PCBA NOTES 6.3 (Fall 2016)

Download a pdf version: PCBA NOTES, Fall 2016

Youthquake Sends 42 Youth & Adult Missionaries to New Orleans
PCBA-sponsored Program Joins Home Mission Society Project

Continuing the work of rebuilding in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward ravished in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, forty-two Bay Area American Baptist young people and adults journeyed there to participate in a project of the denomination’s Home Mission Society.

Important projects undertaken by the mission team included working on the home of a woman who had paid a contractor unsuccessfully to repair her home, helping ready a charter school serving kindergarten through 8th grade students, painting picnic tables and picking up trash at a small local store serving an overlooked neighborhood, and working to transform an abandoned building into an Internet café for youth near a new high school.

Commenting on the mission venture, Allison Tanner, one of those overseeing the trip, said, “We went to partner with the community to rebuild homes, lives, churches and communities. We worked hard, played hard and learned much. We encountered God in powerful ways as we witnessed resilience, inspiration, and hope.”

The mission trip was an endeavor of Youthquake, a PCBA-sponsored youth program.  People from four churches participated: the First Baptist Church of Alameda, the New Life Christian Fellowship of Castro Valley, the Mien Friendship Baptist Church of Richmond, and Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.  Pictures of the week are available at abhms.org, website of the American Baptist Home Mission Society.

BLT Programs (“Baptists Lunching Together”)

Wednesdays at Noon ($10)
Grand Lake Gardens, 401 Santa Clara Ave., Oakland

  • September 21 – Peter Yuichi Clark
    UCSF Hospital & Pastoral Care, ABSW
    “Spiritual Issues Facing Hospitalized Patients”
  • October 19 – Mission Ventures
    Participants in Projects in Haiti and New Orleans
  • November 9 (A Second Wednesday)- Nick Carter
    Interim President, ABSW

Reservations by Monday
www.pcba.org or 510-350-7008

Share Christmas with a Seafarer

The Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate, through its Christmas At Sea program, continues to give Christmas gifts to over 1,000 seafarers who come from all over the world.  Alodia Corpuz, who coordinates the program, says, “The gifts, along with written materials, help to tell the story that Jesus is God’s gift of love to us and to all people.”  Those wishing to participate in the program may either make cash contributions for the purchase of gifts or may purchase the gifts themselves from a list of suggested items at smgg.org/events.. These are put in “ditty bags” to be opened on Christmas when many are far from their homes.  A Packing Day is scheduled for Friday, October 21 at 9:00 AM at the International Maritime Center, 4001 Seventh Street in Oakland.  Those able to help on Packing Day should contact Alodia at 510.530.5743.

 A Cry for Justice in Hymnody

Nancy Hall, Associate Professor of Ministry and Congregational Music at ABSW and Dan Damon, an internationally published writer of hymn texts and jazz pianist, will teach “A Cry for Justice in Hymnody” on Tuesday evenings at ABSW, beginning September 6 from 5-6:30 Community auditors are welcome (fee required). For more information, visit care-gtu.org.

Nick Carter Named ABSW President for the Interim

Dr. Nick Carter assumed the Presidency of ABSW on May 16, 2016, following the untimely death of Dr. Paul Martin.

Dr. Carter’s unusual skill set has been developed over a 40-year career and spans the academic, religious, non-profit, and private sectors. In 2014 he retired, after ten years of ground-breaking service as President of Andover Newton, the oldest graduate school of theology in the US. He had earlier served in denominational posts and for more than a decade as pastor at the 900 member First Baptist Church in Beverly, MA.

For period, he was Vice President of a marketing communications company recognized for saving the US Postal Service more than $50 million a year.

Carter has also served as Executive Director of SANE/FREEZE, the noted peace and justice organization and is a recipient of the prestigious Dahlberg Peace Award by ABC/USA for his life-long work on peace and justice issues.

He has a BA from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.  Dr. Carter’s wife, Rev. Dr. Deborah Carter, is also an ordained minister and a national consultant on matters of spirituality, aging and health care. Their son, Isaac, is a professional chef.

