January 31, 2017

Dear LABC,

It was an important Sunday at LABC. We honored the generations that make up our church family. We conducted essential business. We formally committed ourselves to live out the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger.

The coming Sundays of African-American History Month  also promise to be important as we lift up the theme of “Welcome the Stranger.” This week, as we celebrate Communion, Gerry Grosz will be our guest musician and Priscilla Eppinger, the Director of the American Baptist Historical Society, will bring greetings.

My sermon, taken from Matthew 5: 13-20, will be “Excuse Me Jesus, Your Jewishness is Showing.” The sermon begins – To understand a person we do well to search out the forces that shape and shaped them. This is why African-American History Month matters – it brings to light neglected, ignored and forgotten forces that shaped, and shape, us. In today’s Scripture we are taught that even though there are influential voices that would like us to ignore it, Jesus was Jewish and that identity, particularly the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament) shaped him, formed him, guided him and directed him. Jesus embraced the teachings of the law and the prophets, especially those that made it clear that the needs of the most vulnerable members of society matter greatly. Among those teachings is our church’s theme text for this year, Deuteronomy 10: 17-19 which instructs us to “love the stranger.”

I understand that the Coffee Hour that follows worship might be pretty good as well.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The President, the Congress and the Cabinet. May they govern justly.
  • All who are grieving
  • Carol Norris as she cares for her brother, Chris
  • Jo Robinson (surgery delayed until March)
  • Lari Mussati for Lorriane Banks (grieving)
  • Marie Johnson for many family members and friends
  • Joan Thatcher (SNF Piedmont Gardens)
  • Carol Leichter for family and friends
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for family and friends
  • Ann Fields for her daughter Tamera (health), and for the Hepburn family
  • Larry Sims for his family
  • Ted and Doris Evans
  • Daphne Chin (health)
  • Mary Anderson (health)
  • Sandra Dunn (health)
  • James Chuck (health)
  • Skip Keller for his father, Lou (SNF Baywood, Castro Valley)
  • Rick McKillop for his daughter, Jamie (job concerns)
  • Thanksgiving with LeAnn Flesher as her recuperation progresses
  • All who come to the church for assistance
  • All our homebound members
  • Sydney Webster for all who are in hospice care and their caregivers
  • Warren Parker (Kaiser Hospital, San Leandro)
  • Phillip Martin and Cameron Wilson for Phillip’s uncle, Mike
  • Jim Dorr (health)
  • Kay Baxter for Stacey (housing)
  • Mary Karne for Maryla (health)
  • Zondra Martin for her family
  • Margaret Oladoja
  • All who had their lives thrown into turmoil by last week’s Presidential Executive Orders
  • Jeanne Robinson and all who are counting the homeless in Alameda County and for those who are being counted
  • Chuck Johnston for Nancy Strange and Ted
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of The Reverend Dr. Ted Sandberg as he retires as the Pastor at FBC Chico
  • Toni Daniels and family
  • Thanksgiving for the work of the American Baptist Historical Society
  • Thanksgiving with Innocent Osajindu on a good trip to Nigeria
  • The Reverend Ron Swisher, former pastor of Taylor United Methodist Church, as he mourns the death of his mother

Announcements

Photo Wall Update – If you have an updated photo of your family for the photo wall in the Family Room, please email it to Allison@labcoakland.org. Jim Jeffrey will also be available to take new photos after church.