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The Stone News for March 2003
Pastor's Message for March
"The letter of Paul to Titus" is one of those delightfully small books of the Bible. In verse four, Paul writes about God's "Loving kindness." In the midst of the Roman Empire, the early Church was aware that God had come to humanity with a particular type of grace and mercy. The letter to Titus calls it "Loving kindness." It comes in the middle of a paragraph which has the modern heading (there were neither paragraphs or headings in the original text) "Maintain Good Deeds." In other words, the Church's self understanding was awareness of a calling to receive and to share "Loving kindness."
South Bay Crop Walk
Palm Sunday, April 13th
Looking for a good cause which, like Stone Church, is outward-looking and includes all believing Christians? Where the event provides snacks and live music? Where the organizers work efficiently to ensure that funds get to people in need worldwide, with very little spent on overhead?
Look no further than the local CROP Walk, which takes place this year on Palm Sunday, April 13. This will be the 25th consecutive year that Stone Church has actively participated. Over the years many Stone Church members have worked energetically in leadership for this large, successful walkathon. As she has done for many years, Rosaleen Zisch again is planning to have her group of Hoover Middle School students at one of the rest stops.
Church World Service is the sponsoring agency for CROP Walks in the United States. It brings together Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans and many other faith groups, uniting us all in the effort to save lives and relieve suffering. CWS has ties to practically every country in the world. Church agencies in those countries work locally, contacting people to determine needs, then tell CWS what aid is appropriate. CWS is efficient and experienced. Its costs are below 18%. It is over fifty years old.
Our local walk supports CWS and also two very strong community organizations the Santa Clara County Food Bank, and Sacred Heart Community Service. It takes place in a beautiful neighborhood of large homes and gardens. The Rosegarden Park, which walkers encircle, will be full of flowers in bloom. In a time when many wonder about youth involvement in church, the CROP Walk has a special appeal to young people. They consistently turn out in large numbers.
Walk! Itıs good for your heart, itıs a way to connect with others, and it raises funds efficiently for a good cause. Sign-ups will take place in the Social Hall beginning March 9th, and continuing until Walk Day, April 13th. See you there!
- Sponsored by Church and World
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March is the Time to Sign up for Summer Camp!
Brochures with registration forms are now available in the church office featuring the great summer camps planned at Westminster Woods. Please pick up one brochure per family, making copies of the registration form for additional campers. Exciting camps are available for students entering Grade 2 through high school.
We know from experience that these camps offer a special opportunity for young people to learn more about themselves and their Christian faith. Through singing, praying and playing, they will share in the love and grace of Christ. Steve Coons, Director of Westminster Woods and former Stone Church member, and his wife Ann will be here on Sunday, March 2 to talk with church school students about summer camps. They will also be at a table in the Social Hall after worship to answer questions for parents and potential campers.
Registrations need to be received in our church office by Sunday, March 9 for the weeks we have reserved. While there may be openings, later registrations cannot be guaranteed. Scholarship help is available through the Presbytery and Westminster Woods. Deborah Crim, our camp registration coordinator, has information and forms.
Make plans now for summer camp and sign up by March 9!
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Stone Church Women's Retreat 2003
One last reminder, the registration deadline for this Women's Retreat is March 9th. Please don't let this wonderful opportunity for fellowship, learning, and tranquility slip away. We have an inspiring leader, Ruthanne Svendsen; a jewel-like setting, the St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista; and a program designed to help you with your own unique spiritual journey. The dates of the retreat are March 28 to 30. Please contact Emily Meacham for more information or to register.
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Nursery Needs Items
The Nursery at Stone Church is a happy place, filled with little ones! We are also looking for a couple of donated items. Do you have a glider rocking chair and/or an exer-saucer which you no longer need? The Nursery could use them! If you are able to donate either of these items, contact Elizabeth in the church office.
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Church School Sending Llamas and Sheep
Church School students voted to designate the portion of 2002 youth offering for the Heifer Project to buy a "Knitting Basket." This new gift for $500 sends four wool-producing animals to families in need: two llamas and two sheep. This is a great way to help four struggling families earn extra income to break free from the grip of poverty and hopelessness. Then as the firstborn of the animals is passed on to help others, entire communities will be warmed by the precious wool of our Knitting Basket.
Our students have also considered how their offerings for 2003 will be spent. They have chosen to focus this year on llamas. In addition to knowing one-third of their regular offerings will be used to buy llamas, they also plan to give the whole congregation a chance to contribute. So you'll be hearing more about llamas too!
