January 12, 2011

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Rev. Beth will be out of town from January 17 to January 23rd.  If you have an emergency, please contact Susan Hunn through the church office.

Dear Friends,

Every Sunday for the past several Sundays, I have heard from a number of people that when we share our joys and concerns out loud with each other and pray together, it is a moving experience.  Many of you have expressed how much more connected you feel to each other as a result of the sharing.  Thank you for your courage in sharing with each other and with me.  So often we don’t know what’s going on with each other and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to hear what makes you smile and what brings tears to your eyes.  If you are not comfortable with the practice or don’t appreciate it, I hope you will find a way to live with it for a while as we deepen our connections and pray together.

Over the Christmas holidays, we did actually have church on December 26th!  In fact, our very own Bud Sisson performed a monologue written by me on Herod.  Bud made a frighteningly convincing Herod.  For those of you who missed his spectacular embodiment, the storytellers are planning on having him perform it again at a brunch during Lent.  Stay tuned for details.  One of the reasons I mention it is that afterward one of our members told me that what it raised for him was the issue of dichotomies and how reality tends to be more about both/and than about either/or.  We like to live in the world of either/or because it makes things more clear cut, but that world is rarely our reality.  He was pointing out that we would like to think of Herod as evil and the reality (according to the monologue I wrote) was that Herod was good and evil, rather than good or evil.  What a good reminder for all of us as we find ourselves taking various positions on issues, people, beliefs, practices, etc…Sometimes I even find myself doing it in the midst of an argument at home.  I insist it’s one way or the other, rather than being willing to admit it might be both/and.  Imagine how different our religious and political worlds might be if we could be more at ease with both/and kind of thinking!  The recent tragedy in Arizona in which several people were killed and many more wounded is an example of the extreme consequences of either/or thinking.  If there is anything to learn from such a tragedy it is that language and rhetoric can have extreme consequences.  May we be people who attempt to live with the ambiguities of both/and reality.

On a different note, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our new temporary office person, Sherrill Figuera.  Sherrill came highly recommended to us by the Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr and I have known Sherrill for several years.  We are hoping Sherrill will enjoy being with us enough that she will consider applying for our regular position later this month!  Please be sure to say hello to Sherrill and give her a warm Montclair welcome as you have done so beautifully for me.  The Personnel Committee will be posting the job description for our position on our website and on Craig’s List later this week.  Last week I mentioned the website was going to rollover to the new site.  The rollover was postponed and it will happen on January 14th instead.  Please be patient with emails to staff while the rollover is completed.

See you Sunday morning at 8:30 for the class on “The Once and Future Church” with guest speaker, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, our former General Assembly Moderator and Emergent Church Pastor extraordinaire………Beth

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN ARIZONA Please join your neighbors Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and all the victims of the tragedy in Arizona.

WHAT: Standing against violence: a candlelight vigil
With comments by clergy members, elected officials & community leaders
WHERE: Frank Ogawa Plaza (outside Oakland City Hall), 14th St at Broadway, Oakland.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 12, 5-6:30 pm

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

Please bring friends, candles, and your prayers and thoughts for Rep. Giffords, the other victims, and their families. Thanks for taking a stand against violence.

BIBLE STUDY RESUMES THIS WEEK Pastor Beth will be leading an ongoing bible study class Wednesdays, 1-2:30 pm in the Thornhill Room. Readings will be from the Revised Common Lectionary. The Lectionary is available online at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/. Also a limited number of copies will be available at the Book Table on Sunday.

By using the Lectionary you have the opportunity to read the same passages even if you are not able to attend the Wednesday classes.

DEADLINES To submit announcements for the bulletin and Contact, please send them to office@mpcfamily.org.  The deadline for Contact is Tuesdays at 3 pm and the deadline for the bulletin is Wednesdays at 12 pm. This is a change for all of us, so let’s try to remind each other!

BE ALERT WHEN YOU LEAVE THE CHURCH AT NIGHT There was a theft from a car  in the early evening behind the Ed Building and also from a purse in the Ed Building. It’s best to keep valuables with you and also to exit in groups after dark.

GIVING TO THE WORLD This was an amazing year for our alternative giving program!  There were

34 MPC family members and friends who participated, contributing a total of $8,901.00 to the 14 organizations in our catalog.  Those people are no doubt feeling good about helping others as they honored friends and family and notified them of their donations.  Thank you to everyone who contributed!  When we’ve crunched the numbers, we’ll let you know how the money will be distributed.

