Newsletters

Sunday, March 1, 2020

This Sunday

Dear St. Luke Community, 

This Sunday is the 34th Annual Mariners Sunday. The worship service is attended by over 200 people from across the Bay Area, belonging to various yacht clubs and representing multiple faiths.

This Sunday is also the first Sunday of Lent, a time to attend to a kind of internal spring cleaning. Peter W. Marty, the publisher of Christian Century Magazine and Senior Pastor of St Paul Lutheran in Iowa, talks about Ash Wednesday in a recent article.

Peter talks about being behind a truck so covered with grime that on the back is written the words “wash me.” He then goes on to draw a beautiful metaphor to the grime of our lives that accumulate over time, subtly.

He writes;
The salt spray on the SUV I tailed that day was accumulated grunge, just like most of the messes in my life. For the record, my house is pretty neat. It’s the sordid pieces of my personal life that accumulate without fanfare—the capacity to judge, the unforgiving spirit, the self-centered ways, the distracted me. This is why I need Ash Wednesday and that gray smudge. Yes, it adds grime on top of grime. But that ash functions like a milestone or signpost because it’s in the shape of a cross.

As we travel towards the cross over 40 days of Lent, we have the opportunity to take a moral inventory of our lives. It’s a time to experience our dependency on a God who forgives and redeems. If you think you don’t have anything to be sorry for, then you’re probably keeping the door to your messy closet closed, denying that there’s any mess to clean up. Redemption means to begin again. It’s what we mean when we say “born again.” We start over, we vow to do better, to be better, to love more, forgive more, and enact change through the ways we choose to live our lives.

Yesterday, because of that article, I went and got my car washed. I thought it would be a good way to begin my Lenten journey. By the end of the day I had accumulated dust on the windshield, reminding me that like everything else in our faith, it’s a practice. It’s getting up and vowing to let more love into your heart while letting go of all things that separate you from a love that is freely given if only we would clean out our closets and wipe away the layers of grime that accumulates over time. 

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Outreach and Deacon Ministry

All are welcome to participate 

Manna Bags ~
Thank you to all who contributed to and participated in this outreach mission!  We assembled lots of bags to distribute to the unsheltered population in Marin.

Mill Street Meal ProvidersMonday, March 2nd, Group A

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend 

Sunday School Substitutes needed ~
Our Sunday School coordinator, Deb Bennet, is doing a great job of preparing lessons for our teacher, Devon. We need folks who are willing to occasionally step in to teach a lesson. The lesson will be prepared for you.  Please email Nicole at if you’d like to have some fun one Sunday and support our Children’s ministry.

The Universal Christ Lenten Book Study ~
During the Season of Lent, you are invited to join Nicole in a Lenten book study of Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ. We will meet the following Wednesdays from 6-7 in the conference room. Please purchase a copy of the book on your own and let Nicole if you plan on attending. You do not need to attend all discussions to participate.
March 4th - Chapters 1-4
March 11th - Chapters 5-9
March 25th - Chapters 10-14
April 1st - Chapters 15-17

Mariner’s Sunday ~ This Sunday, March 1st, 10:00 AM
We gather in worship with the men and women who have shown their dedication in service to the ships and safety that preside over our cherished sea. The St. Francis Yacht Club’s, Sons of the Sea Men’s Chorus will bring the gift of music for this special occasion. Please make your reservation today for the annual brunch ($15 per person) at the Loch Lomond Yacht Club by emailing Deb Bennett at

GODSPELL ~
Three Performances supporting the Street Chaplaincy.   They are Friday 3/20 7:30, Sat.  3/21 2:00pm & Sun. 3/22 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, 72 Kensington Rd. Don't miss your chance to see wonderful local singers present GODSPELL in concert! Admission is free, but donations will be gladly accepted to support the Street Chaplaincy. St. Luke and other local congregations partner with the Street Chaplaincy to host Tuesday night Wellness Gatherings where we join the street community in worship and share a meal together. Reserve your spot for free at www.theatreatlarge.org.

Acoustic Sunday ~ Sunday, March 15th, 10:00 AM
A relaxed service with guitars, piano, and percussion where we blend secular popular songs and hymns.

Pizza & Theology ~ Tuesday, April 21st, 7:00 PM
Join us at Creekside Pizza & Taproom, 638 San Anselmo Ave. S.A., for pizza, beverages and engaging theological discussion.
There will be no Pizza & Theology in March.

Progressive Dinner ~ NOTE DATE CHANGE to April 25th
There is still space available if you would like to attend. The evening will begin at 6:00 pm for appetizers at the home of Faye Blatt. Then at 7:00 pm is the dinner entrée at the home of Michael and Leigh Ann Antieri and the home of Deb and Bruce Bennett (Max 20 people at each home). At 8:00 pm dessert will be at Andy’s Market in the Deli Cafe - hosted by Troy and Andy. Cost per person $50 – signup with Laura Hislop after service or stop by the church office during the week to sign up.

