Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 5-11-14
Our topic today from John chapter 10 is the life abundant. Not perfect, but abundant. As Methodist, we learn from our founder, John Wesley, that we are moving on to perfection. We do not get there in this life, but it is a worthy goal. We did not get perfect parents. We were not perfect children. But we did get many blessings in our childhood, the first being the gift and blessing of life.
What have you done with the gift and the promise of your life? Have you returned thanks for the blessings you have received? Have you lived for yourself, or for others? Of course, both are needed. We must care for ourselves or there will be no possibility of caring for others. Some express this caring action through the church. Some find ways to live abundantly and compassionately outside the church. In our story today, we hear Jesus promise of abundant life in the context of a robbery. Are there things that rob you of the abundance that you desire? Listen again to the story.
Retell the Scripture Story
After the long story of the healing of the man born blind in John 9, we move into an unusual story of stealing sheep. Jesus says, “If you enter not by the door, but by some other way, you are a thief and a robber. But if you enter by the door, you are the shepherd.
The sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out to pasture. He goes before them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. The sheep will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know his voice.
The disciples did not understand this parable. So Jesus went on teaching: I am the door. By me, if you go in and out you will find pasture. The thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly. Jesus said, “ I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:10
Our faith gives us hope for the abundant life, both here and now, and in all the days ahead. Abundant life will be different for each of us. What does it mean to you? For me, it means living the Christian life as well as I am able, and inspiring others to do the same in their own way. Let us give thanks for our many, many blessings. Among them, the blessing of “good enough” parents and children. Not perfect, but “good enough.” Not perfect lives, but abundant lives are promised to us, but it is up to us to find the way to live our lives to the fullest. Enjoy life. Again in the words of John Wesley, “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for as long as ever you can, and stay in love with God.”
I will close today with a text Brian Wren wrote for his mother when she moved into a nursing home. What did abundant life mean to her at that time?
1. Three things I promise, Holy God,
in age and youth, in life and death:
to bless your Name, and cling to Christ,
and listen for the Spirit’s breath.
2. Your love unfolded time and space,
and life, and all that life became,
and so, with thankful heart and voice,
through good and ill, I bless your Name.
3. I follow, serve, and cling to Christ
amid our culture’s tides and trends,
for here your Name is most revealed:
Majestic Love, and Best of Friends.
4. Enlivened as the Spirit moves
to cleanse, awaken, and renew,
I pray that justice, peace, and truth,
may seed and grow in all I do.
5. If I should live when vigor fades,
and family and friends are gone,
three acts of loving faith remain
when days are slow, and work is done.
6. Revive and guide me, Living God,
as day by day, until my death,
I bless your Name, and cling to Christ,
and listen for the Spirit’s breath.
Brian Wren Words © 1997 Hope Publishing Company
Let us be in prayer.
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.
Robbie Robinson would appreciate your prayers.
Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) is moving to South Dakota, We wish her well.
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) continues to work in the Philippines six months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the city of Tanuan. They are building 200 permanent homes for the families of the region.
Mid Dornan and Barbara Haley attended the 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Richmond Childhood Mental Health Program on Friday,
May 16. We had a private tour of the facility and listened to speeches about the program’s history and dreams for the future. This is a remarkable program. Remember we donate disposable diapers for families who can’t afford them. You can bring diapers anytime and leave them in Friendship Hall.
Camp Liberty Update: Maryam Rajavi (President-elect of the Iranian Resistance) spoke before the Canadian Parliament regarding raising the issue before the United Nations General Assembly about the humanitarian crisis in Camp Liberty. Within the last few weeks a man died from a heart attack after medical treatment was refused.
The Administrative Board has approved the project to repair the church windows beginning after Junktique II.
Our missionary, Katherine Parker in Nepal, has sent an update on her activities. On a personal level, she is moving into an apartment of her own. Katherine is working as a health advisor in rural Nepal where she works with communities through improving water sanitation, hygiene, food security and nutrition. She has a blog (bokashi.blogspot.com) where you can find information on her recent adolescent sex education class. Donating to support Katherine’s work makes you a partner in improving the quality of life for the less advantaged. Copies of her letter are in Friendship Hall.
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
Junktique was a full and prosperous day! We can’t thank Betty Graham, Fran Smith and the heavy lifting crew led by Jonathan Swett enough for the hours of work and of organizing the help to make this a successful day! Norm Reynolds reports that we made over $8,000 which helps to cover the costs in our General Budget.
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.
The Angel Choir sang for us on Mother’s Day enchanting the congregation. Many thanks to Tammara Plankers for her dedication and joy in working with the children.
Pat Dornan bought the roses and decorated them with baby’s breath and lovely bows to honor our mothers. The Angel Choir gleefully passed them out to our great grandmothers, grandmothers, and mothers. Thank you so much Pat for making this possible.
The Administrative Board met Thursday evening, May 8 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 $31,180. Our budget need is $35,252 which is a $4000 deficit. We count on your generosity to keep us funded and if you haven’t increased your giving, perhaps you would give it consideration. Junktique earnings met our budgeted expectation and Junktique II will add some funds to help with the deficit.
Tuesday, May 20, Church Women United, is meeting at Easter Hill United Methodist Church, 3911 Cutting Blvd., Richmond. Gather at 9 am and Celebration at 10 am.
Bring a salad or dessert for a potluck salad bar luncheon. We bring pennies and prayers through the Fellowship of the Least Coin on this May Friendship Day. Call Jean Reynolds if you would like to be a reader for the program. 510 734 3942.
Junktique II will be coming up Monday, May 26 in conjunction with the Masquers Playhouse annual Point Richmond garage sale and fund raiser. Let Fran Smith or Betty Graham know if you would like to help. Fran: email@example.com: Betty: BettyGraeham @gmail.com. We will have a pancake breakfast starting at 8 am. The sale will be from 9 am to 3 pm, Bring the kids to see our “Ladybug: gardener!
Friday, May 30-PRJazz Presents Kit Eakle with Django Sphere 7:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina, Point Richmond. This is the last concert of the season. For tickets, a list of next season’s presenters and special ticket pricing go to prjazz.org. This concert is an exploration of the music of Django Reinhardt and Thelonius Sphere Monk. Kit Eakle, violin, Jonathan Alford, piano and Alex Baum, bass. Tickets through prjazz.org $15, at door, $20.
Father’s Day Jazz Service, Sunday, June 15, 11am. The Dan Damon Quartet will present the service with music. Come early to be sure to get a seat.
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 is open. Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Retreat Center. For more info and to register: wmjm.org.