We are a multigenerational, social justice-oriented community of joyful, imperfect people who welcome absolutely everybody with hospitality, openness and acceptance.

Pastoral Blog

Blog postings by our pastor Rev. Ben Daniel.

Happy New Year?

Friends, Happy new year! Or will it be?  Traditionally, the new year is a time to look forward with longing and a hope that the coming year will be better than the one just past, and while I don’t want to presume to know how everyone reading these words feels about the past year, I know I speak for a lot of…

Peacemaking in the Modern World

Friends, Those wanting a simple and straightforward statement about why peacemaking is necessary in the Modern world need look no further than the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize lecture in which Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the prize-wining International Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, made an observation that is both scary and true: The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending,…

Fruitcake, eggnog and spirituality

Dear Friends, This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the four weeks that lead up to and prepare us for the celebration of Christmas. For the most part, Advent is a season of joyful anticipation. After all, Christmas music is on the radio, mistletoe is tacked to door frames, the trees are trimmed and the malls are decked with holly and holiday…

Muslims and Jews and Christians – oh, my!

Friends, On Sunday I left directly from Celebration so that I could drive to Marin County in time to participate in a symposium on Jewish/Muslim relations, which was a little bit strange (and wonderful) since I am neither Jewish nor Muslim. In fact, I was the only Christian participating in an official capacity (and by “official capacity” I mean that I shared…

Life is unpredictable, keep reformation alive!

Friends, I wrote this Contact  piece while sitting outside on my back deck, drinking a cold beer. It was about eighty degrees out, which might not have been terribly remarkable, if it weren’t six thirty in the evening, on the night of the first game of the World Series (1-1, top of the sixth, Kershaw on the mound, as I write these…

A letter in response to “Me, too” social media posts

This is a slightly edited version of an open letter to the men on my Facebook feed, which I wrote in response to the “Me Too” posts women have been putting up on social media. The “Me Too” posts began as a response to revelations of filmmaker Harvey Weinstein’s sexual violence, abuse, and harassment against women in the entertainment industry. Friends, For…

On Warm Hearts and Open Souls

Friends, I was planning to write a Contact piece dedicated, in some way, to the massacre in Las Vegas Sunday night. I thought, perhaps, that I might reflect on the American obsession with guns, or I might have gone deeper into the waters of social and political commentary by reflecting on how the American people are responding to a white perpetrator and…

Paganism, Calvinism, and black Madonnas

Friends, I have just come back from spending ten days in Europe, most of them in Geneva, where I led a group of folks from MPC on a study tour that looked at Paganism, Calvinism, the World Council of Churches, and at the important work of dissent. But before I arrived in Geneva, I visited some relatives of mine who live in…

DACA: an open letter to American Christians

For this week’s contact, I’ve written an open letter to most American Christians, who won’t hear about DACA at Church. Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I am aware (and painfully so) that most of you won’t hear about the Trump administration’s recent scuttling of DACA in Church. Let’s be honest: most American churches don’t talk about potentially divisive issues and most…