A Note from Pastor Rick (6/15/2016)

Lament for Orlando by Meg HessIn the study of psychology, we discover that numbness is often a first response to trauma. I feel something of that as I have tried to wrap my mind around what happened in Orlando this weekend. I don’t live in that part of the country and no one I know so far was personally affected. But, as others have commented, a gay bar has been sanctuary, “sacred space,” in this country for most lgbtq people as we’ve struggled to find safe space and journey partners in a hostile world. For whatever reasons, the pain of this violation is palpable for me. I thank God that I find safe space and blessed community among you and I thank you as well. May God bless and keep us. May we yet find the grace and peace of God’s Beloved Community where no one hurts or destroys anymore.

We had a great time hanging out with and learning from The Lorax last Sunday:

 the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.’”

Thanks to Daniel Ha for his beautiful playing of movement from a piano sonata by Beethoven. We have certainly been blessed with young musical talent recently. Sunday we will have more as James Poe will play his violin once more before heading for summer in New York City, where he will be studying with famed violinist, Itzhak Perlman.

Our Suessian text for Sunday is the tale of that wonderful elephant Horton, who hatches an egg. It seems to me a wonderful text for Father’s Day, as well as a reflection on faithfulness. Jesus says if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move a mountain. Paul says faith sustains people like Abraham and Sarah on perilous journeys to strange places when God calls. Horton says “an elephant’s faithful, one-hundred percent.” How about us? Can we make such a claim? The Psalmist says “God’s steadfast love endures forever.” Isn’t that the model for fatherly love, from whomever it comes?

After worship we will enjoy our first cookout of the season on the patio. It’s another way to celebrate Father’s Day. We can use your help in making this a grand event. Come for worship Sunday at 10:00 AM and stay for the cookout. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us on the journey.

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

Pastor Rick

This Week at First Baptist (6/15/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, June 16, 7:30 PM: Choir Practice in the Parlor
  • Sunday, June 19, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost- Fathers Day
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: Horton Hatches an Egg,” Psalm 136, Matthew 7:14-21; Hebrews 11, Pastor Rick preaching.
    11:30 AM: All Church Cookout in honor of Fathers Day on the PatioHamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages furnished.  Bring side dishes, salads or dessert to share.
  • NO Bible Study this week. We will meet again on Tuesday, June 28, 10:30 AM at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, June 22, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Thursday, June 23, 11:30 AM: Women’s Brunch at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant, 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.
  • Sunday, June 26, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” Isaiah 43:1-7; Ephesians 1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:-17-4:6, Pastor Rick preaching. This Sunday marks Pastor Rick’s 10th anniversary as our pastor as well as the 20th anniversary of his ordination.
    11:15 AM Patio Hour hosted by Caroline Shepard.
  • Monday, June 27: Spire Deadline
  • Friday, July 29 – Sunday, July 31: Lead Through Story, an All-Church Retreat with Daniel Pryfogle. See details.

This Week at First Baptist (6/8/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, June 9, 7:30 PM: Choir Practice in the Parlor
  • Thursday, June 9, 8:00 PM: Free Movie Night- Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next, Los Altos Youth Center in Los Altos, CA
  • Sunday, June 12, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: The Lorax,” Genesis 2, Job 12:7-10.
  • Sunday, June 12, 11:30 AM: Church Finance Committee in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, June 12, 2:00 – 7:00 PM: Communications in the Church- Pacific Coast Baptist Association Spring Conference including worship, panel discussion, and dinner. Grace Baptist Church, 484 E. San Fernando St., San Jose. Pastor Rick will be one of the panelists. Registration forms are available in the entry way and the church office.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, June 15, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, June 19, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost- Fathers Day
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: Horton Hatches an Egg,” Psalm 136, Matthew 7:14-21; Hebrews 11, Pastor Rick preaching.“The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: The Lorax,” Genesis 2, Job 12:7-10.
    11:30 AM: All Church Cookout in honor of Fathers Day on the PatioHamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages furnished.  Bring side dishes, salads or dessert to share.

Note from Pastor Rick (6/1/2016)

James Poe, violinLast Sunday we continued “violin month,” as we listened to the beautiful playing of James Poe. James will play for us again on June 19 before heading off to New York City for seven weeks of study with Itzhak Perlman. We also concluded Peace Month with a focus on “Peace Now!” and a spirited discussion of Daniel Shapiro’s Negotiating the Nonnegotiable.

This month as we center on our own children and youth, celebrating graduations and the end of the school year, and raising funds for the Granholm Scholarship Fund, our theme will be “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss.” The beloved children’s author and illustrator, Theodore Seuss Geisel, dispensed wit and wisdom for children of all ages, from one to 100. Each Sunday we will focus on one or more of his works, along with the Ancient Word to see what together they might teach us as people of faith.

This Sunday is Youth Sunday. Pastor Gregory, along with our children and youth, will be leading us in worship. The book they’ve chosen is the classic graduation gift, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. We will also celebrate Communion. Adult Spiritual Formation is on hiatus for the summer. Sunday will be our bi-monthly Lunch Bunch,

June 12 we will begin patio hour and June 19 we will hold our first cook out of the summer in honor of Father’s Day. If you’d be willing to host Patio Hour or help with the cook out, please sign up on the sheet in the Entryway. Also, on June 12, Grace Baptist Church in San Jose will be hosting the annual spring gathering of the Pacific Coast Baptist Association. The theme is “Communications in the Church.” There will be worship at 2:30 PM, followed by a panel on which I am participating, ending with dinner. Registration forms are available in the Entryway and office, or you can let me know if you’d like to attend. Registration deadline is Monday, June 6.

