Hello, World!

December 2016

Pastor's Letter
Rev. Andy Wong

Greetings Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Oxford Dictionaries named their word of the year for 2016 and the winner was “post-truth.”  It is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

At first, when I heard that this was a word, I got angry.  Obviously, the people who disagree with me are using this idea of “post-truth” so they can ignore the unassailable evidence that I’m right and they’re wrong.  Then I got discouraged.  In reality, don’t we all tune in to the news that we want to hear and turn off the news channels that disagree with us?  Don’t we all prune our Facebook feeds and our bookmarks to see content that reinforces our viewpoint rather than challenges it?  Aren’t I, to some extent, post-truth?

But then I realized that, even though this is a new word, it is not a new concept.  When Jesus is on trial before Pilate his “defense” is this: “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world: to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”  Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

For millennia, people have been bending, stretching, exaggerating, manipulating, and ignoring the truth.  A brief look through history reveals that people have always tried to twist the truth in order to justify and rationalize our beliefs.

However, simply because we are in an era of “post-truth” does not mean that the truth is any more threatened than Jesus was threatened by “post-truth” Pilate.  The truth of the goodness of God is not threatened by the tides or culture.  And so as Christians, even in a “post-truth” era, we still proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ.  We still declare that it is better to give than receive.  We still advocate turning the other cheek and welcoming the stranger.  We still worship a God who sacrificed everything to be born homeless, lying in a manger, to incarnate the truth of sacrificial love.

In this time when society tells us that fact, belief, and opinion are interchangeable, the mission of the church remains exactly the same: The proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.  Which begs the question, “What is the good news to you?  In what way has Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection affected your life and your perspective?”

May the joy of Christmas be a celebration of the truth of the goodness of our God who surrendered all power, who crossed an infinite distance, who gave up independence for dependence, and who became us so he could love us.  “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Merry Christmas in Christ,
Andy

From Andy Carter

Director of Music Ministries

I love the Christmas season.  I love decorating my house and the tree.  I love baking cookies and making special gifts for my friends.  I love that at this time of year people think of others. Perhaps what I love more than anything else is that wherever I go I hear music.  Christmas Carols are played everywhere: at the Mall, in the elevator, in the grocery store and on the radio.  There are even stations that play nothing but Christmas Carols for the whole month of December.  I think it’s great.  It seems that everyoneloves Christmas Carols.  Moreover, its seems that everyone loves singing them.

I often wonder what it is about Christmas Carols that brings out the singer in all of us. Obviously it is that we are so familiar with the melodies that we can just sing along without thinking.  But I think it is more than that,  I think they connect to a much deeper part of us. Most of us begin singing carols when we are kids, and singing those beloved songs reminds us of happy times when our whole lives are ahead of us.  It reminds us of times when we were optimistic.  It reminds us of times when we felt safe.   So, I am asking you all while you are singing these beloved songs this month to think about how the act of singing can connect you to God.  For doesn’t our Faith give us the opportunity to live the rest of our lives feeling as we did as children, optimistic and safe.

This Month there will be plenty of opportunities to come together to sing. We will be featuring Advent and Christmas Carols in all of our Sunday worship services.  We will also be singing as a community on the second half of the Festival of Carols concert which is on December 10th at 7:30.  I hope you can join us,  all of our musicians has worked very hard to put this together.  I want to express my special pride for the chancel choir for the job they have done learning and preparing this beautiful and challenging piece.   We will also be celebrating Christmas Eve with more carol singing.  And this year even Christmas is on a Sunday and the celebration will continue.  
I hope to see all of you for as much of this special communal time.  And I hope we all enjoy the holiday season with music and love.  Merry Christmas.

FCCS and the Kingdom of God

Julie Cline, Moderator

Every month I sigh when it's time for another Messenger blurb from the Concert Series. Part of this comes from the pressure of my own list of other things I “need” to get done and some of the groan is left over from the year the Concert Series Committee spent working hard to get the rest of the FPC congregation to attend our concerts.  We tried all kinds of things—discounted tickets, bring a friend for free, actual free tickets. In the end, none of our “offers” worked.  We actually overheard complaints that the congregation was tired of hearing about the Concert Series, so when I begin to write anything about the Series for inclusion in the Messenger, I always wonder whether I am badgering my good friends.

This may sound like griping, but it's not---I just want you to hear where I've been and how it's different from the way I approach the Concert Series now. You see, I think that our creative nature is one of the ways we reflect the nature of God and God's Kingdom.  All of us create daily, just in the way we live our lives and the choices we make.  We can't get around that—we, ourselves,  are reflections of the creative power of God---but it's when we see someone with an unusual gift for what they are doing that we are amazed: a gifted teacher, someone with infinite patience for the very young, a surgeon who implants electrodes in a human brain, or that cousin who actually gets along with your overbearing grandparent.  These gifts amaze us and remind us of the infinitely diverse and adaptive power of God.

That's how I see the Concert Series now—part of the endless line-up of diversity God has presented to us, for us to enjoy and sample. We have different histories and differing listening preferences, so the Concert Series will never be a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.  Just like a person with accepting and merry grandparents may not appreciate that cousin who can handle Grandpa Grumptillious, not everyone's ears will receive the music we present in the same way, so why in the world were we trying so hard to get the whole of our FPC congregation to attend our concerts more regularly---the truth is, I don't enjoy all the music we present.  We were working so hard on something that God has already set in motion in a way that brings together talented vocalists and musicians with an audience ready to appreciate and receive the creative energy they generate.

So now, in the spirit of cooperation with this system that has already been set in motion by our Supreme Director of Music Ministries, I invite you to sample the variety of creativities that the Series will be presenting in January and February. Choose the concerts in ways that allow you to support the performers with your whole heart, try some new genre of music that challenges your ears in a way that stimulates your own creative growth and, if you don't like what you hear, cross that genre off your list and keep exploring.  There are others with ears to hear, joyfully, what inspires you to purchase earplugs.  God has ordained these musically gifted individuals to present a kaleidoscope of rhythm and sound, so that all mayfind a sweet spot and feel welcome.  My hope is that, in this way,  our concert series reflects the hospitable nature of the Kingdom of God.

Feed Your Soul;Nourish Your Spirit...
Foothill's Women's Retreat

We invite you to our upcoming Women’s Retreat, March 17-19, at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos. This is a retreat focused on helping us to grow spiritually, to build deeper connections with one another, and to simply find a space of peace in the midst of our busy lives. Come and breathe mountain air in the forested hills above Los Gatos, eat excellent food, enjoy music with Andy Carter and Camille, and get to know each other and Lindsay better, as well as feeding your soul. Registration is open now.

When: March 17-19, 2017
Where: Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA
Cost: $95 per person total - $30 due with registration, balance due in the spring. (Please speak with Joyce Banks if you need a scholarship)

Early bird registration deadline: December 31.
January 1, we will extend registration to some of our sister churches so as to reach our goal of 20 attendees.

What's Rev. Lindsay Reading?

So, outside of regular reading, I am plowing my way through “The Connected Child” by Karen Purvis, et. al. This is my second time reading this book. It is a book about how to parent children with trauma in their backgrounds, but I have found the knowledge valuable in my ministry as well as in my home life. Many of the people we interact with every day have had trauma in their personal histories, either from their childhoods or from the rest of their lives. PTSD has unfortunately become a regular part of many people’s experiences, and if we are to be the hands and feet of Christ we must learn as the church how to reach out, care for, and communicate with individuals who have trauma in their pasts. Trauma actually changes our brains and thus the way that people are able to respond even to everyday occurrences. As a result, even when these individuals are safe, they may not feel safe in a given situation.

This is where I feel like the Church has the opportunity to benefit from using the tools presented in this book for reaching kids from hard places. Jesus helped others feel safe enough to face their histories and pain. We, as the church, must become the community where not only people are safe, but they feel safe so that they can experience God’s grace and recognize it.

The greatest gem I have learned from this book and continue to struggle to act out in my life is that connecting with another person (through eye contact, trust, and warmth) creates the safety that they need to slowly build new connections in their brains to help with healing. This is ministry. If we are to help our church be faithful to the Gospel, then learning how to individually connect with one another and with new people is the incarnation of that Gospel.

Feel free to ask me about this book or read along with me… or share what you have been reading!

Blessings,
Rev. Lindsay

Women's Bible Study

December 6 is the final lesson for the Women's Bible Study series on Genesis.  Beginning January 10th we will begin a new nine lesson study called Come to the Waters.  This study will focus on using scripture text to tell the story of faith through water stories from Genesis through Revelation.

This group is open to all women and meets on alternate Tuesdays at noon.

Mission Activities
Carol McManus


On November 16, eight members of Foothill helped with the Thanksgiving holiday food giveaway at the Lords Pantry. Participating were John Belz, Herb and Jan Miller, Darlene Ristrim, Eileen Parks, Pastor Lindsay and The Carols Goedde andMcManus. We filled grocery bags, assembled fresh fruits and vegetables into individual bags, passed out fresh and frozen chickens and assisted clients through the line as they picked up their holiday groceries. And if you are like me (Carol M) and have amassed a collection of paper bags because you forget your reusable ones, consider donating them to the Lords Pantry – one of their expenses is purchasing paper grocery bags to carry out the groceries given to clients. November Buck-a-Month was also for The Lords Pantry. $75+ was collected including the ‘seed’ money Mission committee contributes.  

In November, John Belz represented Foothill at a Presbytery-wide mission meeting.

October Buck a Month will benefited Day Break, an adult day care and senior activities center where Bill and Sue Waldrop volunteer. A total of $136.02 (including ‘seed’ money) was donated to this worthy cause.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

God is greater than anything that happens to us- J. Banks
Time waits on no one and it moves quickly, especially after the age of forty. Seems like yesterday I moved to FL but have already been here a little over a year. So many wonderful things continue to happen and I am so grateful.  We have put in a new Electronic Medical Records database in all our hospitals and it’s called Cerner. I used Cerner from my previous employer and was quite familiar with many things. Although our hospital spent a lot of m money to get the millennium, which is the top of the line and so far the nurses and physicians are having many issues.  Cerner personnel was here with us for about 2 weeks and this helped tremendously.  I am a super-user for my group and have sat with each Chaplain individually to help them get used to the system.  

Work at the hospital
On a Friday morning, I decided to leave to get to work around 5:30a vs 6:10a.  As soon as I arrived, a policeman came to my office to ask me to come to the children’s side to help a family who was devas-tated. Their little 5-month old boy had died. His mom and dad put him in his crib, went to bed, did not hear any noise and went to check on him. He was not breathing and had died. They called 911 and up-on arrival, the physicians pronounced him dead. The parents sobbed until there was nothing left. They shared that he was a miracle baby who was born at the hospital, was a premie, and lived in the hospital for a few weeks until he gained enough weight to go home. Parents were ecstatic that they had a baby. Now they have a memory.  I blessed their baby, upon their request and the Priest came to give some words of comfort. I spent about 45 min with them.  There were policeman and detectives in the room, after the parents had spent their time with him. He was a medical examiner’s case. The nurse made hand-prints and we all signed the card for them but nothing replaces your child who has died without living to enjoy life. {he died from SIDS}

The other day a woman of 45 years fell at home.  She had a problem with low blood pressure, cried out in pain before she fell,  according to her grandson. She arrived at the hospital, her husband and daughter came not much longer and when they updated that she was brain dead, they had to call for a wheel chair for her husband. He was in shock!  She had been Christmas shopping the day prior and it was just not possible that this was happening. They would have been married 25 years next month.  He was devastated and asked what will I do now and how can I function without the love of my life. Her daughter sobbed and when they asked if I could say a prayer, they cried and sobbed during the prayer. It was so sad and many of the young nurses were having a tough time. So, I was a Chaplain to them as well.

A man who is in his late 60’s has been a alcoholic for many years, according to his neighbor who visits him a few times a week. Since I leave inspirational notes for my patients, it also has my office number on it.  He was touched that someone elsehad been visiting and left a voice message for me. He shared that he has been visiting the patient. The patient has a sister, they are estranged, and when he read my notes to her, she softened. She lives in Jacksonville, FL and will be visiting him to make a decision about his illness. He has been intubated (15 days) and declining each day. Prior to being intubated (life support), he had spoken to me about hope, getting better,  and living. Now only his sister can make any decisions for him and hopefully she visits him soon.
There are so many precious stories that I could share but these touched me more than the others. I am so glad to be a Chaplain, to be there for my patients and their families, and hold them at times. It doesn’t matter about the language but what matters most is that I care and they see that I care and love them.

OK some personal news:   When things go bad and there’s a hiccup, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth, at least mine. I was supposed to close on 11/29 but the lady at the title company did not get a very important document, which is required by FL law. I was so upset that this happened, given we had 3 months to take care of everything but she will give me a monetary credit at closing. The seller had the unit professionally cleaned and it looks great. She did leave the kitchen table and chairs for me, which was so nice and gave me an ironing board so now I have two. I am hoping to close this week, given I have taken off the week for furniture deliveries.  She has given me the key to the unit and mailbox key, which is very nice of her.


October 2016

Pastor’s Letter
Rev Lindsay Woods Wong

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
                                                                                                           John 1:14a

Dear All,

I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome, and the joy with which you have received our energetic and passionate kids. It seems like it has been months and months (and it has) of anticipation for our arrival. I know that you have been dreaming and praying for what your new pastors would be and do, and we have been praying over our future congregation.  Dreams and hopes and prayers are now real. Wow. We are all together, and now we get to start to DO the work together.

As much as I rarely use the translation “The Message”, I love this particular verse… the Word of God was no longer far off or just promises. It was flesh and blood, something you can touch. And God moved into our neighborhood, so as to understand our struggles and call us to particular things based on who we are and what we care about.  When, as a child, I was most lonely, most sad, and felt like no one understood me, I remember teaching myself to imagine Jesus sitting at the foot of my bed. I wanted someone THERE, someone who would listen to me, someone who understood me.

The incarnation is still a central part of my faith… and it inspires why so much of my ministry begins with visitation and prayer. Sitting with someone and talking is transformative for everyone. Getting to know one another and listening to who the particular people are that God has called together changes ministry from “what we should be doing” to “who we are and what these particular people are called to do”.

And prayer continues to mystify me and shock me. Prayer seems to turn into flesh in blood in so many ways… it brings my focus onto where God is in my neighborhood. God’s answers to prayer seem to make the impossible, possible. My prayers seem to change me into a person better able to listen, and more ready to obey even when I don’t exactly agree with what God may be asking of me.

Andy and I are committed to sitting and visiting with each and everyone of you in the next few months. It may happen at a lunch, at church, at your home, or whenever we can find time in this crazy life that we all live, but I hope we can find time for one another to become flesh and blood to one another and to pray for one another. And most of all, to find out what God is doing in our neighborhood, that we can be a greater part of it.
Blessings and prayers,
Lindsay

Comments on Our Taize Worship Services
Darlene Ristrim

The sanctuary is the same…yet very different.  A Taize service glows with candle light, you enter and leave in silence.  Taize music is softly sung (you can sing or just listen), interspersed with Bible readings and times of silence.  You may kneel at a candle lit cross or light a candle while standing or remain in silent reflection. This is a time away from the demands of busy lives…a time to be silent…a time of reflection.   When you leave you feel the presenceof God within.

From Andy Carter
Director of Music Ministry

Well fall is falling and we are getting back into the swing of things in our music ministry.  This past month all of our ensembles have began rehearsing again,  and each of our ensemble have had a chance to participate during worship. I believe it is nice to have such diversity within our weekly worship services.   We are still looking for a permanent replacement for our organist but in the meantime it is nice to have the variety of musical talents that our substitutes have given us.

Things to look forward to this month are of course the Alumn Rocks concert this weekend.  The Ukulele group will be participating with a half hour set on Saturday afternoon.  It has been a lot of fun working with them.  The Ukulele group will also be joining us in worship service on October 30th so don’t miss that.

Other things to keep on our radar as the season of advent approaches.   Our traditional Festival of Carols has been changed this year.  Foothill and FCCS will be sponsoring the premier of the “ Unity Choir.”  On December 10th our chancel choir will be performing the Saint Saens Christmas Oratorio along with other singers from our neighborhood.  The second half of the concert will be a sing along of Christmas Carols to bring us into the spirit of Christmas.  I am still welcoming  new singers for this event if any of you are interested.  We rehearse this music Thursday nights in our regularly scheduled choir rehearsals.  We are also planning a family friendly Christmas Eve service that will be an opportunity to sing more Christmas Carols as we tell the story of Christ’s birth through a more traditional lessons and carols of service.  As far as Taize is concerned we have decided to suspend our monthly services.  We will bring them back during the lenten season.  So I hope you plan to attend one of these worship services.  It is a much different and personal for of worship that I believe is a great way to experience the time of Lent.

And as always you are welcome to join us.

The Things Mollie Has Done for Us!
Julie Cline, FCCS Moderator

I'm sure you've heard all about what we can do for Mollie O'Brien and her husband, Rich Moore:  purchase tickets to their concert and bring our friends.

What you may not have heard is what Mollie has done for all of us here at FPC.  She has educated us about copyright licensing responsibilities for musical performances.  We had been operating under an outdated set of guidelines that placed the burden of responsibility on the performers.  The responsibility for obtaining permission to perform any musical work actually rests with the venue, i.e., Foothill Presbyterian Church.  We were also operating under the assumption that merely purchasing sheet music absolved us from obtaining performance permissions for our choirs.. We were wrong about that too.  After talking with Mollie and doing some research, we discovered the two main organizations that license the performance of music offer a yearly credential for religious organizations.  We were able to cover licensing for all our music ministries for $200 per year. Whew! We could have found ourselves in the middle of a legal and financial nightmare had it not been for Mollie O'Brien's attention to detail in negotiating a contract with our Concert Series.

The other thing that Mollie has done for us is make it possible to introduce two musicians of outstanding quality to our audience and to our congregation. The truth is, our small concert series can't really afford Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore, but they are making the trip from Colorado to California, having built a tour around our invitation, so that they can afford to perform for us and we can afford to have them!  
Make no mistake, Mollie and Rich are not only amazing musicians, they are an approachable and generous couple, willing to work out a win-win collaboration with our Concert Series.  Please come out and support them.  Enjoying their performance will be the very best thank you we can give them.


Coming March 17, 18, and 19, 2017
Women of Foothill and Friends

Save these dates for a weekend retreat in the hills above Los Gatos at the peaceful Presentation Center.
More information is coming very soon!

Change in the Order of Worship

After discussion at their September meeting the Worship Committee approved the recommendation that our first scripture reading be prior to the Children’s Sermon.  This will allow the children to hear the written word that relates to their curriculum and further enhance their understanding.  This change is scheduled for October 9.

Halloween Festival
Marilyn Kromrey, Coordinator

The Outreach Committee appreciates the enthusiasm of the members of the congregation who have volunteered to help with the activities and games planned for the Halloween Family Festival.  We are looking forward to another successful event on October 31st.  There is still a need for volunteers to help with Trick of Treat Doors, distributing flyers, and working the Enchanted House.  We are also in need of a tear down crew.

Those who can not actively participate are encouraged to support this event by providing wrapped candy for the Trick or Treat doors.

There are orange Halloween flyers in the Narthex, please take a few to share with relatives, friends and neighbors.
Please use the sign up sheet in the Narthex to support this great outreach project for our neighborhood.
For more information, contact Marilyn Kromrey,

Mission Activities
Carol McManus, Moderator

Thanks to your generosity for the September Buck-a-Month, FPC was able to fund a scholarship to Outdoor Science School for a student at McCollam School in San Jose. Outdoor Science School is a four or five day ‘camp’ for 5th and 6th grade students to learn in the outdoors while often being away from home for the first time. The student who we funded last year “had such a wonderful time that he sat and cried when it was time to go home”.

October Buck a Month will benefit Day Break, an adult day care and senior activities center.
We are exploring a ‘hands-on’ mission opportunity with the Lord’s Pantry. Stay tuned for details!!

Additions to Our Church Family

Congratulations to the Lam family.  Alvin has a new baby boy, Felix, born October 1.

Congratulations to Lydia and Mike Martinez on the birth of Autum, their new great granddaughter.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

Maxine Millendar

Nothing costs as much as caring-except not caring.                                  D. Branon
 

We have had unusual weather, which has been extremely hot and sticky. It is cold in the hospital; some rooms are warm and some lukewarm. When I leave the hospital, my glasses fog and I can’t see for a few seconds and then it rains. Go figure! On the other hand, work has been amazing these past few weeks.  The students who are doing their practicums in counseling are learning how to observe and be observant have spent time with me in critical care. Their second visit was much better for them, they weren’t as nervous, and I had then write down what they observed after each visit.  It was an eye opener for them.

Work at the hospital
Many nurses are pulling me aside to ask for prayer for themselves and their families.  This has made me feel so good that they see me as part of their inter-disciplinary team. They are sharing more and more and the physicians speak more now. Many are reading my inspirational notes that I leave for patients and their families and they are appreciative of them.  
My last article spoke about the young 19 year old man who took some drugs and ended up in critical care. He ended up staying in our step-down unit.  The most amazing thing is that he can say a few words now, is awake and alert.  It was shared what really happened with the drugs.  He purchased some drugs from overseas that you can’t get in the states, took them and almost died. He is now paying for it with his life. He will get a little better but never be able to go back to college or have a life beyond a 10 year old, per the clinical status. I am the Chaplain for the step-down unit but don’t visit often. It is sad that his happened but his mom has truly forgiven him and is in a much better place emotionally.

When a 78 year old woman came in due to respiratory problems, she was intubated to help her airway and breathing. The life support was removed for a few days and she almost died so they had to put her back on life support. After a week, she was put on a bi-pap but still had trouble breathing. As her sisters gathered around her, she lifted it to say , “no more.” She had enough and her sisters honored her wish. She was moved from critical care to a med-surge unit and died the next day with family surrounding her. He husband had died in August and family shared that she missed him a lot.

When a young man of 27 years, did something stupid (tried drugs), he could not breathe, was rushed to the hospital, and put in a contraption that looked like an iron lung. He had bronchial pneumonia among other things. He was in this thing for a week, then put on life support and his body responded. Life support was removed and on the 11th day, he spoke to me and said , “thank you.” He told me he did something stupid but has been given a second chance and will share with others about doing stupid and foolish things that could kill them. He is living to share this news with others.

I don’t go to the children’s critical care unless asked. One of the respiratory persons asked me to go pray for a young man who is 15 years old.  When I arrived to his room, his brother was sitting next to him and the young man was on life support. He came in because of difficulty breathing. I spoke to his mom, explained why I was there and stood at his bedside and prayed over him. They thanked me so much for coming and shared that it meant a lot to them. I am not sure how he is but praying he is much better.

I have spent time with a 44 year old male who has been released from prison, had been on drugs, and started to have problems in his groin area. He was admitted to critical care, he is homeless, and was not talking to anyone. I listen to him, held his hand (asked for permission), and told him I was here for him. He had surgery and that brought much pain. I prayed for him and was just there for him. He shared a lot about his life and I listened. His family was found, came to visit him, and he is now going to have much help from his family. They had lost touch with him but now he’s no longer lost.

I am praying a lot for a 64 yo man who was brought in because of his heart, had open heart surgery and then his kidneys shut down. He has been in critical care for 24 days now and his wife can’t visit very often. She has a strong mis-trust of physicians and the nurses have spoken to her on the phone to share that he is not doing well. He has multiple organ failure, on 4 bags of IV meds, and receiving dialysis. He is on life support and close to time for a tracheotomy. I feel so bad for him because he is not doing well and has developed sores and his body is swollen. His wife shared with the nurse that she is not ready to let him go.  

Some very good news:  I will close on November 29th and have ownership of a condo that is 1017 sq feet.


September 2016

Pastor’s Letter
Rev. Andy Wong

Hello FPC friends,
I first want to thank you all (y’all?) for welcoming all of us, especially Caleb, Micah, and Lily, so warmly.  It has made the transition so much easier.

I am excited to be back in pastoral ministry after four years off and am especially excited to serving alongside Lindsay.  We are grateful for your willingness to call us as a clergy couple and to try this experiment with us.  Communication and flexibility will be of the utmost importance going forward, so please don’t hesitate to speak with us with any concerns, ideas, or comments.  

As Lindsay and I have mentioned, some of the things that impressed us most about Foothill Church are your willingness to invite community organizations into your building and your willingness to embrace the diversity of your neighborhood.  These are such strong jumping off points, that I look forward with great anticipation to see where God is leading us.  I believe that these two values are not just good for Foothill, but are cornerstones in the renewal of the PCUSA.

Let us pray for discernment as we discover together where God will lead us.

In Christ,
Andy

Corrections to the
Annual Financial Reports


The financial reports for fiscal year 2015/2016 that were presented in the annual report to the congregation were updated and corrected when our bookkeeper returned from vacation this summer.  These are the official totals, which are slightly different.  As previously reported, the approved budget for the year was $310,466.  Total church operating expenses for the year were $296,976.08, and our general fund receipts for the year were $295,101.65.  Our end of year fund balance, which is a snapshot of our cash on hand, was $45,299.47

2016/2017 ANNUAL BUDGET
The Session approved budget for fiscal year 2015/2016 is $369,001.  The fiscal (budget) year for Foothill Presbyterian Church begins July 1, and ends June 30.  This budget is a planning document, and the tables below show projections for our spending and the expected sources of the income to support them.

Expenses
As we have done for the last few years, we show the budget expenses broken primarily into programmatic categories.  Nonprogrammatic costs for personal, maintenance and utilities, and buildings and grounds are allocated across those categories with the proportions reflecting the amount of time staff spend in support of each of the programs.  The largest proportion of our expenses are related to Worship, including Sunday Worship Services, Choirs, Handbells, Occasional Music, Special Services, Liturgical Art, and the Sunday Bulletin.
Next is Outreach, which includes the Community Garden, Paws Up!, the Second Sunday Soup Luncheon and other food-related socials, the Messenger, Advertising and the Website, Flea Markets, Men’s Breakfast, Women’s Brunch, the Art & Musical festival, the Halloween Fair, retreats, and Beautification.

Mission expenses include costs associated with the Deacons, Lord’s Pantry, Front Door Ministry, PCUSA, Dial-a-Prayer, and Foothill Fineries.


Equal to Mission in its proportion of our expenditures is Christian Education, including the Pre-school, Sunday School, Adult Education, Library, Youth Programs, and Nursery.

Our Pass thru Benevolence, represents funds that we collect for specific purposes and then disburse in their entirety for those purposea.  This includes but is not limited to our per capita dues to the Presbytery, and special donations for disaster relief.

Foothill Community Concert Series, or FCCS, is part of Outreach, but also works to be self-supporting, so we show it as a separate item.

Sewer Loan Payment, represents our annual commitment to repaying a loan from the Memorial Endowment Fund to fix a break in our sewer line a couple of years ago.

Income
These categories are mostly self-explanatory.  The largest source of our income is expected to come from General Fund Pledges (thank you to everyone who pledged!).  We are fortunate to have Rent from the Cell Towers and from leasing our facilities that account for a quarter of our income.  A small percentage comes from congregants who don’t pledge (General Fund Non Pledges) but make donations, combined with occasional visitors who contribute loose offerings (so called because there is no name attached to the contribution).  Other small percentages come from FCCS and some miscellaneous items like dues from Paws Up! and Community Garden members.  This year, we have a portion of our budget that is uncovered represented by the two categories Special Appeals and Pledges to Come.  This represents income that the church will need to raise to cover our projected expenses that doesn’t yet have a source.  In other words, we face a fundraising challenge this year.

FOAMFest, Alum Rock Village

We had all of about three weeks to come together and make a plan to represent Foothill Church at the first (and possibly only) Silicon Valley FOAMFest held in Alum Rock Village.

FOAMFest (FOAM stands for Festival or Arts and Musique) was hastily put together by Opening Doors 2020, a nonprofit social advocacy group dedicated to working to bring more resources to at-risk families in Santa Clara County.  FOAMFest was an effort to replace the annual STEAM festival at Reid Hillview airport (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art , and Math) that had been cancelled.

The overall success of the event is still under review by those who collect and analyze “the data”.  Attendance was much lower that expected, parking was a mess, the porta-potties were delivered hours after the event began, and many participants backed out at the last minute.  In other words, was it worth all the expense and effort for something that turned out to be much smaller than expected?

That’s a discussion that will take place at the next Membership Outreach meeting as we analyze “our data”.  Was it worth participation in the festival?  Were our efforts successful?  It depends on what we were hoping for.

Members of East Valley Artists and Foothill Community Concert Series committee came out to advertise Alum Rocks! (formally Jazz on the Grass/Art on the Wall).  East Valley Artists promoted their club, and FCCS promoted the 2016-2017 season and collected 15 new names for the email promotion list.  Foothill Fineries, Troop 818, Genealogy Enthusiasts, Akoma African Drums, Tai Chi, Outreach, Worship, Deacons, and Mission were all represented with volunteers.  Our mission partner, the Lord’s Pantry had a booth next to ours.  

We drew people to our booth with kid’s art activities, African drumming, crochet and knitting demonstrations, waves, smiles, and greetings.  We handed out dozens of brochures and flyers that advertised all that we offer, and engaged in friendly conversation with our neighbors.

We didn’t come back with a list of new members, but we did go out and invite our neighbors to join our community in any number of ways.  In other words, if we were hoping for a day of fellowship and relationship building out in the community, FOAMfest was a great success.

Three Big Events Coming Up for
Outreach/Membership!

#1:  The Flea Market on September 17th
It's time to liberate all those unused items that are filling your living spaces (AKA your trash), so that others may transform them into useful items (AKA their treasure).  Proceeds from the Flea Market will benefit our Membership/Outreach Committee and its subcommittee, FCCS.  We'll be accepting your contributions at the church between September 12th and 16th.  (If you need to bring things earlier, that's OK too.)  We love it if you price your own items.  We'll provide the stickers and markers.  You may also rent your own space for $10.  We will be looking for assistance with sorting pricing items throughout the week and with setting up, selling and cleaning up on the day of the sale.  Look for sign-ups in the Narthex.  Anyone can help us by getting the word out to neighbors and friends.   
#2:  ALUM ROCKS! FPC's art and music fest on
Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th

The Outreach Committee, the Concert Series and East Valley Artists are teaming up to present a two-day festival of music and art for our community.  From 10 am to 5pm on Saturday and from noon to 5 pm on Sunday, the courtyard will be filled with music, kids activities and information booths for both church activities, as well as community groups and non-profits.  East Valley Artists will be holding its Annual Show in the Fellowship Hall andin Rooms 8 and 9.  Come listen to music, take a look at some top notch artistic creations, and find out what's going on in our neighborhood. Bring your friends and family members.  Flyers arenow availablebeside the FCCS office in the Narthex. Take some to hand out at work, the hairdresser's or any of your local haunts.  Among many others, Fogbank, The Joe DeRose Trio and Akoma Arts African Drumming will be performing.  Bernard Smith, the tenor who impressed everyone last year at Art on the Wall/ Jazz on the Grass, is returning by popular demand!
#3: Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore in Concert
October 22nd at 7 PM

We are pleased and privileged to welcome Mollie O'Brien and her husband, Rich Moore to perform for our concert series.  Mollie is no less than a phenomenal singer.  She has the range and flexibility of Linda Ronstadt and the groundedness of Ella Fitzgerald.  Rich, an excellent guitar player, like Ginger Rogers to Mollie's Fred Astaire, compliments her beautifully.  Your guess is as good as anyone's as to what songs will comprise their set list.  Mollie is equally at home with torch songs, gospel,  show tunes or blue grass.  If you only come to one concert this season, this is the one.  You won't be disappointed!

Second Sunday Lunch

The session is hosting September's Second Sunday Lunch after church on September 11th. This is our   official welcoming Andy, Lindsay, and their children event. The lunch will be a potluck with fried chicken and dessert provided. If you have not already signed up, please email or call the office to let us know how many will attend and what salad or side dish you will be bringing. There will also be a sign up sheet at church on Sunday, 9/4. Hope to see everyone there!


EVA's 2016 Alum Rocks! Urban Art Contest is a go!

We're sending out the call to high-school age kids to compete for ribbons and prizes. All participants will also receive a free youth membership to East Valley Artists, which we've recently added to give kids the opportunity to do art regularly and to encourage them to build their portfolios. But what is "urban art" anyway? We realize there is some disagreement among the public, especially since many associate urban art strictly with illegal graffiti. However urban art is much broader than that - it includes anything that has the flavor of city life. Our goal with this project is two-fold: 1) to show the community that urban art is more than just tagging; it's a progressive modern art form devoted to and influenced by the urban lifestyle. And 2) to give young people a legitimate creative outlet and the chance to steer their efforts away from defacing property and toward a path that will encourage them to develop their talents into something productive. We hope our members will help us spread the word to any teenagers they might know to make the contest a success!

A Taste of the Islands
Earl Hardy, FCCS committee member

On Saturday, August 20, 2016, the Island trade winds must have been stronger than usual as here at Foothill Presbyterian Church the soothing sounds of Hawaiian music floated out from a packed Fellowship Hall. The Hawaiian group Ho’omana, one of the featured artists in the 2016/2017 FCCS lineup, delighted the crowd in the cozy and intimate setting. For one and half hours we were regaled with traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music performed by three very talented musicians.  It was a very delightful evening. To top it off, the audience was treated to a small Hawaiian Luau, with tasty morsels prepared over an open barbeque pit by Judi Sherwood. Thanks to the combined efforts of Julie Cline and Judi Sherwood, a little bit of the Islands was felt all the way here at Foothill Presbyterian Church.

Alum Rock Methodist Responds to Pride Flag Theft
with Art and Invitation
Jacqueline Curtis, Member ARMC
 

The following isfrom a neighborhood forum post
In response to the multiple times our Rainbow Pride Flag has been stolen at Alum Rock United Methodist Church (30 Kirk Avenue), we have decided we would paint a large mural and other rainbow accents around the church campus. The mural is now complete and its beautiful!  It is on the front of our classroom building facing Kirk Avenue. We would like to invite anyone and everyone who would like to take their pictures with the angel wings to drop by anytime. it is open and available to all at any time :)

We will be hosting a community painting event to add the other rainbow accents around the campus, and we invite you and all neighbors to join us. The event will be Saturday, September 10th at 11AM. I expect it will be only an hour so. All supplies will be provided. If you would like to help us paint or have questions, please email me. I will be sending out a reminder invitation next week too.

From Andy Carter
Director of Music Ministry

Has anyone else ever noticed that we celebrate the new year on the wrong date.  Sure, January First istechnically New Year’s Day.  However if you ask me I say everything reboots after labor day?  I have never felt this more than this year.  Summer seemed likea three month culmination and celebration of a very busy and productive year.  At home we harvested our orchard and our garden.  We vacationed in Hawaii. Weeven had a whole grown up week alone as Madison went off to camp for the first time.   Here at church we slowed down and took some needed time to reenergize.  We said goodbye to our friend and leader Pastor Nan. And now asthe new school year begins, we welcome Andy and Lindsey to our church family.  Everything feels new again, it feels like we are starting fresh.  

Our Music Ministry will begin anew again this week.  Rehearsals for the Glory Ringers will begin Tuesday September 6th, and the Chancel Choir will begin on September 8th.  So look forward to offerings from both ensembles in the coming weeks.  I have been preparing for a varied and exciting season.  We will hear from our Sanctuary Quartet early this year and plans to re-introduce the Ukulele ensemble with a focus on folk music are in the works as well.  There will also be occasion to hear many of the gifted soloists we have in our congregation as the year progresses.  As always I would like to invite you to join us at rehearsal Thursday nights at 7:30.

This year we will be tweaking the Lessons and Carols service that we traditionally have had here at foothill.  I will be introducing the “Unity Choir” which is a gathering of singers from our neighborhood to bring an Advent Concert.  This concert scheduled for Sat Dec 10th and will present a masterpiece by Camille Saint-Saens entitled “ The Christmas Oratorio”  The “Unity Choir” will also offer some traditional carols after the intermission.  So please plan on coming and supporting our singers and our neighbors in this new endeavor.  On Christmas eve I plan to offer a more traditionaltype service where everyone will be invited to sing their favorite carols.

So,  that is a look ahead to what I hope will be a full musical season.  I want to thank you all for your support this past year,  and please feel free to let me know if there is anything you would like to see in the future.   

On Campus, an Update from B&G
Herb Miller, moderator

August has been a busy month as all kinds of things get done In the summer.  A few of the things that have happenedare shared.

The timer on the tallest lamppost in the parking lot failed and it took the geezers 2 weeks to get it fixed.  As a result it is now above ground and safer for those who come in contact with it.

The fence that separates The Cortese property and the Dog Park has been repaired at a shared cost of $130.00.
Thanks to the generous donation from the Preschool,  Imperial Tree has upgraded and removed trip hazards in our courtyard at a cost of$3625.00  

The big refrigerator in the kitchen stopped cooling.  It was found that somehow the door had not been closed tight and build-up of ice occurred.  After defrosting, cleaning and re-leveling, it appears to be working again.  Thanks to Earl Hardy and the Geezers on this one.

We finally got someone to re film the one window in the Sanctuary at a cost of $200.00.  It was a non-standard size so we had to use a professional..  

Up front things needed care, a light fixture that aimed at the Monument Sign was broken and replaced. A sprinkler on the lawn was worn-out and needed replacement.  The water timer was acting up and the geezer removed an older timer from 1985. The current one just needed timer batteries.

There is a stained glass window that leaks on the north side3 of the sanctuary.  We were working with Ray Fontaine to repair it.  He suffered a bad cut (60 stitches ) so we are delaying that project until he is better.

The Santa Clara Sanitary District #2 is still working on the easement to bring Valley View’s sewer through our property.   Because there are 4 entities involved, including the City of San Jose, it is taking quite a while.

