Blessed Thanksgiving

Rev. Rick MixonA blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

Thanks to everyone who pitched in last week to help with the Gratitude Dinner and to all those who signed up to help with coffee hour in the upcoming weeks. There are still some slots open and I would be grateful for your help. Remember that we will be decorating the church for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season. We can use everyone’s help – young and old alike.

Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent. This is meant to be a quiet time do sacred contemplation in anticipation of the Christmas event when God enters our reality in human form. I imagine this is a challenge for most of usm given the frenetic pace of actitvity that has come to characterize this time of year. Hopefully our schedule for the season will help you find time and space to prepare for the coming of Christ.

I am grateful to everyone who participated in the Advent Planning Workshop and to Dan Cudworth, Jan and Greg who met with me this week to work further on the services for the season. I am excited about lies ahead for us as we worship, study and work for realization of God’s Beloved Community in our misdst, beginning with a baby born in Bethlehem.

On this first Sunday, we will focus on two texts – Psalm 25, with its affimation of God’s steadfast love and mercy, even in the hardest times; and on Jeremiah’s great affirmation of hope for the future, written from prison as the world he knew was crumbling around him. How do we hold hope and let it shape our lives when we are confronted with wars and rumors of war, threats and acts of terror, economic uncertainty and pressure to perform. All these and more generate an atmosphere of fear. But our word for the time is hope because the future is in God’s hands. We begin Advent, expectantly, that our hopes will be fulfilled.

See you Sunday at 10:00 AM ready to worship, learn and share. Bring someone with you and stay to “Hang the Greens – and blues and whites and golds!

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

Pastor Rick

This Week at First Baptist (11/18/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015, 12:00 Noon: Senior Connections Book Club at First Baptist Church. We will continue our discussion of When I Was a Child I Read Books, a collection of essays by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Marilynne Robinson. We will also choose a new book for our December meeting. Bring a bag lunch, beverage will be provided. Invite your friends and neighbors.
  • Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:00 PM: Church Council meeting in the Parlor.
  • Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7:30 PM: Choir Rehearsal in the Parlor. Come for the music, fun and fellowship. Lift your voice in joyful song! All are welcome.
  • Sunday, November 22, 2015: Reign of Christ Sunday
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Rick Mixon, Preaching
    11:30 AM: Gratitude Dinner for folk of all ages in the Fellowship Hall. Join us for an intergenerational potluck dinner and celebration of all for which we are grateful. Bring a dish to share. Invite a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in this time of celebration!
  • Sunday, November 22, 2015, 7:00 PM: The Blessings of Water. Annual Palo Alto Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Featuring the Gordon Stewart Peninsula Trombone Choir, Storytellers, Leaders from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu Faith Communities, and dancers from many cultures. Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto.
  • Tuesday, November 24, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 2:30 PM: Meditation Group led by Charlotte Jackson at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, November 29, 2015, First Sunday of Advent
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Advent Hope,” Psalm 25:1-10, Rick Mixon preaching.

    11:30 AM: Hanging of the Greens
    We will decorate the church for the Advent to Epiphany season. There will be activities for all ages. Partake of refreshments and help make our Advent to Epiphany Worship a warm and colorful reality.

This Week at First Baptist (11/11/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • NO Church Choir  this week; rehearsals resume on November 19.

 

  • Sunday, November 15, 2015: 25th Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Future Hope,” Mark 13:1-8, Rick Mixon preaching.11:30 AM- 1:00 PM: Love Came Down- Advent Planning Workshop
    Pastors Rick and Gregory will lead the congregation in a process of planning this for year’s Advent/Christmas worship. Everyone of every age is encouraged to participate in this opportunity to make the sacred season even more meaningful for your sharing
  • Tuesday, November 17, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 2:30 PM: Meditation Group led by Charlotte Jackson at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 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:

