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December 2006
Rev. Celeste Shakti Hill

Acts of Grace
This issue's Good News is about "individual acts of grace." Sometimes we can look at those doing good in the world and think, "But I am just one person. What can I do? I am no Rock Star, or Gazillionaire." These stories demonstrate that it does not matter what we do for a living, we all can make a difference.
Enjoy these stories, and see if they spark any ideas for the upcoming Holiday Season.
The accumulation of small, optimistic acts produces quality in our culture and in your life. Our culture resonates in tense times to individual acts of grace. -- Jennifer James

Neighbors contain potentially deadly fire (From Sept. Village Life)
Low humidity combined with gusty winds in early autumn make the Sierra foothills a place of high fire danger. And many a fire starts by accident. This particular autumn day, Ryan Itza was using a riding lawnmower to mow down the dry grass on property off Salmon Falls Road. His mower blade hit a rock, and the flames started. He jumped off the mower and tried to stomp the fire out, but to no avail, so he ran to his truck, where he had three gallons of drinking water. He dumped them on the fire, along with dirt, trying to keep it from building and getting away. But the wind was his enemy, and the fire grew.
Ann Musso of Folsom was driving by on Salmon Falls Road, saw what was happening and stopped to lend a hand. Musso pitched in, scooping up dirt in her hands to throw on the flames. Several other neighbors jumped in to try and keep the fire from spreading. Their efforts meant the difference between the fire department putting out a 75 foot fire, and one, just a few hours later that same day, which burned about 150 acres.
"I just did it," said Ann. "You just go and you do it. I always say, 'pay it forward you never know when you'll need help."

Inspiring Charity Among the Faithful
Pastor Gary Marzolf had a plan, an idea he got from the book "The Kingdom Assignment." On a Sunday last fall, he asked for 50 volunteers from his church in Iowa, to come up to the altar. "They were shocked that I was handing out $100 bills," Marzolf said, "because this is not something the church normally does, to give away money." Members were told to use the money to do something good, then they had to come back and report what they did.
In wide-ranging ways people used the money to reach out to those in need including a battered women's shelter, foster children moving to new homes, and even random strangers in line at the supermarket! Those involved in the project say it has changed them, prompting them to reassess their place in the world. Adding, "I want to do more for people." Marzolf believes the church's $5,000 investment has been paid back to his volunteers and to the community 10 times over.
"All of my hopes and dreams of how this would go were fulfilled," he said. "All of my expectations were met. And I think that God has really blessed our church through this."

Check out this Book
I recently purchased this great book "the Difference a Day Makes, 365 Ways to Change Your World in Just 24 Hours", by Karen M. Jones. This book brings together many ideas and resources that can empower all of us to be part of the change. It is a great "idea" and "action" book!
It is not enough to be compassionate; you must act. The Dalai Lama
#137 Attend a play, listen to music, or go to a dance performance by artists whose race or ethnicity is different from your own.
#194 Seniors are a frequent target of telemarketing harassment and scams. Register a senior for the National Do Not Call registry; visit or call 888-382-1222.
#354 Shop at an online charity mall, where up to 27 percent of your online purchases from hundreds of familiar merchants such as Barnes & Noble, Eddie Bauer, and others, goes to support the cause of your choice. Enter "charity malls" into your Web search engine or try,, or


Sacred You!
P.O. Box 974 • Placerville, CA 95667

Phone: 530-295-7264  


  Fax: 530-626-7067