Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
Bread of Life, John 6:24-35
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 8-2-15
In any Christian church there are some faith basics: bread, wine, water, prayer, Bible study, worship, music. Once a week people like to come together to remember Jesus, his person and his work. Almost every church gathers to sing hymns. Most churches have a pastor to care for the sick, and to preach the Bible stories and to make them come to life for us in our time and place. Most people like to read and study the Bible alone and in small groups for all ages. Prayer is universal in Christian churches and in many faith traditions of the world. There are many ways to pray. We spend a lifetime learning to pray, deepening our experience of the divine mystery in prayer. Prayer is simple enough for children to understand, and deep enough to be our companion in times of great grief as well as in times of joy and celebration. We say a loud religious “Wow!” which is praise. We say “please” in the morning and “thank you” at night. This is prayer, an expression of a deepening personal relationship with the Creator God, the Great Holy Spirit, seen at work in Jesus, our Savior, who loves each of us. Christians, not only United Methodists, use water for baptism [sprinkling, pouring, or immersion], and bread and wine [grape juice] for communion. In the United Methodist Church we observe the two sacraments that are part of the life story of Jesus, baptism and the sacrament of Holy Communion, sometimes called the Lord’s Supper. These are the basics of the Christian faith. I claim this as my faith, and try to live by faith, even as I allow myself a little room for doubt. I serve the faith, not the doubt, and I have deep respect for people of other faith traditions who are seeking love and light in their diverse and wonderful ways. I know I am a Christian because I am touch at an emotional level by the songs and stories of Jesus. I look forward to the story of Jesus’ birth in a manger, and to the stories of his life, death, and resurrection. I want to sing the great hymns of the faith when I am old and gray. I hope you will be singing them with me all the way.
Retell the Scripture Story
After the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus saw that they were going to make him a king, so he went away by himself to a mountain. His disciples got in a boat and headed across the sea. In the darkness a storm came up. They saw Jesus walking toward them on the sea. He said, “Be not afraid, It is I.”
The crowd followed and Jesus said, “You come not for miracles, but for bread. Why don’t you work for the bread that does not perish? Believe in God. Moses gave you manna in the wilderness, but you got hungry again. Look for the bread of life that comes from heaven to give life to the world.
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. All who come to me will never hunger. All who trust in me will never thirst.”
The meaning of Holy Communion can not be stated in a few words. It is as simple as sharing a meal with some friends. It is as profound as enjoying God’s life and presence within us eternally. There is enough here at the Lord’s Table. All are welcome to receive. Let the meaning of this sacrament come to you as you receive.
I revised my latest hymn text this week to show Jesus singing “with” the poor, not “for” them. The older ideas have to be pulled from the text like weeds to make room for the flowering of new and better ideas. Here it is again:
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,
with mothers and with 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.
We are blessed and filled. Let us remember to bless others. Gifts of food are needed for our free food pantry. You are invited to bring a bag of food any Sunday and to place it up in the front of the sanctuary as an act of love. I give away food from my front door when people ask me for it. It is a simple, amazing, and wonderful gift of grace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vacation Bible School will be the week of August 10 thru 14. Contact Jean Reynolds if you would like to help at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 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.
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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