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The Stone News for June 2004
On June 6, our Youth Ministry Community will hold their annual graduation ritual for Stone Church high school seniors: Isabelle Wei, Andrew Bailey, Matt Moncrief, Chris Mertens, Colin Frohlich.
It is a God moment. Each graduation, be it from high school or college or kindergarten, measures the flow of time and marks our community. Memory and anticipation are a bittersweet mixture. We feel the presence of the communion of saints more keenly.
Wendell Berry captures the Spirit of this in his poem "Our Children, Coming of Age:"
the great circle, dancing in
May you experience God's blessing and promise in this June dance.
Soul Feast for Families
Would you like to share your faith in story, song, and prayer with children and youth? Come learn practical ways of experiencing the sacred in ordinary life at Soul Feast For Families on Friday, June 18th, 6 to 8:30 pm; Saturday, June 19th, 9:15 am to noon; and Sunday, June 20th, 9:30 am.
The cost is $20 per family and includes dinner, continental breakfast, resource materials, and All Through the Day, All Through the Year: Family Prayers and Celebrations, by David B. Batchelder. Please register on the patio after church on Sundays (no later than June 13th), or contact Leslie Cromwell.
Friday night - We will learn simple prayers, songs, and Christian spiritual practices that families with young people of all ages can practice in the rhythms of daily life. Just bring you and your family - dinner is provided. We will end the day in the sanctuary with lullabies and blessings - if you wish, bring a favorite blanket and pillow.
Saturday morning - We will begin together with coffee, juice, and rolls, followed by morning song and prayer on the patio. Then, young people will attend workshops on prayer and other ways to get to know God better. Rev. Rebecca Kuiken and parents will meet for a workshop on "The Art of Christian Spiritual Formation in Families." We will join together again for a community-building activity and closing ritual.
Sunday morning - Children and youth will stay throughout the worship service, and we will sing songs and share prayers that we learned during the retreat.
City Approves Renovation Plans:
Work on Lincoln House Begins in June
After three years of discussion, planning, and design, the $1.2 million-dollar renovation of Stone Church has begun.
On Thursday, May 6, the City of San Jose Planning Commission approved final plans for renovation of the main church building and Lincoln House. The following Sunday, in a special congregational meeting, the congregation unanimously approved these plans. The Session then completed negotiations and signed a contract with Blach Construction for the actual work. (A contract was already in place with Bill Gould Design for architectural services during the project.)
A special ground-breaking ceremony was held following worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 30. What an appropriate day - the birthday of the universal church - to begin this project!
Work will start immediately on Lincoln House. The interior space will be gutted and reconfigured to be the Church Offices and Library/Conference Room. It is anticipated that the Lincoln House renovation will be complete, and offices moved, by early September.
Work on the Social Hall section of the main building is currently scheduled to begin in July, overlapping with the Lincoln House renovation. By doing this, Blach Construction believes they can finish the entire job before Christmas.
Summer Takes Us Around the World with Goats
After the Rotation workshops have concluded, and the church has celebrated Pentecost on May 30th with Family Worship, the launch of Stone's summer programs will take place on June 6th with even more fanfare. First, we will celebrate all the wonderful people who have contributed to our church school programs during the school year. They will be given a token of our appreciation and will be honored by the Deacons with a reception.
In addition, church school students, as well as the rest of the church family, will enjoy a visit from a goat to kick off this summer's Heifer Read-to-Feed project. Last year, we bought almost 12 llamas; how many goats can we provide this year for people in need around the world? Plan to sponsor a reader to help the students in this extremely beneficial project.
Then, as students learn about goat-giving, they will also begin the Summer Church School tour of "God's Amazing World." Stopping in a different country each Sunday, they will learn what God is doing there through the Presbyterian Church. Stone Church members and friends are already volunteering to help introduce countries with which they have a connection or interest. Check the calendar on the patio on Sunday, and sign up for the country of your choice.
It should be a great summer for church school students learning to care about God's people around the world.
As Library Moves to Lincoln House, Thanks Extended to Volunteers
The library subcommittee is busy planning and preparing for a move to Lincoln House. A fine browsing library will be set up in the Conference Room (formerly the Living Room).
At this time of transition, the subcommittee would like to thank some very important people:
Vivian Shimmon, who for years has shared her talents with unsurpassed bulletin boards and many other works of love.
Sue Evans, who moves us toward a computer listing of the library, represents us on the Christian Education Board, and does tremendous amounts of behind-the-scenes work.
Margaret Brown and Betty Moran, who continue to do the work of the library.
