June 4, 2013

Our 31st Annual Anne Anderson Memorial Hunger Walk was a grand success. Thanks to all who participated. Many households in the East Bay will benefit from our efforts. These facts from the Alameda County Food Bank in regard to hunger in Alameda County confirm the value of what we aspire to be about.

“1 in 6 Alameda County residents use the service of the Alameda County Community Food Bank. That is 250,000 unduplicated individuals every year.”

“1 in 3 children in Alameda County face the threat of hunger.”

“43% of food bank recipients are teens and children … 21,000 each week.”

“More and more people are signing up to receive aid; less and less food is being donated by the federal government …”

“People are … donating less money individually to food banks as they struggle to feed their own families

In his book of blessings, To Bless the Space Between Us, John O’Donohue offers this “Grace After Meals.” I find it to be a very fitting prayer  both following a meal and for the week after the Hunger Walk.

“We end this meal with grace. For the joy and nourishment of  food, for the slowed time away from the world to come into presence with each other and sense the subtle lives behind our faces, the different colors of our voices, the edges of hungers we keep private, the circle of love that unites us. We pray the wise spirit who keeps us to change the structures that make others hunger and that after such grace we might now go forth and impart dignity wherever we partake.”

A final note on the sister issues of hunger and poverty: In 2011 the US Census reported that 25.7% of African Americans and 25.4% of Hispanic Americans are living below the federal poverty line, compared to less than 10% if white Americans. There is work to do at many levels.

This Sunday, June 9 is Graduate Recognition Sunday, always a day of rejoicing as we celebrate the accomplishments of our students and their families. Ally will be our preacher and the Handbell Ensemble will take the lead in the music. I look forward to being in worship with you.

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 (Alta Bates Herrick), 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 fath, 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, John Taylor, Alean Sunders-Coffey for Bill, Jim Jeffery, Myra Saxton for her sister and her neighbor, Jim Dorr for his cousin
  • 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 – Cecil White on the death of his friend Laura
  • 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
  • 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, the victims of the poultry plant fire in China
  • Prayers of gratitude – The work of our Sanctuary Art Committee, with our graduates and their families, with Derrick and Jill Nesbitt on their 20th Anniversary, for Beverly Cooper and her family, for our graduates and their families
  • Prayers for ourselves – May each of us know that we are counted among God’s beloved

Invitations

LABC will host a memorial service this Wednesday afternoon, June 6 at 3:00 for Ron Williams who served the Lakeshore Community by recycling cardboard for local businesses. The service will be in the Family Room.

The memorial service for Art Ferguson will be this Saturday at 11:00 in the sanctuary of Oakland First Baptist Church.

Join in the prayers for our youth each evening between 7 and 8 p.m.. Follow me on Twitter  @revjimhop to receive a prayer each weekday evening.