BOLIVIA BRUNCH WITH JAY GREGORY Jay returned from his mission role in Bolivia as interim Joining Hands Companionship Facilitator!  Enjoy his wonderful photos of Bolivia and tales of what it is like to coordinate the work of the 11 networked member organizations of UMAVIDA, to host a US delegation visit, to work with the Youth Environmental Congress delegates, and to observe the ongoing magic of social movements in Latin American up close and personal.  Please come enjoy lovely food (served warm, but not too hot), bring a salad or dessert or beverage, or make a small donation for brunch expenses.  And, dream about your own visit to Bolivia, perhaps in February 2011?  Call Jean Norris for more information, (510) 535-0498.

SURPRISE! I’M STILL HERE Join Jane Rubey for a brunch celebrating her book on living with cancer (available in the Book Depot). Storytellers and Companions are co-sponsoring the brunch on January 23 at 11:30 in the Thornhill Room. Marge Moser will host Jane for a discussion of her book. All welcome.

PERFORMANCE OF “LEAPS & BOUNDS” The Affording Hope Project will present a one-woman show, “Leaps and Bounds,” at the Ecumenical Center of Berkeley (1798 Scenic Avenue) on Wednesday, January 26, 8:30-9:45 pm. Biblical storytelling, movement, music, poetry and song woven together powerfully portray our deepening ecological and economic crises. Yet hope has the last word. The audience will be inspired to imagine and initiate a more intentional relationship with the earth and our Creator. The performance is part of the program of the PSR Earl Lectures, but is open to the public with no registration required. A free-will offering will be received to help cover expenses. For more information, visit http://www.affordinghopeproject.org/. Before the performance, an Evening Taizé Worship will take place 7:00-8:00 pm in the nearby PSR Chapel. If you are interested in carpooling, contact Eloise Gilland.

SPLASH TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT TIMELY — The City of Oakland Watershed and Stormwater Management RAIN BARREL PROGRAM is a three-year initiative to provide rain barrels at a significantly reduced cost in an effort to reduce urban stormwater impacts.  Use rain barrels to capture roof runoff so that it can be released safely and slowly into the landscape to prevent high flows and erosion on Oakland’s hill slopes and in creeks.  Only OAKLAND HOMEOWNERS are invited to purchase the rain barrels!  Visit http://www.oaklandpw.com/rainbarrel to read about the program and place your order online.  Step 1: Select size of rain barrel.  (65 gallon barrels are $45.41–limit 6 per household.  200 gallon barrels are $115.90–limit 2 per household).  Step 2: Sign Participant Agreement (read carefully).  Step 3: Order and pay.  Step 4: Pick up your purchase on SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 2011, 9 AM to 1 PM, TEMESCAL FARMERS MARKET, 490 Cavour Street, Oakland, 94618.  NOTE:  The 200 gallon barrel must be ordered two weeks before the January 30 pick-up, or you can select a home delivery.

THE ART GANG They will be having their Winter organizational meeting to discuss possible events for 2011 in the Thornhill Room Jan.30th at 11:30 after church. Anyone interested in art related events should attend. Light refreshments will be served.

A SPIRITUALITY RETREAT Something new and exciting is being planned for the spring: A Spirituality Retreat in New Denver, British Columbia, May 6-14. It will be led by Rev. Therese des Camp, who has been our Family Camp speaker for the past 2 years and occasionally teaches at Berkeley’s GTU seminary. She and her husband often open their lovely home as a retreat center. The setting is spectacular with views of the lake and mountains covered with glaciers; lovely gardens surround the home; and the accommodations are very comfortable. Therese will be giving us more about what she will be doing soon. They have room for a total of only 12 people so all who attend are asked to participate in the full program of study and reflection.

Susan Hunn will lead the group to Canada, the same place where the Youth Group volunteered last summer painting a church. Costs, still to be determined, will cover roundtrip airfare to Spokane, 2 nights lodging at either end of the trip in Spokane, rental vans, food and lodging fees. If you might be interested, please contact Susan at SHunn@mpcfamily.org. More information will soon follow.

