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)

This Week at First Baptist (10/5/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • 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.
  • Thursday, October 6, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Everyone is invited to share in the fun and the music.
  • 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.
    2:45 PM Lunch Bunch at Cibo’s Restaurant. 3398 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. Let Melanie Ramirez or Alan Plessinger know if you are planning to attend.
  • 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 geoff.browning@stanford.edu.
  • Tuesday, October 11, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at the church in the Parlor during ongoing construction at the Terraces.
  • Wednesday, October 11, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, October 30
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    11:30 AM Pumpkin Carving & Potluck
  • Monday, October 31, 5:00 PM: Let’s Scare Up Some Fun! Join us for a night of candy, games, and neighborhood fun!

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.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • 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 geoff.browning@stanford.edu.

Freedom House Donation

Freedom HouseFollowing a recommendation from the Mission Task Team, a grant of $2,500 was given by FBCPA from the proceeds of the Annex sale to a local ministry called Freedom House, specifically for “The Nest,” a Santa Clara County program for girls age 12–17 who are involved in human trafficking.

International Ministries recently provided information that describes 8 Facts about Slavery, stating that “trafficking in persons” means all types of enslavement — in factories, agricultural work, domestic labor, and the sex trade. There are an estimated 35.9 million slaves in the world today, and the State Department says that 750,000 people are trafficked across international borders, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the US every year.   Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry after illegal drugs and arms trafficking, with annual profits of $32 billion, $15 billion from industrialized countries.  Children represent 26% of all forced labor victims, according to this information.

Eleven ABCUSA International Ministries missionaries or missionary couples are listed as serving people involved in human trafficking in Thailand, the Philippines, Bulgaria, Ghana, Laos, and the Netherlands.

Donation to Freedom House

Freedom HouseAt the October 18th Quarterly Business Meeting, the congregation approved the Mission Team’s recommendation to donate $2,500 to Freedom House. This money comes from the remaining $5,000 of the mission designated monies from the Annex sale.

Freedom House is a non-profit organization with a mission “to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare.” They operate The Monarch in San Mateo County for women and The Nest in Santa Clara County for minors. We requested that our donation be directed to support The Nest as it is located in our county and serves girls from ages 12 – 17.

The impact that our donation can provide is as follows:

  • $145 provides basic clothing and shoes to meet a new survivor’s immediate needs
  • $264 provides eight survivors with basic school supplies
  • $570 provides counseling for one survivor for a month
  • $1,280 provides food for six survivors for one month
  • $2,500 provides housing for six survivors for one month.

Human trafficking is a real problem here in our own “neighborhood.” The issue is being addressed with local businesses as preparations are being made for the Super Bowl. The arrest of 8 pimps and 52 johns in the Bay Area occurred just a few weeks ago as part of a national investigation. We hope to bring Charlotte Jackson, who attended an 8-hour training last spring, to speak with us in order to educate us further about the issue. Thanks go to Susan Bradley and Charlotte Jackson for helping the Mission Team make this recommendation.

Carolyn Shepard