Millennials, Vocation, and All of Us

Comments by the Editor, Dale Edmondson

What grips young people today?  What engages their energies and excites their hopes and gives focus to their imagination?  Indeed, does anything do that?  US News and World Report, writing about millennials (variously defined as between 18 and 30 or 35), says they have a reputation of being a “lazy, narcissistic do-nothing generation, too busy tweeting pictures of their lunches to get a real job and move out of their parents’ basement, never mind engaging in politics.”  While I reject that definition of a generation that faces expensive education costs, high debt and joblessness and puts marriage and home ownership off into the future, the description uncomfortably reminds me of the definition given my own generation when I was coming of age.  Far from being a Great Generation like the one before us, we were the “cool” generation: no great cause or aspiration beyond ourselves.

John F. Kennedy’s idea of the Peace Corps changed that.  The call to be part of a body of young people helping others in many challenged places around the globe was energizing, not only to those who joined the corps but also to others who were  inspired to ask how their own abilities might be put to the greatest service.  It was the nation’s tragic engagement in the Vietnam War, later, that generated a wave of young adults expressing opposition to that war and to war itself and engaging in fervent endeavors to eliminate nuclear weapons.  The intractability of such issues and the growth of the military-industrial complex, perhaps, led the next generation to turn inward again looking for the “dawning of the age of Aquarius.”  This is an admittedly oversimplified parade of generations.  But it raises the question for me, “What is, or what might become, the central motivation in one’s life?”  For us in the Christian Church, it raises a more basic question: What is the church’s obligation concerning a life-giving call to young people?

The “call” has had a vital place in the history of our Faith–a call to Moses to tell Pharaoh to “Let God’s people go,” to Amos to demand that “justice roll down like waters,” to the Apostle Peter to announce to people outside his tradition that “God is no respecter of persons,” to Francis of Assisi that all Creation is God’s and is to be loved and cherished, to Dr. King to tell people about his holy dream.  “The call” brings to the fore the distinction between a vocation and a career–a career being something you choose and a vocation is something you are called to.  The church, made up of people “called to be disciples,” has a teaching mandate regarding its young people–indeed regarding all its people–to make clear the call of God to the service of others.  “The place God calls you to,” Frederick Buechner rightly said, “is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Milestones for Baptist Friends

Compiled by Joan Thatcher

Heaven may be stronger, but Baptists in California miss friends who died recently. . . John Akers, pastor at Grace Baptist in San Jose from 1960 to 1978, died on July 23. .  . John Burke, longtime organist and choir director at Oakland First Baptist, died at his retirement home in Asheville, NC.  Services were held in Sonoma on Aug. 6. …F. Robert Steiger of The Terraces in Fresno, died July 6, six months shy of his 100th birthday.  His life emphasized education, camping, and interim pastorates.  (Bob named me junior camp director at Green Lake, Wisconsin in 1947.  No, that is not a typo.)

After three years as chaplain at Grand Lake Gardens, Esther Hargis resigned to try retirement for the third time.  Recently she was pastor at First Berkeley for 15 years and then chaplain for five years at ABHOW’s Pilgrim Haven in Los Altos.  Thanks so much! . . . Congratulations to Rick Mixon on his tenth anniversary as pastor at First Baptist in Palo Alto, and the twentieth anniversary of becoming ordained.

Executive minister Marcia Patton expressed gratitude to First Baptist in Salt Lake City for hosting her ordination service in 1976, now 40 years ago. . . For their long record of volunteer leadership at the Scandinavian Seafarers Ministry, Dale and Alice Edmondson were awarded the 2016 Lighthouse Award. . . David Robinson’s outstanding leadership for 20 years of prison ministry, including the last five as executive director, was recognized recently by county and church leaders in San Jose. Louann Roberts, PCBA Officer also serves on the staff of the chaplaincy receiving this honor. . . Ned Allyn Parker of Seattle First Baptist received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Seattle University on June 12.

Grand Lake Welcomes New Executive Director

On August 1, Douglas Blake was warmly welcomed by residents and staff as the new executive director at Grand Lake Gardens in Oakland.  He comes to us from El Dorado West, a Seattle senior residence for independent living, assisted living and memory care.  Resident Council President Carole Jan Lee said “We enjoyed sharing his life story, his various work experiences and his enthusiasm for the various challenges that lie ahead.

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