November 1, 2011

Thanks to all who helped make our month long emphasis on Radical Hospitality so worthwhile.  I know I learned some important things and I hope you did as well.  The words in Sunday’s Forum of self described secular humanist William Simmons ‘”The Christian who cares is very different than the Christian who is trying to sell something” will long stay with me.

The central Scripture in our worship on November 6 will be Psalm 70.  This short Psalm ends with a plea most of us can identify with a some point in our life, if not at some point each day. “But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay!”

The honest emotion evident in this plea reminds me that, in the words of Pastor Jessica Tate, “We are often timid with ourselves, with God, and with one another. The spouse grieving the death of her husband does not want to be perceived as wallowing in he loneliness. The young father does not want to appear too exuberant about his infant child.  We do not want to show our exhaustion or our frailty.  We often do not even want to express our joy most fully.  We seem to fear being too much of something.”

It is because we fear being too much of something that we must speak of coming to God just as we are.  It is because we fear being too much of something that we do well to occasionally include in our service of worship the singing of the old hymn “Just As I Am.” As I read the Psalm, as I prepare for Sunday, I am drawn to the second verse of the hymn – “Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Helen Harrison recovering from a broken ankle
  • Declan and Sheila Brown for David and Diedre
  • Thanksgiving with Al Johnson and Roy Browner on their third anniversary
  • Thanksgiving with Zondra Martin for answered prayers
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Steve, Molly and Jon
  • Pam and John Claassen for Grant Hanson and his daughter Carolyn
  • Kay Baxter for her family
  • Marie Johnson for the Patterson Family
  • Shirley Jones for her brother Dennis
  • Sandra Dunn for her father
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • All our students, teachers and school employees and their families
  • Amy and Ryan Parker for their friend Shannon
  • The Baptist family as it mourns the death of Paul Clasper, former Dean of ABSW
  • The Sims and Muckaroy families
  • Debra Dizen for her daughter
  • Wally Bryen as he considers his next steps in ministry
  • The Occupy Wall Street movement in Oakland and other cities and the response of those cities to the movement – may police, protesters and elected officials know both justice and peace
  • The Graduate Theological Union and ABSW as they plan for the future.
  • Carole Jennings and Norman Allen – neighbors in need.
  • Paige Bence and John Lee for their brother in law

Announcements

The Harvest Festival on Saturday was a splendid success.  John Claassen says he served 244 corndogs!  Thanks to everyone who turned out to help us provide “radical hospitality” to the children of the neighborhood and their families. This link will lead you to pictures of the event.

There will be a quarterly meeting of the congregation on Sunday following worship.