July 2, 2013

In all likelihood the prayers of many us are with the families of 19 firefighters who died fighting a blaze in Arizona on Sunday, the families of the young men killed at the Wingstop Restaurant on Lake Park Avenue, and for a settlement to the BART strike which can so easily make life so miserable for so many.

I try to begin the day with this simple prayer, “Loving God, help me to be a blessing to someone today. For my family I pray safety. For my enemies, grace. For the world, peace. It is my intent to live both mindfully and gratefully. Amen.” I trust that included in my prayer is concern for the often heart rending, frequently vexing and ever changing concerns of the world as well as an abiding trust in the many mercies of the Holy One. I trust that included in my prayer is concern for the shattered families of Prescott, Arizona, the violence racked communities we call home as well as for the stressed and anxious citizens of the Bay Area.

This Sunday my sermon is titled “Are You Sure You Want To Go There?” Building on Paul’s words in Galatians 6:15,”For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!”, I will try to help us understand why the battle over the importance of circumcision, which raged in the churches of the first Christian century, mattered then and matters now. Paul clearly believed that the very essence of our faith would be shaped by the way the battle was decided.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Prayers for those whose bodies need strength and healing – Bette Pancoe (Home!), Sybil Alexander, Charlotte Evans, Doris and Ted Evans, Steve Leichter (Home!), Angelique Gollinger, Sandra Dunn, David Broadnax, George Lee for Sylvia, George and Sylvia for their neighbor Ying, Edna Dorenzo, Virginia Damretzky, Al Johnson, Jamie Reid, Rae Rita Thompson’s father, Celestine Bennett’s son Richard, Jim Jeffery, Jeanne Robinson for Linda Ng, Cynthia Nelson, Kimberly Williams for her father, Larry and Darnell Sims for their co-worker George, Joan Thatcher, Beth Rice (my sister), Bonnie Sato for Trish -her grandchilren’s caregiver, Alean Saunders-Coffey for her neighbor, Myra Saxton for her sister and her neighbor, Mary Alice and Abe Cirimele for Sal Tedesco, Jewelle Gibbs for her sister Mauryne, Sheila Sims
  • Prayers for those who are aging and their loved ones who care for them – Sandra Dunn for her father, Theresako Harris for her aunt, Larry Hutchings for his mother, Marc Harrison for his father, Sheryl Gattey for her mother, Ruth Smith, Naomi Nutting for her mother, Karen Hopkins for her father, Connie Hector for her mother in law, Helen Roberson for her brother, Katrina Lau for her father, Max Powers, Jeanette Paige for her father
    Prayers for those who are grieving – Evelyn Wong on the death of her husband Ben (longtime member of Oakland First Baptist Church)
  • Prayers for our loved ones who are facing significant challenges – Kay Baxter for Stacey and Jamie, Georgia Upshaw for her friend Ginny, Toni Daniels for her family, Margaret Alexander for LaShaya and family, Joan Patten for her son Peter and her sister Anne, Rowena Jackson for her son Paul, Mary Lee, Ann Fields for her family, Steve Reimer for his son Greg, Larry Sims for his sister Rene, Zondra Martin for her family, Phil and Gloria Meads for Phillip Oliver, Sarah and June, Jason Milano, Dwight Dickerson and family, Bjoe Morris for Pamela Addison, Marie Johnson for Donnie and his fiance Nicole as he prepares for deployment as well as for Triselena, Mary Karne for her neighbor, Mikki Boyd for Genevive Cannille who’s husband is very ill, Paige Bence and John Lee for Travis as begins a job search
  • Prayers for our community – For those who live in fear, the Congolese refugee families who will arrive in Oakland in July (We are collecting sample size toiletries for them. There is a collection box in the Narthex.), For the people of Brazil and for Julian Nesbitt and members of the Pacific Boychoir as they perform there, Hal Rice, Wisdom for our elected leaders
  • Prayers for people we don’t know who are facing challenges we can’t imagine – the people of Syria, the people of Iraq, the people of Afghanistan, the people of South Africa as they pray for Nelson Mandela, the young woman from Richmond during the trial of those accused of attacking her, for the fire victims and fire fighters in Colorado, California and other western states besieged by wildfires
  • Prayers of gratitude – for Geetha Thaker as she begins her medical residency in Michigan, for all who serve the public, with Declan and Sheila Brown on their 47th wedding anniversary, that Joni Nomura has been able to return to teaching at LCC
  • Prayers for ourselves – May each of us know that we are counted among God’s beloved

Announcements

Update – Just got an email from the A’s about parking and tailgating at tomorrow’s game in light of ongoing BART strike. In essence, parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy so try to come early. Tailgating will only be allowed in designated area’s so text me tomorrow around 430 and I will let you know where we are set up. I still am planning to be in lot A, entrance on 66th Avenue.