Contact: October 19,2011

Montclair Presbyterian Church


Dear Friends,

Last week, I attended an all-day workshop on preaching the Gospel of Mark which is coming up in the lectionary beginning in Advent when the lectionary year changes.  The presenter was Dr. Alexander Shaia who created Quadratos.  I am still learning what it is all about so if you want to check him and Quadratos out, go to  What was exciting for me was hearing things about the early church and the formation of the gospels that I had never heard before in seminary or since.  His approach is quite different and I find it intriguing.  While I was listening to him, I kept thinking, “Wow, people at Montclair would be very interested in what he has to say.”  Dr. Shaia has a take on Christianity that I think many of you would find healing and refreshing.  How many of you would be willing to do a short-term book study with me in preparation for our new lectionary year coming up?  Realistically I am not sure how often I would be able to meet, but I could meet at least once or twice to facilitate discussion about what we are reading.  Let me know if you are interested.  When I got home late that evening and was talking with JE, I said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve had my mind blown and what he said blew my mind.”  What a great feeling!

The Search Committee for the Coordinator for Children, Youth and Family Life met for the first time last week.  What a thoughtful and skilled group of people!  Two weeks ago an email was sent out to the entire congregation describing the search process and naming the search committee.  If you have any questions or comments or suggestions or ideas, please feel free to talk with me or anyone on the search committee.  We have no idea what the response will be in terms of applicants, but we will know very soon.  In an effort to be open and transparent throughout the process, the Search Committee will be in the Family Room after Celebration on Sunday, November 6th, to talk with you and answer questions or hear your thoughts.  Or, we invite you to pick up the phone and call any of them or catch them individually on Sunday mornings.  As is true of any search, specific information about candidates is confidential.  If you want to know who has applied or what we think of a particular person, we will not be able to discuss those specifics.  If you want to know if a particular person has applied, we encourage you to ask that person directly.  We will certainly share general information like how many applications we have received or how many people we will be interviewing in person.  Thank you for understanding the need for confidentiality in regard to candidates.

A handful of you have expressed strong thoughts about needing to do a condensed Mission Study in order to get the next pastor here as quickly as possible. The concern behind that request is that we are not able to grow or move forward while we continue in transition.  The Mission Study Team and the Session has heard those concerns.  Both the Session and the Mission Study Team believe that it is in the best interest of our congregation in the long term to do a more thorough Mission Study now in preparation for a stronger future.  Some of you believe that is not a wise decision.  We hear you.  We disagree with you.  Part of what is difficult about being a part of a community is being able to live with each other even when we disagree.  I am deeply appreciative of the way those of you who feel strongly about needing to begin the pastor search as soon as possible have been able to voice your concerns and disagreement while remaining connected and respectful.  Thank you for modeling how we can disagree and live in some tension while still loving and respecting each other.  I want to assure you that the Mission Study Team will do all it can to keep a steady and strong pace to move us forward as quickly as is possible while doing a thorough job with the study.  Please continue to be open with us and share your thoughts with us along the way.  If you think we are dragging our feet, please share that with us.  What a sacred time this is as we discern together. Part of what WILL help us grow and move forward during this time is having each one of you fully here and fully involved. Visitors will pick up on your energy and enthusiasm.

Though I am busy enough to stay out of trouble, I am never too busy to talk with you.  Relationships and caring for you are my priority so please let me know if you are in need of care.

Deeply grateful to continue on this journey with you,



Sunday, October 23rd: Rev. Beth will preach on Matthew 18:21-35 and we will explore the muddy waters of forgiveness.  October 30: We will celebrate past & present saints.  November 6: Talitha will preach and we will celebrate Communion.  November 20: Duke Robinson will be preaching and signing his new book.

Children: The Children are invited to sing in Celebration on Sunday, Oct. 30. They will learn the song with Kim during the last part of class this Sunday, Oct. 23, and then are asked to come early on Oct 30 at 9:15 to rehearse. They will also sing with the adult choir on Sunday, Dec. 4, as their Christmas presentation. Those rehearsals will be on Sundays Nov. 6, 13, 20 and Saturday, Dec. 3. Please mark your calendars.

Youth Group: This Saturday, 1-4 PM, we will meet for another garden workday to build the raised beds.  Then this Sunday, we will meet in Room 2 from 7-9 PM.  Retreat checks and Consent Forms are due.

TALITHA’S TAKE:  Family Life committee will meet on Sunday, Oct 23rd, in Room 1 right after church.  This committee, newly fired up (and still seeking new members!), will address some of the questions posed by Beth in her October 9th sermon: how do we fully integrate all generations into the life of the church?  Our aim is to build real relationships – ones that feel like “family” ties – beyond the small groups of people with whom we usually spend time.  This happens through great events (such as the subcommittee: Yule Feast!) but also through smaller events or programs – yet to be dreamed of and planned.  Join us if you want to be a part of making this happen!

THANK YOU FROM KINI YORK:  Since 1946, MPC has helped me over a lot of chuck-holes on this journey. Thanks to all for the unending support.  Kini York.

