This Sunday, very much related to this theme of living waters, we renew our baptismal vows and connect deeply with the truth that we are God’s beloved. Related to this theme, I offer you this poem, by Nobel Prize winner for literature, Derek Walcott, entitled “Love after Love”.
May the rains renew your souls this week.
Blessings, Pastor Laurie
Love After Love by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
As a new year begins, we turn inward to reflect about the state of our lives:
- What lessons have we learned in the past year and which new ones now call us forward?
- To whom do we still owe an apology or expression of thanks?
- And with whom must we draw fresh boundaries?
As we pause from our regular rhythms of rush-rush-rush, we open ourselves to new perspectives and possibilities. We give thanks for these moments and for the wisdom they afford us. May they help bring us together in the sacred dynamics of life so that we—as individuals and as members of this community—might reach our full potential.
As we step across this threshold, let this new year be a year of greater awe and gratitude, deeper kindness and acceptance, and more courageous acts of conviction.
For a kinder, more equitable and sustainable world is not only possible, she is on her way. And in the quietness of this sacred community, we can even hear her breathing.
It’s beginning to feel like the season of Christmas is upon us!
This Sat, Dec 16th from 10 – 12 noon, Mini- Workday! we will hold a mini-workday, co-sponsored by the Green team and Spiritual life, to put lights up on the buildings and to hoist the paper cut banner and prepare the communion table, luminary, and candelabras for Christmas. Join us – get some exercise and have some fun!
Next Tuesday, December 19th, we deliver gifts from the church and the preschool to homeless children, as a reminder of the Christ child, born in a stable, the humblest of beginnings. Thank you to so many of you who have purchased a gift for a homeless child. We invite you to join us to deliver these gifts, share a meal, and sing holiday carols.
It’s a wonderful experience for people of all ages, especially children. I welcome you to join me, Santa, Santa’s helper, and many others as we celebrate with these families! Meet at Skyline at 5:30 pm or join us at the Matilda Cleveland clinic on 8314 MacArthur Blvd at 6:30 pm to sing Christmas carols and share some dessert!!
On Wednesday, December 20th 7 – 8 pm, we host a special preschool holiday celebration at Skyline. If you haven’t attended before, it’s heartwarming and inspiring!
And of course, on Sunday, December 24, we will hold two very different services:
May the Spirit of hope, and new life, fill your hearts!
Blessings, Pastor Laurie
This Christmas Eve, come experience the wonder of our candlelight service celebrating the birth of Jesus with carols, anthems, scripture lessons, a Christmas choir performance, children’s choir and instrumental music.
The service will be followed by delicious Christmas treats, hot apple cider, and fellowship.
This is a beautiful way to celebrate the season with your entire family. ALL are welcome!
Sunday, December 24th at 7:00 pm
For more information please contact the office at 510.531.8212
Every year we coordinate with local Oakland shelters through East Oakland Community Project. We ask for a wish list, invite members of the congregation and our preschool parents to select one or more names, purchase their wish, and wrapt it. We deliver them with a great amount of joy, carols, and fun.
This year we’ll be delivering Christmas Gifts to Homeless Shelters on:
Tuesday, December 19 from 6-8 pm
Please join us!
Friends, family and co-workers are welcome to come! Call Nancy Taylor through the church office (email@example.com) for more information.
Join us for Mirtha’s story of her pilgrimage to the Nogales Arizona/Mexico Border as part of School of the Americas Watch Border Encuentro. Mirtha was one of nine women in the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity journey lead by Rev. Deborah Lee, Miriam Noriega and Hilda Cruz.
1. Listen and meet with grassroots and religious partners in Central America to more deeply understand the regional root causes of migration (e.g. economic, drug, military, border and immigration policy).
2. Hear the recommendations and root solutions coming out of Central American partners.
3. Shift the narrative by engaging in advocacy and education in the US and Canada, calling for addressing the root causes of Central American migration and the protection of migrants.
Mirtha: “I feel tremendous gratitude to have experienced so much love and solidarity during our journey, especially at the protest at Eloy Detention Center and our march to the border wall led by U.S. veterans. It was difficult to hear of the inhumane ways immigrants are treated…”
Come and hear more.