Wally Bryen to preach Sunday

Three candlesI will be away this weekend representing our congregation at the annual meeting of the Evergreen Baptist Association, followed by a board meeting of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. One of my tasks while in Seattle will be to offer a formal invitation to our Region to hold next October’s meeting here at FBCPA. The Region has decided to hold its annual meeting in California every 10 years or so in recognition of the 6 or 7 California congregations that are Evergreen members. Of course, we will look to these other local congregations as well as the Regional office to help us host this event. It will be exciting to welcome our Evergreen sisters and brothers into our space. On Sunday, I will worship at University Baptist Church where I will bring greetings from the AWAB board to that member congregation.

Meanwhile, I am grateful that Wally Bryen will be available to help lead us in worship this Sunday. He will pick up the theme from We Make the Road by Walking, using Genesis 12:1-9 as his text. The suggested focus is on faith…what is it? How do we practice it? What does it demand of us? Abram seems so willing to put his faith and trust in Yahweh, who is constantly calling him to new and challenging adventures. Can we learn something from this ancient story about we might faithfully face God’s future for us? Are we willing to go places we’ve never been before or even imagined?

There will not be a formal Adult Spiritual Formation session this Sunday as Doug will be meeting with the parents of our children and youth. However, Dan Cudworth has agreed to lead a continuation of our discussion of Everything Must Change for those who would like to participate. Thanks, Dan.

I will be back in the office on Wednesday. Call the church office if there is a pastoral emergency. As usual I will be available by phone or email.

Come at 10:00 AM for Worship and Sunday School, then stay for one of Sunday’s conversations – with Doug or Dan. Bring someone to share the day with you.

God grant us more light, more love, more life as we journey together.

Pastor Rick

Back from Maine

Ocean at Ogunquit, ME
Ocean at Ogunquit, Maine

Thanks to Pastor Tripp and everyone else who helped cover for me while I was gone last week. I had a good trip to Maine. The annual gathering of the Alliance of Baptists was excellent. The focus was on racial and economic justice. We had outstanding leadership from Bill Kondrath, Marie Onwubuariri, Curtiss Paul DeYoung and Osagyefo Sekou as well as outstanding music, workshops and community time. The rest of the week was taken up by a board meeting of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. It was a challenging meeting but we got a lot of good work done. At the end of the week, we had a important conversation with the leadership of the ABC-USA, which holds some promise for a different future for lgbtq people in the life of our denomination. On Thursday I had a free day, which I spent in the charming seaside village of Ogunquit, ME.

Thanks to Doug for doing such a fine job with the service and his sermon. We have been blessed to have him as our intern this year. This Sunday we will continue to look at the two little letters attributed to Peter, found at the back of the New Testament. As I said a couple of weeks ago, in contrast to Paul’s sometimes chiding epistles, Peter’s seem to be an exercise in appreciative inquiry. He is out to encourage and build up small churches that are struggling to survive in the face of increasing persecution. Sunday’s focus will be on what is probably the most familiar passage from these letters, the one in which he lifts them up as a chosen people, a royal priesthood moving from the shadows into God’s redeeming light.

I hope you will all be here at 10 AM on Sunday for worship and then stay for Adult Spiritual Formation as Pastor Tripp continues the series, Life on the Vine: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, based on the book by Philip Kenneson. This week’s focus will be “Cultivating Joy in the Midst of Manufactured Desire.”

And remember if you have questions or concerns about the revised Renewal Proposal, we want to hear from you so that we can be in conversation before the special business meeting on June 1 to vote on the Proposal. You may contact me, Carolyn, or any member of the Task Team or Council.

God grant us more light, more love, more life as we journey together.

Pastor Rick