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.
The King’s Prayer, 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 8-23-15
On October 24 the United Methodist Women of our church will be hosting a Korean Tea. Lara Choe will wear traditional Korean dress. My mother-in-law, Chong Sun “Sun” Johnson and my wife Eileen M. [Mi Ryeo: Korean word for beautiful] Johnson will wear the gowns they wore for a wedding July 9, 1999. I am looking forward to seeing my bride in her wedding dress again.
Sun, Eileen, and I just enjoyed three days and two nights at the St. Bernard Lodge near Lassen Volcanic National Park. We took a walk around Manzanita Lake, saw the mountains and the mud pots, and shot some pool in the evening at the lodge. We drove home on State Route 70 descending through the Feather River Canyon. We enjoyed the great cliff walls and the many railroad and highway bridges as we travelled.
You may know that our district is called Bridges, for the bridges in the bay area. We were in the Great Northern District. We saw a pretty little United Methodist Church in Greenville, CA as we travelled home. They are running a thrift shop there in that lovely small town. Prayer and ministry to the community is a good combination.
Retell the Scripture Story
According to the Bible story, David, a warrior king, was not allowed to build the temple. His son, Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. This is part of his prayer of dedication:
“When a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name—for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven, your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.” [2 Kings 8:41-43]
We are now a place where people pray to God in many languages: Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Taiwanese, Farsi, and English. It is wonderful to find Solomon praying so many years ago for God to hear all the prayers of the world, and not just the prayers of his own people.
Of course, we imagine that now quite easily. We travel the world by sea or by air. We surf the internet and communicate by email, skype, and more. When Eileen and I were courting, long distance calls from Richmond to Chicago cost ten cents a minute. Do you remember those days long ago?
As we read and sang today [Ps 84:3], “The sparrow finds a home near the altar of God.” We may travel far, but we are free to find a home wherever we land. We can say with Ruth, “Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”
There is a verse near the end of [John 6] that I’d like to highlight today, as I touch on three of the four readings in the lectionary. Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Many were turning back and no longer followed him. But Peter said, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” [v. 68]
There are United Methodist Churches all around us. They are located in Pinole, El Sobrante, on Cutting, on the Arlington, and on Barrett. I meet with the United Methodist pastors once a month for prayer, bridge-building, support, and mission strategy. Brian Adkins, pastor of Open Door United Methodist Church, 6226 Arlington Boulevard, Richmond, read this prayer to open our recent circuit meeting. I’d like to read it as I close my sermon today. It is from The Gates of the House (The New Union Home Prayer Book) by Chaim Stern, p. 94.
Unless God builds the house, its builders toil in vain. [Ps. 127:1]
“Creator of the universe, by whose will the world is renewed day by day, you have implanted in us a spark of your creative will. You have made us your partners in the building of the world, and we are grateful.
Often we cannot know the outcome of our work. At times, in our ignorance or our greed, we mar the landscape of your creation. Enlighten [us] with your wisdom, therefore, that we do not impoverish the very world that sustains our lives. Let us gain our livelihoods honorably; and as we strive for ourselves, let nothing we do be built upon another’s ruin or result in misery and pain. Rather, let us add to the contentment of others, through our devotion to justice, goodness, and truth.
In this enterprise we need strength. We need a clear vision and wise judgment. But more than all this we need the wisdom not to become so immersed in our task that we neglect our dear ones, or injure our health, or become remote from You, Divine Spirit of the world, the Well of living waters. May we walk with those we love in the light of your presence, O God, and use all our powers for blessing. Amen.”
I invite you now to share your joys and concerns, either aloud, or in the stillness of your heart, knowing that God speaks your language, knowing that God hears and understands, for God speaks the language of the heart.
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 and anticipates further surgery later in the fall. Her spirits are good and she hopes to come to church soon.
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. After the chemo she will have a follow up MRI. 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.
Saturday, August 29 El Sobrante UMC presents Sweet Pea and The Beans along with the Kairos Band. There will be an ice cream social starting at 5 pm and the concert starts at 7 pm. 670 Apian Way, El Sobrante. Support our sister church if you can.
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 were more children as word spread through the community about what fun it is. There were 15-18 children attending!
United Methodist Women’s Retreat: Six women and Pastor Dan met at Mid Dornan’s cabin on the Russian River for a day of business, election of officers, sharing and fellowship among the Redwoods. New officers: Doreen Leighton remains President, Kristi Johnson, Secretary and Barbara Haley, Treasurer. We discussed food for our Korean tea and we will be going to lunch at a Korean restaurant to sample foods Aug. 30th after church for more ideas. Anyone who is interested in helping with food preparation is welcome to come. Pastor Dan brought his Indian flute and played background music as we visited at break times. We discussed plans for the coming year and areas of interest for our energy and resources to be used best. Our sincere thanks to Mid for providing such a lovely place to meet. As always, the food was great with special thanks to Doreen for that wonderful berry and peach pie!
Pinole UMC is celebrating 125 Years of Blessedness with events throughout October. October 3 Walkathon; October 10 Concert; October 18 Worship Homecoming; October 30 Trunk or Treat. See attached flyer. 2000 San Pablo Ave., Pinole. Support our sister church if you can.
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. One man has died due to refusal to allow his treatment for cancer.
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.
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.
Update from Debbie:
I have 4 baskets started and am always looking for other ideas. Coffee Basket is pretty much done. The other 3 baskets could use some help:
Coffee Basket could use 2 mugs (not necessary) and that’s all we need. (already have french press, 1 pkg. each of original & french vanilla Dunken Donuts coffee brand and a tin of Trader Joes Espresso Pillows candy)
Pasta Basket could use marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, wooden spoon, apron and ? (already have Farberware 4 qt. sauce pan, Alfredo sauce & spaghetti noodles)
Breakfast Basket needs a lot of help. Could use a couple more syrups, berry syrup, canned blueberries, pancake flipper, apron and ? (already have maple syrup & Trader Joes pancake)
Candy Basket could use more candy and could make 2 baskets depending on how much is donated (already have 1 pkg of Lancaster Vanilla & Caramel Soft Cremes, large Reese’s sticks, large Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, Toblerone Swiss Chocolate, Trader Joes Dark Chocolate bar & Belgian Chocolate bar).
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has donated a $10,000 grant to victims of the fires in Lakeport County. The Lakeport United Methodist Church has opened their Thrift Shop to victims of the fire who may choose donated clothing for free. Two of the three firefighters who died in the fire last week in Washington State were United Methodists.
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 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. We will welcome new members on September 13.
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. Kristi Johnson is organizing a pot luck lunch.
Sunday, September 20, 7:30 pm, the Dan Damon Quartet with Eileen Johnson will present a jazz concert, “Down By the Riverside” with jazz and congregational song. Suggested donation $15. This is a fundraiser for the church. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
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.
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