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 worshipping 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,

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,

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,

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

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.

Acolytes and Angels: Rose Johnson, Lauriana Trahan, Molly and Lucy Tedeschi, Emily Maya; Mary: Renee Boe,
Joseph: Benjamin Marino, Magi: Bronson, Edmund and Matthew Stevenson; Shepherds: Zantiago Maya, Matthew Masini,
Stage Crew: Henry and Marty Nickl


December 2015

Pastor’s Letter
REv. Nan Swanson

Dear Ones,
Here we are in Advent!  This Sunday will be the Second Sunday of this most Holy of seasons.  We had about 25 people join us for the Greening of the Church last Saturday.  It was a wonderful day as we transformed the sanctuary with the beautiful wooden medallions that were given in memory of Robert Banks.  Purple banners and the Advent wreath decked out in its three purple candles, one pink, and one white add to the beauty.  Finally the blue banners with the star and the manger complete the scene.

Poinsettias will be added soon.  You can reserve a poinsettia in memory of a loved one.  The narthex is all dressed up with its purple ornaments and evergreens, the Christen Tree, and gorgeous wreath.  Be sure to check out the nativity scenes in the narthex cabinet.  The Fellowship Hall has a tree and greens with ornaments.  Our physical space is prepared for the great celebration of Christ’s birth.  If Dostoyevsky is right when he says that “Beauty will save the world,”  we have done our part.

How about our inner space?  Have we been making it beautiful as well?  Have we worked at clearing away our inner clutter?  Hard to do in the season of busy-ness, you say?  Yes, there are certainly many things that claim our attention, but we still have the inner work to do.  The more we clear away that which keeps us from being all God cre-ated us to be, the more meaningful our Christmas experience will be.  As Saint Ephraim the Syrian wrote, “O Lord and master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power and idle talk.  But give to thy servant rather the spirit of humility, patience and love.”  How do we accomplish that re-ordering of our lives?  Come to worship.  Take an Advent Devotional Calendar…and use it.  Come to the Festival of Carols and bring friends.  Think about doing without some of the distractions that take our minds and hearts away from the real meaning of Christmas.  Do something for someone in need.  Join me for Daily Prayer on Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m.  Claim your giftedness and your belovedness…both are gifts from God.  Let us find God’s gift of joy and peace and love in everything the season provides: lights, evergreens, poinsettias, friendship, beauty, and one another.

What strikes me most about this season is the sense of wonder.  How in the darkest part of the year, no matter what is going on with us or what is going on in the world, the Light of the World will be born anew in us, for us, with us.  The darkness will not over-come this light…and the light is for all.  Let us open ourselves that this light might be born in us this Christmastide.  Blessings to all in this season of blessedness.

Meet Earl Hardy, Our Newest Member

My name is Earl Hardy.  I grew up in the greater Sacramento area and attended U. C. Davis, graduating with a degree in History.  There I met my future wife Margaret, a South Bay native, and we've been together close to 40 years now.  We moved to San Jose in 1985, and to our present home next to the church close to thirteen years ago. In that span of time our home has become overrun with rather persnickety felines.

I am a commercial HVAC technician as well as a certified general electrician. In my younger days I was a distance runner, now I bicycle for exercise and enjoyment.  I belong to the South Bay writers club and am an aspiring but very amateur novelist.  Walking my cats around the church grounds has allowed me to meet and get to know members of this church.  I was impressed with the genuine community focus of this church and would be honored to be a member.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All:
A New Festival of Carols
Friday, December 11, 7:00 p.m.
Susan Nace, Interim Music Director

Please bring your voices and hearts to join us on Friday, December 11, at 7:00 p.m. for an evening of Christmas celebration with a concert and reception!

Creating this year’s festival will be the Chancel Choir and Glory Ringers Bells; soloists Carol Tillman, with Laurie Andrade, and Libby Moore; and guitarist Bill Leonard. Joining the community’s musicians in the concert will be guest musicians of the Santa Theresa High School Guitarists, Voice of the Valley Singers, the Peralta Consort, singer/pianist Bernard Smith, and trumpeter Jack Farnham. Leading the reception entertainment will be pianist Bill Andersen and Ukulele Scramble directed by Dawn Imada.

Entitled “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All,” the Festival of Carols Committee envisioned this year’s carol festival as a program of sacred Christmas music in the sanctuary followed by an after-concert reception with secular Christmas carols in Fellowship Hall. As Julie Cline, Concert Series coordinator, describes it, “This year, what I would like our Festival to share with the community is that sense of wonder and delight the presence of a newborn brings to all of us—with an added dash of sparkle and greenery to celebrate the season and its music!”

What else will make this festival different?  Acolytes will “bring in the light” in the opening processional.  This year’s acolytes will be: Rose Johnson, Lucy Tedeschi, Molly Tedeschi, and Lauriana Trahan. Most important, there will be community singing of traditional Christmas Carols throughout the concert, with the Chancel Choir leading the congregational carols, adding their unique harmonies and sparkle from arrangements by Susan Nace. Our skillfully talented Ilki Lee will accompany most of the carols on the organ, and the Peralta Consort, under the direction of Kraig Williams, will provide the accompaniment to the quieter carols. A young, talented trumpeter, Jack Farnham, will embellish the final carol with his trumpet flourishes.  Then the choirs and concert-goers will recess to the courtyard for a traditional children’s nativity.  Renee Boe, Benjamin Marino, Edmund and Bronson Stevenson, Matthew Masini, Emily and Zantiago Maya, Molly and and Lucy Tedeschi, Rose Johnson and Lauriana Trahan will play the parts.  Henry and Marty Nickl have volunteered to be stage hands.

Part of the envisioning is to move the Festival of Carols from the purview of the Concert Series Committee into that of the Worship Committee next year. Thus, the programming of sacred music is an important first step in that transition.  However, the committee did not want to do away with the fun of the secular carols, deciding the reception would be a wonderful place for those songs.  Bring your Santa hats, elf ears, reindeer antlers, and jingle bells to the reception!

We All Need this Festival of Carols (a personal note from Susan Nace)

The Festival of Carols is an important celebration for the congregation and a significant gift to our East Side community. We all need the Festival of Carols: to sing the songs joy, hope, new life, to share in celebration with each other. To me, Christmas is the hushed awe of the miracle of new life, the deep gratitude of a gift given to us, the celebration with each other of a Kingdom that is built upon peace and righteousness.

As the Festival of Carols Committee conversed with me in the past few weeks, we purposed together to make this evening about peace and goodwill to ALL people.  It is difficult to celebrate in a time of what seems to be universal violence and the fear it engenders.

So many in our world, our community, and our families, have experienced violence to their hearts, souls, and bodies. The suffering and sorrow of our world are immense. But, to quote Leonard Bernstein, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly, than ever before.”

Music is a powerful medium to gently open the ears of those who are in sorrow, rage, despair, hopelessness, and discouragement so they can imagine new beginnings. To do so with the love and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this holy season, is a privilege!

May you hear the words of “comfort and joy” that you need to hear through this Festival of Carols. May the comfort dispel the fear that is brooding over us. May the joy transform our perspectives so that we can see the love and grace that surround us.

A Couple of Things We Need For Festival of Carols

We are in need of a string of white Christmas lights and two 12 to 15 inch baskets with handles.  If you are able to lend or donate these items, please contact the church office.

Alternative Giving Market

Support local and global charities this Christmas by shopping at our Alternative Giving Market.   This year we have two ways to support charity:
Donation Gifts
What to get for the person who has everything?  The warm fuzzy feeling of helping those in need! To make a donation gift, simply place a donation in the stocking for the charity of your choice. Be sure to take a donation card to give to your giftee, this card represents your donation and provides more information about the charity. Also, take a flyer about the charity for even more information about how the donation will be used.
Shop Artisan Goods
Members of the local arts group East Valley Artists have donated some wares in support of a variety of charities. From jewelry, to ornaments, to paintings, there’s a gift for everyone on your list in our Alternative Giving Market!

This year our Market supports the following charities:

  • 13th Street Cats Rescue – a San Jose, volunteer based, animal rescue organization
  • African AIDs Angels – an outreach focused on assisting orphans and others affected by AIDs in Africa
  • Alum Rock Park Restoration Project – a group working to protect and restore the parks’ plants and trails
  • Bus Passes for the Homeless Program – an outreach to the homeless in San Jose
  • College for the Adaptive Arts – a school in SJ providing courses for adults of differing abilities
  • The Front Door – an outreach meal program for the needy in downtown San Jose
  • The Lord’s Pantry – an Alum Rock area food bank
  • MercyCorps’ work for Syrian Refugees- an aid organization providing for the needs of Syrian Refugees
  • The Women’s Gathering Place – an outreach to homeless women in San Jose

PNC news
Nancy Leonard, co-chairperson

As mentioned before the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) meets weekly. We have now reviewed more than 70 resumes. Each resume (PIF's = pastor information forms) is graded by the committee as to 1, 2. or 3.  "One" is this person sounds like a good potential; "two" is a second level person, and "three" is a person in which we would have no interest.  Additionally, PIF's continue to straggle in and we are committed to look at all of them.

This week we began working on strategies for interviews. We are taking off the week of December 7 due to members being involved in the Festival of Carols. The following week we will begin telephone interviews with the top five people we ranked as number one.

Please keep the committee in your thoughts, prayers and hearts that we may find an excellent match for our church.

By Sue LeValley

Have you been in Room 9 this month and noticed the new blue chairs around the meeting table?  Nancy Leonard sent a proposal to MEAC for 30 new chairs in Room 9.  With the approval of Session we purchased them in honor of Charlie and Helen Klotz.  They are beautiful and comfortable.  They are to remain in Room 9 for meetings, events or classes.

How do you send a proposal to MEAC?
Prepare a proposal and research the supplier and the cost.
Write up the proposal and e-mail it to the chairperson of MEAC.
MEAC sends it to the appropriate committee for review, e.g. Building and Grounds (B&G)
The committee says yeah or nay and returns the request to MEAC.
MEAC meets and discusses the proposal.  If we approve, it becomes an Action Item for Session.
If Session approves the Action Item, the item is funded by MEAC.  
The funds come from the Permanent Endowment Fund dividends.  We get about $2000 to $3000 per year.
Next Month Memorials and Bequests.

The Peralta Consort

In service every Communion Sunday, the first Sunday of each month, Foothill is treated to the music of the Peralta Consort.  The group specializes in “early music”, (music composed before 1750), with most of its focus on music from the Baroque era (from 1600-1750).

The Peralta Consort is based at Foothill Presbyterian Church where they have been rehearsing in the sanctuary pretty much every Saturday morning since 2006.  The ensemble is: Kraig Williams (director, recorders), Michèle Kelly (recorders), Mike Megas (recorders, flute), Breene Yuen (baroque flute), Kathleen Thompson (violin), Jennifer Randolph (soprano, recorders), Kathy Warne (soprano), Petra Clark (cello), and Libby Kardontchik (harpsichord, organ).  It’s a group of people who come together when and as they can each week, because they love making music.  In March they will perform as part of the Flauti Dolci & Amici concert, and in May they will perform a full-program concert, both as part of the Foothill Concert Series.

The Lord’s Pantry Shopping List

The following is a list of items that the Lord’s Pantry is always in need of.  There is a special need for protein.  Please bring perishable food directly to the Lord’s Pantry, 121 South White, San Jose, CA 95127, Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Coffee Talk
Sunday, December 6 following worship

Foothill observed Domestic Violence Awareness Sunday on October 11, 2015.   Nan addressed the topic in her sermon, and the Worship Committee provided literature from the "Next Door" agency.  On Sunday, December 6, Bernadette White from Next Door will be our guest at the morning coffee hour in the library.  Please come and hear about the seriousness and extent of domestic violence in Santa Clara County and what services the county is providing for victims of this problem.

Congregational Meeting

A congregational meeting has been called by your session for the 20th of December following worship for the purpose of electing elders and deacons as well as changing Article IV of the by-laws to read:
"The board of deacons shall consist of nine deacons, divided into equal classes, one class of whom shall be elected each year at the annual meeting for a three-year term."  This is a change from 15 deacons, a huge number, even churches three times our size have only 12 deacons.

The Study of Worship
Nan Swanson, Interim Pastor

Is the table at which we celebrate communion an altar?  No, it is a communion table.  An altar denotes sacrifice, but our table is a celebration of the presence of Christ in our midst.  When we talked about the liturgical colors in church on the first Sunday of Advent, I was surprised to hear how many people were interested in the meaning of the colors.  Perhaps it would be good to have an adult study on worship.  To that end, beginning January 20th at 7 p.m. I will be teaching a class about worship in the reformed tradition.  The dates will be January 20, 27, Feb 3, 17, and 24.  We will talk about the rhythm of the liturgical year, communion and baptism, symbolism and meaning in the worship space and the centrality of our triune God in the worship experience.  Join us in the library for what we intend to be an interesting and illuminating study!

The History of the Presbyterian Church

In a time of transition, it is a good thing to look at our roots and remind ourselves who we are and whose we are.  To that end, there will be several newsletters speaking to the formation of the Presbyterian Church as we know it.  We all know that we are reformed, meaning our roots go back to the reformation.  Reformed is our Theology, or words about God.  Presbyterian refers to our form of government.  Martin Luther began the reformation by nailing his protest in the form of 95 theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg.  He had no idea that he was beginning a movement.  This was an act of conscience.  

Differences on the subject of communion led to a rift between Luther and Calvin, a Frenchman and chief architect of the Presbyterian way.  Studying to be a lawyer, he experienced a conversion at the tender age of 23 to Protestantism.  In 1536 (at 27) he published the famous Institutes of the Christian Religion, the best formulation of the Protestant faith.  It was very Christocentric, meaning centered on Christ.  He believed deeply in the unbounded grace of God.  The church was given a central place as the spiritual “mother” of the people of God and strove for unity of all God’s people.  A great student of the Bible, he acknowledged its contradictions, but felt it was held in balance by faith.  He felt called to ministry in Geneva, Switzerland, where he developed one of his most distinctive contributions:  Presbyterian church government with pastors, teachers, elders, and deacons.  There were no bishops and all clergy were equal.  Believing that Christian living was freed in Christ, he would write, “We are not our own, but the Lord’s.”  It followed that he was interested in the overall life of the community, developing education, supporting the weaving industry, and speaking out against economic injustices.  Many came from all over Europe to sit at his feet to be trained in the freedom and truth of the Gospel.  At his death, one tribute said, “God gave him a character of great majesty.”  Our tradition hails from the Jewish faith, the Catholic Church, and the Protestant Reformation, especially John Calvin.

Foothill Community Concert Series
Presents: Sidesaddle & Co.

Saturday, February 20th, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Admission: $15– kids under 12 are free
reception to follow

November 2015

Pastor’s Letter
REv. Nan Swanson

Dear Ones,
November marks a turning.  On the first Sunday we change our clocks from daylight savings time to standard time.  On the 22nd we complete the B cycle in the liturgical year with The Reign of Christ Sunday and celebrate with our Thanksgiving Feast afterwards.  On the last Sunday in November we take our first step on the journey of Advent and begin what the Eastern Church terms the Great Hundred Days from Advent to Pentecost.  I hope you will join us for it all.  On the 28th we will gather at 9 a.m. for the greening of the church.  We decorate the church in preparation for the coming of the Christ into our midst once more…and hopefully into our hearts and lives and consciousness as well.  I plan to do Daily Prayer each Tuesday and Thursday at noon during Advent and would love to have anyone who can or will join me in this 30 minute time of prayer, scripture, silence, and song.

On the first Sunday of November we also celebrate All Saints, giving thanks for those who have gone before us and for those who have died this year.  We are grateful for all they meant to us and for all they taught us.  This month is a time of thanksgiving in its way.  In fact, all of life can be a way of thanksgiving for the joys, but also the challenges that are given to us.  The joys are memorable and warm us on cold days.  The challenges move us forward and make us see with new eyes things that have been hidden from view.  We learn to be thankful for both.  
The church is in a time of turning as we leave the last pastorate and turn to embrace the new.  In this time of turning we are called to open to new possibilities, to put away fear of what might happen next and trust that the Spirit of God is alive and well in this place and time.  We hold fast to the God who has provided for us in the past and will do so again.  We live out of the abundance of God’s love and not out of scarcity or fear of scarcity.
As we move into this eventful month, I want you to know that I am thankful for this congregation, for your commitment to one another, your commitment to making life better for those around you, and for your kind acceptance of me and others who come into your lives, extending warmth and welcome.
May each of you know Christ’s peace and Christ’s challenge.

A Loss in Our Church Family

We are saddened by the loss of long time member Tirzah Spencer who passed away on October 20, 2015.  Our deepest sympathies to her family.  There will be a memorial service on Saturday, November 21 at 11AM followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall.

Children’s Story Time Program

A new program is slated to begin for the children of the community.  One of the biggest aids in learning English is to hear books read.  To that end, beginning in January Foothill is going to start a book reading for children ages 5-7 once a week in the library.  We have all these wonderful new children’s books that we can’t wait to share.  It will be a great outreach to the children of this community.  If you are interested in reading books to young children, please let the church know.  We are going to begin letting the community know through the schools and library in November and December.  Celebrate with us this new program sponsored by the Christian Education committee.

PNC News for November
Nancy Leonard

The Pastor Nominating Committee continues to meet weekly.  We are continuing to receive Pastor Information Forms (PIFs -- otherwise known as resumes) and now are at nearly 70. Each of the seven members of the team is obligated to read and review each one and personally rank each one sentto us -- 1 (excellent), 2 (neutral), or 3 (not suitable at all).  Further, there are often links to sermons and other materials sent by the candidates which we review as well. At our weekly meeting we as a group review those that we reviewed during the past week and come to a consensus on a group ranking. Interestingly, sometimes we all agree and with others we may individually rank a person 1 and 3. We are still all speaking to each other, however. And, the team has been working wonderfully well together.

Early in November we are meeting by phone with the top nine candidates so far, not to interview them but to have a very short "get to know you better" chat. In the meantime, the team continues to review incoming PIFs.  Keep the PNC committee in your prayers, and stay tuned for more progress next month.

Children’s Sabbath

We had a glorious Children’s Sabbath Sunday on October 18th!  Next year, be sure to put it on your calendar.  Rose Johnson was the liturgist and did a great job.  Benjamin Marino read the scripture very skillfully.  Jennifer Stevenson gave the children’s sermon.  We baptized Reagan Freasier, grandson of Gay Southwell.  And to top it all off, Samara Veerapal gave the sermon in which she spoke of how the scriptures and music spoke to her and about her experience of growing up in the church.  Here is what she wrote about that experience:
It was very exciting to be up there at the pulpit. Surprisingly, I was not as scared as I thought I would be. Nervous, yes that I was. But all in all, it was truly a novel experience to share my thoughts with such a large audience. It's a first for me. Thank you, it was an honor!!  One that I will always remember.

Women’s Bible Study

The women's bible study group has just completed a study of the book of Esther with a feast of Purim which originated with the story of Esther.  We learned how God cares for God's sheep and how we cooperate with that when we trust in God and are willing to step out in faith to stand for those who are powerless.  Esther was a very courageous woman and very savvy.  November 10th at noon we will begin a nine week study of Psalms.  We meet in the library and bring a bag lunch every other Tuesday.   If a study of Psalms is interesting to you please considerjoining us.  See Nancy Leonard for materials or moreinformation.

Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday 11/22

Join us for our church family Thanksgiving Feast after worship on November 22nd.  Joyce Banks will prepare the meat for the occasion (turkey and ham) and is asking that you bring the potatoes, sweet potatoes, veggies, salad, and dessert.  If you can help with set up or clean up please let Joyce or Peg know.  Joyce will have sign ups after worship on the weeks preceding our feast day so you can let her know what you are bringing so there aren’t 10 people bringing mashed potatoes.  We look forward to celebrating together this joyous holiday.

Staff Vacations

Peg Nickl will be out of the office November 2 to November 6, Nan Swanson will be out of the office from November 10 to November 16, and Nancy Leonard will be out of the office November 23 to December 4.

