A Note from Pastor Rick

Three candlesJan and Peter Gunderson seem to being having a wonderful trip to Scandinavia based on pictures they’ve posted on Facebook. We miss Jan’s music but it was great to have Ruth Winter playing piano last Sunday and this. Ruth always adds a lot to our worship. Oleta is slowly making her way back into the office. It is good to see her smiling face and have her handle some of the administrative details of our congregational life. I am very pleased that Doug Davidson has agreed to stay with us until we find our new Associate Pastor. He did a great Time with Children and Youth last Sunday on the Parable of the Sower.

We’ll continue with the Hebrew Prophets this week as we consider a beautiful poetic text from Isaiah. There is “no other rock” he says than Yahweh, the Rock of Ages. Of course there are more words and images for God than we can imagine. This notion of God as rock, as someone or something solid, dependable, protective is one people have turned to for centuries. There are undeniably times when each of us, no matter how smart, wise or strong needs shelter from the storm. Every Sunday before the sermon, I pray that my words and our meditations will be acceptable to God who is our “Rock and our Redeemer.”

See you Sunday at 10 AM for Worship, Sunday School and for the patio hour to follow.

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

Pastor Rick  

MORE LIGHT…MORE LOVE…MORE LIFE

Busy days

Three candlesLast week was especially busy with the Grace Baptist anniversary celebration, two dress rehearsals and three concerts, the presentation by Palestinian Christians here in our Fellowship Hall, and the Associate Pastor Search Committee’s first meeting, along with Sunday worship and Patio Hour. It was a rich and full week for which I am grateful, but I have to say I crashed on Monday, equally grateful for a day off. There should be some breathing room in the days to come.

I am also grateful that Oleta is starting back to work some this week. Her surgery and recovery have been a long ordeal for all of us. We won’t work her too hard in the beginning. We’ll just be thankful she’s here. There are many tasks and details that she handles for us that need her expert and experienced touch. We have managed to stay afloat but it will be good to have her back.

The church choir is on hiatus for the summer and Jan and Peter are off on a wonderful adventure in Scandinavia. We are always grateful for Jan’s wonderful leadership of our music program and for our choir. This week Jean Cole will play the service and the following two Sundays we will welcome our friend, Ruth Winter.

Don’t forget Sunday is the church picnic so bring a side dish to share and dress casually. Eleanor Satterlee is still looking for Patio Hour hosts for the rest of the summer, so see her if you can help out.

For the month of July we will continue to delve into the prophets. This week we have the famous passage from Zechariah that is often an Advent reading and is the source of the great soprano aria from Messiah, “Rejoice Greatly!” In this “peace poem,” Zechariah gives God’s promise to the struggling returnees from exile of better days to come, days filled with peace and the goodness of God. Promises of peace and well-being are good to hear anytime. As the people of the USA remember our Independence Day and the foundation of our nation, may we also remember that, beyond our borders, this is all God’s world. As the great cellist, Pablo Casals, once said, “Love of country is a wonderful thing, but why should love stop at the border?” There are sisters and brothers all over this globe with whom we need to live – in peace and love, in harmony and well-being.

See you Sunday at 10 AM for Worship, Sunday School and for the picnic to follow. This is a perfect time to invite someone(s) to share the day with you.

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

Pastor Rick  

        MORE LIGHT…MORE LOVE…MORE LIFE

 

“Story = Grace”

13-05-22.pentecost_banner.fwSunday we spent the morning with the Trinity and with grace.  The children and youth decorated the hallway with their artistic comments on the Trinity as we wrestled with it in worship.  God in relationship inspires our efforts to be in relationship – not only with God but also with one another as children of God.  At the end of the service we all gathered back in the sanctuary to celebrate Jane and Jin Chin for the wonderful work they as do as volunteers for FBCPA.  We are deeply grateful for the way they look after our finances, provide a photographic record of our “family” and otherwise keep track of our life together – past, present and future!  If you didn’t get to see the “Chin picture board” Oleta made, we will have it again Sunday.

This coming Sunday we are privileged and delighted to have Cathleen Falsani share the morning with us.  We have been reading and discussing Cathleen’s beautiful book, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide to Grace, the past three weeks in Adult Spiritual Formation.  Now we have the opportunity to engage her in person.  She will be featured in an intergenerational worship service on the theme “Story = Grace” and will lead the conversation in Adult Spiritual Formation.  This is a rare opportunity for us to engage a significant and talented Christian thinker and writer.  I hope you all will make a point of being here and will bring along others to share the experience with you.  See you Sunday at 10.

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