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The Stone News for April 2006
Holy Week and Easter at Stone ChurchSunday, April 9, 9:30 am, Palm Sunday Worship Service. The choir will present O Vos Omnes by Thomas Victoria (1535-1611).
Tuesday, April 11, 6:45 pm, Taizé Service. Barbara Roberts, Karen Johnson, and Laraine Pitcher will present beautiful, traditional Taizé music.
Thursday, April 13, 6:30 pm, Maundy Thursday Seder and Communion. See next story below for more details.
Friday, April 14, noon to 3 pm, Good Friday meditation with music on the half-hour and hour .
Sunday, April 16, 9:30 am, Easter Sunday Worship Service (Sanctuary). The choir will present Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741).
Maundy Thursday To Be Observed with Seder, CommunionStone Church will hold a special Seder, a traditional Passover dinner, on Maundy Thursday, April 13, at 6:30 pm, in the Social Hall. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated around the tables after the Seder. As part of your journey through the season of Lent toward Easter, consider experiencing this traditional Passover ritual, at which our pastors will read the Haggadah (which means telling) for a unique sense of history and tradition.
The Worship Committee and Membership & Evangelism and Christian Education Boards have combined efforts to return this tradition to Stone for the Lenten season. Mary Johnson will be preparing a dinner of Jewish traditional fare that you will not want to miss. Nursery care will be provided for very young children; older children are invited to participate in the program with their families.
The Seder will start promptly at 6:30, so families with small children can get home at a reasonable hour. Please sign up in the Social Hall after worship or click to email your reservation. Reservations are required to assure there is enough space and food for all. Donations will be accepted to offset expenses.
Save these Dates!!
April 2: Daylight Saving Time beginsIt is time to spring forward! Please remember to set your clocks forward one hour before going to bed on Saturday night in order to make it to church on time on Sunday morning. (The time actually changes at 2 am.)
April 8: Buildings and Grounds WorkdayJoin us from 9 am to 2 pm! The B&G Workday is a great opportunity to socialize with your friends from the church and to help maintain our beautiful grounds and facilities. Tasks will be available for all kinds of skills and levels of expertise. We'll provide the supplies and tools, or you can bring your own.
April 22: Crab Feed to benefit Men's Mission Work GroupA wonderful meal for a wonderful cause will take place on April 22 in the Stone Church Social Hall from 6 to 8 pm. The Crab Feed will feature Dungeness crab, salad, bread, a vegetarian pasta and spumoni ice cream. Suggested donations are $18 for adults and $5 for youth. Contact Mike Wyllie or Leland Wong with questions. RSVP on Sundays after worship or click to email your reservation.
April 30: Denise Roy Parenting EventDon't miss this wonderful opportunity to see the nationally known author of the award-winning book, My Monastery is a Minivan. For more details, see the article on page 5.
April 30: CROP WalkThis walk benefits Church World Service efforts all over the world, and 25% of the income goes directly to local charities. The walk begins at 1 pm; please join us! For more details, see the article immediately below.
27th Annual South Bay CROP Walk is Sunday, April 30The CROP Walk benefits Church World Service efforts all over the world, and 25% of walk income goes to two local charities: Second Harvest Food Bank and Sacred Heart Community Service. Your ministry and service by participating in the CROP Walk will feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the suffering, and bring hope to the poor, not only in Santa Clara County, but also throughout the world.
Gather at 12:30 pm April 30 at Lincoln High School in San Jose, 555 Dana Street. The walk begins at 1 pm. Sign-ups begin April 2. For more information, contact Derk Johnson.
Saturday, May 20: Save the Date for the All-Church Community WorkdayThe Stone Church family will be putting on work gloves and picking up paint brushes on Saturday, May 20. All ages are invited to participate, working from 9 am to noon and then gathering for a tasty picnic lunch.
This year our work projects will be out in our San José community. Some of us will be doing jobs to make our physical environment better. We will be working together at the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens where we'll learn how the river and gardens are good for our community.
