May 3, 2106

Dear LABC,

Let us remember:

Celestine Bennett as she mourns her sister, Cecelia Tutt Newkirk

Louis Greer as he mourns his grandson, Michael Greer

Marc Buffin and family as they mourn Marc’s brother, Thomas Buffin

Having just sent the above email to Charlene for inclusion in the upcoming Transmitter, the grieving of our congregation are on my mind, in my heart and in my prayers, May all who grieve experience, even in some small way, the promise of Jesus, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

This coming Sunday is Mothers Day. The Dedication of Donald Lee Johnson III, son of Don and Nicole Johnson, will be part of our worship!

My sermon will be a plea to the Mother’s, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, Stepmothers, Aunts and Great-Aunts of the congregation to be very gentle with themselves, to practice self-compassion at every turn. It is no secret that being a mother, and/or caregiver, is very demanding work for in the work of mothering there is often  suffering, failure and feelings of inadequacy.

These words of Professor Ronald Siegel of Harvard University come to mind. “When we suffer, fail or feel inadequate – we experience a kind of unholy trinity of three things: self criticism, which is often experienced as shame about failing in some way; self-isolation, which is often pulling back from others because we don’t feel fit to be among others; and self-absorption, which often involves the production of narrative about how bad you are and that you can’t believe you made that mistake.”

A helpful, and I believe faithful, response to this unholy trinity is the practice of self-compassion. In many ways self-compassion is to see and treat ourselves as Jesus saw and treated his contemporaries. We do well to keep in mind that the gospels often described Jesus’ interactions with others with these words – “He looked on them with compassion.”

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Celestine Bennett as she mourns her sister, Cecelia
  • Louis Greer as he mourns his grandson, Michael
  • The Buffin family as they mourn Marc’s brother, Thomas
  • Lari Mussati as she mourns the death of her friend, Connie
  • Ruben Artery for Steve and Candy Papier (health concerns)
  • Sean Gallaher, Norman Allen and other Lakeshore Avenue neighbors in need
  • The Oladoja family
  • Thanksgiving with Monica Eppinger at having earned tenure at Washington University Law School (St. Louis)
  • Kay Baxter for her family and herself
  • Ben Maruca as he prepares to move to Delaware
  • Gloria Meads (health concerns)
  • Ted and Doris Evans (health concerns)
  • Joan Thatcher (health concerns)
  • Lloyd Scott (Los Angeles)
  • Aaron and Teresa, Kristen and David as they await the birth of their second children
  • Karen Hopkins for her friend Chris and mom (Toronto)
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Berkeley Food and Housing Project

As I was finishing with writing this week’s message I received a phone call from Charlene Wolf who was at Piedmont Gardens doing her regular Monday ministry. She told me that she had just learned that Peggy Shaw died last week. We will greatly miss Peg’s smile and warmth. Please keep her daughter, Sally, in your prayers.

Announcements

  1. Need a weekend of restoration? Sign up now for the August 12-14  Church Retreat.
  2. Want to feel great while doing good? Sign up now for the June 5 Hunger Walk.
  3. Looking for a really pleasant and entertaining  Saturday lunch? Plan to attend Forever Young on May 14.