- Thursday, March 16, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor.
- Sunday, March 19: Third Sunday in Lent
10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School for Children and Youth:
“Finding Refreshment,” Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; John 4:5-42; Romans 5:1-11, Rick Mixon, preaching.
11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: “Speaking in Parables.” We will continue looking at Jesus’ Parables, focusing this week on “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” Luke 16:19-31, “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant,” Matthew 18:23-35, and “The Parable of the Talents,” Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27.
- SIGN UP FOR HOSPITALITY. We need volunteers to host the fellowship time, beginning with Sunday, March 12. A new signup sheet is in the church entryway. Thanks to everyone who helps with this important ministry.
- Tuesday, March 21, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos
- Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 PM: Church Council Meeting in the Parlor.
- Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s home, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME: Spring Forward on Sunday!
- No Church Choir this week. in the Parlor. We will resume on Thursday, March 16, 7:30 PM
- Sunday, March 12: Second Sunday in Lent
10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School for Children and Youth:
“Glimpses of Grace,” Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 121; John 3:1-17; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, Rick Mixon, preaching.
11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: “Speaking in Parables.” We will continue looking at Jesus’ Parables, focusing this week on “The Parable of the Wicked Tenants,” Mark 12:1-12, and “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” Luke 16:19-31.
- SIGN UP FOR HOSPITALITY. We need volunteers to host the fellowship time, beginning with this Sunday, March 12. A new signup sheet is in the church entryway. Thanks to everyone who helps with this important ministry.
- Tuesday, March 14, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos
- Wednesday, March 15, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
- Wednesday, March 15, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s home, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.
Our 2017 theme is “All are welcome in this place” and it comes from the hymn “All Are Welcome” (1950) by Marty Haugen. We sang the first verse last Sunday:
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions. All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
As Christians in the 21st century it is our calling to be a place of radical hospitality and welcome to those who have been mistreated, kicked out, religiously registered, or deemed illegal. In the past few years at our church this has meant welcoming people of diverse sexual orientations, different class and social status, and various racial and cultural backgrounds. As we move into 2017 may continue this welcome by raising our flag of inclusion to immigrants and refugees as they face incredible challenges in the four years ahead. Historically our church has been a place of sanctuary for refugee families from all over the world and now we step into this role again by opening ourselves to “the stranger” and offering support and care in the struggle. May we begin to discern what it is we are capable of and how we can offer our skills and abilities to migrating families of all kind.
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the stranger, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were once immigrants in the land of Egypt.” -Deuteronomy 10:17-19
See you Sunday,
“Coming Home” is the theme we chose for August worship and study. We chose it largely because our special offering this month is for Habitat for Humanity. In some ways, it is not an easy theme to work with – maybe because the possibilities are large. There are many approaches we could take – biblically, theologically, socially, and practically – to address the idea of home, and, more specifically, “Coming Home.” I suppose the most obvious biblical text would be the Parable of the Prodigal Son, or Waiting Father. But that’s too easy. We’ve chosen other texts which you will see elsewhere in this Spire to challenge us and lead us along the way home.
This Sunday we conclude our consideration of refugees and welcoming the stranger. The texts include the classic instruction from the Levitical Code to embrace and care for the resident alien in the land, and Paul’s poetic meditation on breaking down the dividing walls of hostility. It is sad to see walls threatened and built to keep those “not like me” out of “my backyard.” For strangers in the Ancient Near East, hospitality was a life or death matter. Unfortunately, it’s not so different today. Paul urged the new Christians in Ephesus to bring down the wall between Gentiles and Jews that they might dwell together, unified in God’s Beloved Community. What are the “walls” in our world that need to be broken down so we might occupy the planet in peace and harmony, compassion and well-being, justice and love? Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (7/20/2016)
Hospitality is hard work. After almost two weeks of hosting one of my closest friends Rony Francois in my tiny one bedroom apartment I have learned a few lessons. Hosting friends takes time and patience that I wasn’t prepared for as everything from my work schedule to my shower schedule had been jumbled around. I’m one to enjoy lists and pre-planned schedules so the in-the-moment-adventures created moments anxiety and frustration. I ended up spending more money and time on my guests than I had originally expected – a punch in the pocketbook is never fun. Hospitality is hard work. As I was writing this I had this scriptural passage from Luke 6 jump out at me and remind me how silly I am to think the opportunity of hosting a friend is difficult. The work we have ahead of us in hosting strangers and enemies is far more dangers and more difficult; this is the work of the church:
Luke 6:27 “But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Mother God is merciful.
Hospitality is a word with rich Christian history. Monasteries grew up around the 5th century and are known to be some of the first primitive hospitals providing strangers care. Hospital, hospice, hospitable, hospitality—all from the same root word, meaning generous, caring, sustaining. The most famous of these monasteries was that of St. Benedict. Benedict created a book of rules to live by, called The Rule of Benedict. In his Rule St. Benedict specifically identifies two groups: the sick and the guests, especially guests who are poor and in prison, with reference to Matthew 25. Both groups are made up of vulnerable people, suggesting that Jesus Christ is particularly identified with those who are vulnerable. Continue reading Pastor Gregory Says (6/29/16)