Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
Enough for All, John 6:1-21
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 7-26-15
Eileen and I enjoyed an abundant Chinese feast at Annie Ao’s last evening. There was plenty for all. Lara Choe came over early for a few appetizers before returning to the Hotel Mac for a busy night there. Steve Chen and David Tung helped us enjoy the great banquet. I tried a few words of Mandarin and enjoyed the great feast that is surely a foretaste of the heavenly banquet as described in our Bible.
We are becoming an international church. We are learning to love each other. The language and cultural differences are real, but the Spirit of Love is also real. We felt that spirit as we shared food, drink, songs, and stories. If Annie invites you to dinner, be sure to say, “Yes.”
Retell the Scripture Story
Some things unite us across languages and cultures, across centuries and distance. Music, prayer, food, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and the shared Bible stories that we can read in our mother tongue draw us together. Many of these Bible stories are unforgettable. The gospel story for today, “The Feeding of the Five Thousand,” is one of my favorites.
The story outline is this:
A large crowd kept following Jesus.
Jesus sat down on a mountain with his disciples.
He asked Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”
Andrew said, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they among so many people?”
Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.”
Jesus took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks, and gave them to all the people.
When all were satisfied, Jesus said, “Gather up the leftovers, so that nothing may be lost.”
Twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up.
The people said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
The last three stanzas of a Charles Wesley hymn text talk about the abundance of God’s grace. “Thy Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love,” published in 101 hymnals, contains the line: Enough for each, enough for all, enough forevermore.
Thy goodness and thy truth, to me,
to every soul abound;
a vast unfathomable sea,
where all our thoughts are drowned.
Its streams the whole creation reach,
so plenteous is the store;
enough for all, enough for each,
enough for evermore.
Faithful, O Lord, thy mercies are,
a rock that cannot move:
a thousand promises declare
thy constancy of love.
He was writing to counter the Calvinist idea of “limited atonement.” Charles and his brother John Wesley, founders of Methodism, believed in the abundance of God’s grace available to everyone. All are invited to the great banquet.
Returning from vacation, I want to include a story or two from the Hymn Society Conference and our vacation days in New Orleans:
Down by the Riverside: jazz and congregational song [an evening to remember]
Food, music, and people in the French Quarter [jazz, jambalaya, and jubilee]
In closing I’d like to share a new hymn text inspired by walking at night in the French Quarter of New Orleans after the Hymn Society Conference, 2015. Eileen and I saw many people sleeping in church doorways, and heard a poor family sitting on a step singing “Down by the Riverside” night after night.
According to Matthew 25:45, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” This is the end of the Bible story that goes with this hymn text.
Beside the great cathedrals
we huddle in the rain,
or underneath the bridges
till busy folks complain.
We seek a little shelter,
a coin to buy some bread,
and Jesus waits here with us.
He shares our stony bed.
He sings on city sidewalks,
he sits on curbs alone,
he holds a sign and listens
for footsteps on the stone.
He sings down by the river,
a spiritual, a blues
for mothers and for fathers
who pay no union dues.
Friend, have you seen him naked,
in prison, or in pain,
and have you seen him shivering
with us out in the rain?
Friend, have you seen him sleeping
outside cathedral doors,
and have you heard him singing
with those the world ignores?
Sit down with us and listen
to stories we can tell
of death and resurrection,
of heaven and of hell.
Then strive to love the beggars
who gather at your door,
and see in us our Savior,
the rabbi of the poor.
Daniel Charles Damon
WORDS © 2015 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Let us be in prayer.
Joys and Concerns
Our dear church friend, Pat King, is requesting prayers for healing. She is slowly recovering from surgery.
Help Needed! Linda Pereira’s mother, Lorraine, has been in rehab for a broken arm and will need 24 hour a day attendant care starting next week. Pat Dornan has found someone for the weekends but needs someone M-F to live-in (separate room) and to help Lorraine with activities of daily living, meal prep etc. Can pay a max of $150 per 24 hour day. Contact Pat Dornan at 510 237 3063 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help or know of someone else who may be available.
Please keep Katherine Parker, our missionary, and the people of Nepal in your prayers.
Deby McFadyen is requesting prayers for three young friends who are battling cancer. Please remember Sarah Talkington, Carolyn Thomas a Jimmy Lowe in your prayers.
Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) update: Sandra thanks everyone for their prayers and concerns. Fran reports that Sandra is more animated and cheerful. She is having chemotherapy every two weeks and it should be completed the end of August. 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 is more alert and has been able to be up in the wheel chair for short periods of time. Lorraine, Linda’s mother, fell last week and had surgery on a broken arm and elbow. She is currently in a Skilled Nursing Facility for rehab so that she can return home. As you can imagine, Pat is stressed with all the care demands. Pat was able to transfer Linda to the car and take her to visit her mother. It was a very touching visit. Kudos to Pat for always doing the best she 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.
News from Camp Liberty in Iraq: Since July 13th the Iraqi government has stopped supplies from entering Camp Liberty. They have prevented supplies of food, fuel and septic tank trucks from entering the compound. The lack of fuel means that the generators can not function so there is no electricity, no sewage system, no air conditioners with the temperature reaching 120 degrees. The United States Committee for Camp Ashraf is asking our Secretary of State, John Kerry, to intervene as well as the United Nations. Please remember these people in your prayers and that actions are taken to reverse this situation.
UMCOR and the United Mission of Nepal are partnering to build 10 temporary learning centers for the children who have lost their schools, especially in Dhading province where the Mission already provides services including Katherine Parker. About 2000 children will be able to attend these schools. Almost 1 million children have lost their schools throughout the country. Your gifts to UMCOR are welcome.
Katherine Parker, missionary in Nepal: Katherine reports that the emphasis now will be on long-term recovery efforts in Dhang province. Katherine will continue to work with WASH, nutrition and psycho-social support. Non-earthquake work is resuming and Katherine will soon be traveling to Rukum and Rupandehi for the baseline survey of their community health program focusing on maternal and child health.
The United Methodist Church Market Place has revamped their online site and made it more user friendly. When you sign up to be a user you scroll down to find our church and after that every time you go through this site to shop at stores on line a percentage of your bill will be donated to our church. umcmarket.org.
New Public Address System: Donations are coming in to support our new system. Donations are $45 for a whole piano key which you can color and sign and donations of any amount are welcome. Karen Merkle, who died early in June left a Memorial Donation of $500 to our church. The Memorial Committee has donated the money to our new sound system. Karen would be pleased since music was such a large part of her life. See the display of piano keys and further information at the desk in the back in Friendship Hall.
If you would like to donate for relief for the people of Nepal, go to umcor.org the Advance.
Don’t forget that donations for Imagine No Malaria are always welcome.
New Membership Class starting this Sunday, June 28 at 10 am in Friendship Hall as part of the Adult Sunday School. Please let Pastor Dan know if you are interested in joining our congregation. regular Sunday School attendees are encouraged to come as well.
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/.
Vacation Bible School will be the week of August 10 thru 14. Contact Jean Reynolds if you would like to help at email@example.com. this is always a fun event and much looked forward to by the children and the helpers. The theme is “Aloha”.
Wednesday, August 12 is the next GRIP dinner. If you would like to help with preparation and serving, let Doreen Leighton know at 510 307 5461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, August 13, Administrative Board Meeting at 7 pm in Friendship Hall. If you are interested, come and join us.
Saturday, August 15, United Methodist Women Annual Retreat at Mid Dornan’s cabin. All day Saturday with planning for next year and evaluation of the past year in a lovely setting. Car pool, pot luck lunch. Let Doreen Leighton know if you are coming and need a ride. Doreen: 510 307 5461 or email@example.com.
Sunday, September 20 Susan Peters, Executive Director of the California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation will be our guest preacher. During the coffee hour she will talk to people who are interested in learning how to set up an endowment for our church as part of our planning for the future of our church.
Friday, September 25, 7:30 pm, the Point Richmond Jazz series starts the season with Paul Anastasio and Tony Marcus. Tickets online prjazz.org, $20, at door $25. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
Saturday, September 26, 4-7 pm, 7th Annual Jean Eakle Art Auction and Gala: Tax deductible Donations needed: Arts, crafts, jewelry, pottery, photography, cash or gift certificates for auction and door prizes. Contact Diane, firstname.lastname@example.org or Debbie, email@example.com. Donations can be dropped off any Sunday morning 10-11 am and 12-1 pm at First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
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