We are thrilled to extend a heartfelt invitation to our beloved church community
for a special fundraising musical gathering that aims to support Safe Car Park, a
ministry dedicated to assisting individuals who find themselves living in their cars.
This event promises to be an uplifting and memorable experience, filled with
music that revolves around the theme of love.
Our concert will feature a diverse array of musical performances, all centered
around the powerful theme of love. From soulful ballads to joyous anthems, our
talented musicians and vocalists will weave a musical tapestry that celebrates the
universal language of love.
This concert is to raise funds in support of CGS’ Safe Car Park Ministry. This
invaluable ministry works tirelessly to provide assistance and support to those
who are living in their cars, offering a safe haven and necessary resources to help
them navigate through challenging times.
We encourage you to participate in this cause by attending the event and making
a contribution towards our fundraising efforts. No need to purchase tickets to see
the concert, but we will be collecting free-will donations during the event. Your
generous donations will go directly towards supporting CGS’ Safe Car Park
Ministry and making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Let us come together as a community to spread love and make a difference in the
lives of those who need it most. Your presence and support at this musical
concert will contribute to the success of our fundraising initiative and, more
importantly, help Safe Car Park Ministry continue their vital work.
We look forward to seeing you there for an afternoon filled with beautiful music
and the warmth of community spirit.
February is just around the corner, and with it the Safe Car Park program will be back at
CGS. Help is needed to welcome the guests to our church site. For those unfamiliar
with the program, CGS is a member of the Silicon Valley Safe Car Park network. We
participate in hosting single adults and families sleeping in their vehicles to have a safe
place to stay.
Our church community has been very welcoming to Safe Car Park guests. Planning for
the February visit is in full swing. Volunteers are needed for evening check-in (6:30
p.m.) and morning check-out (7:30 a.m.). We host a community meal on Tuesday nights
during the month. Please use the sign-up sheet if you would like to prepare one of those
meals. Donations of restaurant/grocery gift cards and gasoline gift cards are also
always needed. In addition, donations of non-perishable snacks will be gladly accepted.
(Please, all snacks individually wrapped.) We have set up an Amazon wish list link, to
make it easy for you to donate and have it delivered to the church.
The current link for instructions and volunteers to sign-up is below:
SIGN UP sheet on Sign Up Genius
INSTRUCTIONS for volunteers
We look forward to welcoming Safe Car Park guests to CGS, and providing them a
warm and welcoming place. Please feel free to contact anyone on the team if you have
Well, as Karen Carpenter says in the song “greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through.” We can take a breath and spend a little time in this final week of December reflecting and prepare ourselves for the new year. And what will the new year bring? Probably as many challenges as this past year. It will also provide many opportunities to continue the Christmas spirit of giving. In January alone, there are many events at CGS for us to join in celebrating our lives together. On January 8th, we will begin a new adult educational opportunity with our knowledgeable pastor on how the Bible was formed and some of the gospels that were not included in the final version! On January 9th, we can learn about the many ways to participate in our Safe Car Park Program. After worship on January 14th, we will have our first Children and Family event full of games, food and fun. We will celebrate the baptism of Ciaran on January 14th and Emma will be confirmed on January 21st. In addition, we can volunteer as assistants with the Godly Play program for our children on the first and third Sundays of the month and learn along with them about the stories of our faith. We can volunteer for Shelter Cooking to support those in our midst who experience food insecurities. Once a month, one of our four teams prepares a meal for the Julian Street Shelter to show our love and support. To think that all of this is available just in the month of January! We can all experience any of these chances to give of ourselves or we can pray for those who provide these vital services. Ask Christina in the office for more information on any of these events. Our community will continue to give in this coming year. Of that I have no doubt.
"Here is some information, thank you notes and photos from SCVQA for this year. Many of them are thank you notes to our guild, but please remind the congregation that the church’s generosity to our organization is a big part of what makes the donations possible. As you have seen first hand, we put the entire great room to use during our workdays spreading out our numerous different activities across every inch of the room. This wonderful space allows us to prepare, process, organize and manage all the quilts that come through our group before being delivered out to our local community."
This year we were able to distribute an amazing 857 donated quilts. That’s more than last year. WOW! In addition to the individual recipient, the quilts also extend love and comfort to their families and care teams. We were able to donate around the bay area to the following recipients this year:
I’ve attached several photos, naming them such that I hope it is easy to know which photo goes with which organization. If any of your congregation would like more information, they can reach out to me directly via email or they can visit our website.
The Grateful Garment Project provides victims of sexual violence the clothing and other resources they need to reclaim their dignity and begin the healing process. When sexual assault victims seek medical attention and rape kits are performed, they are asked to surrender their clothing for DNA evidence. The traumatized victim then has nothing else to wear home but a hospital gown. Grateful Garment Project works with hospitals, shelters, law enforcement and other nonprofits to meet victims’ immediate needs after a crisis and support their ongoing needs along their road to recovery. They requested hand-made wall hangings for the counseling and interview rooms.
