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)

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.

Eco-Education

candle and globeBy now we are well into Earth Month. On Sunday, we celebrated the God of creation in music and word. The big collage of “interconnection” that we started during worship is completed and hung on the hall wall. By all accounts the conversation with Elizabeth Singleton went well during the Eco-Education Hour. We might even look at the beginning and call it “good.”

This Sunday we will return to the first creation story of Genesis 1-2 to consider the place of human being in creation. Sometimes we take the instructions to have dominion, to rule and to subdue too literally. We think we are little gods and do with creation whatever we want. But the psalmist marvels at creation and asks just who are we that the creating God would consider us at all. What if God has crafted human being for loving, caring, co-creative relationship? We are not to be “over creation” as much as we are to be “of” it, recognizing God’s presence in every atom and wave. To have dominion is to respond to what is by affirming its goodness and embracing it with joy.

Eco-education will be incorporated into the “Every Day – Earth Day Potluck” right after Worship and Sunday School. Everyone is encouraged to bring vegetarian or vegan fare to share. Hopefully this will be an interesting and fun experiment for us all. After dinner, we will share a taped conversation that Pastor Gregory had with Tripp Fuller, entertaining theologian and Program Director for the Hatchery in Los Angeles. Their conversation is about how we might entertain a more creative imagination in considering how we as Christians live in and care for this world.

Come Sunday morning at 10:00 AM for worship, study and shared community. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us in the joy of this Earth Month Sunday.

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

Pastor Rick

Pastor Gregory Says… (4/13/16)

Pastor Greg with childrenThis Sunday we might be reaching back to one of the oldest Christian practices there is: vegetarian potlucks! Genesis 1:29 reads: “God said, ‘I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all Earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.’” As we continue our journey into Earth Month we will explore what it means to veg-out on a plant based diet. We will pray for our furry friends crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds, and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. Early this week I recorded a conversation with Baptist minister and scholar Tripp Fuller (www.homebrewedchristianity.com) that will help us unravel how we might best embody the gospel in today’s ecological instability.

If you are looking for vegetarian and vegan recipes here are a few links to websites:

21 Vegan Recipes That Will Make You Potluck Royalty  

100’s of recipe’s from the Christian Vegetarian Association 

12 Vegan Potluck Recipes

Article: “The Church Potluck, Reimagined”  By the Rev. Lauren Lisa Ng, a graduate of ABSW who currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Baptist Home Missions Societies, on the Board of Trustees for Bacone College in Muskogee, OK, and on the Advisory Team for American Baptist Women in Ministry.

This Week at First Baptist (4/13/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, April 14, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Join us in the joy of making music together.
  • Sunday, April 17- Fourth Sunday in Easter
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Earth Month: Human Being,” Genesis 1:26- 2:3, Psalm 8; Matthew 6:24-34. Rick Mixon preaching.
    11:30 AM: Every Day- Earth Day Potluck. You are invited to please bring vegetarian potluck style food for the whole church family to share! As part of “Learning to Love Creation,” we will be joined by Tripp Fuller of Homebrewed Christianity and Director of Theology and Humanities for The Hatchery in a video-conversation. He will walk us through biblical themes and historical themes of creation care.
  • Tuesday, April 19, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, April 20, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Wednesday, April 20, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos. All are welcome.
  • Wednesday, April 20, 12:00 noon: Baptists Lunching Together featuring Don Ng, retired pastor, First Chinese Baptist, San Francisco and immediate past President of the ABC-USA, speaking on Baptist colleges and hospitals in Nagaland (northern India,) which he and his family visited in February, Grand Lake Gardens, 401 Santa Clara Avenue, Oakland. $10.00 for lunch. RSVP to Joan Thatcher, (510) 350-7008, by April 18.
  • Thursday, April 21, 12:00 noon: Senior Connections Book Group in the church Parlor. This month we will be reading and discussing A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism, by Patrick Allitt. Brown Bag Lunch (beverage will be provided).

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, April 24- Fifth Sunday in Easter
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Earth Month: The Good Earth,” Psalm 19:1-6; 121, Isaiah 55:1-13; 65:17-25. Rick Mixon preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: “Learning to Love Creation,” a four part series. This Sunday will feature Elise Willis, arborist for the city of Palo Alto and former student of Pastor Gregory in Florida.

This Week at First Baptist (4/06/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Wednesday, April 6, 7:00 PM: Creation Care Film Discussion Let’s all gather in the Youth Room to watch a documentary style film about God’s good and beautiful Earth. With buttery popcorn to munch on and a good discussion to follow, we would love for you to join us as we unravel what is means for our church to participate in God’s healing of the world. “The Journey of the Universe” by Brian Swimme who teaches at California Institue of Integral Studies. This is a classic! Hands down one of the all-time best movies.
  • Thursday, April 7, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Join us in the joy of making music together.
  • Sunday, April 10- Third Sunday in Easter
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Earth Month: Interconnection,” Genesis 1:1-31, Rick Mixon preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: “Learning to Love Creation,” a four-part series. This Sunday will feature Dr. Elizabeth Singleton, eco-theologian and graduate of Claremont School of Theology.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, April 13, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos. All are welcome.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, April 17- Fourth Sunday in Easter
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Earth Month: Human Being,” Genesis 1:26- 2:3, Psalm 8; Matthew 6:24-34. Rick Mixon preaching.
    11:30 AM: Every Day- Earth Day Potluck. You are invited to please bring vegetarian potluck style food for the whole church family to share! As part of “Learning to Love Creation,” we will be joined by Tripp Fuller of Homebrewed Christianity and Director of Theology and Humanities for The Hatchery in a video-conversation. He will walk us through biblical themes and historical themes of creation care.

This Week at First Baptist (2/17/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, February 18, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Join us in joyful song in the new year.
  • Friday, February 19, 1:00 PM: Missions Task Team in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, February 21: Second Sunday of Lent
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Dreams and Night Musings,” Genesis 28:10-19; Numbers 12:6, Rick Mixon preaching
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:
    Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor; discussion led by Rick Mixon.
    11:30 AM: Membership Discussion
    in Youth Sunday School Room. For friends of the church to talk about their ongoing role in our community and the possibilities of membership. Let one of the pastors know if you are interested in attending.
  • Monday, February 22: Deadline for March Spire
  • Tuesday, February 23, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Tuesday, February 23, 12:00 noon: Senior Connections programming for Senior Adults ages 50+ (younger folk are encouraged to join us) in the greater Palo Alto Community. Join us in the Fellowship Hall at Covenant Presbyterian Church for a light lunch before we move to the Fireside Room to hear Maria Marroquin, Executive Director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. Maria is an enthusiastic speaker and will share her experiences as a former client at the center when she was a young mother.
  • Thursday, February 25, 10:00 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.
  • Thursday, February 25, 12:00 noon: Senior Connections Book Group. Our book is Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple. This book is “a searing account of life in the underclass and why it persists by a British psychiatrist who treats the poor in a slum hospital and a prison in England.” Brown Bag Lunch (beverage will be provided).

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, February 28: Third Sunday of Lent
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “Praise God Completely,” Psalm 63:1-8, Rick Mixon, preaching
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation: Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor; discussion led by Rick Mixon.