Archive for April 2012
(Many thanks to the family of Peggy Newman for sharing
this story of Peggy’s life with us)
Margaret (Peggy Lou) Doxsee Newman
July 23, 1921 – March 24, 2012
Peggy Newman, life-long resident of Redwood City, died on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the age of 90. She was preceded in death by her husband, John E. Newman, six months prior. Peggy had just returned to her home after spending the last few months visiting her daughters. Her roots ran deep for the Redwood City area having lived her entire life in only 3 houses that were all within 2 miles of each other.
During her lifetime she saw many changes to the Peninsula and she was often called upon as a historian to help with local articles and books about the area. Peggy’s families were all active in Redwood City as was she. Her maternal grandfather, Rev. C. H. Stevens, was a minister for the 1st Congregational Church of Redwood City, where Peggy continued as an active member until her death. Her father, Wilbur H. Doxsee, coined Redwood City’s slogan “Climate Best by Government Test”, was involved in securing the current site for the local YMCA, and was instrumental in guiding the family business (San Mateo County Title – now First American) through the Depression.
Peggy graduated from Sequoia High School in 1938 where she was a member of the Treble Clef Singers. She attended San Jose State, transferred to University of Oregon in 1940, but moved home when WWII broke out. She graduated from UCLA in 1943 with a BA degree focusing on early childhood education.
When Peggy married John E. Newman on October 19, 1947, they moved into the adobe home with tile roof they built in Palomar Park, residing there 64 years until their deaths. Peggy spent her life taking care of others, raising a family and tending to her home and garden, which she loved. She was a charter member of the Palomar Park Garden Club, which began in 1948, and served in many different capacities for this club during her years “living on the hill”.
Peggy Newman is survived by her children: son John M. Newman and wife Maritxu of Antioch, daughter Nancy N. McKenzie and husband David of Auburn, and daughter Janet L. Sclar and husband Tracy of Hydesville. Peggy also has two grandsons, Jimmy & Tommy McKenzie of Auburn. Peggy is also survived by her sister-in-law, Kitty Newman, niece Tish Busselle (Jim) of San Mateo, nephew John H. Newman (Nancy) of San Carlos, nephew-in-law Larry Abramson of Washington DC, and their families. Peggy was preceded in death by her husband John, her brother, Clarence (Bud) Doxsee, her brother in-law, Al W. Newman and her niece, Caroline Newman.
Peggy had a true love of the area and its history, her home, her family, her neighbors and her friends. She never stopped learning, or being involved, and was a true role model for all with her caring heart and acceptance of everyone. She will long be remembered for her handwritten notes and cards that she so freely shared with others.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Peggy’s life on
Saturday, May 19th
Community United Congregational Church
1336 Arroyo Street
While Peggy supported many charitable organizations and groups, the family suggests donations made in her memory to:
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700
San Francisco, CA 94104
PO Box 2770
Orange, CA 92859
The young college girls were nervous. They had been granted a private audience with the Dalai Lama, an opportunity of a lifetime. They had been offered thirty minutes to meet with him, and his secretary suggested that they come with threequestions they would like to pose. They struggled over the questions and finally arrived at three. When they joined him in his receiving parlor, they found that the conversation was free flowing and interesting, many more questions wereanswered and asked, and the give and take was rich. It was a question that they did not arrive with, however, that would shape their experience forever. As they were leaving, the Dalai Lama took each girl by the hand and asked this question:
“How will you live your life in a way that makes the world more compassionate?”
I thought of his question again when I was reading in preparation for Easter this year. According to Corrine Ware, Jesus’ question to his followers was not: ”How do we start a new church?” He did not intend to start a new religion. He was rooted and committed to the Judaism of his time and place, and new institutions didn’t interest him. So what was Jesus asking?
Here are Ware’s thoughts: ”What did Jesus want to accomplish? He preached about inner change. His agenda was transformation; his activity was lived-out compassion. Hebrew scripture speaks of God as being compassionate as well as being holy. And Jesus placed his weight on the compassion of God. ’Be compassionate, ever as your Father is compassionate’ (Luke 6:36). His stories told about a prodigal son and the father who ‘had compassion,’ the Good Samaritan who ‘showed compassion,’ and the unmerciful servant who did not. He healed on the Sabbath out of compassion and felt his action took precedence over any other consideration.”
(Discover Your Spiritual Type, 1995, Alban Institute)
In short, Jesus’ question to those who joined his movement was almost the same as the Dalai Lama’s two thousand years later: What are you doing with your life to make the world a more compassionate place?
As we continue with our plans and our lives, let’s not forget that essential question, the main witness of Jesus’ life and death. Let’s write that question on a notecard and put it in our wallets; let’s tape it to our refrigerators; let’s take it into our voting booths; let’s pray it every morning. Jesus came not just to model compassion but to transform the world through the compassionate actions of his followers.
What are you doing with your life — what are we doing with our shared life — to make the world a more compassionate place? That’s the question.
This weeks message comes to us from Richard Southern of Church Development Systems. The “how” of connection seems pertinent as we move toward finding our new Direction:
Many best selling books focus on the power of now, but there’s another power, important to every spiritual community. It’s the power of how.
Churches should focus on how to connect with others, how to grow together spiritually, how to create and strengthen community. In terms of contemporary technology, we need “apps,” applications, of the values we have and uphold. We need ways of teaching and sharing those values. Perhaps this is why Jesus was asked to teach us how to pray. His teaching, his “app,” became the most famous prayer of all time–the Prayer of Jesus, the Lord’s Prayer, found in the Gospel of Matthew.
In Matthew, Jesus instructs us to pray according to a process laid out in the prayer. The Lord’s prayer is a guideline on how to pray.
In our complex contemporary world, people are still asking the same question-not only how to pray, but how to live the truth we see.
It’s still a good question. What’s your answer?
All over the world, Christians are preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We have walked the Lenten journey together, many of us sharing in reflection and bible study through our Lenten devotionals. We have sung the songs and prayed the prayers of our faith, as we’ve sought to look compassionately and realistically at our lives. Now we head toward Easter, the culmination of all our preparations.
But we have a dilemma. What does “resurrection” really mean to us today? We are often torn between seeing resurrection as something that happened to Jesus long ago, and looking ahead to our own resurrection at the time of our death. In either of these cases, resurrection is seen as something that happens to someone — to Jesus in the past and to us in the future. What if we also thought of resurrection as a present reality and as a verb: as something we do. Resurrection could become for us a choice about how to live, a kind of spiritual practice for our lives.
We practice resurrection whenever we choose to bring hope into a situation that seems hopeless. Do you have a friend or family member who is depressed or grieving? Being with them, offering love and acceptance, sharing the resources for help — these things are practicing resurrection. When we recognize and speak up about injustice or unkindness — that is practicing resurrection. Kathie reminded me of the rainbow colored bracelets so many members of this congregation wear in support of LGBT youth. That is a resurrection practice.
Taking an unpopular stand on behalf of those less powerful – that is a resurrection practice.
Giving, serving, loving, challenging unfairness, offering hope — these are all ways of doing resurrection. There is power in the story of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection, even as there is profound hope in the promises of life to come for each of us. But that is not all there is to this story. Resurrection is something we live into every day, every time we choose to act lovingly and hopefully.
May this Easter be an invitation to all of us to actively look for ways to bring new life and joy into a world steeped in death and pain. We are a resurrection people — it’s what we believe and it is what we do. Thanks be to God.
How do you experience resurrection in your life?
Where do you see it happening in the world?
I’d love to hear from you –
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