January 19, 2011

Montclair Presbyterian Church

Dear Friends,

After church yesterday, Jay Gregory gave a presentation verbally and with pictures of his year in Bolivia.  What an incredible experience he had there and he did a beautiful job of sharing it with the more than 40 people who attended.  The model of the “Joining Hands Against Hunger” program is an excellent one and truly moves away from the “North Americans Know Best” kind of thinking.  You all can feel good about having nurtured Jay in his faith and then having sent him to Bolivia on your behalf. Jay was very active in our Youth Group as a student and later as an advisor.

After Jay’s presentation I met with various leaders from social justice.  We worked together for more than two hours to talk about how we can best join our energies to form a plan for social justice that incorporates the entire congregation.  We are so blessed to have so many committed and gifted individuals who are determined to make a difference in the world.

When Rev. Dr. Bruce Reyes-Chow, our Former GA Moderator, spoke to the “Once and Future Church” class, one of the themes was how the Baby Boomer Generation can build bridges with the Millennial Generation so that leadership in congregations can be truly shared.  It was fun to continue that conversation in the social justice meeting and talk about how to have conversations with younger members (those under age 50 for purposes of that discussion!) to hear what they feel passionate about and how they see themselves getting involved to change the world.  One of the things mentioned is that many of our younger folks are already engaged in various issues, but not necessarily in the church.  Our hope is to make connections and join in some of those endeavors.  What we are committed to doing is building relationships and having conversations that will bring us together.  Stay tuned for more details.

On February 6th we will have a called Congregational Meeting so we can elect elders.  In addition, I am hoping to be able to present a draft of the time line for the Interim Period.  Many of you are wondering what the timing will be so I’d like to address that question in a public forum.  As the Session members meet on January 29th for a working retreat, one of the questions we will consider is a question designed to get to the heart of who we are as a congregation.  The question is this: “What would happen if Montclair closed its doors?  What would the impact be?”  As you can see, this question will help us identify what we offer that many other churches offer as well and what we offer that other churches may not offer.  It might also help us become aware of ways that we are not living in to our identity.

As I leave town this week for some needed rest, I will hold you in my heart and continue to give thanks for you.  Your openness, honesty, and compassion continue to inspire me.



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!

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. Talitha highly recommends the show and wrote a bit about it on her blog: http://presbybug.blogspot.com/2011/01/leaps-and-bounds.html

SPLASH TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Visit http://www.oaklandpw.com/rainbarrel to read about the RAIN BARREL PROGRAM and place your order online. Pick up your purchase on SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 2011, 9 AM to 1 PM, TEMESCAL FARMERS MARKET, 490 Cavour Street, Oakland, 94618.

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.

YOUTH GROUP: They will meet this Sunday, Jan. 23, 7-9 PM.  SKI/SNOWBOARD TRIP $$ due.

A SPIRITUAL RETREAT: May 6-14 in New Denver, British Columbia. Rev. Therese DesCamp, our past Family Camp speaker, will open her lovely home to us. The setting is spectacular with views of the lake and mountains covered with glaciers, lovely gardens and very comfortable accommodations. Maximum of 12 people. Susan Hunn, who is now working with some of our adult programs too, will lead the group. This is where our Youth volunteered last summer. Cost will cover airfare, lodging, food and program fees. If interested, please contact Susan for a flyer with more details. Already 8 people have expressed interest so don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Pat Schwinn asks for prayers for her father, Wayne Stephenson, who was recently moved from his apartment to Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland after some medical problems developed.

ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES: The spring class schedule will be sent in a separate email today and on the church website.  Come to sign-ups after Celebration in the Family Room on January 23 and 30.

IN CONCERT: John McCutcheon….folk music’s Renaissance man, master instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, storyteller, activist and author.

January 22, 2011 7:00pm

Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church

1578 Kirker Pass Road

Clayton, CA

CHILDREN’S FOOD BASKET PROJECT: The Food Basket packers continue to need shopping bags, both brown and plastic, to pack the food for the schools. For those of you who like to contribute directly to the project at the Sunday table, $19 will buy food for one child for a month.

RECRUITMENT IS UNDERWAY: This is for an Administrative Assistant for our church office.  The position is posted on Craigslist.  To see the full job announcement and to get information about how to apply, go to http://www.mpcfamily.org/administrative-assistant-job-announcement/.   There is also a link to the job announcement from the home page on our NEW website, www.mpcfamily.org.  The Personnel Committee welcomes applications or referrals of qualified candidates from the church family. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, January 25, 2011.  Questions?  E-mail marge_nicholson@comcast.net.

TUTORING ANYONE?: The Community Connection Committee invites you to become a tutor for an elementary school child at Futures School, the very school that receives our weekly food bags for hungry children or some other selected schools in Oakland.  The commitment is one or two hours a week, meeting with the same child each time.  If interested contact Rebecca Buckley at rebecca@faith-network.com or (510) 836-5100 or Jean Gregory at jeancgreg@gmail.com, (510) 343-5159.

FROM REV. BETH: “Please keep the Session and me in your prayers on Saturday, January 29th as we gather for an all-day working retreat.  Be sure to join in Celebration on Sunday morning, January 30th, as I welcome two old friends!  The Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr will preach and Mr. Michael Miller will lead us in music.  Michael was the Music Director at Northminster Presbyterian Church while I was pastor.  I am not sure where you would find a more dynamic duo than Janie Spahr and Michael Miller.  I look forward to leading in Celebration with my good friends and I guarantee you will leave having experienced something of the Spirit!”

SAVE THE DATE: Tahoe Church Family Camp, June 19-25

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SAN LEANDRO: They are looking for a Church Administrative Manager. Please contact the church for information.

First Presbyterian Church

180 Estudillo Avenue

San Leandro, CA  94577

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