November 3, 2015

Dear LABC,

As I write the rain is falling in Northern California and there is the promise of snow in the Sierra. Good news.

Let me share a few scattered thoughts with you in this edition of the Midweek Message.

  1. I am grateful to everyone who helped  at the Community Halloween Party on Saturday. Your caring helped make the world a happier place.
  2. Our youth will be leading the worship this coming Sunday. They will lift up the themes of Stewardship and Generosity. Those that teach about giving note that it is often a practice learned at home and at church in childhood. It is good to know that not only do we teach our kids about giving but that they can teach us as well.
  3. At our Congregational Meeting on Sunday we will elect congregational leaders for the coming year (Thanks to our Nominating Committee for their good work) as well as approve a Preliminary 2016 Budget (thanks to the Budget Committee for their good work). The Budget Committee has one more meeting before Sunday so I won’t say much about the 2016 Budget other than to note that it includes a proposal to hire a consultant to work with us for the next two years in developing a new Long Range Plan. The consultant under consideration is Jim Kitchens of the Center for Healthy Churches (not to be confused with Growing Healthy Churches, aka The American Baptist Churches of the West). Jim is a friend and longtime pastor. Integral to the process he envisions are three congregational meetings around the themes: A Vision Grounded in Our Past, A Vision Tied to Our Present and A Vision Leading Un Into the Future. I invite you to visit the CHC website at www.chchurches.org to learn more about Jim.
  4. On another topic, Miroslav Volf, a widely respected theologian from Yale Divinity School posted this on his Facebook page this morning: “A lesson from Judas – The first tragedy is to commit sin, the second is not to believe in forgiveness. The second is worse than the first.”
  5. The Worship and Congregational Care Department invites everyone to bring a few cans of food (soup, tuna, vegetables, fruit) this Sunday to help decorate the altar. After the Thanksgiving season the food will be used by the Hunger Task Force
  6. Finally, thanks to George Harper for reminding me that November 1 was the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. We remember those who live in fear simply because they are followers of Jesus.

Peace,

Jim H.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • All who are grieving
  • LeAnn Flesher as she helps her dad move from his farm into a home in town
  • Edie Parrott (Bancroft Convalescent Hospital)
  • Carol and Steve Leichter (Steve is on the Rehabilitation Floor of Summit Hospital and Carol’s mom is hospitalized in Minnesota)
  • Charlene Wolf for her mom
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Allison, Jesus, Sandra and George as they represent us at “Space for Grace” in the City of Angels
  • Marie Johnson for Dahlia, Dilcie, Cameron, Shari, Matthew, Jamani and family
  • Helen Harrison for Mike Casey
  • Alice Butler for the world in a time of great unsettledness and for her children
  • Myra Saxton for her mom and her mom’s caregiver
  • Virginia McClow for the leaders of Oakland
  • Katrina Lau for her family and herself
  • Mary Sue Meads for Georgia Upshaw
  • Alodia Corpuz for her friend Manuel
  • Sydney Webster for her friend  Tatiana
  • Sandra Lee for the well being of Buddy the Cat
  • Larry Sims for his family
  • Frances Graham, Edna Dorenzo, Virginia Damretzky, Irene Jennings and Peg Shaw
  • Doris and Ted Evans
  • Joan Patten for Peter and Paula
  • Paul Keener as he considers a ministry opportunity
  • Thanksgiving that Jim Jeffrey was with us in worship
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of Aidsand Wright-Riggins as he retires as Director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies
  • Thanksgiving for Jeff Hagray as he succeeds Aidsand in that position
  • Thanksgiving with Ben Maruca upon his safe arrival in Antartica

Corrected Numbers

As part of my sermon on All Saints Sunday I made the point that the number of people who have died in human history is vastly greater than the number of humans currently living. While the point stands, these are the numbers I wanted to use to make the point.

Number of human beings that have died (throughout history) – 100.8 billion

Number of human beings currently living  – 7.4 billion

Source – FiveThirtyEight