Newsletters

Sunday September 16, 2018

This Sunday - Acoustic Sunday

Dear St Luke Community,

After Morgan was born, John and I began attending First United Methodist Church in Portland Oregon. Most of our time at that church is a bit of a blur to me now, with the exception of one meeting. I brought Morgan with me to the Pastor’s office and Morgan wiggled around on my lap as I said something like; “I’ve always been comfortable with God and Spirit, but I’ve never really gotten Jesus.” At that point in my life, Jesus was a name spoken by people who pounded their fists on pulpits, warning people to be saved. The name came with a kind of warning label that didn’t fit my experience of an all loving God, so I had never been able to reconcile the two. The Pastor suggested one thing. Just one thing.  He said; “Ask for Jesus to reveal Himself to you and He’ll do the rest. All you have to do is ask.”

It wasn’t immediate and certainly, my experience of Jesus has grown far beyond that day in the Pastors’ office. But what wonderful place to start. Just ask.

Jesus, in Marks Gospel, reading this Sunday, (Mark 8:27-28) also asks a question. Who do you say that I am? It’s about as good as any question gets. Our theology, how we relate to God shapes our lives. So how we answer this questions lives itself out in everything we do, every way we think, and all the ways we show up in our relationships, both personal and worldly.

Maybe the best way to answer the question is to ask one in return. Just ask for Him to reveal Himself to you, and He’ll do the rest.

After worship, Dr. Gregory Love from SFTS, who is as good as any Professor gets, will speak about the many ways people have answered that question; Who do you say that I am? Some say mystic, others prophet, some say, zealot, some messiah. Who was this historical man and who is he to us today?

Eric Rowe, Beth Potillo-Miller and Erich Miller and I have lots of special music planned as well. 

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

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. Please use the green envelope to donate Sunday.
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!

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.

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.

Continuing Events

All are welcome to attend

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group ~ Monday, Sept 17th, 10:30 AM
Then Tuesday, Sept 25th 10:30 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: 

Bible Study Series ~ Wednesday, Sept 19th, 9:30 AM  

Morning Women's Spirituality Group ~ Thursday. Sept 20thth, 9:00 AM

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

Committee Meetings ~ Resumes Tuesday, Oct 9th, 6:30 PM
(Deacons, Building and Grounds, New Member)

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

St. Luke Womens Association ~ Thursday. Nov. 8th, 1:00 PM
SAVE THE DATE
~ December 7th 1:00-3:00, Christmas Tea & Program.

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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

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