Reception of Associate Members: Dawn Canada & Rev. Barbara Peronteau

Dawn Canada

I was born in Illinois and have lived all my life in the Midwest with the exception of two years in Saudi Arabia. Prior to retirement in 1989 I was an elementary and preschool teacher for many years.  I have been a member of Congregational or UCC churches since 1965 and I'm transferring my membership from one in northern Minnesota.  I have two sons in the Bay Area and a daughter in Colorado Springs.  I also have three granddaughters and two great grandchildren.  While visiting the Bay Area in 2014 my husband became very ill.  Following his hospitalization we lived at El Cerrito Royale Assisted Living until his death in 2016.  I like to read and do volunteer work and I'm an avid baseball fan.

The Reverend Barbara K. Peronteau

Born in Latrobe, PA on November 2, 1954 Barbara would spend the first eight years of her life living in the Pittsburgh area. Barbara was baptized and grew up in the Lutheran Church. When Barbara was eight years old, her Dad, a sales representative for Lees Carpets, was transferred to San Francisco where they would find a home in San Rafael.

When Barbara was ten she began delivering papers for the San Rafael Independent Journal. Barbara played baseball in the San Rafael Little League. Mostly, there were positive memories of living in San Rafael, but just as Barbara was turning fourteen her Dad was transferred to the Philadelphia area uprooting her once again. They moved to the small town of Malvern, PA where she would go through her high school years.

Following high school Barbara attended Lynchburg College in Virginia where she graduated in 1977 with a BA in History and Political Science. As a young adult she heard a sermon causing her to follow her calling into ministry. She began seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. It was there, in 1983, she began the most intense, significant, and wonderful relationship with the love of her life, Susan. This relationship became the one by which all others would be compared. In the process of discerning her call Barbara began to question her calling. Her discernment process led her to the United Church of Christ where she found a faith home. In the Fall of 1985 Barbara began attending Union Theological Seminary, in Virginia. In the spring of 1986 her relationship with Susan ended.

On Pentecost Sunday, 1988, Barbara graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia with a Master of Divinity, a week later, on Trinity Sunday she was ordained at Old First, United Church of Christ in Philadelphia. Barbara went on to serve congregations in Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In the Spring of 2013, after transitioning and emerging into the lovely and charming woman she is today, Barbara attended a Trans-Clergy event in Philadelphia. A group picture was circulated on EQ PA's Facebook page. She received positive feedback from several people from her Union Seminary days. Emboldened by this Barbara reached out with an e-mail to her former love, Susan. It was the first time in 27 years they had spoken to each other. Unwittingly, a ripple effect was created. The following year they met in Reading, PA for coffee. They saw each other annually over the next few years.  

While living in Reading, Barbara spoke at various places about being transgender, her Christian faith, and the need for inclusion and equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Barbara is most proud of bringing the Transgender Day of Remembrance, held annually on November 20th, to Reading. In the Fall of 2016 Barbara began her yearlong Clinical Pastoral Education program working as an Interfaith Chaplain Resident at the Reading Hospital. She was the first chaplain to serve the Center for Public Health (HIV/AIDS population) at the Reading Hospital. Her most significant contribution was linking the Center for Public Health with the Women's Health Center Transgender Clinic so all people could have access to a chaplain.

Upon finishing her CPE Residency in August Barbara decided to follow her heart and move to Berkeley where she is now living with her partner Susan and her dog Max.

Faith is a Verb... Musings by Pastor Tony November 17, 2017

As I travel around our area representing Arlington Community Church, I am often asked if that is where Rev. Dan Apra or Rev. Ken Barnes served. I am proud to be counted alongside these two great leaders in ministry. Rev. Barnes, who has been back with us for the last few years, served 22 years during the 1980s and 90s, and Rev. Apra, who died 7 years ago, served 15 years from the late 1950s to the early 70s. They represent eras, not just of growth in the church, but also of deep spirituality which was mirrored to the world by doing justice in very tangible ways. During those years of ministry with ACC, we became active in GRIP, started what is now the Richmond Food Pantry, housed homeless in our building for weeks at a time, and began serving lunches and dinners at the SouperCenter in Richmond. I have heard stories, not just of those two great pastors, but also of lay members, who during those years actively did justice by calling for a crossing guard near the school in North Richmond and brought needed household items to poor, immigrants and refugees in Richmond and North Richmond

Although stories about those glory days are told with a sense of romantic nostalgia, there was controversy; Dan Apra ruffled feathers with his support of Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker’s movement and grape boycotts, and Ken Barnes had to mediate a divisive moment when a gay associate pastor did not get enough affirmative votes to receive a call. We are not averse to controversy, and yet we have still managed to step out with passion to make our name as a church who seeks, in the words of our New Beginnings Process, to Build a Just Society from the Inspiration of our Faith.

