This Month at First Baptist (May 2016)

  • CalendarFBC BIBLE STUDY is held on Tuesdays at 10:30 AM at the Terraces of Los Altos at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos. Let Pastor Rick know if you need transportation.
  • MEDITATION GROUP, Every Wednesday at 10:30 AM, led by Charlotte Jackson, at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • MEN’S BREAKFAST, Every first and third Wednesday at 8:30 AM, at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • QUARTERLY BUSINESS MEETING, Sunday, May 1st, 11:30 PM, Parlor.
  • CONGREGATIONAL LIFE TASK MEETING, Friday, May 6th, 1 PM, Parlor.
  • CHURCH WORK DAY, Saturday, May 14th, First Baptist Church.
  • FINANCE MEETING, Sunday, May 15th, 12:30 PM, Parlor.
  • CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING, Sunday, May 15th, 7 PM, Parlor.
  • WOMEN’S BRUNCH, Thursday, May 26th, 11:30 AM, at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant, 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.


  • HUNTINGTON’S SUPPORT GROUP, Tuesday, May 10th, 7 PM, Parlor.
  • RESOUNDING ACHORD Concert, Sunday, May 15th, 2 PM, Sanctuary.

The Senior Connections events in May are:

The PRIME TIMERS Concert Series at First Presbyterian is May 10th. This month features the Music for Woodwind Quintet, featuring flutist Jenny Hunt. Brown bag lunch first, followed by the concert. 1140 Cowper Street, Palo Alto (650-325-5659)

The Book Club at First Baptist is May 19th in the church Parlor. This month we will be reading and discussing GHETTO: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, by Mitchell Duneier. The author traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe. Brown Bag Lunch (beverage will be provided). 305 North California Avenue, Palo Alto (650-327-0561)

All sessions will begin at Noon and will conclude by 1:30.

Anyone from our faith communities is invited and encouraged to participate.

This Week at First Baptist (3/11/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, March 12, 7:30 pm: Choir Practice in the Parlor. New voices are always welcome to join.
  • Friday, March 13, 2:00 pm: Congregational Care Task Team in the Parlor
  • Sunday, March 15, 10:00 AM:
    Worship and Sunday School for Children & Youth:

    Alive in a Global Uprising: Why We Worry, Why We Judge,” Pastor Rick preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:  Pastor Rick leading, an extension of our earlier discussions about nonviolence and peacemaking. We will be using Walter Wink’s, The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millennium, as a resource.
  • Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at the Terraces of Los Altos. We will meet at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 8:30 am: Men’s Breakfast at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome
  • Wednesday, March 18, 12:00 noon: Baptists Lunching Together at Grand Lake Gardens in Oakland – Don Ng, President of the ABX-USA and Pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church in San Francisco. Lunch is $10.00. For reservations contact Joan Thatcher, (510) 350‐7008. If you would like a ride let Pastor Rick know.


  • Thursday, March 19, 5:00 pm: Church Council Meeting in the Parlor
  • Monday, March 23: Spire deadline
  • Thursday, March 26, 10:00 am: Women’s Brunch at Corner Bakery Cafe, 3375 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join.

See how they love one another!

Doug Davidson with ChildrenWhen I was a member of Central Baptist Church of Wayne, Pennsylvania, we went through an interim period of about a year and a half in the mid‐1990s when the church was between pastors. During the previous decade, our church was led by a visionary pastor who provided strong direction. After he left, the church was very intentional about going through a slow and careful discernment process about its own ministry priorities. What parts of the congregation’s identity and activities were primarily the previous pastor’s vision, and what parts truly belonged to the congregation? I thought this discernment
regarding the congregation’s mission was essential. The church needed to be clear about who it was; then it could open itself to the leadership of a new pastor whose vision would compliment the congregation’s sense of its calling.

I was reminded a bit of this experience during the past month, as I have had different opportunities to see our congregation in action during Pastor Rick’s sabbatical month. Although Rick’s absence during the month of January certainly isn’t the same as an interim pastorate, the change in my responsibilities during these weeks has invited me into aspects of this congregation’s activity that I don’t experience as much in my usual role. I’ve enjoyed participating in Tuesday morning Bible studies, planning and  leading worship, preparing the Midweek Message, and other tasks that aren’t normally on my plate. But
what I have appreciated most has been gaining a more intimate perspective on the way members of our congregation care for one another.

The members of our church’s Congregational Care Task Team play a primary role in coordinating our church’s effort to minister to one another. I appreciated having the opportunity to sit in on that team’s brainstorming session about how we can minister more effectively to the seniors in our congregation, and then to be in the council meeting as the team reported back. But it’s not just the members of that team. I am touched by how you pray for one another, visit those who can’t be with us on Sundays, check in on one another with phone calls and emails, provide rides to make sure people who don’t drive can get to worship, and so much more. I have long appreciated the strong sense of mission outreach that  characterizes this small congregation.

But in the last month, I have gained a renewed appreciation for all the ways the members of this congregation care for one another. The early church historian Tertullian, writing near the end of the second century, reported that what observers found most striking about the early church was the way people cared for each other. He reported that the Romans used to marvel at the Christians and exclaim, “See how they love one another!” I’ve thought the same thing several times this month as I have sat with different members of our congregation. I’m moved by the ways you seek to care for one another. If you listen to my conversations with the kids on Sunday mornings, you probably already know that I think this is pretty close to the heart of the gospel.

“What’s most important?” they asked Jesus.

“Two things,” he responded. “Love God, and love others.” May we continue to grow in our ability to live more fully into that invitation.

Doug Davidson
Minister with Children, Youth, and Families