September 6, 2012

There are many things to catch up on as September begins. Let’s plunge in. In a recent email to Lakeshore’s OCO Committee Jesus Portillo closed with these words. “Let’s remember the kids of Oakland and why we do this. I often pray when I’m driving to work. And prayers for the work we do, who we work with and the children of Oakland are a big part of my prayer—that and to not let work get the better of me, but the best of me instead. Sometimes it works.” I found his words to be a very helpful reflection on the often-puzzling intersection of work, faith, personal commitment and public identity. Thanks Jesus . . .

At the Homecoming Luncheon on September 9 the Department of Educational Ministry will, for the twenty-third year, present the Daisy Funderburk Award for Excellence in Christian Education. This award goes to a member of the church, who through involvement in, or support of, our multi-faceted ministry of education and formation, has made a difference for the good in the lives of others. Daisy was our Director of Christian Education during the pastorate of Dr. Harold Geistweit. She was recognized nationally for her pioneering work in bringing the best practices of the field of education into the realm of Christian Education. In so doing she influenced countless people in very positive ways.

As I write I am reminded of a Facebook conversation I had this spring with a college classmate who teaches a high school Sunday School class at his church. I thanked him for this essential ministry and recounted my experience that when asked to name a person important in the development of our faith most of us will name a parent or a Sunday School teacher long before we name a preacher, pastor or member of the clergy . . .

I recently received, on behalf of the church, a box from Beverly Romney containing Rod’s sermons from his years at Lakeshore as well as copies of all the Transmitters from the same period of time. These will eventually go to the Church Archives but until then I am having a delightful time exploring these treasures. In thinking of a way to share this gift with you I decided that on Homecoming Sunday I will preach, with some slight amendment, a sermon Rod preached in Sunday worship on March 20, 1977, titled “The Cost of Living High.” I trust that we will benefit together from his theological insight and pastoral wisdom . . .

Elsewhere in this month’s Transmitter you will find our Treasurer’s, Carol Leichter, (Thank you Carol for your skilled and loving work), monthly giving and expenditure report . You will see that, though income exceeds expense through the end of July, pledge giving is less than what we budgeted. While this is not an unusual situation for churches in midsummer, it does remind me to ask that we all bring our pledges up to date, and to request that those of us who can make an additional gift to help close the gap between pledged and actual giving to do so. Our giving is not the only way we participate in the ministry of the church but it is an essential one . . .

I close with a few words of appreciation for the life of Arnold Anderson. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that Karen and I would not have moved our family from Los Angeles to Oakland in 1989 if it were not for the influence of Anne and Arnold Anderson. After visiting Lakeshore for the first time we liked the Pulpit Committee and we liked the Church but we were apprehensive about uprooting the kids and making such a major move. The Anderson’s encouraged us, promising their enduring friendship and support. We are forever grateful. I live with the hope that I fulfilled their trust. Thank you Arnold for standing strong in so many arenas and in so many ways.

Peace,

Jim H.