December 13, 2016

Dear LABC,

Rattling around in my mind as the week begins:

  1. Be still. To sit in our beautiful sanctuary and pray quietly is exactly what I needed on Sunday. Thank you to our Grief and Loss Ministry for leading the Blue Christmas Service.
  2. The great historian of the American religious experience, Marty Marty, recently wrote that the “religionification of hate” is the most important, and most disturbing, religious news story of the year. By this he means that human beings have long found religious reasons a convenient way to justify their ill-will towards those they perceive to be different than themselves and that currently there is a noticeable upsurge in this practice. He closes his essay on the topic by noting the “Three Alases” of philosopher Max Scheler, When things are bad because of the evil in our heritages, he counsels, we can say, “Alas! What did our ancestors do?” It’s important to know that, but we can’t change the past. Scheler’s second one is, “Alas! What have I done?” But that, too, refers to an unchangeable past. The third one, however, looks to the personal, to the present, and to the future: “Alas! What kind of person am I that I am capable of hating other groups?” That question, says Scheler, may lead to a “change of heart,” and a better future. End of sermon. Forward to 2017.
  3. Though we had to cancel the caroling scheduled for December 17 at 4:00 there are still  marvelous opportunities to sing carols on the church calendar. This announcement is from the December Transmitter – Do you enjoy singing? Come, join us in singing classic carols, hymns, anthems simply for the joy of sharing music together. Here are two opportunities during the Advent Season:

    • Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m.  with Stan Fong at the organ in the Sanctuary.
    • Wednesday, January 4, 1 p.m. in the Family Room with Charlene Wolf at the piano.

    If convenient, please let us know if you plan to attend either or both of these times so we can have enough music available. Contact Jan Scott at Richard scott6249@comcast.net or 510.531.9085 or Sandra Lee at sandra.lee12@gmail.com or 510.540.6028. We look forward to joining with you in song!

  4. Paul Keener will be our preacher on the fourth Sunday of Advent. His sermon, taken from Isaiah 7: 10-16, will be “The Signs of Love.” Following worship our children and youth will present this year’s Christmas program “Caroling, Caroling,” Their program is always a joy!
  5. Chief Santa Sheila Sims is still looking for drivers for the Sponsor A Family Gift Delivery on December 22. Please let her know ASAP if you can help.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Larry Hutchings as he mourns the death of his mother,  Ethel
  • Katrina Lau (health)
  • Sandra Dunn (health)
  • Barbara Bowman (health)
  • Joan Thatcher (Piedmont Gardens SNF)
  • Mary Karne for Maryla
  • Kay Baxter for her family
  • Jeanette Paige as she cares for her father
  • Jesse Lucas (health)
  • Rita Jennings (health)
  • Gloria Joseph  (health)
  • Dennis Tanner (health)
  • Carol Leichter for a long-time friend as she cares for her husband
  • Ted and Doris Evans
  • Warren and Camille Parker
  • All who are grieving
  • All who are anxious and worried
  • Todd and Stephanie Hogan (Pastor Jim’s nephew) for their son Christopher
  • The Coptic Christians of Egypt after a deadly attack near their cathedral in Cairo
  • The people of Turkey after a deadly bombing in Istanbul
  • Thanksgiving with Jo and Dave Robinson that she is home following surgery
  • Thanksgiving that Ruth Ann Crawford was with us in worship
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of LABC’s Hunger Task Force
  • Thanksgiving for LABC’s Ministry of Music
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry LABC’s Care Task Force
  • Thanksgiving for the of LABC’s Grief and Loss Ministry