Pastor’s Perspective

Dear Friends,

Here are my notes from last Sunday:

One Thing I Know, John 9:1-41
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 3-30-14


One of the great German systematic theologians, Karl Barth, was once asked
to express the most important theological truth. Instead of giving the
expected complex philosophical answer, he quoted William Bradbury¹s 19th
century hymn:

Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong,
they are weak, but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

One thing I knowŠ Jesus loves me.

Retell the Scripture Story

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. He had
never seen the light of the sun, moon, and stars. The disciples asked, ³Who
sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?²
That is how they thought of things in those days. Do remember the story of
Job? It was the same then. But Jesus answered that it was not sin that
caused the blindness, but that the works of God would be shown in him. Then
Jesus said, ³I am the light of the world.²

Having said this, he spat on the ground, made some mud, and anointed the
eyes of the blind man with it. Jesus told him to go and wash in the pool of
Siloam. The blind man did as he was told, and he returned seeing the earth,
the sky, and the people for the very first time in his life.

The neighbors said, ³Isn¹t this the blind beggar?² Some said, ³No,² but the
man said, ³I am he.² Then the people asked the natural question, ³How were
your eyes opened?² He told them what Jesus had said and done. They asked
where is Jesus, but the man didn¹t know.
The people then brought the Pharisees to the man who had been born blind,
and the teachers of the law questioned him. The Pharisees said, ³This man,
Jesus, is not of God because he healed on the Sabbath day. Others said, ³How
can a sinner do such miracles?² So there was a division among the experts.

They asked the man born blind what he thought about Jesus, and he said, ³He
is a prophet.² The authorities called his parents to see if he had, in fact,
been born blind. The parents confirmed this detail. Then they distanced
themselves from the debate saying, ³He is of age. Ask him how he received
his sight.² His parents were afraid that if they confessed faith in Christ,
they would be put out of the synagogue.

So they called again the man who had been blind and said, ³Give God the
praise: we know that this man is a sinner.² But the man answered very simply
and powerfully from his experience: ³Whether he is a sinner or not, I don¹t
know. One thing I know: Once I was blind, but now I see.²

One thing I know: Once I was blind, but now I see.


One thing I knowŠ God is with us in our times of deepest grief. When the
storms of life are raging, Jesus stands with us. When the sound of
conflicting voices is in us, and all around us, the Spirit of Peace can find
a way to come and to comfort, to give light for the next step.

One thing I know: Jesus loves me. [Barth/Bradbury]

One thing I know: Once I was blind, but now I see. [the man born blind]

One thing I know: God is with us always.

Christine Manderfeld, OSB has written a short SATB chant that will be coming
out this summer in the ³At Your Altars² collection. We will start using it
now, because we need it. Here are the words:
            Risen Christ, let us walk in your presence.
            Let us live in the light of your shining. [repeat]
© 2014 Hope Publishing Company

Joys and Concerns
  • Barbara Haley requests your prayers for healing. As many of you know, she has macular degeneration and her good eye is active and being treated which has caused a decrease in vision.
  • Lauren McLeod welcomes your prayers for healing.
  • Our friend, Arinel Greene, from Easter Hill UMC, is being treated with chemo/radiation for uterine cancer. She is a woman of great faith and welcomes being on our prayer list for healing. If you would like to send her a card: 5326 Conestoga Way, El Sobrante, CA 94803.Please remember her in your prayers.
  •  Pat Dornan and Linda Pereira continue to need your prayers of support and healing. Linda is home and is making an effort to be more active,
  • Robbie Robinson has been out with a virus for several weeks. He would appreciate your prayers for recovery.
  • Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) is undergoing more medical testing. Continue to remember her in your prayers
  • A Study and Survey of the Worldwide Nature of the United Methodist Church will be presented by Pastor Dan Damon and Jean Reynolds for four Sundays, May 18 through June 8 during Adult Sunday School 10 am in Friendship Hall. Anyone interested in joining the church is encouraged to come. Recommendations from the class will be presented at General Conference 2018. Weekly topics in order: 1. General Conference, Jurisdictions, and Central Conferences.2. The Book of Discipline.3.Boards, Agencies and Finances. 4. Education of Clergy and Laity. This is an opportunity to have input into proposals and changes.
  • Pastor Dan and I attended an informational meeting and dinner at Pinole United Methodist Church March 8. The meeting was mainly an update on events in Camp Liberty. Food delivery has been stopped and there has been no food for 14 days. Medical care is also being denied. Drainage of the sewage holding tanks had also been stopped so raw sewage was leaking and overflowing. The inhumane treatment of the Iranian refugees continues unabated. Please remember them in your prayers. Update: Two food delivery trucks were allowed into Camp Liberty on Thursday. Sporatic food delivery is being allowed; enough to keep people from starving, but not healthy. Medications are not being allowed in.
  • A Bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3707) by Rep. Dana Roherbacher (Orange Cty) in December that would allow admission to the United States for those who choose to come as refugees. The Bill was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee in December and to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security in January. Congressman John Garamendi is co-sponsoring the Bill along with 47 other Representatives. Congressman George Miller is absent from the list of sponsors. If you would like to request that Congressman Miller support the bill, please contact his office at 510 262 6500.
  • New 2014 Directory is available! Copies will be in Friendship Hall for you to pick up.

  • UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has sent out a request for School Supply Kits. UMW (United Methodist Women) are spearheading a request for items from you to fill 10 kits by April 1st. Kit supply lists are in Friendship Hall. UMCOR is very specific about the supplies needed and will remove those not on the list. UMCOR has been very busy in the Philippines and is sending a shipment of school supplies shortly. They need to restock their shelves. This is an easy way to help. A carton is in Friendship Hall for your donations. UMW will assemble the kits at their April meeting.   We have all the pencils, rulers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, erasers, boxes of crayons and the paper. We are having trouble finding 14″ by 16″ cloth bags in heavy duty fabric with no advertising on them. Linda Woody-Wood has graciously offered to make them for us and we will help with the cost of the material.
  • One Great Hour of Sharing: We will be collecting donations for One Great Hour of Sharing on Sunday, April 6. When you give on this special Sunday, your gifts finance UMCOR  (United Methodist Committee on Relief) administrative costs so that other monies donated to UMCOR go directly for disaster relief. Please give generously.
  • Special Sunday, April 6, One Great Hour of Sharing. Your gifts pay administrative costs for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) so that all other donations to UMCOR can go directly for disaster relief.
  • Administrative Board Meeting: Thursday,  April 10, 7 pm in Friendship Hall.
  • Friday, April 11, 8 pm: Richmond Acoustic presents Craig Carothers. Craig is a prolific songwriter with a mix of helpless romanticism and just enough cynical humor to make it believable. He has recorded 10 albums, teaches lyric writing at the University of Miami, tours for half the year and continues to write music. His music has been recorded by Trish Yearwood, Kathy Mattea and Peter, Paul and Mary, Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud open the show. They are from San Francisco. Their music is dynamic and imaginative. Their first album,”:Long Time Coming” was nominated for a Grammy Award. Tickets $18: Students and Seniors $15 at the door. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
  • United Methodist Women (UMW) meeting, Saturday, April 12, 1-3 pm at Doreen Leighton’s home, 236 Castro St., Point Richmond. Let Doreen know if you are coming:
  • An Evening with Dan Damon, Saturday, April 12, 7:30 pm. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond, suggested donation $15, choir members free. Come and sing new hymns written by Pastor Dan Damon. The session will be recorded for our new website. Join your voice with ours, no rehearsal needed. Experience congregational song at its best, singing hymns of peace, justice and joy.
  • Staff-Parish Committee Meeting: Sunday, April 13 after church.
  • Good Friday Service, April 18, 7:30 pm at Pinole United Methodist Church, 2000 San Pablo Ave., Pinole, Area United Methodist Churches will be participating.
  • Easter Sunday, April 20: 8 am Garden Service,9 am free community breakfast, 10 am Sunday School, 11 am Worship Service, after church Easter Egg Hunt. Please bring some plastic eggs filled with candies or coins.
  • Friday, April 25, 7:30 pm: Point Richmond Jazz presents The Real Vocal String Quartet with Irene Sazer, Alicia Rose and Dina Maccabee, violins and Jessica Ivry, cello. RVSQ’s broad repertoire embraces the diverse influences of all four players from classical jazz and rock, to songs and styles from Africa, Brazil and rural America. Tickets through prjazz, $15, at the door #20. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond. Further info:
  • Junktique is coming! Saturday, May 3, 9am- 3pm. Planning Meeting Sunday, April 6 after church.
  • We are accepting donations of still usable furniture, toys, books, electronics, appliances and other household items (no clothing, please) as we anticipate our eagerly awaited Junktique annual sale event. For a pick up, contact Jonathan Swett at or Betty Graham at You may also phone at (510) 236-0152 or (510) 234-2512. EMAIL GREATLY PREFERRED.
  • The church basement door facing West Richmond Ave. will be open for drop off donations Saturday, April 26 from 9 to 12 and 7 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 28th – May 2nd. 
    If you would like to help in other ways: to price, organize or clean items before the sale or to help move merchandise before, during or after the sale, either Jonathan Swett or Betty Graham would welcome your call or email. 
    The day of the sale, come early and avail yourself of the bargains and unbelievable one-of-a-kind items. The kitchen will dish up chili, minestrone soup, hotdogs, and pie by the slice at lunchtime to give you strength to stay longer.
  • Labor Day Weekend: August 29 through September 1st  2014, Stepping Out in Faith, sponsored by the Western Methodist Justice Movement which advocates compassionate US immigration policies, fully inclusive UMC ministries, human rights in the Philippines, a just peace for Israel-Palestine, reproductive justice and more.
  • Registration opens soon. Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Retreat Center. For more info:
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