August 26, 2002

BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS are so often what life is all about, as recent events in Sunol attest. Pastor Tom Thresher of Sunol's Little Brown Church is ending his service here and beginning anew at a church just outside Seattle. It was not an easy decision. "A cowboy prophet by the name of Ted came into my life when I was being called to ministry," Tom wrote in the August LBC newsletter. "He had sage wisdom: 'Keep these priorities and you will never go wrong with God or life - God first, family next, then work and ministry.'"

For Tom and his wife, Charyl, family definitely comes before any other worldly endeavor. "Despite the church's generosity and best efforts, my family and I have not been able to work out a balance that will allow us to stay," Tom explained. In order to afford their commitment to have Charyl be an at-home mom to their two young daughters, and faced with East Bay housing costs, the family moved to Manteca when Tom became Pastor.

Although he had a 50-mile commute each way, it was the psychological distance from the church that became a problem for Tom. The distance made it impossible for him to be part of this community and to serve the congregation in the day-to-day supportive ways he would have liked. In Washington, the Threshers have purchased a home in the countryside, just a few miles from Tom's new church.

"I want to be very clear that I am not leaving for any reasons having to do with the congregation or the church," he concluded. "You are a wonderful, strong and committed congregation and you will always be in my heart." Best wishes for a happy, healthy and fulfilling life in Washington to Tom and his family. Stay in touch!

MORE ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS: The Sunol Repertory Theatre group met on August 17 at the home of Derek Johnson and Lynn Kozma. It is an SRT tradition to meet each summer and make the transition from one theater season to the next. And of course, we eat, drink, applaud each other and laugh a lot. After all, this is a group dedicated to entertaining!

Diane Tiessen, who served as Producer for the 2002 season, led the meeting, introducing "Lost in the Villain's Gaze" writer and director, Tom Harland. "I enjoyed every single night of the play, sitting in the back of the auditorium," he said. "Of course it was different each time," he teased. As author of the play, Tom was amazed at the difference between chuckling to himself while writing it and seeing and hearing it performed. He thanked everyone for their many efforts in making his play come to life, and made us all very happy by announcing he is working on a sequel.

The 21st season of SRT was a successful one, and we were all pleased to be able to ratify a donation to Sunol Glen School of $6,000. The money, which Diane and Patti Balch presented to the school board at their meeting Tuesday, will go toward continuing the arts program SRT seed money made possible last year.

When one SRT season wraps, the next begins. The board of directors for the 2003 season was elected and Diane will once again do her producing magic, with help from Treasurer Louise Throop, Secretary Phil Mumford, Costume and Set Director Patti Balch, and Technical Director Derek Johnson. And I get to be Member-at-Large for the SRT's 22nd season, which means I get to break voting ties and try to lasso in some new thespians. Phil Mumford will also take on the helm of our next production as Director. We'll be having a meeting in October open to anyone interested in playing with us, um, I mean being in the play, so watch out, um, I mean watch for the date!

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