In 2022, we donated 695 quilts!! We were able to bring joy and comfort to those individuals, their families and caregivers! This impact is truly amazing! The organizations that we were able to support this year include:
PAMF Mnt View and Sunnyvale Chemo treatment patients
Sequoia Hospice in Milpitas
Veterans Administration Palo Alto Healthcare System
Oakland Children’s hospital NICU & Palliative care units
Unity Care providing housing for Foster Youths
Parisi House on the Hill women’s shelter
Loma Clara memory care facility, Morgan Hill
Assistance League Los Gatos-Saratoga helping under privileged new mothers
Casa de Clara – Transition shelter for homeless mothers & kids
C.A.R.E. SF Bayview shelter helping babies, kids and teens
Sew for love (large white garbage bags of fabric and batting scraps – used to stuff sit-upons forschool kids)
SF Chapter of CA Association of Nurse Practitioner’s (annual appreciation event - holiday donation)
Santa Clara County and SVDP Mentally challenged adults (holiday donation)
C.A.R.E. SF Bayview area
C.A.R.E. is the Center for Academic Re-entry and Empowerment in the Bayview section of San Francisco. Our donations include quilts for children, teenagers, and their babies.
“One of the quilts that was donated went to this young man who is soon to be a Dad. Mom and Dad are both SFUSD students who will graduate this year. The other students gave a baby shower and this young man was thrilled. See the look on his face!
This is another young person who's life has been touched by the generosity of the quilting guild of Santa Clara.
Another new mom was so pleased and grateful to have a quilt for her baby!
Supporting our Veterans
We continue to take donations for the veterans. With the cold weather, consider knit hats, long sleeve tee shirts, socks and sweatpants. Do you have any gently used books you no longer need? Have you started receiving 2023 promotional calendars in the mail? If you will not be needing them, consider donating them to the veterans. They really appreciated the set we included in our December donations. These and the other items from the full Patient Needs List (see below) are much appreciated by the veterans. Bring them to the CQ workdays in Campbell or contact me to drop them off at my home in Sunnyvale.
I pulled some information from their website to share. “Over the past 29 years we have served thousands of youth transitioning out of foster care and breaking the cycle from foster care to street, by providing safe supportive housing, case management, independent living skills education, mental health support through licensed therapists, and LGBTQ identity support.”
“Unity Care’s housing programs provides current and former foster youth, including probation youth, ages 16–21 with safe, secure, and affordable housing while they focus on their emotional, educations, and employment goals.”
Dee sent the following comments:
“Here is some feed back from our patient’s regarding the amazing quilts Santa Clara Valley Quilt Assoc provides. Before they are prepared for our patients, all of the staff enjoys looking at each one and admiring all the love and detail. Seeing the expressions of the nurses and medical staff choose a quilt for a specific patient is priceless! The quilts brighten everyone’s day.
Thank you with all of my heart! We are blessed and honored to have these amazing handmade quilts provided to our patients and families.”
Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Sequoia Hospice
Even our small scraps
We collect even the small scraps of fabric and batting “trash” that are generated while making quilts. These are used to stuff pet beds by guild members and to stuff the cubies made by Sew For Love. We put to use all the scraps we receive, keeping them out of the landfill. One guild member mentioned that she has stuffed over 30 pet beds with scraps last year!
Are you cleaning out closets before putting away your holiday decorations? keep in mind: Sew for Love will take old clean blankets, pillows & towels for the pets, yarn, cotton fabric, denim, flannel, sherpa, polar fleece, vinyl, upholstery pieces or batting, fabric and thread scrap pcs - - - nothing is too small.
Community Quilts Workday Meetings:
During our Community Quilts workdays, our group members work on the tops that have been donated by our guild members, layering them with batting, backing and binding. These are folded into quilt “sandwiches” that are then picked up by our guild members. They take them home to quilt. Once they are quilted and the binding is attached to the edges, the finished quilts are returned to our group. During our workdays we also sort and organize the finished quilts, now ready for donation.
Thank you to Christ The Good Shepard Lutheran Church for helping us to joy, hope and comfort to 695 individuals, their families, and caregivers!
SCVQA Community Quilts
Welcome, Pr. Kris!
In June of 2021, I wrote an article for the newsletter called “Farewell, Pastor Manda”, so it’s a blessing to now, a year and a half later, be writing an article titled “Welcome, Pastor Kris!” I am so thankful to our Call Committee, the Executive Council, and Christina, and so many others who helped us transition smoothly to where we are now! Our community made it over the bridge, and as Pastor Kris reminded us on his first Sunday, it’s time to think about what we’re looking for in this new beginning for our congregation.
We began our January Council meeting by introducing ourselves to Pastor Kris, and telling him what we’re looking for when we come to church. It was such a great reminder of all the things that church is - a place for individual spiritual growth, a safe place to find support, and a way to serve others - in the congregation and the community.
As we look ahead to this upcoming year, we will continue many of our same activities and ministries, but there will also be new ideas and new ways to get involved. I’m excited to see the way our congregation will continue to grow and thrive, and hope you will all join us in whatever ways you feel led to do so. It’s an exciting and rejuvenating time to reflect on God’s calling for all of us.
- Rachel Stehouwer Visscher
-To those I have already met, thank you for your generous and kind welcome. And for those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’m Kristofer Rhude (he/him), CGS’s new pastor. I am so excited to have begun my ministry with you last week, and I am deeply honored to serve you all in the next chapter of this incredible congregation’s life.
In the coming weeks and months I’ll be working to get to know each of you as individuals, and collectively as a community. Of course, you’ll also have opportunities to get to know me—and I wanted to start by telling you a little bit about my calling as a pastor.
In considering my call, a Biblical verse which has been important to me since I was a child quickly came to mind. I hope and intend that at my best, my ministry might reflect the direction of Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”
“Doing justice,” is central to my call as I believe that the church can be an incredible source for peace and justice in our hurting world. In my ministry up to this point, that’s looked like walking with undocumented people, leading anti-racism efforts, and working for the full love and affirmation of LGBTQ+ people throughout the church. In “loving kindness,” I hear my call to build community. I think this is one of the most important roles a pastor can play—to connect people to one another, and to God. In all of this work, I strive to “walk humbly with God”—to be conscious of my constant need for God’s grace through Christ, and to recognize that our God is both unimaginably complex and immensely mysterious. I hope that you’ll find that when it comes to matters of faith, I tend to have more questions than I have answers, and I’d rather live in a place of holy possibility than confining certainty.
I know it won’t always be easy, and that my ministry won’t always live up to such scriptural goals. Still, as often as possible and together as a community of Christ, I look forward to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with you. And as we begin this journey, please know that I am here for you. If there is anything I can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone, email, or in-person at church.
- Pastor Kristofer Rhude
We have now donated OVER 500 quilts this (calendar) year!! They have brought joy and comfort to so very many individuals, families and caregivers!
C.A.R.E. SF Bayview area
During our Oct popup boutique Kathy Herr, a returning member, reached out to us about donating quilts. C.A.R.E. is the Center for Academic Re-entry and Empowerment in the Bayview section of San Francisco. They work collaboratively with families to create service plans that empower and support families to strengthen social, emotional and physical well-being. This includes:
Case Management and Family Advocacy
Parenting Classes: Triple P
Support Groups: Healthy Relationships, Fatherhood, Anger Management, Baby and Me
Parent and Child Interactive Activities and Events
Food Pantry and Diaper Bank
Our first donation included baby and child quilts. Our Nov. donations will also include larger quilts for middle and high school students. We will be including them in our recurring donations.
The SF Chapter of CA Association of Nurse Practitioners serves the bay area and is holding their annual Nurse Practitioners appreciation event. We donated 5 quilts for their appreciation event that celebrates the nurse practitioners and acknowledges all their hard work.
Your small scraps - Sew for love
Many of you are handing over bags of your leftover fabric scrap pieces (small and large) along with the quilts and tops you give us. This is so great! Here is a photo from Michelle Zeiler of Sew for Love of cubies stuffed with the scrap donations you donated at the popup event. Cubies are available to shelters, schools, and churches for kids to use for sit-upons.
And some of our own members use them to stuff pet beds for shelter animals. This makes them more comfortable and relaxed, which makes them more adoptable
Thank you Stories from Sequoia Hospice:
Dee Walsh, the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at Sequoia Hospice in Milpitas says
“The quilts and each one of you bring so much joy. It begins in the office, we love looking at each one and appreciating the work that goes into them. Then experiencing the shock and joy they bring someone is priceless! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of these amazing gifts.“
She went on to add:
“I just wanted to share with you some of the many compliments and appreciation from our patients and families. All of the amazing quilts have bought so many smiles. I always mention Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association donates these quilts and they are made with love. Thank you with all of my heart.
1. Female patient is confused and doesn’t know her name. When I showed her the beautiful quilt she responded, Oooh!!! Her eyes opened bright and big and she wanted to touch it. I left the quilt on the foot of her bed. The staff at the facility commented how thoughtful and beautiful this gesture was.
2. Female patient very confused and could not talk. She had the quilt on her bed and across her lap to celebrate her birthday. This actually was her last birthday and passed a couple of days later. Her family now have a beautiful memory to keep. They are grateful and appreciative.
3. One of our nurses was looking for a birthday gift for two of her patients. These patient’s had not received a quilt yet so she picked a quilt out for each patient. Seeing the enjoyment the RN had in choosing the perfect quilt for each patient was so heartwarming. Both patients loved the quilts and the families wanted a thank you to be extended to who made them.
4. This female patient is fully alert and oriented. She was presented with one of the amazing quilts. She was so stunned by the detailed work and beauty, we both enjoyed and talked about it together. This patient got teary eyed and was adamant to thank the person who made this for her.
5. Several of our nurses and home health aid’s mentioned when they are at a patients home and they see one of the quilts, they place the quilt on the patients bed or across them. Not only do these quilts brighten the patients/families day but they also bring so much joy to our staff.
Supporting our Veterans
I received the following thank you from Dat Hoang-Gia, Unites States Marine Corps Veteran and Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center in Palo Alto Veterans center.
“For the past 10 years I have worked at the Palo Alto Veterans Affair, and have come across so many beautiful quilts that have been donate to the Veterans. It is such a wonderful gift that brightens up the room and brings joy to Veterans. I would like to reach out to the group donating the quilts to thank them”
As we move into the holiday season, many stores will be having great sales. If you are able, the next time you see a sale, consider picking up items for a veteran. Items like deodorant, toothpaste, nail clippers, tee shirts, knit hats, socks and sweatpants (see full Patient Needs List below for recommended sizes). We will continue to collect supplies for the veterans. You can bring them to a QC workday in Campbell or contact me to drop them off at my home (in Sunnyvale).
The NICU and Palliative Care units at Oakland Children’s Hospital have children ranging in ages from infants up to 12 years old and take quilts from 18” x18” up to 36” x 48” long. They truly appreciate all the quilts we send them! They use the quilts for swaddling the infants, covering the mattresses, covering the isolettes (to block the bright lights) and giving comfort to the young children.
Provides quilt bundles to young mothers in need. In cooperation with Nurse Family Partnership in Santa Clara County, those in-need moms and their new babies, as identified by the nurses, are provided with a bundle of baby items wrapped in a hand-made, colorful baby quilt. At the holidays, gifts are provided to babies and their siblings selected as most in need by the nurses.
Parisi House on the Hill Shelter
In Aug, I reported that Parisi House reached out to let us know they are ready for another set of ten twin bed quilts 60x80. You all came through fast! We were able to deliver the quilts to them this month!
Santa Clara County & St.Vincent de Paul – for mentally challenged adults
Terean, with St.Vincent de Paul, contacted us. She explains “Every year we get gifts from donors for a group of 30 mentally challenged adults, I was hoping that perhaps your group could make lap quilts for them this year as this year we don’t have the money for much”. Thanks to you all, we will be able to deliver these to Terean by mid-November.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Quite a few of you have been coming to drop off quilts, tops, and other donations during our CQ workdays and at my home in Sunnyvale. These have been essential in allowing us to maintain our monthly donations to the organizations we support!!
