February 27, 2018

Dear LABC,

Wow. What an outstanding celebration of African American History Month we shared at LABC! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all who played a role.

Now we begin Woman’s History Month with the theme “A Woman’s Place Is in the Pulpit!” Our preacher this Sunday is Pastor Tanner. LeAnn Flesher will preach on March 11.  Sandra Lee will be in the pulpit on March 18.

By plan, or by providence, the American Bible Society Daily Bible Readings this week come from the book of Ruth, a book in which women, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are the lead characters.  These are my daily Twitter (@revjimhop) and Facebook responses to the readings.

Ruth 1 – A constant theme in the long history of families is that the ability to reach across social barriers and include makes them resilient.

Ruth 2 – We  often describe welcoming the stranger as “making a place at the table.” In the story of Ruth the welcome to the stranger took the form of “assuring a safe place to work in the field.”

Ruth 3 – Scholars tells us the biblical text is ambiguous as to the exact nature of the nighttime encounter between Boaz and Ruth. We need not be naïve nor need we assume scandal. What is needed is an appreciation of the fact that Ruth believed that redemption was possible, that hope was not a fantasy.

Ruth 4 – Ruth could have been written off as another one of those “troublesome foreigners,” one of those immigrant women who “overwhelm our systems of support.” Instead, she was seen as a person.  Instead, she is remembered as the great-grandmother of King David.

Prayers of the congregation

  • Margaret Alexander and family as they grieve the death of LaShaya (Margaret’s current plan is to return to Oakland on March 5th)
  • Ken Kirkey, Cliff Chapital and family as they grieve the death of Cliff’s childhood friend, Corey
  • Helen Harrison for friends Duane and Roger as they undergo surgery
  • LCC teachers Joni and Terecita
  • Kay Baxter for Jamie and Stacey
  • Edie Parrott as she settles into St. Paul’s Towers
  • Carolyn Matthews for her daughter Joanna
  • Zondra Martin for Marty
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Doris Evans for her family
  • Alodia Corpuz for her family
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for her family
  • Peggy Rogers-Tamayo for her family
  • Mary Karne for her family
  • Dayle Scott (health)
  • All immigrants, refugees and displaced persons
  • The unhoused of our community
  • Sydney Webster as she preaches at FBC Alameda
  • The ministry of the American Baptist Seminary of the West
  • All who are grieving the death of Evangelist Billy Graham
  • Jessie Lucas as he represents us as part of the Evergreen Baptist Association mission trip to Cap-Hatien on Haiti’s north coast
  • Jo Robinson for the students at her grand-daughter’s school (threat of violence)
  • Chris Schelin as he finishes his dissertation and prepares to defend it on April 23rd
  • Pastor Tanner as she meets with the Hispanic Convencion to discuss sanctuary  and safety
  • The people of Syria
  • The people of  South and North Korea
  • The people of Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and the Middle East