Many others who have contributed their labor and camaraderie in recent years, especially Evelyn Williams, Olive Weller, Esther Hubin, Fern Swanson, Lorene Nelson, Leta Boone, and Martha Harrison. The library's quality reflects the gifts of all these folks.
All who have generously contributed books and money to our library, making possible a collection that could never be bought on our $100/year budget.
Those who use the library: youngsters who are reading their way through it and adults who find inspiration, relaxation, new ideas and challenge in our books.
All who will help in packing, lifting and carrying the books.
You are welcome to check out materials wherever you find the library. It will probably be closed from late June to late August/early September, since work on the main building will start before Lincoln House is finished. Feel free to check out a stack of books for your summer reading enjoyment!
- Sue Williams, Library Coordinator
The Deacons Senior Picnic was held on April 25, 2004, at Kelley Park.
From left are Audrey Clark, Olive Weller, Laraine Pitcher, and Evelyn Williams
Bob Holtzapple, Bill Palmer, and Sara Holtzapple. Sara’s lovely hat reflects the theme of Fashion Parade Down Memory Lane.
(Left) Sarah Hedayati and Emily Mertens model vintage clothing at the Deacons Picnic.
(Right) Marika Minehart models her prom dress.
Janna Minehart models vintage dress.
Stone's Refugee Family, the Woldemeskels, Doing Well in Virginia
Sheri Cunningham recently spoke with Melaku Woldemeskel, the Ethiopian refugee whose family we sponsored in 2000. The family is doing very well and is very happy in Virginia, although they mentioned that the weather is warmer than in San Jose.
Since jobs in Melaku's previous profession (heating and air conditioning) were not forthcoming, Melaku has become a cab driver by studying lots of street maps. He is making a good living for himself and his family - so good, in fact, that they bought a townhouse in January.
Melaku's daughter, Maria, is now going to preschool and has become the teacher in the family, correcting her parents' pronunciations. Melaku's wife, Aster, is working at an assembly job 10 hours a day, which she enjoys.
The Woldemeskels hope to visit San Jose within the next year and send their greetings to everyone at Stone Church.
On Saturday, May 22, the Church and World Board was pleased to bring back the all-church mission project and hopes it will become an annual event. Stone is fortunate to have leaders like Leland Wong, who planned the all-church event and also plans the men's mission trips, and Michael Wheatley, who led an earlier corporate mission project.
Church mission projects, like church workdays sponsored by the Buildings and Grounds Board, are valuable activities not only because of the work that gets done, but also because of the teamwork that is built. Many Stone members have begun new friendships in the process of working shoulder-to-shoulder - whether doing construction work, painting, cleaning, or washing vegetables in a sink.
If you have comments or suggestions about this year's mission event, please tell the Church and World Board. Your input can help to enhance next year's activities.
Look for more about the all-church mission project in next month's StoNews.
In the 26th year of our participation in the CROP Walk, Stone Church's volunteers raised $1,800 for Church World Service, Sacred Heart Community Service, and the local Food Bank.
Walking this year were Derk Johnson, Lizanne Oliver, Walter Hudson, Dale Bracey, Rachel Buckley and Rod Thorn. Working at the 3-mile rest stop were Rosaleen Zisch and Isabel Wei. Bill Palmer and Jenny Kirchhoff, who planned to walk, also raised money.
Thanks to Rod, who was Stone's resource person for this event and to all who volunteered and all who donated. Your generosity brings food to many people in need.
About a dozen Stone Church members were among the 700 people who recently heard Father Elias Chacour speak in Sunnyvale on "The Power of Peace." The Sunnyvale event raised $7,000, and Father Chacour's nine-city tour probably raised enough to complete the building of the elementary school in Ibillin, Israel, that serves children from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Druze families.
Sponsored by the Santa Clara Council of Churches, the 11th annual Gay Pride Spiritual Celebration will be held at 10 am, Saturday, June 12, at First Congregational Church of San Jose (at Hamilton and Leigh). The ecumenical worship service, featuring the Transcendence Gospel Choir, will be followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome, and childcare will be provided.
The energy level at the Session meeting on Tuesday, May 11, was high, as so many things are falling into place regarding the upcoming church construction. Art had to tear himself away from reading the actual "conditional use permit," issued by the city planning commission, in order to start the meeting. Art had just received the use permit that evening, and he was double-checking it to make sure it agreed with what was decided in the meeting with the planning commission.
Items discussed included plans for the groundbreaking ceremony on May 30. Construction should start June 1. This summer should be an adventure.
