Celebration in Denver

First Baptist Church, Denver
First Baptist Church of Denver

Thanks to Pastor Tripp and everyone else who helped to lead worship and education last Sunday while I was in Denver.  In spite of the abundance of rain in that region (including the devastating floods around Boulder,) I had a delightful weekend.  My friend, Brian Henderson became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Denver about 10 months ago.  The congregation was down to 15 people when Brian began.  By opening their doors to the community in which they are located (their elegant, historical building is directly across from the state capitol,) they have experienced some significant growth in a short time.  They are the newest member of our Evergreen Region of American Baptists.

I was honored that Brian asked me to preach the sermon for his installation service.  One highlight of the service was 65 men from the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus singing the anthem and benediction response (not to mention the hymns!)  They were quite wonderful.  I was treated royally; it was a great experience.

This Sunday our worship will focus on Jeremiah’s aching lament over the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  Where does one find comfort and healing in a time of deep distress?  It appears that this focus follows closely on last week’s sermon and worship.  In so many ways it seems like the best of times and the worst of times when we consider the goings on in this old world.  For some, our prayer is “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”  For other it is “Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no healer there?”

Adult Spiritual Formation will be led by Andy Kille.  Andy has been our webmaster for several years now.  For some months, Andy, Pastor Tripp and I have been developing a new approach to our online presence through a “blog page.”  Andy will be here to help orient us as we launch this effort – “To the Blogosphere and Beyond:  Navigating the Congregation’s New Blog Site.”  Come, explore where we have never gone before!  See you Sunday at 10 and stay for ASF.  Bring someone along to share the day.

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

September Mission Offering Update (9/18)

Inn Vision Shelter NetworkSeptember’s Special Mission Offering is for InnVision and the Opportunity Services Center. The center functions as a service to the wider community by providing a creative response to home-less related problems and offering opportunities for the community to respond to those needs. Its highest concern is to provide a positive and caring environment that respects the dignity of every person.

To date we have received $445 toward our goal of $600.

Room for Hope Arts Festival in San Francisco

Room For HopeSponsored by Bay Area Lutherans, Bright Stars of Bethlehem presents Room for Hope, a cultural festival that shares the story of the Holy Land and celebrates Palestinian creativity.

When: September 26th – 28th, 2013
Where: San Francisco State University, Creative Arts Bldg., 1600 Holloway Ave, S.F.
What: Educates by means of dance, concerts, seminars, poetry, entrepreneurial development

Bright Stars of Bethlehem is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 and promotes peace in the Middle East through health, education, cultural and spiritual development for Palestinians.

For program schedule, please go to info@roomforhope, me, or www.brightstarsbethlehem.org. For more information, call Martha Meyer at 650-854-7228

This Week: September 16-22

Events and Opportunities:

TUESDAY, September 17

  • 10:30 AM BIBLE STUDY, at the Terraces of Los Altos at Janet Maxwell’s apartment; contact church office for location.  Let Pastor Rick know if you need transportation.

WEDNESDAY, September 18:

  • 8:00 AM MEN’S BREAKFAST at Hobee’s Restaurant, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • 12:00 Noon BAPTISTS LUNCHING TOGETHER. “The Groves of ABHOW: Development of Dementia Care and the Miracle that Brought it to Life,” Kay Kallandar, Vice President of Strategic Development, American Baptist Homes of the West. Grand Lake Gardens in Oakland. Lunch is $8.00. For reservations contact Joan Thatcher, (510) 350‐7008. If you would like a ride let Pastor Rick know.
  • 2:00 PM MISSIONS TASK TEAM. If you have any interest in discussing where the church might give the tithe of the sale of the annex, please join us in the Parlor.

THURSDAY, September 19:

  • 5:00 PM CHURCH COUNCIL in the Parlor

SATURDAY, September 21:

  • 9:00 AM RENEWAL TASK TEAM in the Parlor

SUNDAY, September 22:

  • 10:00 AM. Worship: “There Is a Balm in Gilead” and Sunday School for children and youth.
  • 11:30 AM Adult Spiritual Formation: “To the Blogosphere and Beyond: Navigating the Congregation’s New Blog Site,” Led by Andy Kille. During the hour, he will introduce and orient us to our new blog page.

September 8 celebrates old and new

Here are some photos from our celebration of the First Baptist Palo Alto 120th Anniversary and the dedication of our new interns for the coming year (See Pastor Rick’s sermon “We’ve Come This Far By Faith” for some details of that history:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” – a collection of Bibles:

13-09-08.bibles.fw

Words of Wisdom- where we’ve been:

13-09-08.history.fw

A History Lesson for the Younger Generation:

13-09-08.history_lesson.fw

Celebration of New Interns:

pastors and interns
Doug Davidson, Pastor Rick, Pastor Tripp and Naomi Schultz

Legacy and Faith

pastors and interns
Doug Davidson, Pastor Rick, Pastor Tripp
and Naomi Schultz

An extra large helping of gratitude for everyone who pitched in to make our Rally Day and 120th Anniversary celebration so wonderful.  Special thanks to Marilyn Hunwick for all the work she did in the archives and setting up the displays, to Thelma Parodi and Lynn Hunwick for sharing their memories, to Eleanor Satterlee and Pastor Tripp for organizing the luncheon.  Though we missed Jan (who was off celebrating her birthday at the 49ers home opener,) we were delighted with the musical offerings of Ruth Butterfield-Winter, who played everything from Chopin to down home gospel with gracious flexibility and a smile on her face.  Pastor Tripp led the children and youth in an informative exploration of our roots in real time and via ipad.  We also celebrated the blessings of our interns, Doug and Naomi, and pledged to support one another through this coming school year.

It was a great day to focus our attention on those who came before us, who built this church and kept it going over many years.  As I said Sunday, their legacy is not just the rich resources they left behind, it is also their indomitable faith which informs our present ministry and calls us to participate in God’s new thing as it unfolds before us.

This Sunday I will be in Denver, Colorado, preaching the installation service for my friend, Brian Henderson, as pastor of the historic First Baptist Church.  It was interesting to hear Paul Tuan say Sunday that he and Jessie were married in that church 57 years ago.  Pastor Tripp will be preaching and leading in worship here.  His theme, drawn from the classic children’s book, is “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” focused on Psalm 14 and Luke 15:1-10.  There will be Sunday School for children and youth as well as the kick-off for Adult Spiritual Formation, considering “What I Did on my Summer Vacation.”  It promises to be a good day at FBCPA.  I encourage you all to be here at 10 and stay for ASF.  Why not bring a friend to share the day?  See you next week.

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

September Mission Offering Update

Inn Vision Shelter NetworkSeptember’s Special Mission Offering is for InnVision and the Opportunity Services Center. The center functions as a service to the wider community by providing a creative response to home-less related problems and offering opportunities for the community to respond to those needs. Its highest concern is to provide a positive and caring environment that respects the dignity of every person.

To date we have received $235 toward our goal of $600.