|This Week and beyond. . .||January 16, 2010|
|This Week. . . and next|
Sunday 9:30 Adult Education
Elders: Lou Taylor, Shannon Smith
Deacons: Nancy Moore, Sally Minton
Lay Reader: Gertrude Arnold
Children's Church: Cynthia Taylor
Wednesday 6:00 Leadership Circle: Elders and Deacons
Sunday 9:30 Adult Education
10:45 Worship: Sheryl Butler preaching
Elders: Cynthia Taylor, Brandon Shaw
Deacons: Salvadore Hawley, Bruce Parsley
Children's Church: Mark Barrett
Food for Thought
"Andrew first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)." ~John 1.41-42
"At a recent gathering, I saw a visitor and greeted her. That routine act of friendliness opened a floodgate of tears.
I introduced her to others. More tears, more hands touching.
"By reaching out to me," she wrote later, "you really helped me get through my night .. and I want you to know that."
Seeing a stranger and welcoming her is ministry at its most elemental. We do more than that, of course. We sing, teach, share, eat, serve.
But a faith community's measure is always its welcoming of strangers, its cutting through the awful isolation of life, its capacity to make room in its circles of caring.
In my years of travel and change, I have felt lonely many times. But I have never felt more lonely, more isolated and unloved, than when I was a stranger in a church and no one welcomed me. No one broke their comfortable circle of friendship to make room for one more. I felt invisible.
After one such experience, the membership pastor sent me a form e-mail and asked if I was ready to join. Why, I responded, would I join a fellowship that cannot see me and welcome me?
The obverse happens, too, and I remember with affection those moments of being seen and welcomed. I remember a church in New Mexico that was worried about its future. After I saw the way they welcomed strangers - "Come and sit with us" - I knew they had a glorious future.
Andrew didn't recognize Jesus as Messiah because of some supernatural insight. Andrew had accepted Jesus' invitation to spend time with him, to "come and see." In a world of rigid rules, assertions of superiority, and finely calibrated lines of exclusion, Jesus brought Andrew into his circle.
There was more in that circle than a friendly embrace, of course. I'm sure Andrew also found grace, truth, sustenance, purpose and vision. When he told his brother Simon about Jesus, it was the entire experience that stirred his enthusiasm.
But that recognition started in the open circle, the "come and see," for without hands touching, circles making room, names being known and stories heard, nothing of God can happen.
God has little use for our formalities, our facilities or our fineness, and no use for our frostiness. God wants our hearts, our hands, our arms. God can use those to change the world, if we open them wide, as wide as Jesus opened his arms on the hard wood of the cross." ~Tom Ehrich
|Is This the Opportunity for Ministry You've Been Waiting For? |
We're looking for one or two people and we'll even pay for registration and lodging -
What a Deal!
ANNOUNCING OUR WINTER A.C.T.S.- January 21-22
A ONE WEEK-END EVENT
MISSIONAL CHURCH: BEING AND SEEING GOD IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Begins:Friday, January 21, 6 PM with dinner
Ends:Saturday, January 22, 8 AM to 3 PM
Fruitridge Christian Church, Sacramento
Cost $40.00 includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch & program.
This ACTS course is a 10-hour intensive experience that will help congregational leaders launch the life-changing six week small group study written by our own regional staff, "Who Is My Neighbor?" in their congregations. In addition, the course will offer background on what "Missional Church" is and how to help lift up missional leaders within your own congregation. This session is designed for one or two leaders from each congregation to attend, so that they can go back to their congregations and lead the missional group study created by and for the region, although any interested parties are invited to attend.
The Ultimate Goal here is for as many congregations in the Region as possible to launch the "Who Is My Neighbor?" Bible study beginning in February, possibly as a Lenten Study. You can check out that study NOW at www.ccncn.org and it is FREE!!!
Registration for this course is now available at www.ccncn.org. You will not be able to register for this course online but will need to print the registration and send via snail mail or FAX to 925-556-9904
FEATURING DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP
by our own Sandhya Jha and Doug Pfeiffer
Doug is one of the denomination's foremost leaders in missional church and congregational transformation. The workshop he, Sandhya and Matt Rosine (Church Extension) co-led on missional ministry at General Assembly in 2009 was the highest attended workshop at the whole denominational gathering. Doug is Pastor of Faith Christian Church in Omaha, Neb. and serves as General Coordinator of the Denomination's Transformation Teams, planning ﬁve national events in 2008 and 2009. He also leads the Nebraska Transformation Team. Doug lives in Glenwood, Iowa, and we are THRILLED to make use of his gifts.
|HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR 2011 ANNUAL MEETING?|
Registration forms available in the office - don't delay. It promises to be a fantastic event with our own Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, and her husband, Dr. Rick Lowery, Bible scholar and teacher extraordinaire as our main presenters!
Every year we are blessed with soul stirring worship, spiritual refreshment, new friends and companions for our spiritual journey, an incredible location with beautiful scenery and delicious food - what more could you ask for?
|Circle of Prayer|
Please hold in prayer. . .
Gwen's daughter, breast cancer surgery
Families and friends of people who were victims and who died from a tragedy in Tucson, AR
Families & friends of Christina Taylor Green, a 9-year old girl who also died from a tragedy in Tucson, ARFamily & friends of Paul Almeda, cousin of Salvadore, who passed away on Dec. 22nd
Harvey March, TURP operation successful!
Linda Rice, recuperating in her new home in Millbrae
Family & friends of the sister-in-law, sister-in-law of Ed Acarela, Cynthia Taylor's co-worker
Alberta Siverand, health concerns
Mildred Burrell, declining health and her family caring for her
Barbara Duckett, health concerns
Lana Duarte, struggling with MS
Mercedes Williams, daughter of Cynthia Taylor's friend
Jack Hirsch, Ellen's friend, leukemia
Blondell, sister of Lou Taylor
Joan, Barbara Huckins' friend, cancer
Dolor Disbarro, Vangie's friend, breast cancer
Ethelyn, mother of Chenetta Jackson, friend of Lillian Dixon
Eric Peterson, Karen's nephew, multiple congenital health issues
Chester Hurdle, Bonnie Hawley's uncle
Fred Trapkin, Ellen's friend, health concerns
For all the victims affected by the following disasters: Great floods in Australia; Earthquake, tsunami & volcanic eruption in Indonesia; Storms & floods in the East Coast; Gas explosion in San Bruno, CA; Mine explosion in Chile
Church in our Region to hold in prayer this week, for vitality, spiritual and numerical growth, commitment to serving their neighborhood and openness to the Mighty Spirit of God calling them into Ministry: BRIM (Berkeley-Richmond InterCity Ministry); East Bay Area; Pastor: Gus England
Andrew Allagree; Joe Bluford; Gary Counsil; Ray Elizondo; Nancy Jenkins; Marilyn March; Dominick Mott; Gloria Quinn; Allen and Elaine Steinmetz; Juli Brooks-Tarry
Forest Hill Christian Church
"To be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ from our doorsteps to the ends of the world"