TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2020
You're Invited!
MEN'S BIBLE STUDY

Piedmont Church member Eric Behrens has been leading a Saturday morning Men's Bible Study for 20 years. He invites you to join the small group online this Saturday at 7:30 AM, PST, from wherever you are:

JUDGING BY APPEARANCE
 
Dr. William McNabb

What follows is an excerpt from Dr. McNabb's Sunday, June 21 sermon. To see the sermon in its entirely, click the sermon series button below.

In the last sermon the Sunday before his assassination. Dr. Martin Luther King was pleading for racial and economic justice. Taylor Branch his biographer described it in a NY Times article. The text was the parable that Jesus told about the Rich man and Lazarus from the gospel of Luke. Lazarus was a lame beggar who once pleaded unnoticed outside the gates of a rich man named Dives. They both died and Dives looked up from Hell to see Lazarus in heaven leaning on the bosom of Abraham.
 
Dives asks Abraham to send Lazarus with water to cool his burning lips. But Abraham said there was a great chasm between them which cannot be crossed.
 
Dr. King made an interesting point. According to King, Dives wasn’t in hell because he was rich. He wasn’t anywhere near as rich as Abraham, one of the wealthiest men of antiquity, the Bill Gates of Israel, who was in heaven. Nor was Dives in hell because he failed to give alms to Lazarus. Lazarus hung around his gate because sometimes he got something there. HE WAS THERE BECAUSE HE NEVER RECOGNIZED LAZARUS AS A FELLOW HUMAN BEING.
 
We MUST ACT TOWARD ALL CREATION IN THE SPIRIT OF EQUAL SOULS. THE ALTERNATIVE IS HELL. Which Dr. King defined as "the pain we inflict on ourselves by refusing God’s grace." 
 
When King went back to Memphis the day after the sermon to stand with the downtrodden garbagemen. They wanted to change the city rule that forbade black employees to seek shelter from the rain anywhere but in the back of their compressor trucks, with the garbage. Two workers were accidentally crushed while sitting there.
 
You may have seen the photos of the workers holding placards from the sanitation strike which read I AM A MAN. Meaning not a piece of garbage to be crushed and ignored. I have seen photos of those same placards in the streets of America during our current national crisis. Still all these years later, looking for the same thing the Memphis garbagemen desired – racial and economic justice.
 
“My brothers, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.” -  James 2
 
Christians have been reading these words from James the brother of Jesus for over 2,000 years. Words which forbid judging a person by how they look outwardly - the style of their clothes or the color of their skin. Words that stand against the dual plagues of classism and racism.
 
 It is time for us to take these words seriously. We stand at a unique moment in history. Recent events have exposed the deep and systemic racism in our society. But it seems people are awakening to this fact, and the protestors in our streets are demanding real change. It is time for the church to stand with them.
 
I am writing these words on June 19th, Juneteenth, the day the African American community celebrates the end of slavery. In the days before and during the Civil War there were a group of people, largely Christians who saw the evil of slavery and worked to end it. They were called the Abolitionists. They, along with the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers, were eventually successful in ending that institution.
 
What is evident today is that though slavery ended, racism did not. It is alive and well and we need a new group of Christian abolitionists to step forward to defeat it.

We can no longer afford to be silent.

We can no longer wait on the sidelines hoping for someone else to fix things.

It is time for the church to be more like Jesus. To reach out with love and compassion to heal this great national wound.
SERMON SERIES CONTINUES
The Book of James: Plain Talk for Tough Times

Dr. William McNabb begins a 6-part sermon series on the Book of James from the Chapel of Piedmont Community Church.
CHURCH REOPENING UPDATE

The shelter-in-place, social distancing restrictions resulting from COVID-19 have been difficult for us all. Though we have been worshipping exclusively online since March 15, the question as to when the church will reopen and just what that will look like is on everyone’s mind.

Fortunately, we have a Church Staff, Board of Trustees, Personnel Committee and Buildings & Grounds crew that are all working together to create a safe reopening plan that complies with state and county guidelines. 

We will soon make our intentions known through  The Messenger  weekly email, weekly online service videos, website and social media. Stay tuned, and know that the good people you entrust with your spiritual journey are also committed to your personal safety.
SEE WHAT'S NEW!
On Sunday, July 12, from 4 to 5:30 pm, Piedmont Community Church will introduce a new online program called Living Room Conversations. 

At a time of increasing polarization in our society, when so many seem to talk past each other, we invite you to join in a new way of listening, sharing and learning in conversation. Designed by a diverse group of people interested in promoting respectful dialogue, a Living Room Conversation involves a group of about 6 people, meeting together - online, or in person - to discuss an important topic of the day. 

Topics are well-defined and announced in advance, and can include public policy, culture, education, faith, health and more. 

Our topic on July 12 will be “Faith and Politics.” Each conversation is guided by a Piedmont Church “host” trained in facilitating respectful, open conversation. The purpose is not to change minds, but to enable participants to gain an appreciation of the bases for ideas with which they may disagree and draw us together as a community of faith that values deep and thoughtful discourse.

Here is a link to give you a sense of what Living Room Conversations are all about:   https://youtu.be/vTMrOj0uI28

We will be using the Zoom platform for our first Living Room Conversation. 

If you’d like to take part, please sign up here:  https://piedmont.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/23/responses/new

For more information, contact Dr. Don Ashburn at Don@PiedmontChurch.org
WEDNESDAY MORNING
BIBLE STUDY

PLEASE NOTE: NO BIBLE STUDY THIS WEEK. STUDY RESUMES JULY 1

Join Dr. Don Ashburn for a study of the New
Testament Gospel of Mark. We’ll meet weekly online from 10 - 11 am. We’ll be using the Zoom
online platform. 

In the study, we’ll read the text out loud and then discuss its meaning, its original context as well as how it relates to our lives today. 

To participate, you’ll need access to a computer or mobile device with audio and visual capabilities. You can have your own copy of the Bible, or read the text as it’s shared onscreen. There’s no homework, and no expectation that you’ve studied the Bible before. 

Just join us, and invite your friends! Contact Dr. Ashburn at Don@PiedmontChurch.org . The link for joining the Bible Study online is:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82910582013 . It’ll be the same link each week.
REV. KAIL COURTYARD MESSAGE
Almost weekly, Rev. Scott Kail records a brief message for Piedmont's youth and their families. Inspiring, down to earth and inspirational, his videos are highly anticipated. Videos by Michael Barber
HELLO, FRIEND!
The church office is open weekdays from
10 AM to 12 Noon, and Jean Leahy is available
to receive your phone calls in person.

Otherwise, voicemail is available at all times and is checked throughout the day. Call (510) 547-5700
We are happy to provide online gathering opportunities as we remain 'sheltered in place.'

MORNING PRAYER
Dr. Don Ashburn will lead a brief service of prayer at 9 am on
Friday, June 26. There will be scripture readings, a time of meditation and prayer. This meeting is by ZOOM, and is open to anyone. Here’s the link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/91986506151
Meeting ID: 919-8650-6151
Phone: +1-669-900-6833

CHILDREN'S STORY TIME
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 pm we will be gathering via ZOOM to listen to a story and keep in touch with our friends. Here is the link:

Meeting ID: 426 177 425
Password: 312356

Email Leslie@PiedmontChurch.org with questions.

ZOOM KIDZ CLUB
Kidz club is meeting every Friday at 3:30 PST to have fun and fellowship. As a reminder Kidz Club is for all 4th,5th and 6th graders.   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82312085855?pwd=am5RK1BpQVJONGp6S1hQeEpoVlhkZz09

Meeting ID: 823 1208 5855
Password: 208707
Dear Sunday School Families,

I plan to send out lessons each Sunday, and I will send out some supplemental coloring pages/activities during the week. - Leslie Quantz

SERVICE OPPPORTUNITIES
WHAT CAN WE DO?

If you’ve been wondering what can be done about racial injustice, we have an idea.

Centuries of biased social structures have limited opportunities for African Americans and other minorities, and a significant example of this is in education. Children Rising is an organization that strives for equal education for all children. Their one-on-one tutoring programs in our underserved schools are designed to place a caring adult in the life of a vulnerable child.

No prior experience is needed to become a tutor. Children Rising provides training and support. Many members of our church are tutors and, if you’d like to put your good intentions into action, we’d love to have you join us.  

The commitment is small, just two hours a week, but your contribution is tremendous.

We don’t know when we’ll be able to be with the children again, possibly sometime this fall(?), but in the meantime, for questions or more information, contact Linda or Jeff McClain ( lindamcclain@me.com  or  jeff.mcclain@mac.com ).
Shop online to donate much needed supplies including:
Toilet Paper, Shampoo, Bars of Soap, Feminine Products, Razors, Deodorant, Toothpaste & Toothbrushes, Wet Wipes/Baby Wipes, 
Diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6), Hand Sanitizer, Cleaning Supplies, Tents & Tarps
THE LORD'S WORK CONTINUES ONLINE
The church may be closed, but the good work of Piedmont Church continues in a variety of ways:

  • Sunday worship services are posted weekly on our website
  • Church staff now meets online each Tuesday at 11 am
  • Jean Leahy is available to answer your calls weekdays from 10 am - 12 Noon (otherwise, voicemail)
  • Lay leaders continue to meet online and by phone
  • Livewire and Rock meet online
  • Many small groups have arranged for video meetings
  • Sunday school lessons are posted to our website and emails are sent inviting parents to participate with their children
Please consider making an online offering by clicking below, or give while watching Sunday services on our website.
Phone: (510) 547-5700