Men’s Cursillo Weekend ~ April 23rd-26th
This is a weekend that will deepen your spiritual journey, deepen relationships and lead you into new friendships that could last a lifetime. For more info, please email John Bischoff at 

St. Luke Men's Group 2020 First Tuesday Every Other Month 6 PM
March 3rd - John Bischoff
May 5th - Michael Baranowski
July 7th - John Lenser
Sept. 1st - Terri Mech
Nov.  3rd - Michael Antieri
Please email John at if you’d like to offer assistance to the hosts.

Ongoing Events

All are welcome to attend 

Bible Study - Wednesdays at 9:30 AM
St. Luke Choir Rehearsal - Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
Women's Spirituality Group - Thursdays at 9:00 AM
St. Luke Women’s Bridge - 4th Tuesday, March 24th, 10:30 AM
Session Meeting - 4th Tuesday, March 24th, 7:00 PM
Deacons Meeting - 2nd Tuesday, March 10th, 6:00 PM

St. Luke’s mission: To practice love by following Jesus. 
Learn more at www.stlukepres.org
Facebook ~ St. Luke Presbyterian San Rafael
Reverend Nicole Trotter ~
Office Admin., Joanne Trifoso ~
Office Phone: 415-454-2705, Office hours: M, W & Th: 10-1 & Tues: 1-4
Sexton, Carlos Araujo ~ Sunday 8:00 AM-Noon   

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

February 23, 2020

This Sunday

Dear St. Luke Community, 

This is Transfiguration Sunday. It’s the Sunday on our liturgical calendar that ends the Season of Epiphany. All of those manifestations of Christ witnessed through Epiphany come to one final climatic moment. 

Frederick Buechner does a wonderful job of describing the scene for us-
It is as strange a scene as there is in the Gospels. Even without the voice from the cloud to explain it, they had no doubt what they were witnessing. It was Jesus of Nazareth all right, the man they'd tramped many a dusty mile with, whose mother and brothers they knew, the one they'd seen as hungry, tired, footsore as the rest of them. But it was also the Messiah, the Christ, in his glory. It was the holiness of the man shining through his humanness, his face so afire with it they were almost blinded. 

Even with us something like that happens once in a while. The face of a man walking his child in the park, of a woman picking peas in the garden, of sometimes even the unlikeliest person listening to a concert, say, or standing barefoot in the sand watching the waves roll in, or just having a beer at a Saturday baseball game in July. Every once and so often, something so touching, so incandescent, so alive transfigures the human face that it's almost beyond bearing. (Originally published in Whistling in the Dark)

Also this Sunday, during Worship, we will be assembling Manna bags that will hold some small and essential items to assist unsheltered folks of San Rafael. Under the leadership of the Outreach Committee, will assemble the bags as part of worship during the offering, remember that offering is an essential response to God for the freely given grace we receive.

As we move towards Lent there is much to look forward to: including a Lenten theme, a Lenten book study, a Fat Tuesday dinner and Mariner’s Sunday. Please take a look at the announcements below for details.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Outreach and Deacon Ministry

All are welcome to participate 

Manna Bags ~ This Sunday at offering
Over the past two weeks, St. Luke’s Outreach has collected items to fill and distribute “Manna Bags” to the unsheltered population in Marin.
• Socks (the #1 requested item)
• Protein bars
• Mini toiletries (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste)
• Tissue packets
• Ziploc gallon bags
We also purchased rain ponchos and mylar blankets, and will also include a list of Marin resources and services in each bag.  Our goal today is to fill 150-200 bags, which we will distribute next week.

Mill Street Meal ProvidersMonday, March 2nd, Group A

Designer Clothing Warehouse Sale ~ Click here for the invitation

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend 

Sunday School Substitutes needed ~
Our Sunday School coordinator, Deb Bennet, is doing a great job of preparing lessons for our teacher, Devon. We need folks who are willing to occasionally step in to teach a lesson. The lesson will be prepared for you.  Please email Nicole at if you’d like to have some fun one Sunday and support our Children’s ministry.

The Universal Christ Lenten Book Study ~
During the Season of Lent, you are invited to join Nicole in a Lenten book study of Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ. We will meet the following Wednesdays from 6-7 in the conference room. Please purchase a copy of the book on your own and let Nicole if you plan on attending. You do not need to attend all discussions to participate.
March 4th
March 11th
March 25th
April 1st

Fat Tuesday Pot Luck Feast ~ Tuesday, February 25th, 6:00 -7:30 PM
The night before Lent begins, this traditional celebration brings rich and delicious food together in community. Please sign-up on the board in the Narthex to bring one of the following to feed 10; Entrée, Salad, Bread and Dessert.  Bring your own beverage of choice.

