Life Around the Church (1/17)

Betsy Andersonby Betsy Anderson, Office Manager/Building Supervisor

The Christmas decorations in the Sanctuary have come down. The tree has returned to storage, and most of the greenery is put
away. But there is a new thing of beauty at the church: Rebecca Ellis’ sand-and-watercolor paintings of the women of the Bible.

Rebecca Ellis is an artist who lives in Half Moon Bay. She likes to use texture in her paintings, and for this series, she takes handfuls of sand from the beach and
combines them with watercolor paint on 90-pound paper to make patterns and shapes. When everything has dried, she taps off the sand, rubs out some paint, and adds more layers of paint until the faces she has visualized are clear.

Continue reading Life Around the Church (1/17)

Life Around the Church (12/16)

Betsy Andersonby Betsy Anderson, Office Manager/Building Supervisor

The church is decorated for the Christmas holiday. The tree is up in the Sanctuary lit with tiny white lights, pine cones are everywhere, and there is a feeling of anticipation that joy and celebration are ahead.

The church building is wonderful and historic. People passing by often comment on how lovely it is, and others come inside the Sanctuary to pause and reflect and have a quiet moment during a busy week.

One of my job duties is to keep all of our machines and appliances humming along. Our church building was constructed in 1949 with some original equipment that we still use. And as is often the case right before a holiday – the week before Thanksgiving and now the weeks before Christmas – our vintage stove needs a part and has stopped working. Stove repair people have said that plumbers can fix it, plumbers say fire safety people can fix it, and fire safety people say electricians can fix it. Thankfully, we believe that Palo Alto Plumbing and Heating has found a solution and we’ll be up and running very soon in time for the holidays.

Special events happening in and around the church during December include:

  • Dec 9: Women’s Brunch at Nana Spiridon’s, 11:30 AM
  • Dec 10, 11 & 17: New Mozart Concerts
  • Dec 11: Christmas Caroling & Chili Supper, 4 PM
  • Dec 19: iSing Family Carol Sing, 6 PM
  • Dec 24: Christmas Eve Family Service, 5 PM
  • Dec 25: Christmas Day Service, 10 AM

Happy December and Merry Christmas!


Life Around the Church (11/16)

by Betsy Anderson, Office Manager/Building Supervisor

Betsy AndersonBy my door, the leaves are falling, all around the patio, and everywhere you look, the leaves still on the trees rustle in the wind, and the youth garden is thriving with bush beans, basil, chocolate mint, cilantro, and rosemary.

Indoors, classes are in full swing. On any given Monday, the Macrobiotic chefs are chopping up fresh ingredients for the evening meal, while on the other side of the kitchen wall Andrea Monti glides across the floor of the Fellowship Hall demonstrating a flawless Tango with one of her dance students.

Continue reading Life Around the Church (11/16)

Life Around the Church

by Betsy Anderson, Office Manager/Building Supervisor

Betsy AndersonIt’s very peaceful when I arrive at the church every day. I open the Sanctuary, and put out the “Open for Prayer and Meditation” sign, and come into my office where it’s usually sunny. Lots goes on later in the day, but first thing, it’s very quiet.

On Mondays, the chefs for the macrobiotic dinner arrive just before Noon to begin cooking the evening’s meal. Patricia Becker, the manager of the dinner, is offering a vegetarian cooking class here on December 3rd to teach how to prepare some of their best dishes.

Continue reading Life Around the Church

Being Inter-religiously Baptist

Currently in the United States: Muslims and mosques all over the country report an increased rate of assault and vandalism. Many people from Muslim nations are being refused entry visas for pursuit of legitimate and meritorious endeavors in the U.S. Similarly, many foreign Muslims are being detained in this country for technical visa violations that are not being uniformly enforced. Persons of Middle Eastern descent and those belonging to other faith traditions, e.g. Sikhs, are mistaken for Muslims and subject to increased incidences of prejudice and discrimination. An increased number of Muslim women, whose dress makes them easily recognizable as belonging to a non-majority faith, are fearful of venturing outside their homes even for simple errands or to attend worship services for fear of the prejudice they encounter outside their doors. Strident voices make increasingly inflammatory public statements and unfounded verbal attacks. Continue reading Being Inter-religiously Baptist

Art Comes to FBCPA

Jazz musiciansAs you walk through our hallway you will notice our new photography installation! Thanks to the vision of Pastor Rick, Gregory, and Susan Bradley we now have 20 photos framed and displayed on our walls. These photographs were taken by Susan (and a few of her students) on trips to Africa, Cuba, and Haiti. They capture vividly and movingly some the people whom she encountered on her travels. A gifted photographer is a regular part of our community, including our Mission Task Team.

