June 10, 2013

Monday Greetings. I am writing today as I will be in Sacramento tomorrow with a PICO California delegation. The deadline for the approval of a state budget looms and it is decision making time in the capital city. Our delegation will go to advocate in regard to education, immigration, employment and violence reduction strategies but also as a reminder that budgets are moral documents and that votes and decisions can be expressions of faith values as much as, or more than, they are the result of political calculations.

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. My sermon will be titled “Socks, Ties and Justice.” It will be taken from  1 Kings 21. In this text Ahab, King of Samaria, in an elaborate plot to seize a prized vineyard, has a man named Naboth arrested and executed on manufactured charges of blasphemy. I will note that as a father and grandfather I am more than happy to receive gifts of ties and socks on Father’s Day. Yet, I also recognize that Father’s Day is more than a day for receiving gifts. It is a day for fathers and grandfathers across the land to recognize our duty to bestow justice on our sons and grandsons, our daughters and granddaughters, Ahab had an opportunity to bestow justice on someone else’s child and failed to do so. That failure became his legacy. It is far more desirable to leave a legacy of justice. A working definition of justice might be: “To do justice is to remember that when we make  decisions they might have consequences, profound consequences, for someone else’s child.”

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Prayers for those whose bodies need strength and healing – Bette Pancoe (The Rehabilitation Center of Oakland), Sybil Alexander, Charlotte Evans, Doris and Ted Evans, Steve Leichter (Orinda Convalescent Hospital), Joni Nomura, Angelique Gollinger, Sandra Dunn, David Broadnax,  George Lee for Sylvia, Edna Dorenzo, Virginia Damretzky, Al Johnson, Jamie Reid, Kay Baxter’s friend Abbott, Rae Rita Thompson’s father, Celestine Bennett’s son Richard, Dave Gattey’s brother Phil and sister in law Linda, Jim Jefferey, Jesus Portillo for Spanky and Willie, Jeanne Robinson for Linda Ng, Cynthia Nelson, Peg Shaw for a friend, Patricia Butterfield for a friend, Kimberly Williams for her father, Larry and Darnell Sims for their co-worker George,  Joan Thatcher, Camille Parker for Michael Colombo, Erica Quinn for her student David, Beth Rice (my sister), Bonnie Sato for Trish -her grandchilren’s caregiver, Alean Sunders-Coffey for her sister, Jim Jeffery, Myra Saxton for her sister and her neighbor, Jim Dorr for his cousin, Mary Alice and Abe Cirimele for Sal Tedesco
  • 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
  • Prayers for those who are grieving – the family and friends of John Taylor, my cousins Curt and Bruce Faulkner and families on the death of their mom, my aunt, Charlotte Faulkner
  • 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, Max Powers, Ann Fields for her family and for Norma Wilson a resident of Oklahoma City,  Steve Reimer for his son Greg, the Sims family, Zondra Martin for her family, Phil and Gloria Meads for Phillip Oliver, Sandi, and Diego, Jason Milano, Dwight Dickerson and family
  • Prayers for our community – For those who live in fear, for those who are too much alone, for all the prodigal sons and daughters who are thinking of coming home, for Governor Brown and the members of the California State Assembly and Senate
  • 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 LGBT community in countries where they are not free to live with integrity, the people of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic in the midst of heavy flooding, for members of the Alliance of Baptists particpating in Moral Monday in North Carolina (standing against a roll back of voting rights in that state), the people of South Africa as they pray for Nelson Mandela
  • Prayers of gratitude – With Paige Bence and John Lee on the birth of their second grandson (son of C.J. and Felicia), with our graduates and their families
  • Prayers for ourselves – May each of us know that we are counted among God’s beloved

Announcements

The memorial service for John Taylor will be held on Saturday, June 22 at 2:00 in the Sanctuary.