News & Stories

Keeping in touch with each other in today's busy and hurry up lifestyle is important. In Latest News/Sundays and More you will find this week's important announcements and news items. Our Work offers in-depth informational articles and stories written by our members about  the important work of our Missional Groups. Our Videos offer inspirational practices led by our staff for your enrichment.

 

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Please note the Church Office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 23-24 for Thanksgiving. If you are in need of pastoral care, please contact Rob or Bethany directly.

From Pastor Rob McClellan: "I know you join me in heartbreak for the victims of the fires.  let's draw upon our good fortune thus far and open our doors and hearts to those in need."

The Outreach and Society Commission has compiled a list for those interested in helping the victims of the northern California wildfires and recent hurricanes. Go to: 

Helping Victims of Northern California Wildfires and Recent Hurricanes

Excerpt received Oct. 19th from the Rev. Bob Conover,  Stated Clerk, Presbytery of the Redwoods, (www.redwoodspresbytery.org

Dear Friends,

Today I spoke with Cindy Alloway (Roses), Dale Flowers (First Santa Rosa), and Jeff Johnson (The Cove). .....to get an assessment of current needs. Where are things right now in Santa Rosa, the place most severely impacted by fires? I spoke with all of them individually and all of them told me the very same things:

1) We do not need more material donations. We are over-whelmed with generosity and have more than the donation sites can manage.

2) We do not need more volunteers. Certainly, there are those with very specific skills that are needed, but for most of us, our skills and resources can be better used in other ways--see No. 4 below.

3) We do not need more pastoral/spiritual caregivers. The broad religious/spiritual community within the area is responding in exemplary ways. They know their communities the best and will extend invitations if more help is needed. Please see No. 5 for one important suggestion.

4) What we REALLY need is housing. Certainly, for those displaced, but also for the construction workers from outside the area who are going to be desperately needed. One idea "floating around" is creating space for motor homes on church property. Jeff Johnson is among those developing this idea. Maybe this is one place where we could collectively offer support. Maybe we could find presbytery funds to help create the necessary infrastructure to make this a reality?

4) Yes, I know there are two No. 4s. We REALLY need financial contributions. All funds donated through Redwoods Presbytery, or to our individual congregations, will go to those who have little or no other financial resources. We want to, and will, care for everyone. Our hearts go out to those who have plenty just as much to those who have very little. This time and place grief-filled for all. Period. We will do all we can to ensure that our contributions go to the very least among us. This is the Gospel.

Today, Pam Novelly, our interim pastor for the Windsor congregation, shared the following quotation ......from Henri Nouwen and it powerfully summarizes the work we are doing in Redwoods, even before the fires. Indeed, in summarizes who we are:

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept. Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you."

We have approximately 80+ church families in Redwoods Presbytery who have lost their homes. Fifty-six of those are from First Presbyterian Church, Santa Rosa. There are many others who have lost income and businesses. We are here not only for our own; we are here for all. "For God so loved the world." The world is our family. The world is God's family. We know this in Redwoods.

Last Sunday, an elder who has served Redwoods in very powerful ways and who lost absolutely everything in the fire, came to me. He put both hands on my shoulders, looked me squarely in my eyes and said, "Bob, I am going to be fine." My eyes were filled with tears. His eyes were filled with hope.

Thank you all for your faith and ministry. Thanks be to God. With love, Bob Conover

       

  Sundays and More                                                                    

Week of November 19, 2017

Stewardship Gratitude
The elders of the church thank you for your generous contributions to the stewardship campaign.  We have raised $587,391, or 79% of our goal. If you still need to turn in your 2018 pledge, or feel moved to make an additional gift, materials are available in the narthex.

Alternative Christmas Fair                 Sunday, Nov. 19, 9:15am & 11:15am
Sunday is your last chance to join us for food and fun and make a difference to those in need. Church groups have chosen local and international nonprofits serving those in need.   Shop for family, friends, teachers, coaches and inspire those who receive donations in their name.   Open to the community.

WPC Yoga Series                    Mondays, Nov 20-Nov 27, 9:30am
This all-level “Flow” style of Hatha Yoga will move at a pace that allows deep opening into the poses.  This class series is appropriate for both beginners and advanced practitioners and is taught by WPC member Erin Elliott (erinelliottyoga.com).  $15/class is suggested and all donations will be given to WPC's Legacy Fund.  Contact Bethany for more information.

Class Series on David                               Wednesday, Nov. 22, 9:30am
We will explore this complicated character who is such an important part of Biblical history.  Facilitated by Bethany, Rob, and Ted.

Thanksgiving Feast at Voyager Carmel                  Thursday, November 23
What can you contribute to a Thanksgiving feast for our friends at the Voyager Carmel, a residential program for 25 people with mental challenges, in San Rafael?  We need everything from turkey to pie.  Come serve from 12:30 to 2:30 on Thanksgiving Day at 830 B Street, San Rafael. Sign-up on poster in the narthex or contact Liz Arnold at or 415-306-2820.  Food can be left ahead of time in church kitchen.

Advent:  Waiting and Preparing                     Wed., Nov. 29-Dec. 20, 9:30am
During each week of this Advent study, we will examine a different Biblical character who waited and prepared for the Messiah in their own way.

Disaster Preparedness Training               Thursday, November 30, 7:00pm
“GET READY” is a free class led by Laurie Nilsen of the Tiburon Police and Fire Dept. to teach us how to stay safe before, during and after a disaster. Findlay Hall; childcare provided.

New Immigration Committee Meeting                  Sunday, Dec. 3, 11:15am
Come join the newly formed Immigration Committee to work with others interested in the issues of migrants and refugees who have arrived in our county and nation. Make your voice heard and your actions count as we look for new ways to serve and advocate on issues of concern to many of us; meet in nursery; contact Carol Coffman for more info:

Sexual Violence & Harassment Workshop             Sun., Dec. 3 & 10, 11:15am
For survivors of sexual assault and/or family and friends impacted by sexual violence. Open to men and women, appropriate for ages 15 and up. With all of the recent news, many wounds have reopened. Please join Kathleen Buckstaff, survivor and author, for a time of healing. She will introduce tools and practices that people can use as a way to help them on their journey. People will not be asked to share their story. Ok to come to one or both classes.

Advent Hike                   Sunday, Dec. 3, 3:30pm
As Advent begins, join us at Tennessee Valley for a contemplative time in our local wild lands.  We will explore the trails as the sun sets and the full moon rises - opening to the light and promise that is central to this season.  Our hike will be rigorous, but measured, as we stop periodically to engage different nature based spiritual practices.  Led by Julie Barnes.  Meet at the Tennessee Valley parking lot.  RSVP to Bob Miller, .

WOW Christmas Luncheon                   Wednesday, December 6, 11:30am
Our speaker is Chaplin Carol Hannon, RN. Please respond to your Evite by noon on Sunday, Dec 3rd. If you don’t receive an Evite and want to attend, email by 12/3.

Ritter Center Gifts
The Ritter Center is collecting Christmas gifts for children and teens this holiday season.  If you would like to contribute a gift, simply take a tag from the Christmas tree in Findlay Hall.  The tags will be available during the Christmas Fair on Nov. 12 & 19.  Please return your unwrapped gift by December 4.

WPC Youth Need a Winter Home
We are planning a February trip to play in the snow and need some extra lodging for our interested youth. Do you have a home near Tahoe we could use for a couple days?  We’ll leave it better than we found it!  Contact           

 

       
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