Category Archives: Recent Events

2021 Graduation Procession

Champion bagpiper Fred Payne led the procession of PhD graduates through the Elmwood, followed by Dr. Polly Coote, Board Member and Residents Relations chair woman of the Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes and the Rev. Doctor Max Lynn of St. John’s Presbyterian Church who was the graduation keynote speaker.The 2021 graduates receiving their PhDs were Ki Wook Min, from Korea and Myoung-ho Sin, from Germany/Korea.  Also receiving their PhD degrees from the Mission Homes were Jaesung Ryu who attended the virtual graduation program from Korea and Mariska Lauterboom who participated from Indonesia.  Also in this festive parade was Dr. Levi Checkett, also a Mission Homes resident who received the Virgina Hadsell Global Faith Leadership Award this year. Levi will be leaving BPMH to take a tenure track position at the Baptist University of Hong Kong. Due to COVID 19, this was the second year in a row that graduates from the GTU were denied the joy of the usual pomp and circumstance at graduation time.  In light of that, Mission Homes director, the Rev. Sally Juarez wanted to create a memorable occasion for these students at the culmination of their long hard academic journey.  The goal was to create some “hoop-la!” and the procession, joined by family and friends, certainly didRead the Rest…

Dharma & Arts – Sacred Dance

Sacred Dance artists, Landy Lalita performs the sacred dances that are a part of her own Buddhist practice.  She is applying to the GTU as well as other schools to do PhD in Dharmic studies.  A native of Taiwan, Landy was a resident at BPMH from May 2020 until January January 2021.  


OUR BPMH GRADUATION EVENT WRAP-UP Saturday, May 30th was a bright and happy day in our hearts, if not in the sky as we honored our BPMH graduates.  From our two youngest, Makaria and Timmy, leaving pre-school and making the important transition to kindergarten, to our MAs, Sharma and Saad, and Peter our Doctor in Christian Counseling to our proud PhDs, Sukhun and Pasesa, honoring these seven was a joyful experience.  We were grateful to Dr. Chai Motupalli (our very own dear Chai) for his thoughtful and timely message to the graduates.  Grateful too to each of those graduates who made such inspiring and wise comments at their journeys end.  All of the participants in the program, Polly and Art and Sally held the hope that they helped to create something of a fond memory for our graduates in this 2020 year of Covid-19.  There is no punctuation mark more fun than a bagpipe procession.  That will be a fond memory for us all to enjoy for years to come!

BPMH Abrahamic Christmas Party 2019

Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes had a Christmas party on December 23rd. Potluck dinner, Scripture reading in various languages, Singing Christmas Hymns, and Fellowship made great party for the community. We deeply thank Mark Coplan for his talent, time, and service as a photographer and video editor for the event. You can visit the website using the link. For the video clip for “Silent Night” singing, please click the link below. (Password: mission)


Climate change is a moral challenge that affects all people especially the most vulnerable which often suffer its effects first and most harsh. According to the United Nations “There is alarming evidence that important tipping points, leading to irreversible changes in major ecosystems and the planetary climate system, may already have been reached or passed.” Our faith, our planet, our responsibility aptly sums up our December 11, 2019 event at Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes (BPMH) led by Liore Milgrom-Gartner, Director of the Northern California chapter of California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL), a network of religious communities in California committed to addressing global warming with affiliates across America. During the event, residents discussed environmental stewardship, conservation and the effects of global warming, shared their personal experiences as well learned how religious congregations were engaging in energy and water conservation, making environmentally friendly improvements to their houses of worship, holding training programs and lobbying the government for stronger climate policies and investments in renewable energy. It was an evening of inspiration motivating us to move forward as moral and ethical stewards of the Earth that God has entrusted to us, here on campus, in our faith congregations, communities and the world at large. To find outRead the Rest…


On Saturday, September 7, the Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes held it annual kick off event….The Ice Cream Social.Meeting on the grassy area between it’s two large houses, House A and the Bill Ng House (House B) residents gathered to make ice creamsundaes and ice cream cones. New residents in the Community were introduced.  The coolness of the day kept the socializing to a minimum,but the Community all reassembled later that evening for the “Town Meeting.”  There are currently 51 people living at the Mission Homes.

