Today we celebrate Carol Cunningham (she’s in front, standing next to the piano to the left of Ralph)
We have all lost a dear friend, our very dear Carol who passed last night.
There are no wonderful, delightful adjectives that do not apply to this amazing woman and artist. She was a wonderful friend, an incredibly talented and generous artist and a great chorister!
If we had a prize for choir faithfulness, dedication and punctuality, Carol would be the immortal, supreme prize winner. Her attendance record could only be challenged in earlier times by the also amazing Ardelle Cross. Carol invariably showed up on Thursday nights right after 7 PM. We would chat about many things and always speculate on how many choristers would be on hand that evening – with a twinkle in her eye.
Carol’s sense of humor, a quality I prize perhaps more than any other, was sharp and yet loving and delightful.
There have been three amazing women who basically created and sustained our choir over decades: Doris Donaldson who devoted 41 magnificent years to its creation and nurturing, Ardelle Cross who was its anchor and soul for so many years and Carol who was also its soul and light.
The thought of singing this fall and at Christmas Vespers without Carol is too painful and shocking to bear right now. But Carol would be the first to tell us to get a grip and start rehearsing. We will dedicate this year’s Vespers to Carol. Carol will be with us celebrating all the way.
A few months ago, Carol gave each choir member a lovely gift that she herself designed, created, and printed – a blessing from our pastor, Paul, that we all love very much.
Thank you, Carol, for EVERYTHING!
4th of July, 2013 at SPC.
We are still enjoying the thoughts of fun and worship we enjoyed together Sunday, July 7, 2013: Pastor Emeritus Rev. George McLaird talked about heaven and hell right here on earth with congregational comments, Don Koc and Jean Patterson led the Fallen Angels Amen Chorus in a bit of energetic musical testifying (wow! that Jean!), Becky Dixon shared some deeply healing prayer music, Alison’s 4th of July arrangement was beautiful, and communion with new and long-time friends wove a tapestry of love and connection for us all. Thanks Be!
Click these photos. left and right, for video.
This past trip was the most productive of all my trips since I moved back to California. I was able to secure, for a young man that I have known and loved since he was 9 years old a full scholarship for UCT Michaelis School of Fine Arts. When I arrived I heard he was homeless after being at the Waldorf Schools (through Baphumelele Children’s Home) for most of his young life. He had matriculated but had no real family to live with. Social Development told him he would receive NO money to live on without providing them with his mother’s death certificate. Olwethu was only 7 years old when she died and has no ID number for her and never knew her date of death. I took him to my place in the Waterfront for three weeks. We had five business meetings a day even on the weekends, until I left on May 20th.
We had meetings with UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art and with top professors and advisers at UCT. Olwethu is an amazingly talented artist. My goal was to have him apply to Michaelis and at least 4 other colleges and universities. We met with two individuals on the Michaelis selection committee that would like him in the programme next year. We did not meet the entire selection committee. We have started the application process for Michaelis however, he is up against 165 others with only 60 selected.
If he is accepted, I have secured a full three year bursary for all he will need, tuition,books, materials, dorm and food through Investec Trust….we had many meetings with them. Needless to say we are thrilled! My law firm Cliffe Dekker has assigned one of the their young brainy associates to work with Olwethu. We are trying to get him a job at Pick n’ Pay (#1 grocery/retail chain in Africa) through the Ackerman family.
My focus in the years to come will be to help as many adolescents whom I have known since they were 5, 6 and 7 years old to secure a higher education and/or sustainable employment to maintain their life. The CAAP Art Therapy School for the smaller guys is going very well. We are expanding it to the Desmond Tutu Youth Centre in Masiphumelele.
Click here to see attached Motivational Essay (for university applications)
With warmest regards,
Today we celebrate Ellen Roseman, a longtime member of SPC who has left an amazing legacy as an open facilitator and pioneer in the the adoption world, creating families through adoption, placing about 2300 children for adoption through 32 years.
Photos from our last Sunday service with Maggie Fernandez and Carson Smith. Here Paul has unrolled a scroll listing a short summary of all they have shared with us – it was fun and funny! We have a deep appreciation of who they are and what they have contributed and gladly share our heartfelt best wishes for their new adventures. SPC Blessings, Maggie and Carson! Click here for Paul’s lovely toast at their send-off party.
Was there even one dry eye in the house when we heard the news that Carson Smith and Maggie Fernandez are moving back to Portland, Ore? They’re very sad to leave SPC and we’re very sad to see them go! They have been a vital part of this community for several years and are deeply embedded in many of our hearts!
Here are a few photos of their wonderful send-off party, April 19, 2013.
