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:
Faith Sharing – July 12, 2015
Yesterday I went to MacDonalds for my iced carmel mocha. As I pulled up to the drive-thru window I saw a sign that said “Proceed with Love.” I was amazed that MacDonald’s would give such advice. I wondered if MacDonalds accepts that God is Love. If so, they could be telling everyone to Proceed with God. Words to live by
My childhood was not typical of the 40’s and 50’s. I attended 17 schools from Kindergarten through high school. I was always the ‘new girl’ somewhere and was pretty much ‘unchurched.’ Occasionally I accompanied some girl friend to her church….pentecostal, morman, catholic and baptist.
I was unaware that I did not have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. I did not know that “Jesus loved me.” I learned about the birth of Jesus through Christmas Carols. In the 50’s my values were shaped by what was going on around me – the music, fads, fashions, – even attitudes about “queers”. In my junior year of high school I was accepted into Rainbow Girls – and learned a creed that included the phrase…Give Service, Service so Deep that Self is Forgotten. That lesson certainly stuck.
Fast forward – I had 4 children – in 3 ½ years – 2 boys and 2 girls – and knew that they were the most wonderful beings anyone could ever want. In time I learned that 1 girl and 1 boy were born with cerebral palsy. They were still wonderful. But not everyone in the world saw them that way. And not every service they needed was always forthcoming. I want you to know that I was a fierce fighter for them when they needed services. I was determined to get what was fair for them. In time I learned that for things to be fair for Cheryl and Mike, I had to work for system change…..and I did – special education, regular education, day programs, programs that respected their right to a full life. I was very involved in the developmental disability world most of my adult life.
1964 I became a single mother – on my own to make a life for my family. I was still not conscious of a personal relationship with God or Jesus, but was very aware of a “force” in the universe that was pulling me – sometimes pushing me – to create justice for children and adults with disabilities. I moved to Pt Richmond – a warm, friendly, welcoming community. I wanted my children to have a religious education. There was a choice of 3 churches in the Point: Catholic, Baptist or Methodist. I chose this church and was accepted by members. The church became our beautiful extended family. My children came to Sunday school. Mid Dornan and Jack Elle were their Sunday school teachers. Edna Hathaway was director of children’s choir. We had an almost a story book life. John Wesley’s admonition to
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as ever you can” was a call to me.
Sometime during Michael’s high school years we realized he was gay. The knowledge was like looking through a Kalaidescope – a shift in the pieces created a different picture with the same shapes. I very quickly had to reconsider my attitudes about queers – “those others.” It was a powerful internal shift. To me he was still perfect, but not everyone in the world shared that view.
My children became adults. Jobs took me to Colorado, back to California, to Washington D.C. and finally back to California. I reconnected with the United Methodist Women but did not return to church until 1995 after the death of my son. There were many “new people.” Kristi and Russ, Claudia LeGue were some of the new people. Claudia invited me to a retreat at Pt Bonita with a group called Methodist Federation for Social Action – folks who had been engaged for many years in efforts to create social justice – especially for lesbians, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people. I learned that the Methodist Church had a phrase in the Book of Discipline – homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching – and these folks were struggling to strike the phrase….not only in the Book of Discipline, but also out of the hearts and minds of all Methodists. To me social justice is another way of saying “what’s fair“ and I could join this struggle.
I I learned about the United Methodist General Conference that meets every four years where Methodists from all parts of the world gather. I learned about the many ways the church is organized into regional jurisdictions. I learned about Bishops. I learned about charges brought against pastors who knowingly accepted gay members. I met folks who couldn’t be ordained as a pastor because of their “sexual orientation.” I continued to “hang out” with the folks from MFSA….and met many others engaged in the quest for justice for all.
In July 2012, MFSA folks from Cal Nevada and Cal Pacific organized a gathering in San Diego for folks who shared the sense of injustice in a church that proclaims to have Open minds, Open hearts, Open doors. The folks who attended that gathering came from other Groups – Parents Reconciling Network, Reconciling Ministries Network, MFSA, Peace and Justice – formed Action Networks around whatever passion they shared: Biblical Obedience, Justice in the Philippines, Extravagant Hospitality and Congregational Inclusiveness, Immigration, Israel-Palestine, Beginning and End of Life, and the Worldwide Nature of the Church. At the end of the gathering those of us who planned the event realized that the energy from 120 people was a force that shouldn’t be left to fizzle.
In November 2012, the planners of the San Diego event grappled with what to do next…what to call this group of passionate people committed to changing the church. After just a few suggestions the name Western Methodist Justice Movement came together. To keep the momentum going WMJM planned another gathering to immediately precede the meeting of the Western Jurisdictional Leadership Team. Bishops from three of the conferences in the Western Jurisdiction met with us. Bishop Grant Hagiya, of the Seattle Episcopal Area, urged everyone to take the authority to advance the Jurisdiction’s goals and commitments, rather than waiting passively for the institutional church to take the lead. He reminded us that the mission of creating a radically hospitable Jesus centered Church that was committed to the advancement of justice belongs to all of us.
WMJM continues to attract those who want to join the social justice and advance our goals through action from the other conferences in the Western Jurisdiction: Alaska, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Oregon-Idaho, Pacific South West, California Pacific and California Nevada. Individuals from these conferences talk together monthly. We planned resolutions that each would bring to our 2015 Annual Conference that could be forwarded to the 2016 General Conference to be held in Portland; all with the goal of changing the book of discipline.
Our Bishop, Warner Brown, is the president of the Council of Bishops. He wants the Western District to extend Radical and Extravagant Hospitality to those who come from outside the Western Jurisdiction. Our conference is diverse….much more so than others. The California Nevada United Methodist Conference includes members who are Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Tongan, Hawaiian, and other South Sea Islanders. At the Cal –Nev Annual Conference delegates to the 2016 General Conference were elected. They will participate in the official business of the Church. They will be the only ones who will vote on the business of the CHURCH. However, there will be many opportunities to volunteer during the General Conference.
A small group of MFSA members will travel to San Antonio to join the Love Your Neighbor Coalition at the Gather at the River event in August. We will meet together to explore ways volunteers from other Western Jurisdiction conferences can assist the Oregon Idaho folks.
The Supreme Court decision about “gay marriage” came just after the California Nevada Annual Conference so it wasn’t celebrated during the session. Pastor Dan read Bishop Brown’s letter regarding the decision during worship a couple of Sundays ago. I would like to close by reading a letter from Frank Wulf, on behalf of the Western Methodist Justice Movement.
Please see attachment for this letter.
Ignore this, I can’t get it to delete, Barbara
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I am proud to be part of this justice movement. It is my faith in action. I finally realize that I do have a personal relationship with God and with Jesus.
I urge all of us to Proceed with Love.
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.
Here’s a message found on Facbook, written by Paul Jeffrey on 7/13.
Katherine stayed up late today in Kathmandu to spend an hour on Skype with a class on mission that I’m teaching at Claremont School of Theology. She impressed us with her insight and analysis, as well as her commitment to accompaniment as a model of mission. Thanks, Katherine, for your witness to us and for all that you are doing in Nepal.
Megan Timberlake’s ex-husband, Ernest R. Style III, died June 3. Sympathy cards can be sent to Megan at 293 Curry St., Richmond, CA 94801.
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.
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: email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, 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