May 22, 2018

Questioner: So, Pastor Jim, after Steph Curry’s use of obscene language in his public victory celebration following the Warriors victory on Sunday night are you going to retract your Sunday sermon in which you praised him and said that it was a great thing that he was one of the world’s most famous representatives of Christianity?

Pastor Jim: No.

Questioner: Do you care to say a little more?

Pastor Jim: Sure. First of all, if the truth be told, I have used the word in question myself so I am disqualified from casting the first stone. Next, he didn’t use the word in a derogatory, de-humanizing or destructive way. He attacked no one with his language. Further, he almost immediately apologized for his choice of words and made it clear that his mother had already made it very clear to him that she had not raised him to say what he said. Finally, as my Beloved said to me, “The fact that he is not perfect, and admits that he is not, is evidence to me that his faith is not just a show.”

Questioner: So you are okay with role-models swearing?

Pastor Jim: I am okay with role-models who care about their work, their community, their parents, their kids their spouses and their faith. I am not okay with sanctimonious people who think shouting the F-word during a celebration ranks up there with the great sins of the world.

Questioner: Isn’t all sin really the same?

Pastor Jim; No, it’s not. Sin that harms others, denies them justice, and places heavy burdens on those that are already heavy-laden is a much bigger deal that some regrettable language. Jesus said our main concern should be the way our words and deeds affect the widows, orphans and strangers.

Questioner: I wish you would take a strong stand on public morality.

Pastor Jim: I thought I just did.

(The above is best read as a compilation of several conversations rather than a verbatim report.)

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Chris Schelin for Tova, from Santa Fe, Texas as she and her community mourn
  • Harvell as he struggles with anxiety
  • Joan Patten for Ruby
  • Dale Edmonson for Alice as her chemotherapy has begun
  • Paige Bence that the United States would honestly address our crisis of gun violence
  • Sandra Lee, Thanksgiving for Celestine Bennett and her work as our Church Librarian
  • Dave Gattey, Thanksgiving that he is recuperating
  • Gloria Meads for all who are incarcerated
  • Leon Taylor for all who have health concerns
  • Lola
  • Rick McKillop, Thanksgiving for the birthday of his nephew, Jerome, and for the Cal Fire Firefighters
  • Roxanne Jones, Thanksgiving for healing
  • Karen Hopkins for the mentally ill and their interactions with the police
  • Darrell, for Dave in chemotherapy
  • Mary Karne for Maryla
  • Jim Dorr for his cousin Dean in hospice care
  • George Harper as he travels
  • Dave Robinson, Thanksgiving that Jo is doing well a year after her surgery, compassion for all who are defined as “less than”
  • Katrina Lau, medical tests this week
  • Brian Byamukama as he seeks asylum
  • Pastor Allison for the people of Palestine
  • Robert Wilkins, medical tests this week
  • Jan Scott, medical tests this week
  • Marie Johnson for her mom
  • Sheila Sims for her mom
  • The Baxter-Reid family
  • Mary Anderson, justice for Kevin Cooper, currently imprisoned for a crime he likely did not commit
  • Jesse Lucas, recuperating at home and joining the worship service by phone
  • Bruce Quan  for his health
  • The Thaker family, the Martin family, the Dozier family and others with infants in their household – may they thrive
  • Karen Okusu as she cares for hem mom
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner (health)

Announcements

Pastor Don Ng, Minister Emeritus of the First Chinese Baptist  Church of San Francisco, former President of the American Baptist Churches and much respected American Baptist Leader will be our preacher this Sunday as we continue to honor Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

LABC Reads meets Saturday morning at 9:00  to discuss “The Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler and to pick books for 2018-19.