November 2020, Volume 3, Issue 11
In this issue, read about:
- A Place to Belong
- Electric Vehicle Chargers
- Social Justice and Cool Planet
- In Memoriam: Maggie Anderson
- In Memoriam: Judy Dunbar
A Place to Belong
We are excited to announce the resumption of membership classes at First Pres, after a long hiatus. “A Place to Belong” will comprise two engaging sessions designed for those who would like to learn more and explore what it means to become a member of the First Pres community. This totally re-designed membership class, led by Pastor Bruce, is scheduled to take place (virtually) on November 8th and November 15th. We encourage anyone who is interested in exploring a stronger commitment or simply curious about any aspect of our theology and community life to sign up for these classes by registering at https://bit.ly/34oB1P or sending a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Session 1: November 8th at 12:30-2:00pm, will take a broad look at “Belonging through Belief: Faith, Theology, Being Presbyterian.”
Session 2: November 15th at 12:30-2:00pm, will take a closer look at “A Particular Place to Belong: Life at First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto.”
If you have been waiting for the moment to figure out whether and how you might engage more deeply with our community, that moment has arrived. If you have had that burning question about the Christian faith in general, why you should join any church, what we at this specific church might believe about an issue you are wrestling with, or you are simply interested in learning and understanding what is distinctive about Presbyterianism, here’s your chance. Please register for these sessions and come join a lively discussion with Pastor Bruce. You will also meet other staff (including Chyrise King, our new Director of Operations), our elders, and various small group/committee leaders. (Psst: Bruce even has a section within Session 1 called “AMA,” i.e., Ask Me Anything! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now.)
A final note on these classes: Signing up is simply a way of learning more and does not commit you to church membership. It is a great opportunity designed for you to find out more about the life and ministry of our church and to give prayerful consideration to whether you want to enter into membership or some other form of more engaged commitment.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
After church on October 25, the Electric Vehicle (EV) Task Force (Margaret Rosenbloom, Trish Hallenbeck, Janet Cox and Paul Jones) led about 35 of us in an informative discussion about a proposal to install 23 EV Chargers in our two parking lots, at no charge to the church. That sounds too good to be true, but it is! To find out more, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSgr4cY-wmQ&feature=youtu.be
Also please fill out this survey about EV use, even if you don’t currently drive an Electric Vehicle. It will help the task force make important decisions, such as how many spaces to reserve exclusively for EV charging and what kind of signage to we want to put on the spaces. The survey is at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfK1h1YPcK0pYCdFEFspI6DmvlKZfp8fC7d7kN9jL7WflUclA/viewform
You can watch the October 25 meeting our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Nup1bpXR8m8
Social Justice and Cool Planet
Crop Walk on October 18
Our team of seven walkers met at First Pres, and, wearing T-shirts from former walks and carrying signs, walked around several blocks in the neighborhood and had a great time visiting with each other. Our team raised almost $5K, and the Peninsula Walk as a whole raised $25K, for Church World Service Hunger Programs and Ecumenical Hunger Project. Thanks to all of you who sponsored us so generously.
Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Letters Mailed on October 16 and 17
At least 54 people worked on this project and we mailed over 3700 letters last weekend! Channing House mailed 20,000 letters and the Forum over 8000. Thanks to all of you worked so hard on this.
Cool Planet Adult Ed Series on Environmental Racism
On three Monday evenings in October we explored topics related to “Environmental Racism: Three Case Studies.” Preparation material and follow up links are posted on www.fprespa.org/events/environmental-racism-three-case-studies/.
On October 14, Bruce hosted a noon webinar interview related to the second session that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/ls7ErNsPyQc. Stay tuned for more information on how we might follow up on these projects.
- Oct. 12: Fouling Indigenous Grounds in Santa Clara County (Pat)
- Oct. 19: Plastics Pollution in “Cancer Alley,” Louisiana (Shirley)
- Oct. 26: Water Contamination in Flint, Michigan (film by David Barnhart of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance)
Environmental and Sustainability Policies Candidate Forum on October 6
Cool Planet co-sponsored a virtual Palo Alto City Council candidate forum. Reverend Kaloma A. Smith moderated and Susan Chamberlain gave introductory and closing remarks. View a recording at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIg4fd3wPzk.
In Memoriam: Maggie Anderson
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Maggie attended college and nursing school in Chicago, where she met her husband “Andy.”. They lived in Japan and Sacramento before settling in Palo Alto in 1967. They soon joined First Pres and raised their four children in the church.
Maggie loved children and taught the preschool Sunday School class for many years. She and Andy served as surrogate grandparents to many families in the congregation. She also served on Deacons, Membership and in many other capacities.
Maggie and Andy moved to Chico in 2015 to be closer to two of their children. Maggie soon became active in a Baptist church there, while seeing to Andy’s care. He preceded her in death in December, 2019. She died peacefully on September 25, 2020.
A small gathering for family and friends will take place at her daughter Beth’s home near Chico. See also: www.paloaltoonline.com/obituaries/memorials/margaret-maggie-anderson?o=6446
In Memoriam: Judy Dunbar
A member of FPCPA since 1980, Judith Dunbar died from Parkinson’s Disease at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California, on October 19, 2020. She earned a doctorate in English from Stanford in 1976, joined the English faculty at Santa Clara University in 1978, and retired in 2016. A colleague at Santa Clara described her as among the “most caring generous and compassionate teachers I have seen. The students adored her; she gave her life to do the best job possible. She was very committed to her vocation and to social justice.” In announcing her death, Santa Clara’s President noted her “spiritually grounded companionship, deep listening skills, and contagious love for literature of all kinds, but especially of transformative authors who worked within the realms of social justice, spirituality and poetry.”
Judy was similarly respected for her lectures, comments, and commitments at First Pres. She was very close to Bob and Sydney Brown, and people at Bob’s memorial service particularly valued her remarks there. She and Jeff Vamos collaborated on a popular class on Dante. She was also a long-time participant in a reading group focused on feminist theology, along with Betty Howell, Pat Irish, Hope Raymond, Suzanne Smith, and Anne Steinle. After she moved to Pilgrim Place and her health declined, Anne and Vida Kenk maintained her connection with us.
There will be a small graveside service in Southern California on November 2. A time for her FPCPA and other friends to share memories is being planned.