I dedicate this edition of the Midweek Message to Shirley Jones, a brave Baptist leader and beloved Lakeshore member. Shirley died at her home Monday evening of pancreatic cancer. In her last days Shirley frequently told those who attended her “I have lived a good life and I am not afraid of dying.” These words from Bonnie Sato and John Landgraf, in response to an email I sent to the Pacific Coast Baptist Association, say very well what Shirley meant to the American Baptist family, Bonnie – “I knew the name long before I met the woman. What a wonderful role model for multiple generations of American Baptist women!” John – “For 40 years I knew and worked with Shirley Jones in many times, places, and capacities. She was my friend. She was one elegant lady, with consummate skills and a Christlike spirit. I will miss her.”
The Oakland A’s survived their second half of the season debacle to advance to a play-off game with the Kansas City Royals tonight. I cannot in good conscience pray for an A’s victory or a Royals loss nor will Soup and Study be cancelled. My Beloved, on the other hand…
While it is uncertain as to if October will hold a run to the World Series for the A’s or the Giants, at LABC it will hold a celebration of Diversity Month. The themes for the four Sunday of the month will be Diversity-A Divine Vision, Diversity-Challenges on the Way, Diversity-Doing Our Due Diligence, Diversity-Denying That We Are Done. Our own Cecil White will be our preacher this Sunday, which is also World Communion Sunday. His sermon will be taken from John 4, the meeting between Jesus, the disciples and the Samaritan Woman at the well.
Our second offering in October is the World Mission Offering, which supports American Baptist International Mission. We will pray this prayer as the WMO is dedicated.
Dear God, as Paul and his companions responded in the first century to the request to “Come over to Macedonia and help us,” so we choose to “rise to the challenge” in the twenty-first century. Bless, we pray, our World Mission Offering gifts that support International Ministries missionaries, staff and programs. We ask that the offering will continue to empower work like evangelism, health and healing, education and peacemaking in more than 70 countries globally. In the name of the one who commissioned us to “go into all the world!” Amen.
I will fly to Washington D.C. on Saturday for the annual meeting of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty board. I will return home on Tuesday evening. The work of the BJC is very important but I will miss being with you this weekend.
The Grief and Loss Ministry will begin a four session series after worship this Sunday on the first floor of the Church Offices. All who are dealing with grief or loss are invited to participate.