Midweek Message

May 2, 2011

Jim Hopkins

May 2, 2011

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for me on my trip to Kentucky.  I report on my journey in the Transmitter that is being mailed on Thursday.  As my plane was rolling to the gate at Oakland International Airport late Sunday evening I turned on my Blackberry and found the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a confrontation with American troops.  I have been trying to formulate a faithful and cogent response to this news.  What comes is a series of thoughts:

  1. Osama bin Laden needed to be brought to justice. I trust that this is it.
  2. This is somber news.  While I hope it brings some peace to the families of the innocents who died on September 11, 2001, it does not bring any one’s loved one back, the struggle (I find calling it a war to be unhelpful.) against terrorism continues. Terrorism is not represented by one person or group of people.  It is set of ideas, actions and attitudes.
  3. In many ways bin Laden no longer represented the longings of the Arab world, if he ever did.  Those longings are now represented ty the millions of people, most of them young, who took to the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen this spring. They do not yearn for religious totalitarianism. They yearn to speak for themselves and act for themselves. They yearn for the right to create their own destinies.
  4. President Obama said it very clearly.  The United States has not been, and is not now, at war with Islam or Muslims.  In fact, Osama bin Laden al Al Qaeda killed many Muslims on 9/11 and in their attacks around the world.
  5. “God loves those whom we cannot.” Wendell Berry
  6. A faithful response remains rooted in the need for humility, the call to accountable living, and the hope of grace.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The family of Harold Cotton
  • Katrina Lau – hospitalized
  • Richard Ice – recovering from foot surgery
  • Joan Patten for Sierra, Paula, John and herself
  • Edna Dorenzo
  • Virginia Damretzky
  • Virginia Cheatham for her grandson Jason
  • Tess Benin and those she cares for
  • Jack and Carol Travis
  • Carol and Steve Leichter – Carol is going to see her Mom in Minnesota this week
  • Bonnie Sato – recovering from surgery
  • All our shut ins
  • Cordia Lee for her workplace and her family
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • LeAnn Snow for her cousin
  • Sheila Sims for her brother and her parents
  • Kay Baxter for her family and herself
  • The people of the world who are putting their lives at risk to advance  the cause of freedom
  • Mary Karne for Mildred
  • Doris Evans for the Evans,Edwards and Leche families
  • Bjoe Morris – employment
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner- health and peace
  • All who are traveling
  • All who mourn
  • All who labor for the common good
  • Robert Wilkins, Laveda Wilson (his mom) and family as Laveda prepares to transition from this life
  • Cameron Wilson
  • David Bushrod for two families he is close to


The memorial service for Harold Cotton will be Tuesday morning at 10:30 in the Sanctuary.
The PCBA Spring Conference is Saturday at Shell Ridge Community Church.  I hope you can attend. Our own Dr. Richard Ice will be presented with a Religious Liberty Award by the Baptist Joint Committee.  Brent Walker, Executive Director of the BJC, will present the award.  Brent will also bring greetings in our worship on Sunday morning and have a conversation with all who would like to stay during the Forum time
OCO Action, Save Our School, Tuesday evening, May 3 at 6:00 at Cesar Chavez Auditorium, 2825 International Boulevard.  I will be bringing the faith reflection.