Note from Pastor Rick (1/25/2017)

This Sunday we begin, once more, to journey through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew’s compilation of the wisdom sayings and teachings of Jesus. Much of this testimony has made it into the vernacular. Matthew has Jesus, like Moses before him, ascend the mountain to receive and proclaim the word of God. By the time we’re through chapters 5, 6, and 7, Jesus will have laid down the law. Still it’s significant that Matthew Jesus begin his discourse with blessing. So much more than controlling us and punishing us for our failures, Jesus teaches that God wants to bless us. Basically, he’s saying blessed are those who see God’s design for creation and choose to embrace it as their way of life. They will be rewarded with an ever closer walk with God. Surely these are words of responsibility, possibility, and blessings for our times.

Adult Spiritual Formation will not meet this week in lieu of our annual meeting. Please be here for important updates on the state of our congregation. The flowing Sunday we will begin a study of the Parables of Jesus in ASF, so you may want to read up on that subject.

See you Sunday at 10 AM for worship and Sunday School, followed by the Annual Meeting.

Our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.” Let’s make certain that it is so.

Pastor Rick

PS We’ve started to gather some greeting cards for church use. If you have any your willing to donate, they will greatly appreciated and put to good use in a card ministry for our congregation and friends.

Note from Pastor Rick (10/19/2016)

My apologies for the delay in this week’s Midweek Message. I have been significantly slowed by the bad cold I came down with last Friday. Every time I think I am better and get things going, I have some sort of relapse. This cold seems as persistent as the widow in last week’s parable. The judgment appears to be rest and fluids. I hope you all are fairing better than I have been.

Still, life goes on. I suspect that last weekend’s rain – delightful as it was – kept some of you home, warm and dry. Now that you’ve had a reminder that water does occasionally fall from the sky, I hope to see you this Sunday, rain or shine. This week, we will consider the familiar tale of the Pharisee and the Publican. If there was ever a story Jesus told, which might speak to us, this is one. The risk of self-righteousness comes to too many of us too frequently. Without adopting an abject self-criticism, how might the simple prayer, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” speak to us wherever we find ourselves?

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (10/19/2016)

Note from Pastor Rick

I had a good, quick trip to Chicago Monday and Tuesday. I am working with an ecumenical group planning a conference for next fall celebrating the work of pioneering figures in the movement for full inclusion of lgbtqia people in the church. The conference will also focus on learning from that past was it is needed to continue the work into the future. You will hear more about it as the plans progress. This week Pastor Gregory is in Florida planning the wedding of a friend that will take place later in the fall. Next week I will be going to Florida for a few days for a spirituality retreat hosted by the Alliance of Baptists. This is a central piece of my continuing education for this year.

It’s not too late for you to get me the title of any songs you might want to sing Sunday theme for in our special “you pick musical service. The theme for September is “Opportunity Knocks.” (Our special offering is for the Opportunity Center.) Sunday’s sub-theme is “with a Song to Sing.” Key texts will be from First Chronicles 6, Psalm 150, Colossians and Revelation,

Come, make a joyful noise to God and stay for Patio Hour and a brief Quarterly Business Meeting. Speaking of Patio Hour, we only have one Sunday hosted in the next couple of months. Please let me know if you are willing to help host this important ministry of our congregation. See you Sunday at 10:00 AM for Worship and Communion.

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

Pastor Rick

This Week at First Baptist (8/31/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

NOTE: The Life Line Screening that had been scheduled for Friday, September 2 has been cancelled due to a scheduling mixup.

  • Choir is on hiatus for the Summer.
  • Meditation Group will be on hiatus from August 3 through September 14, reconvening on Wednesday, September 21.
  • Sunday, September 4: Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship for the Whole Family with Communion
    :
    Opportunity Knocks – with a Song to Sing,” 1 Chronicles 16:7-36; Psalm 150; Colossians 312-17; Revelation 15:2-4, Pastor Rick preaching. Remember if you have a favorite song or one you’ve just been missing or something. Please Pastor Rick know as soon as possible for consideration for the service. Reminder also from Carolyn Shepard that well be taking an All-Church Photo Sunday for her to take to our sister church in Corinto, so come with your best smile of greeting.
    11:15 AM Patio Hour.
    11:30 AM: Quarterly Business Meeting in the Parlor
  • Monday, August 29: Spire Deadline
  • Tuesday, September 6, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, September 7, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • Wednesday, September 7, 7:00 PM: Church Council meeting in the Youth Room

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, September 11, Season of Pentecost
    10:30 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    Opportunity Knocks: – The Caesar Divides, The Christ Unites,” Psalm 104:14-23; Luke 12:22-31;1 Corinthians 1:10-23, Pastor Gregory preaching.
    11:15 AM Patio Hour
  • Sunday, September 11, 2:00 PM: Multifaith Peace Walk & Picnic: Join people of many backgrounds to say ‘no’ to fear and ‘yes’ to friendship! Mark 9/11 with a 2.5 mile walk in Palo Alto with diverse faith communities. Gather at 1:30 pm at Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma Street. Walk begins at 2:00 pm and ends with a Peace Picnic at Mitchell Park. There will be stops at several churches along the way and shuttle service back to the starting point. Everyone welcome! Our congregation is a sponsor of this event. For more information and registration (helpful but not necessary) see www.multifaithpeace.org/peacewalk.

