Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dear St. Luke Community, 

This Sunday we’re changing our worship format to Zoom. All week long Beth and I have offered tutorials for those who needed extra help. We realize that this may still be difficult to access. So if you didn’t have a chance or you’d like another try, we’ll offer another practice session tomorrow, Saturday. Please let me know if you decide to join this practice session by emailing either Beth or myself. Once we know you’re trying, we can get on the phone with you to walk you through it. 

Also during the week, I and others have connected with you either by phone, email, text or Zoom. While I’m grateful for the technology, nothing beats a warm body to touch with a handshake, hug or smile. I’ve never been more aware of the importance of the gathering of God’s people on a Sunday morning. And I suspect each week we don’t meet in person will bring with it a deepening of that longing. 

This Sunday’s scripture we follow Jesus, who is also experiencing a kind of longing, to make sure the ones he loves know what they need to know before he goes. At his last supper as told in the Gospel of John, Jesus gets up from the table and begins to perform the task of a servant by washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus knows the worst is ahead of him, and he wants to leave his friends and the world with love: love not spoken, but love shown. He shows love in a home no less, around a table. The very commandment he’ll leave us with, that we love one another as he’s loved us, Jesus brings alive at home.

We may not be encountering very many people these days as we’re mostly sheltering at home or out for a walk. But as Jesus shows us, there’s always ways to serve. There’s those we might live with, there’s those who need a phone call, need a smile on the walking path, those who need an email, a text, a FaceTime call. As we’re commanded to love, we are finding new expressions of what that means. God is always in the business of new expression, continuously and unceasingly finding new ways to reach us, touch us and bring to life hands on tangible ways for us to share that love with one another. 

With love in Christ,

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dear St. Luke Community, 

Virtual Gatherings
Shepherding groups: there are plans in the works as I type to create shepherding groups. You will be receiving a call, text, or email from someone in addition to myself to check in on you and see how you are doing, whether older or younger. For those that may be at higher risk, please remember to reach out should you need a store run. We have a list of folks willing to deliver.

Continued Prayers
In addition to the prayers for St. Luke members I sent out the past few days, we continue to hold in prayer those all over this world who are sick and have lost their lives. Please pray for our healthcare workers, those who are keeping grocery shelves stocked and all those affected by job loss including restaurant workers. I think of Mike Hislop and Janet Abrahamson in our own community and so many more affected. If you’d like to add a prayer, please email Nicole or Joanne.

Worship this Sunday
In order to comply with the county and state shelter-in-place mandates, I will be streaming worship from my home on Sunday at 10:00. And just like last week, we will then post it on YouTube.

To join service live:  click here to go to St. Luke’s Facebook page at 10am.  You should not need a Facebook account to watch the video.  However, you might want to set one up and “like” our page so you are notified when service starts, and you can also keep up with the happenings at St. Luke!

If you are not able to watch live, you can also watch it later on Facebook, or on our new YouTube channel as well (St. Luke YouTube channel).

The scripture this Sunday is Psalm 23 and Mark 14:3-9. An unknown woman shows up at a dinner where Jesus is present. She anoints him with the finest oil. I love that she’s unknown. Things unknown are very familiar to us right now. We don’t know what the next few weeks or months may hold. We really don’t know. And because of that it’s more important than ever to learn how to live with the discomfort that comes with that. Embracing uncertainty doesn’t mean we have to only embrace fear. We can also embrace what’s known. See the Spiritual Reflection at the end for more on this.

Getting Ready for Zoom
The following Sunday, (March 29th) we hope to move to Zoom Worship. This will give everyone a week to figure out how to attend our Zoom worship. We have room for 100 and you’ll all be able to see one another’s faces, which should be quite meaningful. Beth and I will be holding test run Zoom meetings Tuesday and Thursday.  Specifics about the meetings will be distributed on Monday.

Other Zoom Gatherings
We are holding Bible Study, Women’s Meditation, the Book Club (The Universal Christ) and a newly-added Social Connections on Thursday evening the 26th at 6pm.  We will eat our dinners together and share our lives.  An email will go out early in the week with all of the links for the coming Zoom gatherings.

Musical Reflection
In Bible Study this week, we talked about Psalm 23, and what it means to us individually.  Beth shared some lovely musical versions with us, and we thought we would share a few with you this evening. 
A classical version:  The Lord is My Shepherd, Howard Goodall
A more modern version:  Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy)

Spiritual Reflection
This comes from Terry Hershey
When life is upside down, we easily forget the fundamental truth that we live from sufficiency, not scarcity.
Even in times of distress.

Church was cancelled.
March madness was cancelled.
Public gatherings have been cancelled. There is more to come.
But hope will not be cancelled.
Conversations will not be cancelled.
Friendship will not be cancelled.
Gardening will not be cancelled.
Watching the moonlight filter through the trees will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Music will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Prayer will not be cancelled.
And lifting one another’s spirits will not be cancelled.May we lean into the good stuff that remains.

Yours in Christ,

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday, March 15, 2020

This Sunday

Dear St. Luke Community, 

Over the past few days, the Session (governing board) of St. Luke has been discussing our worship plans in light of the Coronavirus, taking into account the directives laid out by Governor Newsom. That recommendation includes people over 65 not attending gatherings of more than 10 people without six feet of distance between them.

