Midweek Message

June 17, 2014

Jim Hopkins

June 17, 2014

Dear Church Family,
I hope you had a good Fathers Day weekend and that your week is beginning well. As I write it is Monday morning. I was tempted to shelter in place at home today and devote my attention to the World Cup Soccer games but thought the better of it. Thus, I am at desk paying close attention to the World Cup app on my phone 🙂
If it can be said that there is a global embrace of soccer, it can also be said that there is a global reticence to embrace religious liberty. I receive a daily email from the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life listing the days top national and international religious stories, Here is a partial list of today’s headlines:

  1. Hobby Lobby aims for Obamacare win, Christian nation (Politico)
  2. 48 Kenyans dead; witness says gunmen spared Muslims (AP)
  3. Public schools in Indonesia feel Islamic pressure (New York Times)
  4. Iraqi Christians flee homes amid militant push (AP)
  5. Sri Lanka Muslims killed in clashes with Buddhists (Reuters)
  6. No hands clapping: America, Myanmar and religious freedom (The Economist)

The lack of respect for persons of different religious backgrounds, the desire of one religious tradition to dominate other religious traditions, the complete absence of what should be a  basic human right, religious liberty, is at the heart of these stories.
Our Baptist insistence on religious liberty for all is much more than a pious ideal. It is a precious gift that  has the potential to bless human beings and human communities around the globe.  It is nothing short of an essential ingredient in the recipe for world peace.
This Sunday we will honor Religious Liberty Sunday, read Matthew 7: 1-11 and discern ways in which the words of Jesus outline the tenets of our commitment to this freedom at the heart of all freedoms.
I am most happy to say that Jan Scott will our soloist this Sunday. She will be singing “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” by Tom Fettke.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The Evans, Gattey and Powers families as they continue to mourn
  • Dorothy Shanks ( former Minister In Training at LABC) as she mourns the death of her husband, Arthur (Funeral will be at Fouche Hudson Mortuary at 11:00 Monday, June 23)
  • The nation as it mourns the deaths of Ruby Dee and Tony Gwynn and Bob Welch
  • The peace of Oakland
  • The Kachins, and all the peoples of Myanmar
  • Sydney Webster for her father
  • Ratnah Singh for her family
  • Georgia Upshaw for Irene and Rita Jennings
  • Karen Hopkins for her friend Connie and all who are looking for jobs
  • Paige Bence and John Lee for Rick Zavala
  • Kay and Jamie Reid for Stacey, Alodia and Candace
  • Celestine Bennett as she cares for her sister
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Helen Roberson and family
  • Barry Breaux for his  mom
  • Dwight Dickerson for his family
  • The country of Brazil (host of Soccer’s World Cup), so representative of the world – great beauty, deep pain, magnificent accomplishments and profound need  all intertwined and interconnected
  • Toni Daniels and all who are incarcerated
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Sandra Dunn for her father
  • Connie Hector for her mother in law
  • Thanksgiving with Ruth Ann Crawford on her continuing recuperation
  • Virginia Cheatham
  • Mary Karne for her daughter Maryla
  • Shirley Jones
  • Thanksgiving with Ann Branch as she recuperates from surgery
  • Steve and Carol Leichter
  • Katrina Lau for her grandmother
  • Margaret Oladoja and family
  • The people of Pilger, Nebraska in the wake of the deadly tornado that struck their town
  • A prayer for Iraq –  may the chaos of civil war be replaced by the shalom of civil society
  • Mary Alice and Abe Cirimele for Willow
  • Ken Kirkey for his father Ken Kirkey Sr., recuperating from cancer