Women’s Retreat

Westmnster woods

 This past weekend the women of our church retreated away to Westminster Woods.

We gathered with other Presbyterian women from all over the bay area and explored the theme of hospitality. We studied the story of scripture and saw that God has given us the ultimate hospitality by creating the “home” of the world in which we live. Throughout history as God’s people we have experienced both being at home and being without a home. In both,  God’s instructions have been for us to integrate (Jeremiah 29). To make a home, a garden, a family wherever we are and to show Christ’s love in hospitality to others. We explored what is joyful and challenging about being a host and being a guest.

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We also enjoyed rest and restoration. We slept over 8 hours each night and took naps as needed. On Saturday afternoon, we did some free fall zip lining, bollywood dancing, yoga and a short trip to the town of Occidental.

jeanette zip

The food was delicious and the accommodations were warm and cozy. Best of all, we enjoyed each other’s company and worship with others in the woods. Women of the church, we hope you’ll join us next year. And EVERYONE, mark your calendars to retreat with us as a church in May (13-15, 2016) to Big Basin.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In light of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday today, we continue conversations on the reality of racial injustice and our dream for equality for all of God’s people.

During Doubts and Stouts the last two months, we have been discussing Nathan Rutstein’s book Healing Racism in America: A Prescription for the Disease. Rutstein claims that racial injustice is a disease that all of us suffer from and that healing starts with each of us acknowledging our part in the problem.

Hear from a few of our members:

“[The] conversation surrounding the topic of racial injustice and faith was invigorating. The topics were difficult to deconstruct and had many conceptual layers. However, it was a challenge that was worth fully embracing. The most powerful part of the conversation was how socially aware we were in how our faith is intertwined with racism that occurs all around us. Not one person assumed to know the answer, not one person claimed to not be part of systemic racial injustice in our nation, but everyone was willing to accept that their notions of racism could be altered at any moment.”  – Julio

“The looming question for us was how can we as Christians be a part of the healing? Conversations are important and good for us to draw near to our neighbor, gain understanding and insight into our own behaviors and actions, but conversations will not solve the problem in and of themselves. There needs to be change in behavior. Change in action. Change in systems as well as in our hearts.” – Dawn

“We know from scripture: ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.'” (Galatians 3:28) The gospel is beyond the barriers of racism.

“The multiple perspectives in our conversation led to people reflecting in their own actions and beliefs about racism more deeply. This seemed to lead people to embrace the discomfort that comes with such heavy ideas and using that discomfort to grow closer to God. Specifically, the discomfort helped us try to find genuine solutions that can provide God’s work in our local communities. We could not simply accept that because we are part of a church that we were doing enough to counter racial injustice. In fact, we were aware that some aspects of Christianity have played a part in perpetuating racial injustice. Therefore, this humility and unassuming demeanor of our group really paved the way for constructive conversations about our own community. We left the conversation with more questions than answers, but that only helps us seek more justice with the presence of God and scripture in mind.” – Julio

 

Justice is an important part of the gospel. Join us in our conversation and in our prayers this day for racial justice in America and in the world.

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