December Offering: Retired Ministers & Missionaries (12/7/16)

Our special offering for December is the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering. This year the theme is Faith through Gratitude. Through the simple act of giving, we are called to be faithful servants of the gospel and to live out the ministry of Jesus in word and deed. The gratitude that we have for Jesus’ gift to us is the seed from which springs the gratitude that manifests toward the people of God, and reminds ministers, missionaries, and widowed spouses who served so faithfully that they are remembered with love and gratitude. The offering supports those who have dedicated their lives to God’s service by providing emergency assistance in times of need, and a thank you check at the end of each year. It is hoped that RMMO can continue to serve as a joyous tradition for ABC congregations, and that you will be greatly enriched this season by Faith through Gratitude.

We have received $150 toward our goal of $750. 

December Mission Offering: Retired Ministers & Missionaries

The roots of the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering go back to the mid-1930’s, when American Baptist congregations received a Communion Fellowship Offering on the first Sunday of each month to support retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses and elderly clergy within the churches. In 1977 American Baptist Churches USA launched the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) to continue this time-honored tradition of expressing thankfulness.

This year the theme is Faith through Gratitude. Through our faith in God and our gratitude for the saving grace and actions of Jesus Christ, we are called to be faithful servants of the gospel and to live out the ministry of Jesus in word and deed. The gratitude that we have for Jesus’ gift to us is the seed from which springs the gratitude that manifests itself toward the people of God.

The offering supports those who have dedicated their lives to God’s service by providing emergency assistance in times of need and a thank-you check at the end of each year. We hope that RMMO will continue to serve as a joyous tradition for ABC congregations and that you will continue to honor God’s committed servants.

Our goal this year is $750.

 

This Week at First Baptist (12/7/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, December 8, 7:30 pm: Choir Practice in the Parlor. Everyone is invited to share in the fun and the music.
  • Sunday, December 11, Third Sunday of Advent
    10:00 AM: Worship and Gingerbread House Making Party for Children and Youth:
    “Song of Joy and Justice,”
    Psalm 146:5-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11; Luke 1:47-55; James 5:7-10, Rick Mixon preaching
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: “Saving Jesus Redux: Jesus’ Birth: Incarnation” Another session in our ongoing exploration of this challenging video series.
    4:00 PM: Caroling and Chili Supper for the Whole Family We will gather at the church and head out to carol for several members of the congregation, including those at the Terraces in Los Altos, whom we don’t see so often. Then we will return to the church for chili.
  • Tuesday, December 13, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, December 14, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.

Looking Ahead:

Note from Pastor Rick (12/7/2016)

Our Advent journey continues. With watchful and wondering attentiveness, we have wandered through the realms of hope and peace. Now this week, we approach joy. It may seem hard to hold on to joy in this season of shrinking days, cold, and rain. The political climate is difficult, challenging. We are met often with pain, suffering, and death. The whole world groans in its winter sleep. Where will we encounter joy in such an environment? Our wise companion on the journey says joy will not just happen to us while we’re sitting and waiting. “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day,” Henri Nouwen writes. It sounds very much like real joy is one of those spiritual disciplines we need to cultivate in order to make the journey to God’s Beloved Community.

Describing the “holy way” by which the children of Israel will travel from exile in Babylon to their home in Jersualem, the writer of Isaiah says, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God” (Isaiah 35:1-2.) Facing a long and arduous journey to an uncertain future, the prophet is still willing to proclaim that God will make a way and that his people can walk that way with God. That is reason enough to sing and rejoice.

Sunday is Gaudete or Joy Sunday on the Advent calendar. Come, share the joy of the day as we worship and study. Our texts for the day will be Isiah 35:1-10 and Matthew 11: 2-11. In Adult Spiritual Formation we will conlude our study of Jesus’ birth and the incarnation, using the Saving Jesus Redux video series. We have had some lively discussions in this series. You are welcome to join us.

In the afternoon, we will gather at the church at 4:00 PM to go caroling to several of our members we don’t see so often. Because those folk are somewhat spread out, it would be nice to have a couple of groups of carolers. You don’t have to be a trained singer to join in. You just have to love to sing Christmas carols and love your neighbor. After caroling, we will gather back at the church for chili supper. If you can help with set up or clean  up for the supper, please let one of the pastors know, so we can plan accordingly.

Plan to join in the joy of the day, beginning with worship at 10:00 AM and continuing through the education hour and caroling. Bring someone else along to share the day with you.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick   

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

Birthday joys for Laurie Cudworth (December 7)

Kathy Gillam for her son-in-law, Micah, who just found a job in San Francisco.

Chip Clark for the $450 raised by Team First Baptist (Chip and Charlie Clark, Alan Plessinger and Pastro Gregory) for the Movember Foundation  for men’s health.

Melanie Ramirez for the Anders, the son of a close friend, who is wrestling with depression; for her kindergarten class that it will grow beyond a recent biting phase.

For the Lucille and family and friends of Bob Towner as they continue to mourn his death.

Pastor Rick for his sister, Charlotte Lanier, in Boise, ID, who is recovering from successful surgery to remove a large, benign tumor from her brain; Thelma Parodi who returned home on Tuesday under hospice care.

For all those affected by the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland and for the well-bing of artists and arts communities everywhere.

For justice for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

For the USA in a time of political transition

Doing is Believing: Advent for the rest of us (12/4/2016)

It all started in a Bible Study on Sabbath economics. Brother Shane and his friends had been looking at stories of Jubilee in the Torah. Back in Leviticus God demanded that every 50 years all debts would be forgiven.

One of the guys in their study announced he had $10,000 that had formerly been invested in stocks but was now ready to be redistributed among the people.

So Shane and his friends sent out Jubilee invitations to Christian communities and to the houseless in New York City. Each invitation had some cash already stapled to them, along with the call for Monday’s Jubilee on Wall Street!

Continue reading Doing is Believing: Advent for the rest of us (12/4/2016)