Note from Pastor Rick (4/13/2017)

Once again we find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week. I hope you are finding time to contemplate the significance of the week in preparing us for Easter. Tonight we will hold our annual soup supper with Communion around the tables, commemorating Maundy Thursday. This will be a simple meal and service for the whole family. Friday, our sanctuary will be open from 12:00 to 3:00 PM for prayer and meditation. We will have available prayers and readings to assist you in your time of reflecting. Due to a scheduling glitch, we have to do the set up for Easter Brunch on Sunday morning. If you can come at 9:00 AM to help (or, if you can, stay afterward to help with clean up) that would be appreciated.

As I contemplate Easter in the crazy context of the world we currently inhabit, I have been thinking about the aftermath of the Resurrection. That is, we come together to celebrate, as well we should, the joy of Easter, when God, in Christ, said a resounding “No” to death and “Yes” to life. If that is our core belief, then how are we to live our lives in a post-Easter world? What difference did it make in the lives of those first women who found the empty tomb, and then all Christ’s followers, confronted with the astounding reality that “He is risen, indeed”? What difference does it make for us? We continue to grow into people who, in the face of every joy and every concern, every triumph and every tragedy, can still say a great “Yes!” to life and to the Giver of Life.

See you Sunday at 10 AM, if not before. There is no better time to invite family, friends, colleagues, strangers – anyone and everyone – to join us for joyful Worship for the Whole Family and a delicious Easter brunch. We will have child care and an Easter Egg Hunt for little ones. Please remember to bring cut flowers for the flower cross and finger food to share at brunch.

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

Pastor Rick   

This Week at First Baptist (4/6/17)

  • CalendarThursday, April 6, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, April 9: Palm/Passion Sunday
    10:00 AM: Worship for the Whole Family

    “Passion Amidst Palms.” Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Matthew 28:14-27:66; Philemon 2:5-11, Rick Mixon, preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:
    Palms –> Passion –> Easter
    We will explore Jesus’ journey from a triumphal entry into the old city through his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial as a means of preparing ourselves once more for the glory of Easter. We focus especially on Matthew’s (26:14-27:66) account of this “holy week.”
  • Tuesday, April 11, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos
  • Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 PM: Church Council in the Youth Room.
  • Wednesday, April 12, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s home, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.

Note from Pastor Rick (4/6/2017)

The end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week is fast approaching. Sunday we will join together to celebrate both Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and all the challenging events of the week that followed, culminating in Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial. This is the ancient flow of drama and travail that leads to the joy of Easter. If we take the time to focus, to meditate on this tale of Christ’s passion, perhaps Easter will dawn all the more glorious. In worship, we will continue our practice of dividing the service between Palms and Passion. Both are important as we look toward Easter. Please plan to arrive on time or a little early this week. Not only would it be good discipline for many of us, but will also give you the opportunity to join in the blessing and procession of palms, which will begin on the outside steps of the sanctuary at 10:00 AM

Stay after worship for Adult Spiritual Formation in which we will delve more deeply into Matthew’s version of this great drama that moves from Palm Sunday to Easter. J. S. Bach found enough material in these texts to compose a magnificent 3 hour choral work. Presumably, we will find enough here to fill an hour. Maybe we will even listen to a bit of Bach’s masterpiece.

See you Sunday at 10 AM for Worship for the Whole Family and Adult Spiritual Formation. This would be a great day to bring someone along with you to share joys and challenges of the ancient, familiar story.

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

Pastor Rick   

This Week at First Baptist (3/24/17)

  • CalendarThursday, March 23, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, March 26: Fourth Sunday in Lent
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School for Children and Youth:
    “Seeing with Heart,” 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; John 9:1-41; Ephesians 5:8-14, Rick Mixon, preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:
    10 Books a Home: Lisa Olson, Development Director, will share with us in more depth about the project we supported in our January special offering, including background, activities, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Tuesday, March 28, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos
  • Wednesday, March 29: SPIRE deadline
  • Wednesday, March 29, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s home, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.

Note from Pastor Rick (3/24/2017)

My apologies for a late midweek this week. I have a friend visiting from China and have been showing him some of the sights. Fortunately, we have had a couple of lovely days for exploring.

This week takes us further into John’s gospel as we consider what I like to call “The Trial of One Born Blind.” It is another of those long, complicated stories that the writer of John tells to give us insight into both Jesus’ ministry and his teaching. The miracles mean something and it is the meaning that seems much more important to Jesus than the acts themselves. Even after 2000 years, are we any more likely than the first disciples not only to see Jesus’ signs but also to grasp their significance for his project of building up God’s Beloved Community? Though a poor, blind beggar, John’s witness comes off with more understanding and cleverness than the religious experts who interrogate him. Would that we might have such a clear view of Jesus and what he was about.

In Adult Spiritual Formation, I am delighted that our guest will be Lisa Olson, the Development Director for the “10 Books a Home” program. If you remember, this year ’special offering for January, sponsored by our kids, was for this organization. We are eager to have Lisa share more with us about the program’s structure and goals as well as its volunteer opportunities. Everyone is invited to come hear more about, “10 Books a Home.”

So, see you Sunday at 10 AM for Worship, Sunday School, and Adult Spiritual Formation. Invite someone to share the time with you.

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

This Week at First Baptist (3/15/17)

  • CalendarThursday, March 16, 7:30 PM: Church Choir in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, March 19: Third Sunday in Lent
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School for Children and Youth:
    “Finding Refreshment,” Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; John 4:5-42; Romans 5:1-11, Rick Mixon, preaching.
    11:30 AM: Adult Spiritual Formation:
    Speaking in Parables.” We will continue looking at Jesus’ Parables, focusing this week on  “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” Luke 16:19-31, “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant,” Matthew 18:23-35, and “The Parable of the Talents,” Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27.
  • SIGN UP FOR HOSPITALITY. We need volunteers to host the fellowship time, beginning with Sunday, March 12. A new signup sheet is in the church entryway. Thanks to everyone who helps with this important ministry.
  • Tuesday, March 21, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos
  • Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 PM: Church Council Meeting in the Parlor.
  • Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Eileen Conover’s home, 1075 Space Park Way #217, Mountain View.

Note from Pastor Rick (3/15/2017)

As we  move further into this Lenten season, along with Jesus, we encounter the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Hers is one of the richly developed stories in John’s gospel through which the writer lays out his view of Jesus’ ministry. Especially important in this meeting is the significant breaking down of barriers. In the most improbable of encounters, we find Jesus talking not only to a woman but to a Samaritan. Boundaries of gender and race, of politics and culture are crossed as he shares with her deep insights into eternal life (John’s image for God’s Beloved Community.) The disciples are astonished but the people of Sychar come quickly to see him as the “Savior of the World.”

In Adult Spiritual Formation last Sunday, we will continue our exploration of some of the most challenging of Jesus’ Parables. This week we will focus on “The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus” (Luke 16:19-31), “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant,” Matthew 18:23-35, and “The Parable of the Talents,” Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27. This study has led to some fascinating discovery and very spirited conversation. Everyone is invited to share this exploration. You won’t find it difficult to “plug in.”

So, see you Sunday at 10 AM for Worship, Sunday School, and Adult Spiritual Formation. Invite someone to share the time with you.

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

Pastor Rick