st United MethodiRichmond First United Methodist News and EventsRichmond First United Methodist News and EventsRichmond First United Methodist NewFirst United Methodist News and
As inspection of the three “Sunday School” windows started, it was determined that there is more dry rot than expected, raising the cost of the window repair. an Anonymous Donor is covering the entire cost of custom built windows, matching the windows in the church! Our gratitude and thanks to this person. The Building Funds will be used to repair and replace windows in the parsonage.
“The American Maritime People” at The Frank C. Munson Institute: An NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, June 23 – July 25, 2014. Jennifer Metz Foster has been chosen to teach this class! Congratulations!
The Frank C. Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport invites selected college teachers to participate in its five-week National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute, “The American Maritime People” from June 23-July 25, 2014. The NEH Institute gives college teachers the opportunity to enhance course offerings by studying the influence of maritime activities on U.S. history and culture.
I’ll be participating in order to develop a course in American Maritime History for the Spring 2015 semester at CSUM, as well as building context for an upcoming exhibit I’m consulting for at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum on the history of maritime diversity in Vallejo.
If You Love Me, John 14:15-21
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 5-25-14
Do you remember this song from Fiddler on the Roof [music: Jerry Bock, lyrics: Sheldon Harnick]?
Tevye says to Golde: I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.
(Golde) What??? He’s poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!
(Tevye) He’s a good man, Golde. I like him. And what’s more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him. So what can we do? It’s a new world… A new world. Love. Golde… Do you love me?
(Golde) Do I what?
(Tevye) Do you love me?
(Golde) Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town
You’re upset, you’re worn out
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it’s indigestion
(Tevye) Golde I’m asking you a question… Do you love me?
(Golde) You’re a fool
(Tevye) I know… But do you love me?
(Golde) Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?
(Tevye) Golde, The first time I met you
Was on our wedding day. I was scared.
(Golde) I was shy
(Tevye) I was nervous
(Golde) So was I
But my father and my mother
Said we’d learn to love each other
And now I’m asking, Golde
Do you love me?
(Golde) I’m your wife
(Tevye) I know… But do you love me?
(Golde) Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
Fought him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his
If that’s not love, what is?
(Tevye) Then you love me?
(Golde) I suppose I do
(Tevye) And I suppose I love you too
It doesn’t change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It’s nice to know
Retell the Scripture Story
In our gospel lesson today Jesus continues from the story of the “many mansions,” and the statement of being “the way, the truth, and the life.” Our lesson today begins with the conditional clause: “If you love me…” The if/then construction goes like this: If you love me, keep my commandments.
If you are like me, you will immediately think of all the commandments you have broken, and the impossibility of keeping them all. The ten commandments, and all the other laws we have made. We need these laws, but it is the highest law that Jesus is speaking about here and elsewhere in the gospels: the law of love.
If you love me, keep my commandments [to love self, neighbor, and God] and I will send you another Comforter [because I am going away/ my life is almost over] and this Comforter will abide with you forever.
Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit, the presence of God always with us. We will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Christian church on June 8 this year, but of course the Spirit has been present with all creation from the beginning. In Genesis 1:2 we read: And the earth was without form and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved [brooded] upon the face of the waters. [v.3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
This eternal Spirit of comfort was there from the beginning and is with us always. This comfort transcends time and space. It transcends faith and doubt. It is present in all faith traditions. To return to our gospel less, in John 14:17 Jesus says this is the Spirit of truth. As we consider our seeking faith, we always look for love and truth. They go together. Here they are in John’s gospel. Our faith leads us deeper into these mysteries: love and truth.
In verse 19 Jesus, according to John, says: Because I live, you shall live also… You will know that I am in my Father, and you are in my, and I am in you.
This is poetic language. Jesus is trying to tell us something about the final way of things. Jesus saw a deeper and higher reality. He saw that union with God is the true and final resting place for all creation. Sometimes we get a glimpse of that union here on earth. In a good marriage we can glimpse it. In our deepest love relationships: parent and child, marriage partners, perhaps even the gardener’s love of growing things can show us a little of this deep mystery. Jesus told us all he could about love, truth, and the mystic and eternal love in which we live and move.
How should we then live? Let us live each day in the knowledge that God loves us, and all of creation. Let us learn to love ourselves. Let us learn to love others a little better every day. Let us make peace with ourselves and with others. Let us make peace on earth our work and our prayer. Let us work and pray for justice every day, trusting that God is at work with us, and in us. Let us now give in to despair, depression, and fear. Let us live each day in the love and power that God gives us, trusting that the Comforter will come to us [has come to us] and will abide with us forever.
Let us be in prayer.
Joys and Concerns
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.
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Re: Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
Richmond First United Methodist News and EventsRichmond First United Methodist News and EventsRichmond First United Methodist NewFirst United Methodist News and
Dan Damon, Pastor
Phone: (510) 232-1102
201 Martina Street
(at West Richmond Avenue)
Richmond, CA 94801
Sunday Morning at 11 am
Followed by Coffee Hour
Adult Bible Study at 10 am