Where in the World is Pastor Gregory?

This week this section is devoted to the work of Pastor Gregory in our own “backyard.”

This New Year brings new adventures, new connections, new relationships, and a new section in the Midweek Message. Each week I will highlight some of the things I have been doing in our church and out in the community. Along with the Midweek Message you can find ministry updates on my office door, the bulletin boards, our weekly parent email “Weekly Wonder,” and through Facebook.

Parent Meeting: Our first parent meeting of 2016 was last Sunday and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. After a quick update from Elizabeth Ramirez and myself, we discussed Sunday’s youth programming, weekly communications, and potential Saturday outings. It was encouraging to know that we are on the right track!

Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action (PICA): This month we discussed the successes and failures of the Paris Climate Talks, we discussed our involvement with the upcoming Palo Alto Sustainability and Climate Action Summit, and we began planning for an Interreligious Climate conference in the fall.

United Campus Christian Ministry (UCCM): As a new board member of UCCM I volunteered to help Charlotte Jackson in fundraising for the campus ministry; we met with Nan Swanson and Geoff Browning for an orientation. Our next meeting is this Saturday and we will be taking our first steps in thanking 2015’s donors. I am delighted to see how our involvement on Stanford’s campus can blossom through our partnership with UCCM.

Faithful Fool’s Trip: Twice a month I drive with Thomas Atwood up to the Tenderloin district in San Francisco to learn, pray, reflect, and laugh until our stomachs hurt! Establishing a relationship with the Fools has been a vital source in understanding how we can merge the arts with lasting personal/social transformation in Palo Alto.

Ed Bowers is one of them men struggling with life on the streets; he also happens to be an amazing poet. I’ll close this week’s update with a recent piece he shared with me.

Tenderloin Street Corners by Ed Bower

Tenderloin street corners
are full of
discarded eyes full of
blinking sadness trapped
inside the invisible
indefinability of matter.
They look sad
like they just got their crying done
and have nothing left
to do
but laugh.
This laughter goes unappreciated
by most
but I often listen to it inside my head
and smile
while I’m walking around
The human spirit cannot be defeated.


Much love,

Pastor Gregory