Contact: September 28, 2011

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Dear Friends,

As you know the Mission Study Team has been meeting weekly and working very hard since early August. We commissioned them in Celebration on August 21st. When we commissioned them, we reiterated to everyone that their primary job is to figure out which questions to ask. The MOST IMPORTANT part of the “success” of this Mission Study will be your participation in the Study. If it is the job of the Mission Study Team to ASK questions, it is the congregation’s (that’s YOU) job to answer the questions.

This coming Sunday, October 2nd, is our Annual Congregational meeting. We have a very quick business item (electing the nominating committee) and then the Mission Study Team will give its first report. We want to give all of you a chance to ask questions and hopefully have them answered regarding the process itself. After a time for questions and answers, the Mission Study Team is going to involve you in giving input. We will gather in small groups of 8-10 and have a facilitated exercise that will allow you to dive right in to the Study.

There are always any number of activities that are competing for your time and energy on Sunday afternoons. Just as the Mission Study Team has made the Study a priority for the coming months, we are asking you to make the Study a priority as well. We have planned monthly gatherings from now until May (we may not need that many but wanted to reserve them just in case) and the Mission Study Team is counting on your participation. Please put the dates into your calendars and do all you can to make them a priority. The Mission Study Team will do their best to make good use of your time, energy and creativity by planning activities that will engage you, energize you and connect you with one another.

Here is what it will look like on Sunday: After Celebration, we will go into the Family Room to have a very quick birthday gathering and to allow people to have a snack (we’ll make sure there is more than cake!). After people have had a chance to get coffee/tea and a snack, we will gather around the tables in the Family Room to do our “business” part of the meeting and then to engage in our discussion for the day. The meeting will be finished by 1 pm. If you have children, we will provide snacks for the children as well and they will have a chance to do clay art with Dot Cudaback.

This is an exciting time for the Montclair Church Family as the reflecting and dreaming and planning for the future gets underway! Regardless of whether you have been a member for more than 50 years or you are just beginning here, your voice and experience and wisdom are so important in this process. Part of what it means to be Presbyterian is that we believe in the “priesthood of all believers.” In other words, the Pastor (or Priest) is not the one who issues directions or commands from on high. The congregation, working with the pastor, embodies the wisdom, knowledge, faith and discernment that was once attributed only to the clergy. So, come on out and embody this Presbyterian value!

See you on Sunday for an exciting Celebration and Congregational Meeting,

VIRGINIA HADSELL MEMORIAL SERVICE: A Celebration of the Life of Virginia Hadsell will be held on Sunday, October 9th, at 2 pm in the Montclair Presbyterian Church sanctuary with a reception to follow.

Sunday, October 2nd:
World Communion Sunday – Rev. Beth and the Youth who attended the Mission Trip to Portland, Oregon, will reflect on the trip and Hunger and what we can do about hunger right here in Montclair. Our annual Congregational Meeting will be held after the service to elect the Nominating Committee and to hear a report from the Mission Study Team.

Youth Group:
Something exciting is brewing in Youth Group, something that originated with our older youth. Session has already given its support to their idea. This Sunday in Celebration our youth will be presenting us with the special project, which was inspired by their Mission Trip this summer. They would like to create an organic edible garden in the weed-covered space by the office. This would consist of raised beds that grow vegetables and fruit for the purpose of donating the harvest to a local food distribution center. The intention is for this to be an intergenerational activity led by the youth group. The garden will be planned, designed and implemented by the youth and run by a youth-based steering committee. Families or groups within the church congregation will have the opportunity to sign up for a 4’x4’ plot, which they will maintain. Families/groups who sign up for a plot will not be required to pay anything and can keep a percentage of the food. The youth group will only build as many plots as there are families/groups interested. So please join us in Celebration this Sunday to learn more about the Mission Trip experience and about the garden. This Sunday and next will be the time to sign up for a plot and to learn in what other ways you can support this project. Jessie Lett, a senior at UC Davis and former Montclair youth group member, will be helping to coordinate and guide the youth as part of her senior project. Have questions? Please contact me at the church.
This Sunday: Youth Group will meet in room 2 from 7-9 PM. All youth are encouraged to attend the Congregational meeting after Celebration.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: The annual congregational meeting will take place after celebration this Sunday, October 2, 2011 for the purpose of electing the church Nominating committee and receiving a report from our Mission Study Team as well as engaging in the beginning of the study.