At a lively Book Passage Author Event in Corte Madera, our Pastor Emeritus, George McLaird, shared his acclaimed “A Guide for Spiritual Living” work on being as healthy as possible in body, mind and spirit. For more inspiration, check out his website, mclaird.com. Spiritual Living is for everyone!
SPC receives a matching grant
2013 Recipients of the Sausalito Arts Festival Foundation Grant Awards, presented by Executive Director, Ann Dickinson.
Photo on the right includes the Board of the SAFF.
We are thankful to Jean Patterson, Louise Forbush, Don Koc and everyone who worked to secure this matching grant. More exciting details will be coming soon.
In Loving Memory of Bruce Patten
Bruce was a long (long) time member of this community. He was utterly reliable and unfalteringly committed. Always at the ready to jump in and help. If an usher didn’t show up, no worries — Bruce was there. When the collection needed to be counted and deposited, no worries — Bruce was there. He drove every week for three decades from his home in Martinez to be with his SPC family in worship. Bruce bravely fought cancer for the past year and was dutiful to the end. When Paul met with him in the ICU, Bruce was quick to say that he had arranged for a substitute counter and for someone to make the deposit. When Paul met with Bruce on Wednesday, Bruce had ushers on his mind and wanted to make sure things were being covered. Bruce passed on peacefully Wednesday night, January 23. He is survived by his loving wife, Karen, for whom we raise up our love and prayers. He remains in our hearts, a beloved and deeply treasured soul of this community.
In Celebration of Luke Kos
Luke Francis was born on Friday, January 18 to Patrick and Christin (Hokenstad) Kos. This adorable guy will be calling John and Marge Hokenstad “Grandpa and Grandma!” Christin herself was born into this church, grew up in it, was elected to serve as an Elder on Session while a teenager, and most recently was one of our wonderful Christmas Eve liturgists. We celebrate this newly expanded family with grateful and joyous hearts and with prayers for continued good health, love, and, hopefully, a little sleep. (For those of you who follow the Revised Common Lectionary, please note that we are in Year C — the Year of Luke! We have not inquired as to whether or not this is a coincidence.)
• Special Presentation to our beloved pastor, Paul Mowry, on the occasion of his one year anniversary with SPC.
Thanks and blessings to those who made this gift possible, to Ralph for his elegant presentation, and to Paul for answering our call in such a magnificent way.
A casual visitor to our church, who last saw us a few years ago, would marvel at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church of late 2012. The SPC community that prepares for the Miracle of Christmas yet again is itself a miracle of renewal, rebirth and even re-imagination. New faces of all ages join long-time members in prayer in our sanctuary, in refreshment and conversation in fellowship, in participation in various ministries and activities throughout the community and, yes, still in search of that elusive parking space.
Your ordination early in the year inspired all of us and compelled some of us not members to become active members. You have introduced amazing events and renewed traditions like the magical Seder that created new levels of community and love. Your Sunday sermons are themselves major events of insight, inspiration and wonderful humor.
Most of all, YOU are the miracle. Your wonderful humanity, breadth of knowledge and understanding and ability to make everyone feel at home and cherished has re-ignited a community that had partially lost its way but still remembered a glorious era of a decade earlier. Today, thanks to you, we are in a new glorious era.
This small gift celebrates your ordination, wishes you the community’s love and best wishes at Christmas and thanks you for a stunning first year.
The Sausalito Presbyterian Church Community
Paul’s lovely reply:
Ralph, I re-read your words and am so moved. I thank you, and each and every one of you reading this (and others in abstentia) for welcoming me and my family into your home and allowing me the great privilege of being your pastor. Your enthusiasm, patience, love of me and great love of this unique and special community through all of life’s circumstances has inspired and fueled me and, I truly believe, is a beacon for a world hungry for what you have created over the many years — a church that calls itself a family.*
All my love to you all,
• The Marriage of Eric and Melinda Leib, December 2012
Here are the bride and groom from their auspicious 12/12/12 wedding at SPC, our own Eric and Melinda Leib – a very talented and lovely couple. Joy and congratulations, Eric and Melinda, from your appreciative church family.
• The Marriage of Rob Ross and Svetlana Doroganich, November 2012
I got married this weekend to Svetlana Doroganich, the most beautiful person I know.
We met in October 2010 when I moved into the house I live in, while she was visiting her colleague (my landlord) from the Institute of Psychoanalysis in Moscow, bringing her students with her for an international program she leads.
We had an intimate wedding at Cascade Falls, Mill Valley (the base of Mt. Tam) with only a few guests.
