October 23, 2012

Diversity Month comes to a close this Sunday with a worship service in which our children will play significant roles and a “reckless potluck” to follow. It seems to me that simply to experience a reckless potluck, or to assess its success, is reason enough to be in attendance. To say it a little differently, I hope you will come to worship to support our kids, bring a dish to share at the potluck, and stay to enjoy the fellowship around the tables.

My sermon will be “Of Understanding and Enduring.” It will make the simple point that when suffering is endured, and even overcome, the suffering itself often defies explanation. Using the last chapter of Job, Job 42, as a starting point I will urge us to make enduring, with the hope of overcoming, rather than explaining, the focus of our faith in the face of struggle.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Harrison Williams as he mourns the death of his brother
  • Tess Benin as she mourns the death of her brother
  • Edna Dorenzo as she mourns the death of her sister in law
  • Sybil Alexander for improved health and strength
  • Kay Baxter – Prayers of healing for Stacey, prayers of understanding for Jamie, prayers of thanksgiving for friends in Virginia
  • Phil and Gloria Meads for Cynthia, Max, Kenny and Jon
  • Larry Hutchings for Neal
  • The San Francisco Kachin Baptist Church as they minister to refugees in Burma and in the United States
  • Steve and Katy Reimer as they care for Greg
  • The people of Israel, Lybia, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner
  • Sandra Dunn for her father
  • The City of Oakland, the State of California and the United States of America as Election Day approaches
  • Thanksgiving with Kristen and David Phillips (along with grandparents-to-be Karen and Jim Hopkins) as they prepare for the birth of their first child (and grandchild) in May
  • Brian and Deborah Garcia
  • Brenda McCarthy for her daughter and herself
  • All who living with significant conflict
  • Wally Bryen for his mom
  • Rae Rita Thompson for her father
  • Norman Allen and other citizens of the streets
  • The Brown and Price families for Kay and Josh as they prepare for the birth of their baby, also for David and Deidre as they do the same
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of Bill Herzog upon his retirement from the faculty at Andover Newton Theological Seminary.
  • Margaret Alexander for her family
  • Our youth as they take tests and make college applications
  • Our young adults as they navigate a swirl of transitions

Speaking of Politics

Erica and I attended “Making the Desert Bloom,” a dialogue on the Middle East hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Graduate Theological Union this morning. I found these words from Rabbi Sheldon Lewis to be most helpful. “Peace is not homogeneity. It will always provide space for passionate differences.”

I am urging people to vote yes on both California Propostions 30 and 38. While 30 keeps a basic level of funding in place for public education, public safety and public services and 38 focuses only on education it is, in my mind, essential that at least one of these propositions pass. The only way to guarantee this is to approve them both.