Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sophia's Well of Wisdom - Upcoming Events in January 2016

Wishing you blessings for a peaceful, loving, and joyful NEW YEAR.

All of us at SOPHIA'S WELL* want to thank you for your support in 2015. We hope to see you again in 2016!

JANUARY 2016 Calendar of Events

Theme for 2016:  Spiritual Healing & Wholeness

Sunday Wisdom Circle 10am

January 3 - Personal Healing Intentions for 2016 
Host: Lynnea Honn

January 10 - World Healing Intensions for 2016
Host: Patricia Green

January 17 - Becoming Non-Violent in 2016
(In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Host: Rev. Patsy Fine

January 24 - Spiritual Healing for Self
Host: Rev. Patsy Fine

Annual Community Meeting Luncheon

January 31 - Spiritual Healing for Others
Host: Rev. Patsy Fine

* Important Notice:  Effective January 1, 2016 Sophia's Well of Wisdom will no longer be a charter of the Light of Christ Community Church. We appreciate our past affiliation and support from the LCCC  Board of Trustees.

 The Inner-faith Spiritual Community and Holistic Wellness Center will continue under the business name of Sophia's Well. Donations will continue to be accepted, but will not be tax-exempt. Come to the Annual Community Meeting on January 24 for further information. The Sophia Circle Advisory Team will share information at that time. 

Rev. Patsy will be on vacation through January 10. Lynnea Honn (209-304-6174) will be the contact person.


Women Writers at the Well - Mondays at 5:30pm
Host: Lynnea Honn

A Course in Miracles - 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7pm
Host: Shari Anderson

Sacred Healing Dance 
Instructor: Amel Tafsout
Tuesday at 5pm
Wednesday at 12 noon


Spiritual Direction, Contemplative Massage & Bodywork,
Reiki/Spiritual Touch Energy Work
By Appointment - Rev. Patsy Fine 209-418-9003

Spiritual Consultation
Tuesday Afternoon by Appointment
Rev. Amel Tafsout 209-245-3220

270A Hanford Street, Sutter Creek, CA 95685

An Inner-faith Spiritual Community and Holistic Wellness Center


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sophia's Well of Wisdom - December 2015

SOPHIA'S Well of Wisdom
December 2015 Newsletter
Happy Holidays!
The Dark Mother

Wisdom Lecture
Wednesday December 16
at 6pm

Marilyn Nutter presents the Wisdom Lecture for December on the topic of The Dark Mother.  Marilyn recently presented this intriquing lecture to the Crone's Conference at Mt. Shasta . We asked her to share it with our community during this Holy Season. The monthly Wisdom Lectures provide INNER-Faith spiritual education.  The lectures are a free community service. Donations are appreciated but not required. 

Rev. Tracy Johnson
Winter Solstice Celebration

Join Celebrant Rev. Tracy Johnson for the Winter Solstice Celebration onSunday December 20 at 10am.

Tracy will focus on The Wisdom of Solitude during the mornings activities of meditation, creative reflection, sharing, music, and much more. 
Have a Happy Holy Season!

This is the time of the year when darkness is upon us and we turn to the Inner Light. 

Join us for any or all events during this wonderful month of celebrating the WISDOM OF LIGHT.  This coming Sunday (12/13) I will be sharing readings and thoughts onEnlightenment. 

On the 20th, we celebrate the Winter Solstice and hold our annual Holiday concert: A Tapestry of Wonder. See the flyer above for the featured performers. All donations received during the concert will go to support the Butte Fire victims. Please RSVP as seats are limited. 

The last Sunday of the month will include a Full Moon Mediation and Wisdom Circle topic The Light Shines in the Darkness. 

SOPHIA'S will hold one Sunday evening class each month on the Sundayclosest to the full moon. This month it is on the 27th and we will focus our meditation on World Peace and preparing for the coming year. The class will start at 5pm

The advisory group met last week and decided on our 2016 theme, which will be SPIRITUAL HEALING AND WHOLENESS. We felt the need to focus on healing for ourselves, our families and friends, our community, and our world. We will endeavor to go deeper into an understanding of holistic healing, the nature of spiritual healing and wholeness from the perspective of soul, and learn to apply spiritual practices in healing work. 

Thank you for a wonderful year. There are many changes in store for 2016, so stay tuned. 

Holiday Blessings, 
Rev. Patsy Walker Fine, 
Spiritual Director

Well of Wisdom
720A Hanford Street
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Rev. Patsy Walker Fine, D.Min., CMT/RMT
Spiritual Director
Make Wonderful Holiday Presents!
Certificates available for 
Contemplative Massage & Bodywork
Reiki Spiritual Touch


Friday, December 4, 2015

Food for Families TODAY at Raley's! A Win-Win! - Fri Dec 4

For the over 6000, Amador County residents suffering from "Food Insecurity"
What is food insecurity? Anyone struggling to avoid hunger...
How ever you choose to give, your continued support is truly a blessing.
Remember, hunger doesn't end with the holidays...
Thank you & have a blessed holiday season!

Tom Thompson
Executive Director
Thomas Thompson
Executive Director
Interfaith Council of Amador
Interfaith Food Bank
12181 Airport Rd.
Jackson, CA  95642
209-267-9008 fax

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sermon: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas    Readings: Jer. 33:14-16; Luke 21:25-36    Advent 1/C
By the Rev. Karen Faye Siegfriedt; Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek, CA    11/29/15