Stone Church youth brought one item to the Session for approval. They are working on fund raising for this summer's Youth Work Trip. They got the OK to hold a fund raising event, probably a cookie sale during the coffee hour. Special cookie requests may be available at a price.
It was also announced that Andrew Willis and Laura Kate Anderson will be going to the Presbyterian Youth Trienium at Purdue University this summer. Dean Helms shared tips on how to survive the summer in Indiana. Respectfully submitted, Steve Stark.
Worship Committee Gives Thanks for Dedicated Committee Members
The Worship Committee would like to thank Ed "Tab" Tablak and Gretchen Keagle for their service to the committee. Tab has served for over six years as coordinator of liturgists and communion servers. Thank you, Tab, for your excellent and loyal service to Worship. Kate Wheatley will be the new liturgist and communion server coordinator.
Gretchen has been coordinating the flowers for the sanctuary, and her attention to detail has been most appreciated. Gretchen will now head the Deacons "Ripples" program.
The liturgical arts committee, composed of Karen Scott, Janice Goertz, Jeanette Rapp, Claudia Hamm, and Heather Reynolds, chose this year's Pentecost theme, Voices and Visions of the Spirit, after carefully considering Acts 2. This theme incorporates movement, sound, energy, and transformation. Warm colors were imagined (red, orange and gold with white and blue for breath), as well as sign language, prayer flags and rippling fabric. Thanks to these committee members for their inspired work.
Loving Each Other Through Mission Giving
The Stewardship Board always encourages church members to participate in church mission through annual pledging; for that reason, the board felt it was important to share a bit of the good news delivered by Stone's mission giving.
In past years, many of our Presbyterian missionaries, out of the conviction that the good news of Jesus encompasses the whole person, the whole society, and the whole of creation, established educational and medical institutions in countries of the Middle East, in Africa, and in Asia. Today, many of the leaders in those societies are graduates of those institutions. Thousands of others enjoy healthy lives because of the medical work we helped establish.
In Uganda, the Presbyterian mission board, working with Church World Service, is busy helping Ugandans develop stable and sustainable food sources, water, and employment.
In Egypt, many villages enjoy the use of electricity as a result of gifts we have given through One Great Hour of Sharing to the Self-Development of People committee, which invested our funds in Egyptian projects.
In Thailand, thousands of families struck by leprosy in the past now lead normal lives because of the work of McKeon Hospital and its remote clinics, which for years found the stricken and offered medical service and rehabilitation. Today, those same clinics try to identify those stricken with AIDS and in need of the same kind of medical and rehab services.
In a sermon last month, Art said, "The world will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another." Let us continue to practice that love in the world. Shalom.
Pictures for New Church Directory to be Taken in August/September
Planning has begun for a new Stone Church Pictorial Directory, which will feature our facility renovation. Photos for the new directory will be taken August 27 - 28 and September 17 - 18; please note these dates, and mark them on your calendar. Signups for the photo shoots will begin in early August. The directory will be published in February or March 2005.
If you are interested in serving on the ad hoc Pictorial Directory committee, contact Pat Magee. The committee will first meet with the Olan Mills representative on June 7 at 2 pm in the Chapel.
Many Thanks to StoNews Volunteers
Each month a dedicated group of individuals gather in the Chapel to help fold, sort and mail the monthly newsletter. If it were not for these speedy folks the process would take much longer!
Thank you to those who have helped over the past two years - Leta Boone, Fred Gardner, Bob James, Dulcie Janzen, Jan Keifer, Shirley Lindsay, and Vivian Shimmon.
Here is the June schedule for all Presbyterian Women activities:
Tuesday, June 1st, 9:30 am: Focus Group meets.
Thursday, June 3rd, noon: Annual Spring Luncheon takes place. This event includes installation of officers, the birthday offering, and collection of layette items for Public Health Nurses. Each attendee is asked to bring a salad.
Sunday, June 6th, 2:30 pm: PWP picnic gathering at Los Gatos Presbyterian Church.
Monday, June 7th, 1 pm: Book Club I meets. Book to be reviewed is Jasmine by Mukherjee.
Tuesday, June 8th, 11:30 am: Lunch Bunch meets at Taiwan restaurant. All PW and friends are welcome.
Thursday, June 10th, 9:30 am: Coordinating Team meets in Church Library.
Sunday, June 13th, 9:30 am: Women's Sunday at Stone Church. An exciting service is being planned.
Monday: June 21st, 2:30 pm: Book Club II meets.