Oakland church

Deepening our Capacity to Love during Lent

This past week, as the rains began to subside, I was eager to behold the glory of God in nature, to listen to the melody of the flowing streams, to breathe in the fresh clean air, to behold the infinite shades of green in our own backyard (the East Bay regional parks), and yes, to step ankle high into some mud! What appears to be dormant and dead, is in fact, waiting for the right elements in order for new life to take root. And as part of nature, this is true for us individually, and also collectively. I encourage you to take a hike out in the beauty all around us!

Lent begins, and with it, is the season for our own renewal and return to life and to love. I encourage you to walk with us on the journey to life and to love; exploring ever more deeply, as the eloquent Mary Oliver puts it, what is God is calling you to do with your one wild and precious life? I believe above all, God is calling us to love. But love is such an overused, watered down word; when in fact it is as brilliant and as powerful as a supernova. 

In her book, Becoming Wise, Krista Tippet, describes love: 

Love is the superstar virtue of virtues, and the most watered down word in the English language. I love this weather. I love your dress. And what we’ve done with the word, we’ve done with this thing, this possibility, this essential bond, this act. We’ve made it private, contained it in family, when its audacity is in its potential to cross tribal lines. We’ve fetishized it as romance, when its true measure is a quality of sustained, practical care. We’ve lived it as a feeling, when it is a way of being. It is the elemental experience we all desire and seek, most of our days, to give and receive.

Love is a practice, a discipline, a way of being, and throughout Lent, we walk together, to practice, deepening our capacity to love. 

    I will be away the next two weeks, from 3/11- 3/25, visiting family,  but you will be in capable hands. 

Preaching: 

On March 17th, Tom Manley will  be preaching. 

On March 24th, Rev Ruth Sandberg, will  be preaching

Pastoral Care 

 In the event of pastoral emergencies while I am away, please contact Revs Sheryl Johnson or Ruth Sandberg (510-531-8212 to reach either during the week).

In the meantime, various service teams are organizing some opportunities for you to engage in spirituality, community organizing, town hall meetings, and Lenten studies. I encourage you to follow where the Spirit is calling you!

Blessings and peace, Pastor Laurie 

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