Peace & Justice = Community Outreach to Silicon Valley

PEACE & JUSTICE COMMITTEE

The Peace and Justice Committee is a key component of St Thomas’ outreach to support the Silicon Valley community.

Founded upon Our Baptismal Covenant (BCP – Book of Common Prayer, Page 305), which calls us to this work:
Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Community Issues

There are many issues confronting people in Silicon Valley that need addressing: housing, immigration, education, and police accountability. Additionally, we are confronted with environmental issues such as global warming and pollution that affect so many.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING – MOBILIZE FOR CHANGE

Community organizing for public ministry is a proven way to affect change. Some examples are the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and civil rights.

Organizing on a smaller scale may involve how to get better crosswalks in a neighborhood or increasing safety for cyclists. Community organizing works because many people get involved in action to change. It mobilizes the people most affected by an issue to take charge of getting the change to occur.

THE CRUX OF IT

What community organizing entails:

First – Relationships
It depends greatly on relationships with between individuals, team members, allies and others who can help.

Second – Details
To address any issue, we need to know details to understand its complexities.

Third – Leaders from Those Most Affected
Our job as organizers is to help the people who are most affected by an issue to select leaders from their own group. Then we help those leaders get their people to cause change.

The people most affected by an issue have the most passion and stories about how the issue is affecting them.

Stories are very important because they are powerful tools in getting decision-makers on the right side of an issue.

SOME OF THE STEPS WE’RE TAKING

Contacting allies and building relationships
Training committee members on the principles of organizing.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

The next step for the peace and justice committee is to reach out to folks who are having difficulties right now with Covid-19, the economic virtual collapse and the state of racism in our country. We will do this by contacting folks by phone. This is called phone banking because we will have a bank of phone numbers of folks who are believed to be having difficulties right now.

We will be working with People Acting in Community Together (PACT https://www.pactsj.org ) as we have in the past. The purpose is to understand what’s happening with people who are hurting right now and what they think would help.

We and PACT will use that information to help decide on next steps. Many times just knowing someone else cares is a help.

A couple of weeks ago, we began with a course on phone banking from Christopher Logan of PACT. Watch for updates here for additional course offerings…

Last week we supported PACT (People Acting in Community Together) by making phone calls to voters to hear their stories about issues and concerns that they have. Each of the callers was given a list of 15 -20 numbers to call.

We found that it was very difficult to get folks to answer their phones so, we had very few conversations.

This week we each got another list of names to call.

RECENT VICTORIES
One out of ten workers in California is undocumented, and their labor has largely fallen into work deemed “essential” throughout the pandemic—inagriculture, food distribution and service, elder care and child care among other occupations. They pay billions in local and state taxes, and they contribute over 180 billion dollars to our California economy. And they have been ruthlessly left out of federal relief even though they pay federal income taxes.
 
On May 5, 2020, over 1,200 California IAF leaders convened on Zoom, along with 10 Bishops (including Bishop Lucinda of El Camino Real) and 9 state legislators to press Governor Newsom to expand the Cal EITC. More than 1,000 faith and community leaders signed on to a letter in support of the expansion, and in the thick of budget negotiations organized hundreds of leaders to send letters to the Governor and to the top leadership of the senate and assembly. St. Thomas parishioner Cal C. was also a participant in this meeting and called Gov. Newsom and local assembly and senate members urging this legislation be passed.
INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING/LEARNING MORE?

If you are interested in participating or learning more, please Contact Pastor Salying.

GOOD TOPICAL READS

Stand Up! by Gordon Whitman

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Annual Meeting – Sunday, Jan. 26th

ANNUAL MEETING

Sunday, January 26th – immediately following worship service. See details below…

TRANSPARENCY ON FINANCES

In our desire to be good stewards of the gifts that have been pledged by our parishioners and to offer transparency into the church’s finances, we hold an annual meeting to share where we are at, and what the vestry has approved as our budget for the coming year.

WORSHIP SERVICE CHANGES

Due to the special Annual Meeting event, there will be a single-combined worship service at 10:30 am in the main sanctuary of the church.

The Annual Meeting will begin at the end of service and continue over in Cowans Hall after a brief intermission to dish up at the lunch buffet.

Please mark your calendars!

LUNCH IS ON!

Parish Event Planners (fondly known as PEP) will be serving deli-style sandwiches.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Plates, breads, sandwich fixings, and side dishes will be offered at the buffet table. As you enter, please take a plate, make your selections quickly and find a place to sit before assembling your sandwich.

Condiments will be provided on each of the tables along with the napkins and utensils. The meeting will continue in Cowans Hall after everyone has been seated.

During this time, the church financials will be presented and reviewed, most importantly the Annual Report for 2019 and the Budget for 2020.

YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUESTED

All parishioners are encouraged to attend this once-a-year gathering of the full membership to review these important fiscal reports, to meet the new vestry nominees, and along with the rest of the congregation, to participate in the ongoing life and mission of St. Thomas church. So, please join us!

To gain a greater appreciation of the vestry nominees, please check out their bios in the latest edition of St. Thomas’ Beyond a Doubt monthly newsletter.

COMMISSIONS & COMMITTEES

All materials for the Annual Report should be submitted to the parish office as soon as possible, and no later than January 17th.

Please bring your offerings to Cowans Hall prior to the meeting so we can stay on track so we can be good stewards of our time together!

FURTHER ASSISTANCE

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please Contact Us.

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What’s God’s Dream for Us? – Come Be a Part of It! – Combined Services @ 9:30 AM – April 22, 29 and May 6

STEP ONE: TOWN HALL STYLE SERVICES – SUNDAY, APRIL 15

Pastor Salying and the Discipleship Committee hosted a Town Hall style service/meeting (like our annual meeting) at both the regularly scheduled 8:00 and 10:30 AM morning services.

If you missed out, not to worry – there’s more opportunities to participate starting this Sunday!

STEP TWO: COMBINED SERVICES AND SMALL GROUPS – APRIL 22, 29 & MAY 6

April 22, 29 and May 6 @ 9:30 AM: We will meet in combined services starting at 9:30 am in the sanctuary. After a short service, including prayers designed to center us and lead us into discernment, we will gather in small groups to work together to create “dream statements.”

These meetings will be followed by a nice lunch, catered by David Barnes.

STEP THREE: RESUME TWO WORSHIP SERVICES @ 8:00 & 10:30 AM TO ENGAGE TOGETHER

We will resume our regular two-service (8:00 and 10:30 AM) Sunday schedule in order to celebrate mothers and engage in prayerful meditation on the work we did in the preceding gatherings.

MAY 20TH: PENTECOST – COMBINED SERVICE @ 9:30 AM

We will reconvene in a combined service starting at 9:30 am. Pastor Salying and the wardens will discuss how the Holy Spirit has worked for us in our discernment. We will ask the questions: “where are God and the Holy Spirit leading us?” This meeting will be followed by an ice-cream social, sponsored by Family Ministry.

SEPTEMBER: BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY

At this meeting, we will discuss where we believe God is leading St. Thomas and we will all look forward to hearing God’s voice for us and our future.

It is important for the future of St. Thomas to get as much participation in the meetings from parishioners as possible in order for the many voices of St. Thomas to be heard.

During the small group meetings, we will be creating “dream statements.” Creating “dream statements” from the dream categories will involve pulling the themes/motivations out of the dream categories, or distilling the dreams into themes and creating one focused statement summarizing the category. This process will involve prioritizing, but not in the sense of accomplishing any one particular dream. Rather, we will be prioritizing the “spirits” of the dreams. The spirits of the dreams will then become the inspiration for creating the dream statements. [So, if the dream is to “provide Thanksgiving dinner to 30 homeless people,” the spirit or motivation of that dream might be to “lift up those in need.” Since “lift up those in need” is fairly broad, it will likely apply to more than one dream and hence become part of a dream statement.]

SIX CATEGORIES OF DREAMS

We have consolidated the dreams into six categories in order to cover them all in three meetings. Each category identifies an area in which parishioners believe St. Thomas should be involved or pursuing in some way. The dream categories include Community, Spiritual Life, Arts, Education, Family and Social Justice.

We will come up with six dream statements that we will all consider deeply from May 20th to the September “Back to Church” meeting, in order to discern a mission-based plan for the future of the church.

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Fundraising Kick-Off – May 1st

SPECIAL EVENT

The Vestry’s Fundraising Committee cordially invites you to attend its 2016 inaugural Kickoff event to plan fundraising activities for the rest of the year.

SAVE THE DATE & TIME!

Sunday, May 1st following 10:30 am worship service.

LOCATION

Saint Thomas Episcopal Church
231 Sunset Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

We’ll meet on the Alpha Omega patio, see Directions and Campus Map

FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT

Lunch will begin with a tapas-style potluck in Cowans Hall and the Alpha Omega Patio immediately following the 10:30 am service. PEP will be grilling a variety of shish kabobs for the buffet and drinks will also be provided. Please bring a tapas dish (suitable for eating on small plates) to share. There is no potluck format, so your dish can be anything from an appetizer to a dessert. If you can, please bring a favorite ethnic dish to reflect our rich cultural diversity. The choir will be on hand to provide some lively entertainment and engage you in some audience participation.

THE WHYS & WHEREFORES

After lunch, members of the Fundraising Committee will describe why fundraising is needed, and the campaign goal. We need community involvement to make our fundraisers both enjoyable and successful. Please come hear about the many opportunities available for your creative input and participation!

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions or would like to help out at the event, please Contact Us.

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Rector Search Update: July 15, 2015

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Search Process Transitioned to the Vestry

The Rector Search Committee met with the Vestry on July 11 and provided the members with informational binders about the finalists. The next steps are for the Vestry to meet with and interview the candidates and make a decision about who to call. Any details about the finalists must be kept strictly confidential. We appreciate your understanding of this requirement.

Thank You and Continued Prayers

The Rector Search Committee thanks you for your prayers and support and requests that you now pray for wisdom and discernment and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the Vestry.

Rector Search Page

In addition to individual news posts like this one, all information and news related to our Rector Search activities is also available on our Rector Search Main Page.

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