January 2017

Happy New Year!

Responding to a CALL request for uplifting tales of “good news” to warm the new year with hope, Fred Goff and Marilyn Chilcote have sent in the following contributions. Do you have stories to share, found or experienced?  Email or call Gail Peterson.  Start the year bright!

*   Students of Maybeck High School, upstairs in St. John’s, came up with an innovative way to make a special contribution to the Guatemala refugee family St. John’s has committed to accompany through our Sanctuary program.  Using St. John’s kitchen, students prepared a lunch which they sold to fellow students. The proceeds were used to buy a $150 Safeway gift card which reached the family just in time for the holidays.  Catarina and her family wanted me to pass along a special thank you to all who made this bountiful gift possible.  Catarina also wanted me to thank the St. John’s families who have donated clothes, toys, games, and books that their children have outgrown. What her family is not able to use, she passes on to other refugees in the community and periodically sends boxes of clothes to members of her village church in Guatemala.

—Fred Goff, for the Mission & Justice Commission

*   Join me in a massive expression of hope: a walk around Lake Merritt January 21 when thousands of women, walking together, will express nothing more than our oneness as women!  For more information, call Marilyn Chilcote, (763)-1936.

—Marilyn Chilcote

Leadership training on Wednesday, January 11, 6:30-8:30 pm 
St. John’s will host a community organizing training led by the new BOCA director, Rev. Daniel A. Buford. Rev. Buford developed this training to teach people how to speak truth to power. He has organized and led delegations addressing Hurricane Katrina, police misconduct, racism in the educational system and many other issues. Rev. Buford will share his insights with BOCA member congregations and members of the progressive faith community throughout the Bay Area.
St. John’s Knitting Ministry will meet on the 6th and 13th of January. Come join us for knitting, conversation and tea in the church office around 1:30 or 2:00. We are knitting hats, scarves and baby blankets for the Berkeley Daytime Drop-in Center and prayer shawls for members and friends. We are happy to teach and help novice knitters.
Horizons Bible Study continues this year’s topic:Who Is Jesus?
Kathy Pratt will guide us through Lesson 5 on January 19, from Noon to 2:00 pm. We’ll meet in the Campbell Reception Room, as usual. Bring your lunch, your Bible and the Horizons study materials. Background Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Philippians 2:1-4; Acts 18. Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 18-25. These selections help us understand Paul’s answer to the question about the identity of Jesus.
Flick Flack, St. John’s potluck dinner/movie group will meet on the 4th Friday, January 27 at 6:30 pm in the Campbell Reception Room. The movies that were chosen at our last meeting, December 2, were: “Manchester By The Sea,” “The Eagle Huntress,” and “Things To Come”. The first two are still playing in the East Bay. Come with your dinner contribution, comments about movies seen, and film suggestions for our next meeting in February.  Questions? Call Sally Hussey.
Adult Forums In January
January 8: Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center
Sara Marie Johnson from the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center will tell us about the work of the Center, which was the beneficiary of our Christmas sock offering.

January 15: Assad, Trump and the Failure of US Syria Policy
Reese Erlich will bring us up to date on the situation in Syria. The second, revised, edition of Reese’s book, Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect was published in 2016. Reese is a best-selling author and freelance journalist who writes for CBS Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corp., and National Public Radio. He also contributes to Foreign Policy and VICE News. He has won numerous journalism awards including a Peabody award.

January 22: Report on the EBIIC (East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition) trip to Honduras  Francisco and Christina Herrera will report back on the recent EBIIC trip to Honduras and bring us up to date on the situation there.

January 29: Family Ski Trip, no Forum
Our annual trip to Tahoe will be January 27-29. Be sure to save those dates! More information to come.
Elder of the month: Diane Morrison. If you want to give input for church leadership, talk to Diane or any of the other elders, or Pastor Max.