Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
I’ll be away July 8-22. Fran Smith will lead the Membership Class and the worship service on July 12. Jean Reynolds will lead on the 19th. Here are my notes from Sunday:
In His Own Country, Mark 6:1-13
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 7-5-15
This week I polished up a hymn tune that I wrote way back in 1989 when I was serving the two point charge of Sutter and Meridian and going through the five-year process toward ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church. I had a bad interview. When I was asked to talk about God’s judgment, I didn’t know what to say, so I stared at the floor for about a minute and then mumbled something incomprehensible. The pastor who asked the question served the large conservative United Methodist Church eight miles away in Yuba City.
After the interview he called me up and invited me to lunch. During lunch he told me, “I don’t expect you to agree with me, but I expect you to be able to talk to me.” I knew right away that this was a valuable lesson. The tune is named for Pastor John Sheppard. We’ll sing it later this year (my 21st year in this appointment).
Retell the Scripture Story
After performing miracles on both shores and in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus returns to his hometown and goes to the synagogue, the meeting house. He teaches the hometown crowd and they take offense. “Is not this the carpenter’s son?”
Jesus couldn’t believe it. The text in Mark 6 says he wondered at their unbelief. He could do no mighty work there—in his hometown—save to lay hands on a few sick folk and heal them. Then he went around the villages teaching.
Not much of a day for the Savior of the world. He was hindered by the unbelief of the folks who knew him as a child—knew him as the carpenter’s son—and worst of all, they knew his sisters.
In the second part of the Gospel reading Jesus sends his followers out, two by two. They are prepared for rejection and for service. Jesus tells them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
Well, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now,
Oo, I got to get to heaven somehow,
though Satan tempts and tries to turn me around.
He’s offered everything that’s got a name,
all the worldly wealth and earthly fame,
if I could, still I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now.
(as sung by Montanan, Dave Bennett, at Sunshine Bible Academy, circa 1972)
Many congregations make a false distinction between mission and evangelism—between deeds and outreach in words—between bringing food to the victims of an earthquake, and sharing the gospel story. But as Christians we are called to do both of these. We do it with connection to God and to each other. We are not solitary evangelists, not solitary doers of good works in the world. Our work together, as in the time of Jesus, is unitary, encompassing both healing—mission—and proclamation—evangelism. We share our faith in every way as we care for body, mind, and spirit. We benefit from this, and those around us also benefit.
In this story we see that we are not held responsible for the response of others to our words and work, our ministries in the name of Love. We are only responsible for our own faithfulness to the task. With this assurance we can witness boldly and faithfully throughout our lives.
I’d like to close with a hymn text written while I was driving through the San Joaquin Valley to Patterson Federated Church, Patterson, California for a Sunday service. I have been trying to find words to help us pray and work to stop human trafficking, modern day slavery. Later this year we will sing it with the tune SHEPPARD.
When human life is bought and sold
as we stand idly by,
the Savior we would have and hold
is left alone to die.
As lives are wasted in this way
creation turns to dust,
good soil becomes a miry clay,
and greed consumes our trust.
The love that blessed the earth with life
has set us free to choose
a path that leads to hurt and strife,
a license to abuse.
Until we change our wanton ways
the world is hurt by sin.
Unless we stop and free these slaves,
we crucify again.
When any life is bought and sold
in service to some greed,
when life is measured out in gold,
the church must intercede
in prayer that cries for something more
with strength and tenderness,
until we find love’s open door,
and lives of righteousness.
Words and Music © 2015 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved.
Let us be in prayer.
Joys and Concerns
This beautiful prayer is from an article in Faith in Action from the General Board of Church and Society.
A Night Prayer of St Augustine
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your love’s sake.
Please keep Katherine Parker, our missionary, and the people of Nepal in your prayers.
Megan Timberlake is asking for prayers for her ex-husband, Ernest R. Style III, as he struggles with serious illness.
Deby McFadyen is requesting prayers for three young friends who are battling cancer. Please remember Sarah Talkington, Carolyn Thomas and 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.
Please keep the people of Camp Liberty in your prayers as chaos reigns in Iraq and near the camp.
Pastor Dan will be away for vacation and the Hymn Society Conference In New Orleans, July 8-22.
Fran Smith went to South Dakota to visit Sandra and Robert last week. She was there for Robert’s birthday which pleased him greatly. Fran says that Sandra has an extensive support system there between family members and the good managed care workers. Fran has now met all the workers involved in Sandra’s care and she is so pleased that she can have Sandra so well cared for. Sandra is moving to an a new apartment that is one level which should be easier for her. Robert (grandson of Fran) has been able to find work.
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.
A couple of our church family have housing needs:
Lara Choe is looking for a single Christian woman to share a house in Point Richmond. Big bedroom, private bath, walk-in closet and bay view of three bridges within walking distance to downtown Point Richmond. Cost $12-1500/mo. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mim Drake & Kate Gebhart are looking for a new place to live because their condo is being sold. They would like to stay in the Point. They have a sterling letter of recommendation from their current residence. They do greyhound rescue and would have an occasional dog or two around but would spend most of the day at work, Bark Stix. A yard would be nice but not necessary. Please call 415.595.4006 or 510.235.2430
New Church Brochure: The new brochure is here! Pick one up and share with your friends.
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.
Please add donations to the church for Katherine Parker so that we can continue to sponsor her good work. It costs $250 per year to be sponsors.
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.
Saturday, July 25, 1:30 pm, Finance Committee Meeting at Matthew and Jennifer Foster’s home; 1052 Hawthorne Dr., Rodeo
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.
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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