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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. 


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
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