Community Life & Service
April 20, 2017

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This Week

Contemplative Prayer Group this Sunday

prayerJoin other members and Fr. Matt Lawrence for an introduction to contemplative prayer practice following coffee hour on Sunday April 23rd in the parish library from 11:45 to 12:30.

This ancient Christian practice helps calm the mind, reduce stress, and center us in God’s presence, paralleling meditation practices in many other spiritual traditions.

No experience necessary, no sign up necessary, just join us! The group, as it forms, plans to continue this on the fourth Sunday of each month.

Isabel Block in Recital

Isabel BlockSoprano Isabel Block, graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory and section leader for the Church of Our Saviour Choir, revises her graduate recital here in the Shackelford Choir Room on Saturday, April 29th, at 7:00 pm accompanied at the piano by Richard Edward Helmer.

“I’m so excited to share some of my favorite pieces with the Mill Valley community,” Isabel writes, “We’ll be presenting a little bit of everything: love, death, revenge, and even a touch of insanity.” Specific works to be performed include Claude Debussy’s “Ariettes oubliées,” Jake Heggie’s “Songs & Sonnets to Ophelia,” and Vincenzo Bellini’s “Tre ariette” as well as arias by Kurt Weill and Giacomo Puccini.

Invite your friends for an evening of beautiful music and fine artistry!

Admission is free. Donations taken up during the recital will benefit the music program at Church of Our Saviour.

Annual Spring Sunday School Potluck

potluckprojectOn Sunday April 30th from 4:00 - 7:00 PM, we hope you will join us for our annual Spring Potluck and Service Project for Godly Play and Middle Saints families, teachers, and anyone else who would like to join in the fun! Families will start by doing a service project suitable for all ages. Then we'll have a potluck supper where parents can enjoy drinks and conversation while kids eat and play together with babysitter supervision.

Please RSVP HERE and let us know what you will bring! We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, April 30th!

Pants Please!

jeansFrom April 12th-30th Church of Our Saviour will be collecting JEANS, KHAKIS, WORK, and OTHER PANTS for MEN AND WOMEN who are homeless or in need.

At our April 30th Family Potluck, our children will make size tags and fill the pockets with greeting cards before we donate them.

Please bring your gently used or new pants to the box in the Fireside Room by April 30th (no athletic wear or torn or stained clothing please!).

Say Yes! In My Backyard

Addressing Marin’s Housing Crisis
One Step at a Time

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Congregation Kol Shofar
215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon

3:00 pm to 6 pm

The Marin Organizing Committee (MOC) is trying to organize a county-wide constituency in support of broad-based solutions to livability and affordability issues facing our families and communities. We are committed to winnable solutions.

In this workshop, we will be exploring several topics including:

MOC’s research & action teams that are approaching housing issues from several different perspectives. 

godlyplayGodly Play Coordinator Position Open

Church of Our Saviour is seeking qualified applicants for a part-time Godly Play Coordinator position. Check out the full job description, contact Tiana Wimmer or Br. Richard Edward for more details, and feel free to share this position with anyone who might be interested.

Coming Up

Coming Up at Church of Our Saviour

Thursday – April 20 – 3 pm – Staff Meeting – Office

Sunday – April 23:
11:45 pm – Contemplative Prayer – Library
1:30 pm – Ecumenical Service – The Redwoods

Saturday – April 29 – 7 pm – Isabel Block Recital – Shackelford Choir Room

Sunday – April 30 – 4 - 7 pm – Godly Play Potluck – Fireside Room

Thursday – May 4:
3 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Saturday-Sunday – May 6 & 7 – Confirmation Retreat

Wednesday – May 10:
1 pm – Youth & Family Ministries Meeting – Fireside Room
6:30 pm – Vestry Meeting – Fireside Room

Thursday – May 11 – 7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Tuesday – May 16 – 9:30 am – Mt. Carmel Hot Lunch Program

Thursday – May 18:
3 pm – Staff Meeting – Office
7 pm – Choir Practice – Choir Room

Seeking the Spirit

The Rev. Br. Richard Edward HelmerListen to a Recent Sermon

Easter Vision

Easter Sunday
April 16th

by The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer

Mary Magdalene leads us to the Easter vision, shattering our concept of the world as we think it is, and opening our eyes to the vision that is God's. (Lyrics from "Shine" in the album "The Lights Ahead" by MJ Lee.)

Can These Bones Live?

Ezekiel 37:1-14bones

We are lying in the aisle of the church in the dark while candlelight flickers in the pews above us. A young woman is reading, from Ezekiel, the Valley of the Dry Bones. After a long and intense Holy Week, we are finally celebrating the Great Easter Vigil. In a moment Ezekiel will prophesy to us, for we are the dry bones.

I think about dry bones, how they have no life – no remote possibility of life. They have been scoured of their flesh, their beating heart and bunching muscle. Once they shook with laughter and tears, arced in the gestures of anger, fear, and exultation, and intuitively, profoundly understood things. Now they are empty, lifeless.

Sinking further into the darkness I find the hard truths that make me weep: the deep misunderstandings between me and those I love, the estrangements with those with whom I cannot communicate, the helplessness against hatred, the illnesses that will only grow stronger, the pain of loss. My fears chase me through the corridors of my imagination. Hopelessness wrings the last drop of moisture out of me.

“Can these bones live?” asks God. Ezekiel says, “you know, O Lord God.”

So Ezekiel prophesies and all us dry bones move a little, then fall back. In this version of the story, Ezekiel thinks the prophesy didn’t work. She complains to God that God has not followed through on God’s promise. Ezekiel is now a laughing stock among her peers – as usual. Being a prophet sucks.

God tells her to prophesy again. Rattles sound in the darkness and this time something happens. As Ezekiel describes it, we imagine bone coming to bone and sinews and muscle and skin enveloping them. Now we are bodies, but still not alive.

We are bodies stretched out on the floor. Something more is needed. What is the necessary partnership the human soul must find in order to come from hopelessness into promise, from despair into possibility, from death into life? It is the Breath, of course. It is Spirit.

So Ezekiel, at God’s command, prophesies to the Breath. “Come from the four winds,” she bids it, “and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I have had my eyes closed for a while, but I open them now. When I had last heard from her, mere hours before the service, our youth minister had still been uncertain as to who would play the part of the Breath. Would she take the role herself?

But when I crack my eyes open, there, standing over me, is a very tiny, shy person with a purple scarf. She looks at me with grave uncertainty for the longest moment, as if doubting that there is really any hope for me at all. Then, finally, she tentatively flips her scarf a little, and I understand that it is time to breathe, to stand up and take my place with the multitude.

This image of the Breath of God, the little face, brows winging above her nose, head tilted just a little, peering down at my supine form and flicking her scarf, is paired for me now indelibly with the later images of turning on lights and ringing bells. Christ is risen. He has broken his prison. The Lord is risen indeed.

Can these bones live? I know (in my bones) that the answer will always be, “yes.” Called back from the very depths of lifelessness by the smallest and most uncertain of inspirations, I’ll take the next Spirit-filled breath. Hope and creativity will come to life again within my heart. For Christ is risen. Now and forever, the Lord is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Laurie Gudim is a writer and religious iconographer who lives in Fort Collins, CO. You can view some of her work at Everyday Mysteries.

Image: public domain from Pixabay

From Episcopal Café.

Prayers this Week

In our Church of Our Saviour Cycle of Prayer, we pray today for Connie Hansen, Dennis Hawley and the Graham-Maverick family, and for the ministry of our Godly Play coordinator and volunteers, and for those who celebrate their birthdays, especially Pat Churchfield. In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we pray for the the Diocese of Muranga South (Kenya). Please pray for those who are ill and in need of comfort, especially Dan, Jack, Katie, Michael, Will, Yolanda, Aylin, Bob, Harriet, Gary, Larry, Rufus, Michael, Mel, Elessar, Stephanie, Merritt, Vanessa, John, Willy, Kern and Tana; those serving in the military and overseas, especially Leif, Steven, Jane and Quinn; and those who have died, especially Richard Searle, Tom, Carlene, Katie and Fred. We pray for all who are recovering from the devastation of the flooding and landslides around California. We pray for justice and peace in the Middle East, especially at this time for the people of Aleppo and all of Syria, for comfort for all victims of violence around the world. We pray for all who seek stable housing throughout the Bay Area, and for all who organize to address the housing crisis.

Prayers of the People are updated weekly. Names of those desiring prayers may be added to the Sunday prayers or to this bulletin, with their permission, by contacting the church office.

Faith in Action

Help DioCal camp properties while connecting the diocese with new DioBytes subscribers!

diocalDioCal is currently pledging $1 to our camp properties at The Bishop’s Ranch and St. Dorothy’s Rest each time we get a new signup for DioBytes! We’ll keep giving until we reach our goal: 500 new subscribers by June 7. Simply click here to sign up. And if you’re already a subscriber, please send the link to your congregations, vestries, choirs, youth groups — anyone you think would enjoy reading the latest news and events from the Diocese of California! Only one sign-up per person allowed.


EcoJustice Weekend: Dates and details

Friday, May 19 | Day of Inspiration | Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Saturday, May 20 | Day of Action | Golden Gate Overlook, San Francisco

More details, including registration, to come — watch!

The Wider Church

Programs at St. Dorothy’s Rest

stdorothyshikeWe wanted to let you know about the upcoming programs taking place at St. Dorothy's Rest.

May 13th, Woods To Waves
Woods-to-Waves raises funds to cover the cost of hospital camps and it's great fun. Camp St. Dorothy's are the two weeks of hospital camps, a tuition-free program for campers with cancer, sickle-cell anemia or organ transplants in partnership with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Join us for the day as we hike from St. Dorothy's in the redwood hills of western Sonoma County down to Shell Beach on the salty Pacific Ocean.
Register Here:

September 11-14th- Camp Wise
Camp Wise is a 4-day experience that invites Seniors (ages 60+) to come and experience highlights of our summer camp program with peers. Attending camp provides young and old an opportunity to experience the healing that we believe can occur by being in nature. Camp also is a place where participants can meet new people, play and try new things. Our staff is uniquely equipped to provide seniors with a memorable camp experience that is full of fellowship, fun, activities, worship, s'mores & more!
Register Here:

Join us for a Saturday Hike!
Explore portions of our 380-acre property from ou r reservoir, waterfalls, amazing vistas, organic garden, and more. Each hike will explore a different area and experience of the property and will be led by Ben Evenbeck, Land Manager of St. Dorothy's Rest.
Saturday Hike: March 11, April 8, June 3, September 9, October 14
Register Here:

Program offerings from The Bishop’s Ranch

BRchapelCreativity Bound

May 6, 9am to May 7, 2017, 3pm

1 night/4 meals
$180 commuter rate (includes lunch Saturday and Sunday)
$260 double occupancy
$310 single occupancy

Challenge yourself in two media at a workshop combining the visual and poetic arts. Over the course of this two-day intensive, we will work back and forth between building a poem and creating an art book. Artist Lisa Thorpe will guide you through the process of creating a multipage collage accordion book and poet Laurie Glover will lead you through the process of writing a multi-stanza, repeating-form poem that can become part of your book.

