CROP Walk is March 23rd

Ripening Tomato. Photo by Ginny Sanderson

The 18th annual Marin CROP Hunger Walk will take place on Sunday, March 23 at 1:30 PM.

First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo has participated in the CROP Hunger Walk for years, and was the winner of the perpetual trophy for raising the most money in pledges for the 2013 Walk with a team of walkers 70+ years old, our youth being at Westminster Woods that weekend. This year we hope to earn that honor again with an intergenerational team. The Church & Society Hunger Team and our youth will be recruiting walkers and pledges for this year’s walk. Details will be posted.

About CROP Hunger Walk
The Marin CROP Hunger Walk supports the work of these hunger-fighting agencies: Marin/San Francisco Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Society, The Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy, and Church World Service


Sunday Seminars in December and January

Be Still and Know

Our Sunday Seminars meet at 11:30 in the Fireside Room following coffee hour, Sunday mornings after worship.

December 1 - The Star of Bethlehem in Ancient Art and the New Testament
SFTS Associate Professor of New Testament Annette Weissenrieder explores the symbol of the star of Bethlehem and its political significance.

December 8 – A Solar Farm for Marin
Kiki LaPorta, president of Sustainable Marin, and David Haskell, Sierra Club member and staunch zero-waste proponent, describe efforts to install an array of solar panels, a “solar farm,” in Novato.

December 15 – World Human Rights Day: Preventing Torture
To observe Human Rights Day there will be a video and discussion on the
practice of torture of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and on the prolonged isolation
of prisoners in US prisons.

December 22-29 No Sunday Seminar (Christmas break)

January 5 Diana Bell and Loring Conant on Israel/Palestine
Loring Conant and Associate Pastor Diana Bell discuss their recent trips to Israel/Palestine.

January 12 – Schools Rule Marin: A Move Toward Funding Equity
Dr. Mary Jane Burke, the Marin County Superintendent of Schools, describes a new effort to address the inequality in funding among the 19 different school districts in Marin.

January 19 – Bill Taylor on Arete West
For 35 years, Bill Taylor has led a handful of Marin high school students on a life-changing trip to some of the most important historic sites in Western Civilization. Taylor, a former Presbyterian minister and “legendary Drake High track coach,” has written a book about the experience, with many insights about the human spirit.

January 26 – Diana Bell: Keep Hope Alive
Associate Pastor Diana Bell presents a more in-depth look at her experiences in Israel/Palestine with the Keep Hope Alive Project.

Exploratorium Features Our Church Organ

Banners in Chancel - Six Great Ends of the Church - PC(USA) (F-1.0304)

The San Francisco Exploratorium recently came out to film John Parfitt playing our church’s organs as part of the program “Resonance: Unheard Sounds, Undiscovered Music.” The final video is now published so we can share it with you.

In this 6-minute video, you’ll get to know the grandfather of all instruments, the Pipe Organ. The Schoenstein & Company Organ Builders talk about the process of designing, constructing, and fine-tuning their instruments.


(Mobile users can view the video on YouTube).

Our organs have an interesting history that can be found on pages 68-69 of our church’s history, “Our Past: A Window to the Future” published in 1997 in celebration of our centennial and excerpted below:

“Along with interest in the long range building program, the completion of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, and a grand piano for the Fireside Room (gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Palmer) came the announcement of the gift of a pipe organ. Henry (Kuizenga) had been in conversation with Beryl Buck who was interested in giving an organ in memory of her husband, Leonard W. Buck. An Organ Committee was appointed by the session in December, 1962, to administer the many details necessary for building and installation of the instrument. Gordon Beesley was named chair with Wil Russell and others to assist. The Aeolian-Skinner Organ, “the finest in the county,” was installed in December, 1965.

Wil played the new organ for the congregation for the first time on Christmas Eve of that year. Three dedication concerts were given: Ludwig Altman from the San Francisco Symphony played the first one in January, 1966; Marilyn Mason from Henry’s former church in Ann Arbor performed the second; and Wil Russell performed the third. Wil gives the following description of events surrounding these festivities: ‘A reception was given after the first concert. Over 900 people attended, the church was packed, balcony and all. Mrs. Buck hosted the reception. The Buck Organ is the only organ of its size in Marin County. Henry had interest in the finest and attracted the elite because of his excellent taste and attention to detail.’”

A Year in Pictures

Japanese Maple shielding FPCSA steeple over Fireside Room

Every November, we gather as a community for an evening of fellowship and recognition and give thanks for our many blessings. November’s “Together We Serve Celebration” featured a recap — in music and images — of the 365 days we’ve experienced since our last all-church dinner. For those of you who were unable to make it to the dinner — or for those of you who want to see it again — here it is. Enjoy!

“From Tel Aviv to Ramallah – A Beatbox Journey”


“Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace” Series presents “From Tel Aviv to Ramallah – A Beatbox Journey” starring Yuri Lane and live visuals by Sharif Ezzat.

Co-sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo’s Church & Society Committee, this event takes place on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7pm as the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road. Admission is free.

Human beatbox and vocal magician Yuri Lane presents this “coolly extraordinary” travelogue of peace. Part hip-hop performance,
part street-wise documentary, Lane’s play weaves a vox-pop tapestry of Palestinian and Israeli voices into a mosaic of the Middle East. Against a backdrop of muezzin calls and Tel Aviv traffic, the lives of Khalid and Amir progress with a hip-hop beat and intersect at a West Bank checkpoint.

Nov1-yuriYuri Lane is a human beatbox who depicts multiple characters by generating the individual soundtrack of each character through a cappella vocal percussion combined with acting and dance on a set that consists of live visual projections composed by multimedia artist Sharif Ezzat. Lane’s play tackles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adeptly steering clear of ideology to show the daily lives of young people during the Second Intifada. It is a funny and engaging look at everyday life amidst the conflict, exhibiting the youth cultures of the Middle East.

From Tel Aviv to Ramallah does not take an ideological stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and does not condemn either side. It depicts the nature of life during the conflict and airs the culture and humor that persist despite the political situation. From Tel Aviv to Ramallah shows the ways in which youthful dreams and aspirations are rendered hopeless for both Palestinians and Israelis due to the nature of the conflict. It was nominated for Best New Play of 2003-2004, by the Helen Hayes Awards.

Yuri Lane is a Jew who grew up in San Francisco. Video artist Sharif Ezzat is an Egyptian-American.

Joanne’s Iona Trip Slideshow

Check out Joanne’s trip to Iona in pictures and music:

Celebrating Joy Snyder


Our very own Joy Snyder, who has been coordinating the REST shelter program for the past several years, has been selected to receive the Town’s “Silver Award”. This award is aimed at honoring unsung heroes in our midst, and will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at a San Anselmo Town Council meeting.

Our church has participated in the REST Shelter program since December, 2009. The Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST) that provides homeless folks with hot meals and a warm place to sleep. Joy, ably assisted by so many, tirelessly coordinates volunteers and ensures everything runs smoothly on Friday nights.

Joy has been coordinating our church’s REST night since 2010, succeeding Royce Truex and Jo Gross, who also were jointly honored with the Town’s Silver Award.

REST includes 15 other faith-based organizations in conjunction with San Rafael’s St. Vincent de Paul and Marin’s Interfaith Chaplaincy. The program was spurred by multiple surveys showing more than 1,200 homeless in Marin County — and more than 4,000 “precariously housed” and at risk of homelessness. It’s been estimated that every year an average of 10 people die homeless in Marin

You can read the full article in the Ross Valley Reporter. Congratulations Joy, we love you!

Magic in the Courtyard

Photo 21

In June, the Marin Baroque Chamber Choir and period instrument orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Daniel Canosa, presented a wonderful production of Handel’s Acis & Galatea in the Landon Courtyard of the First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo.