The Community Garden has 4 openings with another coming up soon.  If you know of anyone who would likes to garden, please have them contact Angie Carillo.   Jake Ignacio has resigned as garden manager

The sidewalk in front of the office was power washed.

Geezers continue to meet on Tuesday Mornings to eat donut holes drink coffee and take care of maintenance items around the property.

Help Wanted

Wanted some one to run shopping errands for the church.  Locate and buy miscellaneous items that are not available through Amazon Prime.  Requires a working knowledge of local stores and common sense.  The church will reimburse the cost of items, mileage is a tax deductible expense.

 

Mission Update
Carol McManus, moderator

The August Buck a Month featured United Christian Campus Ministry at Stanford University, in honor and gratitude for Pastor Nan’s time with us as Interim Pastor and where she serves on the Board of Directors. UCCM is dedicated to exploring spirituality and social justice by providing a place for all students through Bible Study, dinners and discussion groups, retreats and more. Thank you for your generous contributions of over $200 to this group!!
Members of Mission committee Bill and Sue Waldrop, Carol McManus and Jennifer Stevenson joined with others from Foothill in staffing the Foothill and FCCS booths at the Alum Rock FOAM festival in late August.  Thank you all!!

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

Rain, rain, and more rain! I would rather the rain than a hurricane though. There weretotal of 500 people who applied for the VSO package and many were accepted.  My dietician that I have been working with monthly, decided to retire, applied for the VSO but was denied. Her position is to critical, they informed her. She was going to retire anyway, she said.  I will miss her but she gave me her phone number to stay in touch. She will move to Claremont, FL near Orlando to be close to her daughter. I was asked to let three students shadow me. They are attending the U of Miami studying psychology and would like to become counselors. I work with them to help with observing, providing hospitality, and being present for someone. I have preached again when a Chaplain was on vacation and used Psalm 11:1-7 to share what trust and righteousness looks like today.

Work at the hospital
I try to observe those in the hallways, waiting room, and the ICU rooms. When I had completed all of my critical care visits and was leaving the area, a young woman was sitting on the floor with her dad. She was crying and he was trying to console her. I stopped to ask how I could comfort or provide support. She saw my badge that said Chaplain and said, I am so glad you are here. She proceeded to inform me about her 5-week old baby boy. He was born with his organs on the wrong side. His heart is on the right vs left and was giving him much trouble. The physicians wanted to operate and she was not sure. This was her first child and she and her husband have been together for 16 years. She asked if I would provide prayer for the family. She shared a lot about their history, the decision of waiting to have a child, and then to have this happen. I listened, provided hospitality, support, and a shoulder to cry on. After providing prayer, she expressed her gratitude.

When they brought the 19 yo young man to critical care, many nurses had difficulty. He had taken some drugs, he overdosed and no one seemed to know what he had taken. His mom was sad, sobbed at times, and said she had no idea why he would do this. She had photos in his room, had talks with him about not taking drugs and when he went out one night with friends, he tried and is now fighting for his life. He has been on life support, had to have the tracheotomy and the most amazing thing happened the other day-he said the word WHAT to the physical therapist. This gave his family much hope!  He was in critical care for 30 days and finally went to an assisted living facility to get rehab. His mom gave me two beautiful cards for visiting her son, talking to him, and praying for him. She also brought a large box of Belgium chocolates for the staff to show her appreciation.

On a Friday, the secretary of pastoral care called to ask if I would provide grief support to an employee whose mom had died. I went to the room where she was and her manager shared that her children had called to say their grandmom had died. The young woman was full of guilt. She had told her mom she would go to work for a few hours, come home and take care of her She stayed longer than anticipated and the call devastated her. Her husband was called to come get her because she was in no condition to drive. Grief support was provided for over an hour and when her husband came, she said it was the best thing because she would have broken down and cried while driving.  I was just glad to be of some comfort to her.

One of the nurses had asked me to pray for her a month ago. She and her husband had tried to get pregnant and had to end up with in vitro but she is now pregnant. The other day we prayed for the baby’s heart beat to be ok and not be under any stress. She is so happy about becoming a mom.  I pray for many nurses and their families.
Our director’s mom-n-law came to the hospital for a routine outpatient procedure. She walked into the hospital and never walked out. After her procedure, they found an abnormality with her heart and performed immediate surgery. She went to critical care, which is normal but she did not get better. They transferred her to a step-down heart unit and she was hospitalized for three weeks. She started to get better and then one day her heart stopped and she did not want cpr.  We had her memorial service on Saturday, August 27th.

Some very good news: My loan status is Approved to purchase a condo. The realtor and I took our time to look at 10 condos and it was the very first one that I really liked. It is a 2-BR and 2-BA with plenty of space and very well kept. The lady who owns had a stroke a few months ago and will move to TN to live with her daughter and son-n-law. The condo has been on the market for 54 days, has new carpet, ceiling fans, kitchen nook, dining and living room, nice size bedrooms, and a very nice patio with built in storage.


August 2016

Pastor’s Letter
Rev. Nan Swanson


Dear Companions on the Way,
This is a bitter-sweet month for me.  Everything I do is a "last time."  This Sunday will be my last celebration with you of the Lord's Supper.  Each committee meeting is the last and talk is around events that are starting in the fall.  It is an odd feeling...and yet...wonderful to see the life continue no matter who is the pastor.  You, the people of God continue the work to which you are called.  You have trained Bob Butziger and me into the mysteries of the way the Spirit works here at Foothill.  Now you will do the same with Lyndsey and Andy.  You know how to do this by now.
I want to thank you for your kindness to me and your warm reception of some of the things I wanted to do here.  You have a gifted pair of staff members serving you in the persons of Peg and Nancy.  They are so conscientious and gracious and work their hearts out on your behalf.  You have a gifted new Director of Music Ministries in Andy Carter.  He is a real find: skilled, humble, accommodating and kind!  Your ruling elders take their responsibilities seriously and really work at carrying out their call with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.  Your deacons care for the people under their oversight as if they were members of their own family.  It is a beautiful thing to see.
As I have met with committees I find them dedicated to service on your behalf.  Sometimes I worry that some of you are still working on the model of a much larger church and haven't downsized your activities to fit the number of workers.  The amazing thing is that people rise to the occasion.  You accomplish a huge amount of work.  Your mission focus is excellent.  I would encourage you to find more hands-on things to do on behalf of those in need.  You have a beautiful sanctuary that the worship committee keeps enhancing with banners and the deacons find people to give flowers that provide art which reaches us in deeper levels than words.  Sometimes you have a hard time getting people to declare themselves financially, but when the chips are down, this church always comes through.


I congratulate you on a job well-done at the Presbytery meeting.  The church showed great hospitality, a sign of the kingdom in my estimation.  You have three people serving on presbytery committees:  Clarissa Moore serving on Self-Development of People, Sharon Rowser on Financial Affairs and Woody Moore on Committee on Ministry and an additional one to be nominated this fall.  The Geezers work hard to keep this facility in good shape.  You have a lot of buildings to maintain, as well as the land surrounding those buildings.  Foothill Community Concert Series brings people into the church and provides music to feed their souls.  It is our job to practice hospitality to make them want to return.  East Valley Artists provides paintings to adorn our walls and delight our eyes with color and form.

Do not leave it to Andy and Lyndsey to build up the church.  You are the people who interact with the people outside these walls.  Invite them to a concert, a flea market, the Halloween Party, a special worship event.  The world is hungry for deeper meaning.  Foothill can provide that.  Don't be shy.  Be hospitable and welcoming.  You have a lot to offer, not least important is the love of God that makes all things possible.
Go with God,
Nan

Why Taizé
Andy Carter, Director of Music Ministries

 

So today I was preparing for this evening’s Taizé service, and I got to thinking why it was so important to me to hold these services. If you have had the pleasure of attending one, you know it is not because of the hordes of people that come out each month. Nor is it because of the musical experience that I get when performing these rather simple pieces. So what is it? I came to the realization that it is through music that I process all my fears, and concerns. Thus I realized that the music of Taizé is perfectly suited for such worship. I am not someone who lives in worry or is particularly pessimistic. However, I’m sure we all can agree that there is a lot to be concerned about these days. I feel like every day another horrific act of violence is being reported, and lately I am feeling helpless. So what do we do when we feel helpless? We pray. We worship, and f or me worship through music has always the most fulfilling.  

Taizé (pronounced, Ta­zay) combines chanting and meditation in its short repeated musical motives. These musical motives or songs, are actually called prayers in the Taizé community. Services are simple.  I play the piano and sing a short poetic and musical idea that is then repeated over and over again.  The congregation joins in as we repeat the music for a few minutes. The service is broken into three main sections.  First a gathering section where we offer praise to God. This is followed by the first reading that is specifically chosen to highlight the theme of the evening’s service. After the reading comes a short moment of silence used as silent reflection on the reading. The service then continues with three or more sung prayers. I try to use songs that relate to our theme. Lately we have been dedicating the service to those who have suffered loss due to violence and terrorism. I have been choosing pieces that deal and promote peace and community. This section of the service leads into the second reading, and a longer five-minute period of silence. It is this moment that l ends nicely into a kind of meditation where the worshiper is given the opportunity to be silent with their own thoughts. I have found myself contemplating what actions I personally could do to help end this circle of violence. I also have found myself thinking about how to best protect and educate my own family without causing alarm, or fear. After this moment of meditation, we enter into a section of the service that is called the “Prayers at the Cross.” During the next few prayers the worshipers are invited to come light a candle and pray next to the cross which has been laid at the foot of the altar. This action has been adopted by the Taizé community from Russian Youth worshiping in secret during the Soviet rule. This is a perfect time to remember past family or offer private concerns in prayer. Following the time at the cross we often have a last short spoken verse or benediction by the leader and sing our last and closing prayer. We then leave in silence.  

The service in total lasts about 45 minutes, I think of it as a chance to escape from the minutia of my day to day and reflect on what is important to me.  I always leave the service with my spirits lifted and feeling enlightened. While the service is musical in nature it is not about the quality of voice. Because of it repetition and simple melodic lines individual voices are seldom recognizable, and gives even the most bashful of singers the opportunity to experience singing as worship. I hope you join us in the future.

Historical Services
Darlene Ristrim

During our catacomb service the fellowship hall windows were shrouded in black and we sat in a circle---to imitate the close quarters of the underground Roman tombs. Each of us completed the sign of the fish as we entered the hall. The personal prayers we offered during the service felt quite intimate as we faced each other in the circle.  Clarissa Moore's expression of concern for her niece's return to Dallas, in light of the recent violence there, touched all of us.  We felt the disturbing truth of persecution and violence in our daily lives, just as the early Christians must have felt it.  Nan's grief over the loss of a beloved friend also brought us closer to the experience of early Christians. For anyone facing persecution and violence also experiences loss.  Sitting there in that circle, where we could see each other, we expected to imitate the intimacy of the early Christians' services, but due to the witnesses of Clarissa and Nan we felt it in a very real way. And the swell of our voices as we sang hymns was incredible---that's something we miss each Sunday when we sing facing forward in our pews.

In contrast, during our High Holy Mass service, the bulletin cued us to respond to what was going on in the chancel area mostly by rising from our seats.  In practice that Sabbath, we missed most of our cues to stand. Standing and sitting without participation—without singing or reading something---was so very foreign to us.  In fact, we sang only twice and we observed Nan crossing herself enough times to induce a repetitive stress injury! Now the liturgies of High Holy Mass---rather than celebrating the life and teachings of Jesus as during the service in our darkened fellowship hall---were focused on salvation from eternal damnation. We were separated from our worship leaders, as opposed to being intimate with them (or being them).  Christians in the catacombs were all worship leaders, whereas, by the time of High Holy Mass, Christianity had developed as many Holy offices and as much superstructure as the Jewish faith during Jesus' lifetime. Even the words we heard when receiving our communion wafers (sans wine) reminded us that we needed to be saved from damnation.  Strange that the message of the officiates in huge cathedrals filled with windows of stained-glass should focus

Our third historical service – a Reformation Service of Worship set in the time of Calvin circa 1542 was in the language of the people.  The congregation became active participants in the service.  We engaged in spoken responses during prayers of confession, the Kyrie was sung after the first and second tables of God’s commandments and we engaged in song.  Some of hymns written in this era are still found in our hymnals. Worship was based on scripture as was hymns.  We can trace current faith traditions back to the time of the early reformation…the time of Luther and Calvin.

Our fourth historical service would be conducted in the American Frontier circa 1876.  Sin, salvation and song seemed to play a large part in each service of worship.  This was a time of hard labor in dangerous surroundings a time when guns were as just as essential to men as a purse to women. Guns were not allowed church so you would find them stacked by the front door.  I’m sure many a man was uncomfortable with out his gun by his side.  Singing songs of praise was a great comfort as we sang Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine, What a Friend we have in Jesus, Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me and Amazing Grace.   As I sat next to Evelyn Reis and listened to her strong voice singing these old songs from memory tears came to my eyes.  Just as I’m sure tears came those many years ago when people came to God every Sunday to seek just a little rest from their everyday toil. Sermons stressed how sinful we were…what a heavy load that was to bear.  The preacher would go on and on.  Meanwhile those who felt heavily burdened with sin would come forward and sit on the mourner’s bench or chairs…hoping against hope that salvation would come to them after the sermon.  Since this was the only time many people connected with their neighbors, box lunches were brought and everyone had time to visit on Sundays.

Foothill’s Downtown Mission Ministries
Darlene Ristrim

FRONT DOOR MINISTRY
Would you believe that we delivered 115 pairs of socks to First Pres as of July 25?  Our Foothill travelers have donated LOTS of shampoo, soap and lotion for the Tuesday hygiene cart.  Thank each and every one of you for thinking of the downtown street people as you travel and shop.  Another useful item is razors…so when you are at Dollar Tree look for them.  $1.00 for a pack of 8+2…where else can you find such a bargain?  Bill and Sue Waldrop volunteer Mondays every other week.  Jane Wallace, Laurie Schuler and Sue LeValley volunteer every Friday.  I have started filling in on Fridays.  Bag Lunches are served four days a week with an average of 150 lunches given out daily.

WOMEN’S GATHERING PLACE
This program started two years ago with First Pres providing a safe place where homeless and at risk women are welcome to drop in and receive lunch and connect with community services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Attendance was limited to 15 but now has increased to 30. Three of the ladies spoke at a recent Summer Supper Series held at First Pres. On Sunday, July 31 one of the ladies and I went shopping for garden tools…thank you for your donation of $157.  The ladies are excited about planting a winter garden and are looking forward to contributing produce for their lunches.  A clothes closet (The Ooh La La Boutique) schedules shopping so each lady is able to select clothing, toiletries and bling alone. WGP collaborates with local women’s groups such as San Jose Woman’s Club and American Association of University Women, diverse faith based communities and other individuals who care.  

Both groups receive the following services:
Dignity on Wheels - Monday and Friday providing showers and laundry
Gardner Health Services – Thursday

IMMANUEL HOUSE
Three of the first refugees have found housing and moved out of Immanuel House on July 31.  Two new men arrived on August 1.  Two men work as security guards, one a supervising electrical engineer, one works for Catholic Charities reviewing unaccompanied minor files, another works for Tesla and another for Fed-Ex.  Transportation is a challenge and finding housing is proving to be an even greater challenge.  Our continued interest and support is greatly appreciated.

72nd Anniversary Ice Cream Social
Carol Tillman, Membership Outreach Committee Moderator

On Sunday, July 24th, the Membership/Outreach committee hosted an ice cream social in the courtyard to celebrate our church’s 72nd anniversary.  Woody Moore and Jerry Siegfried set up tables to hold the ice cream and ice cream toppings, and a number of folding chairs for seating. It was a warm day, so they also put up shade umbrellas around the patio to provide shade. The continued behind-the-scene help of the Geezers at events is much appreciated.

I want to thank Earl Hardy for his help with set-up and throughout the event; Martha Belz for helping with serving ice cream and clean-up; and members of the Membership/Outreach and Foothill Community Concert Series committees for donating the variety of delicious ice cream toppings.  Everyone’s combined efforts made this wonderful event such a delight.  Thank you also to those who put away the tables, umbrellas and chairs after the event.

In addition, I want to thank Marilyn Kromrey for providing much-needed information regarding planning the event, and for overseeing the display of the photo albums detailing the history of the church. These albums are kept in the church library for those of you who would like to view them again.  

Speaking of the photo albums, we are looking for someone to create new photo albums for the church.  The albums have not been updated since 2010 and, with the new pastor family arriving in late August, this would be a great time to begin a new photo album to help chronicle this new chapter in our church’s life.  If you are interested in working on the next photo album for our church, please contact Marilyn Kromrey.

Women’s Bible Study
Nancy Leonard

Beginning August 16 we will begin a new study of the book of Genesis. This is a "no pressure" group that meets in the library every other Tuesday at noon for fellowship, bible study and discussion. Women of the group take turns leading the discussions.

If this sounds interesting to you, please consider joining us August 16.

A Note of Thanks to Foothill Community
Concert Series

Thank you for your hospitality at last night’s performance of the County Line Trio.  It was particularly thoughtful of you to treat the audience to ice cream and lemonade afterwards.  We enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Todd, Bob, Dean, and Mike following their program.
We have attended other performances at your church in the past, and we see that you have quite a varied offering in this new season.
Thanks again,
Nancy & Randy Wilde

History of the Presbyterian Church #6

Presbyterian Church life was very different in 1730 in America than it is today.  The Lord’s Supper was celebrated only twice a year, with preparatory sermons preached on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before the designated Sunday.  The Communion service itself was quite solemn.  Long tables extended from the pulpit to the door.  All who had “tokens” which proved their good standing could partake.

Church members took their religion seriously, as well.  Upon their return home, they discussed the sermon, and often compared the preacher’s doctrines point for point, with Scripture.  The minister’s salary was often paid in wheat, Indian corn, hemp, or linen yarn which were noted in his call.  Life was crude, but not illiterate.  Parents who presented their children for baptism were questioned about their family worship.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism was learned at home, recited at school, and repeated to the minister.  Congregations were divided into “quarters”, with one elder responsible for the spiritual welfare of each quarter.

One of the hallmarks of the Presbyterian faith has been the value they have placed on a highly educated ministry.  Quite early in American Presbyterian history ministers began educating candidates, first in their homes and then in a 20-foot square structure named the Log College, founded by William Tennent in 1726 at Warminster, Pennsylvania.  About 18 graduated.  The school closed some years before Tennent’s death in 1746, but the ability of the graduates is seen in the leadership positions they occupied and the influence they wielded.  Eventually Princeton University was founded in 1896 as an offshoot of the Log College.  It has been called the “mother of colleges” and was predominantly Presbyterian in character.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millendar

God doesn’t always change our circumstances, but he will change us. M. Stroud

Hot, rainy, and humid has been the theme for July.  At times it has been unbearable. So much going on. I have more people coming in my office to talk, ask for prayer, and share what’s going on with them and this has been a blessing for me.  I am there for them and they feel the love and trust.  For the very first time since the hospital opened, an email was sent to ask if anyone wanted to volunteer to retire early and receive a nice separation package.  Many folks have been working for 30 to 40 years and are eagerly awaiting this incentive package. Some are nervous not knowing what this all means and some just keep on working as they have for years. What has happened is the Law and how hospitals can collect money from insurance companies, medicare and medicaid. We have many people who come to the hospital without insurance and if in ICU, the cost is not cheap. Since our hospital is non-profit it has had some difficult days like so many. The good thing is the upper management folks are trying to keep as much expense down as they can so they don’t have to think about layoffs.  On July 6th I preached from Psalm 51:16,17. The Chaplain who normally handles worship service was on vacation and asked me to preach during the service.

Work at the hospital
Having ICU as my primary unit is a privilege and a blessing for me. I walk into the unit, spend time with nurses, speak to the physicians and my real work begins the moment I walk into a room.

We had another near drowning of a 9 year old boy. He was playing with some of his friends and his relatives were inside.  He was running, hit his head and fell into the pool. “He could not swim” so one of the boys playing with him tried to pull him from the deep water. With all the yelling, relatives ran outside, called 911 and fortunately they were close by.  Family was giving cpr but the EMS team took over and he was rushed to the hospital and put on life support.  His mom was not at home and his uncle was the primary caregiver at the time to watch him. Physicians worked diligently to remove water from his lungs. His mom does not drive, a    neighbor brought her to the hospital,  and she was distraught. She said Oracion, Oracion (Prayer, Prayer), I prayed with her and for her and family. The boy’s uncle was crying and sobbing at times. While we waited at catscan, I held the hands of his mom and as soon as they finished, he was taken to the children’s ICU. Once we were outside his room, the police came to talk to her and the uncle. Water was removed but he was kept on life support for the night and in the morning it was removed. He opened his eyes and asked where he was. His mom spoke to him and his dad was all smiles because he said dad.  He is making a full recovery and going to be discharged soon.

A woman (54 yrs) had been in ICU a little over 70 days. Because I arrive to work on/about 6:10 each day, I heard the code blue at 6:10 for ICU and rushed there. Her husband was in the hallway crying and I asked what happened. I have visited her and her family each day since her admission. She came in with liver failure and was denied four times for a transplant.  She was on life support, it had been removed because she improved but declined and had to go back on life support.  It was removed again five days prior to the code blue. The prior day she smiled at me, her eyes were alert, and she was non-verbal.  Her husband (afternoon and night) and one of her sons (daytime visitor) visited each day and night. I had developed a very good relationship with family and they shared a lot about their lives.  When the physician pronounced in the room,  he came to the hall to share how sorry he was. He shared about the the time of cpr, how they tried all they could but she did not make it, her husband cried like a baby. When he felt ready, I brought him to the room and he called his sons.  They were devastated when they saw their mom.  An autopsy will be done at the request of family.  They could not understand how she could improve and then code. As I was present with them and providing hospitality, they shared how grateful they were for my many visits and prayers. I asked if I could pray with them and afterwards gave them an inspirational message that thanked them for allowing me to visit and spend time with their loved one.   One of the difficult things for me is helping the nurses and physicians when they say things like” she’s in a better place” and “she was suffering” and “at least family does not have to make this decision now.”  They don’t share this with family but have the discussions among themselves. When they ask me, I explain that I am present with the family, let them know I am here for them, and provide hospitality (listening, water, ice, etc).

I have been spending some time in Pembroke Pines on Saturdays to get a feel for this city and surroundings. I really like it, like what it has to offer, and currently working with a realtor. I am in prayer to discern about renting vs purchasing a condo. I have driven the route and it’s not bad because I would be traveling in the reverse, which is so much better. It’s 22 miles from the hospital and two Interstates and one toll.  My lease expires in mid-January andI have time to continue looking and shopping.

 


July 2016

Pastor’s Letter

Rev. Nan Swanson

 

Dear Ones,

We have just celebrated the 4th of July and Independence Day.  Summer is upon us. The season of warmth is upon us.  I was just having a conversation in the office the other day about how we don’t have time (or take time) to process all the things that happen in our lives.  We used to have time while we were hanging out clothes on the line or chopping wood or plowing the field or making bread to process, but in our modern living we have left little time for that.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons meditation took hold in California.  We have no enforced time of reflection.  In states where there are distinct seasons winter cold and snow force people to stay inside and curl up by the fire and reflect.  Summers that are unbearably hot and humid inflict a feeling of lassitude.  One wants to just sit and pant and watch the world go by.  California offers very little of this, so we have to find our own ways of assimilating the experiences life offers us in order to grow from them.  Some find this time in being out in nature.  Some find it in gardening.  Some find it in walking.  Some, in exercising.  Some, in processing with friends.  Some find it in stillness and meditation.  However you find it, please avail yourself of some means of getting some objectivity about your life and some stillness before God.  As the psalmist says: “Be still and know that I am God.”  Find something that slows your life down and gives you space to breathe.   

One person looking for a peace within from which to live life more fully decided to spend a time of quiet before God each day.  Reaching out to God in spirit and placing before God all the people and events of the day, the person found that one’s behavior changed.  They could receive others more peacefully.  They could offer themselves more calmly to others.  When the world began to overwhelm they found themselves anchored in a peace that could see them through whatever the world threw at them.  This time of quiet also pulled them toward human community.  Thich Nhat Hanh in his book Living Buddha, Living Christ says “Christians have to help Jesus Christ be manifested by their way of life, showing those around them that love, understanding, and tolerance are possible.”  He also suggests that our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.  Perhaps that is why our politics reflect so little peace.  We have forgotten how to be still before God and make peace with ourselves.  In these summer days, let us take time for reflection.  Let us take time to breathe deeply the presence of God and may that reflect itself in the living of our days.

God be with each of you and all of you,

Nan

Mission News

Carol McManus

As reported last month, 8 folks from Foothill participated in the CROP Walk on April 24th. We’re thrilled to report that Foothill collected $1400 towards this cause! This was $300 more than last year and in line with other churches our size. Great job Foothill!!

We also reported last month on the Rentry Resource Center contributions of $115 (including ‘seed’ money from Mission funds). Underwear and toiletries for 16 people were purchased with those funds and “an SUV full” of clothes were also donated. This project also helped fellow Presbyterian Anita Silver with her Girl Scout Gold Award. Thank you Foothill!!

In honor of Mothers Day, May’s Buck a Month highlighted the PCUSA’s Healthy Women/Healthy Families project. This mission project support programs that promotes the health, education, and development of children around the world. With seed money and your generosity, we were able to contribute $120 to this worthy cause.

In June, with the beginning of summer, we collected and donated $162 to the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz. This program trains and employs homeless folks, helping them get back on their feet, while providing 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to low-income men, women and families.

Your mission committee is amazed and grateful for the many ways this congregation helps and responds to Christ’s call to help the less fortunate.

PNCUpdate

Nancy Leonard Co-chair Foothill PNC Great News - We have new pastors!

On Sunday, June 12, the congregation voted to extend a call to co-pastors Lindsay Woods and Andy Wong.  

During the preceding week Lindsay and Andy met with several of the groups at the church including an all church pizza night, looked for and bought a house and Andy interviewed for part-time teaching jobs. In addition they spent family time with grandparents and Andy's brother who lives in Campbell.

Our new pastors have been busy getting their Fort Worth house on the market -- it had been badly damaged during a hail storm that occurred while they were here in March for a neutral pulpit. And, they will be leaving late in July to begin the move to San Jose.  

Their first week of work at Foothill will begin on August 22. We look forward to giving Lindsay, Andy and their children a big warm welcome.

Summer time, Summer time, Summer Time!!!

Andrew Cater, Director of Music Ministry

So here we are, our ensembles have wrapped up what I hope was a fulfilling year of music for both the participants and the congregation. I know I enjoyed every minute of it myself. I think we should be proud of what we accomplished. Looking back at what was only four months I am amazed at just how much music we made. I want to take a moment to congratulate all of our musicians for a wonderful music appreciation service. Each of you did yourselves proud, and I thought we did a great job of welcoming Lindsey and Andy to our church family. It was nice to meet them and get a glimpse of the energy and vision that they will bring to our worship.

This summer has gotten off to a nice start as well. What I love about summertime is the diversity of music we get to experience. It is so great that we have so many talented members that are willing to share their gifts. Bill Andersen’s rousing rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic was a perfect way to celebrate The 4th of July, and a great way to kick off our summer music program. The rest of the summer will give us the opportunity to hear from serveral other member. This week we will have the opportunity to hear Carol Tillman sing. Then Joanne will grace us with her talents on the piano. Kraig Williams will also be suppyling music for us on the 24th, with a return of substitute organist Amy Hunter accompanying. Unfortunatly I will miss that week as I will be running in the “ Warf to Warf ” that morning. The final week this month we will be hearing from our Eukelele ensemble. I am excited for this since it will be my first experience.  

This July we will be having our “Historical Worship Services” in which we will be experiencing worship in a manner similar to that of the past. This week will be an “Early Christian” service where we will be singing Psalms. Carol Tillman’s choice of music will highlight this period. Next week we will be experiencing a traditional Baroque Mass. Then we will worship in the style of the Reformation. Kraig’s offerings will perhaps be the most historically accurate to its time period. Then finally we will wrap up the month with a service from the “Wild West” Ukulele and other simple tunes should be perfect for the mood of this service. Looking at this all together I think this a great way to change up worship for the summer. Hope to see you all on Sunday mornings, and remember September is just around the corner and you are all invited to participate in any of our music ensembles

Adventures in Worship:

For four weeks during July the worship committee is going to offer historical worship services.  The first will be from 155 A.D.  This was a dangerous time to be a Christian so they met in places like the catacombs, the ancient burial grounds of the Romans.  Can you imagine how dark and musty and damp, not to mention downright creepy it would be to worship among the dead?  But it was perfect for the secret meetings of Christians.  It was speculated in Rome at that time that Christians were a traitorous group that had cannibalistic feasts.

Catacombs were not the only meeting places, they also met in houses and caves.  It was incredibly risky to meet because if they were caught, it could mean crucifixion, burning at the stake, or becoming the toys with which gladiators played in the arenas.  Christians were definitely a minority sect, hounded by those in power at that time.  Therefore, in order to gain entrance, those at the door would make half the sign of the fish (symbol for Christ) and the one wanting to enter would make the other half.  If the one seeking to attend the service could not pass that test, they were taken elsewhere to keep the rest of the faithful safe.

They celebrated the “Eucharist” each Lord’s day.  Eucharist means thanksgiving.  The people who dared come to worship felt a deep sense of thanks for Jesus’ life and death.  Believing there could be no thanksgiving without reconciliation, they began their Eucharist with the Kiss of Peace, symbolizing the love and unity that existed among the members of the Body of Christ.

This service is taken from the writings of Justin Martyr who saw worship in two parts:  1. The ministry of the Word, similar to a synagogue service, and 2. The Eucharist, a liturgical meal that gratefully celebrated the life and death of Jesus and moved the worshipers beyond earlier Jewish traditions.  Imagine the political, social, and religious context of the 2nd century and let us experience worship in that time, throwing ourselves into it.

The music of that time was simple and, following the lead of the synagogue service, it would be from the psalms, so that is what we will sing on this Sunday.

The Second Adventure in Worship Service:

What a huge leap from the intimacy of a small, oppressed group at worship in the catacombs of the

2nd century to a very hierarchical structure of the

High Mass of the medieval period around 1300 AD.  After the Edict of Milan in 313 AD granted tolerance for Christians, Christianity became the religion of empire.  Much of the liturgy and even some songs and anthems of the day are still used.  You can’t get a much greater difference in worship than from the Catacombs to the Medieval Mass.  One simple, the other ornate.  They moved from hideouts to halls, from obscurity and danger to power and glory, from oppression to establishment.  The service was done in Latin which many of the common people could not understand at all.  This is when the rosary came into being.  People couldn’t understand the words, but had great awe and faith in all the ritual.  Since the congregation was largely just observers, they would sit in their pews and take bits of paper or fabric and mash it into a ball and string it with thread and it became a way of prayer to the awesome God found in the gold and incense.  The liturgy of the Word shrank with the growing emphasis on the liturgy of the sacrament.  Sometimes there was no sermon at all.  But the Eucharist was so precious that the people were only allowed the bread in the sacrament…the blood of Christ was too precious for the common folk.   

Church scholars preserved literacy in Western Europe following the Fall of the Western Roman Empire.  During the Middle Ages, the Church rose to replace the Roman Empire as the unifying force in Europe. The cathedrals of that age remain among the most iconic feats of architecture produced by Western civilization. Many of Europe's universities were also founded by the church at that time.

Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries. The university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting.  

The Bible and Christian theology have also strongly influenced Western philosophers and political activists. The teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, are among the important sources for modern notions of Human Rights and the welfare measures commonly provided by governments in the West. Long held Christian teachings on sexuality and marriage and family life have also been both influential and (in recent times) controversial. Christianity played a role in ending practices such as human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide and polygamy.[

The historian of Christianity, Geoffrey Blainey, likened the Catholic Church in its activities during the Middle Ages to an early version of a welfare state: "It conducted hospitals for the old and orphanages for the young; hospices for the sick of all ages; places for the lepers; and hostels or inns where pilgrims could buy a cheap bed and meal". It supplied food to the population during famine and distributed food to the poor. This welfare system the church funded through collecting taxes on a large scale and possessing large farmlands and estates.

For the next several hundred years, the Church held great influence over Western society;church laws were the single "universal law ... common to jurisdictions and peoples throughout Europe", giving the Church "preeminent authority".With its own court system, the Church retained jurisdiction over many aspects of ordinary life, including education, inheritance, oral promises, oaths, moral crimes,

and marriage. As one of the more powerful institutions of the Middle Ages, Church attitudes were reflected in many secular laws of the time. The Third Adventure in Worship Service:

With a sigh of relief we will worship in the style of a

Reformation Service in Strasbourg as we celebrate Calvin’s liturgy from Strasbourg in 1542.  Much of this service will be familiar.   

Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of all believers upgraded the role of laymen in the church considerably. The members of a congregation had the right to elect a minister and, if necessary, to vote for his dismissal.  Calvin strengthened this basically democratic approach by including elected laymen (church elders, presbyters) in his representative church government. The Huguenots added regional synods and a national synod, whose members were elected by the congregations, to Calvin's system of church self-government. This system was taken over by the other Reformed churches.  

For John Calvin, the abiding reality of worship was “God’s unspeakable Majesty and Otherness, and the nothingness and simplicity of man.” This truth dramatically affected Reformed worship. As one scholar wrote No ceremonial acts or gestures were permitted. No hymns were sung but those derived from a Biblical source. The bleak stripped interior of the real Calvinist church is itself sacramental; a witness to the inadequacy of the human over against the divine.  Although the Reformed churches abandoned many of Rome’s forms of worship, Reformed worship did remain liturgical and sacramental. That is, Reformed pastors continued to order the worship service according to a fixed order and with prescribed forms, including prayer books. John Calvin produced prayers to be used in public worship for ministers who were less accomplished at public prayer. For example, the services in Geneva used the following order of worship: invocation, confession of sins, assurance of pardon, singing of psalms, prayer for illumination, lessons from Scripture, sermon, collection, prayers of intercession, the Apostles’ Creed, words of institution, instruction and exhortation, communion, prayer of thanksgiving, benediction. Reformed worship in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries emphasized hearing the preached word.

As the Reformers wanted all members of the church to be able to read the Bible, education on all levels got a strong boost.

Politically, John Calvin favored a mixture of aristocracy and democracy. He appreciated the advantages of democracy: "It is an invaluable gift, if God allows a people to freely elect its own authorities and overlords." Calvin also thought that earthly rulers lose their divine right and must be put down when they rise up against God. To further protect the rights of ordinary people, Calvin suggested separating political powers in a system of checks and balances (separation of powers). Thus he and his followers resisted political absolutism and paved the way for the rise of modern democracy.

In addition to its liturgical and sacramental character, Reformed worship in the sixteenth century introduced the practice of congregational song. Throughout the Middle Ages, the congregation participated in the Mass largely by observing; this included choirs that performed the duties of singing during the service. All the Protestant churches reformed this practice by opening singing to the whole congregation.

Fourth Adventure in Worship:  The Wild West

This morning’s service will follow the pattern of the Wild West in the 19th century frontier America, the kind of worship that might have been conducted in a Presbyterian Church of that period.  The service was absorbed with personal “cleansing,” private prayers and one’s own salvation.  The Christian concepts of fellowship, community worship, love for mankind and social consciousness seemed to take a back seat.  Look for the emphasis of ME, I, MYSELF in this worship experience.

A large number of worship services were held at camp meetings.  The camp meeting was set up on a 25’ square with an aisle down the middle and benches on either side.  The mourner’s bench or anxious bench was a bench set up in front of the speaker for those who were seeking salvation.  There they prayed for their sins and tried to cleanse themselves in confession.  The altar call was a response to dramatic power experienced through the Holy Spirit visited on listeners during the hearing of the word.  All these actions were an outgrowth of the Second Great Awakening and its inward looking but outward seeking dual emphases.

The 1800s gave birth to the second Great Awakening. Evangelism became one of the great influences in American religion.  One scholar notes: Evangelism itself, I believe, is a North American phenomenon, coming from the merging of Pietism, Presbyterianism, and Puritanism. Evangelism picked up the peculiar characteristics from each strain – warmhearted spirituality from the Pietists, doctrinal precision from the Presbyterians, and individualistic introspection from the Puritans. The Second Great Awakening (1800–30s) was the second great religious revival in United States history and consisted of renewed personal salvation experienced in revival meetings.One of the major contributors was Rev. Charles Finney who was a key leader of the evangelical revival movement in America. From 1821 onwards he conducted revival meetings across many north-eastern states and won many converts. For him, a revival was not a miracle but a change of mindset that was ultimately a matter for the individual's free will. His revival meetings created anxiety in a penitent's mind that one could only save his or her soul by submission to the will of God.

All guns must be left in the narthex.  Come in your western attire.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance even as it receives-       Biddy Mason

What an interesting month (June).  I am learning more Spanish, feeling more blessed, and meeting more people. I have an open door policy when I am in my office and more employees in the emergency department are coming to talk to me.  I listen, facilitate the conversation, and never offer advice but help them to find their solutions. We hug and prayer is offered. I am also traveling to different parts of FL, having fun being a tourist, and enjoying myself.

On June 1st I preached in the chapel using Psalm 139:7-12 (presence of God) and was asked if I would speak at some churches. As I continue to learn Spanish, several employees have offered to help me and have given me their home numbers, which is a blessing.

Work at the hospital

 After 24 days in ICU, an 80 year old patient died from peripheral artery disease, had been on life support for all 24 days. What’s interesting about these 24 days is his wife nor his son spoke any English. When I first met his wife, she was not receptive but the third day, hugged me to say Gracias (thank you). Each day she waited for me to visit them, tried to say some words in English, and stood at the bed of her husband when prayer was provided. One day she said, “I wait for you.” She learned some English. He died early one morning at 2:30 am.  