Oakland’s Children’s Hospital sent us this lovely thank you note:
This card comes with the deepest thanks for years, actually decades!, of your giving of the gorgeous, beautiful hand made quilts you have provided USDF Benioff Childrens NICU with. The entire staff surrounds our dear Gina Bowerman – our most lovely, loving and skilled nurse each time she arrives with the colorful quilts showing through the many bags she carries in from you <Heart>
…Our thanks are heartfelt and deep as we have both the honor and joy of offering these quilts from you. Many are given to the families who keep them for a lifetime – softening the memories of neonatal intensive care as a beginning. And many are used to brighten a hospital tiny bed or incubator for those sweet babies and families.
Our thank you for your creative skills, your choices in beautiful fabrics and your grand hearts is more than can ever be fully expressed.
From all the Oakland NICU and Hospital,
Bette Flushman, NICU BCHO”
Unity Care supports Foster Teens as they age out of the program. They sent this wonderful thank you note:
“Dear <SCVQA, >
Thank you for your donation of handmade quilts. Your gift ensures that young people are shown genuine love and appreciation. It also assists them in learning that a bigger community cares for them, despite what their tough beginnings taught them. Please share with others the powerful impact of your donation.
When we updated our Mission: “We transform the lives of young people in and emerging from foster care by providing stable housing, caring connections, and life skills that build a foundation to achieve their potential.”, part of our goal became to educate and share that mission.
Did you know that we serve over 200 transitional-age foster youth ages 18–25? While traditionally, youth can count on family support into adulthood, our young people must figure life out on their own. As you can imagine, this is not an easy feat. Unity Care is helping prepare them for success - so they can live independently when it is time for them to transition out of our program.
How else does your donation impact youth?
Unity Care also provides move-in kits, bright holidays, birthday parties and scholarships for our young people to pursue their academic/vocational dreams, and graduation ceremonies to celebrate important milestones and youth's accomplishments. Your donation of handmade quilts completes a customized bedding package for move in kits. This is a beautiful and thoughtful gesture that our youth are so deserving of. We invite you to become a part of our mission! Let people know who we are, what we do and how you are helping. Just sharing with your network that you donated will inspire others to do the same. www.unitycare.org/donate-now/
Tai Batov, Partnerships Coordinator”
Unity Care, San Jose
Markham Plaza is an affordable low income housing facility that houses seniors, veterans, formerly homeless, students and families. They requested a set of quilts for a holiday event for all the mothers and children in their San Jose housing.
The CA Association of Nurse Practitioners SF Area Chapter’s appreciation event, NP Week, was held in November.
My name is Lauren Thayer. I am one of the co-chairs for the communications/marketing team at CANP San Francisco. I have also included Shideh in this E-mail who is co-chair with me. We want to thank you so much for the quilts your guild has donated to NP Week the past two years! The quilts are a huge hit every year!
NP Week is a week we celebrate our NP’s and the impact we have on our health care system, communities and patients. Last year was our first in person NP Week event since the pandemic and the quilts were so popular, we were thrilled to hear you wanted to donate more!
For this NP Week, the gifts we gave to our members focused on self care. Each member of our NP Week event received a gift box of small self care items (teas, honey, candle, lavender cachet and pillow spray) as well as a chance to win one of the beautiful quilts through ticket drawings. At our event, four of our members were presented certificates of honor for their legislative work by Supervisor Mandelman. We had two inspiring talks by Sister Roma <in drag> and Rafael Mandelman as well as an educational dinner. It was a great success and we are so thankful for your donations!
… We would love to work with you again next year!
Thank you again for the quilts and your guilds heart to donate to our chapter!
One of the nurses that received a quilt at the event sent the following note:
I just wanted to drop a note and say thank you so much for the beautiful quilts and thank you for donating them to CANP. It made my month receiving one of your incredible quilts and it makes me so happy every time I see it.
Thank you for making a difference in our lives.
Heather Coyne, MSN, NP
UCSF Cancer Services APP Fellow”
Sequoia Hospice provides end-of-life care. Their Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Dee, shared these stories with us. These stories touch our hearts and truly inspire us.
“This is what I’ve heard from staff, patients and/or their families;
• Our nurse went out for a patient who was imminent, she saw your beautiful quilt keeping her warm. When I talked with the family, they expressed how grateful they were.
• A quilt was delivered for our patient, he was non-verbal as he was transitioning. His sister was so thankful for the beautiful gift to help during this time.
• I received this message from one of our nurses who delivered a quilt to her patient for her 99th birthday. She had been in a lot of pain and very depressed to the point she would not talk and only wanted to sleep. However, She loved the quilt and said “It’s beautiful. It’s her favorite colors pink and green! Thank you so very much!!! YOU helped me brighten up her day! Her spouse also was very THANKFUL!”