FALL CLASSES – STILL ROOM FOR MORE: These classes are starting and we still have room for more in each of them. Please contact the Convener for information and to join the class.

Course title: “What is the Old Testament…Really?”
Time and Place: Two Sundays in October: 2 & 9; 8:30 to 9:45 am, Room 10.
Convener: Minda Lucero, 510-523-3619.

Course title: “What is a Presbyterian…Really?”
Time and Place: Two Sundays in October: 2 & 9, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Thornhill Room.
Convener: Marjorie Moser, 510-632-9868.

Course title: “The Soul of Money.”
Time and Place: Four Wednesdays in October: 5, 12, 19, & 26, Thornhill Room.
Convener: Paula Moseley.

HARVEST DINNER: Virginia Abascal and Phil Reagan are chairing the HARVEST DINNER this year on November 5th. Montclair is hosting our friends at Kehilla Synogogue and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. It promises to be a vibrant event! We need a group of friends who will work with us and offer their ideas. Call us, Virginia at 510-708-7113 or Phil at 925-954-8798.

ART SHOW A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS: George Somers’ donation of his striking paintings to MPC’s fund-raising silent auction generated over $2,600 for our church. Such lovely art! Such spirited bidding! The Stewardship Committee thanks George, on behalf of every member and friend of MPC, for making this very special gift, which brightened our Sundays and now will grace many of our homes.

TIMESKID FOLLOW-UP: Following the performance of “Timeskid,” several people asked Sharon Noteboom, the director, for a copy of the final piece that she shared, “Is It That Time Already?” Sharon has said she would be glad to send a copy to anyone who asks for one. If you would like a copy of her piece, call Sharon at 925-943-5685.

FIRE – CYCLES OF RENEWAL: Close to Home talk Monday, Oct 3, 7:30pm: We’re honored to have the assistant fire chief of the park district, John Swanson, speak to us on Fire: Cycles of Renewal. He’ll be focusing on the bigger picture – the history of fire in the East Bay, indigenous peoples’ controlled burns, and the district’s wildfire management plans.

PEACEMAKING OFFERING: The annual Peacemaking offering for this Sunday, October 2, is a great way to join with other Presbyterians in supporting our national, regional and local activities to teach and promote non-violence at all levels. This year our local funds, 25% of the offering, will go to Destiny Arts Center, an Oakland-based violence prevention program for inner-city youth.

REMEMBER TO BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS: We were informed by the principal of Montclair Elementary School that on Monday morning at about 9:45 am there was an attempted car-jacking at the corner of Thornhill Dr & Mountain. The victim is fine but this is a great reminder to be aware of who and what is around us.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS AVAILABLE: See Rita Moreno in Life Without Makeup at Berkeley Repertory Theatre! As part of this Entourage, you can get 20% off tickets to the following performances: Wednesday, October 26th @ 7:00 pm, Thursday, October 27th @ 2:00 pm, and Friday, October 28th @ 8:00 pm. Your unique promo code is: ROSITA.
1. Click here to buy tickets, http:// The code is automatically applied when you click the link. 2. Select one of the above dates and add tickets to your cart. 3. Once the tickets are in your cart, use the drop-down menu to select the tickets that say “Entourage Regular.” If you don’t see it, stop! You haven’t entered the code correctly. Try again or call the box office for help: 510-647-2949.
Offer details: Tickets are subject to availability. Entourage tickets are available online only—not by phone or in person—by using the code above. Please make sure that the tickets in your cart include the word “Entourage.” Berkeley Rep will not reimburse you for tickets accidentally purchased without the code. This offer is not available retroactively. Berkeley Rep does not offer refunds or exchanges (except for subscribers, who may make exchanges only).
Parking, Dining, and more: Berkeley Rep is located at 2025 Addison St off Shattuck, just half a block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Click here for information,, about parking, dining, public transportation, and more about Berkeley Rep.

• For the life and memory of Virginia Hadsell, and for John and family in their grief.
• For all who work for a cure for AIDS and for prevention of HIV transmission. For all those infected or affected by it.
• For the new Jewish calendar year; for all who celebrate Rosh Hashana; and particularly for the Israeli youth who are standing up to demand that the new year be one of peace.
• For all those undergoing or recovering from surgery (no matter how minor).
• For all those who are grieving due to loss of lives, relationships, meaning, employment, housing, abilities and health.
• For all those who care for a sick or ailing loved one.
• For continued healing for Serin Eggling.
• For the youth group as they plan and prepare their garden project.

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