Dan Buttry to preach Sunday, October 19

Dan ButtryWe are delighted to announce that on Sunday, October 19, 2014, 10:00 AM, our guest preacher will be Dan Buttry, Global Consultant for Peace and Justice through American Baptist International Ministries. Dan, who has worked tirelessly for peace and justice all over the globe, will be with us through the adult education hour (11:30-12:30) to talk about his work. Please plan to be here and invite others to come with you to hear the good news from this amazing servant of God.

One of the goals of American Baptist International Ministries is to help people to pursue peace, justice and reconciliation through ministries of conflict transformation and education, as well as by standing with and serving the victims of conflict. This goal is led by Dan Buttry, who serves as an International Ministries global consultant for peace and justice. Dan works with International Ministries missionaries and national church partners around the world to deal constructively with conflict situations. These conflicts may be social and political conflicts within a country, or they may be conflicts within the national church bodies that negatively impact Christian witness.

May Mission Offering Update (5/28)

Baptist Peace FellowshipThe special offering for May  is our annual offering for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. We are one of the original congregational partners of BPFNA, generously supporting their important work over the years. The mission of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is to gather, equip and mobilize Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice. Please give generously.

To date we have received $410 toward our goal of $500

May Mission Offering Update (5/21)

Baptist Peace FellowshipThe special offering for May  is our annual offering for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. We are one of the original congregational partners of BPFNA, generously supporting their important work over the years. The mission of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is to gather, equip and mobilize Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice. Please give generously.

To date we have received $225 toward our goal of $500

May Mission Offering Update (5/14)

Baptist Peace FellowshipThe special offering for May  is our annual offering for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. We are one of the original congregational partners of BPFNA, generously supporting their important work over the years. The mission of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is to gather, equip and mobilize Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice. Please give generously.

To date we have received $210 toward our goal of $500

February Mission Offering Update (2/26)

Ministry in JailsOur Special Offering this month will be directed to support the work of the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy of Santa Clara County (C.I.C.) C.I.C. is a non-profit corporation founded in 1962 that operates with the local governmental agencies involved with corrections work. The ministry works directly with the men, women, boys and girls incarcerated in our county jails and juvenile facilities.  The funding for this ministry comes from Santa Clara County, individuals, and through the support of churches such as ours.  Just as Jesus ministered to those in prison, we can do likewise with our financial giving. “I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:36b.
To date we have received $373 toward our goal of $500.

February Mission Offering Update (2/19)

Ministry in JailsOur Special Offering this month will be directed to support the work of the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy of Santa Clara County (C.I.C.) C.I.C. is a non-profit corporation founded in 1962 that operates with the local governmental agencies involved with corrections work. The ministry works directly with the men, women, boys and girls incarcerated in our county jails and juvenile facilities.  The funding for this ministry comes from Santa Clara County, individuals, and through the support of churches such as ours.  Just as Jesus ministered to those in prison, we can do likewise with our financial giving. “I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:36b.
To date we have received $195 toward our goal of $500.

Prayer call for Nicaragua Missionaries

Bonilla family
Carlos and Mayra Bonilla and family, trainers in Nicaragua

Prayer Call by Bob Santilli (BIM ABC-USA) September 25, 2013 for Carlos Bonilla and Mayra Giovanetti, helping train leaders and showing the reality of God’s love and mercy in Nicaragua.

Carlos and Mayra are working with the Baptist Theological Seminary in Nicaragua, accompanying them in the program of informal theological education in the churches of the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua and as writers of curriculum material for the Seminary. They seek each day to show others God’s love and mercy, as a reality.

Please pray for:

•  Wisdom and discernment as we sit to write the curriculum materials for the Seminary.

•  Continued health as we continue our ministry in Nicaragua.
•  Our itinerary this second semester, combination of Seminary and visits to the churches for  workshops and sharing the Word.

Blessed resources

13-08-03.opendoorWe are a blessed congregation. When I talk to friends and colleagues in other churches around the country, it is clear that we have more resources than many and that our resources have been well‐managed over the years. There are many people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for this.

Like many churches we have a large older building. Unlike many churches, we have not significantly deferred maintenance on our facilities. Oleta and I are always pleased when the firefighters come around for their annual inspection and praise the condition of our building. I think this year one of them actually said we were not only exemplary but “stellar” in our upkeep of the building.

Because we have chosen to open our building to the community, we are likely to receive more than $100,000 in tenant income this year. At the same time that the activities we host generate income, they also serve the community and gain us a reputation for being a good neighbor. This ministry of our facility is good stewardship.  It also makes our network and influence greater than the number in our congregation would warrant.