YOUTH GROUP This Sun. Jan. 16  Night at Golden Skate in San Ramon with roller or in-line skates. Also all-you-can-eat pizza and drinks. $11 plus skate rental of $5, or bring your own. Meet at church lot at 5:45pm; return 9:30pm.

Left to right front row:  Cabrel Kapsiak, Seine Kapsiak, Elizabeth Todd,  Gretchen Garlinghouse, Jim Allardice.

Left to right back row:  Kurtz Gilligan, Hope Boije, Debbie Fallehy, Earl Hamlin.


“Anxious times hold not only the potential for destruction but also for creation, important learnings, and changes that will strengthen the congregation….How anxiety is addressed will determine the outcome more than anything.” — Peter Steinke

Our congregation is undergoing a transition in which events that trigger anxiety may be more likely to occur. The Health and Reconciliation Team (HART) is a warm and welcoming group, committed to active listening, whose mission is to address concerns, anxieties, or issues between people. If you are feeling distressed in any way, please feel free to talk with our Interim Pastor, Rev. Beth Buckingham-Brown, or to any HART member (Peggy Alter, Eloise Gilland, Burt Rodgers, Bob Roat, and Stan Stevens) or leave a message for Stan (chair of HART) by calling the church office at 510-339-1131.

WIDOWS/WIDOWERS GRIEF RECOVERY GROUPS 2011 Schedule (later 2011 dates will be announced by July)

Have you or someone you know experienced the death of a spouse recently or within the last few years?  Sharing our experiences during this 10-week class is extremely helpful to our healing process.  Find hope, support and successful ways to process this significant life event.  Course is open to all Widows and Widowers.  Enrollments are now being accepted – can start up to 3rd week.  Pre-Registration required.  The workbook is $10.  Please call the contact at the church where you would like to attend the group.

Brochures will be sent upon request.

Sundays, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

February 6th – April 10th

First Presbyterian Church of Hayward

2490 Grove Way, Castro Valley

Contact:  Lois Samarron   510-581-6203×202

Tuesdays, 7 – 9 p.m.

March 15th – May 17th

Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church

49 Knox Drive, Lafayette

Contact:  Bev Fellows   925-283-8722

Wednesdays, 7 – 9 p.m.

July 13th – September 14th

Valley Community Church

4455 Del Valle Pkwy, Pleasanton

Contact:  Linda Husted   925-833-9013

Call Katie Kelley for 2011 Schedule

First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley

2407 Dana Street, Berkeley

Contact:  Katie Kelley   510-848-6252 x241


YOU ARE INVITED to two classes during January.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Based on reading the book “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” (of the Harvard Negotiation Project) explores what makes conversations difficult, why we avoid them, and why we often handle them badly.  It applies to how we deal with children, parents, employees and others.

Instructor: BETSY KING. Class Size: 5 to 15

Dates: SATURDAYS, JANUARY 8, 15, 22, 29.  Time: 9-10:30 AM. Place: Thornhill Room

Convener: PAULA MOSELEY, 510-339-8570 baxterblanco@gmail.com Fee: $15 incl. book


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  As we search for a new pastor, we will also be rethinking our future as a congregation; at least two possibilities for the future stand out: (1) Try to stay the course with little or no change, or (2) re-think and perhaps re-shape ourselves and our mission.  This seminar will look closely at the second option, including reading the book  – “The Once and Future Church”  by Loren Mead –  and hearing from outside speakers with suggestions on how to move into a promising future.

Date: SUNDAYS, JANUARY 9, 16, 23, 30. Time: 8:30-9-45 am. Place: Room 10. Class Size: 10- 25.

Convener: DAVID SIEGENTHALER, 510-482-9311 dsgnthlr@earthlink.net Fee: $20 incl. book

CONDO FOR RENT Gini and John Zoranovich’s son is renting out a 1-br condo in the Piedmont ave area. Pool, parking, beautiful quiet neighborhood. $1,500/ month. Call Sam if interested. 408-499-5220

MPC Calendar:





Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am-3:30pm

Rev. Beth Buckingham-Brown, Office hours Monday-Wednesday, 10:00-3:00 pm

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

Sherrill Figuera: Administrative Assistant: Office hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9:00-3:30 pm

Talitha Phillips: Coordinator for Children and Youth

Marcia Roy: Organist

Gil & Maria Chiguila: Caretakers

Rev. John Hadsell: Theologian in Residence

Rev. Kathy Ray: Parish Associate