September 19, 2017

Dear LABC,

For all who did so much to make Homecoming Sunday such a vibrant day, I am grateful. I encourage you to go to our website www.labcoakland.org and read the Long Range Plan that was presented yesterday by the members of the Long Range Planning Committee. The discussion of the six Provocative Proposals was lively. Now comes the good, but hard, work of bringing the proposals to life. The skills, gifts and dreams of everyone of us will be needed.

Kay Baxter begins her second year as our Church Business Manager this week. Like Mary Alice Cirimele before her, Kay brings great wisdom and stability to our life together. If you get a chance please reach out and let her know she is appreciated.

The central Scripture in our worship this Sunday will be Matthew 20: 1-16, the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. Borrowing from the Feasting On the Word curriculum my sermon will be titled “God, the Lousy Bookkeeper.”

Scholar Kathryn Blanchard writes of this text, “God’s standards of justice and value are consistently presented in both the Old Testament and New Testament as alien to human standards, but God’s people are expected to behave according to these alien standards, neither demanding their rights nor begrudging others’ good fortunes. There is of course potential for abuse of such teachings, perhaps to uphold an unjust status quo in which oppressed persons are admonished to wait patiently for their reward. It is clear that a responsible theological reading of this parable tends toward radical equality in the church, in which all are equally near to receiving God’s gracious reward.”

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Thanksgiving with Jeanne Robinson on the birth of her great granddaughter, Isabella along with prayers that she will gain strength
  • All who are mourning
  • All who are traveling
  • Yvonne Young for all children and families that struggle with mental and emotional issues. Prayers also for herself as she works with these children
  • Kay Baxter for her family
  • Anthony Marshall and Leslyn Henry for Christopher Rodriguez and his mom, Jennifer
  • Michael Hammer as she seeks a more stable life
  • Thanksgiving with Oakland Community Organizations as it celebrates its 40th Anniversary and welcomes its new Executive Director, the Rev. Dr. George Cummings
  • All who are recovering from fires and floods and all who are providing recovery assistance. Prayers also for the people of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands who are in the path of Hurricane Irene
  • Thanksgiving with George Lee and family on his 90th birthday
  • Thanksgiving for the hard work of the LABC Long Range Planning Committee
  • David and Carol Bartlett
  • Micky Holmes and family as they mourn the death of her mother
  • All our home bound members
  • All our students and teachers
  • Justice for the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar

Announcements

Sunday, September 24, 2:00 p.m. – Pastor Hopkins speaks at the Anniversary Luncheon for Pastor Kenneth Anderson, Williams Chapel Baptist Church. (Contact me if you would like to join the Lakeshore table)

Monday, September 25, 7:00 – LABC Handbell Ensemble plays and Pastor Hopkins preaches at Allen Temple Baptist Church Fall Revival

Saturday, September 30, 2:00 – Memorial Service for Rowena Jackson, LABC