Newsletters

9/11 Anniversary Prayer

Dear Friends,

I share with you a Pastoral Prayer written in 2016 and published in The Presbyterian Outlook.

Yours in Christ,
Nicole 

Pastoral prayer for the anniversary of 9/11

September 7, 2016, by Jill Duffield

God of grace and God of glory, on this anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, grant us the wisdom to remember the lessons from that tragic day that make us more Christ-like. Drive away from us any vengeful urges, any hate-filled sentiment, any whisper from within or without that goads us to return evil for evil. 

As we look back and recall where we were, who was with us and how we felt that fateful day, may those vivid memories compel us to acts of kindness, words of love and demonstrations of community. May the myriad of images of helpers – firefighters, police officers, pastors, office workers, ordinary citizens – be the icons that inspire us to be helpers, too. May texts and voicemails of “I love you” and “You are everything to me” assure us that love always has the last word, but that we should never wait to say it. 

As the world still heaves with violence and war seems to never end, assure us, Prince of Peace, that ultimately crying and mourning will be no more. In the midst of suffering, our own and that of the world, speak again, Creator God, your performative Word of life and its goodness.

We pray for those whose lives were forever changed on September 11, 2001. Grant comfort to those who grieve. Strengthen those who struggle with questions that remain unanswered. Assure those who worry that they should have said or done something differently that you gather up all the fragments of our lives, bless and use them in ways that nourish.

We thank you, Lord of all, for the people who every day put their lives in danger in order to protect and serve others. We pray for all first responders, for medical personnel, police officers, firefighters and others who never know what a shift at work will bring on any given day. Grant them wisdom, courage and rest. 

As we consider that fall day years ago, grant us the ability to cling to the examples of goodness that emerged out of the horror: strangers banding together to thwart more carnage, people lining up to donate blood, congregations opening their doors to offer respite for anyone and everyone, people offering comfort and care to those they knew and those they’d never met. May these acts of mercy emulated in our lives be the ripple that reverberates through history, revealing your sure power to bring redemption, reconciliation, and resurrection out of the depths of death and despair. 

We are grateful for the new life born since the attacks  – for those beloved children who don’t remember that day. We give thanks for the saints who were with us then but have since gone on to eternal life. 

When we mark anniversaries of sorrow, corporately or alone, may they be occasions to discern what truly matters, let go of what really doesn’t and recognize your grace, Almighty God, that pervades it all. 

In the name of Jesus, the light of the world, the Prince of Peace, the Good Shepherd, our friend, and our helper, we pray. Amen.

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday September 9, 2018

This Sunday 

Dear St Luke Community,

This Sunday we continue with James, looking at what it means to be “doers of the word.” James speaks much of the law. (James 2:1-17) Some translations call it law of love, while others say law of liberty. James also speaks much of justice as coming directly from God. Sounds like James could have come up with the phrase, “with liberty and justice for all.” The word justice is central to our country and also our Bible, and yet we could discuss for days what that word means for both. My hope is to unpack some of the biblical understanding of justice this Sunday.

Alan Brehm, who writes a weekly column, puts it this way;

Justice is a concept that is at the heart of the Hebrew Bible. The very essence of what God expects from the people who claim to practice faith is to “do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Mic 6:8).  I’m not sure we know what to do with that.  We think of justice in terms of crime and punishment.  It’s hard for us to reconcile justice with mercy, because in our minds they seem to be opposites.  But in the Hebrew Bible, nothing could be further from the truth.  The practice of justice and the practice of mercy are one and the same.  They go hand-in-hand, like faith and hope and love.  The Hebrew Bible makes it clear over and over again that justice is about ensuring well-being, or shalom, for everyone. It’s about a way of life that makes it possible to everyone to thrive, not just the privileged few. 

The other important point James wants to make is that we should not play favorites. (2:1) Leviticus makes this point as well when God imparts the wisdom of law that Moses should take to God’s people. Our other scripture for Sunday. (Leviticus 19:1-18)

“‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. Do not go about spreading slander among your people…..Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself….” 