Foothill Community Concert Series Presents

South Bay Philharmonic
Friday, November 13th, 7:30PM
Admission: $10 Children 12 and under are free
Andrew Chan, Violin Rectial
Sunday, November 22nd, 3PM
Admission: $12 Children 12 and under are free



Review of the Mariachi Tequila
& Mariachi Tequilitas de San Jose
Herb & Jan Miller

On Sunday afternoon, October 18th, 2015 at 3:00 PM The Foothill Community ConcertSeries, presented a great Mariachi Music program.  The younger group, The Tequilitas, were not able to entertain us.    We were treated to their wonderful original Mexican music stylemusic by the older Mariachi’s.  The quality of the performance was great.  The Female Vocalists were excellent.  They had no printed play list (program) and so, they performed in the traditional way by playing what they wanted and also adding in requests from the audience.  

We were sorry that they didn’t stick around to meet and talk with us after their performance.  We certainly enjoyed this ethnic concert and would welcome them back again. 

We are looking forward to the next concert featuring the South Bay Philharmonic, on Friday Night November 13th at 7:30 P.M.  We have enjoyed them over the past years and notice that these musicians, who are talented and hold other day jobs, continue to offer a significant classical experience.  It is really a chance to educate the young and old in the Fine Arts.  
Following The South Bay Philharmonic, is Andrew Chan on Sunday November 22nd at 3 P.M. another Fine Arts classical experience.

Greening the Church
Saturday, November 28

Help Worship Committee decorate for Advent on Saturday, November 28 .  Contact Marilyn Kromrey for details.

No Senior Lunch in November

There will be no Senior Fellowship Lunch in November.

Turkeys for the Lord’s Pantry

Please bring frozen turkeys to the church office or with you to church on Sunday to help provide Thanksgiving dinner to a local family in need.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millendar

God has placed me precisely where I can serve best-C. Purves (Ephesians 2:10)
When I gave notice to the Pastoral care director, she was in shock. I informed her that my last day would be 10/9. I wrote a very nice and professional resignation letter to her. During the two weeks that I had, I would have thought that I would be busy writing specific things that I do daily that’s different from the other Chaplains. Instead she only wanted me to write about my relationship with the ED department. During the entire two weeks, she did not speak to me. When the chaplains had a party for me on my last day, they gave me some beautiful gifts and the director she did not attend. This made the chaplains upset but I explained to them that she is still shocked, has not put in for a requisition to hire another chaplain, and things would balance out.

What happened from other departments during this time was a constant conversation asking me if there was anything they could do to keep me. The palliative care physicians met with the director and Vice President to ask if they could have me report into their department instead of pastoral care but the Vice President would not budge. I had already committed to moving to Miami and it was a moot point.

Driving to Miami was awesome. I drove from Baton Rouge, LA to St. Augustine in one day.  After spending the night there, I drove to Miami the next morning. I chose this route because of the lack of toll booths but ended up on toll roads anyway. The drive was without incident and I met some nice people alone the way as I stopped for gas. (Total miles were 965)

I signed the lease on 10/16 and the very next day all of my furniture arrived without any problems. As I continued to get out of boxes and put things away, I finally slept in my own bed on the night of 10/17. At 2:10 on Sunday morning I heard a noise (twice), jumped out of bed, and a young man had taken the window out of the frame and come through the window. I stood there and said, “what are you doing in my house?” He said sorry, we know the house. I asked if anyone else had come in with him and he said no. I asked him to leave and he stood up (6”1”) and was going to go downstairs but I said no, you have to go the same way you came. He climbed out the window, put his legs over the balcony, and jumped on the rail. When he left, I shook and could not believe I had stood up to this 18 or 19 year old male. After putting the window back in, I got back in bed but could not sleep. When I went to home depot to get some pvc tubing, the man asked if I had called the police to report it and I said no. He said I should and I did. The policeman said I was lucky that this young man was not aggressive and was probably a squatter because the townhouse had been empty. I did report it to the rental manager and she called the on-call maintenance person and he secured the window. Since this time the maintenance person as put in some special window/patios door locks. He has also ordered another window to put in. They apologized to me but it did not remove the fear that I had for a while. The outside lights are very good and I feel much better now. I texted my hiring manager and he was so concerned about my welfare.

Work at the hospital
I completed orientation and started work. My hiring manager has been great and very supportive. The hospital personnel paid for all relocation, food and expenses, and continue to ask me if I am ok. It is great! I have a very nice office with a microwave, refrigerator, large bookcase, printer, two desks, and two chairs. My third day was filled with a welcoming breakfast and a very nice gift.

My office is outside the ED department. The units that I serve are all of ED (Adult, Pediatrics), critical care units, step-down from critical care, and neuro. I have met many patients who are glad to have a chaplain, have met many RNs, physicians, and care partners.

The amazing thing about my work is the language. There are over 300 different languages spoken at the hospital and Spanish is a major language. I carry my cards with me and starting to speak a little Spanish to my patients who only speak Spanish. I have had several traumas (stroke and heart) and made many visits to critical care. The critical care is divided into four units with eight beds in each one.

One of my patients has been in the hospital for 793 days. Our hospital is a not-for -profit and based on charity. Also, it is the largest of the Baptist hospitals and in a beautiful locations with two man made lakes in the front of the building. the approval was made for a cancer treatment center to be built and it will be completed in 2016. A medical director from Dana Faber has just been hired to over the entire cancer center.

October 2015

Pastor’s Letter

Dear Ones,
We have started anew!  September 1st was my first day in the office and I discovered it was the World Day of Prayer.  It seemed as if the whole world reached out to us to say, “Yes!  We will support you in this new stage of your journey!”  What a joyous reinforcement for us as we find our way together in this pastor/church relationship.  I have to admit, I’m a little rusty, coming out of retirement, and you have been most gracious.  I am grateful!

The other startling piece of information is that beginning with our first Sunday together the Presbyterian Church USA began A Season of Peace which will culminate on World Communion Sunday.  That seems another blessing on the beginning of our time together. 

It’s as if the whole church were wishing us peace and wholeness.  One of the things they suggest in ways of keeping the peace is to use respectful dialogue.  I have never seen anything else in my interface with this congregation, but it is a good reminder.  One of the things we have to remember is the other instruction that balances that which is to speak the truth in love.  When we have difficulty with someone it is not healthy to sweep it under the rug, but to try to find a way that each is honored and respected.  Good to keep in mind.

This congregation owes a big debt of gratitude for the wonderful care of this congregation by Julie Cline.  We are so fortunate to have her…what a grace note!  You have weathered a lot of change here recently with Ben’s leaving and Bob’s ill health necessitating another leave-taking.  Julie has been a stabilizing factor for which, I am sure, we are all grateful.

This congregation has such a family feel to it with deep relationships going back years.  It is a beautiful thing.  You are also very welcoming.  I have been so impressed with your hospitality to visitors.  We are hoping to have an inquirers’ class starting in October…another good sign.

I want to encourage each of you to sign up for liturgist, greeter, usher.  These are not one person’s or one group’s duty, but we all can take a turn at them.  Howard Rice in his book Reformed Spirituality says that church is a great place where people can try things they have never done before and know that there is a net below them of acceptance on which they can rely.  Therefore, they can dare to try new things.  May you try new things in this year.

I would leave you with a portion of a prayer/poem by Ted Loder, “Help Me to Believe in Beginnings”

God of history and of my heart,
So much has happened to me during these whirlwind days:
…I’ve been brave and scared;
I’ve hurt, I’ve helped;
…I’ve been with people, I’ve been very lonely;
I’ve been loyal, I’ve betrayed;
…I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.
You know my frail heart and my frayed history
and now another day begins.

O God, help me to believe in new beginnings
and in my beginning again,
no matter how often I’ve failed before.
Help me to make beginnings
to begin going out of my weary mind
into fresh dreams,
…to begin forgiving
that I may experience mercy;
to begin questioning the unquestionable
that I may know truth
to begin disciplining
that I may create beauty;…

Help me to be a beginning to others,
to be a singer to the songless,
a storyteller to the aimless,
a befriender to the friendless;
to become a beginning of hope for the despairing,…
of wholeness for the broken,
of peace for the frightened and violent of the earth.

Help me to believe in beginnings,
to make a beginning,
to be a beginning,
so that I may not just grow old,
but grow new
each day of this wild, amazing life
you call me to live
with the passion of Jesus Christ.

Inquirer’s Class

We are planning an “Inquirer’s Class” for those who have been coming to church and are curious to know about Foothill Presbyterian Church.  We are planning on two after church sessions on October 11 and 18 after coffee time, around noon.  We will talk about how we are both Reformed and Presbyterian, what our two sacraments are (and why there are only two), a little history of the church, a little theology of the church, Foothill’s history, and answering any questions you might have.  It should be fun!  If you are interested, please let the office know so we can have the right number of handouts.  See you there!
Director of Music Ministry

Search Committee

The first meeting of the search committee for the Director of Music will be the first week of October.  People who are on that committee are:
Choir Representatives:  Carol Tillman and John Isberg
Bell Representative:  Darlene Ristrom
Worship Committee Representative:  Xiwei Wu
Children's Representative:  Julie Cline
If you have any helpful information on possible candidates, please let these folks know.  We are grateful for their willingness to serve.  Keep them in your prayers and pray that people who would fit with our church will be led by the Spirit to apply.
In the meantime, Nan has been interviewing possible candidates for the Interim Music Director job.  We have had five resumes submitted and hope to have someone soon.  Thank you for your patience.

PNC News--  We are reviewing resumes!

Nancy Leonard, Co-chair PNC

The seven PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) members have been busy working on completing the MIF (Ministry Information Form) and completed it at the beginning of September. A special Session meeting was called on September 5th to review and approve the MIF. The Session was pleased with the MIF and unanimously approved it.
The next step was to present the MIF to the Transitions Committee – a sub-committee of the Committee on Ministry (COM) of the Presbytery at their monthly meeting on September 14th. Angie Carrillo and Nancy Leonard met with the Transitions Committee to answer their questions and they voted to recommend the COM approve the MIF, which they did. Once this was accomplished the Presbytery allowed us to post the MIF so it could be seen nationally by prospective candidates.
Our denomination’s system is sort of a Match.com type of set up which matches our MIF with PIF’s (Pastor Information Forms). PIF’s are completed by those candidates looking for positions.  As soon as our MIF was posted on September 23rd, we received 25 matched PIFs and several self-submitted PIFs (others looking for positions can submit their PIF’s through this system as well).  The PNC is now beginning the arduous job of reviewing the PIFs and following up on the most likely candidates for more information.
We pray that just the right person for Foothill is out there waiting to be our next pastor.

Robert E. Banks III Honored

Joyce Banks

On 12 September 2015 the Black Legend Awards were held at the San Jose Convention Center in the prestigious Parkside Hall. The honorees and guests were greeted by photographers and escorted down the red carpet. Parkside hall was filled with the music of a live jazz band which set the mellow mood.  Everyone was dressed in black tie attire and their spirits were joyous.
This ceremony was in celebration of the work and lives of passed and present Black leaders of San Jose. They were honored for their work in the community and for their uplifting philosophies in 10 different categories:

Art/Theatre/Music, Health Medicine, Law & Justice, News & Documentary, Community Service, Public Service, Spiritual, Education, Business & Entrepreneur and S.T.E.M

I'm proud to announce that my husband Robert E. Banks III was honored with the "Black Legend Award Education."  He was an advocate for children's welfare and believed that all children are capable of achieving great things through education.  He felt that he could provide an opportunity for his children and the community's children by working closely with the Alum Rock education system.

In 1968 he became the first African American school board member in Santa Clara county. From there he served as Vice President and later President of Alum Rock School Board. During his tenure he was instrumental in developing and maintaining Alum Rock's Voucher System.  This program was crucial in improving the quality of education in the Alum Rock School district.

Mission Activities

The new monthly mission focus “Buck a Month” (for lack of a better name at the moment), kicked off in August with missionaries Stephen and Brenda Stelle serving in Ethiopia as the subject of Minute for Mission and beneficiaries of ‘bucks’ dropped in the bucket in the Narthex. Thirty six dollars were collected for a total of $96 sent to the Stelles with the ‘seed’ money designated by Mission committee from the sewer tithe fund.

In September, local agency InnVision Shelter Network was featured.  Congregants contributed $97 to the ‘bucket’.  With the $50 ’seed’ money and $200 raised through the Youth Group clothing drive, we had a total donation of $347.
A local mission excursion was organized on short notice to help with final preparations for the opening (finally!) of Immanuel House and the Open House the weekend before the official start of business. Carol, John, and Darlene lined dresser drawers and other Foothill members brought over food for the Open House (thank you Jane, Laurie and Sue L) and 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.  

It’s Time for Genealogy!

Marilyn Kromrey

The new series of classes have begun.  Please share this with your friends.
Thursday, 10 September 2015 – 10 December 2015 10 am – 12 noon, Fellowship Hall
Any Questions?  Email: FamScribe@gmail.com
Website: www.FamilyScribe.us
Phone: 408-807-8926
Cost: $60, payable to Pamela Erickson at the first class

Peacemaking Offering

Nan Swanson, Interim Pastor

Did you know that we have been in a Season of Peace?  From September 6th to October 4th, the PCUSA has declared the Season of Peace.  It culminates on World Communion Sunday.  It is on that day that we take the special offering that used to be called the Peacemaking Offering, but now is entitled Peace & Global Witness Offering.  The name change came in order to enlarge the vision.  The ministry of peacemaking and reconciliation done in the name of the Prince of Peace can be found addressing areas of pain we see around us:  human trafficking, racism, war leading to refugees, and gun violence.  It is good to know with all the discord and difficulties we see around us that we serve a God who stands for mercy, reconciliation and peace.
We give to this special offering because we know that at every level of society there is a need for Christ’s peace.  Our congregation retains 25% of the offering so that we can support ministries like Immanuel House and other ministries that bring peace and hope.  As a community of faith we want to deepen our commitment to peacemaking in a world of great need.  Let it begin here with us as we learn to accept God’s peace inside ourselves and from that peace extend it to others.   May the God of Peace open our hearts to be generous with this offering as we join with Christians the world over in giving to the ministry of peace on this World Communion Sunday.

Membership Outreach Committee

The church barbecue was held on September 6th.  A special thanks to Clarissa Moore who organized the food, with the help of volunteers.  Thank you also to Carolyn Trumello, Lin Peng, Don Village, Anthony Lam,  and Judi Sherwood for their long hours; to the building and grounds committee for overseeing set-up and take-down of table and chairs; and to all of the others who helped make it a wonderful event!  Following the barbecue, plates of the delicious leftover food was taken to Greg and Pat Plant at the Immanuel House.

As required by the Presbytery, we are reviewing the membership roll for people who are no longer attending or supporting the church. Cleaning our membership roll will enable us to have an accurate list of active members, and to take an honest look at who we are as a church.

Big letters weren’t the only change to this year’s Jazz on the Grass.  Additions included expanding to Saturday, two additional musical guests, food vendors, and “booths” from church groups and neighborhood organizations.

The East Valley Artists had their most successful show with 250 guest sign-ins and approximately $2,800.00 in sales, nearly double from past shows.  Saturday’s music included Oakland Future Trio, a group of talented young men from Oakland that began preforming together in 2013 when they were 12 years old, and Bernard Smith, a student from the College of Adaptive Arts who delighted us with his beautiful tenor voice.

There were food sales on both days, Saturday sales of hot-dogs were handled by Foothill volunteers.  On Sunday a hot-dog cart vendor was brought in to eliminate the need for volunteer cooks and to allow all Foothill folks to enjoy each others company and the Steve Turner Trio.  We had great participation from Foothill church and guest groups coming out to set up information and demonstration tables.  The children’s art activity set up by the East Valley Artists was a big draw.  We appreciate all of the hard work put in by members of East Valley Artists and Foothill Community Concert Series Committee.

Immanuel House

Darlene Ristrim

Make a WISH LIST and your wishes will be granted.   According to Pat Plant wishes for a large food processor, large rice cooker, coffee percolator (20 cup), and large table cloths have been received.  Presbyterians are responding to the needs of Immanuel House everyday in many ways.

During the Open House tour someone asked about a vegetable garden that was in the planning stage.  After seeing the area and learning more details about it…she asked“How much will it cost?”  $500 was the answer…and so a check was written.  Blessings abound.

Pat indicated that the following are still on the WISH LIST:
2 – bedroom fans
4 – large stacking vegetable bins (OSH $8.50 each)
Charcoal Barbecue(new or gently used)
Compost bin

If you wish to contribute any of the above…you might call Pat Plant at 1-408-702-0785 just to check and see if the item is still on the Wish List.

Houston Jones Concert

Impressions by a person of limited musical appreciation – Darlene Ristrim

I was asked by Rev. Nan to write the article for the Messenger.  So here goes…The Foothill Community Concert Series opened the 2015-2016 with the High Octane Americana group HOUSTON JONES (not one guy but two).  It’s all about these four OLD guys and one young fellow…they were infectious, the music snappy and happy, fingers were snapping (couldn’t get mine to snap).

I recognized a couple of tunes but neither could Joan Reinecker or I remember the title.  What I observed was the audience reaction…people were moving, toe tapping and everyone was caught up in the joyous sound of pure from the heart music making.  What an experience! Happy and snappy music.

While music filled the air I observed the musicians.  Henry Salvia ( keyboard and accordion musician) reminded me of Garrison Kellior …  a tall man of loose stature wearing a light green shirt with rumpled hair hunched over his keyboard fingers ever confident making that keyboard talk.   Peter Tucker(percussion), grey hair and beard, ruddy checks wearing an Hawaiian shirt and shorts…comfortable in his attire.  Joshua Zucker (bass) the young one added vocals along with his bass playing.  Glenn Houston (lead guitar) played his guitar left handed and upside down.  Notice…he is the Houston in Houston Jones.  Travis Jones (lead vocals, guitar)  You got it, he is the Jones in Houston Jones.  What a voice…full of soul. All of these musicians have played with various groups for many years.  Being limited in my music appreciation (Folk, Classical, County, Bluegrass)  I was not able to fully appreciate the vast area of experience these musicians possessed.  I just knew they were joyous in their passion and their snappy music made me happy (at my age snappy could be a broken bone).

Seen at the concert were Julie Cline and husband Tom Frey, Nancy Leonard, Nancy Rubio, Shirley and Pat Riley, Carol McManus, Jane Wallace, Carol Tillman, Glenda Parmentier, Earl Hardy, Peg Nickl and family, Nan and husband Rollin, The Hiking Lady (Gerri Hetenbach), Gay Southwell, Dawn Imada…I apologize if you were there and I didn’t see you.  

Judi Sherwood prepared a colorful and delicious array of food for the after concert reception.
It is now 10PM on Monday evening and I can still feel the happy and snappy feeling the music of the Houston Jones group gave to those who attended.  ( If you are happy and you know it…clap your hands…that’s how I feel)

In summary, Thanks, Peg for promoting ticket sales.  Thanks, FCCS for preparing a varied line-up of concerts for the coming season.  Thanks, Houston Jones for sharing your love of music.

Coming up next: Mariachi Tequila & Mariachi Tequilitas de San Jose on October 18 at 3:00PM. This is going to be a fun concert…hope to see you there.


Youth Group

Peg Nickl, Parent

The youth group sold popcorn and snow cones both days of Jazz on the Grass.  The kids did a great job and took the task seriously.  Unfortunately we didn't re-coop the cost of supplies.  The cool weather was wonderful for spending time outside, but not so great for snow cone sales.  Shay the Dog was put to work and helped limit our losses by performing tricks for a dollar.  I believe the dog brought in more money than the snow cones and popcorn combined!  We may not have raised any money, but the kids got all the snow cones they could eat and what can be better for a couple of boys than showing off how great their dog is?

The September clothing drive was much more successful with a total of $201.00 raised to support InnVision Shelter Network.  After the disappointing results at Jazz on the Grass, it was a little harder to get the kids excited about selling clothes and shoes at the flea market, that and the fact that sorting and displaying clothing is far less fun than crushing and scooping ice.
Just as Michelle Casillas and I had reached the end of our collective parental patience, Julie Cline stepped in and worked her magic by teaming the boys with Bill Leonard and shooing us moms out of the picture.  The result was hugely successful.  In no time Bill had set the tone and the boys were making sales and making change.  Justin Casillas especially turned on the charm and did a wonderful job interacting with the customers, discussing the value of items and negotiating a fair price.  Julie said it was wonderfully fun watching teenage boys discuss the value of high heeled shoes with neighborhood women.  Henry even sold a hat right off of his own head!

