Richmond First United Methodist News and Events, January 18, 2014
It is a pleasure to be your pastor. Here are my notes from last Sunday:
Water and Mud, Matthew 3:13-17
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 1-12-14
One of two sacraments in Methodism [baptism and holy communion]
Jesus participated in these.
Re-tell baptismal story as told by Matthew:
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized.
John tried to prevent it.
Jesus said it was necessary and right.
When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened and he had a vision: the Spirit of God, like a dove, descending and alighting on him.
Jesus heard a voice from heaven: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Mt. 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.
Water and mud? dry, parched earth, desert, survival, endurance
Focus on two images: water and mud
Water: clear, cleansing, drinking, life-giving, carrying water from far away
a hot water bottle in Katherine Parker’s bed in Nepal,
Mud: a mix of dirt and water, this is how life is lived, not clean and clear, but murky like the Jordan river, life on life’s terms, not our terms, “there is a lot of good stuff in the mud”
story of Naaman and Elijah [2 Kings 5]
Jesus’ humility needed to be baptized by John in the Jordan
We, too, need enough humility to ask for God’s help, and the help of the people around us. God is with us through the water and the mud of life.
We are called to be with the poor and oppressed bringing them clear water, hot water, as our missionary is doing, as she is doing on our behalf, “few can go, some can give, all can pray,” helping them get the things they need, the things we may take for granted
On the Field, the Action step:
Football is a game played in water and mud, snow and ice, SF 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers, In this God does not take sides, God is for peace and justice for all of us, God is for harmony and balance in the world.
As peacemakers, justice-doers, and co-creators with God, let us live and work and pray for these things. Living with power and grace through the waters of baptism mixed with the mud of our lives. Amen
Katherine Parker , our missionary
“Hot water! This week my Nepali host family installed a solar water heating system and tonight I washed my hands in hot water… mmmm… also my dishes and some laundry. Now my hot water bottle is full and pre-heating my bed which is great b…ecause we have no other indoor heating. Alternative indoor heating options are electric heaters (but load shedding has just increased to 12 hours per day now) and propane heaters (which require leaving a window open for ventilation), so I am happy with my hot water and heavy blankets. During the day it is actually warmer to go outside and soak up the sun (no Minnesota wind chill here).”
We just received a Christmas Letter from Katherine Parker. She graduated from language school the end of December and has now joined the work team for orientation. The first meeting she attended was in Nepali and she was happy to report that she understood most of it! In January she will be helping with the analysis of a baseline survey and preparing a funding proposal for their project in the Mugu District in the far west. The emphasis is on reaching the poorest people and the poorest are the furthest from Katmandu with no medical facilities, harsh living conditions and poor food security. Our church commitment to sponsor Katherine in this terrific work is $500 per year. Please do your part and participate by your giving to help improve the lives of the poor in Nepal.
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 on Friday. She is not able to tolerate pain medications, so they inserted a pump that keeps the shoulder area numb. 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.
Ensieh Yasdan has been sick for a couple of weeks. Please remember her in your prayers for healing.
We have received a card and letter of thanks for our donation to The Richmond Childhood Mental Health Program. The lives of many families were improved with our gifts of disposable diapers, clothing and diaper wipes. Please continue to help us provide diapers throughout the year.
Helen Wysham took our baskets of warm socks to the Rescue Mission last month and reported how grateful the mission people were to get them. They told Helen that warm socks were their greatest need in the cold weather. Thank you to all who donated.
Events of Interest
Sunday, January 19 is the first annual Special Sunday opportunity for giving. Human Relations Sunday grants enable United Methodists of all ages to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend seminars on national and international affairs empowering people to return home with tools for change in their communities.
Point Richmond Jazz- Friday, January 24 at 7:30 pm, presents the Joe Craven Trio, a powerful trio playing a variety of stringed instruments, keyboard and drums in tribute to traditional American folk music, blues and sounds of other countries (Brazil, Haiti, Cuba and others. Joe Craven, strings; John Burr, keyboard and Kendrick Freeman, drums. Advance tickets through prjazz.org, $15 Tickets at the door, $20. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond. For more information: prjazz.org.
The Bridges District of United Methodist Women (UMW) is having its annual leadership training day on Saturday, January 25 in Sacramento. Please see attachment for more information.
Sunday, January 26, after church, the Trustees will make their annual walkthrough and evaluation of the parsonage and church building to determine the most pressing needs for repair. If you would like to join them, they would be happy to have you.
Our friends, Rebecca Rust, cellist and Friedrich Edelmann , bassoonist (SF Munich Duo) are holding a Benefit Concert in memory of Rebecca’s father, Ben Rust, to honor his 100th birthday. Mr. Rust was a much admired teacher at El Cerrito High School. Sunday, February 2 at 2 pm at the Performing Arts Center, El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito. Tickets are $10 at the door. The Kensington Symphony Orchestra will also be playing. Please see attachment for more information.
Friday, February 7, 6:30-9 pm, Berkeley Zonta Club presents the 3rd annual Lunafest. All new international films about women, filmed by women; some are funny, some are charming and some are intense. Men are welcome. Proceeds are used to benefit women by combating human trafficking. Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way, Richmond. Advance tickets, $25 thru: lunafest.org/richmond. Tickets $30 at door, $20 for students with ID.
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