We have much to look forward to this weekend as we will have the opportunity to thank and celebrate Pastor Rick for all of his wonderful work and service to this community and our church. We are so blessed to have him and what better way to show it than by celebrating him this weekend! Bring a card, a cake, a turtle figurine, a letter, a picture, or maybe a really long hug – either way bring yourself and some joy to share with everyone around as we thank God for our Pastor and his leadership as we seek Christ together. Continue reading Pastor Gregory Says… (6/22/16)
Last week was full of birthdays and brew! As you know, Monday was Rick’s birthday, it was great to start out the month and the week celebrating our Pastor. I am so very thankful for his life, leadership, and liturgy! Thank you to everyone who shared in celebrating Rick’s birthday. The second half of the week was marked by Homebrewed Christianity podcasts. Dan Cudworth, Rick, and I traveled up to Berkeley for a live podcast recording on Thursday night. The next night we hosted our own gathering here in the Youth Room. Chip Clark and Greg Griffey joined the hilarity, along with community members and podcast listeners alike. It was another great week of networking and nurturing relationships! I’m now picking up our Lenten book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, hopefully you’ll join us in the reading journey.
The memorial service for renowned theologian and Stanford professor, René Gerard, was on Tuesday. It was a peaceful service in Memorial Church at Stanford; his son spoke along with other family members and academic colleagues. I invite you to explore his brilliant work through a quick Google search. Wednesday started on a much lighter note with 45 minutes of laughter in our morning Men’s Breakfast. Carolyn, Rick, and I then met to discuss an exciting new conversation on church membership – more on that soon! The week ended with another dialogue with Rick on our vision for continuing to invigorate our faith community.
Pastor Rick is in Boise, Idaho this week for his Mother’s memorial service. We have sent an arrangement of flowers for the service from the church. Please continue to be in prayer for our pastor and his family. He will be back on Saturday and will lead us in worship this Sunday, January 31st at 10:00 AM.
- August 3: Rev. Sam Chetti, “Reaching the Nations”
- August 10: no file (joint service off-site)
- August 17: Rev. Max Vines, “The Gift of Wisdom”
- August 24: Rev. Wally Bryen, “How’s Your Walk With God”
- August 31: Rev. Rick Mixon, “Bare Feet and Burning Bushes”
The recordings are available on the Sermons page.
This week we will welcome Pastor Rick back from his time away from us. I am looking forward to the insights he will share with us. Please take a moment and send him a note or make a quick phone call to welcome him back. I know he would appreciate it.
Doug Davidson, in his spiritual formation class entitled “Visions of Jesus” asked us the One Big Question: “Who do you say Jesus is?” So much of our answers to this question reflect all the various things we hold most dear and what we think about the Church, politics, family, and money. I’ve been pondering it with Doug’s idea about taking Mark Scandrette’s work in “Jesus Dojo” seriously. What could we take on this Lent as a community? What might we do
differently together? It’s a big question. Stay tuned for opportunities to meet and talk about what’s in store for us all. Who is Jesus to us?
The Annual Meeting approaches. So too does our Valentine’s Day Potluck. And, believe it or not, Lent and Easter are right around the corner. Things move right along here at First Baptist.
I hope you have found all the goings on to be a helpful and rich part of your spiritual lives. I find it all to be exciting and helpful. Essayist, Christian Harding writes on Christian contemplation:
Christianity presents people not with an idea, but with a life; not merely with sayings but with a sayer. It is easy to miss the significance of this, because it goes against the modern conviction that one should evaluate ideas purely on their own merits. But when Jesus talks to his disciples about their day’s work, he doesn’t say: ‘How do you think my ideas are going down with people?’ He wants to know who the people think he is. You can imagine him putting put his face up really close to Peter’s at this point, so close that his disciple smells the lunch on his breath: ‘And who do you say that I am?’
You can read the whole essay here.
As we deepen our relationships with one another, might we find ways of deepening our relationship with The Christ, in the face of friend and stranger alike. May the practices of welcome, worship, and work become clear invitations to all we meet to a shared life together.
Peace and All Good Things,
It’s the middle of the week and much is afoot at First Baptist Church of Palo Alto.
We’re gearing up for the Annual Meeting on February 2. Be ready to stay late. There will be childcare.
Pastor Rick is preaching that day as he will have returned from his sabbatical. Let’s welcome him back warmly!
The kids are raising money to buy 50 soccer balls for the Congo. They sold cookies last week and raised $100 in cash. Thank you all for your generosity. Clearly, we have a way to go. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
The building is abuzz with activity from the various groups who reside here. Music, dance, healing, and food make for a powerful extension of our ministry of presence in this neighborhood.
This coming Sunday we will explore one more time what it means to be beloved. This time we’ll talk about being beloved and being one in Christ. Really. It’ll be fun. I hope you will join us for worship.
Bring a friend!
Peace and All Good Things,
While Pastor Rick is on his sabbatical leave January 12-31, Pastor Tripp will be available to handle pastoral concerns and Oleta will be available for administrative concerns. Pastor Tripp will be available 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Oleta’s hours will be Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The office will be closed on Mondays. Emergency Contact numbers are: Pastor Tripp (773) 592-6793, Oleta (650) 575-1529, Carolyn Shepard (650) 595-5635 (if necessary).