BPMH Graduation BBQ Party

The BPMH Community of residents, Board members and Volunteers gathered on Saturday, June 1 for its annual graduation party and BBQ. This year, most of the graduates were the children (sons) of residents: Shan Shan Kashung, son of Johnny and Soyaphy and Erik Ko, son of Yong Kook and Hyun-Jung. Both boys are graduating from pre-school and looking forward to being kindergarteners in the fall. Also Ramaiah Sapolu makes the big move, graduating from elementary school and heading to middle school.We also said congratulation to Lia Rochill, who completed her M Div degree at ABSW and plans to continue on to get her D Min degree.The community also applauded the announcement of this year’s Virginia Hadsell Global Leadership Scholarship, awarded to Linna Gunawan from Indonesia. The party was a fun event with lots of great food, emphasizing the importance of eating a plant-based diet, hence, the BBQ black bean burgers!  Well, yes, there was some BBQ chicken too, but at least we got started on reducing our carbon footprint. BPMH will continue to work on this new emphasis at all official community events. This summer BPMH Executive Director, Rev. Sally Juarez, will attend the national conference of Presbyterians for EarthRead the Rest…

Multi-faith Program during Intercession

Hungarian goulash was the featured entre at the dinner that preceded the presentation by Lehel Molnar, archivist for the Unitarian church in Transylvania. While living and working in Romania, Reverend Molnar is Hungarian and so the meal was designed to honor his country and please his palate.   The Rev. Lehel Molnar who has served for more than 20 years as Archivist for the Hungarian Unitarian Church in Kolozsvar, Romania, was the guest presenter at a BPMH Multi-faith Program on Wednesday night, January 23.  Rev. Molnar is spending a year at Starr King School for the Ministry as this year’s Balazs Scholar. In his presentation, he described the persecution that Unitarians endured during the Counter-reformation and under 20th century Communism. He described the digitization of the historic Unitarian documents that is now taking place under his direction and he summarized the key features of the Unitarian faith tradition.  

Epiphany Party on Jan 5

The Berkeley Presbyterian Missions Homes community gathered on January 5 to culminate the holiday season with an Epiphany party that included a sumptuous pot luck dinner, a beautiful service of lessons and carols featuring the Epiphany story, the “gift game” and the cutting and serving of a tres leche cake, complete with the baby (3) Jesus baked into the batter. It was a marvelous party for adults and children alike.  

Multi-Faith Program (10/21) and Birthday Party (10/28)

The BPMH had its first multi-faith program last Friday (Oct. 19th). We had special Egyptian meal and a presentation. Koshary is Egypt’s national dish. It can be found in hipster restaurants in urban cities, simple village homes and street carts. The dish is vegetarian and is composed rice, lentils, pasta and chick peas topped with a spicy tomato sauce and fried onions.  Pictured here is Medhat Mahmoud who was not only the presenter for the first Multifaith program of the semester, but he was also the chef who prepared this delicious meal.  The secret is in the sauce!  Fantastic!  This culinary experience was Medhat’s treat….a gift to the community.   Medhat discussed the political climate in Egypt, past and present, recounting the solidarity between Christians and Muslims during the tumultuous and violent Egyptian Revolution that unfolded on January 25, 2011 in Tahrir Square.  He unpacked the affects of the Mubarak’s presidency and how it has impacted Egyptian society and politics. The presentation stimulated a lot of conversation about how change happens and the need for it in the world today.   There was a birthday party on November 28th. The party to which all of the children of the BPMH community were invited, was for Evelin Ryu (5)Read the Rest…