Contact: March 28, 2012

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Rev. Beth is on vacation until Saturday, March 31st. She will return on Sunday, April 1st.

The Congregational Gathering scheduled for April 15 is cancelled due to a number of scheduling issues.

The next Congregational Gathering will be Sunday, May 6, 11:30 to 1:00, where we will look ahead and envision our future. We will consider our last framework questions: “What Is God Calling Us to Do?” and “Who Is God Calling Us to Be?” We will be building on the momentum generated in previous gatherings in which we pondered the framework questions: “Who Are We?” “What Is Our Purpose?” And “Who Is Our Neighbor?” More details about the May 6 meeting will follow in coming weeks.

There will be a final Congregational Gathering on Sunday, June 3, in which our working groups will present their findings.

We extend our thanks to each of you who has participated in our previous Congregational Gatherings. Mark the new dates on your calendar and join us for continued holy conversation.

Purpose – Have you thought about our “Purpose”, as was set forth on the poster in the Family Room through our Congregational Gathering on February 26? The Mission Study Team has been thinking about and studying what came out of that gathering. These outcomes, together with those of the other gatherings, surveys and interviews, will help shape a new mission statement. We invite you to contemplate the concept of a new mission statement as we continue down this path of discernment, and if you have any further thoughts on the subject we would like to hear them.

OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED: The office will be closed Friday, March 30th.


Dear MPC Family,

It is my joy to be able to announce to you that we have a mission-trip destination and date for this summer so that we can continue our rich tradition of offering our youth a meaningful, summer learning-service opportunity. (drumroll please) This year we’ll be having a “Mile-High Mission Trip.” Any guesses? We’re headed to the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado for an “Urban Plunge” through Denver Urban Ministries (DENUM). Some of you might be asking, “wait a minute, why invest the time and resources on going to Denver for an urban experience when we live in an incredibly rich urban environment already? Aren’t there programs here in the Bay Area?” I asked similar questions of colleagues (who lead youth groups in Bay Area churches) who highly recommended this program to me. They responded by sharing that this organization is extremely gifted in working with students and does an EXCELLENT job helping youth to gain a greater understanding of the root causes of poverty. As one colleague put it, “Denum is beyond basement painting and soup kitchens.” Not to belittle sweat service, for that is also worthy, but what this organization offers us is the learning piece hand in hand with the service piece. Through a variety of educational simulation exercises and experiences as well as numerous site visits, speakers, and a downtown walking tour- through the lens of class issues and how that influences urban planning, and hands on service, our youth will benefit from the experience and skill of Denver Urban Ministries’ 30 year commitment to service, education and advocacy in the Denver metro area. Over the years they have built up meaningful partnerships with over 20 non-profit organizations that they work with for connecting groups such as ours with for volunteer service. We will also enjoy a free day at the end of our week so that we may get out and explore some of what Denver and Colorado have to offer in the way of outdoor recreation and museums.

We are so excited about the trip this year that we want to do all that we can to make it possible for as many youth to participate as possible. After conversation with the Children & Youth Committee, many of the parents, and with our Youth Advisors, we have made the decision to open up the trip this year to include incoming 9th graders (our current 8th graders). This will be a way of welcoming those who will be entering High School and insuring that our group is as full as possible. Our only regret in the planning process so far, is that we had a challenge finding a date that worked for everyone who wanted to attend. In our initial polling of families, asking them to choose their preferred date, we had a tie. I took our dilemma to the youth for their insights and best sense about how we might precede in a way that honored that whatever the choice, being sensitive to the fact that there were going to be some who would understandably feel very disappointed. With care and great intentionality, the youth helped in creating a set of guiding principles for our decision making. Together we made the commitment to see this trip as an experience that everyone in the group will benefit and grow from, whether we go on the trip physically or are cheering the group on from home. We will be departing from the church in the wee hours on July 21 in rental vans and will return on July 29. If you know of any young person, age 14-18, who might benefit from this experience and who you would like to introduce to our church’s youth group, please let me know.

As we gear up in our excitement level, I thank you in advance for your generous support of our two upcoming mission trip fundraisers. Please join us for pancakes this Sunday after Celebration in the Family Room and at the end of the month, you are invited to a pasta dinner served by our youth on April 29, 5:30-7:00pm. In addition to these fundraisers, we would like to explore a “rent-a-youth” program for families who would like to earn extra credits toward their expenses. If you have yard work, house work, storage clean-out, etc. projects that you would like the help of one or two teens on, I’d like to compile a list of needs that our youth could help out with in exchange for a donation. Let’s dream on this one!

Together We Serve,
Rev. Katie Morrison
Coordinator for Children, Youth, and Family Life

Please share this invitation with a neighbor or friend, grandchildren, or a family that you’d like to invite to church

PANCAKE BREAKFAST THIS SUNDAY: The Annual Pancake Breakfast youth fundraiser will be following Celebration this Sunday, April 1 (Pancakes & Palms!), from 11:30am- 12:30pm. Join us for a delicious pancake breakfast specially cooked up for you by our youth group members under the leadership of Kevin Fallehy, serving as head chef. Donations will be happily accepted and appreciated as we work toward creating as affordable a mission trip experience as possible.

Sunday, April 1st: Palm Sunday! Rev. Beth will preach. The service will include music by our choir, communion, and the ordination and installation of our new class of elders. One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be collected. Godly Play will take place in the classrooms this week. We will do Family Sunday next week on Easter Sunday.
Sunday, April 8: Easter Sunday! Family Sunday with the Barrelhouse Jazz Band, Rev. Beth preaching and the Adult and Children’s Choirs singing. Followed by an eco-friendly Easter Egg Hunt hosted by our Youth Group for the children.

SHARING RESOURCES—CHANGING LIVES: “One Great Hour of Sharing” is the special offering of the PCUSA which will be collected on both Palm Sunday and Easter. It brings hope to people in more than eighty countries, including our own. The PCUSA works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, small business micro-loans, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees. The offering also supports ministries for disaster preparedness and response. Please give generously.

ANNE LAMOTT TALK UPDATE: If you’re planning to attend the Anne Lamott book talk on April 4th, here’s a reminder and a request for you. First, the reminder: we expect this event will be quite popular, so we recommend showing up early; we’ll have the Thornhill playground area open for parking. Second, the request: if possible, please bring a plate of cookies or some kind of snack to share at the reception afterwards. We want to give our visitors as warm a welcome as possible, and any contributions will be happily accepted. Please contact Steve McKiernan at with questions. Thanks, and see you there!

STORYTELLERS: Have you had a strange, unusual encounter with an animal? Surely, you have. Would you be willing to share this story with the church family in September? The Storyteller’s committee is trying to organize a story telling event titled, Noah’s Ark Revisited. Please submit your story in the next two weeks. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Noteboom at 925-943-5685. These stories can be either adult centered or targeted to our youth. How about a story from one or two of our children? Get on Board! Thanks.

COMING SOON: Create with Clay (play for grownups), an Art Gang/Adult Education Event. Two Saturdays, May 12th and 26th from 10:00am to noon. Instructors: Jane Vander Veer, Ann Fisher and Dot Cudaback. We meet at Dot’s home: 6639 Longwalk Dr, Oakland. No experience needed; bring only enthusiasm. We have room for 13 people. Sign up next Sunday or call Dot (510) 531-0757.

PALMS: The Celebration Committee needs volunteers to help decorate the sanctuary with palms for Palm Sunday. Meet in the sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 31. Many hands make light work!

UKRANIAN EGG DECORATING: There are a couple of “seats” available for the Ukranian Egg Decorating event at the McKiernan’s home this Sunday, April 1st (no joke!), from 2-5 PM. Spaces were auctioned off at the MPC Auction; there are a couple newly available for $20 each. Contact Carrie McKiernan at to see if they’ve been snatched up yet…

HELLO FAMILY CAMPERS: Family Camp is a 35 year MPC tradition held in the South Lake Tahoe area at Camp Richardson’s Resort. This year’s Family Camp dates are June (16)17 thru June 23rd. If you are planning on attending all or part of this year’s Family Camp, please see Debbie Fallehy during Family Hour this Sunday, April 1st. More information to follow.

HELLO, MPC LEARNERS! On this coming Sunday, April 1, the Adult Ed class on the Gospel of Mark begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Thornhill Room. Our leader is retired professor of New Testament Dr. Anne Wire, who has new perspectives on Mark plus some interesting slides of Jewish and Christian art. And on Sunday, April 15th, at 3:30 p.m. in the Thornhill Room, the first of four weekly meetings focused on Science and Religion will unfold; led by Dr. John Turpin, Videos of interesting speakers will be shown, followed by discussion of their perspectives.

WHAT IS IN YOUR FOOD? Would you like to know if it contains Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)? Hope and Sari will be available at a table Sunday for you to sign a petition to give the citizens of California a chance to weigh in on this important issue. Sponsored by SPLASH Committee

TASK FORCE MEETING: The Bylaws Task Force will meet for the second time on Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. in the Thornhill Room. If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact Susanne Lea or Tom Davies.

MAUNDY THURSDAY: Join us at 6:00 p.m. on April 5 in the Family Room for a soup and salad dinner. Then we will proceed to the sanctuary at 7:00 for our Maundy Thursday service.

