Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
April 12, 2014
Here is my message from last Sunday:
On Joy and Sorrow, John11:1-45
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 4-6-14
As we go on grieving Liam Thompson’s death, and remembering the joy of knowing him, we need renewed hope, transformed faith, and love that never dies. We search in vain for lasting comfort. But through the arts, we look beyond, to something greater than ourselves that we sense, but do not see. We turn again to poetry and story, to lift us from despair into a life of renewed joy and strength.
On Joy and Sorrow
Khalil Gibran, Lebanese artist, poet, and writer (1883-1931)
Alt. for simplicity and clarity by Dan Damon, 2014 for this sermon,
The original was recently posted on Facebook by Amanda Peters.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the same well
from which your laughter rises
was often filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,
the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart, and you will find
it is only that which has given you sorrow
that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you will see
that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,”
and others say, “No, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come,
and when one sits alone with you at your table, remember that the other is asleep on your bed.
Truly we are suspended as if on a scale
weighing our sorrow and our joy.
Only when we are empty
are we at standstill and balanced.
As long as we live,
our joys and our sorrows
will rise or fall.
Retell the Scripture Story
Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, was ill.
Lazarus of Bethany, brother of Mary and Martha,
(Martha is active, Mary is contemplative) According to John, this Mary was the one who anointed Jesus’ with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair.
They send word, but Jesus waits two days before coming.
Martha met Jesus and said, “If you had been here Lazarus would not have died.” There were many mourners present. Martha said, “Even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.”
Mary came to meet Jesus, weeping and falling at his feet. Jesus was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept. John 11:35 NRSV Jesus began to weep…
And the people said, “See how he loved him.”
“Take away the stone. Father, I thank you for having heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me. Lazarus come out!” And when Lazarus came out, Jesus said, “Unbind him and let him go.”
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
It has been said that Christianity is a religion of belief. “Are you a believer?” we are asked. Judaism, on the other hand is a religion of practice. You might ask a Jewish friend, “Are you practicing?” They might say, “Well, I observe the holidays. I try to preach and live a faith that depends on practice, not on belief. We believe what we believe. We have different personalities, different educations. Of course, we do not all believe the same thing, but we all can practice living lives of love and joy, sorrow and hope, aspiring to the greatest good that we can imagine, and then going a bit beyond that by way of the arts. We turn to poetry, song, story, humor, dance, and the visual arts as we practice day by day. We practice in communities of joy and sorrow, and we try to understand the unfolding mystery. Here is a poem I wrote in 1992 as I tried to understand Jesus’ death on the cross:
Jesus’ death was not God’s need,
but to offer grace;
anger did not make him bleed
for the human race.
Jesus’ life and what he taught,
more than any creed,
this the gift God’s joy has brought;
this love’s only need.
Find no fault with Jewish law,
nor with Roman rule;
fault the love that blessed the straw
with a wondrous jewel.
Better still to place no blame,
human or divine;
learn to share in Jesus’ name:
water, bread and wine.
Bless the stones that cry aloud
as the prince rides by;
bless the humble and the proud
who return to cry.
Jesus was not born to die
but to show the way;
Christ invites us each to try
living what we pray.
Words and Music © 1993 Hope Publishing Company
One thing I know… God is with us in our joy and in our sorrow. There is enough to go on here. A step at a time, a day at a time, one conversation at a time, God leads us, and helps us to mourn and to rejoice. This is life as we experience it now. Our hope moves us forward, our faith sustains us as it changes and grows, and love never ends. Live each day with gratitude and compassion. Reach out in concern and service to the world.
Jesus told the woman at the well everything she ever did, “and the woman, with a question, told the world what she had found.” FWS 6
Christine Manderfeld, OSB has written a short SATB chant that will be coming out this summer in the At Your Altars collection. We will continue singing 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
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
The Northern California Iranian Community has announced that the United States is refusing to issue a visa to the new Iranian ambassador to the United Nations. He was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of United States citizens in 1979. See article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/11/us-iran-usa-obama-idUSBREA3A1D620140411.
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 and all are welcome. Recommendations from the class will be presented at General Conference 2016. 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
New 2014 Directory is available! Copies will be in Friendship Hall for you to pick up.
Junktique will be here May 3. Fran Smith is requesting you bring plastic bags and paper bags so that we have containers for purchases.
Flyers for Junktique: Attached is a flyer for Junktique. If you have a place to put one, please copy, snip the tags and make available to friends and neighbors!
Season of Love, A time for change: The Reconciling Caucus of the CA-NV UMC is coordinating a Circle of Love, Saturday, May 17 starting at 2 pm to support the marriage of two women at the Wesley UMC, 566 N. Fifth Street, San Jose. The marriage ceremony is at 3 pm and a possible press conference at 4:30 pm. You would not be attending the wedding, but supporting the church, minister and the union of these loving women by your presence. For more information: seasonoflove.info.
Easter Lilies: Pat Dornan has generously offered to coordinate the purchase of lilies for the altar Easter Sunday. Each lily is $10 and you may take them home after the service. Orders must be received by Wednesday, April 16. There are forms in Friendship Hall to fill out and mail to Pat along with your check, or to give to Bill or Alice Thompson. The lilies are in honor of or in celebration of someone dear to you. Pat’s address, 9 Cherrywood Court, San Pablo, CA 94806.
The Administrative Board met Thursday evening. We are having difficulty meeting our projected costs in the General Budget and have added a column called “How are we doing?” to keep you informed. Our General Fund receipts to date are $20,283. Our budget need is $26,439. We count on your generosity to keep us funded and if you haven’t increased your giving, perhaps you would give it consideration.
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: email@example.com.
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: prjazz.org.
Junktique is coming! Saturday, May 3, 9am- 3pm.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Betty Graham at BettyGraeham@gmail.com. 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: wmjm.org.
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