I am not rushing anywhere this morning so, warm cup of coffee in hand, I am taking time to pray the newspaper. This is a practice that I invite you to try. It involves simply reading the paper in as much depth as you care to and offering a prayer for the people involved and for the issues, concerns and questions reported.
The paper I have in hand is the March 11, 2019 East Bay Times. Under the subject notation Sustainable Agriculture one headline reads “Designer bacteria may bring end to fertilizer: Berkeley scientists hope re-engineered microbe will cut need for chemical pollutants.” My prayer, “Creator God, bless those whose work it is to make sure that we humans have healthy food to eat , fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink. I am grateful for their expertise.”
Under the subject notation New Border Wall Funding another headline is “Trump wants $8.6B more: White House says request will bring new fight with Congress; Democrats ready for the battle.” My prayer, “You are the God of every person. You are the God of the right and the left. Please bring wisdom to the halls of Congress so that questions of national security, human rights and fiscal policy might be addressed in ways that address the common good rather than in ways that divide us one from the other.
A third headline is about Public Health, “2016 vaccination law may stem outbreak.” My prayer, “Mother/Father God. You know the love that parents have for their children. May that love be informed by good science, good policy and good will for all. Thank you for the doctors, nurses and other professionals that work for good health for all. May they feel appreciated for the good work they do.”
The fourth front page story is “Panel to decide fate of judge accused of sexual harassment.” My prayer, “God of justice, may those in positions of power use it justly. Where that power has been misused may there be repentance on the part of the offender and some form of recompense or restitution for those who have been wronged. Give us the strength to mirror your love by standing with the vulnerable and downtrodden.”
Your prayers may be quite different than mine. That is the nature of our faith. Regardless, I do hope you will take some time this week to pray the newspaper.
(Notice I did not begin my prayers with the Sports Page even though the Warriors might need a miracle to win the NBA title for the third year in a row.)
Prayers of the Congregation
Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson-McElhaney as she grieves the death of her son; Jamie Reid (shoulder surgery needed); David Rovanpara (home from the hospital); Tess Benin as she mourns the death of her aunt Sol; Ashley Ash (leg injury); Dayle Scott health); Sandra Lee for her dad; Joan Patten for Sierra; Cecil White (health); Thanksgiving for the ministry of Harry Williams; The homeless of the Bay Area and those who minister to them; Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Evergreen Baptist Association; Thanksgiving for the ministry of the American Baptist Seminary of the West; Sydney Webster; Rita Jennings (health); Mary Anderson (health); Jeanne Robinson for her family; Marie Johnson for her family and her work colleagues; Margaret Oladoja; Toni Daniels; Allison and Roehl for their nephew; Julio Cash and Eduardo Sanchez; Gloria Meads; Amber Picou-Broadnax for families in trauma; Larry Sims for his godson, John, and family; Thanksgiving with Tyrone that his mother-in-law is feeling better; Mary Karne for her daughter, Maryla
- Our celebration of Women’s History Month continues this Sunday. Carolyn Matthews will be our preacher and her daughter, Joanna Paun, will lead the Forum. Joanna is the first African-American elected to public office in the city of Petaluma.
- We received word last week of the death of long-time member Barbara French on January 28 in Portland, OR. There will be a burial service at the Veterans Cemetery in San Francisco in June.
- Registration for The American Baptist Biennial Mission Summit is open. Early registration ends on March 15. LABC will reimburse the early registration fee for our members.
- March 23 and 24 Worship Schedule – Saturday evening, 6-8 Pause; Sunday afternoon 12:00, Bible Study, 1:00, Worship – a simple service including a Baby Dedication and time for reflection (Changes due to Oakland Running Festival)