February 11, 2020

Family,

LABC will host a Ceasefire Call-in this Thursday evening. Please hold all the participants, and the families and communities they represent, in your prayers as we gather in to save lives and to seek the peace of our city. I am grateful for the report that though January was a tense month on the streets of Oakland there was only one homicide. May the family of the one who died be comforted and may the months ahead be free from deadly violence.

I was just talking to Mikki and she said we are going to have some wonderful jazz artists with us in worship this Sunday. The Forum will be “A Right and a Privilege,” a historical and practical look at the power which all citizens possess – the right to vote.”

In my sermon, “Things That Make No Sense,” I plan to quote the great Baptist historian, Bill Leonard, of the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University.

“Sixteen years after being exiled from “Christian” Massachusetts for “dangerous opinions,” Roger Williams, erstwhile Baptist and a founder of Rhode Island, wrote a 1651 letter to Massachusetts Gov. John Endicott that conscience is “a persuasion fixed in the mind and heart of man which enforceth him to judge … and to do so and so with respect to God, His worship.” For Williams, conscience was unique to the human species and thus “is found in all mankind, more or less: in Jews, Turks, Papists, Protestants, pagans.”

Had he written some 200 years later, Williams would doubtless have added, “and in Mormons.” These days, it’s the “conscience … more or less” that should trouble Americans in the land of the free and the home of the newly acquitted.”

Prayers of the Congregation

Zondra Martin as she mourns the death of Marty (Memorial Service on April 4th); The San Fransico Kachin Baptist Church as it mourns the death of Ma Lu Thu and prays for the recovery of Li Brang; Jesus Portillo and family as they mourn the death of young Cameron; Julio Cash;  Yvonne Young for her students who have been traumatized by witnessing a violent attack; Chris and Kelly Schelin for Kelly’s aunt and family; Hallie Randel for her mom; Jewelle and James Gibbs; Jeanne Robinson; Mary Karne for Maryla; Michael Simpson recuperating from surgery; Katrina Lau; Karen Hopkins for Georgianne, Connie and Lou Ann; The people (and animals) of Australia; Rick McKillop for his family; Roy Browner and Al Johnson; George Cummings; The people of Puerto Rico; The people of Nigeria; The people of Iraq and Iran; Those affected by the global coronavirus epidemic and those responding to it; Rae Rita Thompson for her dad; Teresita Arciaga for her mom; All caregivers; Paige and John for Cordia Lee; The Scott Gattey Family; Jim Jeffery; The Thaker family; Robert Wilkins; John and Laura Landgraf; Gloria Meads for June, William, Kayla and Katrina; Tyrone Mack for his family; Kay Baxter and family, All who are celebrating the Lunar New Year; The homeless of our community; Rebecca Irwin-Diehl (American Baptist Churches) and family as they grieve the tragic death of their son; The President, the Congress and the people of the United States of America; Judy (from Portland) for Colleen and family

Two invitations:

  1. Please purchase your tickets for the February 23, Soul Food Dinner this Sunday.
  2. Please send me a few sentences about what Luke 11:4, “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”, means to you by February 24th for inclusion in our 2020 Ash Wednesday reflection booklet.