Midweek Message

February 4, 2014

Jim Hopkins

February 4, 2014

African-American History Month at LABC is off to a good start. Thanks to Carolyn Matthews for her sermon, the Voices of Lakeshore for their song, Jesse Lucas and Gigi Webster for their Children’s Story, Jewelle and James Gibbs for their Welcome to Worship, Maxine O’Guinn for her decorations, and Celestine Bennett for her book table and the AAHM Committee for their Coffee Hour.
The next big event is Saturday’s gathering of Forever Young. Chicken and Waffles will be served at 12:15 followed by a viewing, at 1:00, of “Lee Daniel’s The Butler.” The cost of the luncheon is $5.00. An RSVP to either Sheila Sims or Sandra Lee would be greatly appreciated.
On Sunday, my sermon will be, “University, Pub, Church.” We will consider Paul’s claim in I Corinthians 2:16 that the community comprised of the followers of Jesus “has the mind of Christ.” It is my hope that the church does, at least occasionally, have the mind of Christ. Further, it is my hope that we will understand that this is an identity to be lived humbly rather than asserted arrogantly. In this regard, I have some concerns.
Writing for the Religious News Service in The Washington Post Tom Ehrich states the issues before us very.
“I think, for example of the performance anxiety that infects most churches. We needn’t worry so much about pleasing constituents on Sunday. Worship isn’t a Broadway show; it’s a glimpse of God, not a celebration of style, excellence and self.
“I think of our leadership conflicts. Pastors aren’t CEO”s hired to maximize shareholder returns. They aren’t impresarios rewarded for putting on great shows. Pastors are flawed creatures called to help other flawed creatures bring their neediness to God.
“Church should be a safe place – safe to be oneself, safe to make one’s confession, safe to love whoever on feels called to love, safe to imagine more, safe to fail. Instead, church often is a dangerous place, where people feel guarded, self-protective, hemmed in by tradition and expectation, required to obey rules.
“Church should be different from society. Instead, it plays by the same rules; get mine, be first, be right, punish the weak, exclude the different, reward the wealthy.”
It seems clear that we have some work to do to have the mind of Christ, to be the church Paul had in mind when he wrote his letter to the Corinthians.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Carolyn Person and Cameron Wilson as they mourn the death of Hershal Vinson
  • Shirley Jones as she attends the Memorial Service for her sister in law, Audrey Jones
  • Cecil White for his brother Sam who is again in the hospital
  • Doris and Ted Evans
  • Kay Baxter for Jamie and Stacey
  • Pay Hughes for her son Bill, his wife Patti and for Patti’s mom who is hospice care in Michigan
  • Lari Musatti and family as they care for Jazmyne
  • Dave Robinson as he travels to see his motherwho has been ill
  • Karen Fry for Mading and family
  • Ann Fields for Ezra
  • Mary Karne for her daughter Maryla and her friend Diane
  • Gigi Giscome for her aunts
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for Betty Austin and Laura Tom
  • Cordia Lee for John and Paige, Erica and Elijah, Elysse, Cordia, Alat Bates Summit Hospital, President Obama
  • Phil and Gloria Meads for Carlos and Max
  • Irene Jennings, Piedmont Gardens SNF
  • Fannye Leary, Piedmont Gardens SNF
  • Pastor Tanner as she travels to Germany to preach, to visit Whitley Joachim and other friends, and to sightsee
  • The United States House of Representatives as it considers Pathway to Citizenship legislation
  • All who are mourning the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (certainly one of my favorite actors)
  • A safe, just and beautiful Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
  • Dale and Alice Edmondson for Esther Carnaje (health)
  • Melissa Doktor for her grandmother
  • Charlene Wolf for her mother
  • Michael Smith, Pastor of McGee Avenue Baptist Church, health concerns
  • Thomas A. Harris, Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, health concerns
  • Thanksgiving with Myra Saxton for her niece Asia on the birth of her first child
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of James Chuck, who will be honored at ABSW this Saturday
  • Thanksgiving for the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Samaritan Neighborhood Center
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy
  • Thanksgiving for the minstry of The Reverend Susan Sparks and the Madison Avenue Baptist Church (New York City)
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of Judith Sutterlin who is retiring as a commissioned employee of ABCUSA International Ministries but returning to Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (China) as a retired volunteer


We are advertising our AAHM activities on dealsnapt.com.  The church will receive $1 for everyone that goes to the site and “likes” our listing in the events section.