Here is my Pentecost sermon from last week. Don’t miss the Jazz Service this Sunday, Father’s Day.
Love and Hope,
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 6-1-14
³The Spirit in me greets the Spirit in you,² is a traditional greeting. We
may think of it with a capital [s] or with lower case, the divine or the
human. Both understandings are good.
A common greeting South Asia, is ³Namaste.² In Hinduism it means ³I bow to
the divine in you.²
At our Journey Farthest Out Christian family camps we sometimes sing ³Christ
in me greets the Christ in you, allelu, alleluia!²
Sally, my yoga teacher at 24 Hour Fitness [an occasional customer at the
Hotel Mac] closes each class session by saying: Honor yourself for taking
good careŠof mind, body, spirit. Namaste. She is like us, small but mighty,
90 pounds of power and light in this world.
The Spirit of God dwells in all of us. We understand this differently. We
use a variety of languages to talk about what we feel to be true. And on
this day, Christians around the world celebrate the day of Pentecost, fifty
days after Easter, as the day the Holy Spirit came in power to the fearful,
doubting band of followers who had yet to be described as ³Christians.²
The Spirit of God is a constant presence in our lives, the Comforter has
come to us, and dwells in us. But sometimes our human spirits are up,
sometimes they are downŠ
A friend told me once, ³ I hope the down time doesn¹t last any longer than
it has to.² To some extent we do control our moods. We can do things that
make them better or worseŠ
The spirit in us is like the wind, it blows where it wills, and we see the
results. We are productive or unproductive based on the movement of the
Spirit within usŠ
Retell the Scripture Story
The bible story today is very excitingŠ They were all
with one accord in one place [that is the first miracle: to be in agreement,
in one accord] It may not have happened since.
Suddenly: Wind, cloven tongues of Fire, all filled with the Holy Spirit and
all began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance.
People came together to see and hear this great thing. All these Galileans
were speaking, but people from all over the know world heard the message in
their own language. Russian, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Spanish, English,
Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, to name a few.
In their own languages they heard of the wonderful works of God. All were
amazed, but some doubted [always we see in the stories, the mixture of faith
and doubt]. What does this mean? ³They are full of new wine,² some said.
³No, it¹s too early in the day for that,² came Peter¹s response. And that
served as the introduction to one of the best sermons ever preached. Peter
called upon his knowledge of the Hebrew prophet Joel and quoted the words he
knew by heart:
It shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out my Spirit
on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your
young men shall see visions, and your elders shall dream dreams: And on my
servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs
in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and smoke; The sun shall be turned
into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of
the Lord shall come.
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall
The Holy Spirit dwells in usŠall of usŠgiving us power to act each day with
courage, as we face our own problems, and as we make the problems of others
our own. The people who gathered on that first Pentecost had the same needs
that all of us haveŠ and the same struggles. Some of them had no home, no
regular place to sleep and eat. Some were wealthy, and enjoyed great
privilege. All gathered there in Jerusalem had choices to make about how
they would live out their days after this powerful encounter with the power
and presence of God.
I close with a new hymn text that addresses one basic human need:
All people need a home,
a place to feel secure,
where common needs are known and met,
a home that will endure.
All people need a home,
a welcome at the door,
a place to share and to enjoy,
a home for rich and poor.
All people need a home,
a place where hurts can heal,
where help is given and received,
a home where love is real.
God, help us build a world
where all can feel secure,
a place where all can live and love,
a world that will endure.
WORDS and MUSIC © 2014 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All
Let us be in prayer.
“The American Maritime People” at The Frank C. Munson Institute: An NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, June 23 – July 25, 2014. Jennifer Metz Foster has been chosen to teach this class! Congratulations!
The Frank C. Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport invites selected college teachers to participate in its five-week National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute, “The American Maritime People” from June 23-July 25, 2014. The NEH Institute gives college teachers the opportunity to enhance course offerings by studying the influence of maritime activities on U.S. history and culture.
I’ll be participating in order to develop a course in American Maritime History for the Spring 2015 semester at CSUM, as well as building context for an upcoming exhibit I’m consulting for at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum on the history of maritime diversity in Vallejo.
Manuel de Jesus Navidad, Fran Smith’s great-grandson, had his tonsils removed on June 12th. We wish him a fast recovery. Do you remember “all the ice cream you can eat”? Well, I do and of course I couldn’t swallow anything! Let’s hope that phase passes quickly for Manuel and he is back to feeling good soon. Your prayers for healing are welcomed.
Lauren McLeod welcomes your prayers for healing.
Julio Osegueda was recently hospitalized with severe GI bleeding. He is home and feeling well. He welcomes your prayers for continued healing and good health.
Deby McFadyen is asking for prayers for her father, Jack McFadyen, who has lung cancer and has started chemotherapy She also requests prayers for a friend, Sara Talkington who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She’s married with a 4 year old son.
We offer prayers for Deby as she cares for her father in this difficult time.
Update:Our friend, Arinel Greene, from Easter Hill UMC, has finished her radiation and chemotherapy and is cancer free! She is a woman of great faith and welcomes being on our prayer list for healing. If you would like to send her a card: 5326 Conestoga Way, El Sobrante, CA 94803.Please remember her in your prayers.
Pat Dornan and Linda Pereira continue to need your prayers of support and healing.