The other work team will be helping a small non-profit agency that serves people with low incomes who have mental illnesses. ACT for Mental Health has a well-used facility that is in need of a makeover. Our Stone Church team will be painting the front of the building to create a more welcoming entrance and painting the recreation room where clients gather for support groups and socializing.
Watch for additional details about the workday in the May StoNews and at the Church and World Workday signup table. And mark your calendars now.
Vacation Church School will "Time Travel" to Ancient JerusalemMark your calendar now for an exciting week, June 19 - 23, when the Vacation Church School (VCS) team will transform our Social Hall into the ancient Jerusalem Marketplace. Participants will experience the sounds, sights, smells and activities of Jesus' time. Then on Sunday, June 25, they will share the marketplace with the rest of the congregation.
Students age 4 years through grade 5 are invited; middle school youth will have a special role. Watch for sign ups! Adults and older youth are welcome to join in this exciting adventure.
Let Rosaleen Zisch or Miriam Kishi know of your interest.
"Fat Tuesday" Lived Up to Its NameWith over a hundred members and friends joining together for gourmet soup, luscious desserts, and wonderful entertainment, Fat Tuesday provided food, fellowship, and fun for everyone.
Debbie and Walter Roach, Leonard Lewis, Mary Johnson and other chefs created delicious and varied food offerings, from mac and cheese to borsch to fish chowder to won ton soup - there was truly something for everyone. The "pot luck" decadent desserts lived up to their reputation from past events, with chocolate the number one, predominant ingredient!
The on-stage silliness began and ended with Derk Johnson as master of ceremonies; a wide variety of acts was sandwiched between, from poetry recitation to singing and piano playing to vaudeville theatrics and magic acts and yes, even knock, knock jokes. Performers ranged from age 5 to somewhere north of 70!
As we entered the Lenten period the following day on Ash Wednesday, with its personal disciplines, solemn focus and sacrifices, we did so with a smile on our lips and a song in our hearts. Thanks be to God for all the talent and graciousness of the Stone Church family so generously displayed at the 2006 Fat Tuesday night.
Christian Education Notes
Events and Activities Offered to Enrich Children's Experience of Holy WeekFamilies at Stone Church have many opportunities this year to make Holy Week a meaningful, growing experience for their children.
First, they can encourage the use of the One Great Hour of Sharing fish banks, along with the Sharing Calendar. The calendar's focus on the need for water of people around the world is a great way to raise children's awareness and to offer a concrete way for them to help. The banks are to be returned on Palm Sunday, April 9, as the students join in the palm parade.
Children in kindergarten and older, including middle schoolers, will also have a chance to grow in understanding of Jesus' last week - particularly his gift of the Last Supper - as a way to remember him. They will be creating a life-sized picture of Jesus and his disciples, based on Da Vinci's depiction, to be displayed at the church's Seder dinner on Maundy Thursday; they will also make the bread for Maundy Thursday communion.
Hopefully, families will sign up to be a part of that enriching experience.
Finally, a special Activity Calendar, much like an Advent Calendar, will be available beginning April 2. Each day as the children open a window, they will learn more about Jesus' last week and find suggestions to make it more real in their lives. How special Easter Day will be for those who experience a deeper understanding of Holy Week!
Sunday Morning Adult Study
CE Announces April - June Adult Study ClassesStone Church Adult Education classes continue to provide a rich and varied curriculum. Classes run from 11 am to noon on Sundays with nursery care available during the hour.
April 2: Conversations with the Preaching Pastor: This class provides a time for in-depth conversation with the preaching pastor and reflections on the morning's worship service; free-wheeling and wide-ranging discussion is expected and encouraged.
April 9 (Palm Sunday) and April 16 (Easter): No adult classes.
April 23 and May 14: Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Presbyterian Church: Four years ago, the General Assembly appointed a diverse Task Force to find ways that the church can live more harmoniously in the face of deep disagreements. Did they succeed? The Task Force's final report will be considered by the General Assembly meeting in June. Its recommendations are stirring strong reactions from conservatives, liberals, progressives, and moderates. Dale Bracey believes the report signals a possible way out of our divisions.
Dale will lead two sessions to learn about the report and to sort out reactions. On April 23, he will describe what is at stake and how we came to this. Copies of the Task Force's report will be available for all. A follow-up session three weeks later on May 14 gives an opportunity to express Stone Church responses, including the Rev. Marge Palmer's assessment.
April 30: Creating Family Spirit, Strengthening Family with Everyday Rituals with Denise Roy.
May 7: Celtic Spirituality - Discussion with Dr. J. Philip Newell: As a follow-up to his Henrietta Perdue lectures, Philip Newell will preach this morning and lead a discussion class at the 11 am Adult Education hour.
May 28 - June 18: Faith and Money
May 14 - June 25: Listening to the Heartbeat of God: A six-week series will explore Philip Newell's acclaimed book on the history and importance of Celtic Spirituality, Listening to the Heartbeat of God.
WARNING: Be Aware of a Medicare Rx Prescription Drug Telephone ScamOur Parish Nurse, Mary Johnson, would like to warn all of our Medicare-eligible members about a telephone scam related to the new Medicare Rx prescription drug program, which started January 1.
The scam has been labeled the "$299 Ring," because of the way it works: a telephone representative of a bogus company asks for $299 to enroll you in what turns out to be a non-existent prescription drug plan. The representative asks for personal information, such as your bank account, which you are never required to provide over the phone for a Medicare drug plan.
Medicare has received complaints about this deception from people in several states. Authorities believe the bogus company is based outside the country.
If you feel you have been a victim of this scam, you can report it to your local law enforcement agency, or call 1-877-772-3379 (1-877-7SAFERX).
News from the Library
The Library is CallingMight you be available to help with library work one or two mornings a month? Our crew holds workdays from 9:30 am to noon on the first and third Tuesdays. We prepare new books for the library and do all the small tasks that keep the collection attractive and useful. If you are interested, please contact me or just stop by during a workday.
CalendarsThank you for all the calendars! I delivered 51 new calendars to Sacred Heart Community Services. All through the year I can handle any spare calendars you have. People are happy to get them for both decoration and information.
New books:For younger folks
News from Presbyterian Women
Mosquito Nets for MothersEach year in Africa, more than 24 million pregnancies are threatened by malaria. Many women themselves may survive a bout during pregnancy only to see their baby become ill and die. Among children under age five, malaria is the number one cause of death in Africa. Using insecticide-treated mosquito nets can significantly reduce these tragic statistics.
The Mother's Day Project helps provide nets to women who need them. It works this way: Attractive Mother's Day cards are made available in exchange for a donation to the NetWorkers Safe Motherhood Project. PW is participating in this project in place of actually sewing nets, since shipping costs for nets are very expensive. With the Mother's Day Project, money is collected by PW at the national level and sent to the country of need where nets are manufactured locally. Cards will be available at Stone Church beginning April 23; watch for them.
News from the Church and World Board
Bill Wilson Center FundraiserThe Bill Wilson Center is planning a lunchtime fundraiser at the San José Windham Hotel on Thursday, April 27. For more details, call Bea Groppuso.
OGHS: When was it that we saw you thirsty? - Matthew 23:37On Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, envelopes will be included in the church bulletins for the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. The distribution of this offering is:
Visit the C&W Board meetingsIf you would like to learn more about Church & World Board and its mission, you are invited to visit us on the first Tuesday of each month. If you like what we are doing and would like to work with us, we will greet you with open arms and hearts. Call or corner one of us on Sunday following Worship. We are Bea Groppuso (Moderator), Deborah Crim (Vice Moderator), Dale Bracey, Renate Frick, Sarah Holtzapple, Kathy Lloyd, Rhonda Lakatos, Alice McNelis, Cathy Marshall, Bill Palmer, and Joyce Summers.
Worship Committee NewsThe Worship Committee thanks their committed volunteers for the long hours they spend creating the visual worship arts, as well as all of the other aspects of the worship services we enjoy in the sanctuary for all liturgical events.
Special thanks go to Jeanette Rapp for making the beautiful lamb banners. Jeanette found the wonderful lamb fabric and began making the banners when she recently visited her daughter in Washington, DC. Kate Wheatley and others made the side banners some years ago, and Jeanette and Karen Scott added the tassels this year to enhance their beauty. Jeanette, Karen and Tom Scott labored many hours to hang all of the banners.
Thanks also go out to Cathy Marshall for the use of her handy fold-up ladder, which has become an invaluable asset to the Liturgical Arts Committee. As Cathy moves to the Church and World Board, the Worship Committee would like to thank her for being chairperson of the Usher Committee for the past three years and for her many hours of creative and faithful work. And thanks also to Donald Foster, who has spent many hours helping to create the visions you see for Advent, Lent, and Pentecost.
Here are the sub-committees of the Worship Committee (with leaders in parentheses): Ushers (June Tablak); Communion (Mary and Derk Johnson); Flowers (Mary Johnson); Liturgical Arts (Donald Foster, Jeanette Rapp, Karen Scott); Liturgists (Kate Wheatley); Chancel (Lizanne Oliver, Mary Johnson, Karen Scott); Sacred Music (Lucik Aprahamian, Walter Roach, Joyce Rhodes, Donald Foster and the Chancel Choir); Taizé (Hilleguus Faber).
Session BeatThe Session met in Special Session on March 9 to discuss the completed Mission Study. After a full consideration of the Study, the Session thanked the Mission Study Committee for its hard work and for a well-crafted, informative report. The Session then voted to have the study made available to the congregation and commended it to the Pastor Nominating Committee for its work.
At its Regular meeting on March 14, the Session heard a letter from the Rev. Rebecca Kuiken. She wrote that it is her "intention to diligently seek a new call to be pastor/head of staff in the denomination." She told the Session that this information is not confidential, as she believes it will help the congregation if there is clarity about her intentions. The Rev. Marge Palmer expressed gratitude for Rebecca's thoughtfulness. Session members told her of their support for her and her family during this time.
A letter from the Presbytery of San José asked for names of persons to serve on a search committee for a new Executive Presbyter. Deadline for names is April 15.
On another note, the Rev. Gary Demarest will be at the Presbytery meeting on April 1, explaining the Task Force Report on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Presbyterian Church to be considered at this summer's General Assembly.
Dick Kistler reported that Stone has received the maximum possible loan from the PC (USA) Investment and Loan Program ($450,000) as it refinances its current Line of Credit. The Session voted to go to the Synod of the Pacific for the remainder needed ($650,000).
The Session approved job descriptions for a half-time position of Custodian-Maintenance Provider and approved a revised version of the Caretaker who would work up to 10 hours a week. The Session approved the use of the "Consecration Sunday" program in Stewardship. Detailed information is forthcoming.
News from the Stewardship Board
Putting Faith and Money TogetherA colleague was pastor of a prominent congregation, and as such, she participated in several civic organizations. One such organization asked her to be the contact for a wealthy member of her congregation in order to secure a Lead Gift for a significant project. A few months later, another organization asked her to provide access to the same member, which she did. When a third request came, she went to the parishioner, expressing some embarrassment that she seemed to be asked by so many groups to contact him. His response was, "Please don't be embarrassed. As my pastor, I expect you to help me decide among the many requests I receive. You help me put my faith and my wealth together."
Many pastors recoil from "fundraising" as an activity inappropriate to being a pastor. My friend's parishioner gave her a valuable clue, one that is especially helpful in leadership of planned giving and endowment programs.
The pastor can become an essential guide, outlining options for faithful use of accumulated resources. Through preaching, in teaching, in informal conversations and counseling, the pastor encourages members to be sensitive to how resources of money and time and interests have an impact on the church's ministry to the world. The pastor needs to have an understanding of what faith means to the members - what values do they consider important? How can any person use wealth, whether in large amounts or small, to give a measure of health and wholeness through ministries of the church and through gifts to community causes?
My colleague's parishioner was quite wealthy. However, what he taught her was a valuable lesson for pastors of any congregation. That task - that responsibility - of helping parishioners match interests, resources, and faith is to teach stewardship and should be at the heart of every pastor's ministry.
Job Posting: Part-Time CustodianStone Church is currently looking for a part-time custodian. Here is a brief description of the job: