June 28, 2011

Hi All,

Karen and I have returned safely from Alaska. What an amazingly beautiful land!  Let me know when you have time to see the 615 pictures we took :)  It is good to be home. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. 

In the midst of a pleasant rest we did experience the sadness of needing to have one of our beloved dogs, Hudson, euthanized. The cancer he was being treated for had begun to affect his breathing.  It was time. I have no wisdom beyond affirming my belief that our animal friends are part of the manifold witness to the love of God which surrounds us.

It is important to me that we have a good turnout for worship this Sunday when Imam Victor Shakir and Rabbi Jackie Mates-Muchin join me in the pulpit, and in the Forum following the Coffee Hour.  Victor will preach from the Hebrew Scriptures (Levitcus 19:33-34), Jackie will preach from the Christian Scriptures (Hebrews 13: 1-3) and I will preach from the Koran (Surah 2:177 and Surah 4:36).  Each of these Scriptures speak of the need for, and the blessing of, the gift of hospitality.  In her book “Altar in the World” Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us that hospitality is one of the great traditions of the church and one of the great needs of the world.  She tells us that philoxenia (love of the stranger) can save us while xenophobia (fear of the stranger) can destroy us.

I chose to invite my colleagues to join me on the Sunday closest to the Fourth of July in celebration of the religious freedom that is one of the great gifts of this grand experiment called the United States of America.

Prayers of the Congregation

(I am just catching up so the prayer list this week is more incomplete than usual)

  • Leann Snow on the death of her ex-husband, Clark Flesher (There will be a memorial service for Clark at New Life Church in Castro Valley at 10:00 on Friday morning)
  • Darnell Sims and family on the death of his grandfather, Willie Stewart
  • Virginia Cheatham (home from hospital)
  • Idella Berry (Alameda Hospital)
  • Bette Pancoe (Bay View Convalescent Hospital, Alameda)
  • Susan Joachim (home from hospital)
  • Pat Hughes for her brother Richard
  • The Kachin people of Burma (hostilities with Burmese government)
  • Kay Baxter for Jamie and Veda
  • Thanksgiving with Alean Saunders-Coffey that Leilah has qulaified for National AAU Track and Field competition
  • David Bushrod for David McCleery, Darrell Sanders, Charles Johnson, Shelley Landers and Chris Cheaney
  • Joan Patten for Paula and John
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for all who mourn the death of Paul Jepson and for a California job for Joy
  • Al Johnson for all who are dealing with loss, with financial needs and with mental and physical health issues
  • Paige Bence for her niece Haylie and for Carol and Jack Travis
  • Ann Fields for Tamera, Leslie, Scott and Bryan
  • Rowena Jackson for the residents and staff of Grand Lake Gardens
  • Thanksgiving that marriage equality was made law in the state of New York
  • Edie Parrott
  • Mary Karne for Mildred

Announcements

The church picnic will be after worship on July 10.  Make reservations this Sunday!

One of my mentors, Dr. Jim McAllister, will be with us for seven Sundays (beginning on July 17) to lead a Forum Series on “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor.  I have ordered 12 books.  The cost is $10.  Let me know if you would like a copy.