Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Author Talk: Sam Barry Presents Her Wild Oats

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

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Sam Barry photoWednesday, September 3rd at 7pm, author and musician Sam Barry will present and read from Her Wild Oats, a novel by his late wife Kathi Kamen Goldmark. Sam will be joined by Guy Johnson and authors Peggy Orenstein and Frances Dinkelspiel. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a wonderfully warm and funny evening.

About the book:

Completed shortly before her untimely death from breast cancer, Kathi Kamen Goldmark’s Her Wild Oats is a honky-tonk road story about two unlikely pals: A smart young woman, Arizona Rosenblatt, leaves home and her role as assistant to a high-powered Hollywood executive when she discovers her husband is having an affair with a woman from Jews for Jesus; and thirteen-year-old Otis Ray “Wild Oats” Pixlie, boy genius harmonica player. In the end, Otis Ray learns what it means to be an adult, Arizona discovers the life she wants, and they both figure out the true meaning of love and family.

Praise for Her Wild Oats:

Her Wild Oats book cover

“If you’ve ever fantasized about ditching your life and going on the road with your favorite band, this book is for you. It’s full of wild twists, great characters and sharp, funny writing.” — Carl Hiaasen, author of Skink – No Surrender

“When you flee your okay marriage and your pretty good job, what do you find? What else but who you are. With humor and tenderness, Kathi Kamen Goldmark has created characters who we would love to have as companions on our own escape.” — Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement

Kathi Kamen Goldmark“Among her many talents, Kathi Goldmark was a terrific writer, as she showed with her funny and touching debut novel, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You. It’s a damn shame Kathi couldn’t stick around longer, but she left us all a sweet parting gift with Her Wild Oats.” — Dave Barry, author of You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty

“A story full of zip and humor, from a lady who had a lot of both.”—Roy Blount Jr., author of Joy of Text

Some parking is available in the MPC parking lot at the corner of Grisborne Avenue and Thornhill Drive; you can also park on Thornhill Drive and on nearby Mountain Blvd. More parking info and directions info are available on MPC’s parking and directions page.

The book talk is co-sponsored by Great Good Place for Books in Montclair. You’ll have the option of purchasing the book from them right after the talk.


Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson Author Talk at MPC

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

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Gratitude and Trust book coverMonday, September 29th at 7pm, authors Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson will be at MPC discussing their new book “Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life”. The book is drawn from Paul’s experience of twenty-four years in the recovery movement and Tracey’s daily quest for peace amid the difficulties of daily life. We hope you will join us for a what is sure to be an inspirational and affirming evening.


Paul Williams is an alcoholic.

Tracey Jackson is not.

But together, these two close friends have written Gratitude and Trust, a book designed to apply the principles of the recovery movement to the countless people who are not addicts but nevertheless need effective help with their difficulties and pain.

Williams, the award-winning songwriter, actor, and performer, has embraced a traditional alcoholism recovery plan for more than two decades of sobriety. Jackson, a well-known TV and film writer—and veteran of many years of traditional therapy—has never been a drunk or a drug abuser, but she realized that many of the tenets of Williams’s program could apply to her. In Gratitude and Trust, Williams and Jackson ask: What happens to those who struggle with vexing problems yet are not full-blown addicts? Are there any lessons to be learned from the foundational and time-tested principles of the recovery movement?

Whether you’re tethered to your phone or you turn to food for comfort; whether you’re a perfectionist and can’t let things go or are too afraid to fail to even try; whether you can find intimacy only on the Internet or you’ve been involved in a string of nasty relationships—the first step toward feeling better about yourself and your life is the realization that you are what’s standing in your way. Williams and Jackson have designed a new, positive program, based on a half-dozen new affirmations, that can help conquer your vices, address personal dysfunction, and start to brighten the darkest moods. Gratitude and Trust is an essential, inspirational, and uplifting guide to identifying and changing maladaptive behaviors in order to uncover your most productive, healthiest self.

About the Authors:

Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson

Paul Williams is an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter (“Rainbow Connection,” “Evergreen,” and “We’ve Only Just Begun”) and President of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is a major public force in the recovery movement, a graduate of UCLA’s Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certification Program and has served as a member of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Board of Directors. He was a founding board member and counselor for the Musicians Assistance Program (MAP), now the treatment wing of MusiCares. He has been a passionate public advocate for the recovery movement for the past twenty-four years.

Tracey Jackson wrote the films Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Guru and The Other End of the Line among others. She has also written twelve TV pilots, and created the series BABES for Fox TV. Tracey wrote, directed, and starred in the controversial documentary Lucky Ducks, which can presently be seen on Amazon, Journeyman Docs and pay for view. Her first book, Between a Rock and Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty, came out in 2011 and was optioned for a TV movie by Lifetime. Tracey blogs three times a week on She has blogged for Huffpo, WOWOWOW, Society for Drug Free America, Tiny Buddha and various other sites. She runs with Paul Williams.

Photo credit George Baier IV

Parking will be available in the lot at nearby Thornhill Elementary School (see below); more parking info and directions info are available on MPC’s parking and directions page.

The book talk is co-sponsored by Great Good Place for Books in Montclair. You’ll have the option of purchasing the book from them right after the talk.



World Cup-o-Food

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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MPC is getting competitive over the World Cup games! Those of you who were rooting for a USA win will have to settle on a second-choice country as the food drive competition continues.

A reminder of how this game works:
1) Bring in your cans and packages of non-perishable food for the Alameda County Food Bank
2) Each donated item earns you a raffle ticket
3) place your ticket in the jar of the team YOU think will win the World Cup.
When the final World Cup game concludes just after church on Sunday, July 13th, the winning team’s jar will be taken, and winning tickets selected for World Cup-themed prizes.

So bring your cans and boxes, and fill up those raffle jars!



Family Camp 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

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campfire travelmuse
Next week at this time, seventy or so of us from MPC will be sitting around a campfire in South Lake Tahoe making some music. It’s time for Family Camp!
Our adults will be enjoying a program by pastor, author, and musician Sam Barry each morning. Sam’s book “How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons” has been inspiring many of us to have more fun while we go about our household chores in zany ways, and we’ll see how we all sound when we break open a case of harmonicas.
The children and youth will be led by our Coordinator for Children and Youth, Talitha G Phillips, along with volunteers, in a musical program as well. They will be creating and playing various musical instruments. And each afternoon and evening we have different fun activities, from singalongs to DIY/art events, and the famous Talent/NoTalent show on Thursday night. See more, including videos and photos, on our camp page, and photos on our Flickr.

Photo credit by Travelmuse


Committee Fair this Sunday

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

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fairYou are invited to an all-church event after Celebration on Sunday, June 1st. Our courtyard will be transformed into a fun-filled church fair and we will be playing games of all kinds. Being Presbyterian, our church has a proliferation of committees, and even long-time church members do not always know what all the committees do. So in the Committee Fair, each group sponsors a table where you can play a fun game and ask any questions you may have about them and their role in the church. If you’re looking for ways to get more connected, this is your opportunity. If you have a competitive bent and want to take home more prizes than your sister/spouse/grandson, then come early and stay late! Or if you’d rather sit in the sun and drink lemonade while watching others in your church family make good-natured fools of themselves in silly games, now is your chance. Don’t miss the action this Sunday.
The Youth Group will be serving up burgers and dogs, portobello mushroom “burgers,” salads and desserts… as well as an old-fashioned lemonade stand (all donations benefit the youth Mission Trip to Memphis).

There will be face painting and henna-style temporary tattoos also courtesy of the youth group. For the rest of the games and the prizes available, you’ll have to come and see!





Youth Group Games

Monday, May 12th, 2014

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This weekend our Youth Group had a games night featuring a life-sized game of monopoly. We ran out of time before anyone went bankrupt, but we had a lot of fun collecting rent and sending one another to jail.

Our Youth Group is open to all youth from grades 7-12. We meet weekly during the school year for fellowship, fun, learning and growing together. Our curriculum mixes spiritual, personal, and social/political concerns. We do service projects such as cooking at soup kitchens and working at a food pantry as well as taking care of a small garden at the church which supplies food to our local food pantry. Add two retreats and a (9-12th grade) mission trip per year and that’s a recipe for a really great group!
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Credit to Sarah at YA Librarian Tales for the Monopoly instructions.



Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

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We would like to thank and congratulate Amy and Stephen Bess who organized a wondrously successful plant sale! Hundreds of plants moved through our Family Room and courtyard on April 26th, and a couple last stragglers have just found new homes by now. taking plants home
Did you take home a plant? Why don’t you post a photo of the plant in its new home on our facebook page.
The event was a fundraiser that raised $2,677 for the mission and programs of our church.
THANK YOU to all who helped with the plant sale, all the plant donors and all the buyers. I’d like to especially thank the angels who helped on both Friday and Saturday, Bonnie, Susanne, Janet, Eloise , Rich & Tinka and Donna. Thank you also to the Saturday workers, Barbara, Earl & Bonnie, Anita, Jeanine & Phil.


Join Us This Sunday!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

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Come hear our own Talitha Phillips preach this Sunday. Blake and Beth Thompson’s daughter, Mira, will be baptized and we will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. We hope you will join us.


Plant Sale Here at MPC (rain or shine)

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

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MPC Plant Sale

Plant Sale, Saturday, April 26th, 10 AM to 3 PM in the Courtyard (rain or shine). There will be over one hundred unique and rare heirloom tomatoes, many succulents, orchids, vines, iris, herbs, lettuce, raspberries, seeds, bulbs, pots, houseplants and much more. Below you can download the full flyer and a complete list of the varieties of tomatoes that will be available.
Questions or plant problems? Contact Steve Bess
Plant Sale full page flyer (pdf)
Complete List of Tomatoes Available (pdf)


Earth Day Celebration this Sunday, April 27th!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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We hope you will join us this Sunday as we celebrate Earth Day. Also the MPC Social Justice Steering Committee invites you to celebrate Earth Day week with us during Family Hour following celebration by visiting their information table to learn more about resources for environmental sustainability and environmental actions. We know that we must act quickly and decisively to change our practices for a safer, cleaner world. We also urge you to attend the Plant Sale this Saturday at MPC — rain or shine!