younger folks will find interesting:

  • Fun with the Triplets by Roser Capdevila (1st Books Cap), given by Kate Wheatley;
  • What About Me? by Helen Stephens (1st Books Ste), given by Vivian Shimmon;
  • The Queen's Nose by Dick King-Smith (YA Kin);
  • Animal Miracles: Inspirational & Heroic True Stories by Brad & Sherry Steiger (YA 636 Ste), given by Sue Evans.
Jesus America Here are additions to our adult side:
  • Tales of Good and Evil, Help and Harm by Philip Hallie (170 Hal);
  • Jesus in America - A History: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession by Richard W. Fox (232.09 Fox), given by friends in memory of Margaret Brown;
  • Just Like Jesus - Devotional: A Thirty Day Walk with the Savior by Max Lucado (242.2 Luc), given by Jean Hatley;
  • He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado (232 Luc), given by Jean Hatley;
  • Ordinary People As Monks & Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-Discovery by Marsha Sinetar (248.4 Sin), given by Rebecca Kuiken.
Here are additions to the adult special sections:
  • The Little Big Book for Grandmothers by Lena Tabori & Alice Wong (Fam-G 306.87 Tab), given by friends in memory of Margaret Brown;
  • Strengthening Your Stepfamily by Elizabeth Einstein & Linda Albert (Fam-Par 306.874 Ein);
  • Black Women Stirring the Waters edited by Mary Ellen Butler (Biog Butler), given by Rebecca Kuiken;
  • J.R.R. Tolkien by Tom Shippey (Biog Tolkien), given by Rosaleen Zisch.
    - Sue Williams, Library Coordinator

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Presbyterian Women Invite All to Brunch

PW Logo Presbyterian Women (PW) of Stone Church invite you to our annual August Brunch on Saturday, August 26, at 9:30 am. The PW Focus Group has asked Ms. Elizabeth Sholes, Director of Communication for the California Council of Churches, to speak to us on the importance of our faith in relationship to our citizenship.

The PW Focus Group has been dwelling on issues of Women's Health this year, and Ms. Sholes will address some of those issues with us. When you come, please bring an article of new underwear for men or boys, or a package of work socks. These items will be delivered to Sacred Heart Community Service. (In previous years we have brought school items, but our meeting was late for them to accumulate items for the school kids.)

Everyone is welcome to attend this informative and important talk. We hope to see you there.

Sign ups will begin in early August.

    - June Tablak, PW Focus Group

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Church & World Board Helps Boys & Girls Clubs, Bids Sad Adieu to Shelter

Pentecost Donation

Bob James delivered $733.50 to the Boys & Girls Club of San Jose, in June. It was received at a very opportune time, since a contributor from Palo Alto had just offered to match any gift up to $50,000. Therefore, our contribution became $1467. To paraphrase I Corinthians 3:6 - We planted the seed, the seed was watered by another, but God made the growth!

This money was the amount designated for local mission from the congregation's generous Pentecost Offering of $1868.75.


Christine Burroughs, retiring CEO of InnVision, announced on June 28 that because of financial issues, the Rotating Shelter program of Community Inns has been discontinued as of June 30. The Community Inns Advisory Board will continue to meet quarterly to develop a plan of action for how this group of churches can stay involved. Our C&W Board will keep you informed on how we continue to assist in this effort.
    - Bea Groppuso, C&W Moderator

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MJ Nesbitt

Stone Church Welcomes New Office Manager, MJ Nesbitt

Stone Church is very happy to welcome new church office manager, MJ Nesbitt.

MJ comes to Stone from a career in commercial real estate investment and development, most recently with D. R. Stephens & Co. in San Francisco.

She shares Rev. Palmer's upstate New York origins and received her undergraduate degree (B.A. in English Literature) from the SUNY at Cortland, NY. MJ also holds an MS in Business Management from Marylhurst University in Portland, OR, and is a certificated Legal Assistant.

MJ and husband, David Butcher, a Web design consultant, moved to Willow Glen from Los Gatos five years ago. David is an avid environmentalist and inventor who converted their home to solar during a recent remodel.

Daughter, Jenny, 31, lives in London with husband, Tarkus, and 2-year-old granddaughter, Isabella. Son, Zach, 29, lives in northern California and works for the U.S. Department of Forestry.

MJ says, "I'm so happy to be a part of the Stone Church community. My thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers and congregation members who are helping me learn the ropes. I look forward to a long and rewarding association with you all."

Be sure to stop by the church office soon to meet and welcome MJ!

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WIFI Comes to Stone!

Thanks to a gift from Walter & Debbie Roach, you can now access the internet from a laptop computer when you're at a Stone Church meeting. The Roach family donated the access point equipment and their son-in-law, Chris Welle, worked with Donald Foster to install it and get it working. Unlike Starbucks (!), there is no charge to use it.

The antenna is in the attic at the top of the stairs, so there's a good signal at ground level throughout the property including Lincoln House; in the basement, the signal fades to nothing as you get away from the stairs.

Access is encrypted and protected by a password; to register to use it, please

JavaScript must be enabled to display this email address.

(by clicking on the link just provided here) to get started. You will immediately be sent the parameters needed to set up your computer. Please register so we can notify you later should the encryption code change.
    - Donald Foster

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Deacon Board Announces Retiring and New Members

I would like to give a hearty thank you to the Deacons who have completed their terms of service for a job well done. Emily Meacham was the moderator, Laraine Pitcher was the flower coordinator, Joan Peckham handled grief support, Jan Keifer was the new member liaison, Dan Willis was a Parents' Day Out assistant, Bill Lakatos coordinated the Deacon's Prayer Chain, Gretchen Keagle handled the Ripples program, and Judi Kaiser was the Elder/Deacon Retreat coordinator.

A big welcome goes to members joining the Deacons. Rachel Buckley will assist with the Spring Senior Event, Steve Buckley will be the Prayer Chain assistant, Renate Frick will help with the Elder/Deacon Retreat, Sara Holtzapple will be the flower coordinator, Kathleen Oliver will assist with memorial services, Hilda Salazar will be Ripples assistant, Della Smith will be vice moderator, and Ken Stutz will be visitation coordinator.

As a reminder, requests for Deacon support can always be made through the church office.

    - Jim Hagan, Deacon Moderator

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