From the Rector
Sabbath and Creation
The idea of Sabbath occurs in the creation myth of Genesis. At the end of creating the world God rests, and we are subsequently invited to imitate God in this pattern. As God rests on the seventh day, we are also meant to rest on the seventh day-or are we?
I like the fact that Sabbath is linked to creation. It makes me think of my own creative process, that I need periods of work interspersed with periods of rest in order to function as a creative person. God creates, and then rests, but does God then begin to create again? Theologians have argued about this and the answer I like the best is that, while God is not creating out of nothing after the six days and the rest, creation does continue. Moreover, we are invited to join in the process of creation. We do not create out of nothing, but we create out of the resources God gives us, and we need a cycle of work and rest to make sure we are creating at our best.
In my recent trip to Israel we discussed Sabbath quite a bit. It was fascinating to hear the different ideas about Sabbath from a Jewish perspective. Two things that caught my attention: Should the rest day be at the start or the end of the week? And; is Sabbath about tiredness or control?
In an ancient debate amongst Rabbis there was disagreement about when Sabbath should fall if one were to find oneself stranded on a desert island with no calendar. One Rabbi said you should work six days and then keep Sabbath, imitating God in the creation story, and then keep Sabbath every seventh day after that. Another Rabbi said that humans are not God, and we must begin with Sabbath before working, so you keep Sabbath on day one and then work six days before keeping Sabbath again. This argument makes me ask whether Sabbath rest is a response to being tired because of work, or a method of generating creative energy before beginning work. What do you think?
The Christian church decided not to keep our day of rest on Saturday, the last day of the week. We keep it on a Sunday, which is the first day of the week. Our version of Sabbath suggests that we rest in order to be creative, not because we are exhausted.
Then there is the question of whether Sabbath is about rest at all, or about something else! Was God really tired after six days of work? Was God so exhausted that the divine needed a day off? I don't think so, God has limitless energy. Perhaps Sabbath isn't about rest at all. One Rabbi on my trip to the Holy Land said that the book of Exodus focused on the idea of Sabbath as rest - but that the book of Deuteronomy took another path. In Deuteronomy Sabbath is about letting go, not about resting. Think of the circus act where a woman starts spinning plates on the top of long thin poles. As she gets the plates spinning they move through the energy of her initial attention, but then sustain their movement through momentum. She moves on to other plates, and leaves the first spinning on their own. Every so often she has to return to the plates, but she can leave them for some time before this is necessary. So with creation it is as though God spins the universe into being during the six days of creation, and then on the seventh day he lets go.
Are we resting on the Sabbath because we are exhausted, or are we letting go and stepping back to see how things carry on without us? Is Sabbath a time to reflect on our need for recuperation, or a time to wrestle with our desire to control the world around us?
My answer is to be very Episcopalian about this: it is both. I am writing to you about Sabbath for three reasons.
During the summer we all get opportunities to rest. We take vacation, we slow our activities down, we may spend more time with family, and we get a chance to reflect. Think about whether you are resting because you are tired, or gathering strength for a new creative endeavor, or asking yourself whether you try to stay in control too much and don't trust things to carry on without you. Summer is my first reason for thinking about Sabbath.
My second reason is because our parish retreat this summer is going to focus on the theme of Sabbath and I wanted to get you thinking about the idea early. Our parish retreat takes place on August 19-21 at The Bishop's Ranch. The Gospel reading for the Sunday of retreat often inspires our retreat theme, and this year it talks about Sabbath. So we are going to explore this theme together at the Ranch. It should be a wonderful time! Pencil it in and let us know if you intend to join us for this highlight of our parish year. So, our retreat is my second reason for thinking about Sabbath.
Finally, I am going on sabbatical this Fall. I will be away from my responsibilities in the parish during September, October and November this year. Monica will be stepping into the role of overseeing the parish for this period of time and I will be stepping back. I am giving a lot of thought to exactly what that means. Is it a rest after five years service in the parish? Is it a time to gather energy for the years to come? Is it a time to let go of control and reflect on how I manage parish life? It is all of these things, and I am hoping that by thinking hard about what Sabbath means I will make the most of my sabbatical. So, my sabbatical is my third reason for thinking about Sabbath.
I invite you to do the same over the next six months. This should be a rich time in our parish life together as we understand how rest and creativity fit together in our Bible, in our community and in our lives.
We have had a rich and creative musical period since the start of Lent when Cyril Deaconoff joined us as Interim Director of Music. Now it is time for us to think more deeply about our ongoing music program. I have launched a search for a new ongoing Director of Music, to give us an opportunity to reflect about the kind of program we hope for going forward.