You are the ones that make this all possible. OVER 500 Quilts so far this year!!
Remember, each quilt makes a difference in someone’s life!
SCVQA Community Quilts
The SafeCarPark@CGS The Safe Car Park guests have moved to the next location. Thank you CGS community for your efforts and support of this ministry. During the month of October we hosted over 30 guests including several families with children in 13 cars.
Silicon Valley Safe Parking is a partnership of area faith communities and Bellarmine College Prep, with locations in the central San Jose area. More than two years ago the CGS church council approved participation in this vital community effort. All partners agreed to host for one month, up to two times per year.
As a host site, we provide a safe parking space, bathrooms and trash/recycling for the guests. Host sites are then able to choose additional hospitality: phone charging stations, hospitality room, snacks, meals, etc. Hosting during COVID brought challenges but we were able to provide continue with our participation and took precautions to make it a safe place for all.
The outpouring of assistance and love to this ministry has been tremendous. It is because of the efforts of the volunteers that it came together. Thank you, check-in/check-out volunteers, to those who donated snacks, beverages, gift cards and made cash donations, and to those who hosted dinners. All are important parts of keeping the Safe Car Park at part of this CGS ministry,
It will take our village to make this work. CGS’s will again host in April 2023. Volunteers will be needed throughout the entire month. Daily shifts, 7:30 am – 8:00 am in the morning and 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm in the evening, will need to be staffed. While the guests are staying with us, the best ways to offer hospitality and support will be determined. Donations of gift cards, snacks and supplies on the Amazon wish list are always needed. Financial support is also greatly appreciated.
For more information and to volunteer, contact Sarah Janigian, Chelsea Byom, Rachel Visscher, or Kevin Vasscher.
How to Print a Church Directory in Breeze
Did you know you can print your own custom directory in Breeze? Here's how!
The directory will print in three columns and three contacts per row.
Can't get it to print? Ask the church office to print a copy for you.
We've made it to the bottom of page 32 (of 109) of the Call Process
Manual! This means your call committee has agreed on a candidate we
believe is called to be our next pastor, and furthermore that he (yes,
"he") believes we are called to be his congregation. Thanks be to God!
But we have 77 more pages to go. What could possibly be next? The next
major phase in this process will be working through the details of the
contract and proposed compensation package. 1 Timothy 5:18 reminds us
to ensure that workers are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Pray for our congregational council as they joyfully live up to this
And there's still more. In the coming weeks we'll arrange some kind of
meet-and-greet event, and then there will be a congregational meeting to
vote on whether to call him, and whether to approve the compensation
package proposed by our council.
And there's still more. Since this would be Kristofer's first call,
he'll need to figure out where we wants to have his ordination take
place. And then there's that matter of scheduling his installation,
probably by our conference Dean, here at CGS. And a zillion little
details along the way.
Our sincere hope is that we'll have made it through all this around the
beginning of the new year, but we're entering a stage of the process
where external dependencies (like schedules of deans and bishops) seem
During this time, please hold Kristofer and his wife Laura in your
prayers, along with our council as they lay the foundations for this
next stage of our lives together.
Your Call Committee,
Randy, Adolfo, Julia, Matt, Paul, and Sarah
I had the privilege to be educated by the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco. Don Bosco dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth in Torino. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment. When we were in school, we were doing dishes, cleaning up the dining hall, visiting retirement homes, and doing all kinds of “on the ground” charitable work. What stuck with me most and why I later felt so at home with the Lutheran faith and CGS was:
Like any family living in sunny but expensive Bay Area, we always must juggle time, stress and money. Working and raising two teenagers, we try to balance educating, sky rocketing cost of living, fueling 3000 calories per day diets, and saving so we can visit our loved ones in Europe and so our kids hopefully don’t have to worry about their aging parents. We love participating in CGS activities whenever we can, God works our hands, and the Safe Car Park ministry are our favorites. Ansgar made a stint in the Keynote group and I would love to join the choir, but as the saying goes too many commitments, too little time. We are also fortunate to participate in other charitable work with the Johanniter order, the Masonic Service Association at the VA, teaching Tai Chi and Martha’s Kitchen.
