Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
Children of God, Psalm 4
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 4-19-15
In Luke’s gospel for today we heard a resurrection story with some of the themes that we have come to expect: fear, amazement, Jesus saying, “Peace be with you,” and inviting the disciples to notice his new body and to believe. In this story Jesus is hungry and eats fish with the disciples. The theme of witness is here as well. “You are witnesses of these things.”
In the reading from 1 John 3:1-7 the elder of this monastic community writes about being children of God in a world that does not recognize God’s love and power. It is a blessing to be called children of God, but it involves being different. It involves sticking your neck out.
We are asked to take risks for justice and human rights (to put it in modern terms). John’s community sees a sharp distinction between good and evil. They live separated from the world and yet they struggle with sin as we all do. Even in a monastic community the people are only moving on to perfection. They haven’t all arrived at the stage of enlightenment or union with God.
Retell the Scripture Story
I’d like to spend my time today with the Psalm appointed for our reading on the third Sunday of Easter. Listen to the Psalm in two versions. The first is the New Revised Standard Version.
Psalm 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.
Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
You gave me room when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
When you are disturbed, do not sin;
ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Listen to the Psalm again in a modern paraphrase by Eugene Peterson. Notice how the more dynamic language brings us into the present day.
Psalm 4 The Message (MSG)
When I call, give me answers. God, take my side!
Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
Look at this: look who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him.
Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Why is everyone hungry for more?
“More, more,” they say. “More, more.”
I have God’s more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Not all the sacred songs and prayers are for the church gathered for worship. There are many times when we need to spend time alone with God. Every day we need to cultivate a sense of God’s presence with us, even when we are alone. Psalm 4 gives us the invitation to spend time alone with God at the end of each day.
What keeps you up at night? We live in a culture of instant gratification. We spend money for that which is not bread, for things that do not satisfy us in the long run. We lie awake replaying the day’s events like a video in our mind. We seek peace and tranquility as we work and as we rest, but too often it eludes us. This is precisely the time for prayer. The psalms show us many types and times for prayer: invocation, confession, intercession, and thanksgiving.
As children we are taught to pray at bedtime. Perhaps the power of nighttime is in its stillness. Maybe we sense the “luminous darkness” spoken of by mystics from Gregory of Nyssa to Howard Thurman. When we feel caught between the mercy of God and the treachery of humanity, let us take time to pray. If you are able, please pick up a Bible and turn to the Psalms. It is easy to find. It is the big book in the middle of the many books. Luther called the Psalms, “the little Bible.” No matter how we are feeling, there is a Psalm, a prayer for us to pray. Read it more than once. Meditate on the message, and be at peace. Especially in hard times, count your blessings, and be at peace, living as children of God in a world that needs you.
Let us be in prayer.
Joys and Concerns
Terry Cullinane, a dear friend of Fran Smith, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment. Terry has helped us numerous times working at the Sweetheart Dinner and with UMW on many of our teas. She is a treasure. Prayers for healing are welcome. If you would like to send a card: 995 Glendora, Oakland 94602.
Julio Osegueda reports that his wife Carol’s ninety-three year old mother died peacefully this past week. If you would like to send notes or cards: 5 Sand Point Dr., Richmond, 94801
Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) up date: Sandra thanks everyone for their prayers and concerns. Fran reports that Sandra is more animated and cheerful than she has been in months. Sandra has undergone 4 chemo treatments and feels good. Both Fran and Sandra ask that prayers continue.
Pat Dornan and Linda Pereira continue to need your prayers of support. Update: Hospice services have started. Pat says that Linda can no longer get out of bed, isn’t eating and probably has a very short time remaining. She is mentally alert. Pat requests that if you have been meaning to stop by, you do it soon. Do stop by for a short visit if you can.
Robbie Robinson would appreciate your prayers.
Helen Wysham welcomes your prayers for healing as she undergoes chemotherapy.
Bobby and Pamella Hall would like to be remembered in prayer as they go through some difficult personal times.
Arpha MacIntyre is doing better. She is still in the Residential Treatment area but has been able to return to her own apartment for parts of the day and has been able to play the piano again! Arpha played the piano at our church for many years. If you wish to send a card: Sierra View Homes Retirement Community, 1155 E. Springfield Ave., Reedly, CA 93654. Jane Carnall has spoken with Arpha several times and Arpha is thrilled to be getting cards and messages of love from our church community.
Please keep the people of Camp Liberty in your prayers as chaos reigns in Iraq and near the camp.
GRIP Board calling an Emergency Meeting, Sunday, April 26, 3 pm. The GRIP Board is inviting all congregations to an emergency meeting to discuss recent financial difficulties and the almost closure of the Emergency Shelter and Souper Center. The need for every involved congregation to support GRIP is vital for continuation of these vital services. Come and hear how we can help. Hope Lutheran Church, 2830 May Road, El Sobrante.
After church tomorrow is the day we carry sale items up to Friendship Hall for the sale next Saturday. If you can help, please flex your muscles and come help. Homemade soup lunch for helpers!
Katherine Parker, missionary in Nepal: Huge 7.8 earthquake in Nepal last night. Katherine’s Facebook page says that she is not injured but is staying outside. Prayers for Katherine and the people of Nepal.
Karen Bianchini who used to work for the Early Childhood Mental Health Program, which we support with donations of diapers, told us that Lynn Martin, the director of the program, was found murdered in her home about a month ago. The staff is having a hard time absorbing the loss of Lynn and the manner of her death. Our sympathies are extended to them. If you would like to send a card or note to the staff: Early Childhood Mental Health Program, 4101 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, 94805.
The Richmond Commission on Aging is presenting its 22nd Annual Senior Nite Out on Saturday, May 2, 6-10:30 pm. This includes dinner, 6:30-7:30 and live entertainment featuring Top Shelf and drawings for prizes. Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza. Advance tickets through the Richmond Recreation Dept. 3230 Macdonald Ave. $25, at the door $30.
CA/Nev Annual Conference registration is open at www.cnumc.org/acs15.
United Methodist Women are starting a collection for 10 School Kits. There will be a box in Friendship Hall for your donations. Lists of needed supplies will also be in Friendship Hall for pick up. Remember that you can only donate things that are on the list or UMCOR will remove them. Linda Woody-Wood is generously going to sew the school bags for us again. We would like to have our kits packed up and ready to go to the Annual Conference in June. Update: Rulers have been purchased so cross them off your list. Some of you may wish to donate some money towards the purchase of some items. Barbara Haley is willing to do the shopping.
Don’t forget that donations for Imagine No Malaria are always welcome.
On April 23rd the United Methodist Church donated 9.6 million dollars to fight malaria. This is the most any community of faith has ever been able to donate.
ANNUAL JUNKTIQUE SALE is SAT. MAY 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Point Richmond’s Historic First United Methodist Church.
We are now accepting donations of still usable furniture, toys, books, electronics, appliances and other household items as we look forward to our biggest fundraiser of the year. (Please no clothing, shoes, hide-a-beds, exercise equipment, metal frame recliners, particle board furniture.)
The church basement door facing West Richmond Ave. will be open for drop-off donations:
Wed. mornings through April from 10 am to noon.
Thurs. evenings through April from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat. mornings through April from 10 a.m. to Noon
Please also email the above people to arrange 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.
Don’t forget our Famous Lunch of Chili, Minestrone, Hot Dogs, & Pie from 11:30 a.m. til gone.
The day of the sale, come early and avail yourself of the bargains and unbelievable one-of-a-kind items. And bring a friend!
Sign up sheets for pies and helping before and during the sale are in Friendship Hall
Friday, May 8, 7:30 pm Point Richmond Acoustic closes the season with our own Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan. Claudia has a knack for crafting tightly woven songs that carry you to the sweet spots of youth and the autumn colors of growing older. Bruce’s accompaniment on the mandolin and electric guitar are spot on. Come celebrate Bruce and Claudia as they bring another terrific season to a close. Tickets. $20. Advance tickets and more info: pointacoustic.org.
Save the Date: Saturday, May 16, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, District Conference. Rev. Schuyler Rhodes has sent this reminder. The Conference includes a Mission Fair with displays by local churches, a fair trade marketplace, training opportunities for Staff-Parish Relations Committee Members, Trustees, church council and more. Plus a briefing on legislation coming up at the Annual Conference. Donations $15 includes lunch and materials. First United Methodist Church, 502 Virginia St., Vallejo, CA 94590. To register: https://calnev-reg.betrapp.com.
Sunday, May 24, 3 pm: The Multi-Cultural Music Fellowship presents the Triskela Celtic Harp Trio and the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble playing music from the British Isles, Latin America and California. Suggested donations: children $10, adults $20 except children under 12 $5 and seniors $15. Reserve tickets and more information about the group: email@example.com. Tickets also available at the door. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
Ca/Nev Annual Conference, June 17-20 (Wed. thru Sat.). This year’s theme is ” Engaging Faith in the Public Square”. Registration is now open at www.cnum.org/acs15. San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency, 1333 Old Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA.
Save the Dates: June 14-20 for Mt. Lassen Journey Farthest Out Camp. The camp provides a time apart for spiritual growth and opening our lives to God physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The vision is to provide a place where all people are accepted with the unconditional love that Jesus shares. All ages are welcome. Registration is open through “Mt. Lassen JFO”.
The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) is meeting in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the Reconciling Ministries Network. Gather at the River, Thursday, August 6 to Sunday, August 9. The conference will be working on issues of justice throughout the church and resolutions they would like to see presented at the General Conference in 2016. Register at http://www.gather2015.org/.
Please send submissions for FUMC News and Events to Barbara Haley, editor: firstname.lastname@example.org