August, 2017


































Pastor’s Notes



Pastor John on vacation in Germany.





From our Associate Pastor


For some, this summer has been busy, for others relaxing and for all, hot. And hot makes perfect weather for a picnic or two.


Speaking of picnics, Hope’s WOW picnics are a great way to beat the heat (ok, I know, a little bit contrived). WOW offers a relaxing time of fellowship and food. Some have expressed disappointment that visits from the neighborhood are spotty. I agree, it is a disappointment that more neighbors aren’t attending. That said, for me, the WOW events haven’t been a disappointment as I have gotten to spend time with Hope’s family without having to worry about a worship service or meeting! It’s nice to dress casual and visit over food. Thanks to all who have worked diligently to

make this happen.


Even with the wonderful conversations I have had with folks at the WOW BBQ, I still wrestle with the question of why fewer neighbors are attending and how to approach outreach. How do we communicate the Gospel in a way that resonates with those around us who may not have heard it before? This subject came up this week at the pastor’s text study. How to make worship accessible? One pastor stated that his worship committee approached worship from the perspective of the person walking in off the street, not knowing anything about our traditions. I think it is a wonderful way to approach worship. However, I struggle with how to step out of my tradition! From where I am during worship, the service seems perfectly


accessible to me. I am not sure how to approach this question but will continue to work on it.

These last months, the news, both at home and abroad, has been filled with more violence, destruction and a general vitriolic nature of social discourse. I find it at times overwhelming. Given that I like to keep up with the news, finding the balance between being informed and overwhelmed can be difficult. There is a silver lining in this struggle. It is when I’m overwhelmed that I really turn to scripture. I find the passages in our readings remind me that no matter how dismal, discouraging and dark things may appear, feel and be, God is in control. I am reminded that even as

the news is seemingly filled with death….


the tomb is empty!



he has risen!


Pastor Jim













women’s News

Rebecca Circle


The Rebecca Circle will resume their gatherings on Monday, Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the Conference Room. (NOTE:  This is the second Monday as the first Monday is Labor Day.)

All the women of the church are welcome!  Put this on your calendars and become a part of this dedicated group of women.




















Men’s Breakfast





The Men’s Breakfast group continues to meet during the summer.

All men are invited to join in for the Men’s Breakfast on Saturday, August 12, at 8:00 a.m. at Sara’s Kitchen in Santa Clara.


Join them!























From Our

 Council President



I believe you all will agree this has been quite a summer! Even the hot days have been enjoyable, yet the cooler days a true blessing. Wednesdays WOW BBQS have been a real blast with neighbors, good Hope companionship, and great food!


On a personal level, my summer is thrilling travelling around to watch my exceptional star 12 year old grandson, Dylan, participate in various lacrosse tournaments around the state.  Dylan usually plays the mid-field position  both offense and defense; however, the last few weekends he  played every position  there is, even goalie to defend  and face-off to initiate the game! Last weekend at Morgan Hill, Dylan was the tournament’s high scorer with 12 goals, many more than sixteen year old competitors.


Getting back to our Hope activities, I sincerely want to thank you for your overwhelming support for our combined Trinity worship Sunday and annual picnic 13

June!  We raised $455 for the youth trip to Houston and the Nigerian congregation while enjoying the BBQ ribs, hamburgers, and hotdogs. Even more thanks to Shirley Shumaker for the ice cream bar! It took many hands, backs, and talents to make the event such a success; God has blessed us with these wonderful souls!


Although Summer is not yet over, school is looming for many. We will be turning toward our 60th church Anniversary CELEBRATION in OCTOBER, and the


500th Anniversary of the Reformation


So get ready folks!







WOW Wednesdays - A fun & Successful Time!



Be a part of our special summer WOW Wednesdays


Our WOW Wednesdays have been fun and interesting evenings.  We have had numerous neighbors come and we have enjoyed them.  Be sure to be a part of this great time - two WOW Wednesdays continue on Aug. 2 & 9.

 Helper Sign ups in any of the following are needed!  Lend a hand!


Shopping and Grilling

•   Handle the shopping (head shopper)

•     Grill Master

•     Grilling Assistant Runner



Event Logistics

•        Discussion Leader

•        Kid’s Activity/Youth Leader

•        Set up tables/chairs, etc.

