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“Connecting Generations” set as 2015 Spring Conference Theme
Saturday, June 6 – Alameda First Baptist Church
The 15th Annual PCBA Spring Conference will focus attention on the challenge of “Connecting Generations” within the life and ministry of the church. Joe DeRoulhac, who just completed 25 years of distinguished pastoral leadership at Redlands First Baptist Church, will be the guest leader. The Redlands congregation is recognized as having a membership of people of all ages marked by openness and communication between the generations. Conference registration will be at 8:30 AM, with a concluding lunch at 1:00 PM. Group attendance from churches is being encouraged.
Seafarers Traditional Swedish Pancake Breakfast
Saturday, February 7
Pancakes from an authentic Swedish recipe will again be served to interested and supporting friends of the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate on Saturday, February 7 at 10:00 AM at the Seafarers Center and the Port of Oakland, 4001 Seventh Street. The Swedish pancakes highlight the Scandinavian origin of the present Bay Area Ministry. Reservations may be made by phone at 510-903-3104 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addressing a Put-Off Resolution
Remarks by the Editor
Most of us, I imagine, have a short-list of things we know we must address but keep putting off. Perhaps that’s why New Year’s Resolutions have come into being. They supply an added incentive to do what we’ve known all along we ought to do.
I’ve long acknowledged I should put down on paper my desires concerning “end of life” decisions. One doesn’t need to have taken even Psychology 101 to understand why I may have been postponing this endeavor. We aren’t comfortable thinking about the end of life even though we know we all die. At the same time, we know of people who have had to agonize over whether to authorize certain life-support measures for loved ones–an agony which could have been lessened if they had known clearly what their loved one wished. Add to this the quandary many feel at having to make decisions under pressure about funerals, burials, etc. at a time they are least prepared emotionally to deal with them. And what if one nears death where loved ones are absent?
Out of consideration for others (and to get rid of that annoying inner voice which kept asking, “When are you going to get around to this?”), I decided I’d get a jump on New Years’ resolutions by completing the “Advance Health Care Directive” which Kaiser Permanete had prepared. “I’ll just fill out the few straight-forward questions it asks about medical care,” I thought, and that will be that. What I found, however, was the necessity of reflecting on unanticipated questions–questions about who I am and what I value. (Certainly, I’d thought about these things, but here was a necessity to spell them out clearly for others.)
Questions, for example, concerning values: “If I were having a really good day, I would be doing the following . . .” or “Life would no longer be worth livng if I was not able to . . .” and “Life would no longer be worth living if I had to . . .” Questions about hope and wishes–such as, “My thoughts and feelings about where I would prefer to die” (That demands a pretty specific answer, doesn’t it?) and “I want my loved ones to know that if I am nearing my death, I would appreciate the following for comfort and support . . .” And what are my thoughts about a funeral or memorial service: what scriptures, hymns, and readings would I want which would be consistent with the way I had tried to live my life? Also, importantly, do I want any of my bodily organs made available to others for the preservation of their lives?
This exercise, in short, proved to be a probing spiritual experience–one that gives me now an unsuspected freedom with which to welcome the new year.
Shell Ridge: “Let’s Feed the Kids”
Accepting the challenge from a summer pilot project of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa, Shell Ridge Church, partnered with Congregation B’nai Tikvah to provide 40 families with two meals a week. Their goal was to help feed children who receive government subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school during the school year but who do not receive these meals during the summer when school is out.
“With our help,” Shell Ridge’s task force reported at the end of the summer, “children were enabled to be healthy and to continue to learn, even during the summer months…concentrating on reading books, writing stories, playing sports and learning new games…instead of worrying about where the next meal will come from or worrying because mom is feeding them and not eating herself.”
In a short period of time they raised over $3,000 to cover the cost of providing two meals per family of 5 for 7 weeks. Thirty-seven volunteers packed a total of 286 bags. The bags included such items as 1 dozen eggs, oatmeal, rice, beans, canned vegetables, tomato sauce, and fresh produce of zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, apples, oranges, pears and peaches. Two of the weeks included jars of peanut butter and loaves of bread.
Events of Interest
Summer Conference of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America – July 6-11 at Eastern Mennonite Univ., Harrisonburg, VA. “No Longer Strangers: Crossing Borders for Peacemaking”
Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area 2015 Annual Retreat – Theme: “Surprised by Joy?” Mon.-Tue., Jan. 12-13, Redwood Glen Camp. Leader: John Polite of Southern California and member of the ABSW Board.
The 112th Earl Lectures of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley – Theme: “Be|Art|Now” Thur.-Sat., Jan. 29-31.
Seafarers Chaplain Leaves for Church in Michigan
SMGG’s popular chaplain, the Rev. Roger Bauer, completed his ministry there in October to become pastor of a church in Michigan, where he will live near his 91-year old father. Chaplain Emeritus James Lindgren who retired from the position four years ago, has agreed to serve in an interim capacity. In a letter to friends and supporters of the ministry, Dr. Lindgren has written, “May God bless us as we work together to welcome the Stranger in the name of Christ.”
Milestones for Baptist Friends
by Joan Thatcher
The Evergreen Association Annual Meeting in 2015 will be hosted by the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, Oct. 8-10. The main speaker will be James A. Forbes, retired Senior Minister of Riverside Church, New York City. . . The newest Evergreen churches are Lakeshore Avenue and First Baptist, Oakland, both welcomed in October. . . Evergreen Executive Marcia Patton returns from her sabbatical leave on January 15.
With the retirement of Lura Bublitz, office manager for 18 years at Shell Ridge, Chris Shade has added the office responsibilities to his Associate Pastor role there. . . Shell Ridge received a $2,000 “Matthew 25″ Grant to use for food bags they prepare for hungry families. . . Allison Tanner Lakeshore’s Associate Pastor is the new President of the Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area. . . The ABSW President, Paul Martin, received special honors in October from Virginia Union University where he is an alumnus. . . . . John Claassen, of LABC, delivered remarks at a rally in Ferguson, MO, speaking about steps undertaken by the Oakland Police Department to address issues of racism within its ranks. He spoke as Chair of the Board of Genesis, a regional interfaith community organization in the Bay Area. . . Jewelle Taylor Gibbs, a member of Lakeshore Church, has a new book, just published, Destiny’s Child: Memoirs of a Preacher’s Daughter. Jewelle is Emeritus Professor School of Social Welfare at UC, Berkeley. . . Daryl Lavway is retiring as Pastor at Grace Baptist in San Jose and will be returning to New England.
Roy Medley, was one of the participants in the American Baptist retreat, “Rhythms of the Spirit,” at Redwood Glen camp. Among other leaders was Jennifer Davidson, faculty member at ABSW.
We mourn the deaths of two special women. Shirley M. Jones died September 29 at the age of 84. She and husband Richard M. Jones were both staff members in American Baptist offices in Valley Forge. Shirley broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to head a division in Christian Higher Education. . . Lilian Stewart died on August 31 at the age of 90. She spent 25 years as the receptionist who welcomed guests to the ABC-West regional office on Grand Avenue in Oakland. Her father, J.B. Hubbard, was one of the long-time pastors at Beth Eden Baptist Church in Oakland.