Contact: June 20, 2012

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Dear Friends,

This week it hit me how forgiving you have been with me. There have been times when I have upset you or disappointed you or frustrated you or perhaps even angered you. There have been times when I have done or said something NOT the way you would have done or said it. There have been times when I have been part of a decision that you did not support in some way. After all of that, we are still doing okay. I am still making mistakes (like last week when I wrote in my Contact letter that the organizations for the External Giving Campaign had been selected and then I listed them – forgetting that the organizations that had been selected and had not been selected had NOT been told yet…Yikes) and you are still forgiving me.

You might think forgiving me is no big deal. If you think that, I heartily disagree. Even though I am only your Interim, it is still very important that you are forgiving me for my small and sometimes larger transgressions. “Maybe,” you might say to yourselves or even to me, “maybe we are only able to forgive you because we know you aren’t going to be with us for very long.” Even if you say that to yourselves, it is still very important that you are forgiving me and that I feel forgiven.

One of the keys to a good relationship between pastor and congregation is forgiveness. First, we recognize that neither pastor nor congregation is perfect and therefore will definitely make mistakes. Probably more than a few. If a pastor knows its okay to make mistakes, the pastor will be far more authentic than if she or he has to be afraid of making mistakes. The same is true for the congregation. People in a congregation will be themselves if and when they know a pastor will forgive them when they make mistakes and are less than their best selves.

I want you to hear from me, the pastor who is here with you for a time, that I have experienced your forgiveness and I am free to be fully myself because I know that you know I will make mistakes and that you will forgive me when I do. Thank you. I don’t take your compassion and understanding for granted. When I leave I pray and I hope that you will show your next pastor the same kind of compassion and forgiveness.

Wishing you were all here at Family Camp,

OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED: Please mark your calendars. The church office will be closed on the following days:
Wednesday, July 4th for the holiday.
Thursday, July 5th office will be open 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Minda Lucero will be in the office, Sherrill will be on vacation.
Friday, July 6th. Sherrill will be on vacation.
Friday, July 13th. Sherrill will be on vacation.

Rev. Katie will be away at Family Camp June 16 – 23 and then on vacation from June 24 – 30. She will return for Celebration on Sunday, July 1st.

Sunday, June 24:
We will celebrate More Light Sunday! Bunny Stevens’ group, Cecilia, will be guest musicians and Rev. Beth will re-create NPR’s “Philosophy Talk.”
Sunday, July 1: Family Sunday with Celebration outside in the courtyard! Preacher to be announced later. At 1:00 pm there will be a Celebration of Life for Elsie Cooper followed by a reception in the Family Room.
Sunday, July 22: Rev. Karen Stokes will be preaching and Revs. Karen and Chandler Stokes will provide music.
Sunday, August 5: Celebration begins at 5:00 pm followed by a potluck! Family Sunday and Rev. Beth will be preaching.
Sunday, August 12: Celebration continues at 5:00 pm with a Guest Preacher!
Sunday, August 19: Celebration continues at 5:00 pm and the Youth will present their Mission Trip Experience in Denver, CO, on “The Root Causes of Poverty.”
Sunday, August 26: Celebration continues at 5:00 pm, followed by a potluck dinner. Rev. Beth will be preaching.
NOTE: We have tried to list any special services. Guest preachers are still being asked and we will publish the schedule soon!

WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING AT FAMILY CAMP? Steve McKiernan is doing a daily series of Family Camp blog postings. Click on the link to follow along with the fun they are all having this year.

MPC “INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARS”: These delightful people will be with us for only a limited time. Both of them are filling pastoral roles off and on with Indonesian congregations in the region, so they are not with us every Sunday. The next time you see them, please introduce yourself. Why not take them to lunch, or invite them on a picnic, or for a walk on the beach?
Izak Lattu is a Fulbright PhD Student from Indonesia at GTU. His focus is the collective memory for interfaith relationships in Indonesia. He is an ordained Presbyterian pastor and professor of comparative religion & interfaith dialogue in Indonesia. He and his wife, Retno, an MD, and daughter Jessica live in Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes.
Adriana Tunliu-Dukabain, from Indonesia is in the Doctor of Ministry program at PSR. She is studying Biblical Hebrew and the theories and techniques of Bible Translation. She believes that a Bible Translation in the language of the common people of Indonesia is critically needed. Adriana translated the Book of Genesis for her thesis project and now she is working on her final dissertation. She lives at Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes with her 9-year-old son Axel. Her husband, Allen, is working in Philadelphia to provide for the family.