•        Clean up tables/chairs, etc. 


Provide a Side dish or Dessert

· Vegetarian Dish

· Green Salad

· Fruit Salad

· Grain Dish - rice/tabouli, etc.

· Dessert






































Crow’s Nest


Our church used to be more involved with Help One Child which is an organization that helps place foster youth in CHRISTIAN foster homes with the hopes of leading to forever families through adoption. We had representatives here several times.  I used to do respite driving of foster kids for a foster mom in my area who had 7 kids in her home of all ages ranging from babies to teens. All of them had to do visitation with their family members once a week and foster parents cannot just leave kids with anyone.  They have to either take the kids with them or have approved respite drivers or babysitter respite care.  Once a year they put on a summer camp for these kids who after being stuck in home after home for much of their life, start holding back trust in anyone and also often harbor resentment and anger . They never seem to find the love they seek and it’s very hard for them to re learn trust.  This camp is to let them know that they are like every other kid their age and that GOD loves them.  I wasn’t sure if it had already been held.  I still am on their weekly prayer partner list which anyone can be in which Judy sends out prayer petitions to specifically pray for.  She likes me and tries to keep us prayer-support people up to date and it’s so miraculous to hear the updates.  The camp has still not taken place at the time of this writing and you can still donate to camperships or just to help defray food expenses, equipment etc.  I included a little more  information about the organization below that Judy sent me in a reply to my question about the camp. 

"Our staff of 5 serves over 700 families. Each year hundreds of volunteers are deployed to more than 3000 service opportunities that translate to over 16000 hours ~ the equivalent 8 full time employees. Our full-service offices and event space are donated by Union Presbyterian Church; we conservatively book this savings at $80,000 per year.


 The ministry of Help One Child is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations from individuals, foundation grants, and support from churches. We invite you to read our Year End Report to learn more about how Help One Child is using your gifts to bless Bay Area foster youth. Below you will find a way to give that best meets your need. We promise to be good stewards.

Any questions? Contact our Executive Director, Susan Herman, at (650) 917-1210 or

Donate Now (Online)

Give instantly and securely online to the program of your choice. Note: There is a processing fee for online donations.  Or

Mail a Check -  Checks made payable to “Help One Child” can be sent to:

Help One Child

858 University Avenue

Los Altos, CA 94024”


A little update on our Little Free Library (LFL) —


I am steward for this month.  This requires straightening out the books, checking to see if books returned are not from our library cabinet and need stamping in the front with the LFL stamp, changing out books that seem not to be moving at all after several weeks, and stamping in donated books that come in from our own members.  There is also a little cup out there that you can put seed packets in for people to take or dog biscuits/bones for people’s pets that are out walking and stopping by with their kids.  I did pick up a pair of the good old fashioned metal bookends that we used to use back in my day and age in college and when we were first married, to separate age group books so the kids can more easily find what they are looking for.  

People have asked me if we need more books!  There seems to be an overabundance of books for girls, but not so much for boys. Maybe some of you have Hardy boys books, more sci fi books or books on bugs and dinosaurs which Vance loved when growing up, Sherlock Holmes or Avenger Hero type books like from characters in the Marvel comics currently out in movie forms.  I just bought a kids edition of the classic of Treasure Island at Target for $1.   Savers thrift stores sells books cheaply too and many are in great condition.  So look around for more books little boys might like.  

If this OLD mind remembers when I am out running around, I aim to pick up some balloons at Dollar Tree to help draw attention to our LFL.


Oh, Sunday I noticed that our own kids left the door open to the LFL and a book lying on the bench seat along with a cupcake paper from our coffee hour (clue that it was one of our own).  Please tell your kids to make sure to close the door to the LFL when done using it and throw their trash away and put books back into the library.  Its good stewardship.









Pie Social

Sunday, August 6



Get ready for this very special event:  “The Pie Social & Auction”!  This tasty treat Sunday is a fun and delicious time for everyone!

Mouth-watering pies of all shapes, flavors, and wonderful tastes will be auctioned.  BUT we need your help in furnishing these delicious pies!  Sign up NOW to bring a pie or two —  either homemade or store bought. 


We will be selling slices of wonderful pie for $1.00.  Cold, scrumptious ice cream is complimentary. Then get ready for the fun of the auction!