CLAIRE CHAPIN: Claire Chapin, a long time former member of MPC, died suddenly on March 20th from a stroke. Please keep his wife, Holly and the family in your prayers. Holly may be reached at 339-1156.

BOOK DEPOT NEWS: On Easter Sunday the Book Depot won’t be operating. If we are holding a specific book for you to pick up, either do it before Easter or afterwards. We will be open this Sunday and then as usual after Easter.

BOB STEWART’S CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Mark your calendar, Bob Stewart’s Celebration of Life has been changed to May 6th at 3:00 pm with a reception to follow in the Family Room.

OAKLAND POLICE CHIEF INVITES COMMUNITY TO TAKE SURVEY: Oakland, CA – Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan addressed the community in a Public Service Announcement about the important role the community plays in keeping the City safe. Chief Jordan said, “During this time of limited resources and other challenges, it is no secret that we need the community’s support.” Chief Jordan has invited the community to take part in a survey designed to gain feedback on what the Police Department can do to improve its service to the community. The community is asked to provide suggestions, recommendations, and ideas that will grow into something that other cities will look to model. Oakland community members may take the survey by logging into the Oakland Police Department website at Chief Jordan is confident that, together, everyone can make a difference in making Oakland a safer place to live, work, and do business. To view Chief Jordan’s PSA video, please click on the link below. For more information, please contact the Media Relations Office at 510.238.7230 or

FREE “GREEN HOUSE CALL” SIGNUPS CONTINUE: Want to save money? Help the environment? Support local youth? Get free light bulbs? For seven weeks each summer, Rising Sun Energy Center hires youth ages 15 to 22, and trains them to serve communities across the Bay Area with FREE ‘Green House Calls’ as part of the California Youth Energy Services program. At each Green House Call, they check the home for efficiency, install free energy and water-saving equipment, and provide personalized recommendations for further savings. They will even swap out your old halogen floor lamp for a new energy efficient one of the same brightness for free. To learn more and to sign up online for your free Green House Call, visit or ph 510-665-1501, Ext. 10. About a dozen MPC households have already signed up. –SPLASH Team

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: Come listen to the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choirs FREE Annual Spring Concert, Faiths in Harmony, at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern CA, 1433 Madison St Oakland. They will be joined by the Jewish Folk Ensemble, Vocolot. When: Saturday, April 14th from 7:30-9pm. Price: FREE.

LAST CHANCE TO PURCHASE EASTER AZALEAS: You may purchase an Easter Azalea to honor a special person, to recognize a birthday, an anniversary, an important occasion, or simply to add to the Easter splendor in the Sanctuary. To purchase an azalea, return the order form that will be in this week’s bulletin with your check to the Sunday offering plate or to the Church Office no later than Friday, March 30th. You may also mail them to MPC. Plants are $15.00 each. Recognition for those you’ve honored or the special occasions of your life will be printed in the Bulletin on Easter Sunday, April 8th. If you would prefer not to purchase an azalea, you are welcome to bring flowers or plants to the sanctuary, Saturday, April 7th at 10:00 a.m.

• Marjorie Moser who had heart valve replacement surgery on Monday. Marjorie had complications from the surgery and is currently in ICU. Please pray for her healing and pray for her children, Lisa and Michael, who are with her. Marjorie is unable to have visitors until further notice.
• Bob Stewart’s sons, Greg and Andy as they grieve for their dad.
• Decisions that families are making about children’s education.
• Trayvon Martin’s family as they grieve.
• People in Bolivia.
• Vern Alexander as he continues to recover from surgery at home.
• Those who grieve.

• Madeline Blumgart has found a church to attend while teaching in Paris.
• Debbie Fallehy’s son’s marriage.
• The Mission Study Team.
• Our new class of elders.
• Our outgoing elders.
• All those who serve our church in various capacities.
• Signs of hope in the world.

DEADLINES: To submit announcements for the bulletin and Contact, please send them to The deadline for Contact is Tuesdays at 3 pm, and the deadline for the bulletin is Wednesdays at 12 noon.

MPC Calendar:

5701 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, California 94611, (510)339-1131
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rev. Beth Buckingham-Brown, Office hours Monday-Wednesday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sherrill Figuera: Administrative Assistant, Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Rev. Katie Morrison: Coordinator for Children, Youth, & Family Life, Office hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Kim Rankin: Music Director
Marcia Roy: Organist
Gil & Maria Chiguila: Caretakers
Rev. John Hadsell: Theologian in Residence
Rev. Kathy Ray: Parish Associate
George Somers, Artist in Residence