March 29, 2011

The central Scripture in our worship on April 3 (Communion Sunday) will be John 19: 23-30. We will pay particular attention to the fifth of Jesus’ seven sayings from the cross, "I thirst."

With these two short words Jesus connects and identifies with all who thirst, with the all of the faith traditions in which thirst is a symbol of spiritual need, with the whole of human history in which thirst is a symbol of deep longing and with all who respond to those who are thirsty.

"I thirst." With these words Jesus says he is one of us. He tells us that our physical needs and our spiritual longings are his physical needs and spiritual longings. With these words he invites us to respond to his need and the need of others. To give him something to drink to give a drink to the thirsty of our world. His invitation calls to mind his words in Matthew 25 "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink." Words I am certain we long to hear.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • John Hayes – now under hospice care
  • Harold Cotton – health concerns
  • Kay Baxter – prayers for Jamie’s healing and for Stacey and Michael’s ministry
  • All who are grieving
  • All who are traveling
  • Jesus Portillo – work, friends, family
  • Mariel Paul for her brother and her father
  • Tess Benin and those she cares for
  • Myrtis Anderson and those she cares for
  • Paige Bence for her niece
  • Ted and Doris Evans for Charlotte and Jenny
  • Carolyn Matthews for William
  • Sheila and Declan Brown for David, Deidre, Olivia and Sid
  • LeAnn Snow for her cousin in chemotherapy
  • Mia and Selena Smith
  • Gerry Grosz for Miko and family
  • Virginia Damretzky
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • Helen Harrison for Gloria and Hazel
  • Brenda McCarthy for her nephew, Mr. Walt and self
  • Alice Butler and Jim Thompson Jr.
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner – adjusting to living in San Ramon
  • Bette Pancoe
  • Glenn Knight and family
  • Geetha Thaker – medical residency in Tennessee
  • The people of so many countries in various stages of revolt and significant change
  • The peace of Oakland
  • All who have lost their homes and property
  • Sheila Sims for her parents
  • Alonzo Reese
  • Ann Fields for her family and herself
  • The Joachim family
  • Carol Leichter for Steve
  • Carol Norris for Jack
  • Barry and Andrea Breaux
  • James Chuck-home after brief hospitalization
  • The work of Oakland Community Organizations
  • George and Sylvia Lee
  • Leona Sims and family

Peace,
Jim H.

Lakeshore Cares (formerly the Care Task Force) will meet this Sunday following worship. The meeting will be the Forum this week.

During April we are urging everyone to have their picture taken after church. This "directory" effort is being led by the Departments of Outreach and Membership and Social Concerns

Commentary
Last night I watched President Obama speak about Libya as I prepared to attend a meeting of the Education Committee of Oakland Community Organization, a meeting about the crisis facing our schools in the facing of pending budget cuts. The President defended our military involvement in Libya as necessary in preventing a humanitarian disaster caused by the brutality of a dictator Moammar Gadhafi. I tend to be very skeptical about the use of arms. It seems much easier to start wars than to end them. Let us trust that our involvement will have the desired result.

What I find it necessary to say is that in the cities of America there is a grinding humanitarian crisis unfolding as budget cuts dismantle social service networks and public schools. The dictator causing this crisis is named hopelessness. No missiles can unseat this dictator. The only defense is faith and a collective will to work for the common good.

As part of an ongoing effort for the common good Sojourners. Bread for the World and many other organizations are calling for people to in a month long campaign of prayer, fasting action. They are asking people to abstain from lunch on Mondays during April and use that time to pray and take action. Sign up to participate at www.sojo.net.