PCBA Notes

PCBA NOTES 5.2 (Spring 2015)

Download a printable version: PCBA Notes 5.2

Seven Workshops Announced for Spring Conference

Theme – “Connecting Generations”
Saturday, June 6 – First Baptist Church of Alameda

Seven workshops will be featured at PCBA’s 15th Spring Conference on Saturday, June 6 at the First Baptist Church of Alameda. They will explore the theme, “Connecting Generations,” which will be introduced by the Guest Leader, Joe DeRoulhac, distinguished former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Redlands.

The workshops will include “Story of One Church, FBC Redlands (given twice, led by JoeDeRoulhac), “Health/Body of Christ” (Linda Bergeon, FBC, Alameda), “Mentoring Across Age Gaps” (Allison Tanner, Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church), Intergenerational Worship (Brian Hunter, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist, Berkeley), “The Gift of Archetypes” (Sandra Lee, Lakeshore), “You are Now and the Future” (Gerald Mann, Sunset Ministry, San Francisco), and “Becoming Family” (Katie Choy-Wong, New Life Christian Fellowship, Castro Valley).

Welcome Coffee begins at 8:30 AM, the program at 9:00, and the concluding lunch at 1:00.

Group attendance from churches is being encouraged. The First Baptist Church of Alameda is located at 1515 Santa Clara Ave. Registration, including choice of workshops, may be made at pcba.org, or by mail by returning conference registration brochures available at participating congregations. Brochures may also be secured from PCBA, 200 La Casa Via , Walnut Creek, CA
94598 (925-935-3250) or on the website.

BLT Programs
(“Baptists Lunching Together”)

Wednesday Luncheons ($10)
Grand Lake Gardens – 12:00 Noon
401 Santa Clara Ave., Oakland

May 20 – Deborah Lee
What to do with 253 Refugee Children in Oakland Schools
Director, Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Next BLT – Sep. 16

Reserve your place here by Monday, or call 510-350-7008 (Joan Thatcher).

Who Ministers to Whom?

Observations by the Editor, Dale Edmondson

The assumed purpose of the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate is to provide a ministry of hospitality to workers on container ships docking at the Port of Oakland.  But after more than a decade of volunteering at the Seafarers Center, I’ve come to believe the greater ministry may be to those of us who serve.

The presence of the Seafarers in the Center has opened my life to the world in a way I couldn’t have anticipated: people–for the most part, young men–arrive from the Philippines, India, Russia, Rumania, China, Poland,  Malaysia, Germany, indeed, country after country.  Christians, certainly–but also Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus.

Although English is the required language of international shipping, speech at the Center is a cacophony of languages.  But what I observe isn’t a confused babble, but a microcosm.  A microcosm not only of the world’s differences, but of its shared humanity.  Men are sitting with their laptops talking on Skype with families half a world away. It may have been months since they’ve been home.  How gentle and sensitive I find these men to be!  Now and then, they call us over to the little screens to point to their wives and children and invite them to wave to us.  However unfamiliar the language sounds, it’s amazing how universal “Daddy” is.

I drive a van and pick up crew members from the ships, taking them to the center or to the shops.  On the van one-on-one conversation opens my world even more.  A chief engineer from the Ukraine shares his anxiety about the conflict in the eastern part of his country.  A man from Manila hasn’t gotten any word from his family since a typhoon hit two days ago.  Another tells me he knows of Central Philippine University (where Alice and I taught for a short time after we retired) because his sister got her nursing degree there.  A man from Northern India describes his homeland as the most beautiful place in the world with its green terrain and lovely trees.  A cook from Vladivostok–this time a woman–speaks of the poverty of her home area.  A boatswain, showing significant trust in a representative of the church, talks in confidence about his captain’s withholding hazard pay from their salaries, hoping we can advocate for them (which we can and do).  Another man, very quiet, walks from the van without speaking and goes to the chapel and kneels for a while.