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015, 12:00 Noon: Senior Connections Book Club at First Baptist Church. We will continue our discussion of When I Was a Child I Read Books, a collection of essays by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Marilynne Robinson. We will also choose a new book for our December meeting. Bring a bag lunch, beverage will be provided. Invite your friends and neighbors.
  • Sunday, November 22, 2015: Reign of Christ Sunday
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Rick Mixon, Preaching
    11:30 AM: Gratitude Dinner for folk of all ages in the Fellowship Hall. Join us for an intergenerational potluck dinner and celebration of all for which we are grateful. Bring a dish to share. Invite a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in this time of celebration!
  • Sunday, November 22, 2015, 7:00 PM: The Blessings of Water. Annual Palo Alto Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Featuring the Gordon Stewart Peninsula Trombone Choir, Storytellers, Leaders from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu Faith Communities, and dancers from many cultures. Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto.

This Week at First Baptist (11/19)

  • CalendarThursday, November 20, 2014, 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
  • Thursday, November 20, 7:30 pm: Church Choir in the Parlor. Come and lift your voice in song. All are welcome.
  • Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:00 pm: Gratitude Potluck for folk of all ages in the Fellowship Hall. Join us for an intergenerational potluck dinner and celebration of all for which we have to be grateful. Bring a dish to share. You may also bring turkeys and canned food for Ecumenical Hunger Program that evening. Invite a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in this time of celebration! 
  • Sunday, November 23, 2014: Stewardship Sunday
    10:00 AM Worship and Sunday School:
    “Stories That Shape Us” Pastor Rick preaching. You encouraged to bring your completed pledge form for the 2015 budget.
    11:30 AM: Hanging of the Greens We will decorate the church for the Advent to Epiphany season. There will be activities for all ages. Coffee, juice, fruit, doughnuts for extra enticement. Help make our Advent to Epiphany Worship a warm and colorful reality.
  • Monday, November 24, 2014: Deadline for December Spire
  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014: Bible Study at the Terraces of Los Altos at Janet Maxwell’s apartment. The address is 373 Pine Lane, #2106, Los Altos. Let Pastor Rick know if you need a ride.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:30 pm: Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto. “Sharing the Land: with Compassion and without Fear.” An offering will be taken for Community Legal Services and Doctors without Borders. Non-perishable food items for local food closets are also welcome.
  • THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27 AND 28, Thanksgiving Holiday, church office closed.
  • FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT, NOVEMBER 30, 10:00 AM, Worship and Sunday School: “Alive in the Adventure of Jesus: Promised Land, Promised Time” Pastor Rick preaching.  11:30 AM, Adult Spiritual Formation, Be Born in Us Today, a three 3 week series of Advent reflection based on a verse from Phillips Brooks’s carol, Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem

Gratitude and Stewardship

Three candlesThis weekend our focus is on gratitude with our annual Gratitude dinner on Friday night and culminating with Stewardship Sunday. Not only in the broader culture, but especially in the life of the church this is the time of year to consider generosity and giving.   Friday’s night’s potluck will center on expressions of gratitude. Sunday you are asked to bring your completed pledge forms for ongoing support of the church through next year’s budget. The many good things we do and are as a congregation are dependent on the generosity of your support – in time, talent and treasure. Personally, I am always grateful for the good stewardship of our congregation.

In addition, this is the month in which we take a special offering for Ecumenical Hunger Program, the agency which we helped found to serve the needy in East Palo Alto and vicinity. What a treat it was to have Nevida Butler, founding director, in worship Sunday to share some of the ongoing needs and emerging vision of EHP. And how appropriate that she would be sitting next to Mary Granholm, volunteer extraordinaire!    We also remembered Ellen Chang and June Lee who gave countless hours of volunteer service to EHP. Thanks also to Thelma and Ron Tuttle who keep the connection going by picking up our donations on a regular basis and delivering them to the EHP campus.

Remember we will be collecting food stuff for the EHP holiday food distribution this weekend. In addition to nonperishable food items, please bring turkeys, hams, chickens or roasts to grace another family’s Thanksgiving table. These can be brought Friday night, Sunday morning or any time in between. And if you have family, friends, colleagues or neighbors looking to share during this holiday season, invite them to contribute as well. Let’s fill the barrels, baskets and boxes to overflowing!