Most of the set up and tear down work was done by adults (OK, all of this work was done by adults) so I want to thank Nan Swanson, Jennifer and Matthew Stevenson, Michelle Casillas, Carol Tillman, and Julie Cline for sorting and displaying the clothes.  If I’ve left anyone out, thank you too!  Thanks also to everyone who donated to the clothing drive.  

I was especially proud of the boys when it can time to discuss where the donation was going.  The plan was to donate clothing sale proceeds to a charity that supported families in need.  The boys discussed different options, including making a gift to Heifer International.  In the end they decided that it was best to put what they collected together with the Buck a Month collection, concluding that a larger sum to one charity would do greater good than smaller donations to multiple charities.  



Peg Nickl, Office Administrator

On Friday September 18 my morning arrival routine was interrupted when my dog, Shay, caught a baby squirrel.  There’s nothing amazing about a Jack Russell Terrier catching a squirrel, Jack Russells are bred to hunt rodents.   I wasn’t even surprised when Shay let the squirrel go, unharned, when I commanded “drop it!”.  Not killing small animals is one of the first things Shay learned as a puppy and this training is reinforced daily by reminding Shay that he is not permitted to hunt our cat.  
I was surprised however, when the baby squirrel followed Shay back to me and crawled up on my foot.  Squirrels are designed to hold on tight with all four feet and that is exactly what this baby was doing.  I tried to gently shake it off my foot, but it was having none of that.  What else could I do but pick it up?

Fortunately being the day before the flea market, I had plenty of boxes on hand.  I chose one that was filled with succulents and put the squirrel back under the tree where Shay found it, hoping that the mom would come back.
Then I Googled baby squirrel and learned that following a dog is common behavior for an orphaned baby squirrel, so I retrieved the squirrel and called the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.  I was relieved that they agreed that the squirrel was orphaned and offered to take it in.  Being responsible for an orphaned squirrel for an hour was long enough for me!

Darlene Ristrim was nice enough to deliver the squirrel to the Wildlife center for me, something else that I was super grateful for, because my truck was in the shop and I was without transportation.  The squirrel will stay in their care until it is old enough to care for itself and then will be released back into the neighborhood.

August 2015

Chaos and Cosmos
Julie Cline, Temporary Head of Staff

Fall is upon us and we are ready to rev up the engines!  The first week of September we will welcome our new interim pastor, Nan Swanson and I suspect she will be pleased to find that we have been quite busy of late. The church library has been resurrected and is being filled with new children's books. The Buildings and Grounds Committee has contracted both a new custodial staff and landscape maintenance company. We've hosted Teen Challenge, put on an extremely successful Kitchen Science Vacation Bible School and shared in the faith experiences of several of our members during their Lay Sunday presentations. East Valley Artists and our Concert Series Committee teamed up to transform Jazz on the Grass into Art on the Wall/Jazz on the Grass, a two-day, community outreach event. We've continued to enjoy our second Sunday lunches and through our weekly Minute for Mission, the Mission Committee is opening our eyes to the many good works happening nearby and far away.    Our website has expanded to include our Concert Series. (If you haven't explored the website, you need to---it's exceptionally well developed---foothillpc.org.) The Worship Committee is optimistically planning a children's Sabbath for October 18th.  And we've accomplished all of this in the wake of some serious losses. Pastor Bob was diagnosed with cancer and more recently, Jay resigned from her position as Director of Music Ministries.  Bob and Marianne are still fighting Bob's cancer.  Jay has accepted a position with the Alum Rock School District and is beginning a new chapter in her life.  We are supporting all three of them with prayers and good wishes.

Our sense of losing things, of course, began with Pastor Ben's choosing to serve a new congregation. When Ben departed, we had to face that age-old nemesis, change. Mostly, change is difficult—especially when it is set off by circumstances beyond our control, like Ben's decision to move before his children began high school. Luckily, we human beings are well-suited to respond to change, for we are the most adaptable of all God's creatures. We have the ability to see the value in forging a new path.  We are able to capitalize on change by spotting the opportunities that exit amid the chaos. In her book, Walking on Water, Madeline L'Engle talks about chaos---and cosmos. Chaos encompasses the threats in the world, things that have gone wrong or are full of disorder and negative outcomes---the kinds of things we focus on when our anxieties get the better of us. Cosmos is God's order, the path to enlightenment, the in-breaking of God's kingdom on Earth, where justice and mercy are two sides of the same coin, as are peace and joy. L'Engle writes that it is very easy to see chaos in cosmos. We tend to perseverate on things that have gone wrong or have the potential to go wrong. The more difficult task, says L'Engle, is to see cosmos in chaos.  No doubt, in midst of all this change, there is some chaos at Foothill Church, but I challenge you to look for the cosmos, to hear God's call, and to support all the exciting and exceptionally wonderful things that are happening in our congregational life.  Let us honor God's creative wisdom by being truly human, adapting to change and seizing the opportunities that bubble to the surface during this time of transition.

Transition Committee Report

Karen Withrow, Moderator

The Transition Committee is VERY happy to report that the Reverend Nan Swanson has agreed to become our new Interim Pastor here at Foothill.  Rev Nan will start on September 1st and her first Sunday of worshiping with us will be September 6th.  She brings many years of experience as a Presbyterian Pastor as well as being certified to be an Interim Pastor.  I am sure all of you will enjoy having Rev Nan as our pastor and she will provide much spiritual strength for all of us!

Meet Nan Swanson

Greetings!  I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Nan Swanson and I will be your new interim pastor as of September 1.  Since we will be together in ministry for a year, I thought you might like to know a little about me.  Like many in the area I am not a native Californian, but grew up in San Antonio, Texas, the third of four children in a very happy family from which I have many happy memories, and, since growing up is always interesting, some challenging memories as well.

After graduating from college with a degree in Philosophy, History, and Literature, I went to work for the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.  where I met my husband, Rollin, a mechanical engineer/nuclear physicist.  We had three children, two boys, Erik and Mark, and a girl, Alicia.  I quit work and focused on full time mothering.  We moved to California in 1976 so Rollin could take a job with Lockheed.  Saratoga became our home until 2004 when we moved to the Santana Row area to downsize.

When the children were in high school, I followed a call to seminary, was ordained in 1993 and spent nine years in a wonderful church in Texas (a place I said I would never return to, but God had other ideas).  Then our daughter announced from California that she and her husband were expecting our first grandchild and we couldn’t miss out on that.  First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto heard that I was returning to the Bay Area and called me as Interim Head of Staff for about a year and a half.  Later they called me back as part-time Associate Pastor.  I retired about four years ago.

Those are the linear facts.  I hope they will create a backdrop for our getting to know each other on a deeper level.
I would love to hear about your lives.  God is so creative in the diversity of creation, how each of us share similarities and yet each of us is different.  Here are some of my loves: family, friends, people in general, the wonder of creation, art, books, music, cooking, and the church.  I look forward to our year together.  May God’s grace surround us as we enter this new time in the life of Foothill Presbyterian Church.

What is Happening with the PNC?

Nancy Leonard, PNC Co-chairman

We’re quiet but we are hard at work!  The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) which consists ofNancy Leonard, John Belz, Angie Carrillo, Jane Wallace, Woody Moore, Jennifer Stevenson and Gay Southwell has been meeting weekly since early July. Usually our mentor, Nan Notor, from the Committee on Ministry (COM) attends our meetings to keep us pointed in the right direction.

Our first task as a committee is to complete the MIF (Ministry Information Form). This is a multipage questionnaire in which we need to explain within PCUSA’s strict guidelines what we are looking for in a pastor. Once this is completed, the Session must approve it, then the COM, it is then sent to Louisville, KY and electronically published for interested candidates who may want to send resumes to us. Our task in creating the MIF is sort of a reverse resume to make us look attractive to the right person.

Mission Activities

Carol McManus

Look for a new mission approach starting in August. Session has approved designating the third Sunday of each month for special mission focus. Each month a local, national, or global mission of PCUSA will be highlighted via Minute for Mission. The congregation will have the opportunity to drop a buck in the bucket on their way out of church to augment the $50 ‘seed’ money allocated by the Mission committee from the sewer tithe fund. (This fund is a tithe paid in addition to the interest paid on the MEAC loan for the sewer repair earlier this year.)

The final CROP Walk report was received in early July. Just under $30,000 was raised by the South Bay CROP Walk, and already $3,642 has been delivered to local charities Sacred Heart Community Services and Second Harvest Food Bank. Foothill raised $1,110!! This was in line with churches of similar size and double the amount raised by some larger, more affluent churches.  Thanks to everyone who walked and to everyone who supported a walker (or walkers). Great job Foothill!!

Rev. Stephen Stelle and Brenda Stelle

Rev. Stephen Stelle and Brenda Stelle are Mission co-workers in Ethiopia since 2013 serving at the invitation of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus at Bethel Evangelical Secondary School and Gidada Bible School.
The Foothill Mission Committee has decided to focus on one mission opportunity each month. We look for mission opportunities large and small, as well as local, in the US and across the world. For August we selected a couple who have moved to Ethiopia. Brenda teaches English at a secondary boarding school. Stephen serves as a mentor/trainer of pastors. Both professed hearing the Lord calling them on an international Mission.

On August16th (the third Sunday) we presented their work during the Minute for Mission. We then placed a Buck a Month bucket in the Narthex which we seeded from $50 from the tithe we added to the new sewer construction a year ago. We plan to make this a monthly practice. This month we raised $36 which we donated through the Presbyterian Mission Website.
Thank you. The Foothill Mission Committee

Youth Group Field Trip

Henry Nickl

My family, and our friends, Michelle, Jason and Justin and Michelle’s mom, Rhonda went to a benefit concert for the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Julie Cline was there too.  The concert was held at the 1st AME Zion Church and the music was by The Innerpeace Jazz Orchestra.  Before the concert we looked at the exhibit that Clarissa Moore has there.  (The African American Journey Exhibit)  One day we’ll have to go back when Clarissa is there so she can teach us about what’s there.

It was the first time I was at a black church.  Before the music the pastor said a prayer for the people who died at Mother Emanuel AME Church.  He said that his church has a tradition of knocking once for each person who had passed away, so after he said each name we knocked once.  He also said that at the 1st AME Church it isn’t just the pastor who talks.  He said when he asks a question we are supposed to speak up and answer.  It was different to hear people talking and not just all saying the same thing together.

The front of the church was filled with instruments.  There were two pianos, guitars, a bassoon, a harp, bongos, two drum kits, a saxophone, three singers, and the orchestra leader played the trumpet.  I’m probably forgetting some of the instruments.  At first the music started to play one instrument at a time.  I liked how the sound started to fill up the room.  The first music was good and I liked the singing.  Later it started to fall apart as if everyone was playing a different song.  I’m told that this is what jazz sounds like.

We [youth group] wanted to do something for Black Lives Matter and this concert was a place we could all go together.  My mom made a donation but it was better to be there and to participate.  
To see some of the music go to :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBND8Ba_mt0

This is Awesome!  VBS was Awesome

Marty Nickl

VBS was great and everyone had fun.  We made slime that just turned out to be bouncy balls because we used the wrong kind of glue.  We also make a big foamy eruption come out of a bottle which was called elephant toothpaste.  We put Mentos in Diet Coke and made meringue.  We ate snow cones and also made wine glasses sing.  I filled my wine glass up to the brim and there was no space left for more water and then made it sing and the vibrations in the water could be seen.  It was all distorted and cool.

Jenn Stevenson said somethings about growth and change, like that you can grow infinitely in love and that change is natural and it’s nothing to be afraid of because change has been happening forever and it never stops.
We ate some melted chocolate on marshmallows and strawberries and we had some awesome hummus made by Jenn and my mom.  All together it was really fun.

The New Jerusalem Bible: A Wise Heart

Julie Cline, Temporary Head of Staff

For three Sundays in August we have read from the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) instead of using the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) that rests in our pew racks.  After I preached on August 16th, a concerned member of our congregation asked me whether this trend was going to turn into a permanent switch to using the NJB.  It is not.  I'm not sure why Rev. Bracey chose the NJB for the readings on August 2nd, but I can explain why I used the NJB on the following two Sundays, and why preachers think about and select different versions of the Bible for different uses.

First, all versions of the Bible are not created equally.  They vary according to the preferences and understanding of the person or team that translated them from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.  They vary because the translators may target a certain audience.  They vary because the translators and their audiences are steeped in the social-cultural milieu of the time and place in which which the translations are made.  And some versions, like the Living Bible, aren't translations at all.  Their creators paraphrase an existing translation.  The Living Bible is a paraphrase of the American Standard Version (1901).  

The Bible in Modern English is one of the versions translated to reach a particular audience.  It was created by J. B. Phillips because he found the youths he pastored could not understand the language of the King James Version. During my stint in seminary, my Greek professor expressed a preference Phillips' translation of Romans 16:16.  In the NRSV, our pew Bible,  the verse is translated: “Greet each other with a holy kiss.” Phillips' translation is: “Give each other a hearty handshake all round for my sake.”  If our session were to instruct us to do what the NRSV says and kiss each other during the passing of the peace, I can only imagine the complaints the Worship Committee would receive, especially during the height of the flu season.  In our modern world, Phillips' hearty handshake seems more appropriate, even though for health's sake, after the passing of the peace, we should probably wash our hands.

Having listened to Teen Challenge present its testimonies in years past, when they contacted us about sharing their stories this year, I thought a few psalms would make an appropriate complement to their presentation.  Many psalmists cry to the Lord during difficult circumstances. Their psalms reflect the truly dark and terrible place in which the Hebrew people and our Teen Challenge speakers found themselves.  Those psalms also remind the Hebrew people and the rest of us, including the Teen Challenge group, that God is steadfast and filled with lovingkindness---that God will come through for us, however dark our circumstances. Now, having chosen the Book of Psalms as a place to go for the liturgical content of our Teen Challenge service, I immediately went to the New Jerusalem Bible to make my selections.  The NJB is translated in a way that respects the form of the passages in the Hebrew Testament, the Old Testament.  This means when any of us opens the Book of Psalms in the NJB, we will see poetry, the form the psalmists themselves chose for their laments. When I read the Hebrew Testament, seeing the psalms as poems draws me in and I feel closer to the psalmist.  That is why I made a beeline for the NJB when Teen Challenge called. Also, I know that the NJB translation of the Hebrew Testament was created with care and a scholarly understanding of the Hebrew language, so it is a reputable version of the Old Testament, not a paraphrase or a translation with an audience-specific slant.

When I preached on the 16th of August, I looked at several translations of 1st Kings 3:3-14 and I read some commentary about those verses. As I read, I was reminded of the Hebrew understanding of the function of the heart.  For the Hebrews, the heart was the center of our humanness, where God looks to see who we truly are.  Thought and feeling are seated in the heart and both are involved in our acquisition of wisdom as we go through the experiences of life.  When the NRSV narrates Solomon's request, it uses language that may suggest wisdom involves more thinking than feeling.  In its translation, Solomon asks the Lord for “an understanding mind.” The Lord then gives him “a wise and discerning mind.”  Because we often view the mind in terms of thinking and analysis, and use the word “heart” to encompass the feeling aspects of our lives, I didn't use the NRSV translation.  I preferred the metaphor used by the NJB, “a wise heart”. It evokes a more visceral and experiential feeling that connects wisdom to the acts of living a human life. Knowledge, experience, mental acuity, intuition, warmth, empathy, sense of justice, soul----whatever makes Solomon himself—the hub of his existence, the essence of him—Lord, please infuse that with wisdom.

And, as it turns out, although they chose the wrong organ, the Hebrews were right. Feeling and thinking are not separate processes. In the first chapters of his book, Descarte's Error, Antonio Damasio describes the life of a man who experienced brain damage that destroyed the feeling centers of his brain.  Without contribution from the damaged areas, the man was unable to make even the most inconsequential of decisions.  Time after time, he demonstrated he knew all of the information that went into any particular decision-making process—for instance, he knew his previous business inside and out---but the ability to decide, to choose among options had left him.  As a result, he was unable to hold a job.  He lost his family.  
As you can see, a lot of study and pondering goes into most sermons.  Many of the ideas that occur to a preacher, how he or she decides what to include and what to leave out, these things may not be obvious to those who are listening.  When I chose to read about Solomon from the NJB without explaining how I made may choice, I was counting on the metaphor to do the job its translator (and writer) intended. I left it to stand on its own, hoping your own experience of wisdom and the Holy Spirit would let it speak to you.

Our New Children’s Librarian

Gay Southwell has agreed to take on the roll of Children’s Librarian, and we couldn’t be happier.  Anyone who has been in church when Gay leads the children’s time, already knows how truly wonderful she is communicating with kids.  Gay has a lifelong love of children’s books and a talent for matching stories with kids.  Gay shared the following as an introduction of herself.

“I was born in Kansas, Mo and moved to Kansas City when I was 7 years old.  My mother and I found a library not too far away, and we loved to go pick out books and return home to read them.  I continued to be fascinated by the writing process, the pictures in books, and the excitement I felt when I finished a book.  I liked to write a short paragraph about the book and why I liked it.
When I became an elementary teacher in Torrance, CA, Fremont, CA and in San Jose at Pala Middle School, I always read to the students, encouraged them to read and draw pictures of their favorite parts of the book, discuss the book and share ideas.
I have been in a “book group” with friends for many years.  It is so fun to find new treasures in literature and take time to discuss and share with others.”

All are encouraged to stop in the library and look through our children’s books.

Jim Harget of Top of the Hill Jazz Band Passed Away

The following is an email send from Dick Williams to friends of Top of the Hill Jazz Band

Jim Harget has transitioned to the big banjobandstand in the sky at 12:15 PM,    August 20, 2015. His last song was hearing the Grand Dominion Jazz Band’s CD.  

Jim was one of the most dedicated traditional jazz proponents imaginable. He liked music all his life, but in the 70’s heard Turk Murphy playing at the Flying Lady in Morgan Hill and become hooked on OKOM (Our Kind of Music). He attended his first festival in Pismo Beach in 1990. From then on, he was addicted.  He had played ukulele and with encouragement from Stella, his companion, when he went on his first Jazz Sea cruise. After hearing the jammers, Stella said, "You can do that". Jim got a banjo and in the mid 90’s, he joined the Oakland Banjo band at a Pizza Palace. In 2001, Jim got involved at the South Bay Traditional Jazz Society. He was instrumental in getting the society back in the blackorganizing three Professor Plum reunion bands, which had the largest attendance of any meeting, 194 jazzers/fans that day.  He brought in the High Sierra band and the Uptown Lowdown band for two performances each.

Under his leadership, he organized the Jammers at South Bay. He inspired many regular musicians and led the “Top of the Hill JB”, a community outreach band that played at churches, social events, and parades.  Attendance and music quality at South Bay grew rapidly under Jim’s jammer direction.

Jim’s proudest musical moment was the two songs he wrote. “Something for Stella” and “Blues in the Morning”. High Sierra recorded “Blues in the Morning” with special words by Earl McKee.  Zinfandel Stompers will play this tune Sunday at the South Bay Society’s monthly meeting, along with other of Jim’s favorite tunes.

Bon Voyage, Jim, you will be missed, but we know you are listening to some really good music now.

South Bay Traditional Jazz Society is doing a Memorial Celebration for Jim this Sunday, August 23, during their monthly meeting, 375 Pastoria Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086.  Zinfandel Stompers are the feature band, times are 1-5 PM. We will close the meeting with Closer Walk and the Saints.  Please bring your instruments and play with the South Bay Jammers between sets. If you play a UKE bring it along. The jammers will be doing “Bring me Sunshine” with a big UKE intro like Jim did often, and our fans will do a sing-a-long on this tune.
In Lieu of Flowers, make a donation to South Bay Jazz Society’s youth support program that sends young people to jazz camps.

End of Summer Barbecue
Sunday, September 6

We're having an old fashioned church barbeque on Sunday, September 6, following worship service.  Clarissa Moore is planning the meal (so we know it's going to be amazing) and we'll play some traditional picnic games.  All we need is you to be there, so please plan to come out.  Look for the sign up sheet in the narthex.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

Maxine Millender

Others will know what the words “God is love” means when they see it in our lives. R. Kilgore

Since the requisition has been posted, only three resumes have been sent to our director. I am not sure how HR screens them but it is disappointing. Our director has called one of the persons but have not shared the resumes with us yet. We will interview two Priests during the week of August 1st and hope to select one of them.

