April Newsletter

E-Newsletter for April 2018

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Southminster Presbyterian Church

An inclusive, welcoming community of Christian faith.

April 2018 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.

Pastor John   


Dear Friends,
Just in time for Easter 2018, historical Jesus scholar, John Dominic Crossan and his wife Sarah Sexton Crossan have published, Resurrecting Easter: How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision. The vision of “the East” is Jesus holding on to the hands of Adam and Eve, yanking them out of the prison of Hades or death.

What does this image mean? What does it symbolize or advertise? The Jesus who yanks all of these people from death, the human race itself, bears the marks of Empire. He was killed by state sanctioned terror, by the violence that is the “normalcy of civilization” to use Crossan’s phrase.

It is what is normal. Empires for the past 10,000 years to the very present justify their existence around security. Peace through strength. Peace through victory. Each time a new empire comes around, the spiral of violence escalates. Now we live in a world in which torture is normal. We now call it “enhanced interrogation.” Defensive first strikes are normal. Killing non-combatants is called “collateral damage.” Drones that assassinate supposed targets and subsequent “collateral damage” managed by someone on a keyboard a half-planet away from the assassination is normal. It is keeping up with the times.

The violence becomes more technical and more final. The one who provides a critique of this road to peace is Jesus, who resists with his life and with his commitment to non-violent resistance to violence. Jesus was executed as a criminal for his non-violent resistance (public demonstrations, debates, symbolic shut-downs) to what we have learned to accept as normal.
According to Crossan (and I repeat his work because he sure makes sense to me), the challenge of this Easter vision is that what is normal is not moral. If Christianity has something to offer humanity as the doomsday clock clicks closer and closer to midnight, it will be the Easter vision of the crucified Jesus, yanking humanity from the prison of death that is filled with empire’s corpses.

For the past 10,000 years, empire after empire has promised peace through violence. Each successive empire has delivered more violence and less peace. Might it now be time to try a new program?
Blessed Be,


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. 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.

April 4 – WONDER: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

11 – Game Day

18 – Coffee & Conversation

25 – Bulletin Folding


Book Readers Group



Our next book is ‘My Abandonment’ by Peter Rock. Based on a true story,  it is about a father and daughter living in Forest Park. It is described as “mesmerizing and disturbing, a book as fierce as it is tender, as tender as it is real.”

Pick up and sign out a book from the book club kit in the copy room (tan bag behind the door) and join us for discussion on Monday, April 9th at 7 pm in room 9.






Ancient Mariners

Mark your calendars–the Mariner’s gathering is set for April 20th at the home of June Carlson and Andy Gordon. More information to come.






Water 2 Wine – Wines of Hood River 

Our next meeting of Water to Wine is scheduled for Sunday, April 8th at 2:00 p.m. at the home of Debbie and Steve Wilkins. Val and Sharon did the hard work of going to Hood River and checking out many of the Wineries that are in the Hood River area. They picked some of the great wines the area has to offer for your tasting pleasure. The area is interesting as parts are cool weather vines as you go up the mountain so whites are found there, then the gorge gets those hot summer days so have some big bold reds. 

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 water2wine_smp@yahoo.com to ensure that we have enough wine. You will just need one wine glass to enjoy the get together. We have a suggested donation of $10 per person to cover our costs.


Adult Ed. Book Group – April 10th (date change)   


The First Tuesday Bookgroup will meet again on April 10th at 7:00 to discuss John Dominic Crossan’s book How to Read the Bible and Still Be A Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation.  For more information please speak with John Shuck or Janet Cruz.


Grubby Sunday   


Sunday, April 22nd is Grubby Sunday! Bring your rakes, garden tools, and helping spirit to join the effort to clean-up our beautiful church. Our buildings and ground crew relies on the work done on Grubby Sunday to keep out cleaning costs low for the year! Please help out if you can–any bit helps.


Women’s Retreat  

Women’s Retreat is May 4th-6th. Register for the full weekend or Saturday only by April 15th! Please see here for the full flier, registration details, and registration form.


Congregational Meeting  – April 15 

There will be a congregational meeting to elect officers April 15th directly following worship.


Rebuilding Together  

Rebuilding Together will be April 28th. This is a Nationwide Charitable Organization that helps low-income homeowners stay in their homes. We provide assistance with maintenance projects such as painting and small construction needs.
Locally, the Methodist Churches of Beaverton and Hillsboro organize this event. Southminster has been providing volunteers for over 20 years. We provide people to work at a house, registration, and delivery of lunches to the volunteers at work sites.

Please let Karen Wittenburg know if you can volunteer for this event.
kwittenburg@comcast.net or 503-781-0321.


Keeping in Prayer 

Please keep in your hearts and prayers:

Lou Balmer
Don Prescott
Lou Payne
Joyce Aney
Caryl Ladd
Ottis Rechard
Audrey Burton passed away. Services are at Friends Church in Newberg at 2pm Saturday, April 7th.  


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 www.progressivespirit.net. From there you can find many links to download podcasts such as iTunes. During March, interviews were posted with…

I Will Not Fear: Melba Beals of the Little Rock Nine
In 1957, Melba Patillo Beals, was one of nine African-American high school students chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. She became a journalist, professor, author, and at the age of 52 adopted twin sons. In her book, I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire, she tells her life story and how the faith she received from her grandmother grew and became her source of strength and inspiration. In the interview, she takes us back to Little Rock in 1957. She recounts the hostility of the white mob, the overt and violent racism she encountered, and the ‘angels’ who helped her along the way. 

US – Saudi War Crimes Against Yemen
On February 3rd, 2018, Roots of Conflict and KBOO/Portland, co-sponsored a presentation at Portland State University called US-Saudi Coalition: Bringing Peace or War?

In this episode you will hear from Yemeni activist, Aisha Jumaan and Mohammad al-Nimr, son of executed Sheik Nimr. They speak boldly and clearly about the Saudi war crimes against Yemen that are assisted by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Aisha Jumaan is a public-health specialist working as a consultant on heath-related projects in Yemen. She offered a statistically detailed presentation of the human catastrophe going on in Yemen, as a result of the Saudi imposed war on that ancient country. Dr. Jumaan is the President of Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation. Mohammad Al-Nimr, the son of Shia cleric, Shikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudis for speaking out against Saudi human rights abuses, also spoke about the history of the formation of Saudi Arabia, its control by the royal family and Wahhabism and US complicity in the House of Sauds wars of aggression.

How to Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult
Ira Israel is a licensed professional clinical counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has graduate degrees in philosophy, religious studies, and psychology. He has a private practice in Santa Monica, California as well as on-line coaching. He leads workshops at the Esalen Institute and throughout the United States. He has 28 years of experience working in various capacities with award-winning filmmakers, musicians, artists, and writers. His website is www.iraisrael.com.

We discuss his book, How to Survive Your Childhood Now that You’re An Adult: A Path to Authenticity and Awakening and an article, “How The Internet Engendered The Fall of Consumer-Based Capitalism and the Rebirth of Democracy: A Brief History of the Future,” He writes: “My mission is to inspire you to be your best self and live an extraordinary and satisfying life full of supportive relationships, intimacy, love, creative expression, authentic communications, a thriving career, mental and emotional wellness, and a healthy balance of work and pleasure.”

At Peace: Choosing A Good Death After A Long Life 

Dr. Samuel Harrington, MD, is the author of At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life. In this important book, which James Fallows of The Atlantic calls “deeply humane,” he argues the case for taking a clear-eyed yet compassionate view towards the end of life. Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions while undergoing painful procedures, instead of having a better and more peaceful death they desired.

Youth News – April 2018   


Sunday Mornings: Youth Hang-Time Activity 9:40 a.m. / Worship 10:00 a.m.
Connections & Everyday Leadership 10:15 a.m.

April 1 — Happy Easter!! Children’s Easter Egg Hunt @ 9am – Worship @ 10am

April 8 – Sr. High Families Alaska Mission & Auction Meeting – 8:45 a.m. (Alaska registration forms and deposit due)
11:15-12:00 p.m.: Serving Crepes for Mr. Malderelli’s send off…
April 15 – SILENT AUCTION – 9am-Noon! (See below.)
April 22– Grades 5-7 w/Kathy; Grades 8-12 in Loft (auction thank you’s)
April 29 – Grades 5-7 w/Kathy; Grades 8-12 in Loft

Middle School – DV8


April 1 – Happy Easter! Easter Egg Hunt preparation – 9:00 a.m.

April 8 – Service Project: Serving Crepe’s to Congregation -11:15-12:00 p.m.

April 15– Silent Auction – 9:00-12:00 p.m.
April 30– Lunch and Something – T.B.D.

8 grade/High School – SNL

April 1 – Happy Easter! Easter Egg Hunt preparation – 9:00 a.m.

April 8 – Sr. High Families Alaska Mission & Auction Meeting – 8:45 a.m.

         Service Project: Serving Crepe’s to Congregation – 11:15-12:00 p.m.
April 13-14 – Silent Auction Set up and preparations – T.B.D.
April 15– Silent Auction – 9:00-12:00 p.m.
April 22– Silent Auction Wrap-up and Sr. High Lunch – 11:30-1:00 p.m.

Silent Auction

All Youth and families are strongly encouraged to procure donations. All proceeds raised will benefit the Alaska and Wapato Mission Trips. If you know of a business in the community who might like to donate something for the auction or if you have something you would like to donate, contact Natalie or Tyler Greenwood. Deadline for donations is Monday, April 9th.

Printable Calendar for April           

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

Contact John
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