In most Protestant Churches across the United States the themes of November are Thanksgiving and Stewardship. This is true for us at Lakeshore as well. In worship, in study, in conversation, in our congregational meeting, in community service we will endeavor to live out the intimately connected biblical mandates of gratitude and giving.
In worship this Sunday we will read the well known story from the Gospel of Mark in which a scribe, a man of learning and high standing, asks Jesus “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answers”The first is this, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord your God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your sould, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” In my sermon I will note that the Gospel of Mark was written in a time of crisis in Palestine. The temple in Jerusalem had either recently been destroyed or was soon to be destroyed by the Roman armies. The clear message of Mark is that even if there is no longer a temple to worship in there is still a God to honor by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
In our Congregational Meeting (in the Sanctuary following worship) we will consider the reports of our Budget and Nominating Committees, hopefully approving a preliminary budget and electing a slate of leaders for 2013. The connection betweeen our worship and our business meeting is that we endeavor to love both God and neighbor by loving and caring for our church.
To love in this way is both rewarding and challenging. A paragraph from the 2013 Pledge letter you will soon receive reads: “Thus, we leave you with two challenges. First, make your commitments with the understanding that they are not a fringe benefit to your church but an essential contribution to our life together. Second, a generation to whom giving to the church was almost second nature is passing away. Those of us who have benefited greatly from their steadfast generosity need to consider how we can rise to their level of commitment.”
Welcome to November at Lakeshore. It is a season of both Gratitude and Giving.
Prayers of the Congregation
- All who are mourning
- All who are traveling
- All who are caring for another person
- All who are facing important decisions
- Thanksgiving with Donny Johnson (who has successfully completed US Army Ranger training) for all the care packages, cards, letters and prayers
- All our youth and their families
- Helen Harrison for her friends Katie and Mike who have had deaths in their family
- Kay Baxter for Jamie, Stacey and for her own ability to “accept things as they are”
- Phil and Gloria Meads for Cynthia, Sam, Jon and Max
- Ann Fields for her family
- Tyrone Mack for his brother
- Our Hunger Task Force as it prepares for Thanksgiving and Christmas ministries of caring
- Naomi Nutting for her mom
- Carolyn Person for Herschel Vinson
- Steve and Katy Reimer as they care for Greg
- Larry and Leona Sims for their grandchildren and for Leona’s healing
- Tess Benin for the Burnaquillo family
- Joan Thatcher for Mildred Massey
- Sandra Dunn for her father
- Oakland Community Organizations as it prepares to hire an new Executive Director
Our prayers continue for the many, both in the Caribbean and the United States, who were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. If you would like to assist in their recovery you can do so by writing a check to the church and designating it “Sandy Relief.” All funds received will sent to the affected areas through “One Great Hour of Sharing.”
One Day Choir – If you would like to sing in the “Singing the Season” choir on Saturday, December 8 in First Baptist Oakland Sanctuary please contact Jan Scott. The choir will rehearse from 12-2:30 on the 8th and then perform at 3:00. A brief introduction of the music is planned on November 25 following worship.
Received from Elizabeth Patrick
An Election Prayer
by Walter Brueggemann, from Prayers for a Privileged People
We are your people,
Your people who make futures for ourselves,
get the job done
and move on.
In our self-confidence, we expect little
beyond our productivity;
we wait little for
that which lies beyond us,
and then settle with ourselves
at the center.
And you, you in the midst of our privilege,
You utter large, deep oaths
beyond our imagined futures.
You say – fear not, I am with you.
You say – nothing shall separate us.
You say – something of new heaven and new earth.
You say – you are mine; I have called you by name.
You say – my faithfulness will show concretely and will abide.
And we find our privilege enabled by your purpose,
our competence shaken by your future,
our entitlement unsettled by your other children.
Give us grace to hear your promises.
Give us freedom to trust your promises.
Give us patience to wait and
humility to yield our dreamed future
to your large purpose.
We pray in the name of Jesus who
is your deep yes over our lives.