November 24, 2010

Montclair Presbyterian Church…

The Community Organizes and

Orders Its Life Through the Flow of Information

Dear Friends,

In my almost 20 years of being ordained I have never had to call for backup on a Sunday morning!  When I knew Saturday mid-day that I would not be able to make it to preach on Sunday morning, I thought about all of our amazing ordained people in the congregation.  We are so gifted!  Thank you to Vince Mok who responded so willingly to the call for help.  What a comfort it was to me to know I was leaving you all in good hands while I missed you!

As we prepare to give thanks tomorrow, I am filled with gratitude for all of you and for this time in which we walk together on the interim path.  You are a deeply compassionate and caring congregation.   I invite you to take some time to reflect over this weekend on the past year in your life and in Montclair’s life.  For what or whom are you thankful?  Where have you seen God at work in you or in others?

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and we begin Advent with the theme of Preparation.  The text is from Matthew 24 and is about waiting and watching and being ready.  Advent is a time for us to prepare our hearts again for Jesus to break in to the world and in to our lives.  Advent is always a bit chaotic and this year will be the same!  We are looking for where the hope is in the midst of the chaos.

On Wednesdays during Advent, I will offer a group experience on “Turning the Holiday Blues into Rainbows.”  I know it’s a totally hokie title, but if you come to the group you’ll get to hear the explanation!  We will meet Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in the Thornhill Room.  If you are someone who has had personal experience with loss that impacts how you experience the holidays, this may be just the group for you.  Even if your loss was many years ago, if it was someone with whom you were very close the loss may still feel fresh.  Join us on Wednesdays, December 1, 8, 15 and 22 if you want support or want to give support during this time.  Beth

Advent Events: Join us at the following events as we celebrate Advent.

·        Saturday, November 27, 9:00 a.m. – Gather in the Family Room to help decorate the church.

·        Wednesday, December 8 – Soup and salad in the Family Room at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Christmas carol sing-along in the sanctuary at 7:00.

·        Sunday, December 12, 10:00 a.m. – Children’s Christmas Pageant & Christmas party.

·        Sunday, December 19, 10:00 a.m. – The choir will perform “The Magnificat”.

·        Tuesday, December 21, 7:00 p.m. – Taize meditation service in the sanctuary

·        Friday, December 24 – Join us for a family service at 5:30 p.m. and/or a service with the adult choir at 7:30 p.m. with refreshments in between services.

The youth group’s Water Project concludes today, but the donations are still being collected. Checks can be made out to MPC – please put “Water Project” in the memo.

REHEARSALS FOR CHILDREN for this year’s Christmas presentation, which will take place on celebration on Sunday, December 12, are as follows: Children who are either reading the narrative or singing in the choir will continue rehearsing during the last part of  class until11:15 on Sundays November 28 and December 5, Saturday December 11, noon – 1pm, as well as early on the day of the performance.  We hope all the children will participate even if they have to miss a rehearsal. Questions – contact Kim, Talitha or Susan.

BRINGING IN THE ADVENT WREATH. This Sunday it will be the 4-6th grade children. Please meet at the front door at 9:45 AM. On Dec. 5, K – 3rd grade, alternating classes each week. Thanks to Nancy Singer for coordinating the wreath again this year.

YOUTH GROUP will not meet this Sunday because of the holiday.

WHAT’S OUR YOUTH GROUP BEEN UP TO BESIDES RAISING FUNDS FOR THE WATER PROJECT? So far this year our 25+ members have looked at a variety of issues at their meetings: Saying no to riding with drivers who have been drinking and the safe use of social networks were 2 of our topics. In addition, Jay Gregory engaged them in water issues from his experience in Bolivia with Joining Hands. Last week they played a simulation game where each small group was a village without safe water and had to think of consequences of that as well as issues that arose when their village was given a well by a youth group in the US.


FAMILY ROOM RENOVATION: A HUGE THANK YOU to the Men’s Group and others who did such a beautiful job painting the Family Room and installing the bulletin boards!   What a wonderful improvement!   We also applaud Bud Sisson, our Storage Coordinator, who has done amazing work and continues to organize our various church storage areas.   Now the Family Room Renovation Committee is focusing on cleaning out closets, recommending policies for the bulletin boards, as well as other jobs that need to be done.  Would chairpersons who are interested in reserving a bulletin board please contact Barbara Peters at  510-654-9677 or

A NEW ANTHOLOGY, LIVES IN PROGRESS 2010, is on the way and will go on sale Sunday, Dec. 5. Storytellers sponsors this annual collection of original stories and poems by members and friends who have participated in this year’s classes and events. Included are family stories, faith journey reflections, social comment and a new “Godly Play” section of writings and/or drawings by ten of our children. A wonderful gift to the family.

Deck the Halls: O come all ye faithful and help decorate the church for Christmas.  We will gather in the Family Room this Saturday morning, November 27, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Contact Sloan White if you have questions.

“Come see Bye Bye Birdie produced by Oakland School for the Arts in the historically renovated Fox Theater. Several of our own youth attend this school and some are participating in the play. Show time is 7 p.m. on Dec 9 and 10. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 students, sold after school starting at 3:30 or through Ticketmaster (; Groups of 20 or more are $15 per person. Last year we had 3 nights and sold out each night. If you’re interested, be sure to get your tickets soon! Contact Leslie Louie (510-551-3702) for tickets if you want to save the Ticketmaster fees. Hope to see you there!”

MArk your calendars: Montclair Village Holiday Stroll will be Thursday, Dec.  2, 6:00-8:30 PM.

Hooray for the youth for focusing us on water issues!  Now the SPLASH Team is jumping into the depths by sponsoring a water table in the Family Room after Celebration this Sunday, Nov.28th.  Sari Kulberg and Jean Gregory will have information on how families can conserve water consumption in their homes.  Come visit the Water Table!  See you there.

San Francisco Theological Seminary invites you to attend Lessons & Carols, a 36- year tradition of Christmas music, scripture readings and fellowship on December 3rd & 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Stewart Memorial Chapel, San Anselmo. This year’s theme , “Rest, and Hear the Angels,” features the Seminary Singers and a dessert reception immediately following the service.  For directions or more information, call 415.451.2861 or visit our website at

A hearty and very grateful thanks to all who contributed to Thanksgiving Dinner at Fruitvale Presbyterian Church last Sunday.  There were over two dozen MPCers who contributed delicious dishes, baked and sliced up turkeys, served dinner to 100 people, joined in the feast, and/or assisted in clean up duties.  What a wonderful time was had by all.  Everyone is already talking about doing it again next year, so mark your calendars!

Jean,  On  behalf of Fruitvale Presbyterian Church, I’d like to thank you and your group of volunteers for your extraordinary contribution to the success of yesterday’s Thanksgiving Dinner. Without your participation it simply would not have been possible to serve the large number of people who showed up, which I estimated to be about 110. Many of these people also come to the food distribution we hold twice a month, and it’s likely that this is the only thanksgivingmeal they are going to have. The variety of dishes your group brought along with your energy and enthusiasm have made this the best Thanksgiving Dinner ever. I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a partnership that will continue for many years. Chuck

MPC Calendar:

I will miss you all, so!


Christine Stickever- Peterson
Associate in Communications and Logistics
Montclair Presbyterian Church
5701 Thornhill Drive
Oakland, California 94611


Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00am-4:00pm

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

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

Christine Stickever- Peterson, Associate in Communications & Logistics: Office hours, Tues. – Friday 9:00am-4:00pm

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