September 13, 2011

Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church is a part of several Baptist families.  Our affiliation with a number of these bodies is, at least in part, a consequence of our disfellowshiping in 1996 by the American Baptist  Churches of the West  for our membership in the Association of Welcoming Baptists (full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the church).  Our multiple memberships are also a result of  our commitment to remain  a Baptist Church, an American Baptist Churches USA Church and a Baptist Church that welcomes all.  

Thus, since 2000 we have been members of the American Baptist Churches USA, the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York, the Pacific Coast Baptist Association, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and the Alliance of Baptists.  Each of these affiliations continues to express some essential part of our Baptist identity.

This coming Sunday, September 18, I want us to honor our now eleven year membership in the Alliance of Baptists (A shared commitment to Radical Hospitality and a Baptist voice for progressive Christianity) and, as part of Alliance of Baptists Sunday, to lift up some of principles and freedoms that keep us part of the Baptist tradition.  Chief among these are the commitments to read the Bible, to take it seriously, to interpret it intelligently, and to recognize that not all thinking people of faith are going understand the teachings of the Bible in the same way. There will be discussion, debate and dispute in matters of biblical interpretation.  This is as it should be and Baptists, at their best, have honored this reality and made it part of their lives.  I hope that Lakeshore will continue to honor this freedom and make it a part of life together.  We will read Matthew 20: 1-16 and consider how people of good faith might interpret this parable in different, yet thoughtful and meaningful, ways.

In response to a request from the Alliance of Baptists staff I composed this Call to Worship for use by Alliance congregations on Alliance of Baptists Sunday.

Call To Worship

 
One: Since Baptists first gathered for worship over four hundred years ago our worship has included the singing of psalms, the reading of Scripture, the preaching of the good news and the sharing of prayers.
 
Many: We give thanks for our living tradition.
 
One: As we gather in worship we join our voices with all who have found courage in singing together.
 
Many: As we gather in worship we turn to the Scripture knowing it is our story, the story of God and God’s people.
 
One:  As we gather in worship we trust that in diverse and joyous ways the good news will once again meet us where we are.
 
Many:  As we gather in worship we with join a great cloud of witnesses in lifting our prayers believing that as we pray with our community, we will be changed.
 
One: Befriending God, we give you thanks for the gifts of Song, Scripture, Proclamation and Prayer
 
Many:  Befriending God, we give you thanks for a community of faith, a history of courage, a tradition of worship.

All: Amen

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Margaret Alexander for LaShaya (pulmonary illness)
  • All those who continue to mourn losses suffered on 9/11/2001
  • Paul and Johanna Wilkinson – Thanksgiving on a good start of the school year for Evan
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner for Dan Pryfogle and family
  • Toni Daniels-Gordon for Jullien and Pamela
  • Phil and Gloria Meads for Joy in her new job and for Jon to find a job
  • June Wilder (Detroit) – recuperating from surgery
  • Carol Leichter – recuperating from detached retina
  • Zondra Martin for her family
  • The Evans, Leche and Edwards families
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for her aunt
  • All our students
  • The peace of our city
  • Helen Harrison for Karen Casey on the death of her mom and for Seyer Maldonado as he recuperates from illness
  • Bette Pancoe (home)
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • Susan Joachim
  • Tess Benin and all those she cares for
  • An end to the drought and fires in Texas and the Southwest
  • Roberta Ferger (PICO California) for her mom
  • Mikki Boyd for her dad
  • Whitley Joachim for family and friends of Evan Chapman
  • Phyllis Martinez for her mom
  • Beverly Jefferson for her mother and her aunt

Announcements

Considering membership in the church?  Please attend the Membership Invitation Breakfast this Sunday, September 18 at 8:45 in the Family Room.

Stan Fong and Len Ott (Trumpet and Organ) will provide much of the music in worship on Sunday.  Always magnificent.

The Forum on Sunday will lift up the significance of Latin American/Hispanic Heritage Month.

Concerned about public education in Oakland?  Join us Wednesday night (September 13) at 6:30 and learn from a panel of Oakland Tech students. (Library)