• When the nurses come in and ask for something special for a patient who is cold, depressed, it’s their birthday,…..; They get excited to hand pick a special quilt for their patient. It is always appreciated and well received. The quilts not only bring joy to our patients and families but the nurses who over and over see their patients eventually pass away. It brightens my day to see them enjoy brining a thoughtful amazing gift.
• We picked “Rock Star” of the month, the staff that won this award by going above and beyond was able to pick a quilt. They were able to pick an amazing quilt to bring home and cuddle while it represents their amazing work with our hospice patients. The joy it brought to be recognized and receive something so beautiful was priceless. …
Thank you all so much. Words cannot express our sincere gratitude for all that you all do.
Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Sequoia Hospice, 830 Hillview Ct. Suite 180, Milpitas, CA 95035”
While we are in full swing with the Advent and Christmas festivities, the new year is fast approaching. Because of some organization and scheduling changes, CGS will host the Safe Car Park program in February 2024. Once again help is needed to assist welcoming the guests to our church site. For those unfamiliar with the program, CGS is a member of the Silicon Valley Safe Car Park network. We participate in hosting single adults and families sleeping in their vehicles to have a secure parking lot space.
Our church community has been very welcoming to Safe Car Park guests, and now is the time to begin planning for the February visit. Volunteers will be needed for evening check-in (6:30 p.m.) and morning check-out (7:30 a.m.). We will host a community meal on Tuesday nights during the month. Please use the sign-up sheet if you would like to prepare one of those meals. Donations of restaurant/grocery gift cards and gasoline gift cards are also always needed. In addition, donations of non-perishable snacks will be gladly accepted. (Please, all snacks must be individually wrapped.) We have set up an Amazon wish list link, to make it easy for you to donate and have it delivered to the church.
The current link for instructions and volunteers to sign-up is below:
A volunteer orientation will be held on Tuesday, January 9, 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Please plan to attend if you want to learn more about the program and how you can help.
We look forward to welcoming Safe Car Park guests to CGS, and providing them a warm and welcoming place. Please feel free to contact anyone on the team if you have any questions.
Wow, what a year 2023 has been for CGS. A year ago, we were meeting Kristofer Rhude, a pastoral candidate for our congregation for the 1st time, and we were deciding if we would call him to serve our congregation as our Pastor. We all know how the vote went, we called Pastor Kris, he was ordained in Massachusetts and Installed at Christ the Good Shepherd as our pastor by February of this year.
I was serving a Council President at that time when the congregation was making a MAJOR decision about our future. I felt like I was running around like a chicken with no head for a while. For a period of time It seemed like there was a reception or congregational meeting every week and I figured you all were getting tired of hearing from me so often. I have served on council for the last several years and I am proud of all the hard work that the council has done. The council is a strong and dedicated group of people serving the congregation. The fact that CGS continues to thrive and have the opportunities to share our blessings is due in part to the dedicated people serving as church council at CGS. The church council is similar to the Board of Directors for a company and they have “general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation”. Our monthly council meetings are scheduled for an hour and a half, but we consistently find ourselves involved in serious discussions about what the is best decision for our church and we run over our scheduled time. At the last meeting in November, the council meeting covered several items, but the biggest subject was the BUDGET. Thanks to so much hard work by Gregg Zigler and the Finance committee a budget was developed that is meaningful and attainable for our congregation. I am happy to report that the budget was approved by the congregation at our November 19 Congregational Meeting.
I am currently in the last six months of my 2nd term on council and I have to say that I am continually amazed by the dedication of the council to lead our congregation is a positive direction. During the month of November, we were asked to think about “What have we to offer” our congregation?” Serving on council is a big responsibility and sometimes it can be a hard job but if you have any interest in serving our congregation in this capacity it can also be very rewarding. There are so many ways to serve our congregation and I hope each of you will prayerfully think of what your gifts are and how they can be shared with our church community. Please reach out to any council member is you have ideas about how you would like to serve. As we move into the Advent Season and the beginning of the church year, I am excited by the direction of CGS and I hope that you are as well. God’s Blessing to you all.
- Petra Menard
You may know I have struggled with severe depression and anxiety most of my life which comes from a diagnosis of PTSD. Over the past ten years, I have tried to bring more awareness to others about mental health and trauma in our children. As well as elicit understanding, acceptance, and support for individuals in our community and worldwide struggling with mental health issues. I feel that our faith is a powerful tool in supporting mental health. Spiritual beliefs can offer comfort, hope, and resilience to those struggling with mental health issues. These range from scriptural guidance to the simple act of prayer; our faith is solace in difficult times. Understanding mental health issues and their accompanying struggles can be essential for compassionate care, self-awareness, and creating supportive environments. Creating an environment where mental health can be discussed openly and without judgment is crucial in supporting those who are struggling.
