“God of the Refugee” Watch a message from our youth

Pastors Blog

This is where Pastor Tracy Barnowe shares her thoughts on our church life together. Think of it as a sort of on-line coffee hour. If you want to add a comment or ask a question, just click “read more” then scroll down to the comment box below the post and start typing.

Gathering Stones

Colleen Beery shared recently a ritual of gathering stones from the places we go on travels during the summer. In the fall, we all bring together our own individual stones and varied waters to the altar, and we create something natural and beautiful. When I watch how FCC San Rafael moves within its community, I…

Real-World Pentecost

Years ago I served as Youth Minister at a Korean Presbyterian Church. One of their traditions was to have an annual contest wherein the youth were challenged to memorize an entire chapter from the Bible with cash prizes for the best recitations. It was the Youth Minister’s job to choose the passage. Even though I had…

Young Change Agents

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (MT 18:2-4) Traditionally, this passage has been interpreted as extolling the childlike virtues…

Our Unfinished National Dialog

As we come to the end of the Lenten season, we approach Easter with great anticipation. I am reflecting on how much has happened since Advent, when the nation was riveted by the events in Ferguson, Missouri, surrounding the death of Michael Brown. On the first Sunday in Advent I preached a sermon in which…

Making Room for Something New

Three weeks ago I found myself again burning dried palm fronds in anticipation of Ash Wednesday. While there are many preparations that a minister may do alone, setting piles of dried leaves ablaze does not seem to be one of them. Each year I have had parishioners—and this year my own children—absolutely fascinated with reducing…

Gift-Wrapped Wisdom

At the 7:00 o’clock service on Christmas Eve, worship took an unexpected turn when the children discovered that the Advent candles were missing and had to follow a series of clues to find them hidden around the sanctuary. I had tried to protect the candles by encasing them in cardboard wrapping paper tubes and then…

Love Is . . .

Earlier this month I had the privilege of spending a weekend at Walker Creek Ranch. On Sunday morning I was walking with my cup of tea toward the next activity and caught sight of a mule deer standing in the tall grass on a hill behind one of the buildings. The deer heard me before…

Lizard Power

My daughter Faye is a lizard whisperer. For as long as I can remember, whenever we have gone camping, Faye has caught lizards. One year, she caught 12 lizards in five days (though technically one of those she caught three times in a row – that one wasn’t very bright). The first time that my…

Celebrating Small Churches

This was a blog entry in March,  2013 by Rev. Ken Barnes, who was serving as our Interim Pastor at that time. It was written at a time when we were re-examining what we believe are our special gifts as a church prior to launching the search for a new settled pastor. (A process that…