COME!  YOU ARE NEEDED!!  In Matthew 25:36 Jesus says, “I was in prison and you came to me.  When did we visit you in prison?”  The blessed ones ask.  And He said, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.  Very few of us came to the table for prisoners rights last Sunday.  But NOW we CAN send an email to Governor Brown, urging him to stop the retaliatory measures against inmates and to initiate reforms to improve prison conditions.  GO TO  AND SIGN THE PETITION!  “Prolonged solitary confinement is a destructive and immoral practice. California state prison officials need to take real steps to end its use, not retaliate against prisoners who are speaking out against these conditions.” -National Religious Campaign Against Torture

NEW ADULT ED CLASS: Myth Busters – Environmental Edition.
We all want to do right by the environment, but what’s the most effective way to help? We are inundated with information and advice, some of it conflicting. This class on Busting EnvironMyths should help. We will explore the science behind the claims, and calculate the impact of our actions. We can also do some playful activities developed for kids, if you wish.  I’ll bring some of my favorite myths; you bring questions and a willingness to explore.
Cynthia Cudaback, PhD (yes, that Cudaback, Dave and Dot’s daughter) grew up here in Montclair, got college degrees in physics and geophysics, sailed around the world with NOAA, taught college level introductory oceanography for 7 years and now freelances as a marine educator.
Mondays in November–7, 14, 21, and 28, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Room 1, Fee: $10
Convenor: Margaretha Derasary, 339-2282,

DEAR LOVELY RETREAT LADIES:  Our retreat approaches. We are looking forward to a time of rejuvenation, laughter, meditation, prayer and celebration. Not to worry there will also be time to chat, nap, snack, and meander a labyrinth. Please take note that the last time you can withdraw from the retreat without financial obligation is this Friday, October 21st.  We very much want those women waiting in the wings to have an opportunity to take your place if you need to leave us.  Please advise Gretchen Garlinghouse by this Friday evening, October 21st. We look forward to seeing all of you at the retreat.  Francie Chan will be out of town.  Gretchen Garlinghouse’s home phone …after 5 pm or leave a message 510-482-1157, e-mail …

GO PURPLE TO STOP BULLYING:  Will you join us and pledge to go purple in support of LGBT youth and against bullying?  GLAAD is working with faith organizations including the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, DignityUSA, the Institute for Judaism and Sexuality, Lutherans Concerned/North America, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, as well as GLSEN, GSA Network, The Trevor Project, and the American Federation of Teachers to spread the word and send an important message to LGBT youth today.

We need you and your help to end bullying and to support LGBT youth! On Thursday, October 20, millions of Americans will wear purple to symbolize their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, letting them know that they are loved, accepted, and welcomed for who they are. This day has been designated Spirit Day.

SENIOR MOMENTUM:  Coots young and old, well-behaved or eccentric – 70s, 80s, and up.  Are you interested in a casual, non-structured, monthly (or so) tea and coffee get-together?  It would be simply to enjoy friends new and old, who are in the same “Gee, ain’t aging weird” boat.  Conversation guaranteed to be interesting (to us). And unaccompanied by immature, super-energetic, non-comprehending youths in their sixties etc. Those who drive can transport those who can’t.  Please join us at an interest meeting to discuss and plan on Oct 23rd after church, 11:30 in the Thornhill Room.  Contact: Ann Fisher (510) 654 – 5518 if interested.

ANNUAL FAITH TRIO HARVEST DINNER:  Saturday, November 5, at 5pm, we will again celebrate the Faith Trio Harvest Dinner with us as the host this year. Sign up for a table on Sunday or call Sherrill Figuera – 510-339-1131.  Come and have an interfaith conversation! Our Faith Trio partners are the Kehilla Community Synagogue and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California.

QUEEN SIZE BED WITH FRAME SEEKING GOOD HOME:  We are downsizing and have a bed that we are seeking a place to donate.  It is a two year old queen sized bed mattress, box springs, and simple frame.  All are in excellent condition.  Does anyone have any suggestions of an organization or family that might be interested?  Who ever takes it must come and pick it up (it is up two flights of stairs).  Bed will be available October 24.  Lee Aurich, 510-654-2216,


  • Safety for Joan Halperin’s son Matthew who recently departed for a contract job in Afghanistan.
  • For Peggy Alter, recovering from surgery at home.
  • Continued healing for Tracy Livezey and wisdom for her doctors.
  • For non-violence, safety and health for all those who are occupying Wall Street all over the country and for the impact they may have on our political leaders.
  • For all those who are grieving due to loss of lives, relationships, meaning, employment, housing, abilities and health.
  • For all those who are caring for aging parents.
  • For the youth group as they prepare their garden project.
  • For the concerns of our hearts that don’t always get shared aloud.


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, 8:30am-4:30pm

Rev. Beth Buckingham-Brown, Office hours Monday-Wednesday, 10:00-4:00 pm

Susan Hunn, Associate for Education: Office hours, Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30-2:30 pm

Sherrill Figuera: Administrative Assistant, Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 pm

Talitha Phillips: Associate for Care and Congregational Life

Kim Rankin: Music Director

Marcia Roy: Organist

Gil & Maria Chiguila: Caretakers

Rev. John Hadsell: Theologian in Residence

Rev. Kathy Ray: Parish Associate