Note from Pastor Rick (11/30/2016)

Thanks to everyone who stayed to help decorate the church for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany season. The sanctuary looks beautiful. Afterwards we gathered in the Parlor to consume a pot of “Stone Soup,” using stock from the Thanksgiving turkey and the contributions of those who stayed, including some kale and a rutabaga! Twelve people gathered at the parsonage on Thanksgiving Day to share the feast. I think a good time was had by all. Certainly no one went away hungry. The event seemed to work well enough that we will most likely repeat it next year,

I don’t want to be a nag about the Time and Talent Surveys, but so far only 10 responses have been received. As I said last week, I’m no big fan of surveys but it would be really helpful to the church leadership in planning for the future to know what your interests are and something about your willingness and ability to serve our congregation. Even if you think we already know what you’re doing and willing to do, please take time (only a few minutes) to fill out the form and turn it in.  You may discover something new or different that interests you. You may want to be liberated from something you’ve done for a while. You may come up with some creative ideas we hadn’t thought about. Take this opportunity to communicate with us. It will be much appreciated.

Advent continues this week with an emphasis on Peace. The text from Isaiah is his magnificent hymn to the “Peaceable Kingdom.” Both this text and the Psalm for the day invoke a style of leadership that is marked by justice, righteousness, wisdom, and shalom. Perhaps he will want to pray such prayers and sing such as songs as we consider a transition of leadership in our own land. In the gospel reading, John the Baptist excoriates the religious leaders of his day for the failure to grasp the need for such leadership among themselves. He predicts that One is coming who will sort this all out and make things right. Pastor Gregory will be preaching this Sunday and we will celebrate Communion.

In Adult Spiritual Formation we will continue our exploration of Jesus’ birth and the meaning of incarnation in his time and ours. Afterwards, the Lunch Bunch will gather at Mike’s on Middlefield. Let Melanie Ramirez or Alan Plessinger know if you’re planning to attend,

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

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

Pastor Rick   

November Offering Update: Ecumenical Hunger Program (11/30/2016)

Ecumenical Hunger Program: Our church has been involved with this very worthwhile program for many years by contributing food, clothing and other household items. Church members volunteer their time, and we give monetary support through this annual offering. In addition to the special offering, we are again collecting turkeys, hams, roast or whole chickens and other items as part of November’s gratitude focus [see suggested items here].

We have received $640 toward our goal of $600. 

November Offering Update: Ecumenical Hunger Program (11/16/2016)

Ecumenical Hunger Program: Our church has been involved with this very worthwhile program for many years by contributing food, clothing and other household items. Church members volunteer their time, and we give monetary support through this annual offering. In addition to the special offering, we are again collecting turkeys, hams, roast or whole chickens and other items as part of November’s gratitude focus [see suggested items here].

We have received $130 toward our goal of $600. 

Note from Pastor Rick (11/16/2016)

Life moves on, though not so placidly, in this post-election environment. As we noted Sunday, there are deep feelings which need to be attended – grief, anger, confusion, elation, fear, hope. And there is important work to be done. There is much to be revealed in the days ahead, much yet to consider as the future unfolds. For us, my vision continues to be that we will be a faithful people, standing for justice, peace, kindness, compassion, and the well-being of all creation. There are likely to be challenges to this stance just over the horizon. Our witness may seem increasingly counter-cultural (much like the first church,) which makes it all the more important, especially if the promises of the recent campaign begin to become reality.

This Sunday holds a rich mixture  of themes. It is our annual Stewardship or Gratitude Sunday. You are encouraged to bring your completed pledge forms and Time and Talent Surveys as well as food for the EHP holiday drive. During the offering, we will ask everyone to bring their forms and their food and leave them at the table. If you need additional copies of the forms – pledge or Time and Talent Survey – we have them in the church office or you can pick them up Sunday.

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (11/16/2016)

This Week at First Baptist (11/16/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Saturday, November 19, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Family Pageant Project. Lunch provided.
  • Sunday, November 20
    10:00 AM Worship and Sunday School
    “Christ Over Chaos” Jeremiah 23:1-6, Luke 1:68-79, Colossians 1:11-20, Rick Mixon preaching. Please bring pledge forms and Time and Talent Surveys as well as your food gifts for EHP for the offering time on Sunday.
    11:30 AM Adult Spiritual Formation: Saving Jesus Redux: Jesus’ Birth: Incarnation Another session in our ongoing exploration of this challenging video series.
  • Sunday, November 20, 2:30 PM, California Youth Symphony. San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware Street. Featuring our own James Poe, winner of the annual concerto competition, in Prokofiev’s Concerto #1 plus Complimentary tickets are available; see Pastor Rick.
  • Sunday, November 20, 7:00 pm: Multifaith Thanksgiving Celebration at First Church Christ, Scientist, 3045 Cowper, Palo Alto. Keynote speaker: Rev. Floyd Thompkins.
  • Tuesday, November 22, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • NO MEDITATION GROUP, Wednesday, November 23

Looking Ahead:

  • Thursday, November 24, 2:00 PM Thanksgiving Family Feast. Share the holiday feast with Pastor Gregory and Pastor Rick here at FBCPA. Turkey and dressing furnished. Bring your favorite seasonal dishes to share. Please RSVP to one of the pastors by Monday, November 21.
  • Sunday, November 27: First Sunday of Advent
    10:00 AM Worship and Sunday School
    “God’s Path of Peace” Psalm 122, Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew 24:35-44, Romans 13:11-14, Rick Mixon preaching
    11:30 AM Hanging of the Greens and Stone Soup Lunch

November Offering Update: Ecumenical Hunger Program (11/9/2016)

Ecumenical Hunger Program: Our church has been involved with this very worthwhile program for many years by contributing food, clothing and other household items. Church members volunteer their time, and we give monetary support through this annual offering. In addition to the special offering, we are again collecting turkeys, hams, roast or whole chickens and other items as part of November’s gratitude focus [see suggested items here].

We have received $50 toward our goal of $600. 

Note from Pastor Rick (11/9/2016)

Many of us are reeling from the surprising results of yesterday’s presidential election. At a minimum, we need to be in prayer for this nation, it’s leadership, and all its people in this time of transition. Clearly there are challenges ahead.  As a community in service to Jesus Christ, we need to remember our common commitment to compassion for all, to peace, including the well-being of all creation, and our love for God and our neighbors – all of them! Justice, mercy, and humility are still our hallmarks. Several friends on Facebook have risen above their grief over the election returns to claim a commitment to the work for God’s Beloved Community, which still lies ahead. It reminds of the South African Freedom Song, “We shall not give up the fight; we have only started.”

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (11/9/2016)