Contact: May 16, 2012

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Dear Friends,

The Mission Study Team met for almost 3 hours on Monday evening to begin working on the information that will be presented at our final Congregational Gathering on Sunday, June 3rd. In addition to our 7 Congregational Gatherings, we have had 11 subcommittees meeting to gather various kinds of information. When we began talking about what to present on June 3rd, there was a sense shared by all of what an overwhelming task it is to sort through all of the information in order to create a narrative. By the end of the evening we realized that the purpose of the gathering on June 3rd is not to present a “final product,” not to simply relay the statistics and information and interviews, but to take the information as a whole and report back to you some of the overarching themes. Please do all you can to attend the meeting on June 3rd. The Mission Study Team has worked tirelessly since last June and they still have the daunting task ahead of writing the Mission Study Report. You can support them in their work by coming to the gathering, hearing the summary of what has been learned and asking questions. You can also support them by encouraging them in their writing this summer!

Some of you have been asking when the Pastor Nominating Committee will be selected. While I cannot give you an exact date, I will tell you that at the May session meeting our Committee on Ministry Representative, Rev. Monte McLain, presented to the Session the process for selecting a PNC, characteristics to look for in people serving on a PNC, and some options for how to select the next pastor. The session was unable to have a thorough discussion that evening due to a packed agenda, so we will have a Special Called Session Meeting on Tuesday, May 29th, from 7-9 pm. At that meeting we will discuss in more detail the timing, process, characteristics and make-up of the PNC, as well as the various options for calling the next pastor. Once the session has had this discussion and makes some decisions, the session will instruct the Nominating Committee for how to proceed with nominating members to serve on the PNC. Our hope is that the Nominating Committee will be hard at work over the summer so we can vote on a slate by late summer. In the end, the congregation votes for who will serve on the PNC so as to make it representative.

One of the unknowns in this process is how to time the finishing of the Mission Study Report and its approval by the Committee on Ministry with the selection and beginning work of the PNC. The PNC can only proceed to a certain point without having the Mission Study approved by the COM. I tell you this not to concern you but so that you will appreciate the “dance” that is done by so many partners!

On a completely different subject, I just have to tell you about my experience attending the Redwoods Presbytery meeting Tuesday. I went to it because it was the meeting in which they were going to read the final decision against Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr for having performed a number of same-sex marriages (including mine with JE and Katie’s with Curran). In addition to reading the decision, the Redwoods Presbytery was supposed to issue the “rebuke” that was given as punishment. Several of us attended the meeting and Rev. Scott Clark made a motion asking the Presbytery to refuse to rebuke Janie. As a corresponding member I was given voice and, after identifying myself as the Interim at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, spoke to the Presbytery about why I thought they should support the motion. I ended by saying, “If you vote against this motion, I request that when this meeting adjourns, you turn your backs on all of us so that at least there will be integrity between your words and your actions.” Many others spoke as well and it was powerful and moving to witness. As you may have read in the papers or seen on the news, the Redwoods Presbytery voted in favor of NOT rebuking Janie. I felt as if I were experiencing a little piece of history. It was very exciting to see the courage in taking a stand against something so wrong. This was the Presbyterian Church I know and love!

Grateful to be serving with you,

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: The church office will be closed on Friday, May 25th. Sherrill will be on vacation. It will also be closed on Monday, May 28th, for the Memorial Day holiday.


You’ve been generous in so many ways… Thanks to all of you who have diligently saved your newspapers and left them for me in my office. I believe we’ve got enough for the time being, so please resume your usual recycling. But, if you receive wonderfully colorful magazines with great pictures, I’d love to revive our magazine collection (for collage art projects). Please drop off magazines for donation to the church office. Thanks for these wonderful community efforts! ~Katie

Sunday, May 20:
CREATION! The Choir Major Work will be the focus of this service.
Sunday, May 27: Pentecost Sunday! Wear red or orange or yellow or all of them together! Rev. Beth will be preaching and the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus will be singing!
Sunday, June 3: Family Sunday with Communion. In addition, the congregation of Fruitvale Presbyterian Church will be worshipping with us. We will give Bibles to 4th graders and thank our Godly Play teachers.

“THE CREATION” BY HAYDN, MAY 20:  This Sunday, May 20, the choir will present its spring Major Work: Part I of the sacred oratorio “The Creation,” by Franz Josef Haydn. Widely considered to be Haydn’s masterpiece and the culmination of his life’s work as a composer, “The Creation” depicts and celebrates the creation of the world, using scripture from the books of Genesis and Psalms, as well as Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Haydn wrote, “I was never so devout as when I was at work on ‘The Creation.’ I fell on my knees each day and begged God to give me the strength to finish the work.” For our performance, the MPC Choir will be joined by a large chamber orchestra and three stellar vocal soloists. Encourage your music-loving friends to come with you to church on May 20–this is a performance not to be missed!

CONGRATULATIONS:  Susan ten Bosch Paull and Art Paull will commemorate their silver wedding anniversary this Sunday, May 20. You all had a part in this — they met each other here at MPC! They will be at church on Sunday, along with Rogers Carrington, the minister who married them. Rog, who lives in Marin County with his wife, Leslie, attended our church for many years and led some wonderful contract groups for us!

TASK FORCE MEETING: The Bylaws Task Force will meet on Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in Room 4. If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact Susanne Lea or Tom Davies.

WOMEN, SAVE THE DATE: Mark your calendars for our Fall retreat, to be held at the fabulous Ralston White retreat center in Mill Valley. Dates: October 19-21. Come join us to further connect, communicate and enjoy. (Registration will open in September.) – Gretchen G and Jan S.

KARL SHADLEY: On Saturday, May 12th, Karl was hit by a car while he was riding his bike. He was seriously hurt, was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland and diagnosed with a broken clavicle, ribs and hip. He faces a surgery this week to put metal pins in his clavicle. He’s apparently fine, as best he could be, and in great pain. He’s facing at least a 3 month recovery. Please pray for Karl and his family. Cards can be sent to his home at 874 – 57th Street, Oakland, 94608.

MARY STEWART’S NEW ADDRESS: Mary Stewart has moved to be closer to her daughters. Her new address is listed below. Please call Sherrill in the office with any questions.

Mary Stewart
AlmaVia of San Francisco
Bridgehaven Unit #317
One Thomas More Way
San Francisco, CA 94132

• Anna Wheeler who will have her tonsils removed next Wednesday.
• Those who are grieving.
• Those who are undergoing chemotherapy.
• Those who are traveling.
• Those who are facing transitions and those who are denying them.
• College students returning for the summer.

• The Redwoods Presbytery and its courageous decision to refuse to rebuke Rev. Jane Spahr.
• Our visitors and guests!
• All those who faithfully attend and serve in our church and 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
Allen Todd & Lori Kendall, Sound Technicians