I want to confront mental health stigma and lack of knowledge. We must strive to create an environment of understanding and compassion and dispel myths and misconceptions. Many individuals with mental health disorders face societal stigma, leading to discrimination, embarrassment, or shame. Here at CGS, we believe in the power of community and want to ensure that every member feels seen, heard, and supported.
Educating ourselves and others around us can help bring an understanding of the complexities of mental health disorders and foster empathy and effective support. Our community is only as strong as we make it. Let's also strive to build a supportive, inclusive church community where mental health is acknowledged, accepted, and cared for. Please remember that Mental health awareness is more than just understanding - it's about empathy, support, and ensuring that no one has to fight their battles alone. Let's continue to foster a supportive environment in our church community and make mental health a conversation we're not afraid to have. Together, we can make our church a haven of understanding, acceptance, and support for all.
I ask you to pray with me:
God, heal and support all those suffering from mental illness. May they always know they can run to you for comfort and peace. And I pray they will be surrounded by people and communities supporting them in their healing journey. In Jesus's name, Amen.
Blessings and Peace,
From The Complete Guide to Godly Play: Volume 1 by Jerome W. Berryman
You still might be wondering: what are the benefits of Godly Play for the children of our church? Godly Play is a distinctive approach to Christian ministry with children, both innovative and deeply grounded in our spiritual tradition:
- Sophie Jobe
The countdown to the most vibrant shindig of the year is on, and guess who's strutting their stuff? That's right – the amazing crew from Christ the Good Shepard is getting ready to rock the house at the Silicon Valley Pride Parade! On Sunday, August 27th, CGS is bringing the spirit of unity, love, and acceptance to the streets. Don't miss the groove – we're inviting everyone to join the party!
If you haven't heard, CGS is a bunch of big-hearted folks who are all about spreading good vibes, supporting one another, and throwing one heck of a party! We're all about building a community where everyone feels like a superstar, and we're not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. Being a part of the Silicon Valley Pride Parade is like a glittery cherry on top of our acceptance sundae.
Mark your calendars, slap on some glitter, and get those dancing shoes shined up! CGS is all about spreading the joy, and we want YOU to be a part of it. We're not just marching; we're strutting our stuff with style!
**Date and Time:**
Sunday, August 27th
Parade Kickoff: 10:30 AM
Line-up Jam: 10:00 AM
Location: Downtown SJ
How to Get in on the Action:
March with Us: Got a white t-shirt? Good! Bring it to church and we’ll tie-dye it rainbow for you to wear during the parade. Let's turn heads and show off our kaleidoscope of unity and diversity.
Float Fiesta: Before we hit the streets, we're throwing a float-decorating fiesta that's gonna be off the charts! Join us on Saturday, August 26th, at 10 AM at CGS. We’ll work together and create a float that's as unique as CGS.
Why We're Rocking the Pride:
This isn't just any parade; it's a glittery, joyous statement of love, acceptance, and progress. At CGS, we believe in celebrating everyone for exactly who they are. We're all about making sure everyone's voice is heard, no matter who they love or how they identify. Jumping into the Silicon Valley Pride Parade is our way of showing that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our LGBTQ+ community.
Get ready to party, dance, and celebrate the love that makes our community shine bright. See you at the parade!
For questions contact Jean Jensen or Mike White
CGS will host Safe Car Park guests during the month of September. The program provides a safe place to stay for those who are living in their cars. We are a part of a network of faith communities who work on a monthly rotating schedule. The CGS team leaders; Chelsea Byom, Sarah Janigian, Kevin Visscher, Rachel Visscher, Susan Duran. Pastor Kris and Christina Unzen provide staff support.
We have learned in our previous hosting experiences that the CGS community plays an important part in how we extend welcome and hospitality for this ministry. Volunteers are needed to assist with check-in (evening) and check-out (morning), providing a meal once a week, and staffing the hospitality room on Thursdays. Please use the link to sign-up to work during the month. (Click Here)
We will offer one meal per week to our guests, and have snacks available throughout the month. If you would like to volunteer to prepare a meal, please use the volunteer link.
Donations of restaurant, grocery and gas gift cards are greatly appreciated. Grab and go snacks are gladly accepted. An Amazon wish list has been set up to make it very easy to donate in this way. You can drop off snack donations to the table by the church office. Please mail, leave in the office, or hand deliver to one of the team members gift card donations. Cash donations are gladly accepted and will be used in the program.
If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please contact any of the team members. If you are interested to become a part of the SafeCarPark@CGS team, please contact Pr. Kris or one of the members of the team.
Sarah Janigian, Chelsea Byom, Kevin Visscher, Rachel Visscher and Susan Duran
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.