April Mission Offering: ABSW (4/15/15)

Doug Davidson at ABSWSpecial Mission Offering for April goes to support scholarship aid at the American Baptist Seminary of the West. ABSW has been a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) since 1962. ABSW, founded in 1871, is the center of American Baptist ecumenical theological education in the far western United States. The seminary is affiliated denominationally with ABC-USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. ABSW admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. ABSW is described as Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic, Evangelical, and Ecumenical.

Our church has many connections with ABSW: Our Minister of Faith Formation and Family Life, Doug Davidson, is a student and his wife, Jennifer Davidson, is Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology. Our pastor is a graduate of ABSW, as are Dona Smith Powers and Lynn Hunwick.  Pastor Rick is currently teaching there in sabbatical coverage in pastoral care and counseling.

To date, we have received $325 towards our goal of $750.

April Mission Offering: ABSW (4/8/15)

Doug Davidson at ABSWSpecial Mission Offering for April goes to support scholarship aid at the American Baptist Seminary of the West. ABSW has been a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) since 1962. ABSW, founded in 1871, is the center of American Baptist ecumenical theological education in the far western United States. The seminary is affiliated denominationally with ABC-USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. ABSW admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. ABSW is described as Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic, Evangelical, and Ecumenical.

Our church has many connections with ABSW: Our Minister of Faith Formation and Family Life, Doug Davidson, is a student and his wife, Jennifer Davidson, is Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology. Our pastor is a graduate of ABSW, as are Dona Smith Powers and Lynn Hunwick.  Pastor Rick is currently teaching there in sabbatical coverage in pastoral care and counseling.

To date, we have received $260 towards our goal of $750.

Special Offering April 2015: ABSW

American Baptist Seminary of the WestThe American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW) was founded in 1871 and is the center of American Baptist ecumenical theological education in the far western United States. ABSW is a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) since 1962. The seminary is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and admits students from a variety of  denominational traditions. ABSW is described on Twitter as Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic, Evangelical, and Ecumenical.

Hobart Hall: ABSWHobart Hall, the heart of ABSW’s campus, is a four-story brick Tudor Revival building and was designed by one of California’s most famous architects, Julia Morgan. Dedicated in 1921, ABSW is a California state landmark.

ABSW offers its students resources through the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. ABSW students may take classes at 9 other GTU seminaries, and have access to one of the finest theological libraries in the world, a faculty of distinguished scholars, and the resources of UC Berkeley. Through the GTU, students can pursue ABSW degrees as well as Ph.D., Th.D., and M.A., and two joint Ph.D. programs with UC Berkeley.

Paul M. Martin is President/CEO and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Michelle Holmes is Vice President/CFO . Many of us remember LeAnn Snow Flesher, Academic Dean and Old Testament Professor, from her visits to FBCPA. We all remember Tripp Hudgins, now Director of Admissions.
Our church has had many connections with ABSW: Our Minister for Children, Youth & Families, Doug Davidson, is a student at ABSW and his wife, Jennifer Davidson, is Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology. Our pastor is a graduate of ABSW, as are Dona Smith Powers and Lynn Hunwick.

The 144th ABSW commencement ceremony will take place on May 16, 2015, 2:00 PM, at Beth Eden Baptist Church in Oakland. The speaker is Bishop Warner Brown Jr., Bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. At last year’s ABSW Commencement, Congresswoman Barbara Lee was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Our goal of $750 for the April Mission Offering for scholarships will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society. We encourage you to give generously to continue FBCPA’s longstanding history of support to students at ABSW.

Marilyn and Lynn Hunwick

Back to teaching

It’s already been a full week as I began teaching yesterday at both Pacific School of Religion and the American Baptist Seminary of the West. It happens that both professors of pastoral care and counseling are on sabbatical this spring, so the schools needed somebody to cover their required introductory classes. This is a good opportunity for me to make use of some of my training and experience. It has been a long time since I have taught at this level, so I am happy to say I survived the first day and am looking forward to the rest of the term. Fortunately, since both classes are on Tuesday, I can lead Bible study in the morning and make it to Berkeley for the afternoon and evening. This also means I will be available at FBCPA on Monday afternoons to compensate for the time I spend teaching.