When Paul Mowry said, “And may God add His blessing to this marriage,” the sun shined down upon us. It was so moving that I raised my hand to the light in disbelief.’ It was a perfect wedding,
Click link to hear Paul’s celebration remarks Sunday, Nov. 11, and The Ralph Experience! Rob Ross Ralph Experience 3
• FLORA SUMMERS, CASA HOGAR, LEON, MEXICO CHILDREN’S DAY CAMP, JULY 14 – JULY 21
Flora and volunteers will be working with the day camp in Leon, Mexico. The week will be devoted to fun, games, and laughter with the kids of Casa Hogar. SPC has been participating in this program for 9 years….it’s rewarding and the children are elated to see you! Contact Flora Sommers at 415-332-3790 for more info.
Visiting youth orchestra spreads joy
Paul comments . . . we were enthralled by the music of the Klamath Union High School String Orchestra. Had we seen these wonderful kids walking down the street in a boisterous group, would we dare assume what beautiful music was inside them? The tears ran down our cheeks as we listened to that amazing tenor voice sing “Con te Partirò” (Time to Say Goodbye). Who do we know, or not know, that walks the road beside us, also with such a beguiling song in their heart? We won’t know until we open our eyes and see.
Click here to watch a short clip of this wonderful moment in worship
(54 sec., click back button when video is finished)
Silvana Meira was born in Brazil. Her natural talent in track gained her a scholarship to a private school and eventually college. She moved to the U.S. 11 years ago, taught herself English, and is now an honor student at the College of Marin with an impressive 3.9 grade point average. She is also the first recipient of the Sausalito Woman’s Club “Sausalito Presbyterian Church Scholarship.”
The Sausalito Woman’s Club has been providing scholarships to Sausalito/Marin City students since 1956. In 2011, they granted $52,000 to 32 scholars, bringing their total gift to the community to over $650,000. The SPC Mission Committee voted earlier this year to help fund a scholarship for a student with need and merit. SPC and SWC have a strong connection through its many mutual members. For example, this year’s SWC scholarship committee included Julie Carlson; the new president of SWC is Paula Fancher, and the new scholarship chair is Jean Patterson. We were very pleased to be able to present a scholarship to Silvana. She is studying Psychology and Philosophy and has impressed her instructors with her sincerity, enthusiasm and drive. Upon completion of her second year at College of Marin, she plans to continue her studies at either Cal Berkeley or Sonoma State University. She’s active in the community and was not able to attend the scholarship presentation ceremony because she was sponsored to run a 56 MILE marathon in Durban, South Africa. (She completed it in 11 hours.) Her delightful husband, Mike Seligson, accepted the award on her behalf.
In presenting the award, Pastor Paul said, “we know the money will help, but it’s just a grain of sand compared to the great respect and admiration we feel for Silvana. It’s our honor to support her extraordinary commitment. So many of us in this nation forget that all but a tiny few of us are descended from people who came here from other countries and worked hard just to get from the morning to the end of the day, struggling with a different language and culture. Being an excellent student and being civically involved takes a lot of time and energy.”
Patricia A. Pennington, Chair of the SWC’s Scholarship Recognition Fund wrote to SPC thanking the Mission Committee for supporting the scholarships. “Your support means so much to the students and to our community as it allows us to continue to provide crucial financial support, encouragement and acknowledgement to Sausalito and Marin City students. We’ve seen first hand how access to affordable education makes a profound difference in the lives of our scholarship recipients and the thank you letters that we receive from them frequently describe the impact that our program has on them.”
In closing his remarks, Paul encouraged everyone “to think of other creative ways we might support those around us who are involved in such great undertakings. Bringing over a cooked meal, or helping someone with the laundry. In the end, the greatest gift we can give each other is each other.”
SPC Cinqo de Mayo Magnificent Mission Celebration and Fund-raiser
Carol Jehling, “Well done ‘good and faithful servants!’ Really, you were all wonderful and, not only the financial reward, but also the good-will and reviving the mission message make the Cinco de Mayo Brunch a win-win. Thank you for your hard work—-and there was certainly that for many of you.”
Cynnie Anderson, “Fabulous Meal !!! Fabulous chefs !!! Fabulous decor !!!! Fabulous poem by Joe that raised $$$…!!!! Cynnie loved it all :>)))
PAWS THAT REFRESH
1. Jean and puppy friend at Guide Dogs for the Blind, San Rafael
2. Shasta Fugaro, Service Dog par excellence and SPC choir mascot
3. Evelyn and Tara, SPC office doggie
Surprise oscar award given during service on Oscar Sunday 2012, by our liturgist Ann Mahony.