At this point, we’ve decided to suspend all in-person worship for the time being. This is not a decision that we take lightly. We recognize that there are as many opinions and perspectives as there are people. We know that we won’t please everyone with this decision. 

As a community of faith, we also trust that we can maintain our connections in various ways. In addition to posting the week’s worship online through our newly established St. Luke YouTube channel, we will also post a script and invite you to read it as a form of devotion.  The St. Luke YouTube channel can be accessed by hitting the link below. At the moment there’s no content, but there will be on Sunday by noon.

These digital elements will help us continue to stay connected. As others have asked, in a time when many of us may feel isolated, how else can we connect across the distance? How can we keep our relationships, our faith connections, our fellowship thriving?

I will ramp up the emails, offering devotions and opportunities to engage over emails and group chats. I will make more phone calls and offer FaceTime for those who have that capability. There are Facebook live groups where people can talk in groups and Zoom gatherings where folks can converse and see one another’s faces. And I will make one-on-one calls in person as needed. 

We make this decision not lightly but from a place of love and concern for those most at risk. We do this out of respect for our medical professionals who need our support in taking steps to slow the spread of the virus. And we do this out of love for our brothers and sisters whom Jesus calls on us to love.

Finally, our scripture this Sunday reminds us that Christ’s body is a temple. (John 2:13-21) Once Jesus died and resurrected, his body lives on in our bodies, making our own bodies temple’s in two ways: 

One: Your own body is made of breath and water, the spirit of the living God.

Two: We together compose the Body of Christ in the world, working together to share love where it is most needed.

I encourage you to take care of yourself. Wash your hands, yes, but also take time to connect with your own breath. Your breath is life. It’s the Spirit of God flowing through you. It is life. Take it in and be grateful. And pray for those in need of love and care.

Yours in Christ,

Outreach and Deacon Ministry

All are welcome to participate 

Special Event St Patrick’s Day, Street Chaplaincy Dinner ~ Tuesday, March 17th, First Pres San Rafael, 5:00-7:30 PM

Message from Michael Baranowski
Unfortunately, I am withdrawing my call for help for the Street Chaplaincy St. Patrick’s Dinner on Tuesday. The coronavirus news does not get better, it only gets worse day by day and sometimes faster. To expose our volunteers to another compromised population like our unsheltered friends over dinner would not be wise at this time. Additionally, this gathering will exceed the CDC’s recommendations for group gatherings, so we’re stuck there, too. Perhaps the next cycle will see us back in the rotation.

As of late Thursday afternoon, the Tuesday dinner is scheduled to go on. The Street Chaplaincy board is meeting to discuss this and more, so the situation is fluid. If you are still comfortable with serving, you are more than welcome to join us. Please contact me via email separately at .  Since dinner is still on (at least for now), I’m still seeking donations to help fund the corned beef, cabbage, and potato dinner. If you’re interested in contributing, please use the green envelope and we’re good to go.

Stay healthy and wash your hands! Thank you.

Mill Street Meal ProvidersMonday, April 6th, Group B

St. Luke Prayer Shawl Ministry ~ Sunday, March 29th, 11:15 AM-12:30 PM
Today, knitters and crocheters of all faiths are creating handmade shawls for people in need, as gifts of comfort, hope, and peace. You can knit in the privacy of your own home or drop in to a monthly knitting group. If you knit or crochet and would like to contribute to St. Luke Presbyterian Church Prayer Shawl Ministry, please contact Skipper Cummings or You do not need to be a member of St. Luke to participate. 

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend 

Acoustic Sunday ~ This Sunday Online
A relaxed service with guitars, piano, and percussion where we blend secular popular songs and hymns.

New Members this Sunday ~ To be Rescheduled - stay tuned for a new date.
We will be welcoming four new members into the congregation. Mary Molander-Scull, Ronda Bouyea and Scott and Rebecca White. We understand membership as not a necessary component of faith life, but certainly, a way to deepen and enrich one’s commitment to their faith journey. Please stay after worship for cake and opportunity to warmly welcome.

Ada Endress’ Trip to India ~ To be Rescheduled
Ada will share a slide presentation on her recent trip to India.  Ada has been studying photography for a few years and travels specifically to hone her skills. It should be both educational and visual pleasure.

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 25th - Chapters 10-14
April 1st - Chapters 15-17

The free benefit performance of Godspell benefiting the Street Chaplaincy has been canceled out of concern for community safety. They are exploring live-streaming a show and will post details soon.

Women’s Gathering & Potluck ~ March 31st, 6:00 PM
Join us for fellowship, food, and fun as we “brainstorm” and plan for service and fellowship opportunities at St. Luke. Potluck details forthcoming! On the “table” for discussion will be Prayer Shawl Ministry, Hospitality Coordination, Women’s Association and ongoing women’s dinners/events.

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
6:00 PM - Appetizers @ the home of Faye Blatt
7:00 PM - Dinner @ the home of Michael & Leighann Antieri or Deb and Bruce Bennett
8:00 PM - Dessert at TBD

There is still space available if you would like to attend. The cost per person is $50. Sign up with Laura Hislop after service or stop by the church office during the week.

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
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, April 14th, 6:00 PM

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