Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
February 8, 2014
A Heaven Within, Matthew 5:1-12
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 2-2-14
The Sermon on the Mount, seated on a mountain, Jesus spoke to them. Teachers sat, students stood, in those days before desks and classrooms. Matthew tells it his way. Luke has slight differences. Luke says: “Blessed are the poor,” rather than Matthew’s “poor in spirit.”
Today we are looking at Matthew’s understanding,
Matthew’s experience with the life of the Spirit.
Talk about these:
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)
When we cultivate the inner life with God, it shows in our outer life. This is a present tense experience. Did you notice the present tense? Jesus is telling of his own current experience of “a heaven within,” the blessed inner life that shows through in all we think, and say, and do.
“As we work and pray and give, love can build a bridge,” is the way we sang it at the California Nevada Annual Conference last June in Sacramento. Two thousand United Methodists from northern California and Nevada gather to sing and pray and give to compassionate causes like “Imagine No Malaria.” Our inner life leads us to participate in something much larger than ourselves. When we are blessed, we become a blessing to others.
Where is heaven? Where is the kingdom of God? According to Jesus, it is within you, and within me, and within us.
At the Point Richmond Market this morning I spoke to a radiant young Sikh woman. Her father had already been to worship, and was still wearing his turban. She said last night she was so worried about all her homework, but when she walked outside this morning and felt the rain, she felt, “God loves me!” I told her I felt the same. I told her I had some Sikh friends in my first parish. With some people of various faith traditions, we started an interfaith council up near Yuba City. I told her at this United Methodist church we honor the light in all faith traditions. I told her, I do that, personally. She charged me for my eggs and orange juice, and I walked up the hill thinking about my sermon.
Let us pray.
Our missionary, Katherine Parker, is on a 10 day cluster visit. See below.
Our new website is up and running! Check it out at pointrichmondmethodist.org. To separate Point Richmond Methodist-all in small letters and run together. Many thanks to Mary Lee Cole and the hours of discussion, photo gathering and planning this has taken working with Susan Pomeroy the creator of the site.
There is a House Resolution Bill (HR3707) being presented in Congress in support of moving Camp Liberty residents to a safe place. In January a contingent of our Irani friends and Pastor Linda Prendergast visited Congressman John Garamendi requesting that he co-sponsor this bill. He has agreed to do this. What you can do: You can call Congressman Garamendi’s office in support of the bill: 202 225 1880. To view the bill: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/3707.
Joys and Concerns
Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) has had surgery postponed due to anemia. Keep remembering her in your prayers.
Barbara Haley’s friend, Pat Cahill, fell and has a torn shoulder cuff. Pat had surgery a month ago. Once she has healed sufficiently, it will be a long rehab back. Prayers for healing are welcome.
Megan Timberlake has a fractured rib and would appreciate your prayers for healing.
Imagine No Malaria: Barbara Ferguson from the Los Altos United Methodist Church has donated 1.1 million dollars to the Imagine No Malaria Fund. The Western District of the United Methodist Church is raising 2 million dollars by 2015 to help eradicate deaths from malaria in Africa..
Debbie and Bill Benko have donated a jigsaw puzzle of the Last Supper for our enjoyment. It will be in Friendship Hall to challenge those who enjoy jigsaw puzzles. Thank you to Debbie and Bill.
- Thursday, February 13, Administrative Board Meeting in Friendship Hall at 7 pm.
Friday, February 14, 8 pm Point Richmond Acoustic presents Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan. They live here on the Point and are a treasure! Their new CD, “All Our Luck is Changing”, received rave reviews here as well as in Europe. They have an eclectic blend of folk woven from blues, country, pop and traditional music to form their own unique sound. Mark and Cindy Lemaire open the show. Mark is a great guitarist on his own, but with the addition of harmonics from Cindy, the music reaches a whole new dimension. This is another “don’t miss” concert. Tickets are $15 at the door. First united Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
Saturday, February 22, United Methodist Women in conjunction with Writer Coach Connection will have a second showing of the film “Cracking the Code: The System of Racial Inequity” by Shaki Butler from 1-4 pm in the sanctuary of First Methodist Church. If you missed it last time it is a timely piece about the racism in America and a conscious raising film. Dr. Butler is a master at challenges and inspires us to grapple with the complexities of social justice.
Friday, February 28, 7:30 pm Point Richmond Jazz presents Jeremy Cohen and his Violin Jazz Quartet. His electrifying jazz violin performances have earned him nationwide accolades. He has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras and been on motion picture and TV sound tracks. He has been a faculty member of the Henry Mancini Institute (LA) and the Jazz School (Berkeley) for many years. This would be an evening well spent. Advance tickets thru prjazz.org. $15, at the door, $20. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
Friday, March 7, Sweetheart Dinner– Tammara Plankers will be installed as our Sweetheart for 2014. Gathering music at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm at the Point San Pablo Yacht Club, 700 West Cutting Blvd, Point Richmond. Tickets are $45. For reservations contact Fran Smith: 510 685 2338 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is always a fun night with good food and companionship. Fundraiser for First United Methodist Church.
Monday, March10,at 6:30 pm Prayer and Self Denial Supper and Program, for United Methodist Women, at The Open Door (Good Shepard) United Methodist Church Hall, 6226 Arlington, Richmond. This is a simple supper of soup and a program to center our thoughts at the beginning of Lent. Please let Jean Reynolds know if you plan to attend so there’s enough soup! 510 235 2988 or email@example.com. Carpool would be nice.