The posting for our DM is on our website, under the Home/Staff tab. Please read and circulate it to anyone you think might be interested in this post. The process of appointment is being worked on now with members of the choir and Vestry. We hope to be able to announce an ongoing Director of Music during the month of July. Thank you to Cyril for your continuing work as our Interim.
Congratulations to Newly Confirmed Youth and Thanks their Mentors!
Today is a special day of celebration in which we honor three young people for making a mature commitment to lifelong Christian faith formation. Please join me in congratulating Desmond Hart, Eve Kearns, and Camila Wiese for their active participation in Confirming Our Faith in the World during the past four months, and for prayerfully choosing to participate in the Rite of Confirmation at Grace Cathedral yesterday.
Over six sessions, from Lent through early Pentecost, clergy and young adult mentors led reflections on Holy Scripture, the Baptismal Covenant, the Five Marks of Mission, and our Anglican/Episcopal identities. We used Psalm 107 as a framework for exploring scriptural themes and sacramental rites. Youth shared in liturgical leadership during Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost as acolytes and lectors, and through drama and artwork. We gathered for discussion in coffee shops and park settings to acknowledge the many places we may celebrate and be the Eucharist among creation. We also used the book Marked for Mission: Youth in Action to support discussion and reflection on how, with God's help, we will continue to live out our faith in the world.
Many thanks to the young adult mentors who shared their stories of faith and doubt and supported the youth in this important phase of their spiritual journey: Dawn Bailey, Matt Longnecker, Bethany Lukach, Dace Samta, Aidan Jobe Sea and Jessica Jobe Sea. Thanks also to friends and family members for gently encouraging youth to explore their faith more deeply in this wonderful and loving community at Transfiguration.
We spoke about our coloring covers last week, and want to say a little more now. The covers are a response to the coloring trend that many people have taken to in the last few years. It is a meditative practice, and can help people to relax, become centered and pray. We invite you to do two things:
1. Color the cover in and show us your work. You can do this in the service by finding some of our crayons, or at home with your own color pencils.
2. Suggest subjects for coloring covers. The liturgical theme may inspire you, or something in our parish life, or a feature of our site. This week we have been inspired by our pipe organ, as it is the last Sunday that our Choir is singing before their summer break. What would you like to see on a coloring cover? Please suggest your theme to Noreen in the office, or Matthew.
Our very talented administrator Noreen is creating covers, but would welcome anyone with the drawing skill to create their own also. The Rector is also likely to provide some covers in the next few months.
We hope to be able to gather these together at the end of the summer and create a book of coloring pages that you could share with family and friends.
Notes on Sunday Services
First Sunday Plan - experimental - what does this mean?
Today is the first -First Sunday- with three services in approximately three years. We have been discussing our pattern of worship over the last few months and decided to simplify and have worship at the same times every week, aside from five major festival Sundays during the year.
While we are not having a combined service of the first Sunday of the month, the Vestry has asked the staff to maintain our sense of creative experimentation, so that our worship always remains fresh. We are therefore going to try new things on the first Sundays at 10:30am. This Sunday we have invited our Confirmation Candidates to share reflections for the sermon (see following from Monica). We invite you to make suggestions to Matthew or Monica about things to include on the First Sundays going forward. We will try new music, dramatic presentations of Bible stories, and other kinds of prayers, and invite different parishioners to participate in the planning process.
A Note about Today's Sermon
Over the past four months of our Youth Confirmation program, Desmond Hart, Eve Kearns, and Camila Krause have gathered with young adult mentors and clergy to reflect on how Scripture and other liturgical and devotional resources influence how we choose to live as faithful Christians in the world. This morning in place of a sermon, our three newly Confirmed young people will be sharing how one of their favorite Scripture passages, prayers, or hymns inspires them to grow in relationship with God, self, and others.
Thank you to the choir!
Today we acknowledge and bless the choir as they take a break over the summer. We are thankful to all who sang in the choir this year:
Jane Booth, Melody Christian, Jan Jensen, Peter Jensen, Keith Jobe, David King, Brian Leckey, Mary Ann McKay, Gari Patton, Ellen Peters, John Phillips, Erin Renfroe, Mike Robinson, Rebecca Robinson, Dace Samta, and Tom Yonker.
News & Announcements
The Lord's Prayer
As each season begins we put together a new framework for liturgy. Once we got to the season of Pentecost this year I took some time to reflect on how we should pray during the next period of parish life. Sometimes I have picked from the range of prayers available to us from traditional and contemporary resources. Sometimes I have used liturgy elements from other parts of the Anglican Communion. On this occasion I decided to use all of the most contemporary versions of prayers from within our Episcopal set of resources. This meant turning to the 'Enriching our Worship' series of booklets.
Recently we have also been working with the 8am congregation to include more diversity in their liturgy, and so in the New Year we agreed that whatever liturgy I was preparing for the later service should be used at the earlier service.
