In August I will preach a three sermon series from the Gospel of John titled “Dangerous, But Life-Giving Verses.” This title is an adaption of the title of a sermon Dale Edmondson delivered on August 20, 2006, “Dangerous, But Life-Giving Book.” In that sermon he reminded us that while the Bible can be dangerous – “used to support wars and slavery and colonialism and racial prejudice and exploitation of women and denunciation of gay and lesbian people,” it is also life-giving, a book of beauty and heritage, a book which connects us with God’s unfolding story, a book in which we truly encounter the living God.
The three verses I will call to our attention in this series are: John 3:16, John 8:7 and John 14:6. These well known verses are dangerous. When misused they can truncate our faith, make us indifferent to evil and allow us to be judgmental of others. They are also life-giving for when embraced in all their splendor they connect us to source of abundant life, they direct us in the paths of justice, and they make us more appreciative of our fellow travelers on the Way.
This Sunday I will preach from John 3:16. The verse reads, “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” This verse is dangerous when it makes us think the essence of our faith is escape; that Jesus’ primary invitation was to give mental assent to the belief that he is the Son of God with the promise that we when we do this we are guaranteed safe passage to heaven where we will live without worry forever. This verse becomes life-giving when we understand that we find abundant life in the here and now as we believe in him which we do by following his direction, by emulating his life and by honoring his God.
Also on Sunday, The Reverend Dr. Jim Kitchens, who will be leading us in our Long Range Planning process this fall, will be with us to bring greetings and to get acquainted with us during the Forum. I am very much looking forward to the ways in which we will be the beneficiaries of his expertise. I am confident that you will enjoy getting to know him.
The Prayers of the Congregation
- Rick McKillop for his mom and dad (health concerns)
- Rafael Soto and Sarah Sanchez for Sarah’s family all those effected by, and all those fighting, the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur
- Edie Parrot (Bancroft Convalescent Hospital)
- Mary Karne for her daughter, Maryla
- Sharon Gordon for Louis Greer and Herman Frazier
- Katrina Lau (health concerns)
- Thanksgiving for the ministry of Church Women United
- Thanksgiving for the needed work of Exhale ProVoice
- The homeless residents of Oakland and those who minister to them
- Thanksgiving for the ministry of the American Baptist Seminary of the West
- Margaret Alexander as she cares for her family
- Kay Baxter for Stacey, Jamie and herself
- Alice Edmondson, George Harper and Linda Rae Hardwick (cataract surgery and recuperation)
- Abe Cirimele, Marleigh Leaks and Charlene Wolf as they recuperate from oral surgery
- Ted and Doris Evans and family
- Warren and Camille Parker and family
- John and Jo Giles for John’s brother (hospice care)
- Charlotte Myers for her sister Myrna (hospice care)
- Gloria Meads for Sarah and her baby-to-be and June (health concerns)
- Jennifer Pancoe for the family and friends of the victims of the medical flight crash in Humboldt County
- Tuck and Jayne Chin and Virginia Damretzky as they settle into their new homes
- Thanksgiving with Mikki Boyd that her mom is recuperating well after a fall
- Thanksgiving with (and for) Rae Rita Thompson on her 15th anniversary as Director of our Lakeshore Children’s Center
- Thanksgiving for the Lakeshore representatives serving in New Orleans: Pastor Tanner, Sheila Sims, Amber Picou-Broadnax, Whitley Joachim, Paul Keener, Carla Keener, Rachael Sims, Mariel Paul, Channing Nesbitt, Julian Nesbitt, Josh Ross, Rose Cinco, Maya Broadnax, Chukwuemeka (Micheal) Osajindu and Tobichekwu (Toby) Osajindu. Allison is celebrating her birthday today and in the Coffee Hour on Sunday!
Opportunities This Week
Wednesday, August 3rd
Bible Study and Prayer, 10:00 a.m. in Library. The Reverend Greg Sneller, Development Representative for American Baptist International Ministries will be our Bible Study leader.
Friday, August 5th
Church Women United Human Rights Conference, 9:00-2:00 in Sanctuary and Family Room.
Sunday, August 7th
Payday Loans, the Panama Papers and Poverty
A Conversation with Jubilee USA’s Andrew Hanauer
Skyline Community Church
12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland
11:30 – Free Brunch
12:30 – Presentation and Conversation
Please RSVP to Aina Krupinski-Puig at firstname.lastname@example.org