Today`s Newsletter - First Church Redwood City
Ted Dawson Studios
August 24, 2016
Redwood City, UCC
In this Issue:
3 Mission Statement
God of Many Voices 8 Prayer Requests
12 Weekly Message
Open & Affirming
Faith, in Redwood City
Living our Faith
Loving our Community
August 29 10:00am Memorial for Wanda Davisson
Offsite—details on page 11
August 31 11:00am
NO Chair Dancing
Reception in memory of
LABOR DAY—Office Closed
NO chair Dancing
Good Hope Luncheon
Hillcrest Ministry Team
Church Council Meeting
All meetings, gatherings & events take place at
Broadway Chapel, 1155 Broadway Suite 130,
Redwood City, 94063, unless otherwise noted.
Any human enterprise can succeed or fail. Silicon Valley startups,
marriages, mall stores, schools, and churches — there are no
guarantees, no reliable formulas, no ideal preparation.
The recipe for failure tends to be predictable. Conditions change,
but for reasons ranging from sloth to distraction to inadequate
resources, leaders don’t change with them. Early success
teaches the wrong lessons. Leaders dread failure more than they
want to learn from it. Worthy ideas implode from lack of support,
while bad ideas develop loyal followings.
It can be maddening. It can leave many wondering why they try.
I promote best practices as the key to leading a church. I have
named those best practices and led church folks in learning and
deploying them. But still success seems elusive. The unexpected
happens, the reliable leader loses heart, a sizable cadre prove
uninterested in success, especially if success means change.
Here is what I have learned:
First, the paradigm is the wilderness wandering. It is scary out
there living freely and following God. It seems safer to go back
to bondage. Even when God feeds and leads, discomfort and
uncertainty drive many church leaders to lose heart. Going
forward, however, is the only reasonable and faithful choice.
Sometimes it takes a heavy/handed Moses to drive the sheep
onward. I think we should be less afraid of strong leaders. Lay
leaders should focus less energy on keeping clergy in line.
Second, the wise leader tends to be nimble. He or she can see
an opportunity and move swiftly to embrace it, or see an
obstacle and react to it. Churches take far too long to change
Third, the rich and powerful shouldn’t be in charge. They tend to
worry too much about saving face and avoiding failure. They
mistake the church as theirs, rather than God’s. They cater to
their own kind and fail to imagine others as having different
needs or even validity. They don’t want to hear the Gospel,
because its message to the rich and powerful is painful to hear.
So they muzzle preachers and extol less-than-Godly attributes
like tradition and facilities.
Fourth, failing churches misapply their energies. They tend to
pour their energies into what they do best and find most
enjoyable, rather than pouring energy into what God wants done
and into what people outside their walls need. Thus, they focus
on Sunday worship, when more and more people want
community. They do mission as charity — noblesse oblige —
when more and more people want deep commitment of life. They
worry about gender and sexuality, when more and more have
moved on to other concerns like income inequality, global climate
change, and work-life balance.
Fifth, healthy and promising church communities show consistent
attributes. They tend to be playful, irreverent, willing to try new
things, tolerant of diversity, patient with their leaders, and not
overly concerned with tradition or with money. Those are healthy
attributes for any person and any community, of course. Maybe
that is the point. Healthy leaders enable healthy enterprises.
Churches, like any enterprise, should spend more energy on
recruiting healthy leaders, training them in best practices, and
protecting them from the crazies.
About the Author
Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest
based in New York. He is the publisher of Fresh Day online
magazine, author of On a Journey and two national newspaper
columns. His website is Church Wellness – Morning Walk Media.
Healthy Cities Tutoring
Reach a child. Touch a Family. Build a community.
“This has been such a great experience - I don't really have just one word to
describe it. That one hour a week is the most important hour of the week
for me.” - A Healthy Cities tutor
Healthy Cities Tutoring is celebrating its 20th year of supporting children
who are struggling to succeed in school. We provide tutors for children in
need of one-on-one support at Clifford, Fair Oaks and Connect Community
Charter School, all located in Redwood City, and all 7 public schools in San
Carlos. Our community of volunteers range in age from 14 – 93 and they
provide tutoring and mentoring for one hour per week supporting their
assigned student. The tutoring is provided in all subjects including reading
and is based on the needs of the student. Tutoring takes place at the
school site or in some cases, at a local public library.
Last year, Healthy Cities Tutoring provided tutoring to 394 children in
grades K-8. We are actively recruiting tutors for Clifford, Fair Oaks and
Connect where the demand continues to grow. Please visit our website at
www.healthycitiestutoring.org and click VOLUNTEER to complete the online
application. Also, we welcome prospective volunteers to join us for our
annual Orientation and New Tutor Training on Wednesday, October 19.
Learn more ~ here at First Church on
Sunday, September 25th
Sunday, August 28
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Join us for a free workshop at First Church!
You will learn about the whole
house approach to energy efficiency and comfort,
and find out how simple
it is to qualify for rebates.
Learn about LED lighting
and new technologies
for your home.
We can help you waste less
and save more!
Don’t miss out on this special event!
Please arrive by 4:00 !
Stay for Worship at 5:00pm
and Dinner at 6:15pm
GOD OF MANY VOICES
O God, who casts healing light into deep and shadowed places,
We confess to finding ourselves saying hateful things out of fear of
the other —
those of different skin color, religion, sexual orientation, culture,
economic status, educational level, or ability.
We are not being our best, most loving selves.
Fear does not bring out the qualities that you invite us to practice:
compassion, generosity, mercy, and love of neighbor —
even love of strangers.
There are countless ways to succumb to our fears.
Do not let them have dominion over us.
Keep reminding us of your commandment to live in love,
even during times of adversity,
as Jesus did.
Let us never give up hope in you,
our rock and our redeemer.
And let us never give up trying to be
our best, most loving selves,
as you would have us be.
We pray this in the name of Jesus,
who showed us the way. Amen.
~ written by the Rev. Meighan Pritchard,
UCC Environmental Justice Curriculum Trainer.
Appreciation From Our
Redwood City Library Foundation
“Thank you for inviting us to your service and for the
opportunity to speak. It felt very special to meet everyone and
share our ideas, programs, and achievements.
Thank you for your support! With gratitude from the amazing
RCLF Board and Rouslana” (Yaroslavsky)
Because you gave to our 2016 Annual Campaign youth in our
community are able to learn, grow and thrive through the opening of
Hoover Pool, engaging young minds in our six-week summer learning
programs, providing a safe environment at summer camp, partnering
with Yosemite so youth can learn about nature through photography.
Thank you so much for being a sponsor and contributor to the
reception honoring our new conference Minister Emerita, Mary Susan
Gast, and for the scholarship support for those attending Annual
Gathering. Thank you for your generosity.
Your participation added to a rich and wonderful Annual Gathering.
With gratitude and alive in God’s abundance,
Rev. Diane Weible, NCNC Conference Minister
Thank you very much for your donations of $1,250 towards our
Backpack and School Supply Drive. We are also grateful for the 50
boxes of colored pencils you collected for our Drive.
As you know, this drive provides essential school supplies to nearly
70% of Pescadero and La Honda students. More than 250 students
will have the supplies they need in order to succeed in schools.
“And, at the end of backpack distribution day, we give any extra
supplies to the teachers to use in their classrooms so your donation
effectively reaches every student in the district.”
“We are so grateful for your support and love for our community,
especially the kids!”
~Rita Mancera, Executive Director
For Wanda Davisson
Monday, August 29
(Adobe Creek Mausoleum; Niche 210-B, Alcove #2)
Reception Lunch at First Church
Everyone is welcome at the Reception You do not need to
also attend the Memorial Service unless you wish to do so.
Bill Van Cleve
Dee Van Cleve
Marcie De Berry
Silicon Valley Progressive Faith Community
of Redwood City, UCC
Redwood City, 94063
Bill Van Cleve
How do you survive on a dessert island?
First, check the spelling. If it’s
What’s the lazy man’s favorite exercise?
What looks like half an apple?
The other half.
When the celebrity chef took over Amtrak,
tickets were still pricey but the trains ran
Did you hear about the scientists who
turned a dolphin invisible?
It took a lot of work, but nobody
could see the porpoise.
What did the Tin Man say when he got
run over by a steamroller?
“Curses! Foil again!”
Let’s just share a dessert said the worst
A day without sunshine is like, night.
A bank is a place that will lend you
money, if you can prove that you don’t
If you had three apples and four oranges
in one hand and four apples and three
oranges in the other hand, what would
you have?..........Very large hands.