August 31, 2018

Four Invitations to the LABC Community:

  1. Homecoming Sunday will be September 17. Come for worship (our own John Giles will preach) and stay for lunch. At the luncheon, our Long Range Planning Committee will present the long-awaited Long Range Plan which grows out of almost two years of discussion, discernment and diligent listening. The plan consists of Provocative Proposals in the areas of Communication, Welcome, Social Justice, Christian Formation, Worship and Evangelism. Each proposal is supported by two Smart Goals and a timeline for implementation. I have found the process of writing this plan to be encouraging and invigorating. I trust that you will find the plan worthy of taking to heart. Beyond being present at Homecoming when the plan is presented, my invitation to each of us is to consider which of the proposals speak directly to us and leave us saying “I want to be a part of making that happen.”
  2. Bible Study is a time honored way of listening for God and to each other. Please be part of one of our studies this fall. The main Bible Study options at LABC are: The Adult Bible Class, which meets in the Library on Sunday following Coffee Hour; Soup and Study, which meets in the Family Room on Tuesday evening with a light supper served at 6:00 and study from 6:30- 7:30; and Prayer and Bible Study, which meets in the Library on Wednesday morning at 10:30. At both Soup and Study and Prayer and Bible Study, we will be engaged in a close reading of the lectionary texts for the coming Sunday. As a way of showing love and appreciation for the leadership of David and Carol Bartlett, as David continues his long recuperation from a traumatic brain injury, I will be preaching from the lectionary this fall. (David both practiced preaching from the lectionary and published a lectionary based commentary, Feasting on the Word.) At both studies we ask what the biblical texts have to say to us and what we have to say to the biblical texts.
  3. I am honored to have been asked by two local pastors to speak at important events in the life of their congregations. The Reverend Dr. Kenneth Anderson of Williams Chapel Baptist Church has asked me to be the keynote speaker at his anniversary dinner on Sunday afternoon, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. It would be great if LABC could fill a table. The Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith Jr., of Allen Temple Baptist Church, has asked me to preach at their annual revival on Monday evening, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. The LABC Handbell Ensemble will play and I have asked the Voices of Lakeshore to sing. The Allen Temple revival theme is “Celebrating the Beloved Community.” Again, your supportive presence would mean much.
  4. In these days when, even in the Bay Area, the voices of white supremacy are loud and abundant, we need to heed the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16 to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Honestly, I am torn in terms of what strategy is the most effective in resisting these hateful voices. The options range from “ignore them and thus deny them a platform” to “show up wherever they show up and peacefully represent the way of Jesus.” There likely is not a one-size fits all answer to this concern, but I urge you to consider what your, and our, response should be and let me know how you are being led.

Peace,

Jim H.

Note: The Long Range Plan can be found on the LABC website in the section Who We Are.