So all of this so far fitted in neatly to our ongoing conversations about liturgy in parish life, but then there was one anomaly. Whichever liturgical resources I have used in the past there was one prayer I never touched: the Lord's Prayer. As I was composing our liturgies for this season, using the most contemporary prayers available in the Episcopal tradition the Lord's Prayer stuck out as different stylistically. However, we have had a more contemporary version of it available within the Prayer Book since at least 1979. So I decided to use that. Some of you noticed, many of you have not mentioned it. Having included it I wondered what you thought of it? I would love to talk to anyone who has any thoughts, questions or comments.
Mark Your Calendars: Transfiguration Sunday - August 7
Plan to join us for Sunday, August 7 - Transfiguration Sunday - Parish-Wide Festival Eucharist at
10am. A parish-wide service, including the baptism of Joseph Patrick Longnecker and more! A 'Grill on the Hill' lunch - a barbecue lunch - will follow the service.
Help to plan our Transfiguration Sunday service
We are gathering a few people who will help to plan the special liturgy for this feast day celebration. Please contact Matthew or Kristen Kearns if you are interested in participating.
Gratitude for Faith Formation in Community
At Transfiguration, we are blessed by so many of you who enjoy learning and growing together as an intergenerational faith community. This year we introduced new curricula and a new pattern of faith formation leadership for Kids' Club and Chapel Time that involved the many hearts, minds, and hands of committed parents, grandparents, and young adults. We also expanded our group of Godly Play storytellers for the Joyful Noise and Community services. We give thanks to our dedicated children's ministry volunteers for their time and talent on Sunday mornings: Bob Adams, Dawn Bailey, Hayes Bakken, Barbara Carlisle, Mary Castiglia, Michele Charles, Amber Stancliffe Evans+, Virginia & Tim Fox, Jeanette & Bryan Garbo, Jessica Jobe Sea, Eric Johnson, Kristen Kearns, Julia Longnecker, Bethany Lukach, Michelle McLean & Eric Manning, Michelle Maia, George & Tania Philipp, Jenn & Mike Robinson, Dace Samta, Joseph Villa and Ann-Marie Weise.
Rector's Forum - Palestine and Israel - June 28th 6:30pm
My trip to Israel and Palestine in April was life changing, but I have been saying to anyone that asked: I am not quite sure how it changed my life.
Come along to this potluck dinner and discussion about Israel and Palestine. I will show you some of my pictures, and talk to you about what I did in Israel and Palestine, and my reflections on my experiences there. Everyone in the parish is invited. Expect an interactive evening with a presentation, question time and discussion. The evening will be a potluck, so be prepared to bring along some food or a beverage also.
Transfig Fireflies is an opportunity to introduce preschoolers (ages 0 to 5) and their families to church life. We meet every Thursday at 10am for free play, story time up in the Sanctuary, singing with musical instruments, followed by snack time and ending with a craft or game activity. Weather permitting, we also play outside on our church's lawn.
There is one more session this Thursday, June 9th before Fireflies takes a break over the summer. Look for announcements about the program for the Fall beginning in September.
Continuing through the summer: Every Wednesday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon about a dozen people gather in the Parish Hall to study the Gospel reading for the next Sunday. The discussions of the Gospel are open, inquiring, and inspiring. They are usually led by one of the clergy, but in their absence we meet and follow the same procedures. We look at the historical setting of the passage, the author, the original intended audience, the changes made in the meanings of words through translations, and the references to Old Testament passages. We also spend time with the possible meaning of metaphor found in the readings.
We ponder the questions and appreciate the wisdom and points of view presented as we discuss the relevance of the ancient Gospel writings to our lives today. All are welcome to join us.
Sunday Summer Surprises - June 19th thru August 28th!
Many thanks to everyone who has signed up to host a Summer Sunday Surprise (SSS). We have all Sundays covered! Our kids are sure to love all of the great activities that folks have signed up to share and teach. SSS will run from June 19th through August 28th between 10:30 and 11:00.
Thanks again from Jeanette and George.
Reading Together Through the Generations
It's more fun to read books together. Let's do a monthly book club this summer and discuss it together over tea and snacks on the last weekend of June, July and August. The idea is to select 3 heart warming books that young readers to young adults to young grandparents would enjoy reading. Some suggestions include: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, and A Matter-of-Fact Magic Book: No Such Thing as a Witch (A Stepping Stone Book by Ruth Chew), and Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick. And there is SO much more to choose from. If you are interested in participating, please email Michele Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your favorite book and your preference for meeting time on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon on the last weekend of each month.
Healing is something we all need, whether it is because of our emotions, our physical health or a spiritual issue. For us at Transfiguration the ministry of healing is not just about absence of symptoms, but it is about being whole in whichever circumstances we find ourselves.
A team offers prayers for healing usually on the second Sunday each month at the Musical Eucharist. We are inviting people to prayerfully consider whether they would like to join this team. Training will be provided. Please speak to Matthew if you are interested in this important ministry.
"Good Grief" serves as a safe place to share our experiences surrounding death and loss. Over time, we have realized that there is a common strand in the grief process, whatever the loss. We support one another as it takes its often erratic course. Good Grief is open to anyone wishing to explore issues or to offer and receive support. Gatherings are held approximately quarterly, or as needs arise. The next gathering of Good Grief is Wednesday, June 29th, 3pm - afternoon tea.
Feeding 45,000 - August 13, 2016 by Jennifer Robinson
In the last issue of Journey, Jenn Robinson introduced the Friends and Family Community Connection project she is sponsoring through her business 'Dream Dinners.' Please see last months Journey for that article. here we are asking people to now step up and make a commitment to this project.
What Can You Do? We have a matching grant of $6,000 from the Living the Dream Foundation and are a long way towards meeting the matching goal!
The real need right now is to get volunteers signed up for the day of the event.
There will be a sign up sheet at the back of church over the next few weeks to simply record interest. Then in mid June we will be publishing details of how to sign up online with specific volunteer time slots. Pelase let Jenn know you are interested in helping by singing up on the sheet at the back of church. We will need folks for set up and take down plus a lot of meal packers during the main event from from 10 am to noon. Save the date - August 13th! Questions? speak to Jennifer Robinson
Home & Hope Hosting at Transfiguration
Sunday, June 12 through Sunday, June 19
Coming up on June 12-19, we will again host Home & Hope guests in our parish hall. Home & Hope supports families with children who are in need of shelter, warm meals, fellowship and help with job searches, affordable housing searches, sometimes medical/mental health assistance and various other aspects of their lives. The program is coordinated at Transfiguration by Dace Samta and Inga Lapsins.
To sign up as a volunteer for the June hosting week, please visit our website member page:
Kent Ikeda on Tuesday, Ed Jadallah on Friday and Haley Popa on Saturday.
Sunday, June 5
The Third Sunday after Pentecost
8:00am Traditional Eucharist
9:30am Joyful Noise Eucharist
10:30am Musical Eucharist
1-4pm Snake Dragon Club-Japanese storytime group event (Parish Hall)
Monday, June 6
3:15pm Snake Dragon Club storytime (classrooms)
6:30pm Good Grief gathering (Keith Jobe's)
7pm FA Meeting (Parish Hall)
Tuesday, June 7
9am Morning Prayer (Good Shepherd, Belmont)
6:30pm New Millennium Chamber Orchestra rehearsal (Church)
7pm AA Meeting (classrooms)
Wednesday, June 8
9am Morning Prayer (Chapel)
10:30am Gospel Preview (Parish Hall)
10:30am Staff Meeting (Matthew's office)
7pm Zen Meditation Group (Chapel)
7pm FA Meeting (Parish Hall)
Thursday, June 9
9am Morning Prayer (Chapel)
10am Transfig Fireflies (Parish Hall)
7:15pm Peninsula Young People's AA (Parish Hall)
Friday, June 10
Saturday, June 11
10:30-noon Special Diocesan Convention (Grace Cathedral)
9:30am-1pm Masterworks Chorale (Church & Parish Hall)
Sunday, June 12
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
8:00am Traditional Eucharist
9:30am Joyful Noise Eucharist
10:30am Musical Eucharist
2pm Home & Hope set-up
This Wednesday, June 8th, 7:30pm - Albert Tomasso, an occasional guest organist over the past several years, invites all to his Senior Organ Recital at Stanford Memorial Church
Sunday, June 12 - Sunday, June 19 -Home & Hope hosting week at Transfiguration
Sunday, July 3rd - Grill on the Hill - potluck BBQ lunch following the 10:30am service
Sunday, August 7 - Transfiguration Sunday
Grill on the Hill - potluck BBQ lunch following the 10:30am service
Saturday, August 13 - "Feeding 45,000" Meal Packaging Event - led by Jennifer Robinson and Dream Dinners, Belmont.
Friday, August 19-Sunday, August 21
- Transfiguration Parish Retreat - at The Bishop's Ranch
Regularly Scheduled Programs:
Morning Prayer (with Good Shepherd, Belmont)
Tuesday mornings at 9am @ Good Shepherd
Wednesday mornings at 9am @ Transfiguration
Thursday mornings at 9am @ Transfiguration
Wednesday mornings, 10:30 - noon
(Bible study and conversation) in the Parish Hall
Thursday mornings, 10am - noon
(playgroup for 0-5 yr olds & their caregivers) in the Parish Hall
(taking a break for the Summer after June 9, resumes in September)