            I want to start by reading an excerpt from Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot…but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did not!  The Grinch hated Christmas!  The whole Christmas season!  Now please don’t ask why.  No one quite knows the reason.  It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.  It could be perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.  But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.  But, whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos.  Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown, at the warm lighted windows below in their town.  For he knew ever Who down in Who-ville beneath, was busy now hanging a mistletoe wreath.  “And they’re hanging the stockings” he snarled with a sneer.  “Tomorrow is Christmas, it is practically here!”  Then he growled with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming, “I must find some way to stop Christmas from coming.””    
            We are all familiar with the war on Christmas or at least a perceived battle. Last year I received a letter from an acquaintance in Cupertino who was miffed with the City for changing the name of the publicly-displayed Christmas tree to holiday tree. I’ve heard and read about folks who rant against others for wishing them a “happy holiday” rather than a “merry Christmas.”  Last month, there was a big kerfuffle when Starbuck’s Coffee issued solid red cups for the holiday season. In past years, Starbucks had imprinted a holiday image on its red cups like a pine tree, snowflakes, or frosty the snowman.  But this year, it was just plain red with no holiday demarcation. For some, the naked red cups, unadorned with symbols like holly or snowflakes, was a strike against Christmas. 
            And while it is true that much of our culture has taken the Christ out of Christmas, Starbucks is not the culprit.  Instead, what takes the Christ out of Christmas is our own confusion about the meaning of Christmas and trying to reconcile it with the winter holidays.  The celebration of Christmas focuses on the good news in Christ, which can bring joy into our hearts.  The winter holidays on the other hand, focus on putting up decorations, family gatherings, and exchanging gifts, which may make you temporarily happy and bright.  While I love celebrating both Christmas and the winter holiday with all its trappings, I try not to confuse the two.  Today I would like to name three grinches who threaten to steal the joy of Christmas.  They are despair, an immature faith based on the past, and high expectations for a holly, jolly Christmas.   
            If you haven’t noticed, the shopping malls have been displaying Christmas decoration and playing carols since Halloween.  Santa Claus has already visited downtown Jackson amidst the cheers of families and the eating of candy canes by children.  People have already spent lots of money on presents, rushing to get the door buster specials on Black Friday or the cyber-discounts on Amazon.com.  But if any of these folks come to church on Advent 1 expecting to find what the culture offers, they will be sorely disappointed.
            Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  We have already lit the Advent wreath, processed in with the Advent hymn ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’, and sung the song ‘Prepare the Way of the Lord.’ Our liturgical colors have changed to blue, the lectionary has switched to the gospel according to Luke, and we have begun Year C of the Church’s new year.  There is no Santa Claus, Christmas carols, or a smiling young Mary cooing a baby.  You will not find a decorated tree, frosty the snowman, or a red cup with snowflakes.  Instead you will hear about themes of anticipation, hope, repentance, the second coming of Christ, and a new world order where the poor and the oppressed will be lifted up and peace & justice will ultimately reign.
            The season of Advent is that time of year when we are invited to name those places in our lives and society that are at odds with the divine vision of justice and righteousness.  What do you long for and what are you missing?  While there still remains a wide gap between what is promised and what our current reality tells us, we continue to hope and work toward the coming of Christ in all its fullness as we sing: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the son of God appear.”
            In our first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear the words:  “The days are surely coming says the Lord, when I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”  Justice and righteousness are at the core of the Christmas promise.  These words were said to a people in exile some 2600 years ago when the Babylonians conquered Israel, destroyed their cities, and exiled their leaders.   Jeremiah tries to convince the survivors that what they are experiencing now is not what God has in mind for the future. Their world is distorted and not functioning as it was meant to be.
            Jeremiah promises that God is at work redeeming and transforming creation.  Today however, many folks have lost their faith in God and have become despairing with little hope for a new world.  Despair is the first Grinch that can and does steal Christmas.  We see it in the eyes of the weary, the depressed, the hurting, the apathetic, and the frightened. I think one of the reasons why so many people drink, or keep busy, or engage in frantic merry making is because they are trying to keep despair at bay. Instead of placing their hope in God, they rely on temporary gratification to soothe the pain. 
            The season of Advent is an opportunity to take the time to strengthen our hope. Hope is the opposite of despair. Hope is believing that the future contains new possibilities that are not evident in the present.  Hope is trusting that in the fullness of time, the Kingdom of God will triumph.  Jesus said: “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly. (Luke 21)  And so with a voice of hope and anticipation, the faithful sing:  “O Come, O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, free them from Satan’s tyranny, that trust thy mighty power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave. Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee O Israel.”
            The second Grinch that can steal Christmas is an immature practice of our faith, a faith stuck in the past. The celebration of Christmas today needs to include more than a sentimental remembrance of a baby born in a manger some 2000 years ago.  It’s time to leave Bethlehem and get more involved with our world. Today’s gospel speaks of the second coming of Christ, a time when the world order is shaken up.  This will be a time when nations no longer lift up sword against nations; a time when the oldest of enemies become the best of friends; when the wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid, and a little child shall lead them. It will be a time when humanity is at one, where there are no borders to protect or self-interests to fight for; when the underlying principle of economic development is the golden rule rather than personal profit; when CEOs manage their companies for the glory of God and for the good of the public welfare rather than simply to please stock holders. (Is. 61, Lk.2) The days are surely coming says the Lord when healing and compassion will become the dominant themes such that the blind see, the lame walk, the poor are fed, the oppressed are liberated, and all people are given the opportunity to live a full life. (Is. 35, Is. 65, Mt. 11) 
            So if you think there is a war on Christmas because Starbucks is selling coffee in plain red cups without snowflakes or because someone prefers to call an evergreen tree a “holiday tree,” then think again.  The real war on Christmas looks like hunger, poverty, bigotry, terrorism, war, and homeless refugees.  It is time for us to put the baby Jesus back into his cradle and focus our Christmas devotions with the desire to put on the mind of Christ.  God is longing for us to mature in our faith so we can participate in the liberation of this world by striving for justice, peace, and the dignity of every human being.  “O Come, O Come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orders all things mightily.  To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.  Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee O Israel.”
            Finally, the third Grinch that can steal Christmas are those high expectations fueled by the media, engendering a nostalgia for a time that never was.  There is nothing wrong with wanting a holiday get-together with a loving family, sitting around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts and sharing mementos of love.  There is something romantic about chestnuts roasting on an open fire with Jack Frost nipping at your nose.  But if this is all there is to your Christmas celebration, you may end up very disappointed when your expectations go unmet.  Disappointment is the third Grinch that can rob you of your joy at Christmas.  Don’t let that happen again this year.
            “The days are surely coming says the Lord…when I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”  Justice and righteousness is the promise of Christmas future.  That is what we can hope for.  That is what we are waiting for as we prepare the way of the Lord during this season of Advent.  And so as we anticipate the second coming of Christ in all its glory, we will continue to sing: “O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind; bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.  Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee, O Israel.”

Friday, November 27, 2015

"The Heart of Christmas" Cantata - Dec 18, 19 & 20

Trinity Tidings - December 2015

New Header
Trinity Tidings
The E Newsletter of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek

December 2015

In This Issue
Rector's Report
Did You Know?
Message from the Sr. Warden
Las Posadas
Parade of Lights
Food Bank Donations
Trinity Singers Rehearsals
Birthdays this month
Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter
Quick Links...

Rector's Report for December    

Four weeks before the celebration of Christmas lies the season of Advent.  It is a time of waiting, listening, hoping, and preparing for the coming of Christ in our hearts.  It is a season that is often overlooked as people frantically jump from one activity to another, shopping, eating, partying, decorating for Christmas, and all the many other demands that our culture imposes on the unwary.  But if you can break away from these demands for a time and tend to the promptings of your soul, you may begin to see the season of Advent as a gift, one that can bring stillness, peace and joy to your home.  Advent is my favorite season of the year.  It helps me ground myself in what is truly important rather than be seduced by the many frantic voices out there competing for my attention.  Each morning, I will light our Advent wreath, read an Advent meditation, and pray that "the peace which passes all understanding" will reside my in heart, cleanse my thoughts, and over take the world in which I live.
The word Advent means 'the coming.'  From a Christian perspective, it refers to the coming of Christ in its fullness:  A time when there is no more war, violence, greed, and injustice; a time when the operating principles of the world are peace, compassion, generosity, and harmony among all creatures.  While we now see glimpses of this kingdom from time to time, we know that God's reign on earth has not come in its fullness.  And so each year we put aside time for prayer, reflection, action, and personal transformation so that we can become the people God wills for us to be; a reflection of the Light that has already come into the world.
The Sundays during Advent take on a particular flavor.  You will hear texts read, prayers prayed, messages preached, and songs sung that will reflect hope for a new future:  "Prepare the Way of the Lord."  Many of these themes are already familiar to you such as:  Armor of Light, life immortal, justice, righteousness, be alert, prophets, repentance, peace, mercy, a voice crying in the wilderness, rejoice, purify our conscience, John the Baptist, my soul magnifies the Lord.   Advent songs are not the same as Christmas carols (those will come during the season of Christmas) but rather they are songs of expectation and hope.  The liturgical colors in the church will change to blue and the candles on the advent wreath will burn brighter each week until a white candle is lit on Christmas Eve.
As I write this newsletter, my thoughts rehearse the state of our world with all its violence, wars, refugees, power struggles, terrorism, economic distress, existential angst, uncertainty, and all the powers of the world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.  So many people are hurting and my heart goes out to them.  Without faith in the coming of God's Kingdom, I would be despairing.  But my hope is in God, not to magically change the world by force, but to send the Holy Spirit to transform the hearts of all people.  It is this longing for transformation, for a new world, for a different future that we focus on during the season of Advent.  Here is where I place my hope!
This year, our Christmas Eve services will be on Thursday, December 24th at 3:00pm and 7:00pm.  Note the earlier time schedule.  After the month long season of Advent, I hope your heart will be ready to celebrate Christmas in its fullness, the Light shining in the darkness.  The music will be special, the atmosphere holy, and the decorations will brighten the church.    
"Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever." (BCP prayer for Advent IV)
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Karen Siegfriedt+