As I continue to work with the Trauma team, we are going full press during the first week of August.  I have written the protocol and policy for the Chaplains. Also, I have met with them to explain what the difference is from now on. This new process will help all Chaplains be much more effective in pastoral care and readily available to help the physicians provide timely communications to the families.

I have the responsibility for 67 policies and procedures in our department. I am the lead person! I have already sent information to the Chaplains asking them to review and let me know which ones they will edit or leave the same.

Work at the hospital
One of my Palliative care patients is 21. He came in with pneumonia, is HIV+, and was septic.  Although he is no longer septic, he is still in the hospital for another fours weeks due to the antibiotics he is taking. I have visited him often. Some of the RNs who are not comfortable with HIV and AIDS don't treat him nicely. The Palliative physician spoke to the RN manager to explain and ask them for their compassion when caring for him. This young man is very nice, misses his mom, misses his brother who works all the time and can’t visit, and he is ready to go home.  I try to spend a lot of time with him when I visit. He has asked me to wake him if he’s asleep. I am grateful that God continues to give me a heart of compassion, love those who some deem unlovable, and visit those who are lonely.

The other day we had a 15 year old girl deliver a 24 week baby boy. She didn’t know she was pregnant but thought she was very sick. She was rushed to the hospital. Although our hospital is not equipped to deliver and take care of preemies, physicians managed to deliver the little boy.  So, they intubated the baby and his mom were rushed to the Woman’s hospital.  Since it was my day to visit Woman’s, I visited the baby, prayed for him, and blessed him and his nurses. His mom is doing fine, her parents are very happy and her grandma is ecstatic and looking forward to help raise him. I didn’t have the opportunity to visit his mom but we will be visiting her as often as we go to Woman’s.

I was called to ER when a family arrived. The sister of the patient who had died was teary. I met her and her husband, let them know I would go check to see if they had completed post-mortem care, and would bring them in to see her.  This is our policy when someone dies in ER, unless they are under the authority of the medical examiner’s department. I checked the trauma rooms, met the physician, and tried to find the RN. Given this was at shift change, they had already taken the body to the morgue. I was appalled! I had to explain this to the family and of course they were devastated. They asked me to have at the body brought back to ER. I called the house manager to explain and ask for advice. It was explained that we do not bring bodies back to a unit, they would have to see her in the funeral home. {we don't have a viewing room at the hospital} So, with as much compassion as I could hold, I visited the family to explain, give my condolences again, and express how sorry I was this happened.

They are in shock and saddened. Before leaving, the sister shared the story about her medical condition (breast cancer) and what she was feeling about her sister who just died. After walking out with them, I hugged her and her husband and again apologized. I then went to find the charge nurse and house manager. The house manager assured me that she would have the ER manager call the family to apologize. I felt a little better but still had an ache in my heart because they rushed the patient to the morgue just because they did not want the on-coming shift to deal with all the paperwork.

I have been accepted into another program, which is on-line. My name was given or someone paid for me to take it. Anyhow, the course is called “Advanced Spirituality Practice in Palliative Care.” It is seven weeks, I will receive 56 credits and a certificate. I am eager to start on August 6th.

July 2015

Fare Thee Well, Nancy
Julie Cline, Acting Head of Staff

If you were unable to attend Nancy Drew’s memorial service, you missed the perfect farewell to a life well lived.  There were tributes made by her family members, baskets upon bouquets of flowers, tears that spouted from the joy of having known her, and much talk of her love of pie.  Only during the moments of the service were the attendees quiet.  The rest of the time they chattered and laughed, were happy to see one another - behaving in ways that only the friends of someone who knows how to bring people together are able.  If there were regrets or hard feelings, I didn’t notice them.  I witnessed only the precious sadness that is the privilege of those who must say goodbye to a dear one.

I pray that we all should lead life with such grace.  I pray that we all should leave behind bridges and connections such as Nancy fostered.

Visit with Pastor Bob
Marty Nickl

Last Friday we took dinner to Bob and Marianne.  Pastor Bob was waiting for us.  He had the door open before we even knocked.  First, my dog, Shay and Pastor Bob’s dog, Kailey greeted each other.  Kailey was definitely happy to see Shay.  I don’t think she expected to have a visitor too.  Then we came in and sat down to talk.  Pastor Bob asked us about school and how we were doing.  He told us about his house and how he thinks he has the best balcony.  He also said that he had been to aquatic physical therapy earlier that day.  
After a little bit of talking, Marianne came home.  She had been at physical therapy.  My mom, Pastor Bob, and Marianne talked about church and how everyone was doing.  Then mom said it was time to go.  Marianne said to be sure to thank everyone for bringing dinners.
Pastor Bob looks a lot different than he used to.  He’s lost his hair and he doesn't look very healthy.  But he’s still the cheerful optimistic person that he’s always been and his hugs were still the same.  I was happy that we were able to see him.

Our Service on July 12: A Serendipitous Confluence of Events!
Julie Cline, Acting Head of Staff

July 12th is the date for our annual Dixieland Jazz service.  We’ll be worshiping outside and the Top of the Hill traditional jazz band will be providing our music. We’re familiar with this service and it is well-received by our congregation.  This year, in addition to enjoying the Top of the Hill Jazz Band, we’ll be welcoming Evergreen Presbyterian Church to join with us in worship..  Reverend Nancy Harrington will be preaching. And, since all of the members of our pulpit supply reserve—our guest preachers—seem to be taking a vacation respite over the July 4th weekend, we’ve had to switch our monthly communion from the first Sunday in the month to the second Sunday of the month, July 12th.  So, we’ll beenjoying Dixieland Jazz in the shade of the huge trees in our courtyard, as weworship and take communion withour friends from Evergreen Presbyterian Church—and afterward, we’ll all gather for July’s Second Sunday Soup lunch.  The pieces are in place.  All you need do is attend church on the 12th and plan to linger for lunch. Hope to see you there!

Alternative Giving Donations Clear 2 Acres of Invasive Plants from Alum Rock Park

In an email to Julie Cline, Stephen Rosenthal wrote, “The big pile of weeds is about 60' square and 5 ft. high.”

In an email to Julie Cline, Stephen Rosenthal wrote, “The big pile of weeds is about 60' square and 5 ft. high.”

The above photo is of a 2 acre area in Alum Rock Park that was cleared of invasive mustard and hemlock.  This work was done with a brush cutter that was purchased, along with 24 blades, with funds donated to   the California Native Plant Society, Native Plant Restoration Project in Alum Rock Park through Foothill’s   Alternative Giving project.  The $70 in donations were given during the Festival of Carols. 

Meet Allie, Our Summer Intern
Peg Nickl, Office Administrator

We are so happy to have Allie Watkins interning in the church office again this summer.  Allie will be a senior at Independence HS this fall, where she is very excited to have been accepted to the Independence Dance Company.  In addition to dance, Allie enjoys baking, golfing, outdoor adventuring (especially at the beach), and DIY crafting.  She’s currently obsessed with making flower crowns.

Family is very important to Allie who lives in a multi-generational home.  She enjoys spending time with her family, including her two small dogs, and has been fortunate to have traveled to visit her extended family on the East Coast and in the Philippines.

As Allie prepares to enter the next stage of her life, she says she hopes for a world with more realistic optimism where people are less negative and judgmental toward each other.  After high school, Allie plans to pursue a degree in education and, once she is established in a teaching position, to pursue an advanced degree in marine biology.  SCUBA diving is on her bucket list.

Allie describes herself as reserved but open to new ideas.  I would describe her as bright and enthusiastic with a great talent for making connections with the people she meets.  She is also incredibly good natured when it comes to taking on even the most boring of administrative tasks.  We plan to take full advantage of her good nature to complete several organizational projects over the summer

When Natasha Maxin decided to have an Alice in Wonderland themed 16th birthday party, she knew the perfect place for the party—the courtyard where she played as a preschooler.


The transformation was amazing, complete with mad hats, tiny keys, the Queen of Hears, and...is that a white rabbit in a waist coat?

The Pastor Nominating Committee

After a lot of hard work our Mission Study is finished and on Sunday, June 14, the congregation elected John Belz, Angie Carrillo, Nancy Leonard, Woody Moore, Gay Southwell, Jennifer Stevenson, and Jane Wallace to the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).  We are ready to move to the next phase of our search for a new pastor which starts with the PNC meeting with the Committee on Ministry (COM).

Congregational Meeting, July 19th following Worship Service

There will be a congregational meeting following worship service on July 19, 2015 to approve the 2015/2016 budget.

Women’s Bible Study on Esther
July 7, 12PM

Bring a bagged lunch and meet in the library.  If you would like to join the group for this new study, please contact Nancy Leonard (neleonard@aol.com or 408-262-4524).

Second Sunday Lunch, July 12

The Preschool Board is providing Second Sunday Lunch on July 12.  Before lunch a Dixieland Band will play. Lunch will consist of a wonderful salad bar and Brownies for dessert.

Please sign up if you think you will be joining us.

Music and Art VBS is Cancelled

Due to insufficient enrollment Music and Art VBS has been cancelled. 

Single Day VBS Planned for August

The Christina Education Committee and Youth Group are planning a single day VBS some time in August for all ages.  We’re not exactly sure what all will be on the agenda, but we will definitely be creating home made slime.  Everyone who is looking for an opportunity to make some noise and get a little messy is welcome to participate.  Further details will be made available as the event is planned.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

After worked more units with one less Chaplain, the open position was finally posted. I wrote interview questions and met with the other Chaplains to review them. I have also met with our Director to review the questions and she is satisfied with them. She has posted two positions: Priest and Chaplain. Hopefully soon we will have applicants applying,  have their interview, tour, and someone will be hired. We wait anxiously!

I have been asked to work with the ER physician (Director), trauma physician, guest services, and admissions to come up with a process and policy regarding physicians talking to families timely when there is a trauma. Most times the physician and staff are so busy working to save the person that they don’t always realize how much time has passed and family is still waiting. It is good to be in this team because I get to help put the process together so information flows quicker to families. Sometimes we don’t know the patient’s name and they are given what’s called an alias and this causes a problem for family who come looking for their loved one and give us the real name.

Work at the hospital
We had a mom who wanted daily prayer for her son, who is 60 yrs old, she was upset when it didn’t happen everyday. I visited with the family to understand their needs while in the hospital, gave them some spiritual literature, and explained that as much as we want to visit daily, it is not always possible. After explaining the reasons why we can’t promise, his mom said she understood and was ok with it. I provided her with information about visiting the chapel whenever she wanted, reading to her son, and praying with him. Since he is a dialysis patient and it usually takes about four hours, I explained that she can go to the chapel and spend as much time as she wanted. My visit with them was 30 minutes and very helpful for his mom. Everyone is now  happy. When he’s in dialysis, I can visit him because I am the Nephrology (kidney) chaplain who visits the dialysis patients.

When four year old boy was brought in for seizures, I visited his mom and dad. They shared that he had eaten his food, most likely had food left in his mouth when she put him to bed. It became lodged in his throat and caused him to have a seizure. He was intubated (life support), tests run on his body, and hopefully will have life support removed in a few days. It has been pretty scary for the parents. They don’t want to leave his side.

Two teenagers were playing Russian roulette.  They thought the gun was not loaded.  One of the teenages was shot in the face.  She had a 10 hour surgery this past Friday and is doing well. She wrote on a piece of paper for her Mom: “why did this happen to me?” The mom explained it the best that she could and hoping that the little girl will not feel any guilt or remorse. They will get counseling for her but want her face to heal more. Because she is not able to swallow, she will have a feeding tube in her stomach for two months until her face and throat heals. We have said many prayers for her.

I am still visiting at Woman’s hospital and only visit those in antepartum, oncology, and ICU. I only visit the babies in NICU if I am called. Since my travel there is only once of twice a week now, I try to make the best use of my time with the ladies.

~ To be continued~

June 2015

Meanwhile at Foothill…
Julie Cline, Elder and Acting Head of Staff

The end of May and the beginning of June has been an unbelievably busy and productive time in the life of Foothill Presbyterian Church.  We wrapped up the Easter season with a Pentecost Service planned by the Worship Committee.  Four of our members, Xiwei Wu, Anthony Lam, Victoria Adjei and Jennifer Stevenson told us about their faith journeys. Afterward, we scarfed down peach cobbler and sweet potato pie. The preschool graduated its 18th class and our Transition Committee settled on a candidate for our new interim pastor, Nan Swanson.  The Mission Study Team submitted a revised Mission Study document to the Committee on Ministry and it passed!   After we elect our Pastor Nominating Committee on June 14th, the search for our new pastor will begin in earnest.  Looks like things will NOT be slowing down at Foothill Church this summer.

Pastor Bob and his wife, Marianne, have returned from their trip to Hawaii and are settling in at home.  Before they left, Bob had received encouraging news about his latest full body PET scan---the chemotherapy has prevented new tumors from forming and the older tumors are shrinking.  In a few days, Pastor Bob will resume chemotherapy and, here at Foothill,  we'll continue to hope and pray—and trust (that's the hard one, isn't it)--that God is present in Bob and Marianne's lives and actively attending to both of them.

A Bob and Marianne Update
Julie Cline, Elder and Acting Head of Staff

Bob and Marianne report that their vacation time in Hawaii was wonderful.  However, when boarding the plane for the trip home, Marianne fell.  She fractured the top of the orbital bone around her left eye and suffered a concussion.  She was hospitalized and they remained in Hawaii for another week.

When I visited on Thursday, June 11th, Marianne reported she is feeling better, except for some annoying dizziness.  She also joked about their one-lane hallway and dual walkers.  Bob has begun chemotherapy again.  He gets a treatment every three weeks. After 9 weeks, he’ll have another PET scan to see whether the chemo is still effective. He was tired when I visited—the heat and the chemo are both sapping.  Bob has also begun aqua therapy to regain some of the strength in his limbs.  He said that the water was energizing!  Your cards and letters are still very much appreciated.  Please continue to keep Bob and Marianne in your prayers.

Transition Committee Update
Karen Withrow, Clerk of Session

The Transition Committee met with two possible candidates for Interim Pastor.  While both were excellent candidates, we particularly liked Nan Swanson.  Nan has a tremendous background and the committee members felt that she would be a very good fit for Foothill.  Nan was able to come and preach at Foothill on Sunday, May 31st and was very well received.  The committee will meet again shortly to make a determination about inviting Nan to be our new Interim Pastor.  Should we decide to move forward, we will then go to Session for approval.  With Session's approval, we will present an offer to Nan.  Following the presentation of the offer and acceptance, the next step will be to send the offer to Committee on Ministry for their final approval.  As we move forward in the process, I will keep you all posted!  We're hoping to be able to report that we have a new Interim Pastor soon!

New Women’s Bible Study July 7

Out with the “Bad Girls” and in with a new look at Esther! The women’s bible study has concluded our study using Elizabeth Curtis Higgs book Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them and is now going to begin studying the book of Esther from the Old Testament.  This group, open to all women, meets every other Tuesday at noon for a brown bag lunch, fellowship and study/discussion.

Our first meeting for this new study will be Tuesday, July 7 at noon in the library. If you would like to join the group for this new study, please let Nancy Leonard (neleonard@aol.com or 408-262-4524) know so that materials for you can be printed.

Call for meals for Pastor Bob
Laurie Schuler, Deacon

Pastor Bob and his wife Marianne have returned from their vacation in Hawaii. Pastor will begin his chemotherapy again and still needs our help in providing evening meals. We will work alongside Los Gatos Presbyterian Church alternating weeks.

Whatever you are making for your own dinner would be perfect. Small entrée portions, plus salads and dessert would be very nice. Or you can buy something that just needs warming up. It's up to you. Foothill can help with transportation, if needed.

If you would like to volunteer to make a dinner, please email laurie.schuler@yahoo.com and she will provide the details and put you on the calendar!

Thanks to all who have helped out. Your kindness and support is very much appreciated.

Memorial Day 2015 Front Door Ministry Style
Darlene Ristrim

It was 7:30AM when the first volunteers arrived.  It was time to start the beans, open up the packages of hot dogs and buns, cut the watermelon, put beverages on the cart and fill up a bin with pre-packaged snacks such as cookies, granola bars, and fruit bits.

Hot dogs were cooked, watermelon cut, beans heated and buns placed on cookie sheets…opening time was 9:30AM.

I arrived at 9:15AM with 123 pair of socks donated by Foothill members and friends. (I save the sock donations until I have at least 12 dozen.  That way each person can have a pair of new socks (or so I thought).

At 9:30AM the serving team was in place ready to greet and serve.  Step right up and receive 2 hot dogs, some beans, move on to pick up a snack, beverage, watermelon and lastly a new pair of socks.  Chairs were brought out so people could have a place to sit and enjoy a little fellowship before heading on back to the street.  Smiles, bless you and thank you were our reward for taking time to serve the homeless.

We ran out of hot dogs at 10:40…which meant that 150 lunches had been served.  Regular lunch bags were then served along with leftover beans and other food served earlier until 11:30AM.

Yes, we ran out of socks by 10:15!  I’m ready to start collecting socks again (also hygiene items).  When I receive a $10 off coupon for Kohl’s I check out their socks…and hope they are on sale.

The Semibreve
Jay Jordana, Director of Music Ministry

Summer is nearly here! School is almost out, and vacations are planned. Foothill ensembles will be taking their well-deserved summer break.  To that end, guests will be providing us special music over the summer as follows:

Here is a list of people who will be playing/singing summer music:
June 21st – Joanne Reinecker, piano
June 28th – Masumi Mei, soprano
July 5th – Ronn Ealy, bass
July 12th  (Dixieland Worship Service) - Top of the Hill Traditional Jazz Band
July 19th – Bob Barker, guitar
July 26th – Lee Shatto, piano
Aug 2nd – Genni Schroeder, soprano
Aug 9th – Larry and Carla Sue, bell duet
Aug 16th –  Peggy Spool, soprano
Aug 23rd – Albee Mabeza, tenor
Aug 30th – Ronn Ealy, bass
Sept 6th – Jon Roblin, piano

Sunday, July 12th, 10:30 AM
This year’s annual Dixieland worship service will be on Sun, July 12th.  Special music will be provided by the Top of the Hill Traditional Jazz Band to be followed by a hymn sing, and a luncheon hosted by the Foothill Christian Preschool.

Joyfully Making Music and Art
Monday, July 27th - Thursday, July 30th
9Am - noon, daily

Can you help us get the word out? Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell EVERYONE about this exciting event! We have flyers. We have brochures. Want one? Let me know.  This summer camp offers classes in music, arts, crafts, and photography. There will also be Bible lessons, games and snacks. Kids going into 4th through 5th grades are invited. Tuition is $30 per child; $50 for two children. T-shirt included. Please call the church office for registration.  Enrollment is limited.

If you are interested in volunteering to reach out to the youth of the community through this fun event, please email me at jayjordana@gmail.com , or just tap me on the shoulder on Sunday and let me know.

Vivace Youth Chorus Tour Concert - Sat, Jun 20th, 3 PM
Houston Jones – Sun, Sept 27th, 3 PM

Want to help us advertise, we’d happily give you a flyer.  Check out: www.foothillcommunityconcertseries.org. You may now buy your tickets online.

Know of musical goings-on in the community? Please let me know. I’d love to share it in this column.

How Small is Foothill?

At Foothill Church, we measure our size by headcount.  We count ourselves by number of people who are members, number of people who are regular worship attendees, and number of people who are actively serving on committees, then we compare those counts to past tallies (422 at our largest) and we conclude that we are, indeed, a small church.

The June 2015 issue of Presbyterians Today addresses the subject of small churches and offers some statistics that a number of us at Foothill might find surprising.  More than half of PC(USA) churches are smaller than Foothill, the average membership of those smaller churches is 45 people.  The average membership of the remaining churches is 171 people.  Foothill has 169 members.  When compared to overall PC(USA) church membership, Foothill’s membership isn’t all that small.  Perhaps more surprising, according to the National Congregation Study*, 59% of all churches in the United States have fewer members than Foothill.

In the article titled, Small Can be Mighty, Krin Van Tatenhove writes,
“I have seen firsthand how the power of a church’s mission hangs on its answer to two questions: Are we looking inward or outward? Do we concentrate on what we have or what we lack?”

