Newsletters

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

Sunday, February 9, 2020

This Sunday

Dear St. Luke Community, 

This Sunday we welcome Reverend Daniel White into the pulpit. Dan will be preaching on John 8:12 and Matthew 5:13-16 and what it means to be a light in the world.

In Bible study this week I was reminded once again of Brenda Matthews, or “Mama Brenda as she was known on the west side of Chicago. Brenda Matthews was a poet, activist, artist, pastor and a motivational speaker for youth.

I’ve told this story before but I’ve learned no one ever remembers what I say so I think I’m safe. 

In 2014  I accompanied roughly 30 high school kids on a mission trip to Chicago. Brenda showed up one evening to speak to the many youth groups visiting from different areas of the country. She turned to the crowd and asked, “Children, (she could get away with calling high schoolers children) why are you here?”

After a long silence, one of the kids said, “To shine the light of God for others.” Mama Brenda pounced on that without missing a beat. “You don’t think we already have God’s light here with us? You think you’re bringing God’s light to us as though you’re the only ones who have God’s light! God is as much here as anywhere else.” Then she paused and asked again, “So why are you here?” 

There were a few more attempts, each one shot down and by now the kids and the adults were too intimidated to speak.

But she continued, “Let me tell you, poor people are not your project. We are not here for you to fix. Our problems are no worse than yours. We may be poor, and we may have drop outs here, but you have children cutting themselves and millionaires secluded in their mansions ready to end their lives. Do not go home and put our pictures on your refrigerators and embellish stories about us so you can feel better about yourselves.You are here for one reason and one reason only. Because we are brothers and sisters in Christ.” 

Matthews died in November of 2014 but her legacy lives on in books, videos and the activism taking place in her name. Each time I tell this story I remember differently, so that’s my disclaimer. I can’t promise that my quotes are exact. But the impression she made is the same: none of us have the corner on light. Everyone is born in the image of God. All people, whether privileged or marginalized, have light to shine. Certainly hunger can dampen a spirit, but so can wealth and status. But don’t take my word for it. Don’t even take Mama Brenda’s word for it. Just read your Bible.

Shine on friends. And let the light of all God’s people shine as one in Christ Jesus. 

Yours,
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.

St. Luke’s Winter Food Drive Barrelill be picked up Friday, February 14th
Please bring canned proteins/meats by Thursday, February 13th.

Mill Street Meal ProvidersMonday, March 2nd, Group A

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend 

2020 Per Capita ~ $31.43Please write Per Capita on the envelope.

Acoustic Sunday ~ February 16th, 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. It is one of those experiences that is difficult to put into words but will be well worth your while. 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

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, February 11th, 6:00 PM
Pizza and Theology - 3rd Tuesday, February 18th, 7:00 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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