Death is traumatic: An 86 year old woman came to ER because she had difficulty breathing and her chest hurt.  She was immediately rushed to the Cath lab, then admitted to ICU. Her daughter rode in the ambulance with her and they called me because her mom coded. I was the on-call Chaplain, came to the hospital, and spent 1.5 hours with her that morning. Her daughter said the she wanted a miracle. After 40 days, her mom had been taken off life support, coded and had to go back on life support.  She was not doing well, declining, and her daughter was very specific, she wanted her mom to live, which meant a full code. After 48 days, her mom had coded about five times, looked malnourished, and her daughter still insisted that she wanted her mom to live. The physicians spoke to her, risk management spoke to her and our ethics groups spoke to her but she still insisted. It was so sad to see her mom suffer and decline but everyone respected what she asked. I visited with her everyday (Mon to Fri) for at least one hour, sometimes more. She shared about her mom, their spiritual life, her giving up five years to take care of her mom, and her mom wanting to live. On the 60th day, her mom coded again and this time the physicians stopped it because she was too small and they had cracked several ribs. Her daughter still wanted everything done. I spent two hours with her and one of the things she asked was: have I done the right thing by my mom? I explained to her that I was in no position to respond to this and asked her what she thought. She finally said that maybe she should have stopped it some time ago.  The nurses and physicians were upset but didn’t let it show.  It was very sad!

I have been spending a lot of time with a patient who has been in the hospital for 7.5 years. Two weeks ago, she coded. She is loved by everyone, has a trach, and they had a lot of difficulty trying to put the tube down her throat to help her breathe. We were all saddened when she was brought to ICU. She spent 15 days in ICU and I visited her each morning. She is back on the step-down unit, talking, and thanking God. Her son arrived from New York and is still her to ensure she is back to recovery. She will never leave the hospital and no nursing home or long term acute place will take her. She is well cared for and receives Communion each day from the Eucharistic Ministers. She only speaks Spanish and I have learned to understand it more than I can speak it and she and I get along well. We are a team, she says.

My director has said that I am the champion for pastoral care. I visit 25 patients a day and sometimes more. Many of my patients are intubated (life support) but I talk to them because they are a person with a name. I call them by name, shared things with them, and say a prayer before leaving. I also write a spiritual message for each of my patients and their families have come to enjoy it very much. I am even writing some in Spanish.

 Since my lease will expire in Jan (middle of month), I am looking at adult communities to live in, which are much cheaper.  It will be a longer drive but worth it.


June 2016

Pastor’s Letter
Rev. Nan Swanson

Dear Companions on the Way,
This June we end one fiscal year and begin another in July.  Beginnings are such hopeful times.  We are making commitments for the coming year with great hope in the coming of Andy and Lindsay.  The PNC has done a great job and they are due a debt of thanks.  As we make commitments this Sunday, let us think deeply of our gifts and how we can enrich the life of this community so it can be all God intended it to be.

In June, school ends and summer vacations begin.  May the vacations we take this summer give us rest and re-creation, so that we return ready to hit it in the fall.  My last full month will be July, so I thought it would be a great time to do historical worship services.  These services will span four weeks during which we will move from worshiping in the catacombs with the early church, jumping several centuries to experience High Mass, then several more centuries will take us to reformation worship, and we’ll end with worship in the Wild West.  I love these services because we aren’t just talking about how things were back then, we are actually experiencing them.  Each bulletin will have an explanatory note that goes with it, so we learn as we go.  For the Wild West, I hope everyone comes in costume…or something that adds to the sense of being in that time.  Please join us for this unique opportunity.  I’ve done this at three different churches and it has been well-received by each congregation.  I hope it will be the same for Foothill and help us get through the summer doldrums.

I applaud your resiliency during this interim time.  You have really stepped up to the plate and pulled together to keep this ministry moving forward.  Let’s make a strong finish to our time together.

With much admiration and encouragement,
Nan

Come Meet the New Pastor Candidates and Enjoy Dinner Too!

Nancy Leonard, co-moderator of the PNC

Mark your calendar for Thursday evening, June 9 at 6:00 p.m. to meet Lindsay Woods and Andy Wong and their family, our pastor candidates.

The PNC is hosting a casual pizza and salad dinner in the courtyard for the purpose of introducing Lindsay and Andy to the congregation before they preach the following Sunday, June 12.

Everyone is invited, however, the PNC needs a headcount so the proper number of pizzas from Pizza Maria's can be provided.

An evite was sen to all email addresses, however, reports are that some may not have received it. If you responded to the evite, you do not need to respond again. If you have not responded, please respond either to Angie Carrillo (nacarril@aol.com) or to the church office by June 6

The PNC is excited to introduce Lindsay and Andy to the congregation and looks forward to a fun evening.

News From Session

The session heard reports from the Worship committee about the busy season from Advent through Easter.  It was a busy time, but the the worship experience was enriching.  The other committee to report was the Preschool who just had an auction to benefit the school that was very successful.  About 100 people attended and $5700 was made.  Enrollment is 40, many full time.  There are 4 full time and 2 part time teachers plus Tricia Trahan who is the director.  There will be 20 graduates.  The school goes year round.

Small groups will begin in June.  The Flea Market will take place on June 18th.  Items can be brought to church before that time.  There will be a dinner on June 9th to introduce the new pastor candidates to the congregation.  They will preach on the 12th with a congregational meeting to follow when we will all have a chance to affirm or deny the proposal that they be the next pastors for Foothill Presbyterian Church.  Outreach looked at the calendar and decided that there are various opportunities for getting together other than the Second Sunday Lunch (like the Memorial Day barbeque in May and the dinner for the new pastors in June and the ice cream social to celebrate the anniversary of the church in July).  Therefore Outreach decided to scale back on the number of Second Sunday Lunches and have them on January, March, and September.

The elder/deacon retreat was held at the Belz home.  It was good for us all to be together and think about the good of the church and how to move forward.  The All Church Retreat was attended by 30 hardy souls at Sanborn Park.  Stewardship Commitment Sunday is June 5.  All elders and deacons are expected to pledge and all members of the congregation are encouraged to do the same.  Sharon Rowser, treasurer, say the church is in good shape financially, only $5000 below anticipated income with hopes for a generous June.

Music News

Andy Carter, Director of Music Ministries

A minister is completing a sermon on temperance and with great emphasis he says, 'If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'  A little later with even greater emphasis he says, 'If I had All the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river too. ' Then finally, whilst shaking his fist in the air, he says , 'And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take that and dump it into the river.'  He finishes his sermon and sits down, Then the music director stands up and with a huge smile announces, 'For our closing song, Let us sing Hymn #365, 'Shall We Gather at the River.'

Summer is upon us and so we usher in a more quiet time in our music ministry.  But not without going out with a bang. Come join us as we celebrate all the amazing musicians that have given us the gift of their talents and time this past year. On June 12th, the same day we welcome our new pastors, we will have special music from the Chancel Choir, Glory Ringers and members of the Peralta Consort.

I want to thank all those who have participated in our musical ensembles and to acknowledge the work they have done. The commitment level of all those involved has been nothing short of spectacular. Knowing how busy all of you are I just want to say thank you.

While I feel as If I am just now hitting my stride in my new position here at Foothill, I am already looking back at the last four months with pride. I feel like we have made a lot of great music and have had a lot of fun doing so. As summer is approaching I am looking forward to a chance to catch my breath. So for the next three months I will do a great deal of planning and preparing for next fall.

I am also planning to have guest musicians this summer, as well as special music provided by our talented congregation. Our ensembles will be on hiatus for the next three months returning after Labor Day. I would like to extend another invitation to all of you to join our musical worship. Whether it be with the Chancel Choir, the Glory Ringers, or perhaps in other ways, you are always welcome to join us. Next year is looking to be a fulfilling musical as well worship experience.

I also wanted to say again how grateful I am to the entire congregation for making me feel welcome here. I very much appreciate all the kindness you have shown to me and my family.  As we drift into the (relatively) quiet days of summer, keep the Foothill Music Ministry and it’s ensemble members in your prayers, and join us at church for special summer worship music.

Spring Retreat

It was a cold and rainy day...a perfect day to stay home and keep warm by the fire, but 30 intrepid members made their way to Sanborn Park in Saratoga by bus or by car to rendezvous for the All-Church Retreat on May 7th.  After croissants and coffee and hard-boiled eggs, we broke up into groups defined by our placement in the family, so all the oldest children talked about what it was like to be the trailblazers, the middle children talked about how it was to be the sandwich child and let the first child take the responsibility and heat, and then the youngest/only talked about being the forgotten ones.  Probably none of you will be surprised to know that the biggest group were oldest children, used to running things.  After that we chose pictures and talked to someone we don't normally spend time with, finding out why they chose the picture they chose.  We had an opportunity to get to know each other better, which was really delightful.  Lin Peng barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch.  After lunch it started to rain and people started turning blue, so we decided to call it a day.  On the way home on the bus, we sang songs and swapped stories and had a great time.  Those of you who missed out, I hope you will be able to attend the next one.  Susan Rowland led us through the exercises with skill and grace and made it all fun.  It had the feel of community.

Women's Brunch

Karen WithroW

On Saturday, May 21st many of us gathered in Room 9 for a wonderful time of fellowship and a feast of delicious brunch casseroles, fruit salads and yummy pastries!

Many thanks to the Geezers for setting up (and taking down) the tables and chairs.  Marilyn Kromrey and Udell Eby created lovely flower arrangements for the tables and Sue Waldrop provided tablecloths and paper goods that were the a palate of Spring colors.  All came together to give everyone a very warm welcome setting for the brunch - thank you!
And most importantly, thanks to all who were with us! Everyone was in agreement that we need to gather again.  Watch for news of plans for our next Women's Brunch in the Fall!

Commitment Sunday June 5

Stewardship Committee
(Excerpted from Sunday’s Minute for Mission)

Stewardship is asking everyone to consider participating in Commitment Sunday by pledging to support Foothill Presbyterian Church in our new budget year, beginning July 1.  Why is pledging important? Pledges are the single biggest source of our income, as it should be.  It’s our congregation joining in community to support the work of our church.  We have other income sources like rent of our facilities, and gifts from congregants who don’t pledge, but we are guessing each year how much will come from these and other uncommitted sources.

Foothill has a number of fixed costs just like we all do.  The church doesn’t have rent or a mortgage, but we have staff salaries, utilities, taxes, and costs for maintaining our facilities. If we can’t start our year with a reasonable expectation that our income will match our expenses, it’s an uncomfortable situation for all of us.  It means that our stewardship and finance committees will be constantly asking for more money throughout the year.  Nobody wants that; you don’t come to church to hear constant requests for money, and the people who work on these committees don’t want to keep asking.  The administrative staff has a list that prioritizes which expenses they will pay when we are short of funds and can’t cover our costs.  We haven’t had to use this list for several years, and we hope that we won’t need to again.

Stewardship is asking those who pledged this year to consider a 20% increase.  What does this mean?
If your current pledge is $100/month, a 20% increase amounts to less than $5/week, or the cost of a Starbucks coffee.
A current pledge of $200/month would be increased by $40, or about $10/week; less than the cost of a pizza.
A pledge of $300/month would be increased by less that $!5/week, or the cost of one nice lunch a week.

This increase is important to help us reach our goal, but it isn’t sufficient.  We won’t get there without more families and individuals pledging.  We hope that those of you not currently pledging will join with those of us who do.  Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this request.

Alternative Ways to Share Your Tithes and Offerings

Stewardship/Finance Committees

Foothill has taken a big step into the 21st century and is offering several convenient ways for you to give your offering to the church.  This is not a notice for you to change what you are doing; if the method you are using now works for you and you like it, there is no need to change.  Here are the possibilities from which to choose:

Cash or check is most common.
If your giving is consistent in amount and timing, you can arrange with your bank to make regular electronic transfers.  This is extremely convenient and there are no fees involved.

You can go to the Foothill Presbyterian Church website and there is a “give now” button.  There is a small fee to the church for this, but if you are someone who prefers to do your banking online, this is a nice option.

If you are someone who doesn’t carry cash and doesn’t know what a check is, we now offer cards in the pews that allow anyone with a QR reader app on their phone or tablet to give on the spot.  There are fees involved, but you can easily select the amount and the purpose of your gift.

Please feel free to contact the office if you have questions about any of these selections.

From the kitchen

Sue LeValley

Sue and Darlene are your friendly kitchen overseers.  With your help we can keep the kitchen and kitchenette supplied with necessary disposables.  When the cold cups, hot cups, napkins, dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, etc. are running low, please email us or tell the office.  Our email address is in the directory.  I am happy to purchase supplies when I know that they are needed.  

We like to keep the refrigerators available for those who need it.  We go through the refrigerators on a random basis and discard unlabeled items.  Labels are provided in a drawer close to the refrigerators.  Put your name and the date on your food in the refrigerators and the freezer so that it does not get tossed.  

The kitchen is open every day.  Staff, Foothill members, and guests use it for personal cooking.  This is a privilege and not a right.  At least once a week a dirty pot is left in one of the sinks.  Please clean up the kitchen before you leave.
If you have left an unlabelled plate or bowl in the kitchen or kitchenette.  Unclaimed items eventually end up at our flea market or a thrift store.

If you want to borrow an item from the kitchen, you must get permission from the office, and/or Building and Grounds.  Another group might need it.

When you want to contribute items to the kitchen because you don’t want them anymore, e.g. platters, knives, pots, pans, please consult with Building and Grounds.  When you want to buy something for the kitchen because you think that we need it please consult with Building and Grounds.

Presbyterian History Pt.4

Any time we think of the early history of the Presbyterian Church in America, we have to talk about Francis Makemie who has been called the father of organized American Presbyterianism.  Last month we talked about the beginnings of the church in the geographic areas of North America and saw how differently they developed in the various regions.  Makemieorganized the first presbytery and thus launching the Presbyterian Church as a corporate entity.

Colonel William Stevens of Maryland wrote to the Presbytery of Laggan in Ireland in 1680 asking that ministers be sent to Maryland and Virginia.  Thus, Francis Makemie, a young Irishman educated in Scotland, responded to the call. He preached from the Carolinas to New York amongst a population that was scattered along roads that were poor or non-existent on horses that were scarce and in danger continually from the threat of native Americans and robbers.  What a call!  Intrepid, he brought the Christian message of hope to all and sundry.  In 1683 he organized Presbyterian Churches at Rehoboth and Snow Hill, Maryland.  The first enduring Presbytery was founded by him in 1706.  It was known as “The Presbytery” or “The General Presbytery.”  It was a master of peacemaking as it gathered the seven ministers from two quite different and often conflicting traditions of Scotch or Scotch-Irish Presbyterianism and Puritan Presbyterianism.  In addition, it was organized from the bottom up, not the top down.  Thus the higher governing boards were created by the lower, giving American presbyterianism a more democratic flavor so that undesignated powers remained in the presbyteries, not the higher judicatories.  

The Presbyterians in America desired to influence American culture with Christian principles in the 19th and 20th centuries.  They soon discovered that they were not a majority in any state and thus became advocates of religious liberty.  The original Presbytery included congregations only in Maryland, Delaware, and Philadelphia.  Some of the Puritan churches of new Jersey and Long island joined.  The new Presbytery grew so fast it was soon apparent that a Synod must be organized.

Flea Market
Saturday, June 18th, 8AM to 2PM

Proceeds will benefit the Building and Grounds fund.

We Need Lots of Stuff.
Please consider donating to the sale.  Anything in usable condition that you’d like to bless us with will be enthusiastically accepted.  Donated items will be accepted during church office hours, Wed. 6/15 – Fri. 6/17.  Call ahead if you need help unloading or to schedule an early drop off, 408-258-8133.  Unsold items will be picked up by the Boy scouts and donated to Goodwill.

Volunteers are Needed
We need help pricing and selling all of the wonderful donations we are going to get.  Please contact Marilyn Kromrey for a Flea Market Volunteer Job Assignment.

Sell Your Own Stuff.
For just $5, you can get your own spot.

Paws Up Group

René Banks

My name is René Banks.  I’m the coordinator of The Paws Up Group. We are currently accepting enrollment for 2016-2017 season.  There is no fee for Foothill members; all we need is a completed application, rabies and current license.  If you like to socialized your dog in a safe well kept environment and want to meet some very nice people email me at Mimininabosi@gmail.com.  Enrollment is from 4 May until 30 June; so act soon time is running out.

Foothill Community Concert Series Presents

Black Cedar
Saturday June 11th, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Admission: $15 (Children 12 and under are free)

Black Cedar is the only ensemble entirely devoted to creating, discovering and re-imagining chamber music for guitar, cello, and wood flute or alto flute.  With this unique mix of sonorities, Black Cedar brings to lifeRenaissance lute songs and dances, Baroque trio sonatas, Classical and Romantic era salon pieces, Appalachian folk music and modern works.

Congregational Meeting on June 12th,

immediately following service, to vote on calling Rev. Andy Wong and Rev. Lindsay Woods as our new pastors.

FREE! - Tuesday Morning Tai Chi
9AM to 11PM in Fellowship Hall

Foothill Presbyterian Church, in conjunction with Compassionate Service Society/SJ, is sponsoring free classes on Integral Tai Chi and meditation. Come and exercise with us, and also learn relaxation and meditation. Free-will donations to the church are appreciated. The instructors donate their time. Bring a mat and a jacket or blanket. Park in the front lot, and walk to the back. PLEASE, no contact with the preschool.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

Maxine Millender

Be a voice of encouragement to someone today -D. McCaseland

May has been a very good month.  I have on more knee therapy, my knees are much stronger, and I feel better. I have met with a dietician, I have better eating habits and trying to stay away from all the good Cuban rich foods. I am traveling to different places each Saturday and just came back from spending the long weekend in Jupiter and West Palm Beach, FL. The drive was only 1 hour and 40 minutes on the turnpike, the weather was great (no rain), and there were plenty of restaurants to choose from.

Work at the hospital
The 2-year old (from last month’s report) was not doing well and his parents moved him to another hospital to get a second opinion. He was fine and then started to decline, rapidly.  His parents will never be the same.

When a 72 yo female died, her sister and brother was in dis-belief. She had been in the hospital for 202 days. I met her and her siblings in ICU, she left ICU after 60 days, went to the step-down (also my unit) for 70 days and had to come back to ICU where she remained until she died. She was Jewish and her siblings explained to the physicians that they were Orthodox and they had to do everything for her and she was a full code. Some of the nurses and physicians tried explain that they did not want her to suffer and to let her die peacefully but the siblings were adamant about doing everything. Her kidneys shut down, she was on dialysis, her lungs stopped and they gave her life support, and finally had to do the surgery for a tracheotomy. It was sad and they were so disappointed and hurt when she died. I spent several hours with them and got to know them quite well.
Some of my ICU patients have had the tracheotomy and are on the step-down unit but are now chronically ill. They will eventually have to go to an LTAC( long term assisted care) or rehab to get some therapy. This is also sad for the families who are taking care of them and also working daily.