Mariner’s Sunday ~ Sunday, March 1st, 10:00 AM
We gather in worship with the men and women who have shown their dedication in service to the ships and safety that preside over our cherished sea. The St. Francis Yacht Club’s, Sons of the Sea Men’s Chorus will bring the gift of music for this special occasion. Please make your reservation for the annual brunch ($15 per person) at the Loch Lomond Yacht Club by signing up on the board in the narthex or by emailing Deb Bennett at

Acoustic Sunday ~ Sunday, March 15th, 10:00 AM
A relaxed service with guitars, piano, and percussion where we blend secular popular songs and hymns.

Pizza & Theology ~ Tuesday, April 21st, 7:00 PM
Join us at Creekside Pizza & Taproom, 638 San Anselmo Ave. S.A., for pizza, beverages and engaging theological discussion.
There will be no Pizza & Theology in March.

Mission Trip Opportunity with SRFPC April 19th-25th
This year the mission is going to Omaha, Nebraska. The work will be guided by Omaha Rapid Response and includes removing and replacing studs, installing insulation and drywall, etc., no construction experience is needed. Please email Ralph Purdy at .

Men’s Cursillo Weekend ~ April 23rd-26th
This is a weekend that will deepen your spiritual journey, deepen relationships and lead you into new friendships that could last a lifetime. For more info, please email John Bischoff at 

St. Luke Men's Group 2020 ~
First Tuesday Every Other Month 6 PM:
March 3rd - John Bischoff
May 5th - Michael Baranowski
July 7th - John Lenser
Sept. 1st - Terri Mech
Nov.  3rd - Michael Antieri
Please email John at if you’d like to offer assistance to the hosts.

St. Luke Presbyterian Church Officers 2020  
Elders 
Class of 2020 ~ Wayne Dickinson, Erich Miller, Beth Potillo-Miller, George Tuttle
Class of 2021 ~ Michael Baranowski, John Bischoff, Michael Baranowski, Ada Endress, Carlene McCart
Class of 2022 ~ Gladys Gilliland, John Lenser
Deacons 
Class of 2020 ~ Rosalie Weigle
Class of 2021 ~ Marcia Lenser, Claudionei Penha
Class of 2022 ~ Jean McKechnie, Wendy Quek

Ongoing Events

All are welcome to attend 

Bible Study - Wednesdays at 9:30 AM
St. Luke Choir Rehearsal - Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
Women's Spirituality Group - Thursdays at 9:00 AM
St. Luke Women’s Bridge - 4th Tuesday, February 25th, 10:30 AM
Session Meeting - 4th Tuesday, February 25th, 7:00 PM
Deacons Meeting - 2nd Tuesday, March 10th, 6:00 PM

St. Luke’s mission: To practice love by following Jesus. 
Learn more at www.stlukepres.org
Facebook ~ St. Luke Presbyterian San Rafael
Reverend Nicole Trotter ~
Office Admin., Joanne Trifoso ~
Office Phone: 415-454-2705, Office hours: M, W & Th: 10-1 & Tues: 1-4
Sexton, Carlos Araujo ~ Sunday 8:00 AM-Noon   

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday, February 16, 2020

This Sunday

Dear St. Luke Community, 

Remember that expression you probably heard as a child: it’s for your own good? Some might call it tough love. Others might call good parenting. I remember agonizing over discipling my kids when they were little by not allowing them to participate in playdates because of their behavior. Other times I had no problem expressing tough love, especially when I knew it was the best way to teach them about making a different choice next time. It was for their own good, I’d tell myself.

This Sunday Jesus is expressing some pretty tough love. (Matthew 5:21-37) Some of it is just bizarre, if I may be so bold. But when read in the context of when it was written, we can look past the specifics and begin to look at what the intention of these teachings might be. Like many of Jesus’s teachings, these verses speak to how we should be relating to one another. Jesus seems to be saying, it’s one thing to follow the rules, but when you follow the rules in one area of your life and then make some lousy choices in other areas, it’s not enough. It’s not enough to follow the law, you also have to keep in check what’s in your heart and how you treat those around you. It’s for your own good: that is, it’s for your own goodness. The good that’s in us, given to us by God is like anything else that is living and breathing. It needs water and light. It needs nurturing and sometimes it needs discipline. It’s for our own good when God gets tough and says, that’s not enough, you can do better, and you should, for your own good, and the good of those around you, which for Jesus are one and the same thing. Love God, love others. (Matthew 22:37-39) Love one another as I’ve loved you. (John 15:12) Treat others the way you want to be treated. (Luke 6:31) We can do better. And it’s for our own good. 

