April 22, 2014


Dear Lakeshore,

This coming Sunday we will dedicate the “The Living Tree” sculpture during our worship service. I thank the community for all the effort, all the honest discussion, and all the discernment that led to this day. I trust that the sculpture will come to be a symbol of our faith and our values. Eric Powell, the sculptor, will be with us.

Rumor has it that there will also be a recognition of the 25th Anniversary of my pastorate at LABC, My summary of our first 25 years as pastor and people is that I am constantly inspired, impressed and amazed by what God does through the community named Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.

This past Holy Week stands as an embodiment of this truth. You visited the sick and the imprisoned. You shared food with the hungry. You organized and led worship. You washed each other’s hands and feet. You shared a meal and remembered Jesus’ Last Supper. You welcomed the children of the community and their families. You supported your pastor when preached on Good Friday. You prepared bulletins, invited friends to church, shared your tithes and offerings, decorated the Sanctuary, made music the touched the heart and stirred the soul, and prepared a bounteous table for all who worshipped with us . Together we touched the mystery of the Resurrection. Incredibly, this list, while impressive, is also incomplete. I stand amazed in your presence.

The photo at the top of the page of Ruth Smith and me is yet another  representation  of what I mean. Ruth celebrated her 99th birthday on April 17. When her friends asked her what she would like for her birthday she asked them to make a gift in her honor to our Hunger Task Force. In the photo she is presenting me (on behalf of the church)  with an envelope full of checks  given in response to  her request. Is this not what exactly the type of thing that God continues to do in and through us?

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Jim H.

We pray with the sick, the worried, the grieving, the traveling and the tired. We pray with the grateful, the exuberant, the hopeful and the expectant. We hold one another, and all creation, in the Light.