If you bring homemade pies, please also share your recipe (if it isn’t a secret)!


Pentecost and the Holy Spirit

Pentecost is the day when God clearly demonstrates that salvation and redemption are the work of the triune God. The Father is the source, the initiator, and the final goal of all the redemptive acts of God. The Son is the embodiment of the mission of God. The work of salvation is accomplished through his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The Holy Spirit is the empowering presence of God who makes us holy.

The Holy Spirit is God himself acting in this world and in our lives. He draws us by his grace to the Father. He intercedes with us and within us, helping us to pray. The Holy Spirit teaches and admonishes us when we read Scripture. He gives us the gift of discernment so that we might have the mind of Christ and think about things in ways that are informed by godly wisdom. He applies and nurtures the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control). The Holy Spirit assures us of our forgiveness and our adoption as the children of God. In short, the Holy Spirit mediates the presence of God in our lives and in the church.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would empower us to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). It is the Holy Spirit who enables the church to serve sacrificially and to be an effective witness unto Christ and the gospel. Holiness, as we shall see, is not just about making us personally righteous, but it is about extending God’s glory and righteousness to all peoples of the world! There are thousands of people groups who still have not received the good news about Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who makes sure that the gospel is proclaimed to the ends of the earth through the empowered witness of the church.


The good news of God’s powerful work in this world did not stop at the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is too small to think that we are called to simply proclaim something that happened in history thousand of years ago. While the cross and resurrection form the central proclamation of the church, we also acknowledge that the good news of God’s reign continues to unfold. All the future realities of heaven (healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, deliverance from evil, and so forth) are breaking into the world now through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Men and women are healed by the power of the Holy Spirit. They experience forgiveness and reconciliation with one another. The poor and downcast receive hope. This process will not be fully complete until Jesus returns, but if we look around, we can see that God is still at work by his Spirit, reconciling the world to himself.


60th Anniversary Coming Soon!

October 22, 2017


Summer is here and can autumn be far behind?  Plans for our 60th anniversary are progressing smoothly.


The anniversary Task Force would like to have a memorabilia display with mementos of our past events.  If anyone has saved mementos, pictures, etc., we hope you will share them with us for our display.  All items will be returned following the anniversary.  Please be sure to put your names on the items you share.


There will be a catered lunch following our special anniversary worship.  What’s a Lutheran lunch/dinner with Jello??  So we will be having a special “Jello Table” and are asking that you who love Jello will bring your favorite gelatin for our table.  More about this as the time gets closer.


Watch for anniversary updates as the time gets closer.  It is an exciting time in our church’s history — let’s enjoy it!!




A Message from Bishop Mark W. Holmerud



For a long while now, I have been developing, attending to, nurturing, re-developing, and maintaining a number of spiritual practices. Sometimes, they are rather "usual" practices -- prayer, readings, Scripture, journaling, spiritual direction, more prayer. Sometimes, I find something that I might not have previously identified as a spiritual practice, only to discern that it could be that for me. The other day, one of my morning devotional readings suggested "belonging" could become a spiritual practice.


I know, belonging isn't something that many people seem to value these days - many organizations are finding their numbers dwindling because people are not "joiners" anymore. Many of our churches are also finding that people are less willing to join, to become a part of their community, to belong as in years past. I'm not suggesting that people belong to something simply for the sake of boosting the membership of the Kiwanis or the Moose Lodge or even the Church. Nor am I suggesting that we refer to our congregations and ministries as "families" to which we belong. That sort of belonging usually involves delineating who's in, and who's out. 


The kind of belonging I'm wondering about is that which is additive to our lives, to our faith, to our awareness of God's presence coming near to us. The kind of belonging that celebrates the unity and diversity of The Trinity, and seeks to live that out in our world, here, now. The kind of belonging that doesn't count as loss what might be given up in choosing to commit to something beyond ourselves, but revels in what is added to our lives by doing so. The kind of belonging that God offers to us in Christ, by choosing to become human for all, and for all time to invite us to belong to Christ, and each other.


Blessings as we seek and serve together as the Sierra Pacific Synod and The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to be Christ for the sake of the world.  



Bp. Mark




Associate Director, Mt Cross _____________________________________________________________________________Ministri______________________________________________________________________________es