October 23, 2018

Dear LABC,

Thank you for your responses to and questions about my October 20th sermon outlining a faithful response to mental illness. Clearly mental illness touches the lives of many and certainly there is a deep desire that our faith shape our response to this reality. As many of you observed, I do believe that many of the biblical accounts of people having evil spirits and being possessed by demons describe what we now would call mental illness. It’s not that the biblical accounts were mistaken, it’s that they used the understandings, language and worldview of the time in which they were written. When any of us speak our truth we do so using the understandings, language and worldview of our own time and place.

This Sunday is Reformation Sunday, a yearly commemoration of the momentous changes set in motion by Martin Luther posting his challenges to his church, the Roman Catholic Church, on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31,1517. In my sermon I will share five or six imagined conversations that would have shaped Luther and led him to the conviction that the Spirit was leading him to teach the doctrines of Faith Alone, Grace Alone and Scripture Alone.

Angela Sherman will be baptized in worship on Sunday and the Department of Worship and Congregational Care is preparing a Day of the Dead observance. After worship there will be a baby shower for Hallie Randel and Michael Schrieber.

Jim H.

A Prayer for the Days Ahead

Lord, you’ve brought us safely to this new day. Help us to live it with joy, and in simple acts of kindness. Amen.

– Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

Included in our prayers are Joel Reyes, Jo and Dave Robinson, Jewelle and James Gibbs, Gloria and Phil Meads, The coming elections, The ministry of City Team, The ministry of our Hunger Task Force, Mary Karne for her family, The Hopkins family, All who are traveling, All who are grieving, All who are weary, The Educational Ministry of LABC, The Music Ministry of LABC, The Justice Ministry of LABC,  Sandra Lee for her Great-Aunt Helen and family, Zondra Martin for her family, The Keener Family, Helen Harrison for family and friends, Brian Byamakuma for his family and the work he founded in Uganda, The Seafarer’s Ministry of the Golden Gate, Roxanne Jones and family, Tess Benin and those she serves, The homeless members of our community, Julio Cash, Jesse Lucas for his sister Gwen and nephew Brian

A Note From The Department of Worship and Congregational Care

Hi Jim,

Could you add a note in the Midweek Message inviting people to bring photos of their departed loved ones to be placed on the altar this Sunday as we honor the Day of the Dead.  It would be best if they are framed (with your name on the back) but we do have frames if you need them. Just come a little early to place your pictures on the altar.


Chuck Johnston

A Closing Word

Author and pastor Eugene Peterson died on Monday. He is best known for The Message, his translation of the New Testament. The message that was his life and ministry will continue to encourage the faith of many. In gratitude for his legacy I share these words of his: “The life of faith isn’t meant for tourists. It’s meant for pilgrims.”