 

This Week at First Baptist (8/24/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Choir is on hiatus for the Summer.
  • Meditation Group will be on hiatus from August 3 through September 14, reconvening on Wednesday, September 21.
  • Thursday, August 25, 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, August 28, Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
    10:00 AM Worship and Sunday School
    : “Coming Home: Nesting,” Psalm 84; Ephesians 2:11-22, Pastor Rick preaching.
    11:15 AM Patio Hour hosted by Chip and Charlie Clark
  • Monday, August 29: Spire Deadline
  • NO BIBLE STUDY Tuesday, August 30, We will meet again on September 6, 10:30 AM at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, September 4: Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship for the Whole Family with Communion
    :
    Opportunity Knocks – with a Song to Sing,” Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 139:1-6,13-18; Luke 14:25-33; Philemon 1-21, Pastor Rick preaching. Remember if you have a favorite song or one you’ve just been missing or something. Please Pastor Rick know as soon as possible for consideration for the service.
    11:15 AM Patio Hour.
    11:30 AM: Quarterly Business Meeting in the Parlor
  • Wednesday, September 7, 8:30 AM: Men’s Breakfast at Bill’s Cafe, 3163 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.

 

This Month at First Baptist (May 2016)

  • CalendarFBC BIBLE STUDY is held on Tuesdays at 10:30 AM at the Terraces of Los Altos at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos. Let Pastor Rick know if you need transportation.
  • MEDITATION GROUP, Every Wednesday at 10:30 AM, led by Charlotte Jackson, at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.
  • MEN’S BREAKFAST, Every first and third Wednesday at 8:30 AM, at Palo Alto Breakfast House, 2706 Middlefield, Palo Alto. All the men from our Church family are welcome.
  • QUARTERLY BUSINESS MEETING, Sunday, May 1st, 11:30 PM, Parlor.
  • CONGREGATIONAL LIFE TASK MEETING, Friday, May 6th, 1 PM, Parlor.
  • CHURCH WORK DAY, Saturday, May 14th, First Baptist Church.
  • FINANCE MEETING, Sunday, May 15th, 12:30 PM, Parlor.
  • CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING, Sunday, May 15th, 7 PM, Parlor.
  • WOMEN’S BRUNCH, Thursday, May 26th, 11:30 AM, at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant, 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. All women of our church community are invited to join in.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

  • HUNTINGTON’S SUPPORT GROUP, Tuesday, May 10th, 7 PM, Parlor.
  • RESOUNDING ACHORD Concert, Sunday, May 15th, 2 PM, Sanctuary.
  • SENIOR CONNECTIONS     

The Senior Connections events in May are:

The PRIME TIMERS Concert Series at First Presbyterian is May 10th. This month features the Music for Woodwind Quintet, featuring flutist Jenny Hunt. Brown bag lunch first, followed by the concert. 1140 Cowper Street, Palo Alto (650-325-5659)

The Book Club at First Baptist is May 19th in the church Parlor. This month we will be reading and discussing GHETTO: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, by Mitchell Duneier. The author traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the sixteenth century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe. Brown Bag Lunch (beverage will be provided). 305 North California Avenue, Palo Alto (650-327-0561)

All sessions will begin at Noon and will conclude by 1:30.

Anyone from our faith communities is invited and encouraged to participate.

This Week at First Baptist (4/20/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • 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, 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).
  • Thursday, April 21, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor. Join us in the joy of making music together.
  • 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.
  • Sunday, April 24, 12:30 PM: Church Finance Committee in the Church Parlor.
  • Monday, April 25: SPIRE deadline
  • Tuesday, April 26, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, April 27, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos. All are welcome.
  • Wednesday, April 27, 7:00 – 8:30 PM: Eco Education Film Night in the Youth Room. The Magical Forest. This BBC film explores our mysteriously interconnected world: why does the lynx need a caterpillar, why does the tree need the fish and why does truffle fungus need flying squirrels? Connections like these form the planet’s great ecosystems and are what keep all of life thriving into the future. As we close out Earth Month celebrating the Divine in every corner of creation may we watch, learn, and discuss together the magically interconnected lungs of Earth, the forests! Come hungry for popcorn.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Thursday, April 28, 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, May 1, Sixth Sunday in Easter
    10:30 AM: Worship for the whole family with communion
    “Blessed Are the Peacemakers,” Rick Mixon, preaching

    11:30 AM: Quarterly Business Meeting in the Parlor