Sometimes seafarers ask why we do what we do.  People through many ages have understood the need to “welcome the stranger.”  In welcoming others, I find I’m being “welcomed” too–into the others’ lives.  I’m reminded in this that angels are defined as messengers (sometimes of God) and also of a word from the First Letter to Peter: “ Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

PCBA logoPCBA Welcomes New Website and Logo

A new website for the Association has been launched, with the address “pcba.org.”  News, announcements, PCBA history, and copies of the quarterly PCBA Notes will be available at that site.  A logo has been designed by Chris Shade and will be used in Association materials.  A brochure describing the Association will be introduced at the Spring Conference.  Additional copies may be requested at info@pcba.org.

First Baptist Palo Alto to Host Evergreen Meeting –

The First Baptist Church of Palo Alto will host the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Evergreen Baptist Association, October 9-11

Letter of Support for College President –

The Board of PCBA has joined other concerned people and organizations in signing a letter of support for Forrest E. Harris, President of the American Baptist College in Nashville.  President Harris had been under attack by a group within his (African-American) denomination, the National Baptist Convention, for having invited Bishop Yvette Flunder of Oakland, a lesbian, to lecture at the college.  The PCBA Board viewed the attack as a serious violation of the principles of Baptist freedom.  American Baptist College is not related to American Baptist Churches, USA.

ABSW Commencement –

Commencement for the American Baptist Seminary of the West will be Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 at Beth Eden Baptist Church.  The guest speaker will be United Methodist Bishop Warner Brown, Jr.  The church is located at 1183  10th Street in West Oakland.

Denominational Events –

  •  June 26-28: Biennial American Baptist Mission Summit 2015, Overland Park, KS. Presiding: President Don Ng Keynote speaker: Amy Butler, new pastor of Riverside Church.  Small-group “Summit Conversations” are again planned.  Registration:  www.abc-usa.org or local congregations.
  • July 6-11: Baptist Peace Fellowship Summer Conference, Eastern Mennonite University at Harrisonburg, VA. Registration: www.pbfna.org or 704-521-6051.

Milestones for Baptist Friends

by Joan Thatcher

After a decade as ABC executive minister in Rhode Island, Liliana DaValle has completed long-term interims at Alameda First and Shell Ridge.  She continues as pastor of a new Hispanic church in San Jose. . . Following six years on the Shell Ridge pastoral staff, Chris Shade is now Associate Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Portland.  A member of the PCBA Board, he designed our outstanding new logo. . .  Congratulations to the Baptist Peace Fellowship, now observing 30 years of service.  Sandy Mitchell, Wendy Neale, and Dale and Alice Edmondson attended last year’s Peace Conference in Ontario, Canada where the anniversary was celebrated.

Our deep thanks to Kay Kallendar of ABHOW’s executive staff, as she retires in June after 30 years of leadership. . . Beth Eden Baptist Church honored Drs. Gillette and Rosa James for their 44 years of pastoral leadership there.  (P.S., I was there in 1971 for his installation service.) . . . Dr. James Chuck recently organized a series of Monday lectures by resident experts held in the Skyroom at Piedmont Gardens.  The wide variety of topics included the environment, ethnic studies, economics, Russian literature and spirituality.

In Remembrance

John “Bud” Carroll, former staff member at Oakland’s First Baptist Church and ABC leader in youth and camping for 30 years, died February 18.  A memorial service was held February 28.  He was 86. . . Vincent Coletta, former Southern California Area Minister and member of  First Baptist in Salinas, died on January 11.  At age 95, he was an ABC pastor for 70 years.  Loris Coletta, his wife of 73 years, has long been active in ABC leadership.

Two ministers’ wives have died recently.  After Edmund and Diane Irvin had moved from Reno to Redlands, Diane died February 22 two months after a terrible car accident.  She was 83. . . Laverne Michelson died on February 27 at age 94.  A charter member of Shell Ridge, she was known for her singing voice and her 32 years as a nurse at Kaiser. . . Allen Temple hosted a memorial service on February 26 for Mildred Massey.  A resident of Grand Lake Gardens, she was the mother of Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  In her 90 years, Mildred broke many racial barriers, including those in the USO, Post Office, and the Social Security Administration.


 

PCBA Notes, the quarterly newsletter of Pacific Coast Baptist Association, is available in an e-version, a mailed copy, and a bulletin insert.
Contact Editor Dale K. Edmondson – Newsletter@pcba.org – 510.483.6836