Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
We plan to joyfully receive new members during the September 13 worship service. Please let Pastor Damon know if you’d like to join the church.
Here are my notes from last Sunday:
Being Kind, Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 8-9-15
Last week I talked about some basics of the Christian faith: prayer, reading the Bible, worshiping the God revealed in Jesus in the community called the church. Christians are baptized, we receive communion, and we honor the light in other faith traditions while we follow the example of Jesus our Savior. We invite others to love and serve God. Christianity is a missionary faith. We believe in sharing the good news with others. If you have found a home in this church we invite you to share that joy with others. We invite you to become a member of this church and to give of your time, talent, and treasure to make the church a stronger witness in the community and in the world.
Retell the Scripture Story
Another basic of the Christian faith is being kind. As people of faith called Christians we are called to live a certain way. Earlier in the service today we sang a song from the ancient Hebrew prophet that includes kindness:
What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? [Micah 6:8]
There are three basics in that verse which we receive with gratitude from the Jewish community: justice, kindness, and humility. It is not always easy to know how to do justice, but we know we are called to the work. We talk, we attend conferences, we write hymns on justice issues like modern day slavery, homelessness, and hunger. We pray. We ask for God’s help as we live out our identity in this community as a Reconciling Congregation, a place where all are truly welcome, a place where the diversity in God’s creation is celebrated. We do all this work for justice with kindness and humility, knowing that we are small and that the world is large. Jesus did what he could do to live out his mission, and so shall we.
According to Ephesians 4, part of our work involves telling the truth to our neighbors because we are already “members one of another.” We are part of the same body. What hurts one hurts all.
We are told to be angry, but not to sin. Anger is a natural human emotion. It is not a sin to be angry. Anger can motivate us to fight for justice, but if it is not handled correctly, it can lead to pain and suffering. It is better to talk about things the same day in many situations. To let anger grow silently over time is to court trouble. Tell the truth and express your anger in healthy ways. We should expect anger and conflict in the church, and we can use this anger for growth and change for the better. Anger unexpressed can turn to depression. In this church let us “be angry and sin not.” Living in a loving faith community depends on our honest expression of our feelings with respect for the feelings of others. We do not always agree, but we always listen, learn, and love.
To the ancient prohibition “No stealing” is added: Labor and work honestly [why?] so you will have something to share with the needy. Isn’t that a beautiful way of understanding the holiness of honest work? It is a joy to be able to help others. Many of us do that with our whole hearts. We want to be known as kind people, people who provide help, hope, and home for others.
As we continue in our lesson for today, we come to this: Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up. Let your words “give grace” to those who hear you.
Do not grieve the Spirit. The Spirit is an essential part of the gathered community called the church. Without the Holy Spirit of God there could be no worship, no community, no virtue. We know this Spirit was active in our conversion and in our baptism, marking us as God’s own as we live in the hope of the world to come.
We put away the long list of things that hurt us, and that hurt others. In contrast we practice the things that build loving community: kindness, tenderheartedness [we allow our hearts to be broken as we see the suffering around us], and forgiveness. We forgive before someone says, “I’m sorry.” We practice the things that foster unity and cooperation. We become more vulnerable in this process, and we become open to intimacy, to knowing and being known. This can happen, and is happening here in this place.
I memorized this verse as a child: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:32]
And our passage concludes:
Be imitators of God [the highest good we can imagine], as dear children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us.
I’d like to close today with a page from My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, Riverhead Books, 2000. You may want to read the whole book if you haven’t already enjoyed it.
On page 86 the author gives us her grandfather’s story about giving with kindness. There are eight ways to give, all of them good. All giving is a form of kindness.
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.
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, is home with attendant care.
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.
Saturday, August 29, 6-8 pm, Panel Discussion sponsored by the Iranian American Community of Northern California. The panel will discuss the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. They will also discuss current issues related to the Iran Nuclear Deal and human rights issues regarding the mistreatment of political prisoners and the crackdown on any type of social dissent. UC Berkeley International House, Chevron Auditorium, 2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley. Free: RSVP: http://goo.gl/EMOEqX.
Jean Reynolds went to San Antonio, Texas for the “Gather at the River” conference and she ended up having her appendix removed! She returned home on Monday and on Tuesday was participating in Vacation Bible School and loving it! She is truly thankful for the wonderful help she has had with Pastor Dan, Bethany Reynolds, Rachel Herrin, Bill Thompson and others stepping in to help make the week a success. Every day there are more children as word spreads through the community about what fun it is.
Pastor Dan will be away at Journey Farthest Out Camp at lake Tahoe, Sept. 27 through Oct.4. Fran Smith will be speaking about her experience regarding reconciling ministries at the San Antonio conference “Gather at the River”. If you are interested in attending the JFO Camp at Zephyr Cove, contact Carol Horn at 530 595 3290 to see if any spaces remain.
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.
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.
Pastor Dan is requesting the donation of non perishable food to fill his cupboard to feed the poor who come to his door for food. Please leave your donations at the altar.
Art Auction: Debbie Benko is requesting items for door prizes of gift baskets with a theme, such as a coffee basket, chocolate basket, spa items (nice soap, lotion, loofah scrub), tea basket, dog or cat treat basket. You get the idea. Please bring your items to church.
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. We are about halfway to our goal.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Pot luck lunch being planned.
Sunday, September 20, 7:30 pm, the Dan Damon Quartet will present a jazz concert, “Down By the Riverside”. More onformation to follow.
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, email@example.com or Debbie, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Please send submissions for FUMC News and Events to Barbara Haley, editor: email@example.com