December 3, 2013

Advent Greetings,

Thanksgiving week is always inspiring to me.  This year, as in years past, I witnessed first hand the willingness of the LABC family to serve others in  many ways. Thus, a thank you for your caring as demonstrated by your commitment to our Thanksgiving Basket Distribution, by your helping with the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, by welcoming others into your homes, by participating in the Turkey Trot that raised money for the East Bay SPCA, and by making commitments to our Christmas Adopt-A-Family drive. My heart is full.

Sunday was the first day of Advent and, thanks to the efforts of Paige Bence, Karen Hopkins and many others, the Sanctuary and Family Room are now festively decorated for the season. Several of you let me know that you joined me in the fast in support of Pathway to Citizenship legislation. My heart is full.

The biblical text for this coming Sunday, December 8, is Mark 1: 1-15. As we continue our exploration of the opening verses of each of the four gospels we will see that Mark begins his gospel by pointing his readers to the wilderness. John the Baptist preaches in the wilderness. People flock to the wilderness to hear John’s message. Jesus is baptized by John in the wilderness. After being baptized Jesus stays in the wilderness where is tempted by Satan and ministered to by angels. Mark tells us to pay attention to the wilderness for there is more than desolation to be found there. Often, there is consolation, provision, instruction and hope to be found as well.

Prayers of the Congregation

Concerns

  • Marcia Patton, Executive Minister Evergreen Baptist Association, recuperating from surgery
  • Carol Glann for John and Sandy as they grieve
  • George Harper as he mourns the death of his aunt
  • Cecil White for his brother Sam
  • Joan Thatcher
  • Prayers for our students as final exams begin
  • Prayers for all who are traveling
  • Prayers for our shut ins
  • Prayers for all immigrants, especially those fleeing war, famine and devastation
  • Mary Karne for her daughter Maryla
  • Larry Sims for the Sims family
  • President Obama and our nation
  • The next Ceasefire Call-in, at LABC on Wednesday evening December 11
  • The people of the Philippines
  • All who are homeless and all who provide them with safe beds and warm meals
  • Kay Baxter for Stacey (healing), Jamie (volunteer work), and self (peace)
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Carlos and Max
  • Cordia Lee for John, Erica and Elijah Green III, Elysse Green, Alta Bates/Summit Medical Center employees, self
  • Michael Smith, Pastor of McGee Avenue Baptist Church, recuperating from surgery
  • Gary Cooper, long time ABSW Director of Maintenance, recuperating from surgery
  • Fannye Leary
  • Sandra Dunn for her brother in law
  • Steve Hua, health concerns

Celebrations

  • Thanksgiving that Cynthia Taylor was with us in worship
  • Thanksgiving that my brother in law, David Rice, is recuperating well following a heart attack
  • Thanksgiving for the Thanksgiving and Christmas ministries of Lakeshore, for those that serve and those that are served
  • Thanksgiving for the progress that is being made in the global effort to find a cure for AIDS
  • Thanksgiving for the peacemakers  in the Middle East
  • Thanksgiving for ongoing research into the causes of, and cures for, cancer
  • Thanksgiving with all those from around the globe who have gathered in Myanmar (Burma) to honor the 2ooth Anniversary of the arrival of Baptist missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson in that country
  • Thanksgiving that Michael Sumrall is with us for the month of December

Announcements

The result of the congregational vote in regard to the proposed Sanctuary Art Project will be announced following the completion of our worship this coming Sunday.