Last week a 55-yo male was rushed to the hospital because of a massive stroke. He was a retired coast guard employee and his wife had retired a year ago. They had plans of traveling and had purchased property in FL as part of their retirement. She believed he would get better but when they did the brain flow test, it came back as being brain dead. He was on life-support but had not improved with all of the medications he had been given. His son and daughter sobbed for a lone time. His wife cried but she was in shock.

I had spent time with a 48 yo woman. She came in because of a headache, had brain surgery, and was sitting in her chair on a Friday. When I came in that Monday the nurse informed me that she had declined over the weekend and became un-responsive. They did the brain flow test and it came back that she was brain dead. Her family members were devastated but made a decision to donate her organs. Security was called to raise the donor flag in her honor. All security officers stood around the donor flag as it was raised, her family was very emotional, and hit was a touching moment for all of us. It was a beautiful sight to see and I took photos for them and texted them so they would have them as a keepsake. I have also ordered a name plaque and as soon as it comes in, I will call them,  have an outdoor garden service, and place the plaque on the wall with all of the donors.  Although very sad, she is saving lives, thanks for her family and their decision.

Not all of my patients have sad news. I am getting a little better with the Spanish language but the families tell me it is ok because their little English and my little Spanish make for a great team. I get so many hugs now from families and they share more with me. I understand the language better than I can speak it and I’m slowly getting there.


May 2016

pastor's letter
Rev. Nan Swanson

Fellow Pilgrims on the Way,
What good news we received in worship last Sunday!  We heard about the selections by your PNC who have been hard at work for you over the last year.  Such dedication they have shown.  Lindsay Woods and Andrew Wong look tailor-made for Foothill.  You all are to be commended as well for how faithful you have been in hanging in there and keeping the church going while you waited.  Not only have you “kept the church going”, but you have strengthened it in many ways.  You can feel good about that.

Now that we are looking to this new era before us, we need to do our part in supporting this new life, this new beginning.  Sharon Rowser and I have met with the moderators of each of the committees of session to see if their budgets could

be cut a bit to make room for the increase that it will take in the budget to go from a 3/4 time pastor to full time pastors.  Now Lindsay and Andrew will each be part time, so they can spend time with their three young children, so we are not paying two salaries.  That said, the increase has to do with the move from a part time pastor to a full-time pastorate.  This is your chance to step up to the plate and invest in the future of Foothill Presbyterian Church.  Let’s all pitch in and make this happen.  If all of us pledge and all of us increase, no one will have to carry a heavy burden.  Together we can make this work.     If some don’t pledge, it will make it hard on the whole.

I view Stewardship as a spiritual practice.  It is our chance to say the kingdom of God and the fulfillment of its ministry to the world is more important than the baubles and trinkets of this world.  It isn’t just about “paying the bills of the church”.  It’s about claiming whom we will serve.  It is about standing against the “principalities and powers” and for the reign of God in our midst.  Jesus never talked about the need of the church to receive, but the need of the giver to give.  It is about putting following Christ before self-centeredness and ease.

I once asked a parishioner who was wrestling with increasing her giving to think about giving up one pizza a week for her family and put that money toward her giving to the church.  That would make a significant increase in her pledge.  It would also mean a little sacrifice on her part and on the part of the family as well.  It is good modeling for her children.  She thought about that and said, wow, she could do that.  I would ask you the same thing.  Can you forego one Starbucks coffee or some little luxury you afford yourself so that the church can serve the world with joy?

Several years ago I was fund-raising for a community food pantry.  I spoke with a Muslim doctor who said that as a good Muslim he was to give a tithe of his income to help the disenfranchised of the community.  That was over and above what he tithed to the mosque.  I was so impressed with that.  I thought, if we Christians would do that, what wonders we might accomplish in the name of Christ.  Think on these things and when we present our pledge cards on the last Sunday of May, I hope you will think about how good you will feel about giving generously from what God has made available to you.  It is freeing!

Blessings on each of you,
Nan

All Church Retreat


We are going to have a wonderful day together on May 7th.  The ALL CHURCH RETREAT is being held at Sanborne Park in Saratoga from 9-4.  We don't even have to find it on our own.  The church is providing a bus to take us there, so we can have some informal time together catching up in transit on each other's lives.  The bus will LEAVE at 8:30, so be in the parking lot by 8:15.  Dress casually and wear walking shoes.  When we get to the park we will have a continental breakfast. 
Our retreat leader is Susan Rowland, who is a certified retreat leader from the Shalom Institute in Washington. D.C. and a lovely woman with a wise soul.  We are in for a treat!

For lunch we will have hamburgers and hotdogs with a veggie option.  There will be child care.  Join us for a great day of deepening relationships as well as sun and fun...and the church is hosting it all.
 

Big News from the PNC

Dear Fellow Members of Foothill Presbyterian Church,

Was it just last June that our pastoral nominating committee was created by our congregation? After nearly a year of working together we have become a strong unit. As the PNC we have developed trust in each other’s opinions, thoughts and experiences. As a group, our one and only focus was on the task of finding a new pastor for Foothill who would lead us into our future. With prayer and fellowship, we left egos and biases behind as we worked hard to discern who that person might be.
Through our church-wide focus groups―and lively discussions within the PNC―your comments regarding what you wanted for Foothill were considered and incorporated into our vision statement; articulating strengths, needs, and our Congregation’s priorities.

We are delighted to announce that, after a long search, God has abundantly answered all our prayers for a new pastor. Your Pastor Nominating Committee is pleased to inform you that we are unanimously and enthusiastically recommending a clergy couple; Andrew Wong and Lindsay Woods, to be our next Pastors/Head of Staff of Foothill Presbyterian Church.
We realize that this choice may come as a surprise to many. We will answer your questions and provide more information in the coming weeks to explain why we think they are the right choice to lead Foothill in ministry at this time. To help introduce you to them, Andy and Lindsay have sent to us pictures and bios to share with you.

In a nutshell: They met at Princeton Theological Seminary where they each received a Master’s of Divinity. They moved to Fort Worth, Texas where Lindsay has been the pastor of Gethsemane Presbyterian Church since 2005. Andy was called to be pastor of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. Seven years later the church closed and he began teaching high school math and science in a school for students with learning disabilities where he still works. He is also currently serving as the Parish Associate for Evangelism at Gethsemane.

They are both native New Yorkers, raised in NYCsuburbs by parents who were IBM engineers. Andy earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s in engineering from MIT in Boston. Fluent in Spanish, Lindsay has a B.S. in physics from Penn State University. They love and adore their three children, Caleb (6), Micah (4), and Lily (2).
We have met with them via skype on three separate occasions, reviewed taped sermons, interviewed them in person, and heard Andy preach and Lindsey act as liturgist in a neutral pulpit. They have met with the Presbytery and have been cleared to   accept our call.

We are grateful for your input through the focus group efforts, personal conversations, and your prayers for our endeavors. We believe that the Holy Spirit has been at work. We thank you for your patience. We hope that you will be present at the congregational meeting on June 12th to hear them preach, to vote on confirmation and to complete this process.


Small Groups Ministry of Inclusion

Your session and deacons have been discussing the establishment of a small group ministry to ensure that all people at Foothill feel included in this family of faith.  The hope is that it will be your family within the larger family.  Each group will have an elder and a deacon so if there are questions about what is going on at the church, they will be able to answer them.  We also want everyone to have people to whom they feel they can talk on a Sunday morning.  There will be six groups and we have tried to keep the groups balanced. 

The plan is that the first meeting will be a potluck at one member’s home.  The group can decide what sort of things they would like to do together.  You are free to choose to go to a movie or gather for coffee or have a book discussion or choose a topic for discussion.  This is your group and we want it to serve the needs of the group.  We hope to begin this in the month of May.  Each group will keep their members in prayer, help them through difficulties as they arise, and, in general, be a support to each and all.  We hope that each person in the congregation will feel affirmed and cared for through these groups.  May the God of Love be our guide.

Music News

Andy Carter, Director of Music Ministries

April brings Spring my favorite season of the year.  Every year at this time I feel re-energized and optimistic about life in general.  This spring I am feeling even more motivated than in recent years.  Perhaps it is because of all the rain we got this winter, or that my garden is in place and already thriving.  However, I think that most of my energy has come from my new position here with this church family.  While only being herethree months, I feel like I am finding my rhythm and am looking forward to being part of your worship team for what I hope will be years to come. 

We, the musicians at foothill, are planning another full month of music duringworship.   As always Peralta Consort has provided what I think is very appropriate style of music for our communion Sunday.  I always feel that the period instruments and the choice of music that Kraig Williams provides enhances this tradition.  On the second Sunday this month we will celebrate Mother’s day.  Our chancel choir has been working hard to provide the music for what I hope will be a fitting tribute to all of our mothers.  This month the choir will be singing one of my favorite pieces of the modern choral repertoire,  “Sing Me to Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop.  This will be the first time we will sing acapella since my arrival.  We will also be welcoming long time member Clayton Sanchez back to play trumpet with the chancel choir in “ One Faith, One Hope, One Love.” by Craig Courtney.

On the third Sunday this month we will celebrate Pentecost.  This year the “Glory Ringers”  will be providing the music.  For thisimportant liturgical occasion I have chosen two spirituals.  The familiar melodies of both, “My Lord What a Mornin” and “Every time I Feel the Spirit” lend well to the unique qualities of the bells, and I hope will bring an uplifting air to the service.  On the fourth Sunday I plan to introduce our new musical ensemble here at Foothill.   The Sanctuary Quartet (Woody Moore, Carol Tillman, Carolyn Trumello, and myself)  will be providing two musical offerings.  “If Ye Love Me”, by Sir Thomas Tallis is from the English renaissance.  And “O Nata Lux”,  by Morten Lauridsen one of the most successful composers of choral music in the modern era.  On the fifth,  and last Sunday of the month we will celebrate Memorial Day.  On this great day of celebration, Ilki and I will break away from the sacred and offer patriotic standards to honor those who have given so much to help ensure our way of life here in the United States.

Looking briefly ahead,  June will bring the close of yet another liturgical and thus musical year.  The end of the month will usher in summer anda more simple time of musical worship.  However,  not before we have one last go around.  On June 12th not only will we meet our new team of pastors, but we will also celebrate our “Musical Appreciation Sunday,” where all of our musicians will gather together to offer their gifts for one final service.  “Peralta, “The Glory Ringers” and the “Chancel Choir” will join forces and provide what I hope will prove to be an authentic celebration of our music ministry here at Foothill.
As always thank you for the tremendous support you have shown me, and remember that you are always welcome to join us.

PENTECOST: Join us for the Celebration

Pentecost is a marvelous celebration of the church's beginnings.  It is the culmination of the Great Hundred Days from Christ the King (the Sunday before Advent begins) to Pentecost. We've traveled a long road during this time, covered a lot of Christ's life, from birth to death to Resurrection. Pentecost is one of our great high holy days.  Thank heavens Hallmark has not gotten hold of it, so it can be a purely religious celebration of the faithful. Maybe that is why it is so poorly celebrated. We need to change that. It is a mystery why the church has focused so richly on the forty days of Lent which is usually known as a season of repentance and sorrow rather than on the fifty days of Easter which is the season of joy! Augustine, the great patriarch, tells us "These days after the Lord's resurrection form a period, not of labor, but of peace and joy...the Alleluia is sung, to indicate that our future occupation is to be no other than the praise of God." Join us to celebrate this day when the Holy Spirit took the cowering disciples by the scruff of the neck and said “You are the church, those empowered by the Spirit of God to be my body here on earth, to heal the broken hearted, to cure the dis-eased, to bring joy in my name.”  The Risen One seeks to bind together by the action of the Spirit all things that have been wrongly separated, to give courage to the faint-hearted, and strength to the weak and vision to those that have been blind.  The church is a group, a whole of called people who would not be the same on their own.  We gather not for what we can get, but for what we are called to give. This is the church's great Birthday Party. Come, rejoice with us!

Panel Discussion on LGBT


On May 15 after church in the library we will host a panel discussion regarding the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  The panel will consist of members of PFLAG, parents and friends of lesbians and gay people.  Their mission statement is in line with Jesus’ work and witness to those who are oppressed: “PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”  PFLAG has over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states.

Here is what evangelical minister Tony Compolo wrote: It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.

For me, the most important part of that process was answering a more fundamental question: What is the point of marriage in the first place? For some Christians, in a tradition that traces back to St. Augustine, the sole purpose of marriage is procreation, which obviously negates the legitimacy of same-sex unions. Others of us, however, recognize a more spiritual dimension of marriage, which is of supreme importance. We believe that God intends married partners to help actualize in each other the “fruits of the spirit,” which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, often citing the Apostle Paul’s comparison of marriage to Christ’s sanctifying relationship with the Church.

We hope this will be a time for people to ask questions and for us to consider this issue with both head and heart.  While we may disagree about this topic, we expect everyone to be treated as a child of God, with dignity and respect.  Join us and let’s keep the discussion of this idea going.

Mission News
Carol McManus

Our latest Buck a Month collected $65 (plus $50 ‘seed’ money from special mission funds) to support the Re-entry Resource Center in Santa Clara County. A fellow Presbyterian from Palo Alto First, Anita Silver, is collecting clothes for men recently released from incarceration as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The clothes collected go to the Reenry Resource of Santa Clara County, an organization that helps released prisoners get a new start in life. Their vision is to build safer communities and strengthen families through successful reintegration and reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals back into Santa Clara County. There will be a collection box in the Narthex through the first two weeks of May if you have gently used men's clothes to pass on. The money collected will be used to buy new underwear and socks that will be added to the clothes collection box. 

Eight people from Foothill participated in the annual South Bay CROP Walk on April 24. The weather was perfect with a nice breeze to keep us cool. Those participating included Carol McManus, Sue Waldrop, Pastor Nan, Jane Wallace, Darlene Ristrim, Xiwei Wu, Patrick Riley and Earl Hardy. We did the short route twice, enjoying the circumvention of the Rose Garden before heading back to the start point at Hoover Middle School with some wonderful brownies as our reward!! Thanks to all who supported walkers with your donations. If you have not paid your donation to your walker, please do so soon so we can get all donations turned in. We will have an update on total donations collected in next months Messenger.

History of Presbyterians:  Early America

The first Presbyterian Church to be legally recognized in the Southern colonies was near modern Norfolk in Virginia, 1692.  French Huguenots formed a church at Charleston, South Carolina, around 1687.  The early development of Presbyterianism in the South was delayed by the fact that Anglicanism was eventually established by law in all the Southern colonies.  The New England Colonies were settled by the Pilgrims and other Puritans.  The Pilgrims adopted a form of government similar to Congregationalism which was soon so strong in New England that it was established by the colonial legislatures of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire as the “Standing Order.”  Though there were Presbyterians in this area they were soon subsumed into the prevailing Congregationalists, but when they moved into the middle and southern colonies they frequently became Presbyterians once more.  The Middle Colonies were the early stronghold of American Presbyterianism.  Colonial governments in this region granted religious toleration there which attracted Presbyterians.  Long Island, Southold and Southampton established churches.  French Huguenots organized a church on Staten Island in 1685.  Puritans from Connecticut and Long Island founded Presbyterian churches in New Jersey: Newark, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, and Fairfield.  By 1700 there were about 10-15 churches in New York and New Jersey.  In 1685, Presbyterian Covenanters arrived in New Jersey fleeing from the “killing times” in Scotland.  In 1692 a Presbyterian congregation began to meet in Philadelphia in the Barbados Company warehouse. In 1791 the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia ordained Jedediah Andrews, Harvard graduate as its pastor.
 


 

 


march 2016

pastor's letter
Rev. Nan Swanson

Dear Partners in Ministry,

We are fast approaching Easter.  We are half way through Lent.  As Gene Hewitt reminded us in the Lenten Study that Lent is a tithe of the year.  It is a time set aside for “coming to ourselves”, the us God created us to be, not all the layers that culture has laid on us, but the pure, unalloyed, creative being God calls “beloved.”  I hope each of us takes the time to do the inner work that will enable all of us to truly celebrate Easter as our day of freedom from the fear of death.  I read an article lately that suggested

fasting because it helps us empty and that leaves room for the Spirit to come fill that void.  He suggested that time in the wilderness is necessary in order for our soul to grow and develop.  Here are some suggestions for one day fasts:  No radio in the car for a day, pick the longest line at the grocery store, let others have the last word, don’t share your opinion, put the phone on airplane mode when you get home from work, sit in the dark for 10 minutes before you go to bed, eat a kind of food that you have never eaten before, call a family member, take a different route to work, sit in a different seat on Sunday, write a note to someone meaningful to you, abstain from social media, pray for someone you don’t get along with, find something beautiful or meaningful and simply gaze at it, give away one thing you don’t need.  Try a different one each day and see how it feels.  Some of them call us to stretch in new directions.  Some of them call us to give something up.  All call us to do something new.

We have some wonderful services planned for Holy Week and hope you will attend them to make the Easter experience more meaningful.  Maundy Thursday we will have a simple soup supper with a Seder meal and tenebrae service.  Clarissa has offered to prepare the soup and we invite you all to come.  Good Friday’s service is held at 3 p.m. since that is the time that Jesus was thought to be crucified, so it is a service of mourning.  The Great Vigil of Easter will be held on Saturday at 7p.m..  In that service we hear the stories of our faith and salvation history from the beginning until Jesus.  It is one of my favorite services of the year and hope you will join us.  These services are like all the Lenten disciplines: there is no harm if you don’t do them, but great benefit if you do.  Let us take this opportunity to deepen our faith in the God who has given us all that we are and all that we have.  I wish you a faithful Lent and a joyous Easter.
Blessings to one and all,
Nan

Lenten Worship Schedule

March 20, Palm Sunday, Worship Service is at 10:30AM
March 24, Maundy Thursday, There will be a Simple Supper at 7:00PM in FH
March 25, Good Friday, “Way of the Cross” in Alum Rock Park at Noon
Worship service will be held in our sanctuary at 3:00PM
March 26, Great Vigil of Easter, Worship Service is at 7:00PM
March 27, Easter Sunday, Worship Service is at 10:30AM

Save Eggs

Those of you who know how to blow out eggs by making a tiny pin prick in one end and a hole of about 1/2 inch in the other, please help us by bringing them to church so we can make confetti eggs for the children at Easter.  Bring them to the office.  It will be a real treat for our children.  Thanks for your help!