How many of us are perverting justice by playing favorites? These are HUGE questions, so plan on staying for a 5 hour service. Yes, I’m kidding, but I will do my best to get us asking questions that will hopefully lead you to take these questions home with you for further reflection.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Deacon Ministry

5th Annual Pedal for Protein ~ September 16th -21st
Use the green envelope to donate. A ride for a cause! Supports food bank pantries & projects to help feed hungry people in Northern California. 100% of all donations go to food projects and food justice projects, primarily for the provision of lean proteins. The ride is organized by The Hunger Task Force of the Presbytery of the Redwoods. Find information at www.imathlete.com/donate/PedalforProtein5

Announcements & Upcoming Events

All are welcome to attend 

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group ~  They are looking for people to play on the third Monday and/or fourth Tuesday in the months of September through May.  Interested? Call Elaine 415-454-4851.

New Member Inquiry Gathering ~ THIS SUNDAY after worship
Frequent attendees interested in learning more about St Luke’s history, The Presbyterian Church and the Reformed tradition.

Fall Speaker Series ~ Who do you say that I am? A three-part series 
September 16, 23, 30 after worship in the Bayview Room 

The question of the historical Jesus has been one baffling scholar from the beginning of time. Join us as we look at different theories from leading scholars of just who this man Jesus was.

Was Jesus a Zealot, a militaristic figure looking to overthrow the Roman Empire? Or was he a mystic, in touch with the divine sphere of reality and wisdom of God? Or was he a political figure, prophet, and Messiah who succeeded in defeating evil and beginning the reign of peace?

Dr. Gregory Love, Professor of Systematic Theology at SFTS, will lead us in a discussion as we uncover why Jesus remains such a popular and controversial figure then and today.

Grateful Gatherings ~ Saturday, October 6th, 8:00 AM to Noon
A non-profit, that provides furniture & household goods to people transitioning out of homelessness & poverty. For a list of needs visit https://gratefulgatherings.org/. Bring donations to St. Luke on Saturday, Oct. 6th between 8:30 am and 10:30 am.

For questions email: 

Save The Date

St Luke Annual Fundraiser ~ Sunday, October 7th at 6:00 PM
This year, wear your beads and bangles to St. Luke’s Annual Fundraiser Dinner celebrating New Orleans with Zydeco fillet mignon, shrimp jambalaya, and pecan pie. Not to be missed and invite your friends now!

Continuing Events

All are welcome to attend

Bible Study Series ~ Wednesday, Sept 12th, 9:30 AM  

St. Luke Womens Association ~ Thursday. Sept. 13th, 1:00 PM
Then every other month on the second Thursday of that month at 1:00 PM.

Committee Meetings ~ Resumes Tuesday, Sept 11th, 6:30 PM
(Deacons, Building and Grounds, New Member)

Morning Women's Spirituality Group ~ Thursday. Sept 13th, 9:00 AM

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group ~ Resumes on Monday, Sept 17th, 10:30 AM  | Then Tuesday, Sept 2510:30 AM (Play is on the third Monday and/or fourth Tuesday, September to May).

Pizza and Theology ~ Resumes Tuesday, Sept 18th, 6:30 PM
Creekside, San Anselmo. Thereafter on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Please email: 

Session ~ Resumes Tuesday, September 25th 6:30pm

St. Luke Men's Group Tues. Nov. 6th, Location TBD

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday September 2, 2018

This Sunday ~ Communion Sunday

Dear St Luke Community,

This Sunday marks the last Sunday before we resume the many ongoing opportunities St Luke has to offer. Please be sure to check the announcements to see the times and days for weekly Bible Study, Women’s meditation group, Men’s dinners, Pizza and Theology and our Fall Speaker Series.

This Sunday we will be focussing on James 1:17-27. Did you know that Luther “scorned the letter of James as an epistle of straw? “ There is so much going on in this passage, and I can’t help but think of all the stand up people I have known in life; some public figure heroes and some personal ones. People who are quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…(v 19) people who take their religion seriously enough to allow it to lead them in what they do, and who they are… If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.(v 26) 

That’s a lot to live up to and none of us are perfect. Some of the most religious people I know never go to church and some of the nastiest people I’ve heard speak of wrath and anger has come from a pulpit. It’s not enough to be hearers of the word if we’re not implementing all God gives us in the way we live, the way we speak and the ways we treat others.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
"Your values become your destiny.”

 Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

See you Sunday,
Nicole

Announcements & Upcoming Events

All are welcome to attend 

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group ~  They are looking for people to play on the third Monday and/or fourth Tuesday in the months of September through May.  Interested? Call Elaine 415-454-4851.

St. Luke Men's Group Tues. Sept. 4th, 6:00 PM
At the home of John and Marcia Lenser, 511 San Pedro Cove, San Rafael.  We are planning a fun evening of wine, beer & BBQ.  Besides great conversation, I will give you a 30-minute overview of the Reformation – Marcia and I just returned from two weeks visiting the sites of Martin Luther’s life.   All food will be provided as well as beer and wine but feel free to bring your favorite beverage if you like. We will socialize and eat from 6 PM to about 8:30.

 If you have any friends whom you can bring to the dinner, it is a great opportunity to introduce them to St. Luke and the Men’s Group.  

 For food planning purposes, please RSVP by replying by email to John at (H: 415.485.4333, C: 415.446.8418)

New Member Inquiry Gathering ~ Sept 9th after worship
Frequent attendees interested in learning more about St Luke’s history, The Presbyterian Church and the Reformed tradition.

Fall Speaker Series ~ Who do you say that I am? A three-part series
September 16, 23, 30 after worship in the Bayview Room 

The question of the historical Jesus has been one baffling scholar from the beginning of time. Join us as we look at different theories from leading scholars of just who this man Jesus was.

Was Jesus a Zealot, a militaristic figure looking to overthrow the Roman Empire? Or was he a mystic, in touch with the divine sphere of reality and wisdom of God? Or was he a political figure, prophet, and Messiah who succeeded in defeating evil and beginning the reign of peace?

Dr. Gregory Love, Professor of Systematic Theology at SFTS, will lead us in a discussion as we uncover why Jesus remains such a popular and controversial figure then and today.

Grateful Gatherings ~ Saturday, October 6th, 8:00 AM to Noon
A non-profit, that provides furniture & household goods to people transitioning out of homelessness & poverty. For a list of needs visit https://gratefulgatherings.org/. Bring donations to St. Luke on Saturday, Oct. 6th between 8:30 am and 10:30 am.

For questions email: 

Save The Date

St Luke Annual Fundraiser ~ Sunday, October 7th at 6:00 PM
This year, wear your beads and bangles to St. Luke’s Annual Fundraiser Dinner celebrating New Orleans with Zydeco fillet mignon, shrimp jambalaya, and pecan pie. Not to be missed and invite your friends now!

Continuing Events

All are welcome to attend

Bible Study Series ~ Resumes Wednesday, Sept 5th, 9:30 AM  

St. Luke Womens Association ~ Resumes Thursday. Sept. 13th, 1:00 PM
Then every other month on the second Thursday of that month at 1:00 PM.

Committee Meetings ~ Resumes Tuesday, Sept 11th, 6:30 PM
(Deacons, Building and Grounds, New Member)

Morning Women's Spirituality Group ~ Resumes Thursday. Sept 6th, 9:00 AM

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group ~ Resumes on Monday, Sept 17th, 10:30 AM  | Then Tuesday, Sept 2510:30 AM (Play is on the third Monday and/or fourth Tuesday, September to May).

Pizza and Theology ~ Resumes Tuesday, Sept 18th, 6:30 PM
Creekside, San Anselmo. Thereafter on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Please email: 

Session ~ Resumes Tuesday, September 25th 6:30pm

Deacon Ministry

5th Annual Pedal for Protein ~ September 16th -21st
Use the green envelope to donate. A ride for a cause! Supports food bank pantries & projects to help feed hungry people in Northern California. 100% of all donations go to food projects and food justice projects, primarily for the provision of lean proteins. The ride is organized by The Hunger Task Force of the Presbytery of the Redwoods. Find information at www.imathlete.com/donate/PedalforProtein5

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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