Sunday’s worship focus will be on the “Hope of the world, thou Christ of great compassion…” (to quote from the great hymn of Georgia Harkness, which we sang last Sunday.) Along with everything else, Sunday is “Christ the King Sunday,” the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar in which we celebrate Christ in the fullness of his glory. The following week it starts all over with Advent and the promise of the Incarnation. After worship we will all – young and old – join to decorate the church for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season.   There will be something for everyone, including refreshments to keep us going.

See you Sunday at 10:00 AM for a rich, full day.

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

Pastor Rick  

MORE LIGHT…MORE LOVE…MORE LIFE

This Week at First Baptist (11/12)

  • CalendarThursday, November 13, 2014, 5:00 pm: Church Council in the Parlor
  • Thursday, November 13, 7:30 pm: Church Choir in the Parlor. Come and lift your voice in song. All are welcome.
  • Friday, November 14, 2014, 10:00 am: Senior Chat- Mental Illness in Our Midst. Fireside Room of Covenant Presbyterian Church, 670 East Meadow Drive
  • Sunday, November 16, 2014
    10:00 AM Worship and Sunday School:
    Alive in Creation: From Ugliness, a Beauty Emerges,” Pastor Rick preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:
    Part 3 of a 3 week series on Dan Buttry’s Blessed are the Peacemakers
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014: Bible Study at the Terraces of Los Altos at Janet Maxwell’s apartment. The address is 373 Pine Lane, #2106, Los Altos. Let Pastor Rick know if you need a ride.
  • Wednesday, November 19, 2014, noon: Baptists Lunching Together at Grand Lake Gardens, Oakland. This month’s program will feature Evelyn Hanneman, BPFNA Operations Coordinator, speaking on Burma and the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. Lunch is $8.00. Please call Joan Thatcher at 510-350-7008 for reservations. Let Pastor Rick know if you would like a ride.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014: Women’s Brunch
  • Friday, November 21, 2014: Gratitude Potluck
  • Sunday, November 23, 2014: Hanging of the Greens
  • Monday, November 24, 2014: Deadline for December Spire
  • Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:30 pm: Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto

This Week at First Baptist

CalendarTHIS WEEK AT FIRST BAPTIST

  •  CHURCH CHOIR Thursday, November 21 at 7:30 PM in the Parlor.
    All are welcome to join in song (and fun).
  • WOMENʹS BRUNCH will be Thursday, November 21 (not 28) at 10 AM at Hobee’s Restaurant, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited. Please join us.
  • GRATITUDE POTLUCK, Friday November 22 at 6:00 PM for folk of all ages in the Fellowship Hall. Join us for an intergenerational potluck dinner and celebration of all for which we have to be grateful. Bring a dish to share. You may also bring turkeys and canned food for Ecumenical Hunger Program that evening. Invite a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in this time of celebration!
  • “FOUND FAITHFUL, IN LITTLE, WITH MUCH, WITH ALL” – STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY, November 24, 10:00 AM. We will bring our 2013 pledges as well as our food offerings for EHP as part of a service of thanksgiving.  10:00 a.m. Worship: Made Strong & Sunday School for Children and Youth.  11:30 a.m. Adult Spiritual Formation:  Contemplation of the book, Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber, led by Pastor Tripp. Rev. Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor in Denver, CO. Her memoir is capturing the attention of many. It is a New York Times bestselling spiritual memoir. Some suggest hers is a voice for our present time. Copies are available.  (Note: the book contains adult language.)
  • BIBLE STUDY, Tuesday, November 26, 10:30 AM at the Terraces of Los Altos at Janet Maxwell’s apartment.  The address is 373 Pine Lane, #2106, Los Altos.  Let Pastor Rick know if you need transportation.
  • INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE, Tuesday, November 26, 7:30 PM in our sanctuary. This year’s theme is “Pathways to a Grateful Heart: Inspiring Each Other to Expressions of Gratitude.”  If you can help with the reception afterward, please let Pastor Rick know.  We could use help with set up, clean up and refreshments to share.