How to Help the PNC Find our New Pastor

 The PNC is working diligently to find a new pastor. Now more than ever we need your prayers. For the PNC, for our applicants and for our Church.  The following are suggestions of prayers we need during the church’s search for a new pastor.
1. Pray for your search committee.
Pray for patience. Pray that the committee would wait upon God’s timing. Pray that your search committee will have the mind of Christ and agree.
Much of the process is subjective. Personal opinions and preferences are involved. Differences can divide. Ask that the search committee would heed Paul’s advice for unity, having the humble attitude of Jesus Christ [Philippians 2:1-12].
Pray for wisdom to choose the right person(s). Pray the search committee will renew their minds in the Bible so that they can have Word-centered wisdom [Romans 12:1-2].
Pray for discipline for your search committee and other church leaders. The search process will require a great deal of follow-through on the parts of individuals.
2. Pray for your next pastor.
Pray that God would increase his/her passion for the Word of God.
Pray that God would give the applicant a love for your church and the strength to leave their current position.
Pray that they would begin new relationships at your church in the right way.
Pray that God would prepare her/him to shepherd your church through the trials and blessings we currently face.
Pray for pastor’s family.
3. Pray for your church.
Pray for patience. The search process can go longer than expected. It is hard work for those doing the search process. Pray for trust in the leadership.
Pray that your church would learn to place a high priority on the Word of God, the glory of Christ, and a love for His church. It is easy to gravitate towards personality, programs, or an ideal when calling a new pastor. Pray we focus on what matters: a person who loves Christ, His Word, and His church. Pray the new pastor will be of Christ-like character.
Pray that your church would not react to your previous pastor. You will not get a pastor like your old one, nor should you expect to. Pray this person will be loved by your church.
Adapted from When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search. By Chris Brauns. Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL. 2011. Pgs. 28-31.

Pastor Nominating Committee Update

We have momentum toward finding a minister nominee for Foothill.  This is a good time to review the Presbyterian process of selecting a minister, outlining what has been done and what is left to be done.
On Sunday, June 14, our congregation voted to empower John Belz, Angie Carrillo, Nancy Leonard, Woody Moore, Gay Southwell, Jennifer Stevenson, and Jane Wallace to search for and nominate a pastor.  This Pastor Nominating Committee was joined by Nan Notor, who was appointed by the Presbytery and serves as our liaison with the Committee on Ministry.
We have worked prayerfully and diligently on the many steps of the process. At first glance the path seemed linear. It turned out to be a long and winding journey.

  1. After lively discussion and heavy editing, we completed the Ministry Information Form in late summer. This document describes our church and the expectations we have for the position of minister. Once it was posted, we began to receive PIFs.
  2. Personal Information Forms (PIFs) which describes the qualifications and expectations of the prospective minister. Each PNC member reads each PIF. We read more than 80 PIFs and selected about 20 prospects.  Due to the long search process, we decided to make a few “getting to know you” calls to some applicants who had applied months earlier. We found that several had already accepted other calls, a few had been electronically matched to us and were not interested in moving to California, and others were determined to not be a good match. This left us with a dozen viable candidates.
  3. As a group we reviewed at least one sermon from each candidate. We divided the reference calls between the members of the committee and shared the results via email, and then discussed each at the next meeting. We narrowed the pool down to 5 prospective ministers.
  4. We conducted our first skype interviews via the internet in late January. With a few follow up interviews the following month. After which, we further narrowed our selections and requested presbytery to presbytery reference checks.
  5. Today, we are that the point where the PNC will invite prospective pastors to come to San Jose for an approximate two-day visit in which they will become acquainted with our physical plant and the Silicon Valley community, preach in a “neutral” pulpit selected by Presbytery, and participate in a formal interview.
  6. What will happen next is Choosing the Nominee, Extending the Invitation, and Negotiating the Terms of Call. All of these steps are conducted by the PNC; though concerning the salary package we do have guidelines from the Session.
  7. Finally: From Nomination to Installation.

•The candidate must be approved by the Examinations Commission of the Presbytery before the congregational meeting can be held to issue the call.
•Session needs to call a congregational meeting to vote on the call.
•Once both approve, our new pastor may begin ministry in our midst.
•The minister will be enrolled as an active member of the Presbytery of San Jose.
•Finally, the minister will be ordained and/or installed.
The upshot of this Presbyterian process is that you will vote on your next minister having neither seen nor heard that person. You have invested a great deal of responsibility and trust in the members of the PNC. You can see why we strongly need your prayers as we try to discern the working of the Holy Spirit.
We appreciate those of you who have touched base with us asking about our search. If you have ever left a conversation feeling frustrated that we were not more specific in answering your questions, please remember that we are bound by confidentiality, which is so critical for the success of this process. Thank you for understanding this need. We also appreciate your continued prayers of support.
We are humbled by this responsibility. Please pray that we will be open to the work of the Holy Spirit which will strengthen us and guide us.

 

 

 

 


February 2016

Pastor’s Letter
REv. Nan Swanson

As I sat by my husband’s bed yesterday and everything had gone well with his hip replacement, I had a great sense of relief at the success of the surgery and joy at the prospect of renewed life for him.  But to get to that new sense of life, sometimes we have to go through some tough times.  When I pondered this, I thought that is like the Lenten Season of the church.  Some people think of it as depressing and dark, and, in a way, they are right.  Self examination is not an easy task and often it leads us through difficult places in order to come to the light of renewed understanding, of being free from that one thing with which we have wrestled.

It might be that we could use the story of Jacob wresting with the angel as our guide.  Jacob wrestled with the angel until the light of day. He wrestled with his fear and his guilt from the wrong he had done his brother.  At dawn, the angel blessed him and renamed him Israel to show that he was made new, but Jacob always walked with a limp to remind him of that experience.

We begin Lent with Ash Wednesday and receive the sign of the ashes, the sign of our mortality and in doing so we face death and all the things within us that bring us death instead of life.  By so doing, we can savor the life we have been given and realize that we want to live our lives fully, not half-heartedly, not imprisoned by guilt or fear, but live abundantly.  

Most of us can see where we are, realize we have work to do, and know where we would like to be.  The problem is that we don’t want to do the work it takes to get from A to Z, from Ash Wednesday to Easter.  I suggest we all open to God, asking the Spirit to show us the areas in our lives that need work and asking for the strength to work on them with God’s help…and God will be there to help.  Let us deepen in our relationship with God and clear the weeds from our inner lives, so that Easter can come and the seeds we have planted during Lent can come to full bloom.  I wish you a meaningful journey.  

We are planning Taize services on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. each week beginning the week after Ash Wednesday and ending the week before Holy Week.  These are beautiful services of light and song and peace that will nurture and strengthen you as you walk the path of Lent.  They are for you.  May we all grow in our faith and understanding.  
Blessings for the journey.

Dear Members of Foothill Presbyterian Church
Andrew Carter, Director of Music Ministry

My name is Andrew Carter, andI am your new Music Director.   I would like to take is opportunity to tell you a bit about myself.  I am a lifelong musician from a family of church musicians.  My grandmother was a church organist for most of her life, and my father has conducted church choirs and ensembles for as long as I can remember.  I suppose you can say that church music is in my blood.   Recently, my wife, ten year old daughter, my mother and I have relocated from Pasadena to the Santa Cruz Mountains.  We have moved into a small rural community where we are raising chickens, gardening and planting orchards.  Now with my home settled once again I feel fortunate to return to my true calling, music.

Beginning with violin lessons at the age of four, I have been singing, playing and composing music for over forty years.  For a number of years I pursued a career as an opera singer and was beginning to find success in that pursuit. However, after my wife and I were blessed with a child,  I realized this was no longer the life I desired. Following this realization, I returned to work in music ministry, and for the past ten years have had the opportunity to work and make music with two amazing congregations.  At Christ Lutheran in San Clemente I served as Music Minister to a lovely congregation.  It was there that I came to understandhow deeply music can serve a congregation and just how integral it is to the vision of a church.  

At First United Methodist Church in Pasadena,  I had the opportunity to work and learn underStephen Gothold, a wonderful Music Minister.  During these years I honed my skills as a singer, conductor, pianist, and leader.  Working closely with the entire worship team provided me opportunities to work withthe children's choirs, handbell choir, youth choirs, and the Chancel Choir/Orchestra.  

Feeling fortunate to be selected as Director of Music here at Foothill,  I have been pleased by the resources that are already in place here.  I have been struck by the skill of the bell choir and there commitment to each other and their ministry.  We will be calling upon them often to enhance our worship services.   I was pleasantly surprised by our relationship with the early music ensemble "Peralta",  I hope that we all understand how special it is to have them as part of our worship, and I hope we can begin a more collaborative relationship in the future.    Finally our choir, being a singer it is perhaps the choir that I am most excited to work with,  I am pleased with their skill and there commitment as well.  However, I do feel called to begin recruitment and bolster our ranks.
Their are many reasons why singing in a choir is good for both body and spirit.  For instance there are countless articles written to prove that singing can reduce depression, or that it is used to combat Alzheimer's.  In addition choir singing has been proven to lower stress, and increase the amount of endorphins in your body.  But to me,  I prefer to tell you that singing in a choir is fun, and that it is a great way to create long lasting friendships.   So I encourage all of you to come join us on Thursday nights.  I promise it to be a welcoming and a positive environment.   I promise to be a music director who understands the role of music as both art and ministry.  Believing that it is the act of making music that feeds the spirit,   I will work diligently to maintain what I know is a rich musical tradition and strive to grow its heritage into the future,  

New Elders and Deacons

In worship on the last Sunday of January, we were priviledged to ordain Yvonne Siegfied as a deacon.  Joining her were Carol Goedde and Dana Morina who were installed.  The newly elected ruling elders who were installed are Darlene Ristrim and Martha Belz.  Two ruling elders who were unable to be at worship that day are Harvey LeValley and Carol Tillman.  They will be installed at a later date.  Our new MEAC member is Udell Eby.  Sharon Rowser will continue as treasurer and Harvey LeValley (Class of 2018) and Bill Anderson (Class of 2018) will serve as Auditors.  Libby Moore, John Belz, Susan Anderson, and Woody Moore will be at large members elected by the congregation to serve on the nominating committee.  We thank all for their willingness to serve.  May the Holy Spirit empower you to do all that is needed for the work before you.


Second Sunday Lunch Hosts Jefferson Award Recipient Samina Sundas,  Sunday, February 14 following worship

At Second Sunday lunch in February, Valentine’s Day, we will be host to a speaker, Samina Sundas.  Samina is originally from Pakistan and comes to build bridges between Christian and Muslim.  In 2003, she founded American Muslim Voices, a grassroots, nonviolent, inclusive, civil, immigrant and human rights organization.  They build alliances with other groups to unite all under the umbrella of our common humanity, celebrating diversity and valuing all human beings.

The recipient of the Jefferson Award in 2006, Samina was chosen for her tireless work to promote understanding cross-culturally.  The Jefferson Award was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard of the American Institute for Public Service.  The award is the Nobel Prize for public and community service.  You won’t want to miss this conversation with this unique and gifted woman.

Resources for Reporting from January’s Human Trafficking Workshop

In January we welcomed Brian Wo from Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition to speak about how to recognize human trafficking and slavery in the Bay Area.  The following are resources for reporting and leaning more about this issue.  Hotline for reporting suspected human trafficking and slavery:  1-888-3737-888 or 1-888-373-7888
Information on how American’s unwittingly support slavery can be found at slaveryfootprint.org.
Information about fair trade that supports living wage, not slavery, betterworldshopper,org

IMMANUEL HOUSE for Refugees
Pat Plant

We're now in our sixth month of being open, and third month of actually hosting refugees. We now have eight residents - all from Afghanistan. All the men were translators for the American military.   These folks are enthusiastic, resilient and eager to blend into American life.  Three have jobs already and the rest will follow soon. We eat each night as a family and many of the folks cook delicious Afghani food.
Come visit!  We are looking for people to occasionally bring us dinner and stay and talk to the people (even though they know a lot of English they need conversation practice.)  We could also use some grocery donations periodically.  Contact me for details. - Pat Plant, 408-702-0785, pat.plant@gmail.com
Immanuel House, 68 S. 11th St., San Jose

January 2106 Session Meeting Re Cap

  • There was one action item from the Building and Grounds committee, asking that they be allowed to act as a negotiator for contracting with Solar City for the placement of solar panels on the Sanctuary and Office buildings.  It was approved.
  • The financial report showed that our receipts were $31,048and expenses $24,320.
  • There was a reminder that Bob Butziger's Memorial Service will be on Feb. 13, 2016, 2 p.m., at Los Gatos Pres Church.
  • The baptism of Rose and Lily Matthews was approved for Sunday, Feb.14.  Taize services will be held on 5 Thursday nights at 6:30p.m. in the sanctuary during Lent.
  • Reminder that Presbytery will meet on January 23.  Our session retreat will be Feb.27 at Los Gatos
  • Christian Education reported on Story Time which will begin on January 23 at 4 p.m.
  • New Choir Director, Andrew Carter started January 12.  He is a real asset.
  • Second Sunday Lunch:
    •     February 14:  Host Preschool Board and FCCS.
    •     March 13:  Host Mission Committee
    •     April 10:  Host Christian Ed
    •     July 10:  FCCS
  • Pastor Nominating Committee has narrowed the top 10 candidates down to top 3.
  • The new Ruling Elders were welcomed: Darlene Ristrim, Carol Tillman, Harvey LeValley, and Martha Belz.  Installation will be Sunday January 31, for both elders and deacons
  • A Congregational Meeting will be held January 31 to elect 2 more at-large members from the congregation to the Nominating Committee (Elected were Susan Anderson and Woody Moore)
  • New water meters will be purchased by Building and Grounds to monitor the amount of water used in the Dog Park and the Community Garden.
  • Next communion will be February 7.

John Philip Newell Speaking at Westhope Presbyterian Church

John Philip Newell will be at Westhope Presbyterian Church Thursday, February 11 from 6-9 p.m.  John Philip Newell was head of the Iona Community in Scotland.  Iona, an island just off the western coast of Scotland, is the spiritual heart of the Presbyterian Church.  After a brief Taize style service he will speak about his book, The Rebirthing of God.  From the Introduction to the book:  “The walls of Western Christianity are collapsing.  In many parts of the West that collapse can only be described as seismic…There are three main responses of reactions to this collapse.  The first is to deny that it is happening.  The second is to frantically try to shore up the foundations of the old thing.  The third, which I invite us into, is to ask what is trying to be born that requires a radical reorientation of our vision.  What is the new thing that is trying to emerge from deep within us and from deep within the collective soul of Christianity?”  This is a great opportunity to hear someone with a deep soul speak to a vision for the church and the future.  (Suggested donation: $20)

Liturgist Training


There will be a liturgist training after church on April 17th.  Anyone who is interested in being a liturgist is welcome to come.  We will talk about the proper approach to worship as a liturgist, give tips on speaking clearly, and let you try it out on the microphone so you can get some experience.  Come join us after church April 28th.  It is a good way to serve this church family and it is good to see a great variety of people participating.  We are the Body of Christ together.  A light lunch will be served.

Foothill Community Concert Series
Looking for Band Recommendations


The concert series committee would like help finding Spanish-language bands and Asian bands (Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese). We prefer local bands. We don't have anybody on the committee who is familiar with these music genres and we want to get quality musicians.  So if you know any bands that fit this description, or any suggestions where we can go to look, please let us know.

Reading Program Poised for Growth

The new FPC Story Time kicked off with four very excited children in attendance, two preschoolers and two first graders.  The story “Rechenka’s Eggs” had some tough words in it, like “quilt,” but the children were undaunted. They asked lots of questions and pointed out many details in the beautiful drawings. After the story, the children did some drawing of their own, while volunteers, including two teenagers, Elizabeth Kromrey and Alex Betts, helped transcribe the children’s comments about their artwork. Their parents and one grandmother, all Vietnamese, seemed as excited as the children.

During the next few months, we’ll be working with the community to increase the number of children who participate.  If you are interested in volunteering as a reader, please contact Nancy Leonard to schedule a time to read.  You can talk with Peg Nickl or Julie Cline to get tips on how to present your story. There is also a flyer with tips for readers in the top drawer of the lefthand lateral file in the library. (The lateral files are located under the window between the library and the sanctuary.) Along with the flyer, you’ll find art supplies, stickers, pipe cleaners and other things to make story time fun. The closer we can come to a one-on-one reading experience for every child, the more impactful our program will be. The more fun the children (and their parents) have, the more likely they will be to come back each week.

Story hour begins at 4PM on Saturday afternoons. It’s easy to help out.  Just come and be ready to read a story and talk about it with the kids—in English.  The children are eager.  Their energy will lift your spirits and remind you, that even for the person offering help, giving is about receiving.

Report on Presbytery Meeting at Foothill, January 23

You all did a superb job with the Presbytery Meeting:  Darlene Ristrim and Sharon Rowser’s organizing skills,  the Geezers’ set-up, Peg’s arrangements, the Deacons’ coffee, the lovely Psalm, sung by Andrew, Mary Jane Judge for the organ, Fred for set-up, the desserts for lunch, the welcoming sense of all of you, and the wonderful food by the Thai Fellowship!  It made for a very good day.  You can feel proud of yourselves!
Some items of interest from the Financial Report;

  1. The recent monies from dismissing churches has been 1,800,000 with 1,300,000 more to come.
  2. Major financial “loss” to the presbytery from these churches is in Per Capita since we lost about 4500 members.  The presbytery now has 5,800 members, churches now number 31 rather than 42.  That means Foothill will have more commissioners in order to balance Ruling Elders (lay persons) and Teaching Elders (ministers).
  3. The Council of Presbytery is working on a new mission statement for our new situation and how these changes will affect staffing.  No changes until the mission statement and staffing studies are complete.
  4. The Presbytery usually receives about $400,000 per year in interest, etc.  From that $200,000 was used to balance the Mission and Ecclesiastical Budgets.
  5. Summary: The Presbytery is fine, but not out of the words yet.  In comparison, other Presbyteries across the country have had to cut staff dramatically, change mission program, vacate offices, and still raise their Per Capita.
  6. Thanks be to God for the healthy state of this Presbytery!

Other items of interest:
Kaleidoscope Stewardship Conference is February 29-March 2 in San Antonio.
The reading of Session Records will be March 12 at Santa Teresa Hills Presbyterian Church, 9-12.

Statistical Reports due Feb.13, 2016.

We voted not to reconfigure synods.

Our Presbytery Executive, Joey Lee, addressed the Presbytery as a sort of “State of the Presbytery” message.  Here are some highlights:
The monies we accrue from dismissed churches will go to three areas:  congregational development, mission, and presbytery support in light of lost per capita.  Specific amounts have not been determined by Council yet.  We are asking the questions: “Who are we?  Who is God calling us to be?  What is the purpose of Presbytery?”  At the Presbytery in November commissioners met in groups to lend their thoughts to the questions.  We are trying to think creatively, outside the box, and to risk.  Gil Rendle and Alice Mann in their book “Holy Conversations” talk about vision as Meaning We Make Together.  Joey quote:  “We cannot be a loose network of congregations, bound together by a common desire not to attend more meetings!”  We are one church, organized in congregations in this geographic area, bound by our commitment to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, and committed to doing things with decency and order.  We strive to connect with one another, the wider church, our community and our world.  We seek to share our resources.  We seek to support one another in our common ministries and to encourage one another in our unique ministries.  Our commitment to mission should be connected to our commitment to justice.  He concluded with this:  “In my office I have a print by the Chinese artist He Qi entitled ‘Peace be still.’  It depicts Jesus in the boat with the disciples, calming the storm.  You recall that amidst the fear, Jesus does not ask ‘Have you no courage?’  Rather he asks, ‘Have you no faith?’”  He closed with the charge and benediction given by Grayde Parsons, Stated Clerk of GA:

Get in the boat.  Go to the other side.  There will be a storm.  You will not perish.

