November 29, 2011

Advent Greetings to All,

As is always the case, Thanksgiving week and the first Sunday of Advent was a busy time at LABC.  We prepared and distributed 65 Thanksgiving Baskets, the first Advent candle (Hope) was lighted during worship and the Family Room and Sanctuary were decorated by a good sized group of volunteers led by Paige Bence, Karen Hopkins and Sheila Sims.  I am certain you will appreciate the beauty of their work and the contributions the decorations will make to our worship and fellowship.

Today is a day of remembering for me.  It was twenty years ago (a Saturday in 1991) that my dad, H.F. Hopkins, died suddenly at my parents home in Bayfield, Colorado.  All children are shaped, either positively or negatively by their fathers. Today, I give thanks for my dad’s influence on me.  I endeavor to embody his commitment to family, integrity and faith.

On December 4 our central Scripture will be Luke 1: 26-38, Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. This announcement, while unexpected and perplexing to Mary, to her community and to all hearers of the story, is also a gift to this young and vulnerable person.

Experts in adolescent psychology tell us that every young person needs acceptance, identity, healthy involvement with both adults and their peers, appropriate levels of autonomy, and avenues for achievement. As she listened to Gabriel’s words and made them her Mary was given these essential gifts.  At its best the church continues to be a place where young people receive these gifts.  Our call is appreciate the ways in which the birth of Jesus was a gift to Mary.  Our call is also to be a community in which the young, whom Mary represents, can continue to receive the gifts Mary received for they are gifts which shape lives,  lives which ,in turn, shape the world.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The family and friends of Grant Hanson as they mourn his death
  • Sandra Dunn as she prepares for surgery
  • Marie Johnson as she prepares for surgery
  • Shirley Jones as she recuperates from surgery
  • Bette Pancoe, Summit Hospital
  • Susan Joachim, Summit Hospital
  • Thanksgiving with Michael Sumrall that he is able to return to work
  • Thankgiving with LaShaya Alexander that she is starting to feel better
  • Thanksgiving with Skip Keller that he is recuperating well
  • Geetha Thaker as she returns to her studies and prepares to work in Haiti
  • Cecil White for his family
  • Sheila Sims for mom and dad
  • Doug Marques for his brother
  • John Taylor on the death of a long time friend
  • Susan Hasselbach for her dad
  • All our students and teachers and their families
  • All who are under economic stress
  • The people of Burma
  • The work of American Baptist missionaries
  • The American Baptist family as it mourns the death of  long time minister Dale Bethel
  • Parkes Johnson recovering from a bad fall
  • Debra Dizen for her daughter as she undergoes surgery at Stanford Hospital
  • Alice Butler for the Logan family in the midst of foreclosure proceedings
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Joy and Jon
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner for health and peace for all
  • Kay Baxter Reid for herself and her family
  • Declan and Sheila Brown for David, Deidre, Olivia and Kay
  • Curtis Brown as he prepares for ministry as a Navy Chaplain

Announcement

Lakeshore’s OCO Committee is hosting a research meeting with representatives of the Oakland Unified School Districts Office of African American Male Achievement this Thursday evening (December 1) at 6:00 in the Family Room. If you are concerned about improving our public schools for all our students please participate. Jesus Portillo has invited Danny Glover to attend and he has accepted.

Congratulations to Richard Ice on receiving the J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award for outstanding contributions to the defense of religious liberty.  Past winners include Jimmy Carter and Bill Moyers.