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Outreach and Deacon Ministry

All are welcome to attend 

Manna Bags ~ Sunday, February 23rd
Over the next two weeks, St. Luke’s Outreach is collecting the following items to fill and distribute “Manna Bags” to the unsheltered population in Marin:
• Socks ( the #1 requested item)
• Protein bars
• Mini toiletries (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste)
• Tissue packets
• Ziploc gallon bags
We have already purchased rain ponchos and mylar blankets, and will also include a list of Marin resources and services in each bag. Our goal is to fill and distribute 150-200 bags, which we will assemble during worship service on February 23rd.

Mill Street Meal ProvidersMonday, March 2nd, Group A

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend 

Sunday School Substitutes needed ~
Our Sunday School coordinator, Deb Bennet, is doing a great job of preparing lessons for our teacher, Devon. We need folks who are willing to occasionally step in to teach a lesson. The lesson will be prepared for you.  Please email Nicole at if you’d like to have some fun one Sunday and support our Children’s ministry.

Acoustic Sunday ~ THIS SUNDAY and March 15th, 10:00 AM
A relaxed service with guitars, piano, and percussion where we blend secular popular songs and hymns.

Pizza & Theology ~ Tuesday, February 18th, 7:00 PM
Join us at Creekside Pizza & Taproom, 638 San Anselmo Ave. S.A., for pizza, beverages and engaging theological discussion.

First Presbyterian Church San Rafael Annual Crab Feed ~ Saturday, February 22, 5:00 PM
A festive feast of all the crab, salad and pasta you can eat, PLUS live dinner music and after-dinner entertainment by Marylou’s Apartment. Proceeds support this year’s Mission Trip (see below). Tickets are $55 per person, $25 for ages 16 and under. Reservations a must ~ Contact Ralph Purdy,

Fat Tuesday Pot Luck Feast ~ Tuesday, February 25th, 6:00 -7:30 PM
The night before Lent begins, this traditional celebration brings rich and delicious food together in the community. Please sign-up on the board in the Narthex to bring 1 of the following to feed 10; 3 Entrées, 3 Salads, 3 Breads and 3 Desserts.  Bring your own beverage of choice.

Mariner’s Interfaith Sunday ~ Sunday, March 1st, 10:00 AM
We gather in worship with the men and women who have shown their dedication in service to the ships and safety that preside over our cherished sea. The St. Francis Yacht Club’s, Sons of the Sea Men’s Chorus will bring the gift of music for this special occasion. Please make your reservation for the annual brunch ($15 per person) at the Loch Lomond Yacht Club by emailing Deb Bennett at

Mission Trip Opportunity with SRFPC April 19th-25th
This year the mission is going to Omaha, Nebraska. The work will be guided by Omaha Rapid Response and includes removing and replacing studs, installing insulation and drywall, etc., no construction experience is needed. Please email Ralph Purdy at .

Men’s Cursillo Weekend ~ April 23rd-26th
This is a weekend that will deepen your spiritual journey, deepen relationships and lead you into new friendships that could last a lifetime. For more info, please email John Bischoff at 

St. Luke Men's Group 2020 ~
Mark your calendars! Meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of every other month at 6 PM. Please email John at if you’d like to offer assistance to the hosts.

March 3rd - John Bischoff
May 5th - Michael Baranowski
July 7th - John Lenser
Sept. 1st - Terri Mech
Nov.  3rd - Michael Antieri

St. Luke Presbyterian Church Officers 2020  
Elders 
Class of 2020 ~ Wayne Dickinson, George Tuttle, Beth Potillo- Miller, Erich Miller
Class of 2021 ~ Ada Endress, John Bischoff, Michael Baranowski, Carlene McCart
Class of 2022 ~ Gladys Gilliland, John Lenser
Deacons 
Class of 2020 ~ Rosalie Weigle
Class of 2021 ~ Marcia Lenser, Claudionei Penha
Class of 2022 ~ Wendy Quek, Jean McKechnie

Ongoing Events

All are welcome to attend 

Bible Study - Wednesdays at 9:30 AM
St. Luke Choir Rehearsal - Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
Women's Spirituality Group - Thursdays at 9:00 AM
Deacons Meeting - 2nd Tuesday, March 10th, 6:00 PM
St. Luke Women’s Bridge - 4th Tuesday, February 25th, 10:30 AM
Session Meeting - 4th Tuesday, February 25th, 7:00 PM

St. Luke’s mission: To practice love by following Jesus. 
Learn more at www.stlukepres.org
Facebook ~ St. Luke Presbyterian San Rafael
Reverend Nicole Trotter ~
Office Admin., Joanne Trifoso ~
Office Phone: 415-454-2705, Office hours: M, W & Th: 10-1 & Tues: 1-4
Sexton, Carlos Araujo ~ Sunday 8:00 AM-Noon   

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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