Greetings!

Unhappily McIvor’s Hardware was permanently shuttered earlier this month after 96 years of business in what’s now the Mission San Jose District of Fremont. Burton McIvor originally served the needs of the rural township with providing blacksmithing and horseshoeing services before expanding into hardware and agricultural products. Until this month, four generations of the McIvor family have adapted to the needs of its customers and flourished in our evolving community since 1922. Our Mission San Jose neighborhood is going to desperately miss McIvor’s, not just for the convenience but for the sincere welcoming greetings and the truly personal service.

  I warmly recall evening walks through campgrounds and RV parks on family vacations in our families earlier years and without hesitation, saying hello to fellow campers or receiving greetings initiated by them. There was always a positive reply and perhaps a conversation with a brief new friend. Sandy and my current daily outdoor recreation is often limited to walking the shore of Lake Elizabeth in Fremont’s Central Park where acknowledging a widely diverse group of fellow strollers with a nod or hello is still a warm and comforting experience. Sandy is better at this than I am and she frequently is engaging in conversations in the aisles of Raley’s or where ever we are.

In todays world of popular electronic devices many people seem to be less inclined to look up from the screens and offer a greeting or even make eye contact. It’s not helpful that nightly news stories, divisive leadership, and promotions for security systems warn us to keep our guard up and be suspicious of the intentions of others.

It was very encouraging to watch the millions of young people from across the nation this past weekend marching with a unifying cause and giving hope that fear and suspicion will ultimately be replaced by love and compassion. Greetings!   -Bill

 

Connecting the Dots (One at a Time)

Connecting the Dots (One at a Time)

Our five year old is getting really good doing mazes and puzzles. One of his favorites is “connecting the dots.” He starts with the first dot and then moves to the next and the next until a pattern emerges. The trick for him developmentally is to slow down and make good choices, but to keep moving to the next dot so he can see what is emerging and color the picture.

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The Difference

The Difference

Have you noticed how it’s not the big things that trip us up, but the little things such as waiting in line or encountering other unwelcomed time-consuming events? The other day I hurriedly starting transferring a load of sweats and dark socks from the washer to the dryer only to discover – you guessed it – the clothes were speckled with remnants of tissues I had forgotten to remove from my pocket.

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Getting There

Getting There

Did you know that in the late 19th century for a few coins you could ride a trolley all the way from Oakland down East 14th Street (now Mission Blvd.) to rural Hayward? Or take a horse drawn railcar from the Patterson Ranch (now Ardenwood) to Centerville? Or take a train ride to Niles Canyon for a pleasant picnic along Alameda Creek and listen to the sounds of John Philip Souza’s band?

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The Harvest Has Passed: In the Aftermath of the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

The harvest has passed the summer is ended. And we are not saved.  -Jeremiah's Lament. 

Beloved Community, 

Like you, I awakened to the shocking news that the largest mass shooting in American history occurred last night at a concert in Las Vegas. As the chaos unfolds around this attack on social media, in the news, and as the numbers of injured and deceased climb- I want to invite you in my role as Spiritual Navigator of our journey to remember what we have been reflecting on as we journey together.

1) In invite you to pay attention to what is going on inside you as this horrible situation unfolds (Interior Movement). Identify, feel, and hold with those difficult emotions. (Sadness, Shock, Numbness, Anger, Grief- whatever is coming up for you.). Notice these feelings and invite God into them.

2) I invite you to pay attention to what kind of Exterior Movement/Action is your first impulse. (Trying to assign blame, Raging on Social Media, Watching the News Feeds impulsively, Cutting off from others-- whatever is coming up in you.) Pay attention to what is going on. But don't act on it. Just watch it and invite God into it (Or do it if you need to and invite God into it).  

3) I invite you to pay attention to the deeper Exterior Movement/Action God might be calling you/us to. (Opening to Silence, Praying, Writing, Reading Scripture/Poetry, Doing something that is comforting to you, checking-in with Neighbors, Hearing and Telling Stories, Strategizing about working for assault weapons bans, calling our representatives, watching for indications of racism, anti Muslim bias, and white privilege in media reporting so you are educating yourself- whatever is coming up for you.) These are God filled actions/exterior movements of power, self-care, and justice seeking.  

Know that I am praying for all of us this morning- as we also pray for the families of the deceased, the traumatized concert goers, the residents of Las Vegas, for the first responders, for the shooter's family, and for our nation's leaders that they might respond to lessons unlearned about banning the kinds of weapons used in Las Vegas, and in other mass shootings such as Pulse/Orlando, Aurora, Virginia Tech, San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Charleston, and Sandy Hook. We must rip away our denial and complicity in this terrorism and violence so our nation can be safer for everyone.

I love you. And I invite you to reach out to each other and feel the energy moving through our hands and around our circle as we grieve together.  It is from this place we will confront this tragedy- and it is from this place we are called move out our doors and into our community with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with love, and with power.

With Warmest Regards and Blessings, Rev. Jeanne

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now

"It is here, in that darkness, that the apocalypse washes over us. It is here that we are decentered.  It is here that the (sometimes barely) hidden will be revealed and we will become aware of what others have long experienced and known.  It is here that the loving voice of our Still-Speaking God unveils our Shadow and invites us to a deepening spiritual journey of life, death, and resurrection."

 

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