At Foothill, What is it that we’re doing when we count?  Is our focus on the 169 members we have in 2015, or the 253 people that are no longer on our roles?  When we look for ways to expand our membership is it to increase our pledges to cover operating costs or is it to enhance our missions?

Foothill is a church in transition with a current member count of 169.  Whether we see ourselves as a small church or a church with a membership in the top 41% of US churches, if we count our blessing instead of our people, we can be mighty.

To read the June 2015 issue of Presbyterians Today, go online to http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/

*The National Congregations Study surveys a representative sample of America's churches, synagogues, mosques and other local places of worship. Initiated in 1998, the NCS gathers information about a wide range of characteristics and activities of congregations.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millendar


God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them. D. Fisher.


It has been a difficult and emotional month in the Pastoral care office. A Chaplains who had been with the hospital for almost eight years was terminated. Our Director met with us as a group to talk about it, but of course could not share the reason (s) he was terminated. It has meant several things to many of us: we have lost a friend, a Chaplain, and have more work to do.  He has a family (spouse and three children) so we continue to pray that he will find a job soon. One of the difficult things for me is the ERC shift, which is 3:00 to 11:30 and on-call all night. I have had to work an additional shift this month, we all have to do more until someone is hired.

Work at the hospital
As our daily census continues to increase the number of gunshot wounds have also increased.  I received a page from the operator saying a Level 2 trauma (gunshot) was in route to the hospital. When I rushed to ER, he was just being wheeled in by EMS. He was alert and talking but in a lot of pain. He had been shot in his lower back.  I asked how he was feeling, could I call someone for him, and what had happened. He shared that it was an altercation between another man and a woman but did not share the specifics. He stated that his Mom knew he was going to the hospital and asked me not to call her. When his sister and her man arrived, he asked that only his sister be allowed to visit, which I honored. His RN shared that he would go to a regular ER room and no longer a trauma, I was happy for him.

As I was getting ready to walk his sister to the room, I received another page from the operator stating a Level 1 was en route to the hospital and it was a gunshot. When he arrived, there was blood everywhere. The EMS and police shared that he had gone to the back door when someone knocked but no one was there. When he heard the knock at his front door, he opened the door and was shot twice in his chest with a 16-gauge shotgun. The policeman said it was intentional. Miraculously he survived. This was also an altercation about a woman. The patient was downgraded from a Level 1 to a Level 2, which was good.

When a man (71 yrs) was admitted from the Physician’s office to the Oncology unit, he was very sick. He was in the hospital about one hour and died. I went to the room, introduced myself to the family, and let them know I would be there with them. They informed me that their Pastor and more family was coming.  We provided a hospitality cart (fruit, water, coffee, rolls) for them.  They had many family members visit and after three hours the RN came to ask me to find a way to ask them to leave. I explained to her in a very nice way that I would not do this because she had informed them to take their time. I also let her know that I would be checking on them from time to time. After six hours, they decided to leave and she was given funeral home information. The family expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the staff.

The Palliative care conference was great. I learned a lot, have been using some things I have learned, and met more Chaplains. Next year it will be in San Diego, CA and I hope (God willing) that I will attend.

May 2015

A Note from Head of Staff
Julie Cline, Elder

Summer is almost upon us and life at FPC is busy, busy.  Peg and Nancy have several major administrative projects to conquer---updating our accounting and membership software, making some changes in the way we do accounting (that I don't fully understand),  adding new pages to the FPC website---to name a few.  If you  have noticed announcements about office closures on Mondays, those projects are the reason.  Please keep an eye out for more of these announcements. 

Meanwhile, the Mission Study Team is using the Committee on Ministry's suggestions to revise the first draft of our Mission Study.  We hope to have another version ready in a few weeks. You may pick up a copy of the first draft, complete with comments from COM, in the Narthex.

The Worship Committee has a Lay Sunday planned for May 24th.  FPC Members will be talking about their experiences growing up Presbyterian in different ethnic and cultural environments. On May 31st, Nan Swanson will fill our pulpit.  She'll be follow by Jenni Bales on June 7th.  On July 12th, we'll be joined by Evergreen Presbyterian Church for our annual Dixieland service and Nancy Harrington, pastor at Evergreen, will be fill our outdoor pulpit.

I'm still working on the rest of June, July and August and Peg will be sending short biographies of our guest pastors via all-church e-mail the week before each preaches.

Also, at the request of the Stewardship Committee, each Sunday during the Minute for Mission our committees have been educating us about what they've accomplished in the past year and what projects they hope to launch into during the upcoming year. They will continue to do this through Commitment Sunday on June 7th. Please listen carefully.  You may find a project that you would like to support or become more involved in.  Certainly you'll learn why it is so very important to pledge your monetary support to our church.  We want to continue to do good work in the community and within our walls.  We need to keep the lights on both spiritually and electrically.  We need water for baptisms and for maintaining the preschool's lawn. Your pledges pay for everything from those stubby little pencils in our pew racks to our staff members' salaries.  Tithing, giving, is key to maintaining the life and work of Foothill Presbyterian Church. Besides all that, it's also a spiritual practice—like prayer or singing the Gloria Patri. All these things are ways in which we take responsibility for our own spiritual nurturing. Lately, we've found a new momentum at Foothill and things are bustling!  Let's keep it rolling by giving with joy and confidence that the disposition of those funds is ultimately in the hands of God.

How is Pastor Bob?
Julie Cline, Elder

Pastor Bob  had a PET scan to check on the effectiveness of his first round of chemotherapy.  The scan showed no progression of the cancer and tumor reduction in his liver!  He's walking without assistive devices and gaining some weight.  As this note is going “to press,” he and Marianne are winging their way to Hawaii for a 2-week vacation. They'll be joined by their children (one each week).  Bob will begin a second round of chemotherapy when he and Marianne return.

Update on the Mission Study
The Mission Study Team:
John Belz, Julie Cline, Bill Leonard, Xiwei Wu

On April 15th the Committee on Ministry (COM) for San Jose Presbytery reviewed our Mission Study.  They have given our Mission Study team some recommendations for revisions and we are busy carrying those out.  In the meantime, COM suggested we present  to you the Statement of Belief that was approved by our FPC session early in April.  That statement follows this announcement.  You'll also find a list of the committees that direct our church life.  During May, the Mission Study team will be asking these committees to look at the FPC  Statement of Belief and to discuss a couple of questions.  The first question is:  “What can your committee do to assist members of our congregation in living this statement of belief as we gather together as a congregation.”  The second is:  ““What can your committee do to assist members of our congregation in living this statement as we encounter our neighbors, both neighbors who live in the community that immediately surrounds us and neighbors in our city, state, nation and the world?”  In other words, as a congregation, how can we live our faith internally, with each other, and how can we live our faith as we interact with our neighbors, the communities that surround us.
We'd like for each of you to give these two questions some thought.  When you come up with ideas about how FPC can truly live our Statement of Belief, please pass them along to us, the Mission Study Team. We'll field them to the appropriate committee.  But beware! You may be receiving an invitation to attend a committee meeting and explain your thoughtful suggestions.

Following this article is information that may help you think about the life of FPC.  First, there is a list of our committees.  Then a couple of pie charts depict the distribution of ethnicities in the neighborhoods that surround us. Last there are two bar graphs. One graph compares the income distribution within our congregation to the income distribution in the neighborhoods surrounding our church campus.  Another graph compares educational achievement within our congregation to that of our neighbors. Take a look at it as you think about the questions that will be posed to our committees. This information is an important part of our Mission Study and is intended to help us discern our congregational call to ministry and mission.

In the next week, your first step toward truly living your faith, may be making a suggestion to the Mission Study Team about how we live our church life.  Your second step may be discussing your idea with a committee moderator over the phone, or attending a committee meeting to explain your epiphany.  In any case---whether you remain an anonymous contributor or take a more visible role---as Pentecost approaches, we hope you will be open to the Spirit as it fans our smoldering embers into flames of passion and compassion.

Church Committees
Building and Grounds
Christian Education
Dog Park
Community Garden
Finance Committee
Foothill Community Concert Series
Kitchen Coordinators
Music and Arts
Nominating Committee
Preschool Committee
Stewardship Committee

The Semibreve
Jay Jordana, Director of Music Ministries

We just finished successful Holy Week services; we are now in Eastertide, and throughout all this time, our music ensembles have been hard at work producing meaningful worship music.  We are really blessed to have so many talented people and leaders in our music ministry making Foothill a vibrant family of musicians, music lovers and supporters. You, who are reading this, fall into at least one of those categories, so that means YOU! Thank you!

Under the leadership of Kraig Williams, the Peralta Consort plays during the first Sunday of every month for worship; under Dawn Imada’s leadership the Ukelele Scramble plays once a month for worship, so do the Glory Ringers and the Chancel Ensemble who are diligently rehearsing once a week, preparing for worship services; Clayton Sanchez and brother Grayson, our resident trumpet players, will start playing once a month for worship as well.   We will soon be resurrecting an a cappella trio (formerly known as Sine Nomine) to do the same.

We have a wonderful accompanist, pianist, organist Ilki who is working hard to provide music every Sunday as well as keep us on track when we sing hymns from our awesome new hymnal. Then there are so many others who consistently donate their time and musical talent to the life of the church – Bill Andersen, Jennifer Cermak, Ronn Ealy, Joanne Reinecker, Jon Roblin, Lee Shatto, and so on… So many people who continuously give and for so many years! And throughout all these years, it’s been such a pleasure witnessing Foothill’s collective musical, hence spiritual growth.

Kraig is continuing to do good work by producing early music concerts with the Westminster Presbyterian Church Early Music Series; Dawn’s Ukelele Scramble brings joy to folks as they play in retirement communities; Clayton Sanchez’s compositions are becoming more prolific; Woody continues to sing in choruses in the community (ask him about his Lord of the Rings performance at the Center for the Performing Arts). Oh, and ask the choirs about their a cappella, gospel, and 3+3+2+2 work. They’ll tell you more.

What else? On the non-musical ensemble front, the Foothill Music and Arts Academy Committee is working on producing the VBS Joyfully Making Music Camp in July as part of laying the groundwork for an after school Foothill Music and Arts Academy (FMAA). FMAA seeks to reach out to the youth of the community by providing music and art education to those who would otherwise just be on the street, idle, unable to afford the exploration of musical and artistic knowledge.  

The Foothill Community Concert Series Committee continues to be hard at work providing varied music to the community, promoting live music and the arts, and providing an avenue of support for musicians – all expressing our fundamental belief here at Foothill that music is one of God’s beautiful gifts. A $50 admission fee for a non-FCCS concert? Come to an FCCS concert and well let your child 12 and under for free, and by the way, that $50 ticket will only be $20 or $25. In return, you get to see an awesome performance, and you get to meet the artist(s) while munching on some goodies. How can you beat that? By the way, our good relationship with KKUP, 91.5 FM continues to blossom. KKUP has consistently allowed us to advertise our concerts at their station, and can you believe that radio host David Stafford is now ushering in our concerts?!

Anything else? Because of the worship committee’s vision, we had a fun Mardi gras celebration where our resident traditional jazz ensemble Top of the Hill Jazz Band played. We danced, we ate, and we laughed. The kids had fun too! We got to celebrate Mardi gras with a real Dixieland Band?! Really?! Wow. That is so cool.

There’s more? We have a new upright piano in the Fellowship Hall in addition to our awesome Roland keyboard, and the blue hymnals that we have given away are now in the hands of three churches that are happily using them.

We go on and on… And I firmly believe that God continues to work through us on and on, not just through our big dreams and visions but through opportunities that are presented to us.

I am grateful that we continue to open our hearts as we manifest God’s dreams and visions, and that we continue to listen attentively to recognize opportunities to do God’s work.
What a wonderful journey! Glad we could do it together.

Joyfully Making Music
July 27th – 31st
There will be a summer VBS music and arts camp this summer!  Classes in music, arts, crafts, and photography are offered. There will also be games and snacks.
Monday, July 27th - Thursday, July 30th
9Am - noon, daily
Kids going into 4th through 5th grades are invited.
Tuition is $30 per child; $50 for two children. T-shirt included.
Please call the church office for registration.  Enrollment is limited.

If you are interested in volunteering to reach out to the youth of the community through this fun event, please email me at jayjordana@gmail.com or just tap me on the shoulder on Sunday and let me know. We’d definitely appreciate the help.

Vivace Youth Chorus – Sat, Jun 20th, 3 PM
Houston Jones – Sun, Sept 27th, 3 PM
Want to help us advertise, we’d happily give you a flyer.
Check out: www.foothillcommunityconcertseries.org. You may now buy your tickets online.

Know of musical goings-on in the community? Please let me know. I’d love to share it in this column.

What do the Music of the Spheres and the harmonic modes have in common?
Hint: Plato and Pythagoras
Please email me your complete response. If yours is correct, you get to choose the closing hymn of one worship service within a month. First one to let me know the correct answer gets the prize! Hurry!

Concert Review
Tom Frey

The National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA) concert on April 19 featured six different composers.  The first piece, by Simon Bokman,  was a piano sonata subtitled as an imaginary ballet.  This was the kind of music one thinks of when talking about modern classical music, and as a ballet could only have been performed with "modern" dance.  The music was largely not in a harmonic mode that average listeners (me) would be comfortable with, and only occasionally found a rhythmic center for any extended period.  Given the program notes that were distributed, it was possible to see a connection between the music and the story line in some cases - but again the unfamiliar musical language made that a bit harder.
The second piece was a flute and piano duo work by Greg Bartholomew. The flute carried much of the lead, and its part had a Romantic feel, with subliminal touches of pop and jazz influences that made it feel relatively 21st century.  The piano accompaniment matched nicely, with an occasional flourish that seemed almost baroque.

The first set closed with John Beeman's Blues In b (lower case b meaning B flat).  The instrumentation included clarinet, piano, and bass.  The piece was arranged as traditional blues followed by a series of variations.  The  phrasing in the main section didn't have a completely blues feel, but some of the variations in the short piece were quite nice.

The second half of the program began with a set of etudes for pianist/percussionist. Composer Davide Verotta played piano, with two cymbals, one on either side of him.  While the cymbal sounds went well with the piano composition, I have to ask why the composer needed to play both parts.  I suppose it is an interesting constraint, but it forced the piano line either to pause or drop to a single hand to allow Verotta to  hit or scrape the cymbal.  The piano lines were interesting and often vigorous, as one might expect for a study.

Two pieces by Dale Victorine followed the Verotta set  were easily the "prettiest" tunes of the day.  The first, a sonata movement, started with the melody carried by solo piano and picked up beautifully by the violin.  After that the melody tended to stay with the violin and was complemented with a nice harmony line from the piano. At times the melody was carried simultaneously by both instruments—very nicely constructed.  Victorine's  second composition was nominally a tango, although the stresses were not exactly as one might naively expect for a tango, with the rhythm closer to tango In the violin than in the piano.  Still, it was an attractive tune -  sounding 1920ish, maybe.  I pictured a party Agatha Christy’s Hercule Poirot might attend.

We closed with two pieces from Jay Lyon based on texts by Victoria Ehrlich.  These were both for three vocalists, harp, and cello.  The early parts of the first (Morning Words) contained considerable spoken recitation from the vocalist, which occurred off and on throughout.  The instrumental parts, when out front, tended toward the slow and dissonant.  Both vocals and instrumentation became more complex as the piece went on, with some quite striking material occurring in the later sections.  The second piece followed in a similar vein, although all of the vocal lines were sung.  This piece finished the day with an interesting Amen which also concluded the day.

As they say, you never know what you will get at a NACUSA show.

Foothill Fineries New Meeting Time
Sharon Rowser

Looking for fellowship or stuck on a fiber arts project and need some “expert” advice?  Come join the Foothill Fineries group at our new meeting time, the last Saturday of each month. Our next meetings will be April 25, May 30, and June 27  in Classroom 9 from 10 AM to 12 noon.  Most members of our group are knitters and crocheters, but all are welcome.  We have a stock of donated yarn and patterns to get you started on a project that can be donated to one of several organizations that distribute free blankets and hats.  You are also welcome to bring your own material, and you can keep your project if you would like.  See you there

Congratulations Graduates

  • Miss Isabella Helen Munoz, Diploma from Mount Pleasant High School, Has been accepted into San Jose State University
  • Miss Anne Mayhowe Faraday, BS from U.C. San Diego
  • Mr. Mark John Faraday, 8th Grade graduation in Modesto, CA with Honors
  • Miss Melody Lynn Kunkee, 8th Grade graduation in Madera, CA
  • Mr. Justin Michael Kunkee, 8th Grade graduation in Madera, CA

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Oswald Chambers
Our census in the hospital has increased due to the closing of another mid-city’s hospital ER. Most people feel displaced with no place to go to except our hospital, which is further from their living areas. Our ER department has been crowded and has prompted hiring of many new RN’s and other personnel. It has been a trying time for many in the hospital.

Work at the hospital
We have seen an increase in the number of our calls to pastoral care. We typically respond to all crisis calls, stroke and heart alerts, deaths, code blues, and spiritual distress. We have also seen an increase in gun shots and abuse cases. Lots of violence lately!

On a Friday right before lunchtime, I was called by the lady from life-gift (organ donation). She asked for me to visit a man whose son was probably brain-dead. I visited the man, explained who I was and asked how I could be of service and comfort to him at the moment. He said he was ok but asked me to pray for his son who needed all the help he could get. We held hands and I prayed. He thanked me and I explained how to get in touch with me if he needed me to come back later. The man’s son had been shot eight times and some of the bullets were still lodged in his head, which meant surgery was not an option. I was called by the physician about 2 hours later. He explained that he would be informing the young man’s parents about brain-death and withdrawing from life-support on Saturday. The physician had ordered a special brain functionality test to have more concrete information before he informed the parents.

When he shared this information with the parents, the mom sobbed and wailed loudly. The father said this can’t be true! He stated that he needed until Monday because of phone calls he had to make to his folks in Nigeria. They had buried another son of gunshots one year ago (he was 18  yrs old). {the parents are separated} What made this so difficult and emotional was the culture of the father who is Nigerian and the mom American. The Palliative team was called because the physician could not authorize this longer stay in ICU. The Practitioner gave them until Monday to support the family. Because of this difficult situation, our ethics team had to get involved. There were several meetings with the parents and the administrators of the hospital. The parents were not demanding anything. Because of the culture of the father and the hospital administrators not wanting any issues, they said it was ok to wait until Monday. The father wanted respect because he was losing his only son and wanted to call his family. The RN’s in ICU were upset, angry, and frustrated. I listened to both sides and ensured all Chaplains were updated so that support could be provided during the night shift and times I was not there.

The mom shared her situation, concerns, support she felt, but most importantly her grief of losing another child. The father was not so trusting. He was dealing with death of family members in Nigeria and his only son being killed by gunshots. This young man was shot by a friend who has since turned himself in to police. What both parents are dealing with is losing a child with no chance of recovery. Many of the Chaplains spent time supporting family, friends, and staff. On late Monday afternoon, he was withdrawn from life-support and died about 15 minutes later.

A young lady (56) on the Oncology unit was told her cancer had returned and she now had brain mets, which meant it was all over her brain. They gave her hope with radiation treatments. She has to have a total of 21 but there’s no guarantee it will help the way she wants. She wants to go to MD Anderson in Houston for a 2nd opinion. She was discharged and will continue to have her radiation treatments as an out-patient.

I will be attending a Palliative Care conference in Orlando, FL from April 20th to April 22nd. They are expecting about 900 people and I look forward to it. It’s always great to keep up with the latest information in your field.

~ To be continued~ Worry is pulling tomorrow’s CLOUDS over today’s SUNSHINE-Adrian Rogers

April 2015

Visiting Bob

Julie Cline, Elder

On April 7th, as I was driving to Los Gatos to drop off the food Nancy Leonard had prepared for Bob and Marianne, I resolved to pop my head in the door, hand over the food and scoot.  I figured Bob would be tired from his chemo treatments and Marianne would be exhausted from the treatments too---for different reasons. A quick in and out was what to do, like a fast food drive-up window arriving at their doorstep and then disappearing.

