October 3, 2016

Hello All,

As I write it is Monday morning, October 3rd. October 2nd was a grand Sunday with music and dancing and feasting and learning. Thanks to all who planned and prayed and led and participated.

It is a strange Monday, the first workday that Mary Alice Cirmele has not been running the church office since 1993. We wish her a grand retirement as we joyfully welcome Kay Baxter as our Church Business Manager.

A busy week awaits us with all the normal activities and ministries of the church and children’s center in full swing as well the Evergreen Baptist Association Annual Meetings in Seattle on Friday and Saturday. Those representing us will be Jo Giles, John Giles (leading a contingent of five local pastors) Sandra Lee, Carolyn Matthews (workshop leader) Jesse Lucas, Pastor Tanner and myself.

On Sunday my sermon will be “The Coming Election.” My text will be I Corinthians 1; 10-17. As he begins this pastoral letter Paul describes a very divided Corinthian church. His description of all the competing allegiances makes me think of the American electorate as the 2016 election approaches. It makes me wonder if there is anything that can unite us in the face of the division that threatens to overwhelm us. I am not yet sure how I will answer my own question. I think the counsel of Pope Francis to “study, pray and vote” will likely be part of my response.

The League of Women Voters will be with us during the Forum to review the seventeen California Ballot Initiatives.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The people of First Congregational Church of Berkeley in the wake of the devastating fire at their church
  • Thanksgiving with Gloria and Phil Meads that their new granddaughter, Ariel, is gaining strength
  • Thanksgiving with Jessie Guiton that Baby Valentina is thriving
  • Kay and Jamie – Prayers for the week ahead for us both
  • Katrina Lau (health concerns)
  • Barbara Bowman (health concerns)
  • Joan Thatcher (vision concerns)
  • Mary Karne for Maryla (health concerns)
  • Nedra Hathaway (hospice care) and family
  • Sydney Webster for Gigi (health concerns)
  • Myra Saxton and Lucille Riggins
  • The Evans family
  • Karen Okusu
  • Carolyn Matthews for her son William, and all teachers, as he teaches at Castlemont HS
  • Larry Sims for his family
  • Paul, Johanna and Evan Wilkinson as they welcome Gloria Joseph (Jo’s mom) as a member of their household
  • All who are traveling
  • The people of Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Cuba as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Evergreen Baptist Association and its member churches
  • Thanksgiving with Chris and Kelly Schelin as they prepare for the birth of their second child
  • Thanksgiving with Paul and Carla Keener as they celebrate their wedding anniversary (Wednesday)
  • Thanksgiving with Mikki Boyd on her birthday (October 3)
  • Thanksgiving for our Aspire and Achieve ministry with the students at Oakland Tech  http://aspireandachieve.blogspot.com/
  • Peace and safety for our Jewish neighbors as they celebrate Rosh Hashanah and honor Yom Kippur

Announcements

Please, please, please make every effort to be with us on Sunday October 16 for worship and the Long Range Planning Conversations (lunch provided). You will be on your way home no later than 2:00.

American Baptists Invited to Join ABHMS in ‘Tuesdays’ Prayers for Peace’
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/3/16)—As America enters the final weeks of a contentious presidential election season, American Baptists are invited to pray with American Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) on Tuesdays through Election Day on Nov. 8.

Recent political rhetoric has been angry, accusatory, caustic, bombastic and, occasionally, R-rated. It has caused division and discord, fragmenting Americans into polarized camps of “us” versus “them.” The very fabric of our lives as Americans is at stake.

Pray with ABHMS to discern God’s will for our land and the decision to be made in the voting booth. As Christians, we know that prayer is not passive. Prayer has the power to move the mighty hand of the Lord and to change hearts.

Each week, ABHMS will suggest a focus on which to pray, as Americans contemplate casting a ballot in the race that selects the most powerful official in the nation—if not the world.

Beginning tomorrow and continuing each Tuesday through Nov. 8, please pray with us regarding the following themes:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 — “decency,” or polite, moral and honest behavior and attitudes that show respect for other people.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11 — “understanding,” or the knowledge and ability required to make reasoned judgements about particular situations or subjects.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18“wisdom,” or the insight necessary to consider candidates’ rhetoric and positions and make sense of comparing them.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25 — “prudence,” or the application of careful good judgement when considering candidates’ platforms, positions and behavior.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1 — “discernment,” or the ability to look at different perspectives with clear-minded objectivity to determine solutions focused on fairness and justice.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 — “courage,” or the ability to see things in a new way, consequently considering a choice or action different from one previously decided.