Our Life Together

Our New Website

Jim Hopkins

March 17, 2022

As of February 9th, our new website is up and running. The address remains www.labcoakland.org. I certainly hope you will visit it, share it and utilize it frequently. Your feedback and suggestions will be taken seriously. Feel free to send them to me. Thanks to Mark Wilson, Sheila Sims, Chuck Johnston, Barbara Hunt and Jerry Wolf who took the lead in this impressive effort.

I particularly like the way the website builds on both the architecture of our sanctuary and the mission statement of our congregation – “Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church is an inclusive community that embraces all followers of Jesus Christ. We worship, witness and work to advance God’s purpose in all of life. Empowered by the spirit, we strive to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.”

As you can see, the three headings on the homepage, Worship Fearlessly, Work Purposefully and Witness Faithfully, flow out of the mission statement. To the verbs worship, work and witness are added the adverbs fearlessly, purposefully and faithfully.

Worship Fearlessly is a reminder that Baptists have not always been free to worship as they please and, in many parts of the world in 2022, still are not. Thus, worship is a courageous act. To worship a God who loves and welcomes all, to proclaim that faith publicly, can single a congregation out for attack and abuse. The world needs congregations who worship fearlessly while insisting that others have the same right.

Work Purposefully recognizes that there is a difference between frantic activity and focused attention. We live in a time in which it is can be difficult to distinguish between the two until fatigue, cynicism and burnout have set in. Purposeful work is rooted in Scripture, infused by prayer, offered in gratitude and expressive of the ways of Jesus.

Witness Faithfully lifts up our call to, in all we say and do, represent the love of God known in Jesus the Christ. Our metric of success is fidelity to this call, not the applause it might occasion, the fame it might create or the size of the crowd that might take notice. In witnessing faithfully, we claim our place in a living tradition and among the great cloud of witnesses spoken of in the eleventh chapter of Book of Hebrews.

In lifting up these three headings we are not proclaiming that we are living them out perfectly or completely. We are simply saying that they are our goals and that if someone were to observe our worship, witness and work for a period of time they would see these aspirations reflected.

Changing subjects…My Women’s History Month sermon series (Sundays March 13, 20, 27 and April 6) will be “Women Who Taught Jesus.” This series is inspired by book recently authored by longtime friend and colleague, Stephen D. Jones. The books premise is that Jesus made himself vulnerable enough to be a learner.
As of this writing I plan to lift up Mary (The Mother of Jesus), the Woman at the Well and the sisters, Mary and Martha,

I look forward to connecting In-person, via YouTube or on Zoom.

Jim H.