July 28, 2010

THIS SUNDAY, AUGUST 1ST is Karen’s last Sunday at MPC.  Communion, farewells and visions for the future.  Also, we welcome Susan Hunn back from the youth mission trip and introduce Talitha Phillips to the congregation.  Talitha will be joining the MPC staff as Coordinator for Children and Youth, effective September 1.  She will be working 10 hours per week assisting Susan, who is also part-time and who takes periodic time off to be with her grandchildren.  Talitha is a student at SFTS where she is earning both an M.Div and an M.A. in New Testament Studies.  She has a B.A. from Binghamton University, SUNY, with a major in music.  She has interests in Godly Play, arts, crafts, music, dance, and theatre, and has worked with children and youth in a variety of settings.

CHILDREN join us in celebration this Sunday to say a special good-bye to Karen.

OUR YOUTH RETURNED Monday night from their 12-day mission trip to Heart’s Rest, a Spiritual Retreat Center in New Denver, British Columbia, which is also the home of Therese DesCamp (Family Camp speaker in ‘09 and ‘10) and her husband George Meier. How do you describe a trip like this?  There were so many layers to our experience. We painted the sanctuary and fellowship room of a small church and did a beautiful job, which was highly praised. But more than that, we raised the spirits of an aging and struggling congregation. All of us felt enriched by the interaction between old and young, American and Canadian. They made lunch for us daily, invited us into their homes, led us on a hike to a mountain peak, talked (and even sang) about their lives. We learned to connect with the land, pick fruits and vegetables for meals from the garden, celebrate the natural beauty of this location, and co-exist with bears. We learned about meditation and, with Therese’s guidance, tried a variety of practices like walking the labyrinth in the garden. Not only do these trips minister to our youth, but also our younger adult leaders. Said one leader, “Exploring spirituality in depth really grounded me at a time when I needed that.”  In the fall in Celebration our youth will have stories to tell and pictures to show about the trip.                                    Susan Hunn

In the coming weeks after Karen leaves we will have an exciting line-up of Celebration leaders and preachers from our own MPC leadership.  Our church is blessed with a breadth and depth of talented people who work in many aspects of ministry, and this will be an opportunity to hear from several of them. Chaplain Mark Smith, Rev. Kathy Ray and Leonard Nielson will preach and lead services in both August and September, and Rebecca Herrero will also preach in Sept. We will keep a schedule updated in Contact so that you can make a special point to welcome and hear our leaders. The beginning schedule is this: On August 8 Leonard will preach and his wife Gretchen will be our guest musician.  On August 15 Mark Smith and Leonard Nielson will co-lead the service, with Leonard preaching and Mark leading worship and liturgy, being joined by Marcia and Kim again regularly. On Aug 22 Kathy Ray will preach, welcome newly joining MPC members and will also baptize Carrie McKiernan and Julie McDonald as a new members.  Stay tuned for more of the Celebration schedule as it unfolds.




Pace e Bene Nonviolence Training Service has provided excellent programs at MPC for the last three years.  In the Fall of 2007 and 2008 we were privileged to have the twelve week course called “Engage.” Exploring Non-violent Living,” and in 2009, an all-day workshop called  “Soulforce.”

This year we will be offering an ALL-DAY WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 10-4, in the Thornhill Room. It is called “ENGAGING CONFLICTS CREATIVELY.”  This is an area of interest in which people from the former courses wanted more depth.  The Peacemakers Committee is delighted to offer this opportunity for enrichment.  If you are new to Pace e Bene training, this would be a great introduction to the work we are doing.

This Pace e Bene workshop will provide tools, new lenses and concrete practices for transforming conflict in our lives, our communities and our world.  It will integrate:

  • Practical steps for understanding conflict.
  • Investigating the terrain that underlies conflict, including emotions and power.
  • The possibility of creating rich relationships in the midst of conflict, and
  • Constructive responses and options for transforming conflict.

This workshop will be grounded in the vision and practice of Soulforce, which Gandhi called “the force which is born of truth and love, or nonviolence.”  Together we will explore conflict transformation through a selection of stories, videos, role-plays, small and large group discussions, ritual and processes that activate and integrate heart, body, mind and spirit.

We are pleased to have KEN PRESTON and PATTY ROBERTSON, whom we’ve grown to love, as our leaders for the day. Final sign-ups for this will be held in September through our Adult Education Program. The cost will be $30, with lunch provided for an additional $5.  For more information or to register your interest, contact Mary Smith at smithmcam@yahoo.com or (925) 943-4986.