Our Special Funds, the money that people have left as legacy over the years, allows us to sustain the life of our congregation. This money, well‐managed by our Finance Committee and Special Funds Treasurer, along with our rental income, allow us to engage in ministry beyond what our annual income would support. This is a blessing from those who have gone before who believed in the life and mission of this congregation and wanted to see it continue after they were gone. It is always a challenge to consider how we use these gifts both responsibly and creatively to do God’s work in our community and in the world.

Recently, we made a decision to liquidate one of our assets, our remaining share in the “Annex” behind the church building. Thanks to the diligent work of a task team, made up of Jane Chin, Hugh Satterlee, Nana Spiridon and Jim Alexander, we were able to sell this piece of property to the child care center for $300,000. This is a rich return on a small piece of a small piece of property. We are grateful to this task team for its good, hard work.

This money will now go into our Special Funds and will be available for our ongoing ministry, as needed. As always, use of this money must be balanced between taking care of ourselves and serving the reign of God on earth. In the interest of sustaining this balance, I have suggested to the Council that we spend some of this money on missions. As a result they will bring a proposal to our Quarterly Business meeting for sharing some of this resource.

Many churches, when they have a capital campaign or receive a windfall gift, choose to offer a tithe of that money for missions. If we chose to do that we would be able to support some exciting mission project or projects in far more significant way than we do through our annual and special missions offerings. A large, generous donation from us could make a big difference in the life of an agency or missionary or mission project. It’s my hope that we would be moved to such generosity. That kind of giving can only be good for the “soul” of our congregation. We identify ourselves as a church whose mission is to “serve the needs of others.”

In addition to that act of generosity, I would also like to see us invest another 10% of this money in microfinance. Essentially microfinancing is a way of making small loans to people living in poverty that allows them to build businesses that lift them out of poverty. It is amazing what a loan of $500 or so can do for a dedicated worker who wants a better life for her or his family or village. Organizations like Oikocredit, founded by the World Council of Churches (oikocredit.org or oikocreditusa.org,) have been doing this sort of lending for almost 40 years. Their track record is outstanding. We might not
make as much return on this investment as we would in the stock market, but we would still get some return at the same time we’re “serving those in need.” It is a definite win‐win situation.

Because we have been blessed we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to be a blessing to others. I hope we will see our responsibility here and seize this opportunity to share what we have with neighbors in need. It is bound to be good for us.

In Christ’s service,
Pastor Rick

Like many churches we have a large older building. Unlike many churches, we
have not significantly deferred maintenance on our facilities. Oleta and I are always
pleased when the firefighters come around for their annual inspection and
praise the condition of our building. I think this year one of them actually said
we were not only exemplary but “stellar” in our upkeep of the building.
Because we have chosen to open our building to the community, we are likely to
receive more than $100,000 in tenant income this year. At the same time that the
activities we host generate income, they also serve the community and gain us a
reputation for being a good neighbor. This ministry of our facility is good stewardship.
It also makes our network and influence greater than the number in our
congregation would warrant.
Our Special Funds, the money that people have left as legacy over the years, allows
us to sustain the life of our congregation. This money, well‐managed by our
Finance Committee and Special Funds Treasurer, along with our rental income,
allow us to engage in ministry beyond what our annual income would support.
This is a blessing from those who have gone before who believed in the life and
mission of this congregation and wanted to see it continue after they were gone.
It is always a challenge to consider how we use these gifts both responsibly and
creatively to do God’s work in our community and in the world.
Recently, we made a decision to liquidate one of our assets, our remaining share

Pastor Rick: October 3

October is the month we focus on the world in which we live and celebrate the diversity of its people and cultures. In many ways, Baptist denominational life began with congregations joining together to support missionaries around the world. Though the missions scene has changed considerably in recent years, there is still a significant amount of good work being done for the sake of the gospel by American Baptist missionaries around the world. In addition to supporting our American Baptist mission boards, we have also committed to helping two mission teams as our special interest missionaries. For several years now, we have been sending money to Dan and Sarah Chetti, working in Beirut, Lebanon. Last year we added Dan Buttry, who travels the globe, serving as a peace consultant in troubled lands.

This Sunday is World Communion Sunday. We will gather around the table to share the common meal that Christians everywhere will be sharing with us. We will use songs and liturgy from many countries and we will set the table with a variety of breads. You are encouraged to wear something from a different land – that of your origin or a place you have visited or with which you are fascinated. If you have some art or artifact you want to share, we will have tables, easels, etc. to help with display. (Please bring those ahead of time, if at all possible.) Pastor Tripp will be preaching on the Holy Family, using Mark 10:2-16 as his text. 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.

See you at 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