Sunday, October 8
Title: Pipe Organ Basics and the History of the SAPC Organ: Estey Opus 2886
Description: While the sound of a pipe organ is a familiar one, the construction and mechanics of the instrument are often a mystery to many of the people who hear it played every Sunday. We will explore how a pipe organ works (hint: it is a giant box of whistles!) and delve into the history of the Estey pipe organ at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church though original correspondence on the building and installation of the instrument, recently obtained from the Estey Museum and Brattleboro Historical Society.
Luba Kravchenko has been on staff at SAPC since 2003 and has served as Director of Liturgical Music since 2007. In addition to her work at SAPC, Luba is an active music teacher in San Francisco. She teaches piano through her private studio, is on the Pre-College piano faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and does musical theater vocal coaching and accompanying through San Francisco Arts Education Project. Luba is also involved in a variety of organizations which promote improving the standards of music education: she is a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and serves on the State Executive Board of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers.
Mary Morganti retired in September 2015 after more than 40 years as an archivist and librarian in San Francisco and Berkeley. Most recently she was the Director of Library & Collections at the California Historical Society; had previously managed manuscripts processing at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library; and began her professional career working in corporate archives. Mary served as archivist as well as the choral & instrumental music librarian at her former parish, and miraculously remains friends with the choir directors and organists she has sung with since the age of 12!
October 15, 22, & 29
Title: Wisdom from the East
Description: For two hundred years, streams of wisdom from Asia have flowed into the Bay Area. Join us as we learn more about these religious traditions and what they can say to us.
Sunday October 15: Hinduism
Sunday October 22: Buddhism
Sunday October 29: Confucianism and Daoism
Steve Carson has an M.Div from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has worked in churches in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. He has years of experience as a public school teacher, which included teaching Asian cultural history. Last year he taught a series here at SAPC on “Christology: Who Do You Say That I Am?” He looks forward to joining us again and engaging these deeply interesting religious traditions.
Title: A Town-Hall Luncheon Meeting with Jack Bethards
Description: Come, have lunch and learn about our organ with Jack Bethards, director of the Schoenstein Organ Company (stewards of the SAPC organ since its installation in 1930), will present an in depth look at the world pipe organs, give updates on the current state of the SAPC organ, and a vision for the possible future of our historical instrument.
Jack Bethards, president and tonal director of Schoenstein & Co. Organ Builders, is internationally known as a pipe organ consultant specializing in evaluating instruments and planning programs for renovations. He is a San Francisco Bay Area native and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a professional musician and is currently active in the American Guild of Organists. He is past president of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America and member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, the International Society of Organbuilders, and the Association Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. He is on the National Council of The Organ Historical Society and serves on the advisory boards of several organ preservation societies. In over 45 years of pipe organ work and research, Mr. Bethards has been a frequent lecturer and contributor of articles to professional journals. A major thrust of his study, including work abroad, has been Romantic organ building in France, Germany, England and America.
November 12, 19 & 26
Title: Looking into Calvin’s Teachings on Creation, Nature & Science
Description: I have little background in John Calvin’s theology. I recognize, though, that I am part of a deeply Calvinist society. He is a cornerstone of the Reformation and a theological foundation for some of our core assumptions as a society. As we face ecological devastation and global warming, how are we influenced by Calvin?
We will discuss some of his teaching on Creation, Nature, and Science. Calvin encourages us to study nature to understand its Maker. At the same time, he warns us that science is of little help in opening up spiritual knowledge. We will look at his principle of accommodation as it relates to scriptural inerrancy. We will puzzle over his sense of an anthropocentric universe made for a now depraved, but still gifted, humanity.
The Rev. Fr. Dale Trunk was a Capuchin Franciscan Friar for 25 years. After ordination, the Order sent him to Rome for graduate study in Franciscan Spirituality. Returning to California, he served as seminary director, hospital chaplain, and associate pastor. In 1998, after cycles of burn-out, he “retired” from the Order and the priesthood. Currently, Dale ministers as a Flight Attendant, spiritual director, and gardener.
December — Advent Retreat — Saturday, December 2 — Mercy Center
Title: Advent: Season of the Unexpected
Description: As we prayed through the Advent texts, we were struck by a sense of the unexpected, the beginning of something new, of unpredictability. There is a search for signs of the times, and an awareness that they could all be missed by lack of attentiveness. John the Baptist appears in the wilderness, seemingly out of nowhere, with a message of repentance and of hope, as he speaks of the one greater who is to come. Mary’s song of praise and courage is filled with sudden wisdom. The appearance of the angel is a surprise that changes Mary’s life, as she says yes to what seems impossible.
Our stories may be less dramatic than those of these texts, but we, too, face the unexpected and unknown. The familiar scriptures and music of Advent and Christmas can open us to new insights, sudden understandings, a new vision or path for our lives. Let us be attentive to the Holy One who walks with us, and be open to God-moments of surprise in this season
Facilitators: The Rev. Jeffrey Gaines is Pastor/Head of Staff of Seventh Avenue Church and has served this community since December 1991. He received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ in 1979 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA in 1975. From 1979-1991 Jeff served First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. From 1995 – 2003 he was also Executive Director of Spiritual Directors International. Jenna Meyers is Associate Pastor at Seventh Avenue having received her Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2015 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA.