November 5, 2013

In this season of gratitude, as I sit at my desk and begin to write, I am filled with gratitude for the beauty of the earth, for scene outside my office window of children playing in the park, for the sounds of my colleagues at work, for the loving ministry with which our congregation has been entrusted.

I am grateful for the opportunity to prepare for another Sunday, to read our central Scripture for the day, Haggai 1:15b – 2:9, in which the prophet speaking to a community entrusted with the task of rebuilding the broken Temple, asks three questions:

  1. “Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory?”
  2. “How does it look to you now?”
  3. “Is it not in your sight as nothing?”

I am grateful for the prophets’ questions and for the lessons they teach. These questions are useful tools when we face the need to rebuild lives, careers, relationships and communities. The first question reminds us to look around and to consider who is left, to remember that we do not do the work of rebuilding  alone. The second question reminds us that honest assessment, lifting our voice, speaking our truth, is part of the work of restoration. The third reminds us that those things we endeavor to rebuild have worth, gravity and consequence. They are not “as nothing.”

Prayers of the Congregation

Concerns

  • All who mourn
  • Tess Benin for her daughter Lynn and her friend John
  • The communities of the Bay Area
  • Communities and families in shock from outbursts of gun violence
  • Warren Parker for Camille as she grieves the death of her puppy
  • Our Congolese visitors
  • Shirley Jones for her sister in law, Audrey
  • Kay Baxter for Stacey, Jamie, Markieta and herself
  • The Wilkinson’s for their family, friends and neighborhood
  • Max Powers
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • Virginia Damretzky
  • Joan Thatcher
  • Fannye Leary
  • Cecil White for his brother, Sam
  • Ann Fields for her brother, Ezra
  • Joan Patten for her friend John
  • Phil and Gloria Meads for all seeking employment, all who are ill, for all students and teachers
  • Sheila Sims for her mom and dad
  • A prayer for Lakeshore in a time of decision making. may there be  honest communication,  fair process and abiding love.
  • Larry Sims and his family for Sandra
  • Mark and Kristen Wilson for Mark’s dad
  • Mary Karne for her daughter, Maryla
  • Jessie Lucas for Joe Debro
  • LeAnn Flesher for her cousin
  • All our shut-ins and those that care for them
  • Sheryl and Dave Gattey for Richard and Beth
  • Connie Hector as she cares for her mother in law
  • Helen Roberson as she cares for her brother
  • LCC Teacher Teresita

Celebrations

  • Thanksgiving for the caring ministry of our Hunger Task Force
  • Thanksgiving for our mission partners including the American Baptist Churches and the Alliance of Baptists
  • Thanksgiving for ministry of the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Oakland Community Organizations
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Samaritan Neighborhood Center
  • Thanksgiving for the work of the Nominating Committee
  • Thanksgiving for the work of the Budget Committee

Announcements

The American Baptist Seminary of the West invites all to a Baptist-Muslim Dialog, this Friday evening at 7:00, 2606 Dwight Way in Berkeley

All are invited to Coffee (and bagels and something gluten free) and Conversation with Robin Lunn, Executive Director of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Saturday morning November 16, 9:00, in the Family Room.