Join us for any of these opportunities beginning with Sunday at 10:00 AM. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us on the journey.

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

Pastor Rick

 

This Week at First Baptist (8/19/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • The Church Choir is on hiatus for the Summer. We will resume rehearsals in September.
  • Saturday, August 22, 6:00 PM: All Church Cook-Out in the church patio to meet Gregory Stevens, candidate for Associate Pastor. Hamburgers, hot dogs, condiments and beverage will be furnished. Please bring a salad, side dish or dessert to share. As always, we can use help with set up (4:00 PM) and clean up. Thanks.
  • Sunday, August 23: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Spirit of Life,” Gregory Stevens preaching and leading Time for Youth and Children
    11:30 AM: Special Business Meeting to consider calling Gregory Stevens as our Associate Pastor for Faith Formation and Family Life. There will be a formal presentation of Gregory as the candidate recommended by our search committee, time for questions and answers and a vote to call.
  • Tuesday, August 25: September SPIRE deadline
  • Tuesday, August 25, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at the Terraces of Los Altos. We will meet at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Thursday, August 27, 10:00 AM: Women’s Brunch at Corner Bakery Café, 3375 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, September 6: Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    For the worship service on September 6, we would like to focus on your favorite hymns and songs. We did this a couple of years ago and people seemed to appreciate it. Please submit your favorites to Pastor Rick (preferably in writing) so that we might plan this service around music that speaks to you in particular ways.
  • Friday, September 18, 1:00 pm: Congregational Life Task Team in the Parlor

This Week at First Baptist (8/12/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • The Church Choir is on hiatus for the Summer. We will resume rehearsals in September.
  • Sunday, August 16: Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Spirit of Holiness,” Pastor Rick preaching
    11:30 AM: Conversation on “Pastor Calls Planned Parenthood Exposé ‘Journalistic Distortion’”
    We have had a request for an open conversation on this article. Since Sunday seems to be the day most of us are present, we are scheduling this conversation for that day. Grab some refreshments from the Patio Hour and join us in the Parlor if you’d like to be part of the conversation.
  • Tuesday, August 18, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at the Terraces of Los Altos. We will meet at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, August 19, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast,  at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Saturday, August 22, 6:00 PM: All Church Cook-Out in the church patio to meet Gregory Stevens, candidate for Associate Pastor

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, August 23: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Spirit of Life,” Gregory Stevens preaching and leading Time for Youth and Children
  • Thursday, August 27, 10:00 AM: Women’s Brunch at Corner Bakery Café, 3375 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.
  • Sunday, August 30: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Spirit of Hope,” Pastor Rick preaching
  • Sunday, September 6: Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    For the worship service on September 6, we would like to focus on your favorite hymns and songs. We did this a couple of years ago and people seemed to appreciate it. Please submit your favorites to Pastor Rick (preferably in writing) so that we might plan this service around music that speaks to you in particular ways.
  • Friday, September 18, 1:00 pm: Congregational Life Task Team in the Parlor

This Week at First Baptist (8/5/15)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • The Church Choir is on hiatus for the Summer. We will resume rehearsals in September.
  • Sunday, August 9, 10:30 AM [note the time change!]:
    “Unity In Diversity,” our annual joint service in Mitchell Park
    with Covenant Presbyterian and University AME Zion. This year we also welcome First Presbyterian, iChurch and the Tongan Methodist Fellowship that meets at University AME Zion to the celebration. Worship for the whole family will be followed by a potluck lunch, also in the park. Bring food to share and invite someone to share the day with you. If you can help with set-up (9:00 AM) or clean up afterwards that would be great. There will be a joint choir that will rehearse at 9:30 AM.
  • NO BIBLE STUDY Tuesday, August 11
    We will resume August 18, 10:30 AM: Bible Study
    at the Terraces of Los Altos. We will meet at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, August 5, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast,  at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Wednesday, August 19, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast,  at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Sunday, August 16: Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Spirit of Holiness,” Pastor Rick preaching
    11:30 AM: Conversation on “Pastor Calls Planned Parenthood Exposé ‘Journalistic Distortion’”
    We have had a request for an open conversation on this article. Since Sunday seems to be the day most of us are present, we are scheduling this conversation for that day. Grab some refreshments from the Patio Hour and join us in the Parlor if you’d like to be part of the conversation.
  • Thursday, August 20, 2:00 PM: Church Council meets in the Parlor
  • Saturday, August 22, 6:00 PM: All Church Cook-Out in the church patio to meet Gregory Stevens, candidate for Associate Pastor
  • Sunday, August 23: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Spirit of Life,” Gregory Stevens preaching and leading Time for Youth and Children
  • Thursday, August 27, 10:00 AM: Women’s Brunch at Corner Bakery Café, 3375 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.
  • Sunday, August 30: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Spirit of Hope,” Pastor Rick preaching
  • Sunday, September 6: Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    For the worship service on September 6, we would like to focus on your favorite hymns and songs. We did this a couple of years ago and people seemed to appreciate it. Please submit your favorites to Pastor Rick (preferably in writing) so that we might plan this service around music that speaks to you in particular ways.
  • Friday, September 18, 1:00 pm: Congregational Life Task Team in the Parlor