Dear Friends –
In 1983 I moved to Chico, CA, where I served as Associate Pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church for seven and half years. It was my first call out of seminary, working with college students, and I still have connections with that community. Paradise, CA is just 15 miles away from Chico – and it’s hard to fathom the destruction and heartbreak resulting from the Camp Fire, which is not yet contained. This morning the news jumped to 63 dead, and 631 missing.
I’m grateful Bidwell Church is serving as a significant staging area for goods and services to those who are in need. One of my best friends was down at the church for several days this week, and said she spent her time mostly crying with and hugging people. If you want to help, but just don’t know how, you might consider sending a gift card to Bidwell – for Target, Safeway, or Subway – they will make sure they get in the right hands. (Bidwell Presbyterian Church mailing address is 208 W. 1st Street, Chico, CA 95928).
OK, heads up – the sermon text for Sunday is a doozie – Mark 13:1-8! It’s one of those “the end is near” doom and gloom texts that we Presbyterians think are soooooo weird, and frankly would just as soon avoid. So would you believe me if I told you the message of this text is actually some good news? (By the way, it’s one of the reasons I argue we should all leave behind that Left Behind book series – when those books lay out a precise time line of end-time events and stir up fear they are missing the.whole.point!)
Anyway, check out the passage and see what you think, and we’ll talk about it together on Sunday.
Hope to see you in worship!
Grace and peace,