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Souper Bowl Report
The Middle School students are grateful for the congregation's support of their Souper Bowl Sunday project. $152 and 91 cans and packages of food were received for Second Harvest Food Bank. Over 3.4 million dollars has been reported nationally from participation of 12,000 churches! Isn't it amazing what Christians can do working together?!
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Updates from your Church and World Board
Peace in the Holy Land?
A speaker from the Pilgrims of Ibillin will be at Stone Church on Tuesday March 4 after the Taize service. Please join us in the social hall at 7:30 p.m. for this presentation. The Pilgrims of Ibillin is a group of American religious leaders (mostly Christian) dedicated to supporting Christian communities in the Holy Land in their efforts to promote peaceful coexistence between Jews and Muslims. They work primarily with the Mars Elias Educational Institute (MEEI) in the village of Ibillin in the Galilee region. The MEEI was founded by Father Elias Chacour and has brought together Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Druze students, faculty and staff to provide an education and learning that fosters hope and understanding and consequently the possibility of peace among the young people in that region. Father Elias Chacour has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received the World Methodist Peace Prize and the Niwano (Buddhist) Peace Prize. Stone Church gave 25% of it's Peacemaking Offering to the Pilgrims of Ibillin in 2002. Come hear more about the Pilgrims of Ibillin and the MEEI and their work toward promoting peace.
Changes in 2003 Church and World Budget
When the 2003 budget was presented in January to the congregation, it was mentioned that the Church and World Budget would be impacted this year. Please see the Church and World Bulletin Board for details on the differences between 2002 and 2003 in funding for the various mission projects Stone Church supports.
Children's Clothing Drive
Beginning February 23rd after service, Church and World Board members will be taking sign-ups for volunteers to help with the annual Children's Clothing Drive. There are approximately 30 children living at the Sobrato family Living Center (an Emergency Housing Consortium program), these children will receive a $50 gift certificate to spend at Mervyn's in Santa Clara. Stone Church is looking for volunteers to help drive the children on Saturday, March 29th. Please call Jenny Kirchhoff for further details.
A Few Other Items ...
Copies of the 2003 Mission Yearbooks have arrived and are in the Library for anyone who is interested.
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Facilities Task Force
Congregation Approves $1.25 Million Capital Campaign
for Major Facility Renovation
At a special meeting following worship on Sunday, February 9, the Congregation approved:
A comprehensive education program will be undertaken so that all church members are informed about this project.
All members of the congregation will be invited to participate in the capital fund raising campaign.
A recognition plan that fittingly honors donors and/or memorializes family members will be made available to members who support the campaign.
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Rebecca Kuiken opened the February Session meeting with prayer, and the first few minutes were taken up with standard administrative tasks.
The minutes of the January congregational meeting were found to have a small error in the terms of call of the pastors because the percentage for benefits from the Presbyterian Church Board of Pensions was raised from 28.5% to 29.5% during 2002. The correct amount was covered in the budget but not accurately reflected in the terms of call for the pastors. A motion was approved to authorize the Clerk of Session to make a technical correction of the minutes to fix this inaccuracy.
In response to congregational approval to proceed with a capital campaign for $1.25 million to renovate much of the church facilities, session approved a motion to authorize a committee consisting of Art Mills, Chris Nilson, Jerry Pearson and Debbie Roach to negotiate a contract for capital campaign services with O'Donnell Fund Raising. This contract is not to exceed $47,250. The source of the funding will be from the $50,000 approved by the congregation for the capital campaign funding. Jennifer O'Donnell is expected to begin the campaign on February 24, and will use the Library as working space for the 12 weeks of the campaign. Except for the Library crew and the Sunday school, committees and others using the Library during this period will be asked to find other facilities.
Session also approved a motion by the Personnel and Administration Board to authorize an over-expenditure of $700 for quarterly staff planning/retreats. This funding had been cut from the approved budget. With the current state of the projected pledges, it was agreed that this activity should not be curtailed and should be paid from church funding.
A number of Board activities were also discussed. Stewardship reported that we have received pledges exceeding the amount budgeted. Buildings and Grounds reported that bids are being received for the possible replacement of the current cleaning service. Art Mills reported that his sabbatical schedule is June 1 through September 30.
Prayer closed the meeting.