Pastor Bob, at home, holding cards that were made for him by the children of Foothill Christian Preschool

Pastor Bob, at home, holding cards that were made for him by the children of Foothill Christian Preschool

But no, I got there just as Bob and Marianne were returning from a doctor's appointment, accompanied by an entourage of volunteers from Los Gatos Presbyterian Church.  Bob was smiling and waving at me and completely ignoring the cautious direction he was receiving about getting in and out of the car and down the walkway to the front door of his home. Pretty soon I found myself seated in the living room and telling him all about what had been going on at FPC.  The Mission Study was complete and the session was reviewing it.  Clarissa Moore had volunteered to chair the Worship Committee.  Holy Week was successful and everyone had been talking about the Easter Service---how good it felt to have a full sanctuary. I told him all the things the staff had been up to and how Peg and I had worked our butts off to get the Mission Study formatted properly and the Holy Week bulletins done.  Bob was so energized and happy to hear about all the odd little details and everything that was going on. He made suggestions and kept coming up with ideas for us.  He asked me what the congregation was planning for the summer and fall. Of course, this was his way of urging me to get something going, to keep us moving forward while we are waiting for a new interim.  All the while, Marianne listened, chiming in occasionally.  She was pleased to see Bob so engaged and enjoying himself. He was pastoring our congregation from his living room—and doing a good job.  His energy was contagious.

After we chatted for a while, I realized I had not asked him how he was doing, so I did.  He told me, “I'm tired and I'm not thinking clearly.”  At first I chuckled and then I just laughed out loud.  “You seem to be the best I’ve seen you in weeks, almost since your diagnosis” I told him.   Sure, most of his hair was gone and he was thin, but his thoughts and behavior and energy were spewing out in that familiar, Bob-styled deluge of ideas.  I told him this too.  He told me he was concentrating on healing.  Marianne threw out, “I like that.” She made the same remark a second time, reinforcing his focus on healing, getting past the cancer and back to a healthy life.  Shortly after, another visitor arrived.  Bob stood up to greet him.  I stood up too, and made my exit.

As I was driving home, I thought about the moments I had just spent with Bob and Marianne. Maybe Bob is healing, I thought, and maybe he will beat the cancer.  Or, perhaps this was only a good day---I had just come at the right moment.  Then I thought, who cares?  I had shared hope and life and energy with the Butzigers and I was carrying some good ideas back to Foothill. I decided to hold all of that in my heart.

For years my mom had a card posted on the door of my parents' refrigerator. It is now posted on the refrigerator at my house. It says: “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles.  It empties today of its strength.” It's been nearly a week since I visited Bob and Marianne, but the strength of that day is still will me.
Thanks be to God.

Easter at Foothill

Eileen Parks, Elder

You didn’t need a bonnet to appreciate the wonderful atmosphere at Foothill for Easter Sunday. We were so fortunate to have some of the congregants of the Evergreen Presbyterian church joining us not only for the service but also taking part in the choir. It felt so good to have a full church with big voices to fill the air on this most wonderful day. We were blessed to have both the Rev Nancy Harrington (pastor at Evergreen Pres) and the Rev Joey Lee ( Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of San Jose) lead the service.  Though it must be hard to preach on the same topic over and over, year after year, Rev Nancy Harrington managed to bring a message of new hope, beautifully delivered, and well received.

It was wonderful seeing some who have long since moved away, some who are the “Easter and Christmas” group, and generally experiencing a great fullness of spirit.  HE IS RISEN

Youth Group Brings the Easter Egg Hunt
to Pastor Bob and Marianne

Peg Nickl, Parent

Since Pastor Bob wasn’t able to come to Foothill on Easter, Youth Group decided to take the Easter Egg hunt to him. With Julie Cline’s help, a 4.5 foot paper “courtyard” was created and the congregation was invited to write messages on paper eggs to hide in the grass.

The egg hunt in the actual courtyard was also a big success.  Henry and Marty Nickl hid 96 plastic eggs filled with assorted treats, and then they helped the Sunday school kids find them.  Everyone agreed that Shannon Paunet was the champion egg finder, and the prize for most enthusiasm went to Regan, Gay Southwell’s grandson, who, at 2 years old, was equally delighted with each and every one of the 20 or so eggs that he found.  Ashton Paunet and Rose Johnson both showed amazing maturity and understanding when asked to leave the most easily found eggs for the younger seekers, and I have to say that I didn’t think it was possible for a group of kids to be so generous and collaborative in a search for candy!  Youth Group hopes to be invited to hide eggs again next year.

The Egg Hunt card Youth Group made for Pastor Bob and Marianne

The Egg Hunt card Youth Group made for Pastor Bob and Marianne

Preschool Teacher Appreciation Dinner

Eileen Parks, Preschool Board Moderator

Each year, the preschool board hosts a dinner event to celebrate the hard work our teachers do to keep the school up and running successfully.  This year the event is on May 1, featuring a raffle with prizes donated by the community as well as by church members.  The proceeds go towards keeping the facility up to date and well cared for. It is really quite an ambitious project. The children do a musical program in the sanctuary, followed by a presentation and thank you to the teachers. The children then go to the classroom for pizza, followed by a puppet show. While the children are being entertained, dinner is prepared and served by board members for the parents. We have served as many as 109 people so it is a big project. This year, in lieu of an auction, we will have a fellowship time with appetizers and piano music by Bill Andersen, followed by dinner and raffle awards.  We look forward to enthusiastic participation, a big thank you to the teachers and a successful fundraising event.

Thank you to the Preschool Board: Jan Miller, Eileen Parks, Bertha Nelson, Nancy Rubio and Jerry Siegfried

Women's Bible Study

Nancy Leonard

When eleven vibrant women gather every other Tuesday for lunch and bible study, the discussions are fun and lively. Since January this group has been using Liz Curtis Higgs’ book Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them as our study guide. So far, we’ve read about and discussed Eve, Potiphar’s wife, Lot’s wife, Delilah, Sapphira and Rahab. For most of us our memories of these women are from our childhood Sunday School days, and re-reading the stories along with the biblical implications and lessons coinciding with them brings new insight seeing the stories as adults—quite different than the first time!

Each week a different woman takes responsibility to prepare and lead the discussion so that no one has to take on a very large responsibility other than to read the chapter at hand each time. Any interested woman is welcome to join us in the library. Our next meeting is noon on April 21st  , when Jezebel is on the agenda, and lasts about an hour.

Call for Meals for Pastor Bob

Laurie Schuler, Moderator of Deacons

Pastor Bob and his wife Marianne could use our help in the kitchen. Los Gatos Presbyterian has been alternating weeks with Foothill in providing evening meals during Bob’s chemotherapy and we plan to continue.  Whatever you are making for your own dinner would be perfect. Small entrée portions, plus salads and dessert would be very nice. Or you can buy something that just needs warming up. It's up to you. Foothill can help with transportation, if needed.  Your kindness is very much appreciated. If you would like to volunteer, please email me at laurie.schuler@yahoo.com and I will provide the details and put you on the calendar!

Mission Matters

$1,051 was collected on Easter Sunday for One Great Hour of Sharing.  A gift to One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed.*

Teen Challenge will be visiting us again this year on August 9. Mission Committee will also be hosting Second Sunday lunch that day to give the congregation and the Teen Challenge folks an opportunity to mingle and connect on a more personal level.  Teen Challenge offers Christ-centered, faith-based solutions to youth, adults, and families who struggle with life-controlling problems.**

CROP Walk is happening April 19th!! We already have several walkers lined up and they are quickly lining up sponsors.  If you aren’t going to walk, be sure to sponsor someone who is!

*from http://specialofferings.pcusa.org/oghs
**from http://teenchallengeusa.com/about

Supporting our Local Mission Partners
The Lord's Pantry and Front Door Ministry

Please continue to support our mission partners throughout the year.  On Sundays bring non-perishable food items for the Lord’s Pantry: canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, tuna, rice, dry cereal, baby food and formula.  Front Door Ministry is in constant need of hygiene items: soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.  There is always a great need for men’s athletic socks.

Joyfully Making Music and Art

Foothill Presbyterian Church is offering a summer camp with classes in music and fine art.  Games and snacks are also available.  The students will present a musical performance at the end of the final day of camp.  Children who will be entering 4th and 5th grade in the fall (through 12 years) are invited.

Dates:  July 27 – July 30, 2015

Time: 9:00 – 12:00 noon

Tuition: $30.00 per child  $20.00 each for additional child*

Location: Foothill Presbyterian Church 5301 McKee Road, SJ, CA 95127

Registration: Call (408) 258-8133. 
Enrollment is limited

*Limited partial scholarships may be available.

Volunteers are needed to assist teachers and other workers.

Adult Christian Education

"Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times" a four session class - Lunch Provided 

Wednesdays in May at 11:30AM

  • Be Impeccable with Your Words
  • Don't Take Anything Personally
  • Don't Make Assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

This class will study how The Four Agreements, a Totec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz relates to the Bible and Christianity.  A minimum of 10 people is required for the class.  A small fee will be collected to cover lunch cost.  Book purchase ($8) is optional. 

Concert Review

Tom Frey

The South Bay Philharmonic was back on March 6 with a program titled “Romeo and Juliet”.  Cards on the table, I’m not a big fan of Romantic composers, and the program opened with Tchaikovsky.  About as Romantic as you can get.  Still, I found the version of the Romeo and Juliet Overture fairly enjoyable.  There was a point where the strings were holding a discordant harmony that slowly resolved into the famous Romeo and Juliet theme (admittedly a lovely tune) that was particularly nice.  As far as I’ve been able to tell, this is due to the arranger, and not really Tchaikovsky.  Anyhow, this was followed by an aria from a Bellini Opera who’s title would translate as Capulaets and Montagues.  It was well sung, although I am not much of a judge of this type of operatic singing.  The accompaniment started a bit shaky but firmed up as the singer (Kathryn Benedicto) started the vocal part.  The first set ended with a Romeo and Juliet Fantasie by Svendsen.  The playing here was also quite good, but outside of an early theme the music seemed to me a collection of orchestral gestures without much by way of real tunes.

The second set opened with the second piano trio from Felix Mendelssohn.  This was the kind of music I really enjoy.  I have not heard much of Mendelssohn’s chamber music as I tend to listen to classical music from earlier periods, but SBP’s rendition will inspire me to look a into his work a bit more.  The performance only contained the first and fourth movements of the trio.  Really blazing piano work was handled very well by Andrea Wu, with Xinran Lu on violin and Harris Kirsch on cello not letting the team down either.  The orchestra came back on for Prokofiev’s Montages and Capulets, another fairly well known piece of music.  Parts of the orchestra struggled at points in this piece, but the main theme came through well.  Next was the Nino Rota’s tune “A Time For Us" from Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet movie.  Even if modern, it is a very romantic piece.  Doing it with an orchestra leads to a kind of smoothed out version, but the solo violin work by concertmaster Kayla Butler brought out the vocal expressiveness I remember from the song.  The closer was a section of pieces from West Side Story.  The orchestra generally did well, although there was a disconnect with timing with some of the percussion instruments through the first couple of tunes of the suite.

In summary, if you are into the romantic, this would have likely been a really good selection for you.  Certainly a clever theme to organize around.  I’ve heard the South Bay Philharmonic perform a bit better, but it was all in all a good outing for the group.

Geezers Grumble About Garbage

Peg Nickl, Office Administrator

Forget what you think you know about garbage and recycling.  Also forget what you where told about Blue(Dry)/Green(Wet) garbage cans at Foothill.  The Foothill community needs to be retrained in waste disposal, and the training needs to happen quickly because Republic Services, our waste hauling company, has started to charge an extra $140.00 for each pick up where we separate our garbage incorrectly.

There are only two types of garbage,
compostable/organic and mixed recyclable.

Compostable goes into the green dumpster and is limited to organics, i.e. food and yard waste.

Mixed recyclables go into the white dumpster and include everything that isn’t compostable/organic.

All recyclables go into the same bin because Republic Services does the separating for us at the world’s largest material recovery facility located in the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park.*

 Before you throw something in the trash, ask yourself, “Is this organic, will this compost?”  If the answer is no then the item should be put in the white dumpster.  We’ll be re-labeling the trash cans in what we hope will be a more helpful way.

 *About Newby Island Resource Recovery Park (From http://www.bulkhandlingsystems.com/republic-services-opens-worlds-largest-material-recovery-facility/)

Republic Services proudly operates the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park, the world’s largest recycling operation. It processes up to 110 tons per hour of multiple waste streams and sets a new standard for the recycling industry.  The facility will process all of the commercial waste generated by businesses in San Jose.  Newby Island houses the local hauling company, recyclery, composting facility and landfill. The Company has 289 employees and is dedicated to investing in manpower, equipment and state-of-the-art facilities that will have a positive environmental impact on these communities and the world.

March 2015

The Pastor's Corner

First of all, let me give many, many thanks for all of you who have offered prayers for healing, and picked up the slack in the past months.   As you may know, in November    I went to the doctor about a massive pain in my left leg.  It took nearly two months of every test in the book to finally discover a cyst on my hip bone.  A biopsy of the bone indicated cancer.  So with a new diagnosis, it meant redoing many of those same tests to determine what kind of cancer and how much it had spread.  The results can back showing some presence of cancer in the brain, liver, chest, and of course the left hip.  So the action now is to persist in determining how to treat it most effectively.

This Friday I will have a liver biopsy and then an appointment with my oncologist for radiation mapping.  The good news is I am getting some of my energy back, little by little.  The staff has agreed to pick up some of my duties like preaching, while I would put more emphasis on working with the Mission Study team on completing that document by EASTER.  There are several personnel issues that need taking care of and numerous action items for Session.  Of course, I anticipate working with the worship committee around planning for  Holy Week culminating with Easter Sunday, April 5.

Be patient with me as I work around the dips in my own energy flow.  Session will have guests from Presbytery COM at their regular March Meeting.                      -Interim Pastor, Bob

What’s Happening with Pastor Bob?

As most of us know, Pastor Bob has been diagnosed with cancer.  There are many details that are still          unknown and Bob is in the process of working with his medical team to determine a course of treatment.  We ask that everyone keep Bob in your prayers but to please not contact him directly.  He and Marianne are asking for privacy at this time.  Bob will continue as Foothill’s interim pastor with some additional support.  All temporary changes are being carefully considered by Session, Presbytery and the appropriate committees.  

What to expect in the following weeks.

  • Worship Service.  Bob will not be preaching.  We will have guest preachers on two Sundays and Julie Cline will fill the pulpit on the remaining Sundays.
  • Committee Meetings.  Pastor Bob will continue to attend committee meetings and direct the work of the church.
  • Pastoral Care.  Until Pastor Bob resumes office hours, please contact the church office for pastor support referral.
  • Mission Study Work.  The Mission Study Team will continue to do their work with some adjustment to deadlines.  Pastor Bob will resume his role once he returns to keeping office hours.

Lenten Schedule

Sunday, March 29, 10:30 AM—Palm Sunday Worship Service
Thursday, April 2, 7PM—Maundy Thursday Simple Supper.  We will have a simple supper pot-luck style.
Friday, April 3, 12PM—Way of the Cross at Alum Rock Park
Friday, April 3, 3PM—Easter Vigil Worship Service
Saturday, April 4, 7PM—Easter Vigil Worship Service
Sunday, April 5, 10:30AM—Easter Sunday Worship Service

Service for Spiritual Wellness
First Thursday at 6PM & Third Wednesday at 1:30PM

-Julie Cline, Spiritual Growth and Development Elder

The Service for Spiritual Wellness is a midweek meditation on a Biblical passage from the daily lectionary.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the passage and I hope those attending the service will participate in an informal discussion about the passage.  We will sing some simple call and response songs (Taize) and read from a short liturgy.  Opportunities for anointing and laying on hands will be presented and participation in this part of the service is optional. This service is meant to be a respite from the busy week, as we pause and listen to the voice of the spirit within us.

A Brief History of One Great Hour of Sharing

Tricia McReynolds, February 9, 2015

The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, received during Lent, has a sixty-nine year history as an ecumenical endeavor that now involves nine denominations and Church World Service. Founded in 1946 by Episcopal Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill, a goal was set to raise one million dollars in one hour for World Relief. *

The first Presbyterian participation in this ecumenical offering was initiated in 1947 by the the former United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA), followed in 1948 by the former Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). In 1949, church leaders from several denominations began working      together to promote this effort. Major networks broadcast a show, called "One Great Hour", on Saturday, March 26 at 10 p.m. EST. The broadcast, featuring President Truman and popular musicians and actors of the time, closed with the request to make a sacrificial contribution at their own place of worship the next morning. While there is no record of funds raised that day, it is estimated that over 75,000 churches participated. 

Over time, many aspects of the offering and its participants have changed, but the purpose remains the same: to collect special gifts for those in need - including disaster relief, refugee assistance and development aid.

Allocations within our denomination have also changed over the years, but the 202nd General Assembly (1990) voted to accept the current structure:

  • 32 percent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • 32 percent to Self-Development of People
  • 36 percent to the Presbyterian Hunger Program

Does your congregation participate in One Great Hour of Sharing? You're in good company! OGHS is our denomination's largest special offering. And the thing most people associate with their first memories of this offering?  Why, fish banks, of course!

*Ecumenical history and statistics can be found on line at  http://onegreathourofsharing.org/the-history-of-one-great-hour-of-sharing/





Mardi Gras Event

Jennifer Stevenson

Tuesday, February 17th was the first day back to the grind after the presidents day long weekend, and it was also Fat Tuesday on the Christian calendar. My whole family was feeling out of sorts due to the shift in schedule (we are a family of routine!); the kids were tired from their long first day at winter-break ‘farm camp’, I was battling a headache, and my husband had to work late. As I poured and flipped 60 pancakes* in preparation for the church’s Fat Tuesday celebration I made a deal with myself that we would only stay for 1 hour, then come home to turn in early.

 It was dark when we arrived through the church gate, to be greeted in the courtyard by a tall woman in fancy dress and an elaborate silver mask. She welcomed us with friendly words, beaded necklaces, and a schedule of events. As we entered the hall and took in the jubilant atmosphere it became clear to me that my family was going to end up staying out well past bedtime.

The food was wonderful; there were many New Orleans inspired dishes alongside old pot luck favorites. The Top of the Hill Traditional Jazz band filled the stage, performing a stellar lineup of Dixieland favorites, providing the perfect entertainment for the evening. Every new song was met with exclamations from the crowd of “Oh I love this one!” The kids weren’t the only ones running around, spinning and giggling, let me tell you, there was dancing, masks and umbrella twirling galore.

After dancing and dinner the adults humored the incredibly excited children in a “reverse Easter-egg hunt turned Chinese New Year inspired red envelope hunt” game. If this sounds confusing, it is, but basically the kids hid treats outside for a parade of adults to search for. The kids loved being in charge of the game, and I saw many excited adults eagerly seeking out treats in the dark bushes. We had so much fun. At the end of the night I had to drag my children home, kicking and screaming, to a late bedtime. 

When I’d suggested to the Worship Committee the idea of a Fat Tuesday celebration I had visions of recreating the simple, congenial evening pancake suppers that I’d enjoyed as a child in the United Church of Canada. I had no idea that Pastor Bob, the committee and the congregation would run with this celebration and create a whole Mardi Gras festival in Fellowship hall. It was a real party! I don’t have words to convey the good-natured atmosphere we experienced; this was truly one of the best fellowship events that I’ve ever attended at FPC. I hope that we will choose to celebrate Mardi Gras at FPC in the years to come. As for my family, my kids are already making masks for next year.

*The deal with the pancakes. Fat Tuesday is the last day before the Lenten season begins and has traditionally been a last “hurrah” sort of party before the season of abstaining and fasting commences.  The pancakes are a traditional way to use up rich foods on hand, such as eggs, butter and sugar, before the fast. In the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia the day is actually sometimes even referred to as “Pancake day”.

Bob's Birthday.JPG



Celebrating Pastor Bob’s Birthday

Pastor Bob cutting his cake during coffee hour.





Concert Review– Anne and Pete Sibley

Tom Frey

Anne and Pete Sibley gave a Sunday afternoon performance at Foothill on February 15th.  From opening with a Townes van Zandt song to closing with a singalong, we were certainly in the folk tradition.  Anne, in excellent voice, did most of the lead singing and played occasional guitar, while Pete picked up a couple of leads and played banjo and guitar.  The "special sauce" for this duo is the harmony work, especially the unique accompaniment that Pete provides when Anne is singing.