This week’s focus is on “Jesus and the Multitudes.” The texts from Luke show Jesus working in and among the crowds that gathered around him, eager for healing and words of hope. However, as we discovered in Bible study yesterday, the 34th chapter of Ezekiel is a remarkable passage from which Jesus and the gospel writers must have drawn for inspiration and resources. The word for leaders and the powerful who abuse that with which they have been blessed rather in service of the common good are roundly condemned. In the end, the prophet says they will be “fed justice” – an intriguing image. At the same time, the description of God as the Good Shepherd is among the most beautiful in scripture.

In Adult Spiritual Formation, Dona Smith-Powers and Martha Myers from Grace Lutheran Church will share their experience from a conference they attended last year, sponsored by the Alliance of Baptists, on Palestinian Christians..

See you Sunday at 10:00 AM

May we continue to grow together as God’s people.

Pastor Rick  

God's People

TO BE GOD’S PEOPLE!

God's people

April Mission Offering Update (4/16)

American Baptist Seminary of the WestOur special mission offering for April is to support
scholarship aid at the American Baptist Seminary of the West.

The ABSW is a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) since 1962.  ABSW, founded in 1871, is the center of American Baptist ecumenical theological education in the far western United States. The seminary is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. ABSW admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. ABSW is described on Twitter as Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic, Evangelical, and Ecumenical.

Our church has many connections with ABSW:  Tripp Hudgins is currently enrolled at ABSW as he works on a PhD degree at the GTU. Our Intern, Doug Davidson, is a student and his wife, Jennifer Davidson, is Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology.  Our pastor is a graduate of ABSW, as are Dona Smith Powers and Lynn Hunwick.  Our offering for scholarships will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society.  We encourage you to give generously and continue the long-standing support to students by First Baptist Church, Palo Alto.

To date we have received $210 toward our goal of $750.

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April Mission Offering Update (4/9)

American Baptist Seminary of the WestOur special mission offering for April is to support
scholarship aid at the American Baptist Seminary of the West.

The ABSW is a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) since 1962.  ABSW, founded in 1871, is the center of American Baptist ecumenical theological education in the far western United States. The seminary is affiliated denominationally with ABC USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. ABSW admits students from a variety of denominational traditions. ABSW is described on Twitter as Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic, Evangelical, and Ecumenical.

Our church has many connections with ABSW:  Tripp Hudgins is currently enrolled at ABSW as he works on a PhD degree at the GTU. Our Intern, Doug Davidson, is a student and his wife, Jennifer Davidson, is Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology.  Our pastor is a graduate of ABSW, as are Dona Smith Powers and Lynn Hunwick.  Our offering for scholarships will be matched by the ABC Home Mission Society.  We encourage you to give generously and continue the long-standing support to students by First Baptist Church, Palo Alto.

To date we have received $20 toward our goal of $750.

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Loving as Jesus Loved

absw_logoAfter a particularly trying week last week, this week has seemed calmer.  Beautiful weather helps, as do the many words of affirmation and hope that people have penned.  As followers of Jesus, we are caught up in the very specific challenge to love one another, in particular, our enemies.  This is never easy and the closer, more real, more evil our enemies seem, the more difficult the challenge.  I want to focus on two of the lectionary texts this week.  The first is Jesus “new commandment” as recorded in John 13, to “love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you.”  That little qualifier at the end of the sentence throws the challenge of love into an entirely different dimension.  We know something of love from our individual collective experiences, but to love as Jesus loved?  With the same compassion, forgiveness, grace?  That is going to take some work!

I see the story of Peter and Cornelius, as recounted in Acts 11, as a very specific illustration of what “loving as Jesus loved” might look like.  Peter is challenged to grow far beyond his comfort zone in the service of a God who is much more inclusive than Peter had ever imagined.  “You just keep bringing the good news, Peter.  God will make sure there is room at the table for everyone who hears and desires to join in the feast.”

We also have the privilege of having Robert Wilkins with us Sunday to share an update on the American Baptist Seminary of the West.  Robert, who heads the YMCA of the East Bay is a delightful person.  I hope you will all stay to hear him in the Adult Spiritual Formation hour.

See you on Sunday at 10 as we as we gather as Christ’s beloved community.  Invite someone to come with you.

May God’s new thing flourish within us and among us.
Pastor Rick