June 30, 2015

Dear LABC Family,

How happy I was for my airplane to drop through the cloud cover and land at cool Oakland International Airport on Monday morning, returning from a pleasant, but hot, American Baptist Mission Summit in Kansas City, KS. The Amercan Baptist Biennials have not always been happy experiences for the LABC delegates but this one was, on the whole, both substantive and positive. At their best these gatherings are about connections, continuing education and creating a denominational brand or identity for the next two years.  My experience in Kansas City met these expectations.

While I was away the Supreme Court of the United States announced several major rulings. I am grateful that both affordable health care insurance and marriage equality were confirmed as the law of the land. Both rulings said that basic human dignity matters in the United States of America. For Christians, they are a reflection of the basic tenets of our Scripture – the understandings that all are created in the image of God, that all should be free to live with integrity, that families, in all their diversity, matter and that our physical, mental and spiritual health is of great concern to our Creator.

This Sunday, as we gather at the Table of Communuion, we will also honor our Church Librarian, Dr. Celestine Bennett.  Celestine has been named the 2015 Outstanding Congregational Librarian by the national Church and Synagogue Library Association. My sermon is will be “Education and Emancipation,” taken from Deuteronomy 6:1-9. In this text Moses addresses the people of Israel, freed from slavery in Egypt and from wandering in the wilderness, as they prepare to enter the Promised Land. He tells them there is direct connection between their continued emancipation and their commitment to education. That their well being will be directly related to their ongoing committment to study the teachings given them by God, through Moses. Celestine’s work and our Church Library stand as a symbol of our ongoing committment to education and emancipation, to study and service. Carolyn Matthews and Hallie Randel are preparing some wonderful music for worship.

The Prayers of the Congregation

  • All who are grieving
  • All who are battling depression
  • All who are in housing and economic turmoil
  • All who are recovering from broken relationships
  • All who are traveling, including several of our youth-Jasmine Ross, Marleigh Leaks and Julian Nesbitt
  • Thanksgiving with Mary Karne that Maryla is doing well following surgery
  • The Creasey Family as they prepare to move to Chicago
  • The people of Greece and their government as they seek to stave off an economic crisis
  • The  people of Puerto Rico and their government as they seek to stave off an economic crisis
  • May the negotiations with Iraq lead to a more peaceful Middle East
  • The 500 people injured at the water park explosion in Taiwan
  • The Picou-Broadnax family
  • Joan Patten for Peter
  • Ted and Doris Evans and family
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for her brother,  Elvis
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Myra Saxton and Lucille Riggins
  • Parkes and Kathy Johnson for Kathy’s mom
  • Pastor Allison’s sister in the midst of an adoption process
  • Charlene and Jerry Wolf for their mothers
  • The United States as we celebrate another 4th of July, may our commitment to liberty and justice for all grow ever deeper and ever stronger
  • The well being of the businesses of Lakeshore Avenue and Oakland
  • The ministry of our American Baptist Churches USA congregations

Announcements

We have received word that our member, Gene Holcomb passed away in April. There will be a private memorial service at his daughter’s home in August.  We hold Gene in grateful and loving memory.

The LABC Family is going to an A’s game on Friday July 31. There will be pre-game tailgate meal. See Jesus Portillo to purchase tickets.

Pastor Allison and family are on vacation for the next two weeks. Prayers for safety and joy.