October 11, 2011

Tuesday Greetings to All,

I am a little late in getting started on the Midweek Message this week.  I usually devote some time to it on Monday.  However, yesterday Pam and John Claassen hosted “Team Lakeshore” (Declan Brown, Greg Ledbetter, Aaron Hopkins and me) at the 15th Annual American Baptist Homes of the West Foundation Charity Golf Tournament which benefits the residents of ABHOW’s 30 affordable housing  facilities. Instead of sitting at the computer and writing I was on the golf course at Round Hill Country Club.  It was an overcast but almost rainless day spent with good friends in a good cause.  I would like to say that it was a day of good golf spent with good friends in a good cause but the small matters of personal integrity and my professional code of ethics  mitigate against such overstatement.

The central Scripture in our worship on Sunday will be I Thessalonians 1:1-10. My sermon will be “From Gods to God.”  I will pay particular attention to verse nine which reads, “For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God.”  Annette Weissenrieder of San Francisco Theological Seminary notes that the most literal wording of this verse is to “turn to God away from the gods.” She adds, ‘This idiom is unusual in antiquity, because it is ordinarily stated toward what one turns, not what one turns away from.”

It is likely that Paul had in mind both turning away from the gods of the temples of northern Greece but also away from the worship of the Roman Emperor who wanted, even demanded, to be honored as a living God.  As contemporary readers of Paul we need consider what gods we need to turn away from in order to turn to the living and true God.  I invite you to consider the question and let me know where your consideration leads you.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • George and Sylvia Lee for their son Victor as he travels to China to deliver a lecture
  • Thanksgiving with Mark Wilson for his dad’s continuing legacy of standing for justice
  • Paige Bence for her sister as she continues to mourn her daughter
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Joy and Jon
  • Thanksgiving with Larry Hutchings on safe travels and for his mom on her 95th birthday
  • Pam Claassen for all who struggle with the aging process
  • Barbara Bowman for her dad as he turns 95
  • Cecil White for his sister who is the advanced stage of cancer
  • Thanksgiving with Dave Gattey for his family and for the memory of Steve Jobs
  • Geetha Thaker for a friend with cancer
  • Irend Jennings for her sister
  • Georgia Upshaw for a friends with cancer
  • Mary Sue Meads for her family in Portland
  • Karen Hopkins for the schools of Oakland and for her friend Mary Monge
  • Yvonne Crosby-Young for all affected by violence
  • Cathy Glover for her family and her students
  • Joan Patten for her friend John
  • The Occupy Wall Street Movement
  • The homeless of the Lakeshore neighborhood
  • The Lakeshore business community as it mourns the death of longtime leader Hunter McCreary
  • Helen Harrison for Karen Casey
  • Carol Leichter
  • Debra Dizen for her daughter
  • Abe Cirimele
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey on the death of her aunt
  • Bette Pancoe
  • Susan Joachim
  • Bonnie Sato
  • Thanksgiving with Mary K. that her friend Mildred is feeling better
  • Brenda McCarthy for Erma and Kathy
  • Lelia Sarratt for her family and herself

Announcement

AT&T is doing cell antennae upgrade work at the church for the next three weeks.  The work is part of a new five year lease that was signed in the spring of 2011.