The set was a nice balance of original material and cover songs, including some fairly straight bluegrass tunes (as much as you can do bluegrass with a duo).  The crowd of 40-50 seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show, a sentiment with which I agree.  Apparently the Sibleys were impressed with the support provided by CD purchases, which again reflects the enthusiasm of the crowd. 

Quibbles?  The Sibleys do talk quite a bit between songs, but their natural demeanor and the content of the comments make you feel you are getting to know them and what their songs (and life) are about.  This provides a very positive vibe to the show.  Where I sat, the sound was not very loud, I have to admit.  And I think there were a few members of the crowd who would have liked a couple more uptempo numbers, but I personally felt the balance between up tempo and slower tunes was appropriate, being driven, in part, by the music that the Sibleys write. 

Anne and Pete live just down the road in Monterey, so they play the area fairly often.  I suggest you catch them at another show if you missed them at Foothill.

Singing with Keith Little and the Little Band

Carol Tillman

During my participation at the Walker Creek Music Camp in October 2014, I had the opportunity to sing onstage with Keith Little and the Little Band as part of the Bluegrass Karaoke event.  For my performance, I chose to sing an Emmy Lou Harris song “Roses in the Snow.”  Keith Little asked what key I would be singing in, requested that I sing a few bars to refresh his memory on how the song went, and suggested the tempo.  Then the band played a few bars introduction, and we launched into the performance. 

Standing onstage and singing lead with a seven-piece band of talented musicians accompanying me and singing harmony was exhilarating!  The musicians were consummate professionals, and made me feel as though they were having as much fun as I was.  Furthermore, they acted the same with every person who got up to sing that day.  I can’t help thinking that, if they could make amateur performers sound good while performing unrehearsed music, they must sound especially good when performing the Little Band’s repertoire!  I am looking forward to attending their FCCS concert in March.

Photos from KKUP

On February 20, 2015, Jay Jordana co-hosted Keith Little, Anne Sibley, and Pete Silbley on KKUP.

 Scraper and Gracie are Looking for a Home

Gracie and Scraper are still in need of a new home (or homes)---- because human member of their family has developed an allergy to cats. Both Scraper and Gracie are playful and loving. Gracie is a bit more shy than Scraper, who tends to hog as much of the available attention as he can get!  They are both in good health and are up to date on shots.  Please contact Julie Cline for more information. juliacline@sbcglobal.net or 408-258-4984.

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

Maxine Millender
God is in the small things as well as the great. J. Link

How fast a month goes by when you’re doing what you are called to do. Since most of my work is involved with emotions, love, listening, and compassion, it is always an honor and privilege to serve others. This month has had its share of concerns, issues, deaths, and births.  Our group is still in flux but trying to get along together. Our Director had a mediator come in but this made it worse so we are back to discussing our concerns with the Director in hopes things will get better soon.

Work at the hospital

I had a woman (57 yrs) on the Oncology unit for 18 days. She had been a respiratory therapist at another hospital and had many friends in addition to her family. She had breast cancer, surgeries, and now has rectal cancer, which means a lot of radiation that brought her to the hospital. Chemo has not worked but the radiation has caused her to be in pain most of the time. When she tries going to the bathroom, it hurts so bad that she cries and screams. If she tries to pass gas, it hurts her tremendously. The physicians stated that she needed to try and walk so the physical therapist had come by daily to try and help her walk. It was decided by the physician, patient, and her son that she needed to go to a skilled nursing facility for two weeks in hopes that she would have lots of therapy. When she was discharged from the hospital to the nursing home, I went to greet her to ensure her transition would be a great one. She cried upon arrival, her room was not ready, her pain medication had not been ordered, and they were short staffed that night. I stayed with her for two hours until she was settled in the bed. I have been back a couple of times but she was asleep. I did meet her family and they were happy that I was there for her, when she needed support.

We get staff from time to time in our office for counseling. When I was called to help a young woman, she shared her dilemma at work and home. Her husband had been laid off but her son was still working at the company. He will receive his last check at the end of this month. The work that she does in the lab requires perfection and no errors. She has to check urine, label it and one error can cause a patient’s diagnosis to be wrong. She has made two errors and the lab techs are only allowed two. Her supervisor has written her up and decided to give her one more chance, however if she makes another error, she will be fired. Fortunately her two errors were caught in time! Given all of this, she has a lot of stress. She is the major bread winner because her son has a wife and currently living with them because he and his wife could not afford the rent at their apartment.

The Palliative Care team has been giving me gifts to pass on to our patients. Some of them are relaxation CD’s that have classical music, journals for men and women, and grief booklets. The patients love to get gifts and it has been wonderful. I try to give my patients small things to help them while they are in the hospital. I usually have ~25 Palliative Care patients in a week and try to see as many as I can.

My antepartum patients at Woman’s hospital are doing well. The patient who was pregnant with triplets has delivered and the babies are in NICU but starting to gain weight. They were born at 25 weeks and the mom is doing fine and spends a lot of time with them. The woman who was pregnant with twins has delivered and they were born at 28 weeks.  I am also visiting the women who are coming to the outpatient unit for their chemo treatments and one has completed her chemo regime and no more chemo. She is very happy and looking forward to the day her hair starts to grow back.

When a young lady was diagnosed with cancer, she was shocked. No one in her family has had cancer or any major sickness. She was on another unit and I visited her to welcome her to the Oncology unit prior to her move. She was so happy that I did this and it helped to make her transition a better one. She will have chemo and possibly radiation and was approved for a program at MS Anderson in Houston. Her prognosis is very good because it was caught in time.

My on-line class is complete and I will receive my certificate in about two more weeks. It was a great course and I have access to the database to work on the optional modules, which I will do.

February 2015

The Pastor's Corner

The Christmas Season is hardly over as we gear up for Lent.  Our February calendar starts off with the Super Bowl (1), Groundhog Day (2), Valentines Day (14), and the Sibley Concert (15), President’s Day (16), Shrove Tuesday Carnival (17), Ash Wednesday (18) followed by 6 Sundays in Lent leading to Holy Week. 

Wow!  Did you know that Shrove Tuesday is a Christian holiday all over the world.  It parallels the 40 years in the wilderness when the slaves had to rush out and leave their leavening behind.  So the 40 days of Lent is preceded by cleaning out the cupboards of all leavening on Tuesday.  But wait!  If Lent begins on Wednesday then there are 46 days.  How come?  Each Sunday is a little Easter where we break the Fast and celebrate.  Lent is a period of at-one-ment with God. We focus on how God, through the Christ has brought us close.  Now it is our turn to become one with God (atonement).  We don’t have to beg because the Christ is constantly at work bringing us closer.  Our task is to appreciate that as we prepare for a closer walk with God.  If that means giving up – we clear the decks to focus on God.

Cheers and blessings,
Pastor Bob Butziger

Lectionary for February 2015

February 1 – Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
OT - Deuteronomy 18:15-20  Valid Prophets
NT - I Corinthians 9:16-23  Paul’s Use of Freedom
GOSPEL - Mark 1:21-28  Driving Out Impure Spirit
SERMON - Today’s Impure Spirits
280 “Come O Spirit”
451 “Open My Eyes”
354 “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”

February 8 – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
OT - Isaiah 40:21-31  Nature of God
GOSPEL - Mark 1:29-39  Jesus Heals Many
SERMON - A Healing Ministry
347 “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”    
450 ”Be Thou My Vision”

February 15 – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
OT - 2 Kings 5:1-14  Naaman Healed
NT - I Corinthians 9:24-27  Need for Self Discipline
GOSPEL - Mark 1:40-45  Healing of a Leper
SERMON - A Healing Ministry II
386 “Come Worship God”
772 “Live Into Hope”

February 17 - Shrove Tuesday

February 18 - Ash Wednesday
OT - Isaiah 58:1-12  True Fasting
NT - 2 Corinthians 5:10b-6:10  Reconciliation
GOSPEL - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Humility
SERMON - The Purpose of Fasting
386 “Come Worship God
281 “Holy Spirit Come to Us”

February 22 - First Sunday in Lent
OT - Isaiah 43: 18-25  A New Thing
NT - 2 Corinthians 1:18-22  Firm in Christ
GOSPEL - Mark 1:9-15  Good News
SERMON - A New Thing

Lenten Schedule

Mardi Gras Event
Tuesday, February 17, 7PM  

There will be a New Orleans style pot-luck, the Dixieland band Top of the Hill will  preside the congregation in a sing along and a parade.  As well as other fun activities  for the children.

Ash Wednesday Worship Service
Wednesday, February 18, 7:30PM  

Pastor Bob will contemplate the meaning of Lent.

Maundy Thursday Simple Supper
Thursday, April 2, 7PM   

We will have a simple supper pot-luck style.

Way of the Cross at Alum Rock Park
Friday, April 3, 12PM       

Good Friday Worship Service
Friday, April 3, 3PM

Easter Vigil Worship Service
Saturday, April 4, 7PM   

Easter Sunday Worship Service
Sunday, April 5, 10:30AM   

A Note of Thanks

The Leonard and Brooks Families wish to thank the congregation for their cards, gifts and outpouring of love and support following the passing of Helen Klotz.

2014 Alternative Giving Project Was a Smashing Success!
Julie Cline, Moderator FCCS

The Concert Series and Mission Committees joined forces to launch an Alternative Giving Project at the Festival of Carols 2014. We hoped some concert-goers would opt for supporting local charities and non-profits, rather than spending money on fruitcake and neckties. Peg and Judi designed an acknowledgement card for those being honored by donations.The stockings were hung in our Narthex with care ---and your response was TREMENDOUS! Over $900 was collected at the Festival of Carols and another $376 came in on Christmas Eve.  There were also credit card donations. Below is a breakdown according to stocking stuffed. Many thanks from both the Concert Series and Mission Committees.

Lord's Pantry, $441.00
Front Door Ministry, $5.00
Alum Rock Habitat Restoration, $72.00
Bus Passes for the Homeless (Grace Baptist), $251.00
Mercy Beyond Borders, $50.00
Heifer, $97.00
13th Street Cats, $67.00
Hymnals for FPC, $200.00
Foothill Community Concert Series (tickets and donations, $192.00
Foothill Music and Arts Academy, $1.00
Foothill Community Presbyterian Church, $50.00
Grand Total  $1,436.00

Keith Little on KKUP (91.5 FM)

Mark your calendars! At 4PM on February 20th, Jay will be hosting Keith Little on KKUP (91.5 FM).  Keith Little will be performing for the Foothill Community Concert Series with his guests Mike Witcher and Sharon Gilchrist  on March 15th at 3 PM.  Get your tickets early and invite a friend or two.  Keith (guitar and vocals), Mike (dobro and Vocals) and Sharon (mandolin, bass and vocals) are nationally known artists and  all three have worked with some of the best Americana and blue grass and musicians currently in the business. Links to their websites are listed below.  You can also find links at the FCCS website (http://foothillcommunityconcertseries.org/schedule/current-season.html).

Remember February 20th at 4PM Jay and Keith  will be on KKUP, and March 15th at 3PM Keith, Mike and Sharon will be at Foothill Presbyterian Church.


Abby Belz enjoying a slice of pizza while hostessing the 2015 Leadership Retreat

Winter Coat Drive
John Belz

On January 11th the Mission Ministry began a drive for winter coats. The intent is to see what we can collect over seven weeks and give the coats directly to the homeless through the Front Door Ministry at First Church downtown.  If you would like to help we are interested in coats, jackets, sweatshirts as well as scarves, gloves and hats. Items for both men and women would be great. By January 26th we'd already collected 37 coats. Some are pictured here but some many are already bagged up to take downtown. Please help us if you can. If you have any questions, please talk to Carl McManus or John Belz. Thank you for your support.

2015 Winter Coat Drive

2015 Winter Coat Drive

Darlene Ristrim

It was cold on December 31, the last day of 2014, but the volunteers at First Church downtown had planned something special for the homeless that day.  A cup of hot turkey soup and a pair of socks for each person.  Over 140 lunches were served that day.  Thanks  to Foothill's generous donations via members and attendees of our Concert Series we were able to all the socks needed that day.  Young people from a group called "Acts of Kindness"  were also there to help serve the soup and give out socks.

During January the average daily attendance has been increasing at an alarming rate. Today, January 28, 112 lunches were given out in the first 30 minutes.

Foothill Community Concert Series Presents
Anne and Pete Sibley
February 15, 2015, 3:00 PM
Admission: $20.00, kids 12 and under are free

With two voices in harmony, a guitar and a banjo, Anne and Pete Sibley sing. Each song is a journey, a joining of music and story.  Less than a decade since they released their first album, the Sibleys’ music hit the national spotlight in 2009 with a blue ribbon finish in the “Great American Duet Sing Off” on National Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. Their music has brought them to perform on famed stages from NYC’s Town Hall to Washington’s DC’s Kennedy Center from festival stages such as North Carolina’s Merlefest to Colorado’s Rockygrass.

It's Time to Prune the Roses

We will begin on Tuesday February 3rd at 9:30am.  Please bring gloves and clippers. (An extra garbage can will help gather cuttings.)  Call Marilyn at 408-263-3997 if you have questions.

Per Capita

Per Capita is due from all members at this time. The cost this year is $40. This money goes to the Presbytery to cover the cost of Presbytery services to the church.

Bible Studies

  • Men’s Bible Study, Saturday, February 7, 9:30AM in the Library.
  • Women’s Bible Study, Tuesday, February 10 & 24, 12 PM in the Library   All women are welcome.  Bring a bagged lunch.
  • Bible Study on Faith Development, Wednesday, February 4 & 18, 2:30 PM in the Library.  All are welcome to attend this bible study.  We will  explore research on faith development and apply it to our own faith understanding process.

2nd Sunday Soup

Sunday February 8 Following Worship
Join the Foothill family after worship for a soup lunch and fellowship.  February’s  2nd Sunday Soup is hosted by Boy Scout Troop 13.

Meditative Service of Spiritual Wellness

Thursday, February 5, 6PM

Passing of the Peace

Peace is the emotion of faith. Speak these scriptures out of your mouth and do the things that are pleasing to God. When you receive His faith in your heart you will also receive His peace in your heart. Peace is the inward indicator that He is fully involved on your behalf. Peace is the emotion of faith.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.Isaiah 26:3

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:25-26

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:6

He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Psalm 147:14

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,Galatians 5:22

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Should Pastors Stop Signing Civil Marriage Certificates?

First Things Survey finds 1 in 4 pastors agree.
Compiled by Ruth Moon/ JANUARY 26, 2015

In response to same-sex marriage, hundreds signed a pledge endorsed by First Things to separate civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay Research found that 1 in 4 pastors (and 1 in 3 Americans) support such a move.
Here’s how theologians and other experts answered the question. Answers are arranged on a spectrum from “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.

"For a long time, Christianity has sewn its teachings into the fabric of Western culture. That was a good thing. But the season of sewing is ending. Now is a time for rending, not for the sake of disengaging from culture or retreating from the public square, but so that our salt does not lose its savor."
~R. R. Reno, editor, First Things

"The pledge is a small gesture, but gestures provoke and can galvanize. It’s a bit of political theater, but theater can shatter complacency. Political theatrics must be preceded and followed by principled and strategic discussion, but effective political theater raises the stakes and intensifies debate."
~Peter Leithart, senior fellow, New St. Andrews College

"Not yet. We cannot so easily divorce Christian and civil marriage, because everyone has a compelling interest in legal, natural matrimony. It is a common grace. Every important measure of social thriving is driven by the prevalence of natural marriage in a community."
~Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies, Focus on the Family

"Not yet. For now, by registering gospel-qualified unions as civil marriages and not officiating at unions that are not gospel-qualified, we call the government to its responsibility even as we call attention to its limits."
~Russell Moore, president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

"The people who would be punished are the ones who conform to the pastor’s vision of marriage, who now have to have a second ceremony with a civil figure. Every First Amendment scholar agrees that religious figures won’t be asked to sanction marriages they don’t believe in."
~Robin Fretwell Wilson, law professor, University of Illinois

Gracie and Scraper Need a New Home!

Gracie and Scraper are both well-socialized indoor only cats who have to find a new home because a member of their current family has developed an allergy to cats. They are seven years old and in good health. You can read about them at 13th Street cats (links below).  Please keep your eyes and ears open for an excellent home for Scraper and Gracie.  They are good-natured and very loving!  Scraper is a short-haired brown tabby with beautiful markings. He is long and graceful.  When you sit in a reclined position, he'll surely stretch out in the groove between your legs. Gracie's dad was a Maine Coon and her mom was a short-haired brown tabby.  Gracie inherited the Maine Coon's gentle demeanor and appearance, but not size.  When she's very happy (which is a lot of the time), her fluffy tail curls over her back like a squirrels'.  Both Gracie and Scraper have experience living with a dog.  Contact me with questions (juliacline@sbcglobal.net or 408-258-4984).  I have their health records and loads of information about their personalities and history.
Gracie:  http://www.peninsulacatworks.org/adoption/cat.php?id=1618
Scraper:  http://www.peninsulacatworks.org/adoption/cat.php?id=1617

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain
Maxine Millender

Compassion is understanding the troubles of others, coupled with an urgent desire to help-McCasland

This past month has been very busy with many more calls from RNs, physicians, and patients. I have worked what’s called the ERC (Emergency Room Chaplain) shift only once. We work from 3:00 to 11:30 and on-call all night. It always seem when I work there are more traumas and crises than any other Chaplain receives. I was told that the Lord knows I can handle it because I am given strength. When I worked it the 2nd week of January, I had seven code-blues and three deaths, in addition to the stroke alert and spiritual distress call. I was up all night.  

Work at the hospital
When one of my leukemia patients was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia, the RN said to him, “aren’t you scared that your leukemia will flare up again?”  Needless to say he was not happy and felt bad during most of his admittance. As he and I talked, I had him explore why it bothered him so much. He felt that she was not sensitive to his illness and it caused him to think more about death. He cried as he recalled what she said. It took four days to help him realize that he is in remission, he’s doing well, has a very supportive family, and assurance medically from his oncologist that the pneumonia would not cause his leukemia to flare up. He could not bring himself to speak to the RN to let her know how hurtful her words were. He did not give me permission to speak to her about it. I am very sensitive to the way some RNs speak to patients and advocate for them. Sometimes, it’s the little thing that hurt us the most.  {My cancer patients are very sensitive because death is something they think of but don’t often want to discuss}

When a patient’s heart stopped, they performed cpr over 20 minutes. I comforted his wife and when the physician told her it looked futile and he may not make it. She screamed. While in a wheelchair, I rushed her to a conference room to comfort her. When the physician came in, he informed her that her spouse had died. She screamed so loud I could feel the vibration off the walls. I made phone calls to her family to come quickly due to the rapid declined but could not tell them he had died. I was with her for two hours before her family arrived. They had been married 40 years and she was not ready for him to die. It was very sad.

While visiting patients at Woman’s hospital, I spent time with a woman who was going to deliver a baby who was 32 weeks old. It was a fetal demise (already dead).  She cried as I prayed. I hugged her and asked if she had named her baby and she said yes. I asked if she would accept a certificate for his Christian name and she said yes with a smile. As sad as it was, she felt some comfort.

A 15 year old girl gave birth to a 27 week old baby. The father is 23 years old and the social worker informed me that she had to call the police and child protective services due to her age. The young girl’s mom is in jail because of drug use and this young girl is not capable of taking care of her baby. The young man has informed the social worked that his Mom agreed that his girlfriend can move in with them but the social worker said no, it’s no longer up to her what happens.  It is a sticky situation and one of many that we see!

We have a 93 year old man who has been coming to the hospital from the nursing home because of frequent urinary tract infections. His daughter is a math teacher and does not want to let him go. She is meticulous and has taken care of her dad for years. She believes he will get back to his baseline when he was in his 70’s. The physicians have tried to talk to her but she does not want to entertain the idea that he will die. She has felt comfortable with me and shared many things about her fears.
I have completed all of the papers, written my dissertation, and waiting for it to be reviewed and graded. I am so glad to have it all of this behind me. Once complete and I receive another A, I will be in the national database for Stanford’s Palliative mini-fellow program. I will also be able to mentor other students in Palliative care.

