Midweek Message

March 19, 2013

Jim Hopkins

March 19, 2013

Our long journey to Easter continues as we approach Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. Thus far we have identified Eve, the Midwives to the Hebrews and sisters Martha and Mary as companions on our journey. This week we draw alongside the unnamed widow who made an offering of two tiny coins to the temple treasury.
As we consider this unnamed, but not unheralded, companion on our journey we do well to note the respect she is accorded by Jesus. His words seal her place in the history of our faith, “I’m telling you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. They all contributed into the collection out of their plenty, but she contributed out of her poverty, and gave her whole livelihood.”
From a fairly short section of Scripture we learn important lessons about the roles houses of faith should play, about the nature of the gifts we give, about the judgements we make about others, and about the one to whom our gifts are given.
Please join us for worship this Palm Sunday. We will begin by  gathering on the front steps.  We will then process into the Sanctuary singing “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” After worship two representatives from the Oakland Police Department Command Staff will make a presentation about changes within the OPD and will take questions from the congregation about their work. This meeting is part of a series of meetings the OPD leadership is having with the congregations of our city. Coffee Hour will follow the meeting with the police.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Prayers for those whose bodies need strength and healing – Bette Pancoe, Sybil Alexander, Charlotte Evans, Ted Evans, Jim Dorr’s cousin, John Taylor, Keith Paramour for his grandparents, Elizabeth Patrick, Barbara Bowman, Carol and Steve Leichter, Hershall Vinson, Marcie Giarizzo, Brenda McCarthy for her husband, Art Ferguson (John Muir Hospital, Concord), Cecil White, Kay Baxter, Joni Nomura, Letty Hernandez
  • Prayers for those who are aging and their loved ones who care for them – Sandra Dunn for her father, Theresako Harris for her aunt, Larry Hutchings for his mother, Marc Harrison for his father, Sheryl Gattey for her mother, Helen Roberson for her mother
  • Prayers for those who are grieving –  The Chan family on their mother, May,The Shell Ridge Community Church and PCBA family on the death of of Jerry Neale, the First Congregational Church of Oakland and Genesis Project family on the presumed death of Erica Maskaleris, Rick Mixon on the death of his brother in law
  • Prayers for our loved ones who are facing significant challenges – Gloria and Phil Meads for their nieces, Kay Baxter for Stacey and Jamie, Georgia Upshaw for her friend Ginny, Toni Daniels for her family, Margaret Alexander for LaShaya and family, The Maldanado family, Joan Patten for her son Peter, Rowena Jackson for her son Paul, Barry Breaux for his family,
  • Prayers for our community- For the ministry of our sister American Baptist and Alliance of Baptists congregations, for all who will come to our pre-Easter parade, for the Ceasefire work of the Oakland Community Organizations, for the work of St. Mary’s Center, Harbor House, Open Door Mission and Berkeley Food and Housing Project, for the Supreme Court as it prepares to hear arguments in regard to Marriage Equality, for Mayor Quan and members of the City Council
  • Prayers for people we don’t know who  are facing challenges we can’t imagine- For our Kachin brothers and sister, those who are incarcerated, all who are affected by gun violence, the people of Haiti, the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis
  • Prayers of gratitude – For the promises of Easter in the midst of Lent, For your generous response to the America For Christ Offering
  • Prayers for ourselves – May each of us know peace, joy, acceptance and encouragement


The Funeral for May Chan will be held this Friday, March 22 at 12:00 at Chapel of the Chimes on Piedmont Avenue. There will be a viewing from 10:00 – 12:00.
Easter Lilly designations are due this Sunday.

Holy Week Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 p.m. Finger Food Potluck, Bible Study-DVD lecture about Pontius Pilate
  • Wednesday, March 27, 10:30 a.m. Prayer and Bible Study-DVD lecture about Pontius Pilate
  • Friday, March 29, G00d Friday Worship, 12:00 Taylor United Methodist Church, 7:00, First Congregational Church of Oakland (I will be preaching as part of both services. FCCO is inviting vocalists to be part of the choir at the 7:00 service. Contact me if you can help out.)
  • Saturday, March 30, Community Easter Parade and Party (Set up at 10:00)
  • Sunday, March 31, Easter Worship, including Baptism and Baby Dedication