Brenda Wallace
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January 15, 2019

Nineteen years ago, we were able to celebrate the 94th birthday of a new senior friend, Alice Mills, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Monterey California. We were living aboard our sail boat, 'good idea' and had begun attending church where we met Alice. For the next 10 years, we returned during January to celebrate her birthday up until her 104th birthday. This year, as usual, we enjoyed our annual visit with her daughter, Melinda, in San Francisco.

Church on Sunday morning involved a reflection on the "Book of Joy" (Doug Abrams) presented by ACTS (our Adult Spiritual Development Group). Wayne, Jock, Deb, Eldon and Sheryl (along with Alison and Mike) had given much thought to their input and it was reflected in their gift of ministry. My contribution was the minute speak regarding Monday Night Book Study in which we have 40 folk registered. My other task was Sound and Light with PSALT. Oh, my goodness, the "Gremlin" - the name lovingly applied to the booming sound in our system that comes whenever it so chooses - struck terror into our hearts in the balcony for some 10 minutes.

The good news is that Deb Charnuski along with Tauran Wood who has faithfully served on the PSALT team longer than I have (beginning in 2005), have assumed leadership of PSALT. With their combined expertise, we will be saying good-bye to the "Gremlin" and updating our dated equipment. Watch for an opportunity to contribute to the cause. 

With the Christmas season behind us, we are tackling the remaining days of winter with enthusiasm. Monday Night Book Study launched some 40 of us on a 10 week journey (or spiritual migration). We celebrate the community that gathers every Monday night. You can still join us. Be sure to watch the powerpoint for Session #1 by going to the Ministry page and clicking on to Adult Spiritual Development page. That takes on new meaning because the system failed to work for us last night.

Last year we posed for pictures and by late February we can get our SDUC directories. I find myself using our 2011 directory often so I look forward to the 2019 version. Thanks, team. (P.S. See you Thursday at the Coffee and Muffin Ministry event. )

Be sure to scroll down to read the official Newsletter January 13, 2019. 

January 6, 2019

We are on our way home now with eta set for Friday night. Holidaying has been great. Today, it is raining in Portland - a good day to work on the webpage and the Christmas Newsletter that will be sent out very soon. Christmas decorations will still be up when we return. 

Deb Stockdale, our Pastoral Care Minister, presided over the service this morning. The seed for meditation was a quote from Vincent Van Gogh - "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." With China making a landing on the dark side of the moon this week, it is with awe, we look to the sky as Vincent did and as those involved in the landing did so many years later. The readings chosen and read by Bill Way were from Psalm 72 and from Matthew 2:1-12 -- "Following the Star."

January 2, 2019

This morning, I checked in with Chantal and, later, Marlene in the church office, in order to check out the Value of the Month (COMMITMENT) and Sacred Service January team leaders as well as any other happenings for our web page. As well, I chatted with Council Chair, Deb C. for a review of Alison's Wassail Service. Here is what she had to say: 

Allison Demeter presided over a morning of carol singing and sharing.
The congregation participated in the service by offering poems, stories and thoughts, which were shared in between bouts of carol singing. Carols were selected by request from those who were present and either led by Allison or the requester.
This welcoming, sharing service was further enhanced by individuals who made Wassail to warm hearts and hands.  Wassail  is a delicious hot cider drink that combines the flavors of orange and apple with cinnamon and spices.  Many thanks to those who volunteered to make it and shared it with us on what turned out to be a rather frosty morning!
Deb Charnuski
The First Sunday of January is Epiphany Sunday. For some, this marks an ending of the Christmas season. Our personal season will conclude on the following weekend when we return home. Christmas decorations are in place until then.