Chapel Chat


Squaw Valley Chapel, United Church of Christ

November 21, 2019 

FROM PASTOR JAMES     The history of Squaw Valley as the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics seems to provide an endless source of interesting facts.  For example, did you know that “our” Olympics were the first to use “artificial” ice for speed skating, ice hockey, and figure skating?  As a very “green” measure, the heat generated in maintaining the ice was used to warm spectators, melt snow off the roofs, and even generate hot water!  Also, this was the first Olympic appearance of the biathlon.  There were a LOT of “firsts” at the 1960 winter Olympics.  The United Church of Christ also has a very impressive list of “firsts”.  Follow this link to see some of the highlights: What do you think the next first should be?

POULSEN FUND OPPORTUNITY: It escaped my memory and attention that All Saints’ Day is when we usually encourage gifts to the Poulsen Fund.  We used some of our existing monies in this fund to help with the parking lot project this summer.  We are thankful for this beautiful parking area and will be more so when the snows begin.

It would be wonderful to replenish the fund in these weeks leading up to Thanksgiving both in our gratitude and in memory of our loved ones.  The Wayne and Sandy Poulsen Endowment Fund is a meaningful way  to do this.  Our goal is that when the fund reaches $100,000, it will generate capital to enhance the ministry of the chapel and benefit the spiritual life of the Squaw Valley community.  There are envelopes for this special donation on the chapel entry table.  Thank you!

TINTABULATIONS IS COMING TO SVC!  You and all your friends are invited to ring in your yuletide celebrations with Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble on Saturday, December 14th at 2:00 pm.  Fourteen talented musicians dressed in black, highlighted with a touch of green, all stand behind 30 feet of tables laden with 120 glistening bronze bells and chimes.  The real magic begins with the first down beat of the baton by director Barb Walsh, when the bells energetically and sensitively begin soaring through the air resulting in a memorable, enchanting musical experience.  A suggested $10 free-will offering is gratefully accepted.

CHRISTMAS SMILE SPAGHETTI DINNER: Alice has been working with the Ski Corp with the goal of SVC hosting a group of international ski workers for a Christmas dinner and gift giving.  We’re accepting donations of warm gloves, scarves, mittens, and hats for these young adults who are working away from home this winter.  We’ll come together in the afternoon to prepare our world-famous spaghetti dinner and then give them a genuine Squaw Valley welcome complete with food, singing, and gifts!  The date is still to be determined so please think about how you can participate as we’ll need help with preparation and setup, cooking, serving, leading carols, and cleanup.

THE BEST THING TO DO:  The Sonoma County Kincade Fire is now 100% contained and “finalized” thanks to more cooperative weather conditions and a tremendous effort by firefighters.  374 structures were lost and our friends at the UCC Church in Sonoma are helping…and asking for our help. They say, “The best thing people can do is purchase gift cards (i.e. Visa) in increments of $25 or $50 dollars and send them to the First Congregational Church of Sonoma at 252 West Spain St. Sonoma, CA  95476. We will make sure they get to the families most affected.”  I hope we can show them some Squaw Valley love because we all know this same thing can easily happen at any time in any place and we get through these things best when we all come together as community. Thank you!

PLEDGE SUPPORT – It’s that time of year when we reach out to our friends and members of Squaw Valley Chapel for pledges of financial support for the coming year.  We always hope that you will make offerings to Squaw Valley Chapel as an expression of your gratitude for God’s gifts to you and as a reflection of your hopes for SVC.  We ask for pledges because they help us plan our budget for the coming year.  The majority of our gifts come from pledges so this is the foundation of our planning for 2020.  This planning is very important to our leadership so we can work toward a strong and healthy future.  “Unpledged giving” is always welcome; and it always enhances our basic budget.

Please prayerfully consider a pledge and use (print) the form below to communicate your intentions to the Finance Committee by dropping them in the offering plate.  We will have printed forms in the narthex where you pick up bulletins and make out name tags.

If you have any questions, please speak with Pastor James or Marilyn Sunnergren.  Thank you in advance!

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I/we intend to support the Squaw Valley Chapel during calendar year 2020 as follows:

$________________________ Annually  (or)  $__________________Monthly  (or)

Other payment schedule_______________________

It is understood this is not a legally binding pledge, and may be decreased or increased

as donor’s circumstances warrant at donor’s option.


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THANKSGIVING POTLUCK!  People are talking and everyone seems to like this idea…so…we’re going to have a “Left-Over Potluck” on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  This will be December 1st and it will be nice to get together over lunch just for fun.  No business meeting attached!

IT’S THE HUNGRY SEASON FOR LOTS OF OUR NEIGHBORS: please remember to bring donations for Sierra Community House and MANA!  Winter is a tough season in our area to live in hunger.  These are the kinds of donations that will help:

  • Healthy, non-perishable foods
  • Items with intact, unopened, consumer or commercial packaging
  • Items with non-breakable packaging (no glass, please)
  • Food within the expiration date on the packaging
  • Food from your community or backyard garden         Thank You!


Many thanks to these people for helping with worship on Sunday, November 24:

Scripture Reading:  Open

Refreshments:  Kris Scholz

Greeters:  Everyone!

FROM JOANNE DOMINGUE:   “My dear Squaw Valley Chapel Friends.  You all take the cake!  Thank you so much for the darling Snoopy get-well card.  What a lift to see all your notes and love-wishes and hugs.  I am in week 6 of my three months of wearing my awkward head/neck brace, but my neurosurgeon is pleased and might start weaning me off the brace before Thanksgiving.  Thank you again for the group card and lovely photo of the sanctuary.  Love and Hugs, Joanne”  (dated 11/1)

Art and Joanne’s address is 144 So. Third Street,  #240, San Jose, California  95112

PRAYERS: Please continue your prayers for; Carol Keim,  Bill and Susie Steele, Emily Miller, Sharon Poland, Diane Morrison, Gail and Bob Okano,  Gisela Steiner, Jan Brougher, Peggy Wiseman, Joanne Domingue, Grace and Ted Norgard, Hannah Halvorsen,  and Pat Castellucci. Thank you!


Sunday Worship, November 24 at 10 a.m.

Sunday, December 1, “Left-Over Potluck” after worship

Thursday, November 28, AA at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 14th, Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble at 2:00 pm

A Prayer Just for This WeekThis week we have a prayer that reflects many of our current personal challenges and our communal faith in the goodness of God.  It is written by Erik Alsgaard, managing editor in the Ministry of Communications for the Baltimore-Washington Conference, UMC. 

Like a person admitted to the emergency room

in need of defibrillation,

you have brought us back from the brink of death, O God.

Even though cancer seeks to remove my hair, my voice,

my strength, my sense of taste,

nothing can remove your love from us, O God.

In the middle of the night, when everything is quiet

and the only sounds are my anxieties and fears

creeping through my veins,

your love sustains us and brings us

through to the morning.

In the middle of the afternoon, when chaos threatens,

and the priorities of our “have-to-dos” and “love-to-dos”

seem mutually exclusive,

your love sustains us and brings us

a sense of purpose and priority.

Does illness praise you, O God? Does death?

No! For you, O God, have removed the bonds

of sin and death, and we will sing your praises forever.  Amen.

Chapel Chat is a weekly publication of the Squaw Valley Chapel, United Church of Christ.  The Chapel is located at 444 Squaw Peak Road, Olympic Valley, CA  96146.  To comment or to ask to be added or removed from the e-mail list, please contact Dave and Rita Holtebeck at or call 530-587-5086.  OR……….Pastor James Kosko: