Newsletters

Sunday Aug 5, 2018

This Sunday - Communion Sunday 

Dear St Luke Community,

Our Summer Sermon Series on practicing is over, but practicing is a subject we will keep talking about as it’s part of our mission statement at St Luke.

This Sunday we move into Exodus, out into the wilderness where the children of Israel have just left Egypt and before they enter into covenant with God. It’s an in-between time, an interim time and they are hungry, thirsty and tired. They complain or “murmur” and God responds. Boy does God ever respond! God sends meat and bread but the people don’t recognize this fine flaky substance as bread, so they ask one another “What is it?”  It turns out the word manna, which we usually think means bread, when translated from Hebrew, actually means “What is it.” This bread was unrecognizable. It sustains the people, feeds the people in the wilderness during a time of great uncertainty. It comes from a God who is still new to the people as they have yet to make it to Sinai.

What is it? What is it about this God that provides abundantly? What is it about this God that gives us all we need, sustains us and gifts to us this bread of life in Jesus Christ?  I hope we can all answer those questions for ourselves, but I also hope we can live into the question itself because that is so often our experience of God’s good grace and presence. We feel God, experience God and yet often in the moment of experiencing God we can't define it as such, so we are left with more questions than answers.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Later, with bellies full and God’s good promise taken in, we respond in kind by feeding those around us, with the same good bread, literally in service for those who are hungry, but also spiritually as we share in the love of God and Christ.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

 

Announcements & Upcoming Events

All are welcome to attend 

St. Luke Women’s Association Bridge Group is looking for people to play on the third Monday and/or fourth Tuesday in the months of September through May.  Please contact Elaine DiPalma, 415-454-4851, if you are interested.

Street Chaplaincy Fellowship and Food ~ Tues. Aug. 28th 4:30-6: 30 PM
Similar to the REST program so many of you provided for, under Michael and Kathleen’s leadership, this opportunity is very similar. St Luke will be providing side dishes & dessert for 50-60 homeless men & women in conjunction with Marin Interfaith Council & Marin Street Chaplaincy. They are encouraging our presence as well as welcoming our food supply. Please let us know if you’d like to drop food off and/or join us for the actual meal. Please sign up with Kathleen or Michael by emailing them at or

Fall Speaker Series ~ Who do you say that I am?
A three-part series September 9, 16, 23 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.

New Member Inquiry Gathering ~ September 30th after Worship
Save the Date for frequent attendees interested in learning more about St Luke’s history, The Presbyterian Church, and the Reformed tradition.

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 ~ Will resume in September.

St. Luke Womens Association ~ Will resume in September.
Then every other month on the second Thursday of that month at 1:00 PM.

Women's Spirituality Group ~ Will resume in September. 

Pizza and Theology ~ Taking July and August off.
Will resume in September on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM, at Creekside Pizza, San Anselmo. Please email Nicole .

The St. Luke Men's Group ~ Future Men's Group meetings: September 4th TBD, November 6th at the Lenser's.

Deacon Ministry

5th Annual Pedal for Protein ~ September 16th - 21st
Supports food bank pantries & projects to help feed the hungry in Northern California. Use the green envelope to donate. Trade Fair date TBD.

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday July 29, 2018

This Sunday - 

Dear St Luke Community,

This Sunday concludes the four week series on practices, although this won’t be the last time you’ll hear me talk about them. There are countless faith practices available to us but perhaps none greater than prayer, depending on how you understand prayer. It’s easy for us to think about prayer as something daunting. How shall I pray? Should I kneel or fold my hands? Should I use words of petition or intercession and what do
those words mean anyway? Barbara Brown Taylor address these questions in her chapter on The Practice of Being Present to God. In it, she quotes Brother David, an Austrian Benedictine monk who distinguishes between prayers and prayer. Prayers are good… but prayer is waking up to the presence of God no matter where you are or what
you are doing.

This week I had a taste of what that can mean when I tasted a friend’s freshly made blackberry jam. The color, smell, and taste became a prayer of the simplest kind. The bushes in her backyard, her hands that picked them, the mason jar that popped as she opened it, the smell of summer as I inhaled it, and the sheer joy I felt when I tasted it, all became a prayer. A prayer of gratitude I suppose, for life’s simplest but greatest gifts.

Frederick Buechner says this;
Whatever else it may be or may not be, prayer is at least talking to yourself, and that’s in itself not always a bad idea. Talk to yourself about your own life, about what you’ve done and what you’ve failed to do...talk to yourself about what matters most to you, because if you don’t you may forget what matters most to you.

See you Sunday,
Nicole

PS-We will welcome Jillian Robinson and her Fair Trade Booth after worship to show our support for Pedal for Protein; the Presbytery’s annual event that raised over $40k last year to combat hunger in Marin and Sonoma counties. Please come ready to do some early Christmas shopping for jewelry, scarves, fair trade chocolates and coffee.

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday July 22, 2018

This Sunday 

Dear St Luke Community,

Recently I came across an article in the Christian Century Magazine titled, Practicing for the Society We Want, by Stephanie Paulsell. In the article, she reminds us that beliefs don’t guarantee behavior. We are seeing that in our society more than ever. We hear about a lot of beliefs from all sides of any given argument, but in the process of expressing beliefs, it seems people have forgotten how to behave in ways that reflect the kind of society we wish to live in. Private practices help us to cultivate and shape our public life as we carry the fruits of those practices into community.

In the article Paulsell cites the author, Timothy Snyder when she writes;

During the purges in Eastern Europe or Nazi Germany, a greeting or a handshake meant a great deal. Such gestures made those who were vulnerable to the violence of the regime feel safer. But when their neighbors averted their eyes when they met or crossed the street to avoid them, those same people felt more fearful. And with good reason. People who are isolated in society are much easier for authoritarian regimes to harm than those who are held, seen, and remembered in community. Making eye contact and exchanging greetings are practices by which we recognize each other’s humanity and knit each other into a shared life.

Barbara Brown Taylor, in her book, An Altar in the World, dedicates an entire chapter to “Encountering Others.” And in the book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, “Radical Hospitality” is at the top of the list.

We are a warm group of people within our church walls and neighborhood, but to be radical while encountering strangers is what Jesus taught and can often feel counter-intuitive.

We will explore what it means to practice loving the Stranger, encountering others and extending radical hospitality within our private lives, in order to cultivate the kind of society we all hope for.

See You Sunday,
Nicole

 

Announcements & Upcoming Events

All are welcome to attend 

Summer Sermon Series ~ Practicing Faith-July 8th-29th
Over these four Sundays, Rev Trotter will explore spiritual practices that deepen our relationship with God. Worshipping God each Sunday is only one part of what we do as disciples of Jesus Christ. God has given us every moment and aspect of our lives to grow in deeper relationship with God.

Some practices have a long history in the religions of the world. Others are as ordinary as the things we do in daily life.

Pulling from the following books in conjunction with supporting scripture, we will explore a different individual and congregational practice each Sunday.

An Altar in the World: A Geography of FaithBarbara Brown Taylor
The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Robert Schnase

No need to purchase the books.

St. Luke Men’s Group ~ 
Next Meeting: Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 6 PM
Where: Home of John Bischoff, 1 Bracken Court, San Rafael, CA, 
415-456-7906
                   

Please bring your thirst and appetite for drinks, dinner, and good discussion. Following dinner, John Bischoff will provide you with an update on progress relating to addressing CA Water Shortage Issues.  

Please RSVP directly to John at or to Joanne at the office at .

Future Men’s Group meetings: September 4th at TBD, November 6th at the Lenser’s. 

Grateful Gatherings ~ Saturday, October 6th, 8:00 AM to Noon
501 (c) 3 non-profit, that provides new or gently used furniture and household goods to people transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. Visit https://gratefulgatherings.org/  for a list of needs.  Bring donations to St. Luke on Saturday, Oct. 6th between 8:30 am and 10:30 am. Your donations are tax-deductible: we provide tax receipts. 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 ~ Will resume in September.

St. Luke Womens Association ~ Will resume in September, then every other month on the second Thursday of that month at 1:00 PM.

Women's Spirituality Group ~ Will resume in September. 

Pizza and Theology ~ Taking July and August off
Will resume in September on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM, at Creekside Pizza, San Anselmo. Please email Nicole .

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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