Ranch Resident Artist Lisa Thorpe and Writing in Ordinary Time facilitator Laurie Glover have designed a series of steps through which non-artist writers and non-writer artists can stimulate their creativity in one area by linking it with another. We will use poetry writing exercises to inspire your creation of a book and use the choices you make in creating that book to further your poetry writing. For examples of the kind of book you’ll make, take a look at Lisa’s website, Participants can stay overnight on Saturday or attend the Saturday and Sunday workshops only.
PLEASE REGISTER BY: April 28, 2017

Mixed Media Nature Journaling

May 15-17, 2017

2 nights/6 meals (Monday dinner-Wednesday lunch)
$260 commuter rate, includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday
$365 double occupancy
$430 single occupancy

Be inspired by the bounty of beauty at the Bishop’s Ranch and create a mixed media nature journal. Resident Artist, Lisa Thorpe, will guide you through techniques of drawing painting, printing and collage. You will create a unique journal that reflects place and time by looking closely at organic forms found in the diverse flora of the Ranch. Each participant will make their own small art journal and begin to fill its pages with visual reflections. All artistic levels welcome – participants of all experience levels will explore a diversity of techniques guided by supportive, experienced teacher and artist Lisa Thorpe. Along with your creative explorations you will have time to soak in the spring splendor at the Bishop’s Ranch and be nurtured with delicious meals, comfortable rooms and the splendid surroundings. For examples of Lisa’s art, take a look at her website:

Encaustic Collage - June 10-11, 2017

1 night/4 meals (Saturday lunch-Sunday lunch)
All art supplies included
$230 commuter (Saturday and Sunday lunches only)
$280 double occupancy
$325 single occupancy (very limited)

Join the Ranch’s resident artist Lisa Thorpe for an intimate workshop to explore encaustic collage techniques. Create small collage pieces on wood using art papers, old maps, photos, and other ephemera, to be covered with hot encaustic medium (a mixture of resin and beeswax). The retreat includes demos of techniques and lots of time to play and experiment. All materials are included and no prior experience is needed. For examples of Lisa’s art, take a look at her website:

Where: The Bishop’s Ranch, 5297 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Link: Click here
Contact: Shannon Reilly,, 707.433.2440 ext. 106

Parishioner Classifieds

Fr. Matthew is looking for a room to rent.

I'm loving Mill Valley and hope to stay here! But my housing situation is precarious and I'd love to find something more stable, quiet, & compatible with my old-timey life style. The ideal situation would be a bedroom in a comfortable home with agreeable housemates who like their privacy and don't have a TV blasting at all hours. I work Mon-Fri in the City, leaving early and returning after 6 pm. I enjoy a quick meal and retire quite early. I am away most weekends, so you'd barely know I'm around! I can pay up to $1,000/month for the right place. If interested, email me at Thanks!

Help Lisa Roberts with her Avon 39 Breast Cancer Walk

I am walking in San Francisco this July in the Avon 39 Breast Cancer Walk. I need to raise $1800 in order to participate—so if you can, please support me.

Please visit my fundraising page (link below). I have lots of information there.
Thanks so much! Lisa

Click here to visit my personal page.
Click here to view the team page for Rain Dancers


Send in your work, service, or spirituality-related classifieds for the parish. Postings will be retained for one month, after which you may refresh them for re-posting.


April 27th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

April 29th

Isabel Block Recital
7:00 pm
Choir Room

April 30th

Godly Play Potluck
4:00 pm
Fireside Room

May 2nd

Social Action Committee Meeting
12:00 pm
Fireside Room

May 4th

Staff Meeting
3:00 pm

May 4th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

May 7th

Confirmation Retreat
8:00 am

May 10th

Youth & Family Ministries Meeting
1:00 pm
Fireside Room

May 10th

Vestry Meeting
6:00 pm
Fireside Room

May 11th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

May 16th

Mt. Carmel Hot Lunch Program
9:30 am
Mt. Carmel

May 18th

Staff Meeting
3:00 pm

May 18th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

May 20th

Marin Deanery Meeting
9:00 am
St. Francis, Novato

May 21st

Adult Ed: Colin Wong on Cuba
11:30 am

May 25th

"Not in Our Town"
7:00 pm
Hoytt Theatre, JCC, San Rafael

May 25th

Choir Practice
7:00 pm
Choir Room

May 28th

Contemplative Prayer
11:45 am

May 28th

Ecumenical Service
1:30 pm
The Redwoods

Monthly Calendar