Standing in the legacy of justice at ACC, I have represented ACC at GRIP, the SouperCenter, and the Neighborhood House in North Richmond. I have attended North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council meetings. In capacity as your pastor, I have met community leaders in North Richmond, County Supervisor John Gioia and his staff, as well as Richmond City Councilor Ben Choi. I have volunteered to weed invasive blackberries and plant native plants along the Richmond Greenway. And I have taken some public stands in our name for what I believe is the best for North Richmond, an unincorporated piece of Contra Costa County, but unlike Kensington, has minimal internal resources to offer its own police or protective services.

I recently wrote a letter to Richmond City Council urging them to move forward with conversations with residents of North Richmond on the issue of annexation. My letter led to some deep and difficult conversation in this week’s Council meeting on the public role of Pastor, as well as whether these still match the passions and priorities of all of us as a congregation. In the next several months, the Pastor-Parish Relations Team is looking to broaden this conversation to the congregation as we evaluate together the ministries, passions, and priorities of the congregation, and how the pastor’s current job description plays into this. In all of this, we remind ourselves that, in the words of the Protestant Reformer’s, we are a “Priesthood of All Believers,” or in the words of our weekly bulletin, “Ministers: All the Members.”  

We are at a historical moment in ACC; it is 85 years since the first Sunday School met in Kensington, 75 years since ACC was chartered, 70 years since our current site was purchased and our building was started. (For more on our history, click here.)  Recently we have spent much energy and money on this building and grounds; if we are to maintain our legacy toward doing justice, we as an entire congregation must spend energy and money on that as well.

In this month of celebrating Reformations of our Faith, this week we celebrate ACC’s presence in this community. As we move toward Thanksgiving, I give thanks for all that is ACC-our historic legacy of doing justice and practicing deep spirituality, our present practice of claiming these for our own, our sights being set toward the future of faith in this place.

I wish you grateful hearts on this Thanksgiving Week, as Darrell and I head to Ohio to be with my family.                   

Peace, 

Pastor Tony 

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Bu Shirley Lutzky

Recommended article from Person of the Planet

Written by Shirley Lutzky

These days store owners think about Christmas at an earlier and earlier time, while the rest of us bemoan how commercial our holy day has become. But for a Person of The Planet, thinking early could actually be a wonderful opportunity to plan for a higher way of celebrating Christmas, a way to give to all who inhabit this very special planet. By planning now, we have an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a way that benefits, rather than harms our Earth. What if this year we ask our POP question, "Is this good for the planet?" while making our plans for how to carry out this year's gift-giving and decorating, card-sending and gatherings. In our plans we could include the well being of God's creation - our Earth and all the creatures for which our planet provides.

I've come up with a few ideas for "greening up" the various ways we celebrate Christmas. I'm sure you can think of many more!

For Gift-giving, here are a few thoughts:

Let the money you spend on gifts do some extra work for the earth by buying gifts from charitable organizations that work for the environment, such as the Sierra Club, Friends of The Earth and Global Exchange. To use less carbon-creating energy and less pollution, we can give gifts of service and time, gifts that are hand-crafted or baked by us, or that others in our community make and sell, rather than giving unnecessary mass-produced "stuff" made of environment-harming materials in harmful ways involving harmful transportation. To buy ecofriendly gifts, you can find several websites with many products for sale. Here is one: https://eartheasy.com/gifts ("Eco-friendly gifts for adults and children alike")

Gathering and Exchanging of Gifts

For the actual gift exchange, here are two ideas: a white elephant party, where people exchange a desirable item they already have; or a secret pal gathering, where family members and/or friends bring only one gift and each person selects one gift from the offerings.

As for Feasting:

What if no animals were eaten on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

Card-Sending

Do some of your card-sending as e-cards, and when sending paper cards use recycled paper products. Also (if you can find it) use recycled gift wrap, or create your own imaginative, beautiful ecological wrapping.

Decorating:

Turning off the tree lights when no one is around to see (unless you have a solar powered home,of course!)

Make a tradition of using and keeping a potted living tree instead of buying a newly cut tree every year.

And speaking of tradition, wouldn't it be great if we started now to dream of a Green Christmas based on Green choices , a life-giving kind of Christmas, that would eventually become the tradition for our children, our grand-children and all the great-grand children in the future beyond our own time?

Upcoming Events: Person of the Planet

Last night, our movie "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore could have been made this past year instead of 2005 when it was released.  The compelling climate information, effective pictures and graphs were a stark reminder how far we've come and how far we still need to go.  Sadly, as a country, we lag behind many other countries in our governmental policies and seemed to be going backwards.  The real moving forces are concerned individuals (us), environmental organizations and more local governmental agencies.  Following the movie, it was moving to hear each person's comments.

Don't miss "An Inconvenient Sequel" on Thursday, November 30 in the Fireside Room  at the church 52 Arlington Avenue.  We will start at 7:00pm.  Come a little early to chat and get your popcorn for the movie.

Have you ever been to a "Green Holiday Bazaar"?  This is our first attempt to put together this alternative shopping event.  We have sound some wonderful vendors that use natural resources, sustainable products, and creative art.  Buying  gifts that are good for the planet, IS good for the planet.   Please mark your calendars and help spread the word.

For this event to succeed, it is very important that you attend and invite all your friends, acquaintances and relatives.  It will be an exciting afternoon with food and live music provided by guitarist Anthony Knight and vocals with Elena Caruthers.  Be a part of its success!   

 

Green Holiday Bazaar

Sunday, December 3

1:00 - 5:00pm

Arlington Community Church

52  Arlington Avenue

Kensington

Reception of Associate Members: Dawn Canada & Rev. Barbara Peronteau

Dawn Canada

I was born in Illinois and have lived all my life in the Midwest with the exception of two years in Saudi Arabia. Prior to retirement in 1989 I was an elementary and preschool teacher for many years.  I have been a member of Congregational or UCC churches since 1965 and I'm transferring my membership from one in northern Minnesota.  I have two sons in the Bay Area and a daughter in Colorado Springs.  I also have three granddaughters and two great grandchildren.  While visiting the Bay Area in 2014 my husband became very ill.  Following his hospitalization we lived at El Cerrito Royale Assisted Living until his death in 2016.  I like to read and do volunteer work and I'm an avid baseball fan.

 

The Reverend Barbara K. Peronteau

Born in Latrobe, PA on November 2, 1954 Barbara would spend the first eight years of her life living in the Pittsburgh area. Barbara was baptized and grew up in the Lutheran Church. When Barbara was eight years old, her Dad, a sales representative for Lees Carpets, was transferred to San Francisco where they would find a home in San Rafael.

When Barbara was ten she began delivering papers for the San Rafael Independent Journal. Barbara played baseball in the San Rafael Little League. Mostly, there were positive memories of living in San Rafael, but just as Barbara was turning fourteen her Dad was transferred to the Philadelphia area uprooting her once again. They moved to the small town of Malvern, PA where she would go through her high school years.

Following high school Barbara attended Lynchburg College in Virginia where she graduated in 1977 with a BA in History and Political Science. As a young adult she heard a sermon causing her to follow her calling into ministry. She began seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. It was there, in 1983, she began the most intense, significant, and wonderful relationship with the love of her life, Susan. This relationship became the one by which all others would be compared. In the process of discerning her call Barbara began to question her calling. Her discernment process led her to the United Church of Christ where she found a faith home. In the Fall of 1985 Barbara began attending Union Theological Seminary, in Virginia. In the spring of 1986 her relationship with Susan ended.

On Pentecost Sunday, 1988, Barbara graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia with a Master of Divinity, a week later, on Trinity Sunday she was ordained at Old First, United Church of Christ in Philadelphia. Barbara went on to serve congregations in Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In the Spring of 2013, after transitioning and emerging into the lovely and charming woman she is today, Barbara attended a Trans-Clergy event in Philadelphia. A group picture was circulated on EQ PA's Facebook page. She received positive feedback from several people from her Union Seminary days. Emboldened by this Barbara reached out with an e-mail to her former love, Susan. It was the first time in 27 years they had spoken to each other. Unwittingly, a ripple effect was created. The following year they met in Reading, PA for coffee. They saw each other annually over the next few years.  

While living in Reading, Barbara spoke at various places about being transgender, her Christian faith, and the need for inclusion and equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Barbara is most proud of bringing the Transgender Day of Remembrance, held annually on November 20th, to Reading. In the Fall of 2016 Barbara began her yearlong Clinical Pastoral Education program working as an Interfaith Chaplain Resident at the Reading Hospital. She was the first chaplain to serve the Center for Public Health (HIV/AIDS population) at the Reading Hospital. Her most significant contribution was linking the Center for Public Health with the Women's Health Center Transgender Clinic so all people could have access to a chaplain.

Upon finishing her CPE Residency in August Barbara decided to follow her heart and move to Berkeley where she is now living with her partner Susan and her dog Max.