Wanted: Childs Car Booster seat  -to borrow. Please contact Lori Kendall if you have one.

Seventy-Six Trombones!

Who wants to see The Music Man at Woodminster on August 7th?  If we can get 25 people, it’s half price! Please contact the church office if you’re up for it.
Greetings, music fans-

First, thanks to all with MPC in common who have enjoyed and supported the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus for the past five years.  Without your enthusiasm we would be nowhere near where we are today.

This past Sunday oebgmc sang at St. Mark’s in San Francisco as the first six gay and lesbian Lutheran clergy were ordained and the seventh, Ross Merkel, was reinstated. Events with similar significance and dawning spiritual lucidity at Vallejo, Napa, and of course right here in Oakland have grown more satisfying every day.

And of course: it’s fun too.  Right now, just a few tables are left for our annual frolicking fun fundraising Summer Pops Concert, to be held next Saturday, August 7, 7:30PM at the California Ballroom, 1736 Franklin Street in Oakland.

Come join us again for music, food, wine, silent auction and more.  Bring new friends and family, coordinate tables and purchase on-line at www.BrownPaperTickets.com. To bring this rather elaborate one-night extravaganza off properly we also need volunteers of all stripes, so check with me if tickets are sold out and we’ll see about a position for you.

Hope to see you all Saturday at the California Ballroom!


SAVE THE STORYTELLERS’ DATES: Open Mic Brunch. Sunday, August 29, 11:30 am, Thornhill Room.  Works in Progress Program. Friday, Sept. 17, 7:30 pm, Thornhill Room.

FAITH TRIO RECOMMENDS OLIVE-PLANTING TRIP TO PALESTINE: October 12-28, 2010.  The next Keep Hope Alive olive harvest and visit to Palestine-Israel is scheduled for October 12-28, 2010. The trip leader, Ron Shive, was chair of the General Assembly’s Middle East Study Committee, whose report was just approved in modified form by the whole GA. He has many contacts in Israel-Palestine and will make it a very interesting trip. If you want to know more, please contact Prof. Emer. Walt Davis of San Francisco Theological Seminary at 415-453-1875.  Walt led the first KHA trip to I/P from the Bay Area, in which Jean Mudge participated, in February 2008.

The storage areas under the office(which constitute a fire hazard) are scheduled for a clearing.  Before this starts, we need to know what is to be saved, and what is to be recycled, given away, or pitched.  If you have stored anything in there that must be saved, please send an e-mail to Bud Sisson at budsisson@comcast.netlisting what items that must be saved.  We would also like to know when these items are to be used again, for what purpose, and by whom.  The object of this project is to ensure that items to be saved are safely stored so they will not be damaged and can be easily accessed.

Last Sunday July 25, 2010 Karen Stokes, Marcia Roy and Kim Rankin and friends brought us a celebration of music.  Pictured: Karen & Chandler Stokes. Photo by Lee Aurich

Farewell Party! Farewell Party!  Join us this Saturday, July 31 as we give Karen Stokes the kind of send-off that only MPC knows how to give.  We’ll meet at 6:00 pm in the Family Room for a buffet dinner accompanied by the music of the Barrelhouse Jazz Band.  At 7:30 pm we move to the sanctuary for a roast with our hosts Chandler Stokes, Earl Hamlin (reprising his role as Karen) and Lori Kendall (back as Betty Barker).  The Men’s Group will provide rides to anyone who needs one.  Just let Christine know.  Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event!

CONTACT Summer schedule. Contact will be published semi-monthly. Regular schedule will resume September 7, 2010.

MPC Calendar:



Christine Stickever- Peterson
Associate in Communications and Logistics
Montclair Presbyterian Church
5701 Thornhill Drive
Oakland, California 94611





Office Hours:  Tuesday – Friday, 9:00AM-4:00PM

Rev. Karen Stokes, Pastor:  Tues/Weds10 to noon, other times by appt.

Leonard Nielson  Office hours Tuesday 9-4:00, other times by appt.

Susan Hunn, Associate for Children & Youth: Office hours Tues-Thurs 9:30-2:30 pm

Christine Stickever- Peterson, Associate in Communications & Logistics: Office hours Tues. – Friday 9:00-4:00pm

Rebecca Herrero, Associate in Life & Programs: Office hrs Tues/Thurs 1:00-3:00 pm

Kim Rankin, Associate in Music

Marcia Roy, Organist

Gil & Maria Chiguila, Caretakers

Rev. John Hadsell, Theologian in Residence

Rev. Kathy Ray, Parish Associate