January 2015

Pastor's Corner

Tonight I watched the Kennedy Center 2014 Honors Program celebrating the achievements of Tom Hanks, Al Green, Lily Tomlin, Sting, and ballerina Patricia McBride. The Kennedy Center Honors give recognition to those who have made significant contributions to American culture throughout their lifetime to the performing arts. This year's event was hosted by Stephen Colbert and celebrity tributes were given by Martin Short, Jane Fonda, and Bruce Springsteen to name a few.

It hit me that some of our greatest musicians and artists did not grow up in the lap of luxury but rather bucked the national prejudice that the arts and music are the exclusive right of the wealthy.  Jack Kennedy was not a child of poverty but he had an enduring sense of the American profile that our culture was of the people, for the people, and by the people.  He initiated the war on poverty and after his death, a fitting tribute was the creation of the Kennedy center which would focus on the arts and through the public media would become available to all the people.

During the reformation, before the masses were literate, the arts became the instrument of Christian education through sculpture and paintings as well as great works of music.  We continue to celebrate those achievements.
Now things have reversed.  Discrimination continues to be fermented as music and art education becomes unavailable through the public schools.  The assumption is that children who want to learn to play instruments or have art appreciation must have private resources to accomplish it.  Even as our middle class is eroding and poverty is dramatically increasing, basic human needs no longer includes an appreciation of the arts, our culture is diminishing.  When people have insufficient income, the arts become a luxury they cannot afford.  Are we saying that they don’t deserve it or that it is no longer a priority for Christians?

To justify that, we claim that those people don’t want or appreciate the finer things in life.  This seems to me to fly in the face of the American Dream and certainly is opposed to the teachings of Jesus.
To that end, Foothill PC has sought to make a concert series available to the public at such a minimal price that it cannot make ends meet.  We do that to encourage the diversity of attendance including those who can least afford it.  Next fall we hope to open the Foothill Arts and Music Academy as an after school program beginning small with youngsters from the fourth and fifth grade.  Again, there will need to be a hefty scholarship program.

Therefore, we now have season tickets available for purchase for the FCCS.  I have purchased mine and I know that you will want to do the same since it is by your love and generosity that the arts are being made available to all at an affordable price.   

Let us go boldly where others fear to tread in the name of Christ.
Pastor Bob

Lectionary for January 2015

January 4 – Epiphany Sunday
OT - Jeremiah 31:7-14  Comfort My People
NT - Ephesians 1: 3-14 Spiritual Blessings in Christ
GOSPEL - John 1:10-18  The Word Became Flesh
Sermon: “Don’t Flinch”
12  “Immortal  Invisible, God Only Wise”
138 “Who would Think”
150 “As With Gladness Men of Old”
An Epiphany is a moment of self-realization or discovery that enlightens .  The Zoroastrian priests, had interpreted that the Messiah of the Jews would be heralded by the star so they came from Iran to worship.  From there the entire world was broadcast the news.

January  11 –Baptism of the Lord
OT - Genesis 1:1-5  The Beginning
NT - Acts 19:1-7  Paul in Ephesus
GOSPEL - Mark 1:4-11 John the Baptist
Sermon: The Function of Baptism    
611 “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”
486 “Child of Blessing, Child of Promise”
169 “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”

January 18 – Second Sunday after the Epiphany
OT - 1 Samuel 3:1-10  God Calls Samuel
NT - 1 Cor. 6:12-20  Sexual Immorality
GOSPEL - John 1:43-51  Calling of Philip/Nathaniel
Sermon: “Are You Called”
267 “Come Christians Join to Sing”
450 “Be Thou My Vision”
761 “Called As Partners in Christ’s Service”

January 25 – Third Sunday after the Epiphany
OT - Jonah 3:1-5, 10  to Nineveh
NT - 1 Cor 4:1-21 The Nature of True Apostleship
GOSPEL - Mark 1:14-20  Calling of the First Disciples
Sermon: “Fools for Christ’s Sake”
265 “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun”

India of Bust

Libby Moore

As many of you may know, I recently completed my graduate school coursework where I earned a master's degree in public administration from California State University, East Bay (Hayward). As a graduation gift to myself, I quit my job, sold my things and booked a three month journey through India-- to sightsee, to discover, to write and, most importantly, to unwind. I have never been as equally energized and anxious about something in my entire life.
Many folks have asked how they can follow along and, as promised, here is a link to my blog for those that would like to shadow my adventure: http://indiaescape.wordpress.com/
I'll be back in April 2015 and look forward to seeing you all then. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Reboot on Foothill Fineries: new meeting times?

Sharon Rowser

Foothill Fineries was started about six years ago as a drop-in gathering for anyone interested in fiber arts.  Our primary mission is creating afghans, lapghans, scarves and hats to donate to local and national organizations that in turn donate them to children in crisis, but we also welcome people working on personal projects and those who are looking for knitting or crocheting lessons to help them get started.  We have been meeting the first and second Saturday of every month in Classroom 9, from 10:00 am to noon; however, we have been asked to consider different weeks and/or times to accommodate those with conflicts.  We would like to start fresh in January, and would greatly appreciate hearing suggestions for alternate meeting times from any interested parties.  Please let the office know your recommendations before the end of this month, and watch this space for our new and improved meeting schedule for 2015.

Monthly Bible Study on Faith Development
First Saturday of each Month at 9:30AM

All are welcome to attend this bible study.  We will explore research on faith development and apply it to our own faith understanding process. 

Women's Bible Study - New Series
Tuesday, January 13, Noon in the Library

All women are welcome.  Bring a bagged lunch.

2ND Sunday Soup - Coming January 11

Every second Sunday immediately after church services, join the Foothill family for a soup lunch and fellowship.  

Outreach/Membership committee will host the first Second Sunday Soup lunch and each subsequent 2nd Sunday Soup will be hosted by a different committee.

De-greening of the Church
Saturday, January 10, 10AM

Our Worship Committee will be de-greening the church on Saturday, January 10 beginning at 10AM.  Please plan to help if you are able.

Foothill Community Concert Series Presents

Anne and Pete Sibley
February 15, 2015, 3:00 PM
Admission: $20.00, kids 12 and under are free

With two voices in harmony, a guitar and a banjo, Anne and Pete Sibley sing. Each song is a journey, a joining of music and story.  Less than a decade since they released their first album, the Sibleys’ music hit the national spotlight in 2009 with a blue ribbon finish in the “Great American Duet Sing Off” on National Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. Their music has brought them to perform on famed stages from NYC’s Town Hall to Washington’s DC’s Kennedy Center from festival stages such as North Carolina’s Merlfest to Colorado’s Rockygrass.

Upcoming 2015 Concerts At-A-Glance
South Bay Philharmonic – Fri., Mar 6th, 7:30 PM
Keith Little with guests Michael Witcher & Sharon Gilchrist – Sun, Mar 15th, 3 PM
National Association of Composers USA – Sun, Apr 19th, 3 PM
South Bay Philharmonic – Fri, May 15th, 7:30 PM
Lawrence Ealy – Sun., May 24th, 3 PM
Oakland Jazz Choir – Sat., Apr 11th, 7 PM
Vivace Youth Chorus – Sat., June 20th, 3 PM

Calendar of Events for January

De-Greening of the Church
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:00am 12:00pm

Foothill Fineries, Room 9
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:00am 12:00pm

Installation of Elders and Deacons, Sanctuary
Sunday, January 11, 2015
10:30am 11:30am

2nd Sunday Soup, Fellowship Hall
Sunday, January 11, 2015
11:30am 12:30pm

Women's Bible Study, Library
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
2:00pm 1:00pm

Retreat for Elders, Deacons, and Staff, Off Site
Saturday, January 24, 2015
9:00am 4:00pm

The Life of a Hospital Chaplain

Maxine MIllender

People are to be loved, not used. K. DeHaan

There are many patients who are sometimes rude, clingy, and complain about everything we do. Sometimes I want to turn around and head out the door but it’s the love that keeps me in the room, waiting, listening, and caring for them.
Work at the hospital
As you know, I visit Woman’s hospital twice a week. Sometimes I am there in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon.  In my last article I mentioned the triplets that were in the hospital. They are still there and gaining weight. There is hope that they will be released as soon as they can hold their own temperature. They have learned how to suck from the bottle and are moving about in their little incubators. It is hard on the family because they have to come back and forth to the hospital and hardly have time due to lack of more planned time off.  They often share that the time is not important if they don’t get paid because when they look at the babies, they see nothing but pure joy and love.

I am also visiting women in antepartum now. I have found most of the women to be very happy because someone visits them. They share many things once they are comfortable. One of the young ladies was stressed because she was missing school so I had her focus on one thing to complete and this helped her a lot. Another woman had been there for 25 days, had finally made it to 29 weeks when her water broke. The physician made a decision to do a “C-section” because she was having twins. The baby boys are in NICU and doing well.

When I walked in the room of an elderly lady (78) and introduced myself as the Chaplain, she said, “I have been waiting for you.”  With tears, she shared how scared she was and wanted someone to come pray with her, and God sent me at the right moment. She held out her hand to me and it felt very hot. She shared that her temp was 105 and the physicians were trying to determine if they should operate on her with such a high temp. She also shared that she had cancer, had been undergoing chemo but had felt a hard knot around her stomach. She had attempted to tell her physician but she wouldn’t listen and she had no success until she was too sick. She asked if I would pray for her and I said yes. We were in the midst of prayer and someone walked into the room but stood quietly until the prayer was finished. It was her physician! I was about to leave to give privacy but the patient said, “Please stay here with me.” The physician told her that the x-rays showed a mass and they were going to bring her to surgery to remove it. When I visited her at Woman’s days later, she was sitting up in bed, very sore, but smiling. Her temperature had returned to normal and she was happy that it was not cancerous. It was a very large tumor. She held out her hand for me to hold and it was warm.  God is good and this is one of the things that make me feel good about a visit.

The other day a young man (34 yrs) was driving his motorcycle when a lady in an SUV turned in front of him. He swerved, his left leg was hit very hard, and he hit the ground. Luckily and thank goodness he had on a helmet.  He was bleeding a lot and rushed to ER. The physicians, RNs, and others were ready for him and worked to get him stable but unfortunately he had to be intubated. I was able to contact his wife and she arrived along with his mom. The physician told her how critical he was and allowed them to see him for a few minutes before he was rushed to OR.  She sobbed and her emotions were almost unbearable for her. He had been given a lot of blood but to no avail. I rushed them to OR waiting room, prayed with them, and got them set up with a case number to receive information. About 3 hours later, the RN called me to come to the Specials area because the physician had asked for me. He explained that the young man had died. When his wife and mom were brought in and informed of this, they sobbed, screamed and said, “No way could this be true”. She said I had just kissed his cheek in the trauma room and he can’t be dead, he just can’t be. She also said, we have kids and its Christmas, he can’t be dead and it was not his fault. The physician said how sorry he was and I saw his moist eyes because he had to deliver some devastating news. It was sad. They called their family to rush to the hospital and everyone cried and sobbed. The grief was almost unbearable.
I have completed a total of six papers and received A’s on all of them. I am now reading about the cultural group, will write my paper once finished, and then write my dissertation.  

December 2014

Pastor’s Corner

Happy New Year!  Did you know that there is a secular new year and a Christian New year?  There is!  November 30,2014 is the beginning of the Christian Calendar.  What follows is four Sundays in Advent (Nov 30-Dec).  During this same time the secular year has us focused on buy, buy, buy.  Then we enter to real season of Christmas.  RememberThe 12 days of Christmas (Dec 25-Jan 5, 2015).  Jan 5 brings us to the arrival of the Wise Men (Epiphany season (Jan 6-Feb 17, 2015.  February 17, 2015 is a Tuesday which is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras followed by Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  
The secular calendar includes other things during this time such as Jan 19 – Martin Luther King Day, Feb 2 – Groundhog Day,  Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day, Feb 16, President’s Day, etc.
As a congregation moves through the church calendar, we are presented in an organized way with the opportunity to talk about, reflect upon, and respond to the entire range of faith confessions that lie at the heart of the Christian Faith. This is important, not only for the vitality of the whole community, but especially for children to become aware in the context of community celebration those things that are important to their Faith (Deut 6:20-25).
As you prepare for Christmas remember the three F’s: Faith, Family, Fellowship.  May you know the joy of the Christ and the hope of the manger which presents us with the hopes and joys of all the years that are met in the Christ in you today.
Love and Joy and Peace to you.
Pastor Bob

The Christian Church Year

You have heard about the Christian Church year.  All over the world we share a common Lectionary which is divided in years A, B, and C.  Each year we focus on a different gospel so that you get worship and sermons that give you a representative picture of the whole Bible.  For this year, we have just begun Year B.  This year we will become well acquainted with the gospel of Matthew.

Advent [Year B] (Nov 30 - Dec 24, 2014)
Christmas (Dec 25, 2014 - Jan 5, 2015)
The Twelve Days of Christmas
(Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 5, 2015)
Epiphany (and Ordinary Time until Lent) (January 6 - Feb 17, 2015)
Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras
(Feb 17, 2015)
Ash Wednesday (Feb 18, 2015)
Lent (Feb 22 - Mar 29, 2015)
Holy Week (April 29 - April 3 [4], 2015)
Maundy Thursday (April 2, 2015)
Good Friday (April 3, 2015)
Easter (April 5, 2015)
Pentecost (May 24, 2015)
Ordinary Time (May 31 - Nov 28, 2015)

East Valley Artists share their artwork with foothill

East Valley Artists (EVA) would like to extend our gratitude to Foothill Presbyterian Church for the many opportunities you have afforded us in your outreach to our artists' club.  We truly appreciate your generosity and kindness.  We feel that our art is not only a creative and spiritual outlet bestowed on us by God for our own enjoyment and life enriching qualities but, that this gift is for others enjoyment and enrichment as well. Whether we are depicting an aspect of God's creation or an aspect of His creative ability, showing our art in the Narthex has been and I think will be a blessing to us all.  I know FPC has a large influence on the local community so, as a club we look to support your continued work in the community and at large

Christine Harkins
EVA President

In the same way that we accept Boy and Girl Scouts since we sponsor them, we also seek a similar relationship with EVA.  They have made their home among us and we support their mission in the community.
Interim Pastor, Bob Butziger

The Semibreve
Jay Jordana, Director of Music Ministries

Friday, December 12th, 7 PM
Foothill Presbyterian Church musical ensembles and guests come together to celebrate the Season of Advent through music. This year features the Foothill Presbyterian Church Musical Ensembles including the Peralta Consort and the Ukelele Scramble, Brass Bells, the Santa Teresa High School Guitar Ensemble, other guest soloists and duets, and our special friends the Voices of the Valley directed by Stephanie Chan.

Suggested Donation: Canned goods, toiletry items, men’s athletic socks, or monetary donations to benefit the homeless served by the Front Door Ministry

Sunday, December 21st, 10:30 AM
With the help of generous donations into the Psalm 150 fund, we are so blessed to be able to present Handel’s Messiah (Part 1) again! Joining our chancel choir, professional and semi-professional musicians will offer Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah at the December 21st worship service.  Please do not miss this special musical offering.

Anne and Pete Sibley – Sun., Feb 15th, 3 PM
South Bay Philharmonic – Fri., Mar 6th, 7:30 PM
Keith Little with guests Michael Witcher & Sharon Gilchrist – Sun, Mar 15th, 3 PM
National Association of Composers USA – Sun, Apr 19th, 3 PM
South Bay Philharmonic – Fri, May 15th, 7:30 PM
Lawrence Ealy – Sun., May 24th, 3 PM
Oakland Jazz Choir – Sat., Apr 11th, 7 PM
Vivace Youth Chorus – Sat., June 20th, 3 PM

*Visual and Performing Arts Schools in the Alum Rock School District will be performing at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on Tues, Dec 16th at 6 PM. Come and see the choral and instrumental program of Joseph George Middle School, and the choral program of Linda Vista and Cureton Elementary Schools. Thank you for supporting music education.
*Vivace Youth Chorus Intermediate Choirs will be performing at the Garden Theatre, 1165 Lincoln Avenue in downtown Willow Glen on Dec 6th at 1:30 PM. They will also be performing in Merrill Garden at Willow Glen, 1420 Curci Dr, San Jose on December 17th at 4:30 PM.

Calendar of events for December and January

07  Second Sunday of Advent
14  Festival of Carols 7pm.
13  Install Christmas tree in Sanctuary
14  Sunday School Christmas Party, 10:45
    Congregational Meeting to elect officers
    Open House at the home of John and Martha Belz  3-6 pm
21  Annual Messiah sing during worship
24  Christmas Eve services 7:30 and 11:00 pm

03  Men’s breakfast followed by Men’s bible study  8-10 am
11  Installation and ordination of elders and deacons
TBA Retreat for Deacons and Elders    

foothill fineries
Sharon Rowser

Foothill Fineries was started about six years ago as a drop-in gathering for anyone interested in fiber arts.  Our primary mission is creating afghans, lapghans, scarves and hats to donate to local and national organizations that in turn donate them to children in crisis, but we also welcome people working on personal projects and those who are looking for knitting or crocheting lessons to help them get started.  We have been meeting the first and second Saturday of every month in Classroom 9, from 10:00 am to noon; however, we have been asked to consider different weeks and/or times to accommodate those with conflicts.  We would like to start fresh in January, and would greatly appreciate hearing suggestions for alternate meeting times from any interested parties.  Please let the office know your recommendations before the end of this month, and watch this space for our new and improved meeting schedule for 2015.

office hours

To address the tremendous amount of work that has to be done immediately so that we can get the Mission Statement completed, the church information forms completed and then elect our PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee), the church office will be closed on Mondays.  Should you need to deliver something or have an urgent need, of course knock on the door, people are here.  

the life of a hospital chaplain
maxine millender

Open your heart to God to learn compassion and open your hand to give help - Branon.

Chaplaincy is often emotional, joyful, and scary. With so many gunshots happening, it makes me think about the violence that is all around us. We face death, we face poor diagnosis, and we face healing that also makes me glad to be a Chaplain so that I am there for others.  

Work at the hospital
My nephrology unit is filled with people who have a recent diagnosis of diabetes, renal failure, or severe stomach problems. It is scary, overwhelming, and shameful for many of the patients. Sometimes they don’t want to believe this is the correct diagnosis, don’t want to listen to the physicians and educators who visit to help them.
When I visit, most times the patient will share what’s bothering them and why it’s so difficult to hear this medical information will remain with them for the remainder of their lives. I have learned to ask how are you really doing vs How are you doing and this has made a BIG difference. Another thing I ask is what one specific thing can I do to serve you this week has been very successful in getting my patients to talk more.

When a 48 yo man came in because he was having seizures and his right access port was blocked, he shared a lot with me.  When I asked how are you really doing he opened up. I learned that he had been a fireman, lots of things had happened to him, and he had to quit because he started to experience seizures. When his older brother was in a serious car accident, thrown through the windshield because he was unrestrained, he survived but has lived in a nursing home. He quit his job and moved into the nursing home where his brother has been for many years so that he can take care of him. He shared about the lack of total care, the food, and having to advocate on his brother’s behalf. When he was admitted to the hospital it was a respite for him even though he had to have care and receive his dialysis treatments. I spoke to his nurse about his food and asked if I could treat him to a subway meal. She approved. He was so happy to have something different and have someone care for him. It made me feel good to be able to help someone.

Although he died the other day, a 29 yo man came in (middle of Nov) suffering from HIV. He had never shared this with his family and they could not understand what was wrong with him. He did not want them to know and of course the physicians or nurses could not share his diagnosis. When I visited with him, he did not want to share anything other than he was ok. After a few days in the hospital, the physicians diagnosed him with lymphoma and they tried giving him chemo. He was too sick to take it and declined rapidly and was rushed to ICU, and within days he was pronounced. It was so sad and oh how I wished he had shared this with his family who seemed to be very supportive while he was in the hospital.

I am still visiting the babies at Woman’s hospital. We now have two sets of triplets who are doing well. One set are all girls and have three sisters and the other set is one boy and two girls. The parents are doing well and the siblings that I have met are fine. Only two babies were born less than 4# but are thriving. I visit them each time I go to Woman’s. They will most likely be in the hospital for months to gain weight, to keep their body temperature, and other things in the checklist. It is still sad to see the babies with tubes and poor diagnosis.

I have completed two more papers and received A’s on both. Now my next step is to watch the videos, take the tests, and write the papers. I have not selected my cultural group to study but will do this before I complete the next steps.