Books & Art Supply Drive
Join us in collecting new books & art supplies for the students at Terrell Elementary School in San Jose. Started by Marty Olson a few years ago, the drive is intended to bring the joy of reading and creating to students in need. The Drive will run February 25 - March 17.
The school provided a list of items needed by the Art Instructor to assist with the classwork. (You can find the list below.) The School Librarian has highlighted the need for non-fiction books for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, though any books are welcome. Monetary donations can be placed in the offering basket and noted for Book Drive.
In celebration, we'll be holding a fundraising dinner on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17. The menu includes: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, soda bread, and a special dessert. A vegetarian option of cabbage rolls will be offered. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and are available from Don Hansen or Theo Olson. Funds raised will go to Terrell Elementary designated for new books and art supplies.
from Pr. Manda
CGS is a great congregation but there are a lot of things that we can't take credit for in our lives together. One of those things is the ability to function as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. This designation is granted to us because we are a cooperative partner or part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This membership is also the reason we have assistance with calling rostered leaders, have local Lutheran partners in ministry, and opportunity for global service around the world.
To maintain this relationship with 3.5 million other faithful people, we do a few things each year to empower and support one another in our common mission to live in this freedom we call grace. We send people to synod assembly once a year. We partner with our local Lutheran neighbors like Prince of Peace in Saratoga. And we foster new ministries like Christ Community Church and Encompass Ministry. And once every three years - we send someone to the Churchwide Assembly to vote on our policies, leaders, and collective actions.
As an example, you can see what we did at the last Churchwide Assembly in 2016 by visting www.elca.org/churchwideassembly. Spoiler alert: we did some pretty progressive things for a Church. Generally, we vote on the proposed ministries in areas of life such as immigration, poverty, education, justice for women, gun violence prevention, a responsible energy future, and US foreign and military policy. In 2017 we'll tackle a whole host of new and not so new issues as well as hold elections for our Presiding Bishop (currently served by Elizabeth Eaton).
To ensure that we send people of all genders, ages, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientations, and geographic context each synod elects people to send as voting members to the Churchwide Assembly. This year CGS has the opportunity to nominate a lay female (meaning not a rostered leader, which at CGS is everyone except Pr. Manda) to be a voting member at the 2019 assembly.
If elected, this person will be given the materials and training necessary to vote on where our whole Church is heading. It's like our congregational meeting but for a worshiping community of 3.5 million people. There will be thousands of voting members coming from all over the country to Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 5-10, 2019.
Going to Churchwide Assembly is a good time if you're interested in where the Church influences and responds to our society. If you have the time to go (expenses are paid) and are interested in being involved in this expression of our Church, I would like to encourage you to put your name forward for nomination. Eligible persons identify as female, are not rostered leaders of the ELCA (that's all of you), are over the age of 18, and are available to travel to the event. If you are interested in more information or to be nominated, I hope you'll contact me so that I can put your name forward. This event only happens once every three years and it's often where history is made. What's more, you are exposed to and representing the great diversity of our faith tradition and that is an experience worthy of praising the Holy Spirit in and of itself!
Our "Introduction to Sheltering" Workshops continue: (Due to increased workshop schedule, our regular Winter Faith Collaborative meetings canceled until further notice)
Tues. Feb. 12th at 6:30pm at Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. 1550 Meridian Ave. SJ 95125
Wed. Feb. 21st at 7pm at St. Thomas of Canterbury. 1522 McCoy Ave, SJ 95130
We will explain the need, introduce the 3 different models of sheltering, and answer any questions and concerns. Program includes: short video, panel discussion and small groups. Mentors will be assigned for those interested in sheltering.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/WinterFaithCollabSJ/ (ask to join if you haven't already)
Racism - do you ever consider if you're a racist? It pains me to hear that word hurled at individuals because it is such a bludgeon that closes down communication and reconciliation. However, coming to identify as a racist in my own life was a crucial and profound first step toward finding a way forward in relationship with my siblings of color and my own white guilt.
I remember the first anti-racism training I attended in college where I learned that the definition of racism is prejudice + power. Anyone can be prejudiced against another - for the color of their skin or any other reason. But when we mix that prejudice into the relationship soup that is our society and begin to use the implicit and explicit power in those relationships to enact and codify our prejudice - then we get racism.
What I learned then didn't really sink in until my third or fourth anti-racism training. In retrospect, I was grateful that these trainings were mandatory for whatever organization or group I was a part of. They gave me an opportunity I might not have sought on my own. Because who wants to examine their own prejudice? Who wants to honestly open the possibility that whether or not we have prejudice, we might be implicitly or explicitly participating in a system of prejudice? Or that we might be benefiting from the prejudice of others? It is a difficult thing.
I've come to a place where I can admit to myself and others that I benefit from a government, church, and society that prefers light skin to dark. I don't like it. It makes me angry, sad, helpless, and guilty. But I'm also choosing not to be idle in this way any longer. I'm trying to adopt a posture of listening, believing, and honoring people of color in our community. I'm trying to examine every choice and decision I make (or don't have to make) to see if I am aware of the privilege present and if there is anything I can do to change it.
Spaces like anti-racism training events are helping me. Each time I go back there is more language to learn. There is more testimony to hear. There are new truths to discover. And the more I learn the more equipped I feel to discover the new life that God is making in the midst of our racist reality. When I discover it - I can participate in it.
There is an opportunity for us all to attend a (free) anti-racism training in a safe space at Advent Lutheran Church in Morgan Hill. The training is a Saturday, February 3rd and is hosted by people that I trust and respect. I will not be able to attend because I'm out of town, but I hope to God that you will go. If you are white I hope that you will go to listen and learn. If you are a person of color I hope that you will go to lend your voice. If you have questions or concerns, I would be grateful to talk about them with you. If you want to register in advance you can do so by visiting the link below. But if you don't work up the courage to attend until the morning of the event, I hope you will still go for I believe you will find grace and hope there.
Our CGS Mixed Choir is constantly looking for singers who would like to be a part of a ministry and group of people who share the same passion for singing. We meet for a couple of hours every Thursday in the Fireside Room to learn music that we sing in our worship services and a quick review of the song before each Sunday service. Our rehearsals normally comprise of not just singing, but also a lot of fellowship - catching up and checking in with each other, most of the time, over food and refreshments. Choir members often bring food and refreshments to rehearsals that they’ve prepared to share with everyone. We’ve always felt that our CGS church is a big family, and that is especially undeniable among our choir members. The amount of time we spend in each other’s company, doing something we enjoy and love, for a common objective of serving God and edifying our congregation with music, nurture a special connection and relationship with each other.
Something that may explain the special connection we develop with music-making - according to Aniruddh D. Patel, a researcher at Tufts University and self-described “neuroscientist of music,” human song connects us, not just to each other, but to other species. But there are key differences in the way humans and other animals sing, and those differences point to the unusually important role that sound plays in human brain function. Music provides a way to access regions of the brain and reawaken autobiographical memory when language won’t. Just as parrots use their learned songs as a way to identify themselves as belonging to a specific flock, “human vocal learning may have started as a way to mark ourselves as being members of a group, maybe before we had full-blown language.” He connects this group identification with the way accents tell us what region or country a speaker comes from today.
So, come join us on Thursdays, 7 – 9 in the evening, Fireside Room, and be a part of our wonderful choral ministry.
- REY LAMBATIN, Choir Director