May 28, 2013

Hunger Walk Sunday is upon us! This Sunday a steady stream of us will head south on Lakeshore Avenue towards the far end of Lake Merritt where we will veer right on the new pedestrian bridge over the Channel towards downtown turning right as we approach Lakeside Drive. From there we will progress north along the lake toward Grand Avenue and the Cathedral of Christ Light. We will turn east on Grand and upon crossing Lakeside Park near the library, return along Lakeshore Avenue to the church. Annually we traverse this path of a little less than four miles to raise money for local programs and ministries which address the needs of hunger and homelessness. Our goal this year is $10,000. Thanks to all who walk, pledge and pray.

My sermon, taken from Luke 7: 1-10, is titled “A Walking Faith.” It will note that in the story of the Roman Centurion seeking healing for his daughter there is a lot of walking going on. Messengers from the Centurion walk to Jesus carrying messages of caring, messages of need, messages of trust. Jesus himself walks toward the Centurion and his sick daughter. The crowds walk to the announced healing and, in the end, discover joy. The questions come to us: where are we walking, what are we walking for and who are we walking with?

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Prayers for those whose bodies need strength and healing – Bette Pancoe (The Rehabilitation Center of Oakland – formerly Rounsville Convalescent Hospital, Sybil Alexander, Charlotte Evans, Doris and Ted Evans, Steve Leichter (Alta Bates Herrick), Cecil White, Joni Nomura, Angelique Bollinger, 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 father (Alta Bates), Celestine Bennett’s son Richard, Dave Gattey’s brother Phil and sister in law Linda, Jim Jefferey, Jesus Portillo for Spanky and Willie, Joe Abrams for his father, Jeanne Robinson for Linda Ng, Cynthia Nelson, Myra Saxton for a friend diagnosed with lymphoma, 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, Joe Abrams for his father, 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
  • 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 – Declan Brown on the death of his friend Lew, Ethan Hopkins on the death of his friend Danny
  • Prayers for our loved ones who are facing significant challenges – Kay Baxter for Stacey, 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,  Steve Reimer for his son Greg, the Sims family, Zondra Martin for her family, Phil and Gloria Meads for Phillip Oliver, James and Beverly White for their family, Jason Milano
  • Prayers for our community- Our students, teachers, school employees and families, members of the police and fire departments and their families, medical care workers and their families, for the youth and young adults of the East Bay, for those involved in building the new Bay Bridge, for the hungry and homeless and those who serve them, for the mentally ill and those who serve them, Pastor Greg Ledbetter and family, Bjoe Morris, The justice-seeking work of OCO and PICO California.
  • Prayers for people we don’t know who  are facing challenges we can’t imagine- For our Kachin brothers and sisters, those who are incarcerated, all who are affected by gun violence, the people of Haiti, the people of Syria, the people of the Korean Peninsula (both South and North), the people of Bangladesh, the people of China, the people of the tornado-ravaged communities of  Oklahoma and the Midwest, the people of Iraq
  • Prayers of gratitude – The work of our Sanctuary Art Committee, with our graduates and their families, with Doris and Ted Evans on their 71st Anniversary, for Beverly Cooper and her family, with Paul and Linda Rae Hardwick as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary
  • Prayers for ourselves – May each of us know that we are counted among God’s beloved