Note from Pastor Rick (6/21/2017)

Well, it wasn’t too hot to grill – at least Don Ha survived long enough to cook the hot dogs and hamburgers (Thanks, Don!) We actually had to move inside to eat. It rarely gets this hot for this long in our neck of the woods. I hope everyone is keeping cool.

We have several options for Sunday’s worship theme – the story of Hagar and Ishmael, Jesus teaching in Matthew that God pays attention to sparrows that fall along with the hairs on our heads (for those of  you who have some still,) or Paul’s wrestling with the question of whether not we might “sin more that grace may abound. Come Sunday to find out which direction we move. Throughout, we remember that it is in God that we live and move and have our being. Wherever our journey may take us, God is ever present and ever attentive. That is good news, even in tough times.

Next Tuesday I will be heading out on a two week road trip. I will be driving to Portland, Oregon, for the biennial Mission Summit of the American Baptist Churches – USA and then on to Boise to see my family. I will return to the office on Tuesday, July 11. Pastor Gregory will be on duty during my absence. And for your calendars, the church picnic this year will be on Sunday, July 16.

See you Sunday for worship and community sharing at 10:00 AM. Bring someone else to share the day with you.

Remember, our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.” Let’s make certain that it is so.
Pastor Rick

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This Week at First Baptist (6/29/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Choir is on hiatus for the Summer.
  • Sunday, July 3, Sundays after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship for the Whole Family with Communion
    “Welcoming the Stranger: Break the Bread of Belonging,” Ruth 1:6-18; Psalm 46; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Pastor Rick preaching
    11:15 AM: Annual Picnic: Everyone come join us for the fun after worship!  We are planning a fun time for all. We will furnish the hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages. You are invited to bring whatever else you’d like to make the perfect picnic, salads, side dishes or desserts.  There will be fun games to go with the fabulous food.  Feel free to wear your picnic clothes to worship. Invite friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors or strangers off the street to join the festivities.  If you can, come early (before church) to help with set up or stay afterward to help with clean up, that would be much appreciated.
  • Tuesday, July 5, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, July 6, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, July 6, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, July 10, Ninth Sunday in Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Welcoming the Stranger: Radical Hospitality and Holy Disruption,” Matthew 25:31-46; Hebrews 13:1-6, Pastor Gregory preaching.
    11:15 AM: Patio Hour
    11:30 AM: Open Forum Parent Meeting
    in the Youth Room. We will discuss our Summer plans and begin looking forward to the Fall Semester.
  • Wednesday, July 13, 7:00 PM: Church Council meeting in the Parlor.
  • Wednesday, July 20, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Monday, July 25: Spire Deadline
  • Thursday, July 28, 11:30 AM: Women’s Brunch at Country Gourmet, 1314 South Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale (Note change of venue). All women of our church community are invited to join in.
  • Friday, July 29 – Sunday, July 31: Lead Through Story, an All-Church Retreat with Daniel Pryfogle. See details.

Annual Picnic 2015

Thanks to everyone who made Sunday’s Annual Picnic a fun occasion. It took the good work of everyone to make the day a good one. This Sunday we will have our bi-monthly, “Y’all come” luncheon, informally hosted by Melanie Ramirez and Alan Plessinger. Any and all are welcome to attend; just let one of them know so we have enough seats. This time we will be at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant in Palo Alto.

In worship we will focus on cultivating a “Spirit of Service.” This is a concept and practice that is crucial to our faith. One of the texts is the great hymn from Philippians to Christ’s self-emptying service. It is a challenge and example for every one of us who claims to be Christian. In Matthew’s gospel, the writer is pretty hard on those who don’t practice what they preach and in John’s gospel we find Jesus on his knees washing his disciples’ feet. The model that Jesus the Christ sets before to serve one another and all of God’s creation is surely the work of a life time. Can we live up to it and into it?

Join us at 10:00 AM for worship, followed by food, fellowship and fun. It will be a great day for you to invite others to share with us.

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

Pastor Rick

A momentous week

God's PeopleIn so many ways, this was a momentous week, with important Supreme Court rulings on health care and marriage equality, with the elegant eulogy and song offered by the President in memory of those slain at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston and with horror of a number of African American churches torched in South Carolina. As things have unfolded and unraveled we have turned to one another in wonder, fear, love and compassion, affirming that evil will not rule the day. Now can we make it so?

The meetings I attended surrounding the American Baptists’ biennial Mission Summit offered many words of courage and hope. Not only were concerns about racism and white supremacy raised, we heard the calls for the full inclusion of lgbtq people in the life of our denomination in 3 of the 4 major addresses. It was the most encouraging “Biennial” I have been to in a while. There was an excellent Emerging Theologians Conference before the Mission Summit and I attended two brief retreats after – one for the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists and one for the Minister’s Council (led by our friend, Heather Entrekin, who sent her greetings.)

As always, it was great to see old friends and make new ones. The Roger Williams Fellowship dinner featured Marvin McMickle, President of Colgate Rochester-Crozer seminary in a brilliant analysis of racism in the USA; the AWAB dinner featured noted evangelical ethicist, David Gushee, outlining how his mind has changed to full inclusion lgbtq people in the life of the church; the Peace Fellowship breakfast was addressed passionately by J. Alfred Smith, Jr. from Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland on issues of peace and racial justice (Jim is the pastor of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who received the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award, the denomination’s highest); and the Ministers’ luncheon sponsored by the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board heard Molly Marshall, President of Central Baptist Seminary on the “well-lived life.”

I have heard good reports on worship here, which was ably led by Stina Miller, Dan Cudworth and Carolyn Shepard. Thanks to everyone who helped out while I was gone and thank you for the opportunity to represent FBCPA in our denominational life. This Sunday we will consider unity and diversity in the church. We will consider these phenomena in the context of what is going on in our world, especially in terms of racism and white supremacy. It is very difficult to talk about unity without also talking about justice. The text is Ephesians 4:1-16 and the sermon title is “With Liberty and Justice for All.”

After worship, we will hold our annual church picnic on the Patio. Join us at 10:00 AM for worship and food, fellowship and fun. It will be a great day for you to invite others to share with us.

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

Pastor Rick

 

Church Picnic Sunday, July 5

Church picnicEveryone! Come join us for the fun this coming Sunday, July 5, after worship! Congregational Life has planned a great event for us. They will furnish the hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages. You are invited to bring whatever else you’d like to make the perfect picnic, particularly salads and side dishes.

There will be fun games to go with the fabulous food. Feel free to wear your picnic clothes to worship. Invite friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors or strangers off the street to join the festivities. If you can come early (before church) to help with set up or stay afterward to help with clean up, that would be much appreciated.