December 9, 2014

Advent Greetings to All,

This coming Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, we will light the candle of joy. The prayer we will say as the candle is lit is:

O Holy One, as Christmas draws near, there is a sense of excitement in the air. We can feel a joy in our lives and see it in those around us. Still, for some us this is a sad time because of unhappy things that have happened in our lives. Help us to find the joy that does not depend on earthly happiness but on you. Help us to be filled with your joy so that we may share it with a hurting world. Amen.

The central Scripture for our worship will be Luke  1:  39-46, the story of Mary visiting Elizabeth. In this text Mary, having learned that she is to be the mother of Jesus,  takes a two or three-day journey from her home in Nazareth to the Judean hill country where her relative Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah reside.

In that time and place travel could be dangerous for anyone (witness the parable of the Good Samaritan) and it appears that Mary, likely still a minor, traveled alone. Thus, the story of Mary, the unaccompanied minor, connects with the story the unaccompanied minors who came to the United States from Mexico and Central America this summer. Like her journey, theirs was both dangerous and hopeful.  Like her, they traveled alone, yet always in the sight and care of God.

These words from Craig Rennebohm, a chaplain to and advocate for, the homeless express well the truth of this week’s Scripture, “We are created for connection. Nothing, ultimately, separates us from one another or from God…The companion is an outward and visible sign of God’s unceasing love for us in every moment of our existence.”

Announcements

A Public Action: Lakeshore Avenue Baptist and Skyline Community Church are inviting their members to participate in a  “Stand and Sing for Justice” this Sunday, December 14,  at 2:00 at the Lincoln Square Shopping Center on Redwood Road in Oakland. All are invited to make signs and stand/sing  with us from 2:00-2:30. Our hope is to both bless our community and to remind it that we have much work to do in the realm of racial justice. We are not requesting permission from the property owners to do this so we don’t know what the reaction will be but we feel it important to bring our faith and values into the marketplace.

Forever Young: “Ready for a little Christmas cheer?  Please come and join Forever Young for our annual Christmas lunch meeting on Saturday December 13, 2014 at 12:30pm. All ages are welcome! Come and enjoy our wonderful food and fellowship.

We will have a healthy and tasty lunch together.  Our program will be our annual Christmas surprise gift exchange, as well as singing a few Christmas songs! To participate in the gift exchange, please bring a new wrapped gift with a minimum value of $10.00, and mark the gift as “men’s”, “women’s” or “anyone”. Please be sure to RSVP by December 8th, as we will be providing a baked ham dinner this month. The suggested donation towards the cost of food and beverages will be $7 per person.

We love to see old friends and make new friends, so please plan to attend! For reservations, please call George Lee at 832-2408, Alodia Corpuz at 530-5743 or Sandra Lee at 612-7533.