GLOBAL CONCERNS ALERT: Several chapters of the most alarming multi-national trade agreement yet were leaked last Wednesday (see The Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated in secrecy for the past 2 or 3 years, carries on and magnifies the worst features of the FTAA, NAFTA, and all the others the Presbyterian Church (USA) has worked to change or stop. Its terms overrule the power of governments to protect peoples, the environment and their own financial systems. For the Democracy Now broadcast, visit If you have ideas about how we can respond and who else might be interested, we’ll be talking about possible actions for MPC at upcoming Global Concerns and Joining Hands Coordinating Team meetings. For more information, the church office.

SUMMER SCHEDULE FOR CONTACT: After June 27th, Contact will not be published weekly. Instead, it will be sent out on the following dates: July 18th, August 1st, and August 15th. We will resume weekly publications on September 5th. The next deadline will be Tuesday, July 17th, at 3:00 pm.

EXTERNAL GIVING RECIPIENT MAKES GOOD: We’re happy to report that Solar Mosaic, one of our 2011 External Giving Program recipients, has just secured additional funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE is so impressed by Solar Mosaic’s success (partly thanks to MPC!) that they’ve awarded them $2 million to help them expand their programs further. Read more here:

MOVIE NIGHT AT MPC: “CASABLANCA,” a 1942, B&W film, 103 min, rated PG on Saturday, June 23 at 6:30 pm in the Thornhill Room. Bring “movie” snacks or beverage. This’ll be terrific!! Bring a hanky. Jeanne Dunn, 510.834.7559.

TASK FORCE MEETING: The Bylaws Task Force will meet on Monday, June 25, at 7 p.m. in Room 10. If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact Susanne Lea or Tom Davies.

FALL ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES: If you would like to give a class or have one in mind that you would like to take in the fall, please inform one of the committee by June 26. This is the date of the next committee meeting where we will be setting the class list. Paula Moseley

GUNS: An American Tradition, A Community Crisis? The Social Justice Committees invite you to attend an Oakland Tribune panel discussion on “Guns: An American Tradition, A Community Crisis?” The forum will be held 6-8 PM on Thursday June 28 at Nile Hall, 668 13th St. inside Preservation Park. The panel discussion will focus on:
-what’s being done to address the influx of firearms
-how guns make their way into Oakland
-hurdles authorities face stemming the tide of firearms into Oakland
-what Oaklanders are doing to help address the impacts of gun violence
We will car pool from the church parking lot at 5:15. Questions, contact Jean Gregory, or (510) 635-8838.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR ELSIE COOPER: Elsie Cooper, a member of the MPC family (as well as the mother of former pastor Karen Stokes and wife of former pastor Dale Cooper) died peacefully on Monday, June 11th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She had suffered from dementia for several years, along with the health issues that accompany this condition. Elsie’s family will be gathering here at MPC to celebrate her life on Sunday, July 1st at 1:00 pm, with a reception in the Family Room following the service. All of her MPC friends are welcome to join in this celebration. If you would like to be in contact with Karen, her address is: 27 Library St NE #803, Grand Rapids MI 49503,

• Cynthia Cudaback to get a job.
• Ruthann Taylor’s grandson, Andreas, who is taking the MCAT and applying for medical school.
• Julia Gullikson as she goes to New York for the summer to work at a camp, and for her family as they miss her.
• May Tong who is having knee surgery.
• Amy Bess who just had extensive surgery and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and for her husband, Steve, as he cares for her during her recovery from surgery and then a long stretch of chemotherapy.
• Bud Sisson who is having angioplasty on Friday.
• Gretchen Garlinghouse who is having surgery on Friday.
• Lori’s friends – Rhonda and Bill as Rhonda faces the end of her life.
• Karen Stokes and family as they grieve the death of Elise Cooper, Karen’s mother.
• All of those at Family Camp.

• The men in our congregation who are dads or who have been like dads to others.
• Minda’s great-great niece.
• Minda’s son-in-law who graduated from CAL last weekend.

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
Allen Todd & Lori Kendall: Sound Technicians