November 2017 Newsletter

E-Newsletter for November 2017

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Southminster Presbyterian Church

An inclusive, welcoming community of Christian faith.

November 2017 E-Newsletter

What is the E-newsletter?

Subscribers will now receive a digital version of our monthly newsletter. Don’t worry–if you like receiving the paper newsletter, we are still sending them out. We know many of you love getting them in the mail, and that’s great! But, we have had some feedback that an e-mailed version is perfect for some.

If your paper newsletter usually winds up in your recycling bin (we are not offended), please sign up HERE to opt-in to receive the online version only. You will no longer receive paper newsletters monthly, and you’ll be saving some paper and ink.


November Front Page  


Dear Friends,
What a crazy end-of-October it has been. Just when I thought my office equipment hardships ruled supreme, we take on water in the sanctuary. Don’t worry–everything is operational again. Thanks to everyone who jumped to help. Let’s pray for sunshine and no more rain for a bit.
On a lighter note, Stewardship for 2018 is kicking off, as well as all of the fun holiday activities. Part of me longs for the slow days of summer, but the other half of me is excited for all the things Southminster is doing to round out 2017. Family Promise went really smoothly this month with several new volunteers and veterans of the program. November brings the Jesus Seminar, tree decorating, and connections with the community through our Building Bridges adventures. Our Super Wednesday group is doing a really cool project with “soul boxes” to create awareness for gun violence.
December is even more fun with Southminster’s cheerful Christmas spirit, the Advent Fair, and the Christmas concert. We’ll spread Christmas cheer of course with Christmas baskets, caroling, and our various missions. We’ll also be hosting Family Promise around the New Year. I won’t get too ahead of myself; we still have to get through the rest of October and November before I’m in full Christmas-mode.
Since this is our “busy season,” remember to keep me notified of any scheduling changes or additions. I will try my best to accommodate everyone, but since rooms get pretty full during the fall/winter months, the earlier I have notice, the better. What’s on the schedule is set (no bribing me with Christmas cookies either). If there is anything missing or incorrect, let me know as soon as possible. As always, I am available for anything you may need help with.

Southminster Life Events   


Super Wednesday Schedule 

Super Wednesdays are an inclusive group who gather for discussion and friendship. As we are finding through research, friendships and socialization are imperative for maintaining a strong mind as we age. However, it’s never too early to start! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in regardless of age. The broader the span, the healthier the perspective. The group atmosphere is warm and accepting and embraces sharing. There is time for serious thought as well as time for laughter and joy. Come have a cup of coffee or tea and join the shared camaraderie. You’ll be glad you did. There is no commitment, just drop in Room 7, at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays.  
Nov. 1 – movie day – Step – The senior year of a girls’ high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest.
Nov. 8 – game day
Nov. 15 – “Soul Box” making (see below)
Nov. 22 – bulletin folding
Nov. 29 – TBD
November 15thWant to create awareness of gun violence in a fun creative way?
Come create Soul Boxes for the Soul Box Project started by a local artist. These boxes will represent the approximate 119,833 number of gun violence victims since 2014. They will be displayed in public places with the idea that art can heal and drive social change. Materials and instruction will be provided.


Ancient Mariner’s

At this point, we don’t have a host for the Ancient Mariners Gathering for November 17. If you are able to host, please contact Ron and Pam Gross. Please watch the weekly Thursday e-mail blasts for updates for the event.



Water 2 Wine -Pairing Wine with Food

Our next meeting of Water 2 Wine is scheduled for Sunday, November 12th at the home of Pat & Doug Eddy.  
We will be pairing wines with a 4 course sampling. We are still working on the menu so we will let you know what you should bring to help with the pairings We will do a traditional and non-traditional pairing for each course. Let us know if you prefer to bring a certain category of food… ie, appetizer, salad, main course, or desert. Then we will let you know what we would like you to bring for about 8 people.
While we all learned a little more about wine, we think that the best part of the group is meeting fellow Southminsters in a relaxed social setting and getting to know each other better. As a reminder, please RSVP to to ensure that we have enough wine, and get your assignment for this month. We have a suggested donation of $10 per person to cover our costs.
Since the memorial for Joseph Kurtright will be the same day, the time will be adjusted. More on that later.
Book Readers Group 



Our selection for Nov 13 is The Last Town on Earth, a 2006 novel by Thomas Mullen. The novel focuses on the town of Commonwealth, Washington in 1918 during World War I and the emergence of the Spanish Flu. The town agrees to quarantine itself from the outside world, to hopefully save itself from the flu.

Christmas Basket Time is Here!

This year we will again partner with Vose Elementary to help 20 families with their Christmas. We provide gifts for all family members. We also provide fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs, and a turkey.

Delivery will be on December 23rd this year.
So what can you do now?
1.       Provide a money donation for the food and some gifts. Be sure to designate the donation to “Christmas Basket” fund.
2.       Buy script gift cards in $20 to $50 increments. Fred Meyer is a good choice.
3.       Plan to buy gifts after Thanksgiving.
4.       Plan to deliver gifts on the morning of December 23rd, 2017.
Thanks for considering helping with this wonderful program to help our local neighbors from Vose.
-Karen Wittenburg  


Save the Date – Sunday Dec. 3rd 

The Tualatin Valley Community band is having it’s Holiday Concert on Sunday December 3 at 3 p.m. at Tualatin High School. Watch the weekly e-mail blasts for further concert details.


Jesus Seminar 

Southminster will host Westar’s Jesus Seminar on the Road November 10th and 11th. This year’s topic is “The Political Jesus”. Click here to see the full details with information on how to register.



Poinsettia Sales Continue  

Poinsettias will be available for order through Sunday November 12. Colors available are red, white, and pink. A single stem pot will cost $12.00 and a 2 stem pot will cost $20.00. Checks and cash only please. Visit the Poinsettia table to order or fill out a form found outside Liz’s office and put in her folder.
Proceeds go to the Southminster handbell choir. Delivery is Friday, December 1st from 12pm to 3pm in the education wing. 



Building Bridges – Oct. 29 & Nov. 5 

Southminster is participating in “Building Bridges.” This is a pulpit exchange but much more that is facilitated by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Albina Ministerial Association. On Sunday, October 29th, Rev. Dr. T. Allen Bethel and at least five members from Maranatha Church in Portland will visit for worship and a potluck provided by Southminster. We will engage in conversations about race, justice and building community. The following week, November 5th, John and at least five members from Southminster will go to Maranatha church and engage in dialogue with that congregation. Let John know if you’d like to be a part of this delegation.

Here is some information about Dr. Bethel:
Dr. Bethel has been Senior Pastor at Maranatha Church in Portland for fifteen years, having served churches in Boston and Kansas City, Kansas prior. He also serves on the faculty of North Portland Bible College and Warner Pacific College.
Rev. Bethel attended Bay Ridge Christian College in Texas. He graduated from Kansas City College and Bible School cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Theology Degree. He also holds a Masters of Religious Education Degree from Gordon Conwell, C.U.M.E., South Hamilton, and an honorary Doctor of Ministry from Southern California School of Ministry, with further study for a Doctor of Missiology at Western Seminar in Portland, Oregon.
He has preached the gospel across the United States and led mission teams to Haiti and St. Kitts. Rev. Bethel also led a conference in Khartum, Sudan involved in missions.
Dr. Bethel is the President of the Albina Ministerial Alliance, the largest ecumenical organization of churches and ministers in North and Northeast Portland. Besides that, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Institute for Christian Communication as executive officer, the Board of Trustees at Warner Pacific College, the Board of Directors of the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, Oregon League of Minority Voters and the Nape Foundation. He is a member of the Portland African Leadership. Rev. Bethel also served two terms as a founding member on the Portland Parks and Recreation Board for the City of Portland, acting as both vice chair and chairman of the board. He was also on the Livingstone Outreach Ministry board.
In 2008, Bethel received the Emerald Award for Outstanding African American Men – Religion from the Zeta Sigma Omega chapter of AKA Inc.; the American Red Cross’ Service of Distinction award; and The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ (NOBLE) Drum Major for Justice Award.
Rev. Bethel has been married to Daphne for 32 years and together they have two children, Allen Lauren and Monica Lynn.


A Message from Judith Foster  

One of the hardest things I have had to do over the past weeks is to say, “good-bye” to Southminster.  Thank you to everyone for your prayers, expressions of condolences and support. A special thank you to the “Southminster Moving Team”: Larry and Chris Porter, Suzanne Angelo and John. I highly recommend them if you are resettling. I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. I’ll see some of you at Women’s Retreat. to come.


Test the Waters – November 18th 

If you are new to our congregation, join us Saturday, November 18th at ten a.m. Test the Waters is an opportunity to learn more about Southminster, meet some great folks and enjoy a free lunch. We think Southminster is a fun place that does important work and we would love you to be part of it! RSVP If you can to John at or call the church office. Childcare is available on request.


Keeping in Prayer 

Please keep in your hearts and prayers:
Joseph Kurtright passed away mid October. A memorial service is being planned for Sunday, November 12th at 2:00pm.
Caryl Ladd
Don Prescott 
Also, our Facebook group page is a great place to share prayer requests, post events, pics, and connect on-line. It is a private group and you must be a member to see and to contribute posts. Contact John or Liz if you need assistance. The website is
Our Visitation Team is active and visiting with those who are unable to attend worship. If you know of someone who might like to have this connection with the church contact John.

Progressive Spirit & Beloved Community Podcasts

The main web page is From there you can find many links to download podcasts such as iTunes. During September, interviews were posted with…

Big Hunger, Big Chicken, Big Moment
This week my guests discuss big problems regarding food. How can we work toward healthy food and enough food for everyone? Maryn McKenna is a journalist who writes about science, food, and disease. Like Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA. But that’s not the end of it. We’ve been pumping antibiotics into chicken for a good long time. They have come home to roost. We can’t make antibiotics faster than evolution. Ms. McKenna and I talk Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats.
I also speak with Andrew Fisher of Portland. He is an activist in the anti-hunger field. For twenty-five years he has worked building coalitions to fight for better food and nutrition laws. Andrew is the author of Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups. Finally, I speak with John Teton, author of the International Food Security Treaty. This treaty is an international enforceable law requiring all nations to guarantee food to everyone in their borders and not use hunger as a weapon. That would end the wars.
Chris Ransford: God and the Mathematics of Infinity
What can mathematics tell us about God? According to todays guest, physicist and mathematician, H Chris Ransford, mathematics can tell us quite a bit about the classic attributes of an infinite God who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful. The logic and beauty of mathematics offers an exciting path to exploring the nature of reality and of elevating the conversation between atheists, theists, and the rest of us about religion, science, and Godhood.
H. Chris Ransford earned advanced degrees in Physics and Engineering in France and Germany. He lectured at the University of Melbourne and was a Research Fellow at Monash University, Australia. In 2015, he published The Far Horizons of Time. In this episode, host John Shuck and Chris Ransford discuss his latest book, God and the Mathematics of Infinity: What Irreducible Mathematics says About Godhood.
Sex: The Illustrated History
John R. Gregg is an historian, a writer, researcher, educator, and traveler. He has taught World Civilization, Anthropology, American History, and Native American History and Culture, at the University of Florida, University of North Florida, and other universities. He has lived, worked and travelled extensively in Asia, and North and South America, studying religious and cultural practices throughout the world.
He is the author of Sex, the Illustrated History: Through Time, Religion and Culture, Volume 1. This is from his website: “Sex, The Illustrated History, Volume I, begins a daring exploration of human sexuality from the ancient to the modern world. Revealed are sexual practices and beliefs previously omitted or obscured from all historical telling. In a scathing condemnation of religion and its control of sex, John Gregg explores complex relationships between spirituality and sexuality. The supremacy of the mother goddess throughout most of human existence, and her relatively recent fall, is detailed in both word and image.”


Youth News – September 2017  


Sunday Mornings:  Worship 10:00am, Connections & Everyday Leadership 10:15am

November 5 – First Sunday Youth Breakfast – 9:40am in Youth Lounge;
November 12- YOUTH GREETERS, Grades 5-7 in Room 9; 8/High in Loft
November 19 – Stewardship Sunday: Grades 5-7 in Room 9; 8/High in Loft
November 26 – Don and Crystal, Dialogue Sermon on “Unequal Justice” & debrief Grades 5-7 in Room 9; 8/High in Loft

Middle School – DV8
    November 5 – DV8 Lunch & Something T.B.D. – 11:30-1:30 p.m.
     November 19 – Progressive Fast Food Scavenger Hunt! 5:30-7:30 p.m.
December 5 – Advent Fair and Secret Room – 11:00-12:30 p.m.
8/High School — SNL
November 12 -Loft “Video” Games, Food and Hang Time! 5:30-7:30/8 p.m.
Friday, November 24 – Hanging Christmas Tree Lights and Pizza! 1:00pm
December 5 – Advent Fair and Secret Room – 11:00-12:30 p.m.
SNL Portland Urban Plunge: December 1-2. — $15.00. This weekend will include staying at 1st Presbyterian Church (lots of BIGFOOT), five hours of community service with the homeless population, great downtown Pizza, a night at Comic Sports Club and so much more!   This is our 8th annual Plunge! Friends are Welcome! Don’t miss out!
Christmas Tree Lights and Pizza!
Join High School Youth and Don as we once again hang the lights on Southminster’s Christmas Tree on the Day after Thanksgiving! Friday, November 24 – 1:00 p.m.
Read the Bible Cover to Cover      



The Gospel of John is unique among the four gospels in the way the story of Jesus is presented. The sequence of events is different (the temple is cleansed early in his ministry as opposed to later, he goes to Jerusalem three different times as opposed to one, he carries his own cross, etc.) Jesus delivers long monologues and this language is mysterious. He says one thing and means another. Things appear to be working at two levels in John. The reader wonders about details and whether symbolic significance should be read into them. For example, should one make anything of the fact that they caught 153 fish?
Revelation: This letter is of a genre called apocalyptic literature. Through symbolic language it is designed to inspire hope. Many symbols and references come from the Old Testament. It should not be taken as a prediction of the future but as a song of hope in God’s kingdom. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” (21:4).
I John: This is an important letter about love for one another to show that we are God’s children: “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them” (4:16).
II John: This a postcard warning about deceivers. Don’t welcome anyone who teaches the wrong stuff.
III John: This letter is a bit more paranoid than the others; the author defends himself against some guy named Diotrephes. “Beloved do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good.” (vs. 11)
Ephesians: This letter describes the great unity we have in Christ who is the head of the Church who can bring Jew and Gentile together: “For he (Christ) is our peace; he has…broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” (2:14)
Colossians: Paul has a concern that some goofy teachings have taken over “empty deceit” (2:8). He speaks of Christ as the head of the cosmos “the firstborn of all creation…in him all things hold together.” (1:15-17)
I Peter: This letter from Peter is encouragement in the face of persecution. “Live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God.” (4:2)
II Peter: This letter is an attack on false teachers and a warning that Christ will come again for judgment. In the meantime: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (3:18)
Hebrews: This is a long sermon about how Christ is the perfect sacrifice done once and for all. Therefore, animal sacrifice in the temple is no longer needed. It contains a list of the heroes of faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (11:1)
James: This letter is about putting your works where your faith is. Not one for idle talk is James: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?” (2:14)
Jude: Bad apples have entered into the barrel. Don’t listen to them and reject the true faith. “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (vs. 21).

You can find November’s guide here: 

November Bible Guide

Here is the quiz for November:

November Bible Quiz

Here is the family quiz for November:

November Family Story Quiz 

Have fun and keep those fabulous prizes in mind!

Printable Calendar for November      

Click here for a copy of November’s calendar that appeared in the paper newsletter for printing at home. 

Contact John
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