Robbie Robinson would appreciate your prayers.
Helen Wysham welcomes your prayers for healing as she undergoes chemotherapy. She’s taking a well deserved vacation to Ireland for a break in June!
Plans are underway for our 6th Annual Jean Eakle Silent Auction on October 25, 2014, 4-7 pm at the Point San Pablo Yacht Club, 700 W. Cutting Blvd. Art work, jewelry, arts & crafts, raffle, hors d’oeuvres, music and a whole lot of fun! Suggested donation $10. Letters will be going out soon to encourage local businesses to donate. We are hoping to raffle off dinners for two, gym memberships, gift certificates, etc. We plan to have items for sale as well as auction items. Do you have art work you no longer use? Do you knit, crochet, weave, potter, make jewelry, paint or sculpt? Would you like to donate to the auction? Can you recommend a contact person for businesses that may be interested in helping us out? Please contact Debbie Benko @ 510-517-6724 or DebBenko160@aol.com <mailto:DebBenko160@aol.com
Camp Liberty Update: With the current fighting and chaos in Irag, our Irani friends in Camp Liberty need your prayers and support. I am sure this is a harrowing time for them.
Our missionary, Katherine Parker in Nepal, has sent an UPDATE on her activities. She has sent an email about the abuse of workers from Nepal, including deaths, who are working construction jobs in Qatar. The construction bosses takes their passports away and refuse to give them their temporary residence cards and withhold payment for their work, essentially enslaving them. This is a desert country and water is not provided at the construction sites The lack of payment means they often have to beg for food. Qatar is doing major construction for the World Cup. The Qatar government is looking into the allegations. Please remember these men in your prayers.
Pastor Dan Eileen Johnson and Fran Smith will be attending the California Nevada Annual Conference this year in Burlingame, June 18-21. Dan and Eileen are in the conference band.
Pastor Dan will be attending the annual conference in Paris, France for the human rights of all people, including Iranians in Camp Liberty in Iraq, June 25- July 2 as a representative of our support of this cause.
The Administrative Board met Thursday evening, June 12 We are having difficulty meeting our projected costs in the General Budget and have added a column called “How are we doing?” to keep you informed. Our General Fund receipts to date are $47654. Our budget need is $44,065. We are above budget by $3000 thanks to Junktique II. We count on your generosity to keep us funded and if you haven’t increased your giving, perhaps you would give it consideration. Junktique earnings met our budgeted expectation and Junktique II added some funds to help with the deficit. Summer is coming and attendance at church declines, as do our collection amounts. Have you considered mailing in contributions over the summer months?
Imagine No Malaria Campaign: The United Methodist Church has partnered with other organizations to help stamp out malaria which is killing children at a rate of one every minute. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has donated 390,000 insect repellant bed nets to Sierra Leone. As you consider where you can give and make a difference consider this worthy cause.
As inspection of the three “Sunday School” windows started, it was determined that there is more dry rot than expected, raising the cost of the window repair. an Anonymous Donor is covering the entire cost of custom built windows, matching the windows in the church! Our gratitude and thanks to this person. The Building Funds will be used to repair and replace windows in the parsonage.
Father’s Day Jazz Service, Sunday, June 15, 11am. The Dan Damon Quartet will present the service with music. Kurt Ribak, bass: Lincoln Adler, sax; Randy O’dell, drums;Dan Damon, piano The Joyful Noise Choir will end their season by singing with the band. Come early to be sure to get a seat.
Sunday, June 15 is a Special Sunday/ Peace with Justice Sunday. Your donations help fund programs both in the US and abroad. Funds for educating people about human trafficking in the US come from this special Sunday. Also work with communities along the Arizona border where there are great differences in views on how the borders should be handled, use these funds.
Wednesday, June 18, 6:30 pm, Cal/Nev Annual Dinner, sponsored by the Methodist Federation for Saocial Action, the Conference Advocacy and Justice Committee with the Philippine Solidarity Task Force present Rev. Liberto Bautista, : “Typhoons, Trade and Talk of Peace: Winds of Change in the Philippines”. New Vision UMC, 450 Chadbourne Ave., Milbrae. Cost $20. Reservations are still being accepted. Contact Fran Smith: 707 427 2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.. Please mail your check made out to MFSA to Fran Smith, 2149 Beaujolais Court, Fairfield, CA 94533
At the above dinner the Methodist Federation for Social Action will be giving its Peace with Justice Award to Rev. Jeanelle Ablola. Rev. Ablola is the Lead Pastor at Pine UMC, Co-Chair of CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force and Charter Member of Northern California National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns.
Labor Day Weekend: August 29 through September 1st 2014, Stepping Out in Faith, sponsored by the Western Methodist Justice Movement which advocates compassionate US immigration policies, fully inclusive UMC ministries, human rights in the Philippines, a just peace for Israel-Palestine, reproductive justice and more.
Registration is open. Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Retreat Center. For more info and to register: wmjm.org
6th Annual Jean Eakle Silent Auction: Saturday, October 25, 2014, 4-7 pm, Point San Pablo Yacht Club, 700 W. Cutting Blvd, Richmond. Donation at door $10. We will have arts/crafts for bidding; music and hors d’oeuvres to satisfy other senses and a good time! To donate or offer help, contact Debbie Benko: 510 517 6724 or DebBenko160@aol.com.