Note from Pastor Rick (10/26/2016)

Last Sunday we held our quarterly all church gathering with a presentation about “Our Renewal Project” – past, present, and future. Pastor Gregory prepared a helpful slide presentation and we had good conversation. One of the things we want to emphasize going forward is that we all need to work together for the future of our congregation – staff, leaders, and congregation. You have heard me say before (and I’m sure that I will say it again,) “It takes all of us to be us.” There also needs to be a strong interface between the existing congregation and the wider community with which we seek to partner. We will report further on the conversation and the status of “Our Renewal Project” in the November Spire. We will all benefit from input and participation from each and all of us.

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (10/26/2016)

October Mission Offering Update: World Mission Offering

Our October Mission is the World Mission Offering. This year’s theme is “Celebrating New Life in Christ – On Earth as in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)”.

This offering goes to support the work of the American Baptist Board of International Ministries as well as our special focus missionaries, Dan and Sarah Chetti, serving in Lebanon and Dan and Sharon Buttry, serving as Global Peace Specialists. This year there is a special emphasis on ministry in Cuba.

We have received $445 toward goal of $850.

This Week at First Baptist (10/26/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, October 27, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Everyone is invited to share in the fun and the music.
  • Sunday, October 30, 25th Sunday in Pentecost
    Worship and Sunday School:
    “Salvation for All,” Psalm 119:137-144; Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4; Luke 18:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-, 11-12, Rick Mixon preaching.
    11:30 AM Pumpkin Carving & Potluck in the Fellowship Hall, Bring food to share; beverage and pumpkins provided
  • Monday, October 31, 5:00 PM: First Baptist Pit Stop. Let’s Scare Up Some Fun! Halloween night activities, treats, and port-a-potties for the neighborhood. Come, help Pastor Gregory welcome the neighborhood and join in the fun. Church lawn
  • Tuesday, November 1, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

Prayers With The People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Carolyn Shepard for a trip that she and Steven made this week to Point Reyes to celebrate the historical recognition of Drake’s landing in 1569; the coming of the Spaniards in 1700s; and the life and culture of the Miwok natives
  • Doug Lee for the visit of a friend from China who worshiped with us
  • Melanie Ramirez for dinner with her mother and brother; for an upcoming visit with her dad when Daniel plays his last band competition this Saturday
  • Chip Clark for a fundraising activity for the Movember Foundation he will participating in this November for men’s health
  • Laurie Cudworth for her niece, Debbie, who is having surgery; for father, Jack, recovering from surgery and for her mother who is living with cancer
  • Pastor Rick for Hugh Satterlee who has been hospitalized at Kaiser in Redwood City; for  Thelma Parodi who is in the health unit at the Terraces; for the family and friends of Nedra Hathaway (mother of Karen Hopkins and mother-in-law of Jim) who died this week in Oakland
  • For wisdom and civility in this election cycle in the USA

Each Tuesday through November 8, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (see is inviting us please to pray regarding the following themes:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 — “decency,” or polite, moral and honest behavior and attitudes that show respect for other people.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11 — “understanding,” or the knowledge and ability required to make reasoned judgements about particular situations or subjects.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18“wisdom,” or the insight necessary to consider candidates’ rhetoric and positions and make sense of comparing them.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25 — “prudence,” or the application of careful good judgement when considering candidates’ platforms, positions and behavior.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1 — “discernment,” or the ability to look at different perspectives with clear-minded objectivity to determine solutions focused on fairness and justice.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8 — “courage,” or the ability to see things in a new way, consequently considering a choice or action different from one previously decided.

It’s Me (10/23/2016)

A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Texts: Luke 18:9-14

“It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”  If memory serves me correctly, I first encountered this Spiritual some time in grade school. I doubt that it is sung much in public schools today, but the 1950s were a different time. State-prescribed prayer and Bible reading were still widely practiced in this country. As children, we probably did not grasp the full import of the song. We sang with gusto its lively tune, rocking out on the chorus – “It’s me, O yes it’s me.” The irony of our childish intoning of the text was how each of us felt different, special, better than all those folk named in the verses. Of course, the point of the song is humble acknowledgement of one’s need of God’s grace, not elevation of my particular neediness to something superior to yours. I suppose it was somehow developmentally appropriate for children to emphasize the “me-ness” in the song as we worked to find our individual identities. I hope I have come to enough maturity to understand that the point of the song is not to stress the significance of my need over yours.

Continue reading It’s Me (10/23/2016)

Itching Ears (10/16/2016)

A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Texts: Psalm 119:97-104; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Luke 18:1-8; 2 Timothy 4:1-5

I probably should have entitled this sermon something like, “Itching Ears and Open Hearts,” because I think each of the lectionary texts this week shows deeper interest in the condition of the human heart than the state of our ears. I rarely try to weave all the texts for a given week into one sermon, but these four texts seem to invite it.

To begin with, Psalm 119, which is a kind of love song or hymn to God’s law is much less concerned with the letter of that law than its spirit. The section chosen for today begins, “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.” Now I don’t know about you but I don’t generally think of the law as something to love. It will take some time and effort to understand the 17 ballot measures that may or may not become law on November 8, but I don’t plan to spend all of the next 24 days meditating on them, though I may have more to say about them between now and November 8. I’ve already grown so tired and disgusted with the overgrown and misleading advertising for the various measures that I’ve taken to muting all political ads as soon as they appear on my television screen.

Continue reading Itching Ears (10/16/2016)