Midweek Message

December 20, 2016

Jim Hopkins

December 20, 2016

Jim and Karen’s 2016 Christmas Letter

(In memory of Karen’s mom, Nedra, who passed away on October 24 and in celebration of our grandsons, Dashiel (age 3), Henry (age 2), Hudson (born on May 12) and Dayton (born on June 14) we share this Christmas story inspired by our grandsons, not all of whom adore Santa.)

There was nothing anyone could do about it. Not Mommy. Not Daddy. Not Ya Ya. Not Hop Pop. Not Pookie the dog. Not Fat Cat the cat. Not Uncle. Not Auntie. Not Cousin. No one could make Roscoe like Santa.
Roscoe was very clear. At his house Santa was not welcome. At his home Santa was not wanted. At his place Santa was not needed.
If neighbors visited to share cookies they were not to bring Santa with them. If good friends came by to sing carols Santa was not to join them. If the whole family came over for dinner Santa needed to stay away.
This, of course, did not make Santa feel good. So Santa thought. Santa puzzled. Santa pondered. Santa had an idea!
Roscoe did not like Santa but Roscoe did like Frosty the Snowman. So Santa asked Frosty, “Can you help me?”
This is what they decided to do. The next time the neighbors came to share cookies Santa did not come. But Frosty did. The next time good friends came to sing carols Santa did not come. But Frosty did. The next time the whole family came to have dinner Santa did not come. But Frosty did. And, on Christmas Eve Santa did not fill Roscoe’s stocking, but Frosty did!
Roscoe thought. Roscoe puzzled. Roscoe pondered. He wondered, if Frosty could be Santa’s friend maybe Santa could be Roscoe’s friend too.
Next year, when Christmas came and friends came by to share cookies, neighbors came by to sing carols and the whole family came over for dinner. Frosty came and with him came his friend Santa. That was just fine with Roscoe.
Santa, you see, is full of excellent ideas, especially when everyone else thinks there is a problem and that nothing can be done about it.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! We are glad you are part of our lives. May the Spirit of Christmas help us all to face with courage, faith, hope and creativity all those things that nobody thinks they can do anything about.  Karen and Jim


On behalf of the LABC Staff I thank you for your kind and generous Christmas gift!
A heartfelt “Wow and Well Done!” to our children, youth and leaders for their Christmas program.
I hope you will join us for Christmas Eve worship. The service is at 5:00 this year. The prelude will begin at 4:45.
Our Christmas Day worship will include the traditional singing of a medley of carols. My sermon will be “Good News In a Time of Fake News.”
Thank you for your faithful support of the ministry of our congregation in the year gone by.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • All who are mourning
  • All who are anxious and worried
  • All who are ill
  • All who asked to be remembered without being listed
  • Thanksgiving for Lucille Riggins as she celebrates her 100th birthday on December 22
  • Larry Sims for his family
  • Carolyn Matthews for her son William and her son-in-law John (and family) as he mourns the death of his grandmother
  • Thanksgiving for Robert Wilkins and the ministry of the Council of Elders in the community
  • All who are incarcerated and those who minister to them
  • All who are hospitalized and those who care for them
  • Mary Anderson for a spirit of reaching across political, economic, religious and racial boundaries this Christmas
  • Rick McKillop for his mom, Marian
  • Katrina Lau
  • Sandra Dunn
  • Barbara Bowman
  • Joan Thatcher
  • Jeanette Paige for her father
  • Gloria Joseph
  • Irene Jennings
  • Kay Baxter and family
  • Ted and Doris Evans
  • Warren and Camille Parker
  • Mary Karne for Maryla
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Monica Eppinger for the family of Robert Bishop
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for their family
  • Peggy Rogers-Tamayo for Zelda
  • Jim Jeffery
  • The homeless residents of Oakland and the Bay Area and those who minister to them
  • The City of Oakland as it deals with all the questions and concerns raised by the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire
  • The people of Syria
  • The people of Turkey
  • Thanksgiving with Anthony Nutting on the completion of his Master of Arts in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco
  • Thanksgving for our Sponsor-A-Family Christmas Ministry
  • Thanksgiving for the presidency of Barack Obama and prayers for the presidency of Donald Trump
  • Thanksgiving with Allison and Roehl that Ally’s dad is recuperating well following surgery