Juve Ramirez did a wonderful job of hanging each picture and, on the Work Day, Dan Cudworth and Doug Lee helped place each picture into its frame. This is a church family effort and it surely does look great! We are excited to introduce this project as we use our hallway as “gallery space.” This exhibit will be up for a while; then we hope to display the art and work of others within our church community. So, if you want to participate please let one of the pastors know.

The visual arts will help us explore other ways of learning and knowing God as liturgy and dialogue are but some of many ways to experience the divine. We are practicing a “sacred-seeing” for stories to be shared that humanize others and help us to see the sacred handprint in all people, places, and things. Join us in getting lost, and possibly found, in these photographs.

woman and tent

New Office Administrator

Betsy AndersonWe are very pleased to announce that our own Betsy Anderson will begin work June 1 as our Office Administrator/ Building Supervisor. Please give Betsy a warm welcome and do all you can to help her ease into the job. She will be training with Oleta and Kristil over the next couple of weeks. Thanks to both of them for covering the office and facilities over the past several months as we have searched for someone to fill the position on an ongoing basis.

Congregational Care Ministry

coffeeCoffee Hosts provide Sunday Morning hospitality

During the months of January and February we wish to thank all these gracious hosts for providing refreshments for our Coffee Hour each Sunday morning following our Worship Service.

Lois Ville and Nana Spiridon, Melanie Ramirez, Our Youth guided by Doug Davidson (Please remember those Chicken Nuggets.), Thelma Tuttle, Carolyn Shepard, Jane Chin, Chip Clark, and members of Congregational Life task team.

Hospitality opportunities during Lent:

In addition to Sunday morning Coffee Time we will enjoy gathering together for a Soup Supper on Maundy Thursday, April 2, at 6 PM, and celebrating together at an Easter Brunch following Worship on Sunday, April 5.

Please consider offering to be a Host on a Sunday Morning during Lent or during Holy Week. Join Laura Garcia and Alan Plessinger who have each offered to assist or to host a Sunday morning in early March. Later Sundays and events in Holy Week are in need of hosts. Won’t you consider being a host or an assistant? If your answer is, YES, please be in touch with Lois Ville or a member of Congregational Life Task Team.

All who are interested will be welcome at our next Congregational Life meeting, Friday, March 13, at 2 pm, in the Church Parlor.

Eleanor Satterlee, task team member

Help needed during March


Many opportunities are available to assist with hospitality needs during the month of MARCH.  Please consider offering to be a Host on a Sunday Morning during Lent or during Holy Week. Join Laura Garcia and Alan Plessinger who have each offered to assist or to host two Sunday mornings, one each in early March. The Congregational Life Task Team has opportunities for visiting others as well as assisting the team with special events.  Please contact Lois Ville and/or other members of the task team for specific information.


From Laura Garcia, Stewardship Chairperson

Stewardship Sunday (November 23) is fast approaching. We must all think seriously about how we can fearlessly be witnesses as a generous and faithful steward through service to others. God was generous when he created us and gave us Jesus as an example for us to follow.

Most people are happy to give generously when presented with a worthy project or persons with real need. Many times we do not give due to fear, for example, our recent economic circumstances or fear of being ridiculed by others. We must all seriously think about how we can improve our witness as generous and faithful stewards of the Lord.

As we worship this week, remember the parable that Jesus told about the sowing of seeds. We can substitute our resources of time, talent and treasure as the seeds. Many times they may fall on deaf ears, other times they will be accepted by productive persons who will use them and benefit from them. Thus they produce fruit and a good harvest for the kingdom of God. Knowing this, can you be a generous and faithful steward for the kingdom of the Lord? We as a congregation need to be giving persons of our time, talents and treasures to be considered faithful stewards of God.