Memorial Tribute to Ruth Schweitzer-Mordecai

We pay tribute to Ruth Schweitzer-Mordecai, a longtime board member of Pacific Center for Spiritual Formation (PCSF) who died on June 29, 2022 at the age of 85. Ruth was dedicated in her commitment to discovering, embracing, and sharing transformative psychological and spiritual practices. She joined PCSF in 1995 and became integral to our mission of providing opportunities for individuals to experience Christian contemplative practices that are ecumenical in scope and welcoming to interfaith spiritual practices. Along with New Testament scholar Marcus Borg, Ruth wrote a chapter for the book, Jesus Reconsidered (2007), and worked collaboratively to create PCSF events…
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Let’s Talk: About Administration

I want to share a few things I’ve been thinking about throughout this past week about the work of Administration. What do I mean by Administration? I’m talking about our Bylaws, our HR and Insurance policies, our Financial statements, our Safe Conduct Policies—and anything else that we put in place as a matter of course to make sure God’s work can happen. While it may seem odd for this newsletter format, I decided to lay it out in bullet points just because the points may or may not be related to one another. I’ll let you decide. Administration is the…
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Let’s Talk: About Gratitude

I visited one of our local churches last Sunday, only the second time since before Pandemic and the first time that I shared the morning message. Before I launched into my sermon, I took a minute to bring greetings on behalf of our siblings in the churches of the Northern California Nevada Conference and offer a word of gratitude for their partnership in the work we do together in the wider church. Many of you have heard me say something similar in the past as I have joined you in worship. This time, after 18 months of not being able…
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Let’s Talk: About Revolutionary Love

In the wake of the collapse of Afghanistan, we have learned that many of the 50,000 Afghan refugees relocating to the US are headed to or already in the Bay Area and Sacramento. The reason for this is, in part, due to the fact that these areas of our Conference have some of the largest Afghan communities in the US. On Monday, I was part of an ecumenical conversation hosted by Pacific School of Religion and included my ecumenical counterparts in other denominations as well as leaders from Church World Service and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. We learned about…
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Let’s Talk: About the Tough Questions We Have to Ask Ourselves

Last week Ms. Ruby Nell Sales offered our Conference an amazing keynote address for our 2021 Annual Gathering theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Listen. Reflect. Learn”. Her words touched many of us in just the way we needed in this time of high anxiety, stress and pain as we deal with racism (and all the other “isms” people are confronted with every day), wildfires, and continued pandemic, to name just a few. A question that she asks that has provided some deep conversations in the “Let’s Talk About Race” group is, “Where does it hurt?” I was thinking of…
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Let’s Talk: About Wildfires

As I write this, I can see smoke out my window and I am reminded of the places in our Conference where the smoke is much worse and where it is accompanied by very dangerous fire. I think about those places where our siblings in other churches and their neighbors and friends are evacuating from their beloved homes. I think of how they must be feeling—the fear, the exhaustion. Fire season gets longer and more dangerous every year. There is nothing we can do to stop it. We cannot even predict where the next fire will erupt. What has brought…
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