At the October church council Jean – watching our congregation finances with the utmost care, thank you Jean! - brought up that our donation level is under budget and that it would be good to raise awareness of this fact in our community newsletter. So here you go, here is my attempt to talk about a very sensitive topic. I don’t like to ask people to give money and per the above I prefer giving time and “doing” the work. But as a former controller I understand the realities of keeping a balanced budget to fund all the wonderful ministries of our beloved CGS church.
Our world today is all caught up in the daily media reports of war, inflation, rioting, latest COVID variant, recession and natural disasters. Honestly, I often turn off the news as to me it’s mental poisoning. I try to spend time on activities that will help me stay positive like dancing, giving, meditating, reading uplifting works and praying. Like all of us – and especially now that I must find a new job, I need to overcome my fears and give while trusting that at some point this too shall pass.
One of my mother’s favorite sayings – which came from my grandmother who lived thru WWI, WWII and the Algeria wars was “Tout va bien a celui qui sait attendre et qui croit en Dieu”. Which means good things will come to those who are patient and have faith. Now if a devout and loving farmer’s voice might not be as meaningful to you as it is to me, I will quote my favorite verses from the scriptures on the topic of trusting a better future and giving.
On Trust - John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It Is Better to Give Than Receive - Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
On Treasures in Heaven - Matthew 6:16-34
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
On Freedom from Fear - Matthew 6:16-34
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
From the bottom of my heart, I pray that this season will bring new energy and hope to your life. Autumn is so much full of positivity, happiness and goodness. It is the season of giving, and nobody can ever tell you what to give, you know it in your heart. Just go and do it.
Isabelle Coste-Fürst – CGS Council Member
Saying "no" is hard. It's especially hard when you know someone wants
something so badly they can taste it, when they've prepared for years
and feel that hope deep in their bones that this might be the place.
This is a challenge of the call process that I hadn't really
appreciated. I already knew from having hired employees that turning
down prospects was both necessary and uncomfortable, especially when
there were multiple well-qualified applicants for a single opening, but
there's something about the call process that makes it different.
Perhaps it's the amount of filtering that has already happened before we
see a prospect's name. Perhaps it's how much they've invested in
learning about our congregation before they even talk to us. Perhaps
it's the possibility that this call would occupy them for the rest of
their earthly life. But there's no "perhaps" about the feeling it
leaves in my gut, a sort of über-FOMO despite my intellectual
appreciation that we can say "yes" to at most one.
At this time, we're at about page 28 (of 109) of the "Sierra Pacific
Synod, ELCA Transition and Call Process Manual for Congregations in
Transition." We conducted video interviews and met to discuss them in
depth. After much thought, discussion, and prayer, we released those we
couldn't envision at CGS from consideration so they might pursue other
possibilities. We met on October 2nd to identify the topics we want to
give priority in face-to-face interviews scheduled with the remaining
candidates. We've been contacting references. By October 16th, we will
have conducted the interviews, and will then meet to digest what we have
learned and decide how we want to proceed from there.
We ask for prayer:
- that those we have released find calls well-suited to their most
- for the remaining candidates as they discern whether CGS would be
right for them;
- and for the Call Committee, that we might hear the Holy Spirit's
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
A good way to follow the advice above from Apostle Paul is to say breath prayers aloud or quietly to oneself throughout the day. In October 2019, I was reading the GIVE US THIS DAY devotional booklet to be ecumenical and I really enjoyed this simple breath prayer: “May the love of God, peace of Christ, and communion of the Holy Spirit be with us forever.” Another one borrowed from our Lutheran worship service is: “May we enter the fullness of your kin-dom in unity with Christ. In the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Amen.” One can also create your own breath prayers with inspiration from the Holy Bible and/or Christian songs. For example, I put together this concise prayer inspired by the Gospel of John 8:12, Genesis 28:15, and a Christian song called “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli: “Jesus is the Light of the world, God is with me wherever I go, and the Holy Spirit is welcome here.” Hopefully all of you can also connect to our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, through some of these succinct yet insightful prayers.
Peace and blessings,
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.