A lively pastoral opera, it was a perfect staging for this venue with its beautiful brightly-lit tree and raised platform in the center:  the courtyard looked magical!  A good time was had by all who attended.  Even the local birds chimed in with merriment as they accompanied Galatea (sung by Elsa Nicol).  Also pictured are Brian Thorsett (Acis), Nik Nackley (Polyphemus), and Corey Head (Damon).  And we had a special appearance by Flora Epstein, of our congregation, as the mischievous Cupid.  Marin Baroque looks forward to staging its next opera here in June 2014.Photo 1

Take a moment to view the photo album on our church’s Flickr site.

MARIN BAROQUE 2013-14 Season

November 16- Handel/Italian Journey: Dixit Dominus & other works
First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo

January 18, 2014- Artists TBA
First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo

February 14, 2014- Calextone: Shira Kammen & Friends
First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo

March 22, 24- Jewish Music of the Baroque
Music for the dedication of the Siena Synagogue, Canticum Hebraicum & works by S. Rossi
First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo
Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco

An Invitation from Church & Society Committee


As most of you know, much of the work of Session is done by teams that report to and are supported by the various Committees. The Church and Society Committee currently has 11 teams and will be meeting this month to re-evaluate how its work is organized. For sure there will be two new teams and the purpose of this note is to invite anyone who is at all drawn to what these teams will be doing, to consider joining in their work.

The first is a Global Warming Team. This team is made up of people who consider global warming to be the defining issue of our time and who share a sense of urgency about solutions being activated. The specific ways it will be active are yet to be determined but for sure some will participate in a nonviolent direct action in Richmond, California on August 3rd. You can learn more about it by contacting Peter Anderson or by going to Contact Peter or Royce Truex if global warming is an important issue to you and you would like to explore becoming active in some other way to confront this problem.

The second is an Anti-torture Team. This team formed in response to the Sunday Seminar held on June 9th. It is made up of people who find the policies and practices of torture by our state and federal governments to be immoral and unacceptable. Our next meeting is in the Fireside Room after worship July 14th.

By participating with these Teams, or any team of the Church and Society Committee, you only commit to the work of the team, not to any other work of the Church and Society Committee. All are welcome to come and in this very important work.

The Gift of Flowers

Pulpit Flowers from Betty Stott's garden

The Flower Guild wants you to know that there are plenty of slots open this summer for Sunday’s flower arrangements. Please consider making a donation of flowers (either money to buy them, or the flowers themselves if your garden is in bloom) in honor of a loved one this summer.

In addition…we need vases! Sunday’s flowers are hand-delivered to members and friends who need a little cheering up. Clean out your cabinets and bring unused vases to church on Sunday…look for the box in the narthex marked “Vases for Flower Guild.”

Flowers grace our sanctuary each Sunday, and bring joy to people’s lives. Seeing colorful arrangements, with each flower uniquely displaying God’s immense creative power, contributes to our spiritual experience in church. Visual elements, together with music and the spoken word, ensure we have a spiritual feast each Sunday.

Flowers are purchased and arranged each Sunday morning by Flower Guild members Erika Hagopian, Inger Hewitt, Joanne Jones, and Maureen Kalbus. You can support this important ministry by dedicating flowers in memory of someone, or to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, celebration. Or consider dedicating flower in simple thankfulness, for all to enjoy.

When you dedicate flowers, your name and dedication will be printed in the church bulletin (or not, if you prefer). To make a flower donation, please fill in a Flower Request form, put it and a check in an envelope, and drop it in the offering plate. You can also send it to the Church Office, attention Maureen Kalbus. Maureen will contact you to confirm and discuss preferences in flowers and colors. Checks should be made payable to First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo and “Flower Guild” written on the memo line. You can also download a form to print on your computer by clicking here.

After each service, the flowers are arranged in vases and taken to members of the congregation who are sick or homebound. Your beautiful flower arrangements are part of an important church ministry and appreciated by by many, both in church and at home.