Photos of Activities at Trinity in November: 
Gathering for lunch on Work Day!
Health Ministries presents "End of Life Options" at Thomi's
Project Thanks: 45 Thanksgiving baskets prepared for the needy

Did You Know? 
- We will elect new vestry members and delegates to the Diocesan Convention at our annual meeting on January 31.  If you are interested in these offices, please notify the rector or Sr. Warden.
- Christmas Eve Services will be held on Dec. 24th at 3 and 7pm.
- The kitchen in Jane's Hall should be finished with new flooring, counters, dishwasher, and disposal by the second week in December.  Thank you to all who contributed to Repair, Renew, Rejoice Capital Campaign and thank you to John Lafferty for his efforts with the kitchen.  So far, we have collected $30,400 in our capital campaign. 
- Free Advent Resources:  http://www.ecfvp.org/tools/advent-resources

From the Senior Warden:

Dear Trinity: May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Joyous and Blessed Christmas. 
As your Senior Warden, I am pleased to report that your vestry met last week in prayerful consideration of a full agenda. An update was received on both the Repair, Renew and Rejoice project list and funds received as well as a status report on the Stewardship drive.  We heard about the  financial audit performed annually by the office of the Bishop and are awaiting the final report.   Our Disaster Preparedness plan is currently being updated and should be ready for review early this spring.  If you would like to be part of the final preparation of the Disaster Plan, please let Margaret Lewis know.
We have three vestry member positions open for the coming term and we have three  wonderful candidates at this time, but others who may be interested can still contact the Rector and have your named added to the ballot.
We also discussed at great length the budget for 2016 in the light of the pledges received to date. The vestry will review the updated budget draft in January and finalize the budget for discussion and acceptance at the Annual Meeting in late January.
It has been my honor to serve on the Vestry this past term and as your Senior Warden this past year. Due to the diligence of Pastor Karen and staff, and the energy and willingness of my fellow vestry members, I have had an easy and pleasurable term of office. I pray for God's blessing on the new vestry and may they serve you in the same spirit of love and affection for Christ's family as this vestry has always tried to do.

Peace of the Lord,
Keith Sweet
Senior Warden

Las Posadas Candlelight Walk
Meet at the Immaculate Conception Church at 6:00pm onDecember 5th to join Joseph & Mary as they search for shelter.
Sing Christmas Carols as you walk behind them along historic Spanish Street, beautifully lit in luminarias.

Sutter Creek Parade of Lights
Join us on December 12th at 6:30pm for the Sutter Creek Parade of Lights. For more information on Trinity's participation, contact David Hoos.

Food Bank Donations

The Food Bank's cart, in the sanctuary, yielded 137 lbs. of food in November. Total giving in 2015 so far: 1,579 lbs. 

Plus, we collected 3656 lbs. of food and $1025 during the June Food Drive!

 Let's keep up the good work!

Trinity Singers Rehearsals
All are invited to join the Trinity Singers/Worship Team! Rehearsals are the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7PM. Bring your voices, your instruments, and a heart for worship and praise! For more information, please contact Carol Harper at 916-604-1872 or email carol@worshipattrinity.com. Web site: WorshipAtTrinity.com.

December Birthdays

The following members of our church family are celebrating birthdays in December!
2nd- Bob Ross
3rd- Carol Davis
12th- Pam Afindios
  16th- Carolyn Strickler
  19th- Diane Christensen
  26th- Rhonda D'Agostini
  30th- Devin Christensen
  31st- Stephen Lewis

If you are celebrating a birthday in December, but you don't see your name listed here, please contact our Parish Administrative Asst.

Would You Like to Contribute to the Newsletter?
If you have an article of interest to the congregation that you would like included in the newsletter, please email it to the office,office@trinitysuttercreek.org by the 20th of the month. It will be included in the next month's newsletter.