History of the Presbyterian Church Pt.2

For more than 300 years the chief center of Presbyterianism in Europe has been Scotland.  The hero of the Reformation in Scotland was John Knox.  His call came as he and a company of Christians were being besieged by the French in the Castle of St. Andrews.  The preacher of the small group charged him with his calling and he never forsake it even though the French won the day and Knox ended up rowing a French galley for 19 months and then was exiled for another 12 years.  

When he returned the small band of Protestants had turned into a whole country ripe for Reformation, so that in 1560 the Scottish Parliament abolished Roman Catholicism and Presbyterianism became the religion of the land.  Rough times followed under the next three rulers.  In 1637 a prayer book was ordered that was more Catholic than the English Prayer Book (Episcopalian).  When it was introduced in a service in St. Giles’ Church, Edinburgh, legend says that Janet Geddes picked up the stool on which she had been sitting and threw it at the clergyman’s head.

Others followed suit. The following year after a great gathering of ministers, nobles, gentry and peasants in old Greyfriars’ Church, agreeing to a “National Covenant,” the first Scottish General Assembly met and rejected all the Episcopalian elements, vowing to return to their original Presbyterianism.  After King Charles was executed, Cromwell ruled, followed by Charles II.  He, again, tried to transform Scottish Presbyterianism into Episcopalianism, but the Scots responded by 400 Scottish pastors refusing to submit to the new regulations.  The greatest resisters were the Covenanters who charged that Charles violated the National Covenant which they regarded as covenants with God and as social contracts that made up the foundation of the Scottish government.  This situation was saved by the entrance of William of Orange, and his wife Mary to the English throne.  William had been reared in the Reformed (Presbyterian) church of Netherlands and was sympathetic to the Scots.  A year after 1688 when William and Mary took the throne the Scottish Parliament declared Presbyterianism to be the official religion of Scotland.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

Reach out in friendship and encourage the lonely. -T. Gustafson

his month has been extremely busy. We have snow-birds, which are people from the north who come to live in FL for the winter months. It has made the streets more congested, our hospital is full to capacity, and everyone is working harder these days until May.  Our on-calls are a week at a time. Each Chaplain has on-call with a Priest but it’s the responsibility of the Chaplain to filter all calls. My week with the Priest was great. We had a total of one call and it was for the Priest. Even though the phone does not ring, you still have difficulty trying to sleep because you’re always wondering if the phone rings and you can’t hear it!!

Work at the hospital
I am still visiting my critical care patients (32) each morning and it continues to be a blessing for the patients, families, and clinical staff. Now the nurses are thanking me for what I do and how much I care for my patients. Many of my patients are intubated, some have had tracheotomies, and some have had serious strokes or open heart surgery. So, I call each person by name, talk to them, and say a prayer based on their faith tradition. I then leave a note with a nice message for family members, if they are not visiting at the time families have come to rely on it and when I see them, they share how much it means to them that I do this.

When a woman (76) from Cuba was visiting her son for a month, she became sick,  and was rushed to the hospital. She was immediately rushed to critical care. She coded three times, the physician explained to her son that they had given her all the medicine her body could receive. They were trying everything but the press on her chest was not doing her any good and she had been shocked once to no avail.  He was devastated and asked the physician to try a few more minutes and then stop if she didn't respond. they stopped and the physician asked the staff to clean her up and then her son could spend time with her. He asked if I would join him and I sat with him for a long time. He has not seen his mom in a long time and his gift to her was to spend month with him.  She had been in Miami for a few days.

A 36 yo married woman had lupus, it flared up and she was rushed to the hospital. I spent time with her and her husband in ER and we all had hopes that she would be transferred to critical care. Her breathing became labored and she was intubated and never left ER. Her cousin who is a Priest was visiting and was teary because of her decline. I called our Priest to come help him with the Anointing of her body before she died. She coded eight times and her husband could not let go. He shared that they had 4 year old twins and had not been inMiami long-they had lived in Puerto Rico.

When a man (60’s) was standing outside one of the trauma bay in ER, he seemed anxious. I introduced myself to him and he said, “I wish I had never been born. My mom is sick again and I keep having to bring her to the hospital and I just don’t like it.” I asked how I could be of comfort to him at the moment and he said, “unless you are a doctor and heal her, there is nothing you can do or say to me so leave us alone.” I said how sorry I was he had to come back but I would be here if he needed anything and gave him space. His siblings arrived shortly and was able to console him.

A man in his 40’s was in critical care and it was determined that he needed a blood transfusion due to his sickle cell pain crisis. I met him mom and sister, they asked me to pray, and later in the afternoon there were complications and he died. It affected his mom and she had to be rushed to ER to get treated.

Most of my visits are pleasant but I still visit unless someone says otherwise. Most people are happy to have someone else there with them. Some struggle with many things that have been bothering them for a period of time. The most important things for me is to be there for everyone, if they want it.


January 2016

Pastor's Letter
Rev. Nan Swanson

Dear Companions on the Way,

Joan Chittister, a very wise woman, wrote:
“A year is nothing but the amount of time it takes for the earth to go completely around the sun before it begins the trip all over again. The completion of a year, then, is not a sign that things are ending. It is more the realization that life repeats itself unendingly. We have a chance to do everything again: better this time, more comfortably this time, more joyfully this time.”Though the first part of that quote is factual, the last part captures how I feel as I contemplate the close of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.  I am struck by the feelings that accompany new beginnings.  There is always such hope at beginnings. 

Ted Loder writes in his Guerrillas of Grace:
“O God of beginnings, as your Spirit moved over the face of the deep on the first day of creation, move with me now in my time of beginnings, when the air is rain-washed, the bloom is on the bush, and the world seems fresh and full of possibilities, and I feel ready and full…the wonder of it lays its finger on my lips.  In silence, Lord, I share now my eagerness and my uneasiness about this something different I would be or do; and I listen for your leading to help me separate the light from the darkness in the change I seek to shape and which is shaping me.”  I love this poem as it seems to capture my feelings at beginnings.  What are we to be and do as followers of Christ?  What is our call in this year of our Lord, 2016?  That is something we might all ponder as we enter this new year.

Practically, Elizabeth O’Connor from Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C., suggests that we have journaling parties to help us reflect on our lives in 2015, so that we have some self-knowledge to apply to the living of 2016.  Here are some of her suggestions:  What were the events of each season?  What took place in your home relations? work relations? church relations?  What events captured your attention in happenings around the world? Who were the significant people in your life?  What books, art, or music spoke to you? Did you make any discoveries about yourself?  How were you a gift to a person, community, or institution?  What brought you joy?  Sorrow? Learnings? Regrets?  Did you grow in your capacity to be a person in community?  Did you have enough time apart?    She has two pages of questions to consider, but this should get you going.  I hope you all take some time to reflect because in reflection is growth.  As we reflect individually, we strengthen our community as a whole.

As we move forward together as the Body of Christ in this place and for this time, let us consider our context for ministry, let us consider God’s call on our lives, and let us build a community that evidences the love of God to all.

Celebration of Life for Bob Butziger

There will be a service of celebration for the life of Bob Butziger on Saturday, February 13 at 2PM at Los Gatos Presbyterian Church, 16575 Shannon Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95032.

Welcome Andrew Scott Carter

The Music Director Selection Committee and the Session are delighted to announce our new Music Director, Andrew Scott Carter.  Not only is he skilled musically, but he is a community builder.  Married, he and his wife have an 11 year old daughter.  They live near Scotts Valley.  Andrew comes to us with references that could not recommend him too highly.  Not only has he directed music in churches, he has taught vocal instruction at the University of Santa Cruz and directed and sung in opera in southern California.  He plays piano, guitar and electric bass.  In addition, he has taught private and group vocal lessons and coached singers along with composing.  He and our Interim Music Director will overlap the week of January 12th.  Please welcome him warmly.

Goodbye to Susan Nace

We have had the privilege of having Susan Nace as our Interim Music Director for three months now.  If we could keep her, we would, but, unfortunately, she has a full time job as Choral Director at Harker in San Jose.  Susan's gifts are many.  Not only is she a gifted musician, but she is organized, and, above all, gracious.  Let me use some of her own words to give you a sense of who she is.  This is from a letter to the choir and bell choir after Festival of Carols:  "For the patience and forbearance you have extended to me as an interim, I am grateful.  The right person or persons will come to lead you as minister(s) of music.  I believe collaborative work is the most empowering and meaningful."  Susan is a remarkable person and we have been fortunate to have her in our midst.

PNC News

Nancy Leonard, co-chairman PNC

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has narrowed our search to less than ten viable candidates and we are now interviewing the top five.  So far we have interviewed one very promising prospect and are continuing to interview by Skype or Facetime the others on successive Thursdays. In addition we will be doing background checks on those in whichwe are truly interested.   Keep tuned for more news next month.

Degreening, Saturday, January 16

You are invited to join us in taking down all the Christmas Decorations on Saturday, January 16th at 10 a.m.  We had such a great turn out for putting them up, we're hoping that you will come in force to removed the decorations.  It is much easier to take down, than to put up.  The more hands we have, the more fun we have, and the lighter the work.  We should be done by noon...depending on how many answer this call.

Christmas Joy Offering

For more than 80 years, Presbyterians have given generously at Christmas to lift up those who’ve devoted their lives to the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). On December 21 Foothill collected $405 for this offering. The Christmas Joy Offering is shared equally by the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides much-needed assistance to PC(USA) church workers and their families, and Presbyterian-affiliated racial ethnic schools and colleges, which enable students to develop their gifts and find their calling. Since God is an equal opportunity One, it is appropriate that we give to make equality more of a reality here on earth.

Per Capita increased to $40 for 2016

Happy New Year!   I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.  The Stewardship Committee is hopeful that one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2016 is to promptly pay your per capita. 

What is per capita?  It is a set amount of money per member that congregations pay to the larger Presbyterian Church at the beginning of each year to share in the responsibility for coordinating and performing the functions of our shared system of government.  The amount is set by the Presbytery and the funds are distributed to the Presbytery, the Synod, and the General Assembly with the majority staying with our San Jose Presbytery.  Locally, these funds support the operations of the Presbytery, including their training and support for our local congregations.  The funds going to the General Assembly pay for all of the costs of hosting the General Assembly, including transportation and room and board for participants, thus allowing participants to attend regardless of their financial circumstances.  Funds also cover the costs for the production (in multiple languages) and distribution of the Book of Order, The Book of Confessions, and other GA publications. 

We are asking this year for $40 per member above and beyond your pledge.  Your support last year was terrific and we are hoping for a similar response this year; otherwise, Foothill is obligated to pay our apportionment from our general funds, reducing our ability to pay our bills.

We trust that you will prayerfully consider this request.

Thank you,
The Stewardship Committee

Foothill Mission Recap 2015

Carol McManus, moderator

Mission at Foothill was very active and accomplished a lot in 2015!! Some of our activities and accomplishments follow.

In January we collected over 60 coats and jackets for the homeless. They were distributed by Front Door Ministry and Women’s Gathering Place at First Presbyterian. Children’s jackets and miscellaneous items were donated to Sacred Heart.

In April – Our youth group and at least half a dozen adults walked in the annual South Bay Crop Walk. We raised over $1000 and out-raised some larger and more affluent churches – great job Foothill!!

In August Mission hosted the Second Sunday lunch and Teen Challenge. TC shared their stories during worship and joined the congregation for lunch in Fellowship Hall. August also saw the implementation of ‘Buck a Month’, a monthly focus on Missions that alternates between local, national and global missions. The Minute for Mission highlights the featured mission and the congregation has the opportunity to support that mission by dropping a ‘buck’ (or more!) in a bucket in the Narthex as they leave church or enjoy the coffee hour. Mission committee will kick in $50 ‘seed’ money towards that months particular mission. The August mission was missionaries Steve and Brenda Stelle and their school in Ethiopia. Also in August a local mission excursion was organized on short notice to help with final preparations for the opening of Immanuel House and the Open House the weekend before the official start of business. Carol M, John, and Darlene lined dresser drawers and Jane, Laurie and Sue L brought over food for the Open House. Darlene and Sharon R transported and set out the afghans created by Foothill Fineries. Jane, Sue, Sharon and Gay acted as hostesses for the Open House. 

The September Buck a Month raised $147 for Inn Vision with help from the youth group flea market sales.

In conjunction with Worship Committee celebrating Children's Sunday in October, Mission committee decided for the October Buck a Month to fund a scholarship for science camp at McCollam School in San Jose. (Church member Julia Bargas is a teacher there.) Almost $300 was raised, which was enough for one scholarship!

Late October and early November saw a few members of Foothill attending mission oriented soup suppers at First Pres downtown San Jose. Topics covered were Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), ending homelessness and human trafficking. As a result of these dinners, in particular the one on human trafficking, Foothill will be hosting a workshop in January on recognizing the signs of human trafficking and how to report it. This is right before the Super Bowl is played right here in the Bay Area; the Super Bowl is one of the largest magnets for human traffickers.

In December we sponsored the Alternative Giving Market held over several Sundays and during Festival of Carols. Jennifer Stevenson coordinated this effort and even built a felt ‘fireplace’ in the Narthex to hold the stockings for the various charities selected. The total raised for nine charities was $2,765.11! Great job Jennifer!

As we enter the new year, Mission is exploring possible mission opportunities at San Jose Family Shelter, College of Adaptive Arts (one of our alternative market beneficiaries), and Habitat for Humanity. If you have any other ideas, please let us know!!

Learn More About Human Trafficking

Mission Committee is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a workshop “Human Trafficking 101” here at Foothill onWednesday January 20, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Brian Wo from the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC) will lead this approx. 1 hour workshop in recognizing signs of human trafficking and how/where to report it. Sporting events like the Super Bowl, to be held right herein the Bay Area in just a few weeks, are magnets for human trafficking. BAATC and other local organizations are training local venue staff (hotels, restaurants etc) in recognizing signs of human trafficking. You and your neighbors can be additional eyes and ears to detect this scourge.  The workshop is open to the community so invite your friends and neighbors to attend with you. So we can have enough handouts (and refreshments!!), an RSVP to the church office would be appreciated.

Living Water International

Our Christmas Eve Offering of $470.00 went to aid Living Water International which exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water

In 1990, LWI set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Christ by serving the poorest of the poor. More than a billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day. At least 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water.

For all practical purposes, these statistics refer to the same people; around the world, communities are trapped in debilitating poverty because they constantly suffer from water-related diseases and parasites, and/or because they spend long stretches of their time carrying water over long distances.

In response to this need, LWI implement participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. Since it started, they’ve completed more than 15,000 water projects.

It all began with a group from Houston, Texas, who traveled to Kenya and saw the desperate need for clean drinking water. They returned to Houston and founded a 501(c)3 non-profit. The fledgling organization equipped and trained a team of Kenyan drillers, and LWI Kenya began operations the next year under the direction of a national board. That pattern continues today; LWI trains, consults, and equips local people to implement solutions in their own communities in the 21 countries where we work.

They also lead hundreds of volunteers on mission trips each year, working with local communities, under the leadership of nationals, to implement water projects.

“Souper Bowl” Sunday

The first Sunday of February the Super Bowl will be played right up the road in Santa Clara. Let’s also make it “Souper” Bowl Sunday and bring soup or other canned food to help the hungry in our area. Deposit your canned donations in the box in the Narthex that Sunday and they will be transported to the Lord’s Pantry for distribution. Thank you!!

Story Time for English Proficiency

In January Foothill embarks on a new outreach program to children of the area.  As a reading program to help build language skills, it is entitled "Story Time".  We have put up flyers in two libraries and have been approved to give flyers to children through the schools.  Our target group is children aged 5, 6, and 7.  The flyer has been translated into Spanish and Vietnamese.  It is free and we hope it helps children trying to improve their language skills.  The program begins January 23, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the library.  All those wonderful books we acquired recently are going to good use.  If you have children's books at home that are no longer in use, we would love to have some to give away to children who attend.  Please bring them to worship on Sunday.

Adult Education Series on Worship

Your Christian Education Committee headed by Bertha Nelson has scheduled an adult study series beginning Wednesday, January 27th at 7 p.m. in the library.  The topic is Worship.  Xiwei presented a devotional after the decorating of the church and talked about some of the aspects of worship.  People seems really interested in knowing what the colors of the season are, the movement of the liturgical year, etc.  In response to this interest, Nan gave a children's sermon about the meaning of the liturgical colors and got a number of responses from adults who were glad to have that information.  So, we decided to give a class lasting 5 weeks.  Nan participated in a three year study on the national level with about 25 ministers chosen from across the country to consider the topic:  "The Pastor as Liturgical Theologian".   In the early 1990's when the new Book of Common Worship was presented to the church, she was asked to do the training for the Daily Prayer section.  The Book of Order makes worship central to the life of the church.  Of the six "Great Ends of the Church" three have to do with worship.  We'll talk about the elements of worship, the sacraments, the rhythm of the church year, prayer, the call to service.  The more we know about worship, the richer the experience of worship will be.  Bring your questions and let's discover together the rich tradition of our church

Preschool Christmas Program

Jan Miller

If you had driven by Foothill Church on Friday,     December 18 you might have wondered what you were missing.  Families, moms, dads, grandparents, aunties and uncles and children were streaming into the church. Why?   It was the annual Preschool; Christmas program.  When all the children had arrived they marched into the church to sing for us.  They stood as still as excited children can and sang with gusto and joyfulness.  The audience was as excited as the children. 

Following the performance we all preceded to Fellowship Hall for well deserved treats.  Preschool families visited, children excitedly played together, and we all enjoyed all the wonderful Christmas treats.

As the evening wound down and tired parents began gathering up their children, several took time to find a board member and express how pleased they were with the Preschool.  These comments validate my feelings that your session made the correct decision when they voted to start a Preschool at Foothill over 19 years ago.  Perhaps next year you would like to join us in this wonderful celebration of Christmas.

Acolytes, Angels, and Nativity Players

The 2015 Festival of Carols began with acolytes, Rose Johnson, Lauriana Trahan, and Molly and Lucy Tedeschi, “bringing in the light”.  In purple gowns with circlets of silk and golden stars in their hair, the acolytes illuminated the center aisle of the sanctuary with Christmas wreathes wrapped in glowing stars.  They were graceful and swift and difficult to photograph.
 

Acolytes in a blur of motion  

Acolytes in a blur of motion

 

Behind the scenes, stage crew Henry and Marty Nickl finished the procession of light by illuminating the poinsettias above the stained glass windows that lined the sanctuary.

Continuing the theme of bringing light, our kids passed out candles to everyone in the sanctuary in preparation of singing Silent Night by candle light in the courtyard in front of the children’s nativity and watched over by our angels.