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Men's Book Club
Here are the dates and book titles for discussion the next two meetings:
April 21 - House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
June 16 - Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
(Meeting locations will be announced in the church bulletin.)
You are invited to participate in our informal, sociable discussion of books we select to read. We meet in each other's homes approximately every other month for refreshments and discussion. The books we choose reflect the varied interests of the participants. May we add you to our e-mail notification list? If so, or if you would like more information, please contact Bill Gum or Bill Ribble.
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March 6 - World Day of Prayer - 10 AM at Los Gatos Presbyterian Church. Lea Lawrence is the hostess.
March 8 - International Women's Day.
March 9 - Gifts of Women Day.
March 31 - Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery - 10 AM - The Reverend Beth Appel is the speaker on "Global Exchange in Africa" at Foothill Presbyterian Church in San Jose
Remember - The PW Gathering registration is still open. The Gathering will be held July 9 to 13 in Louisville, KY. Claudia Hamm still has registration packets..
A Special Invitation - Share friendships, joys, concerns and Bible study with like-minded ladies that meet the second Monday evening of each month at 7:30 PM at member's homes. Come for a visit - Sapphire Circle opens its heart to you. Call Dorothy Stevens for specific meeting location. See you there.
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Pastor Emeritus David Beamer
Believing Is Seeing . . .
How To Change Beliefs That Limits Us
Our beliefs are the blueprints of our physical reality. It is becoming increasingly clear to the scientific community that the brain, the electrochemical apparatus which controls the body, is wired and rewired according to our beliefs
Pastor Emeritus, David Beamer, will present a lecture on Friday evening, May 2, and a workshop on Saturday morning, May 3. This two-session seminar/workshop will provide participants an exciting opportunity to learn about, and practice, some of the powerful tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming tools which can not only uncover unconsciously held limiting beliefs, but also provide resources for changing them into beliefs that will manifest the outcomes we truly want. There is no charge for either session.
Mar 2 - Mar 16 (3 weeks): Faith Journeys at Stone Church
Leader: Ed Tablak
Each week a different member of Stone Church talks about their faith journey, what brought them to Stone, how they have grown at Stone, their hopes, and the spiritual struggles they face today. Mar 2 - Carrie Moncrief
Mar 9 - Tom Hurst
Mar 16 - Mary Alice Collins
Mar 23 - Apr 13 (4 weeks): Church and World Focus
Leader: Jenny Kirchoff
Mar 23 - Catholic Charities
Mar 30 - CONTACT
Easter -- No class April 20.
Apr 27: Population, Energy and Ecology
Leader: Pat Magee
Congregational Meeting -- No class May 4
May 11 - Jun 1 (4 weeks): Moslems: Our Neighbors in Silicon Valley
Speakers will be provided by the Outreach Division of the Moslem Community Association located in Sunnyvale. A chance to interact with and learn about our Moslem neighbors.
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Church School Learning To Weather Storms
Our workshops in February have been looking at the miracle story of "Jesus Calms the Storm" through art and meditation, drama and song, and videos. What an appropriate time for learning that God can calm us when we must weather storms in our lives as well. Take a look at the story in three gospels: Matthew 8:18, 23-27, Mark 4:35-41 and Luke 8:22-25. See how it can help you weather storms.
Communion Sunday church school on March 2 will focus on summer camps at Westminster Woods with a visit from Steve and Ann Coons. (See article about camps.)
The following three Sundays in March, the 9th, 16th and 23rd will help church school students look ahead at Holy Week. In addition to reviewing the events of that week through the "Life of Christ" computer program, they will look particularly at Jesus' new commandment to "Love One Another." In an art workshop they will decorate bowls to remind their families that Jesus washed the disciples' feet, demonstrating his admonition to love and serve. Then they will act on that commandment by making soup and soft pretzels in a cooking workshop to be given to the hungry in a local homeless shelter.
Finally, the Middle School class will be preparing a special video to be shown to the church school class on April 6. It is hoped that that experience as well as the rotation of workshops on March 30, April 13 and 27 looking at Jesus' resurrection and return on the Road to Emmaus, will enrich the students' experience of this year's Holy Week.
You'll want to be sure your student participates in as many of these opportunities as possible, in addition to worshipping with your family on Easter Sunday. They will celebrate that important day with the congregation rather than having church school.
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Comfort, Understanding, Mission -- It's All Here
Our youngest family members will find these new books:
-- Sue Williams, Library Coordinator
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