Rev.G 4/5/17

Pastoral Update 4.5.17 We’re coming to the on-ramp for Holy Week, so time to get up to speed with what’s ahead: Pesach Next Week After this coming Sunday’s Palm-Passion service (details in tomorrow’s Connections), we’ll have a full ‘last supper’ communion service on Maundy Thursday (6:30pm, April 13). This is the Christian version of the ancient Jewish pesach, or Passover Seder meal. I plan to attend a Passover service and meal at the home of old friends in Pasadena, and I look forward to what is probably the best-known line from that… Read More

Rev.G 3/22/17

Right Tool for the Job Part II It’s a green, sunny springtime Wednesday, so let’s not forget how blessed we are to live here (just checked my sister’s weather in Michigan—34 degrees). Gratitude is also in order for the outstanding results of the youth’s SSP auction fundraiser Sunday: watch Connections at the end of the week for a full report, but here’s one sample number—160 people enjoyed Lisa Kadowaki’s fine cooking, AND Sarah Kistler’s yummy desert! Speaking of cooking: some of you have been kind to ask about ‘how I’m doing’ in… Read More

Rev.G 3/15/17

Right Tool for the Job Spring arrives next Monday, but the nice weather is already here. Sunday should be a beautiful day for the SSP Youth Auction Fundraiser—easily the best mix of fun and fundraising every year (4pm in Brooks Hall). Bring your smile, your support, and your charge card—or checks/cash still work. (Tomorrow’s Connections will include a sample of the big ticket items, and a full list will be available Sunday morning in worship.) Speaking of fun, here is both a guaranteed laugh and wise words, especially in Lent. Scroll down… Read More

Rev.G 1/16/17

To Members and Friends of CUMC ~ This coming weekend, Karen and I will depart on a vacation/cycling expedition in South America. This is to let you know a bit about our plans, and how ministry will continue while I’m away. First, the basics: we’re returning to Chile to tackle something new for us— a mostly unpaved route going almost 800 miles south to a village just 500 miles short of where people take off for the Antarctic! Karen really hopes to see penguins. We will ride with another couple, all on… Read More

Rev.G 12/6/16

Just your regular weekly pastoral smorgasbord: check it out (especially the “Thief” link.) The Short Quote* “Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”  Thomas Merton What About This Friday? CUMC holiday events, including this Friday’s Parent’s Night Out: for details and the full calendar click on: Thief in the Night One of the scheduled Advent readings is where Jesus talks about coming as “a thief in the night.” Here’s a creatively insightful/thoughtful ‘take’ on that lesson from the… Read More

Rev.G 11/7/16

Like a speeding train, here comes/goes Monday: these are a few items for your attention going into this busy week. Lenses For the Election And maybe action: here are links to the ideas mentioned in the sermon yesterday—lenses to help see more clearly the deeper roots of our human behavior and how those are expressed in our political debates: Tribalism, and the Beautiful Past / Bright Future: Pater Fortis / Mater Pieta (Strict Father / Nuturant Mother): A challenging read in light of the above: And an interesting… Read More

Rev.G 11/1/16

One week until Election Day—but there’s more than just that going on. Check it out: Western U.M. Bishops on Standing Rock This is a good companion clip: Thanks~ For the Spookiness: congratulations to everyone who made Saturday’s Trunk or Treat event a real success—rough count by candy distributed was 450+ people! Special thanks to Janet Kinch for making the connection with the local Girl Scout troops. For the Progress—on the pergola project: thanks to Bob Fierro guiding the giant steel beams into place; next comes the woodwork and painting and… Read More

Rev.G 10/25/16

Halloween?! Could we please tap the brakes? Pause for a moment and consider: What We Didn’t Do This Sunday we will remember by name all CUMC members who have passed away since last All Saint’s Day (Oct.31, 2015). Remembering those we love and all they did in their lives calls us to a reckoning of what we have done, what are we doing with ours.*  Surveys of very elderly people report that, when they look back on their lives, they do not regret what they did—but what they did not do, the… Read More

Rev.G 10/19/16

Already Wednesday—much done, much to do, a few things to plan for: Youth Lead: this Sunday our U.M. Youth Group leads both worship services, with talent, music, wit and a custom-crafted skit titled “Who Is My Neighbor?” Think you know that parable? Come try this updated version! (Warning: includes the use of hats.) Hurricane Leads to Pet-Friendly Church: Mission Happening:  Nanci Paulson is the host of this weekend’s Mission Fair in Brooks Hall. Saturday 10am-noon and again between Sunday services, visit the wide variety of information and gift tables to see… Read More

Rev.G 10/4/16

Here are a few things I hope you find useful going into this week: Episcopal Glimpse: a quick video intro to our new Bishop, Rev. Dr. Grant Hagiya. Click the video link on Cal-Pac’s website here (scroll down the screen then click on the start arrow). Staff Certification: through our insurance carrier and the Conference, all our staff (with one in still in process) have been “Safe Gatherings Certified”; this certification is focused on ethical behavior and legal requirements (such as first reporting for child abuse), as well as a sensitive introduction… Read More