Thanks from Evergreen

The Evergreen Annual Meeting  was held at First Baptist Church of Palo Alto October 9-11, 2015.

A word from Bob Sittig, Evergreen Association Chair:

The meeting was fabulous. My personal gratitude goes out to Pastor Rick Mixon, the members of Palo Alto First Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Church as well as to all the members of the Bay Area churches who contributed to the great success of this pioneering event. The meeting spaces were comfortable, the food delicious, and the spirit of welcome by all of our hosts made this meeting feel warm and meaningful to all who attended. This gathering was true evidence of the spirit of Evergreen. … One of the many lessons I took away from this magical time in Palo Alto was to be not afraid to try new things. This event far exceeded many expectations and brought renewed energy to our association. … I hope Evergreen will consider holding this event more often than every twelve years outside of Western Washington. It can be done successfully. I know God was smiling, maybe even laughing, the entire weekend.

Photos from the Evergreen weekend:

evergreen01-forbes evergreen02-worship evergreen03-mixon-forbes evergreen04-worship evergreen06-worship evergreen05-forbes  evergreen07-social evergreen08-choir

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.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • 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

Evergreen Region Meeting is near

Dr. James ForbesThis is a busy time for our congregation. In just a little over a week we will be welcoming our friends from Evergreen Region for our annual meeting. I am delighted that they have chosen to come our way and I am even more delighted that the preacher for the event will be Dr. James Forbes, one of America’s great preachers and advocates for social justice. You can see the schedule above. I urge you to participate in as much of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as you can. You will not be disappointed.

If you can only make the worship services, please do. There is no need to register for them but if you plan to attend any of the meal functions, the Sacred Conversation (on race) or the excellent workshops, please register so we can have a good estimate for food, beverage and space allotment. A number of us are already working on the planning team. If you are willing able to help with hospitality – shopping, hosting, providing transportation to and from the airport (SJC or SFO) or between the church and hotel, etc., please let me know as soon as possible. This is a wonderful time to show just how hospitable we can be. And don’t hesitate to invite your friends and neighbors.

This Sunday we will return to the lectionary. The current gospel is Mark and the text includes Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to “make room for the kids.” On World Communion Sunday how do we make sure to make room for the least at our table of plenty? Afterward, Adult Spiritual Formation will take a look at the news, so come prepared with an article, a question, a comment and we will try to make connections to our faith

This Week at First Baptist (9/30/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, October 1, 7:30 PM: Church Choir  in the Parlor. Come for the music fun and fellowship. Lift your voice in joyful song! All are welcome.
  • Sunday, October 4, World Communion Sunday
    10:00 AM, Worship for the Whole Family:

    “Broken and Blessed,” Pastor Rick preaching.
    11:30 Adult Spiritual Formation: What’s New in the News?” an opportunity to share and converse about what might have caught your attention or be of concern with current events in our world.
  • Sunday, October 4, 1:00 pm: CROP Hunger Walk. See details here.
    If you wish to support the First Baptist Church Palo Alto team, you can bring a check on Sunday and any one of the walkers will be happy to deliver it at the Walk. Checks are made payable to: CWS/CROP.   Walkers, please bring your donation packets with you to the Registration Table.
  • Tuesday, October 6, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 2:30 PM: MEDITATION GROUP led by Charlotte Jackson at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, October 7, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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

Evergreen Association Annual Meeting at FBCPA Oct. 9-11

The Evergreen Baptist Association invites you to our annual meeting:

Coming of Age:
Transformational Journeys!

“Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?”
Luke 2:41-52

October 9-11, 2015
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Dr. James Forbes

Featuring Dr. James Forbes, Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Church, NYC

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

FRIDAY

  • 11:30 AM Registration opens
  • 12:00 PM Lunch
  • 1:00 PM Sacred Conversation
  • 3:00 PM Break
  • 3:30 PM Workshops
  • 5:00 PM Open Time
  • 6:00 PM Dinner
  • 7:00 PM Worship – Dr. James Forbes

SATURDAY

  • 8:00 AM Registration Opens
  • 8:30 AM Continental Breakfast and Orientation to Business
  • 9:00 AM Caucus Meetings
  • 10:30 AM Business Session
  • 12:00 Luncheons:
    Clergy – Peter Yuchi-Clark
    Laity – Clem Winbush
  • 2:00 PM Worship – Dr. James Forbes
  • 4:00 PM Ministry Conversation
  • 6:30 PM International Dinner

SUNDAY

  • 9:00 AM Continental Breakfast
  • 9:30 AM Adult Education with Dr. Leann Snow Flesher
  • 11:00 AM Worship – Dr. Forbes

For more information: www.evergreen-abc.org

Registration forms are also available in the church entryways.

A Note from Rick

To Be God's PeopleThanks to Gregory and everyone who covered while I was away last week. I’ve heard very good reports about the worship experience and the Lunch Bunch. I’m sorry I missed it all. I did have a good trip to Boise where we celebrated my mother’s 97th birthday and I attended my 50th high school reunion, which was a very nice event. It was good to see some folk I haven’t seen for all these years.

In this Midweek Message you will see information on several important upcoming events in the life of our congregation. Tomorrow at noon is the first meeting of our new Senior Connections Book Group. Then see the information on the Crop Walk on October 4. Sign up to walk or sponsor. October 9-11 we will host the Evergreen regional meeting with Dr. James Forbes. Sunday we will have registration forms for you all. This will be an exciting event and a wonderful opportunity to share with our Baptist friends.

This Sunday is “Rally Day”. We will kick off the church school year, share in worship and enjoy the last cook out of the season. I know Gregory has some special things planned for our children and youth. We are almost at the end of our journey with Brian McLaren. Our focus will be on “Adventures in the Spirit of God: Spirit of Hope.” The texts are from the Psalms and Revelation so they reflect especially on hope for the future. This seems timely as we focus on our own future.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday at 10:00 AM. Bring some others along to share in worship, education and fellowship around the tables on the patio.

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

Pastor Rick

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

Celebration in Denver

First Baptist Church, Denver
First Baptist Church of Denver

Thanks to Pastor Tripp and everyone else who helped to lead worship and education last Sunday while I was in Denver.  In spite of the abundance of rain in that region (including the devastating floods around Boulder,) I had a delightful weekend.  My friend, Brian Henderson became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Denver about 10 months ago.  The congregation was down to 15 people when Brian began.  By opening their doors to the community in which they are located (their elegant, historical building is directly across from the state capitol,) they have experienced some significant growth in a short time.  They are the newest member of our Evergreen Region of American Baptists.

I was honored that Brian asked me to preach the sermon for his installation service.  One highlight of the service was 65 men from the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus singing the anthem and benediction response (not to mention the hymns!)  They were quite wonderful.  I was treated royally; it was a great experience.

This Sunday our worship will focus on Jeremiah’s aching lament over the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  Where does one find comfort and healing in a time of deep distress?  It appears that this focus follows closely on last week’s sermon and worship.  In so many ways it seems like the best of times and the worst of times when we consider the goings on in this old world.  For some, our prayer is “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”  For other it is “Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no healer there?”

Adult Spiritual Formation will be led by Andy Kille.  Andy has been our webmaster for several years now.  For some months, Andy, Pastor Tripp and I have been developing a new approach to our online presence through a “blog page.”  Andy will be here to help orient us as we launch this effort – “To the Blogosphere and Beyond:  Navigating the Congregation’s New Blog Site.”  Come, explore where we have never gone before!  See you Sunday at 10 and stay for ASF.  Bring someone along to share the day.

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

Pastor Rick: October 17

Rev. Rick MixonI had a very nice trip to Seattle this past weekend.   The weather was reasonable (for Seattle!)  The Evergreen meetings went well.  We were privileged to hear the excellent preaching of the Reverend Jacqueline Thompson, Assistant Pastor at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, who urged us to remain faithful to our calling to be an inclusive community of people and congregations.  It was great to visit with old friends and a delight to preach at Seattle First Baptist Church on Sunday.  The worship service was lovely, the choir and organ outstanding and the day filled with many fond memories.

By all reports it was a good day at FBCPA as well.  Thanks to Tripp for preaching, to Carolyn for working with the children and youth and to Nana for hosting a “visit to Lebanon.”  I heard that her presentation was very good, the décor lovely and the food outstanding.  Of course, I knew it would be.  I’m sorry I missed it.

Sunday we will visit India under the guidance of the Hunwicks.  Worship will focus on the 38th chapter of Job at the point at which God begins to speak to the Job from the whirlwind.  What happens when we bring our grievances before God with an expectation that justice will be done?  Job is confronted with an order of reality that goes far beyond his comprehension, that challenges his conception of justice, and that teaches him a lesson about being a creature, albeit one attended to and loved by God.

After worship we will hold our Quarterly Business Meeting, which will include a Special Business Meeting to consider a change to our church constitution’s quorum requirements.  The sole purpose of this amendment is to make it easier for us to conduct church business, since current quorums are a burden to meet.  There is no intention to purge our roles or exclude anyone who wants to be a member in this process.  We want every member who is willing and able to join in making this decision and, more importantly, to engage in every aspect of our community life, including its business.

So don’t’ forget – 10:00 AM in the sanctuary for worship, sharing and learning and then stay for the business meeting.  Bring a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor (or three!) to join us.  Strangers are welcome, too!

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick

Pastor Rick: October 10

Jonah
This picture has nothing to do with the article.

This weekend I will be attending the annual meeting of the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches in Seattle, representing our congregation. On Sunday I have been invited to preach at Seattle First Baptist Church. This year marks the 40th anniversary of my internship at that church. From July 1971 through August 1972, I worked full time there under the able supervision of Walt Pulliam. I lived in a basement apartment under the sanctuary. During that year, among many other duties, I helped to start a young adults ministry in the congregation. It was a wonderful year, one that contributed to my pastoral identity and sense of how to do ministry in the local congregation. I am grateful for this opportunity to return.

Due to scheduling conflicts, we have pushed back our time with Jennifer Davidson form ABSW to the end of this month and the beginning of next. So she will not be with us this Sunday. Pastor Tripp will be preaching and Carolyn Shepard will be with our children and youth. Nana Spiridon will be our special guide to Lebanon and our mission work there. In Adult Spiritual Formation, we will conclude our work with Brad Berglund’s, Reinventing Sunday, as part of our journey into the Spirituality of Worship.

Don’t’ forget – 10:00 AM in the sanctuary for worship, sharing and learning. Bring a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor (or three!) to join us. Strangers are welcome, too!

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick