Note from Pastor Rick (10/5/2016)

What a grand and busy weekend we had at FBCPA. Saturday morning, Pastor Gregory and I were privileged to bless several animals in an inaugural Blessing of the Animals. It was a beautiful morning. We were privileged to meet some animals from the neighborhood and their humans. Sunday we had colorful celebration of World Communion Sunday along with an excellent report from Carolyn Shepard on her recent trip to Nicaragua and visit to our sister church in Corinto. Then it was off to the San Francisco Peninsula Crop Hunger Walk at Burgess Park in Menlo Park. We had five walkers this year – Carolyn, Pastor Gregory and his friend Rony Francois, Chip Clark and myself (walking  in place of Dan Cudworth, who was in Sacramento with his family after the death of his step-father last week.) We had fun waving and chatting and just hanging out. We raised something like $700 to support Church World Service and EHP feed the hungry. Thanks, especially, to Carolyn, our Team Captain, for organizing this effort.

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (10/5/2016)

Note from Pastor Rick (9/28/2016)

This is a busy weekend coming up. We start Saturday morning with a first attempt at Blessing the Animals. We’ve talked about this for a long time. You’re invited to come by with your own pets or bring a family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor to share the occasion. The service will be brief and Pastor Gregory or I will offer a blessing to each critter present – even the human ones!

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (9/28/2016)

This Week at First Baptist (9/28/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, September 29, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Everyone is invited to share in the fun and the music.
  • Saturday, October 1, 10:00 AM: Blessing of the Animals, the church lawn.
  • Sunday, October 2, 21st Sunday of Pentecost- World Communion Sunday
    10:30 AM: Worship for the Whole Family with Communion
    Living Love Letter,” Psalm 137; Lamentations 1:1-6, 3:19-26; Luke 17:5-10; 2 Timothy 1:1-14.
    11:30 AM Adult Spiritual Formation:  Carolyn Shepard will share about her trip to Nicaragua and her visit to our sister church in Corinto
  • Sunday, October 2, 1:00 PM: CROP WALK see details.
  • Tuesday, October 4, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, October 5, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Wednesday, October 5, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.


  • Sunday, October 9, 22nd Sunday of Pentecost
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Link by Link,” James 2:14-17, Charlotte Jackson preaching.

    11:30 AM Adult Spiritual Formation:  “Becoming Modern Day Abolitionists,” Charlotte Jackson leading. Today’s focus in worship and adult ed is on human trafficking, an area in which Charlotte has received lay training through the Disciples of Christ.

  • Sunday, October 9, 3:00 PM: Garden Party for United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford, hosted by Pastor Gregory and the UCCM Board. Come support this important outreach of our congregation for progressive Christians on the Stanford campus.Please rsvp to

Note from Pastor Rick (9/22/2016)

Thanks to Stefanie Bruggeman for sharing so well the work of the Opportunity Center last Sunday. Pastor Gregory with the children and youth made a good start on a “Youth Garden” (see here). Two things to keep in mind – the upcoming “Blessing of the Animals,” on Saturday morning October 1, 10:00 AM – bring your own critters and/or share the word with others. The service will be on the lawn and brief, with individual prayers of blessing for each animal. Also, don’t forget the Crop Walk on Sunday October 2. Carolyn will have a sign-up sheet for anyone who wants walk or anyone who wants to contribute to team FBCPA.

This week we will conclude a brief series on creation with a focus on the Cosmos. The texts are from Psalms, Proverbs, John, and Colossians. Psalm 148 is one of those great Psalms of praise that end the collection. All creation joins in praise of God. The other texts all speak of the interconnections of the Godhead and how all creation models that interconnectedness. With Wisdom and Christ and the Spirit and God, in the beginning there was the relationship! There is much to celebrate here and much to learn as we grow in wisdom and understanding, faith and love.

Come for Worship and Sunday School at 10 AM. Stay for Adult Spiritual Formation, where we will resume our consideration of the video series, Saving Jesus Redux.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick


Crop Walk October 2

Sunday, October 2nd at 1 PM
Burgess Park along Burgess Drive, Menlo Park

I am in the process of forming our team to participate in this year’s Crop Walk to be held on Sunday, October 2, at 1 PM in Burgess Park, Menlo Park. If you are interested in participating and “walking with a purpose,” come join us. I hope we can have a large group from FBC in this event.

To sign up or donate, you can go to the website: Scroll down the page and find Top Teams, and click on View All. We are listed as First Baptist Palo Alto. Click on our team and scroll down to either Donate or Join our Team. Easy-to-follow instructions will appear.

Crop Walk is an annual event that supports Church World Service in their efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty. Our local walk will also contribute to local efforts to meet the needs of the hungry. If you go to the website that I mentioned above, you can learn more about the contribution that Crop Walk makes across the nation, as well as here at home.

Any questions, please ask me, Carolyn Shepard.  Find me at church or call me.

CROP Walk, October 2, 1016

Sunday, October 2nd at 1 PM
at Burgess Park along Burgess Drive, Menlo Park

CROP Walk team

We will again have education, music, and food to help nourish our bodies and minds at the event.

Thanks to all who came and those who supported them, we raised over $22,000 last year, up from $13,000 in 2014. Seventy-five percent of the money went to Church World Service or to relief agencies of your choice, and 25 % went to two local hunger fighting agencies. CWS accomplishes a lot with this money. For example, women in Kenya learn how to build their own sand dam so they don’t have to go so far to get water, disadvantaged minorities in Paraguay and Bolivia learn to grow kitchen gardens as small businesses, and gypsy children in Serbia finally get access to schooling.

To catch a glimpse of the impact you are making, check out CWS’s key projects in 2015-2016 on the NGO Aid Map:

I hope more of us from FBC can join in this walk.  It is a fun way to make an impact on fighting hunger, both locally and abroad.

Carolyn Shepard

This Week at First Baptist (9/30/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, October 8, 7:30 PM: Church Choir  in the Parlor. Come for the music fun and fellowship. Lift your voice in joyful song! All are welcome.
  • Friday-Sunday, October 9-11: Evergreen Association Annual Meeting at First Baptist. Featuring guest preacher Dr. James Forbes, Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Baptist Church. See details here.
  • Sunday, October 11:
    9:30 AM: Adult Education
    with Dr. Leann Snow Flesher
    11:00 AM: Worship
    Dr. James Forbes, Preaching
  • Tuesday, October 13, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015, Noon: Senior Connections will be at First Presbyterian and will feature a music program. Brown Bag Lunch. 1140 Cowper Street, Palo Alto; 650-325-5659
  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 2:30 PM: Meditation Group led by Charlotte Jackson at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • Thursday, October 15 – Noon: Senior Connections Book Club at First Baptist Church. Our first book to be read for our meeting on October 15 is When I Was a Child I Read Books, a collection of essays by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Marilynne Robinson. Bring a bag lunch, beverage will be provided. Invite your friends and neighbors.


  • Sunday, October 18: 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
    10:30 am: Worship and Sunday School
    “Power to Serve,” Pastor Rick Preaching
    11:30 AM: Quarterly Business Meeting
  • Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:00 AM: Women’s Brunch at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant, 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.
  • Thursday, October 28, 2015, Noon: Senior Connections at Covenant Presbyterian will feature a variety of presentations of specific interest to seniors. 670 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto; 650-494-1760