Baptism has to do with new birth, new hope, and new belonging. Our font was made by FLC member Mary Gundelach.

Why church?

Or any organized religion?  Maybe it’s not about organization so much as community. The (Greek) New Testament word “ekklesia” gets translated “church” but really ekklesia just means “assembly.”

In this era of social media and polarization, we sometimes know one another only in one or two dimensions.  Life is enriched when we expand our circles and find ways to be present, in every dimension:  with children and Seniors, Californians or Salvadorans, those financially secure and those struggling to get by.

Why assemble?

In brief: to share gratitude and hope and our struggles; to care for one another.  In more detail: eating together, conversing, laughing, telling stories, remembering, listening, praying, singing, agreeing and disagreeing, celebrating, mourning, serving, giving together.

God assembles us, because God loves and delights in us and wants to be with us, and God wants us to be with one another in this love.  God wanted to be physically present with us, in the flesh and blood of God’s Son Jesus, to face our worst threats with us.  God’s Spirit is with us now to give us life.

What do we look for in a church?

With neighbors such as Apple and Stanford, we get used to excellence in everything from smartphones to academics.  In church, we look for excellence, too: in the programs, the music, the preaching, the people.  But what’s also on offer in church is human struggle, limitation, failure – and with these gifts, what Paul calls an even “more excellent way …  Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t arrogant … it doesn’t insist on its own way … it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”  (that’s from 1st Corinthians 13, which we often hear at weddings – but it’s really about church life).

Processional cross from our sister congregation, Rios de Agua Viva in El Salvador, signed on the back.