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If There Was Ever a Time to Conspire Together in Love, it is NOW

Lighting, Fires, blackouts, a heat wave, a pandemic, economic recession, and the poorest people of color are suffering.

We are living in apocalyptic times . Early Sunday morning, lightning bolts lit up the Bay area sky.  Within days, fast moving fires ignited across Northern California. We wake up each day: check the news, check our cell phones for area alerts about everything from air quality, PG&E rolling blackout alerts, & Covid updates, and then reach out to our loved ones, as the raging fires double in size. We wonder, what’s ahead this fall?

All this in the midst of a global pandemic and an economic recession that has resulted in 170,000 deaths in the US, unemployment rate at 10% and another enormous transfer of wealth to billionaires.

I am worried about us, especially those most vulnerable. Where is our hope? Could it be in the very midst of this apocalypse? The word itself, Apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις, apokálypsis) is a Greek word meaning “revelation“, “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling”.

In fact, we are in the midst of apocalypse. It is a time of great unveiling, things not previously known are being revealed, if we have the eyes to not only see it, to hear it, to be transformed by it, and to take action, together,  to participate in our collective salvation. Who will save us? If there were ever a time for a great spiritual migration, it is NOW. If there was ever a time to participate, to conspire together, in love, it is NOW.

Who would have ever imagined that the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, born right here in Oakland during the civil rights movement, would give her acceptance speech as the first woman of color on a major party ticket?  She urged us to perceive the times and to take collective action together for justice for all people. Former President Barack Obama issued a grim warning about the durability of American democracy, and our role in participating in democracy as informed, engaged, voters.

A short time remains before the US elections on November 3.  While churches can take no partisan stands, we can pray and work for a just common life as a natural extension of our faith.

Resources to assist with this are available at Our Faith Our Votehttps://www.ucc.org/ourfaithourvote)

 Thank you my friends, for our leadership and migration together. 

                                         Love, Pastor Laurie

This Sunday:  

I am so pleased to have as our guest preacher this Sunday, our very own Teresa Jenkins!.

After the service, we continue on our journey, continuing our book discussion of Brian McLaren’s the Great Spiritual Migration, facilitated by Tom Manley! (please review the article below for details)

 

Courage to Face the Diablo Winds of the World

As a child, I loved October as the fall foliage in New England transformed from tender green to fiery crimson and gold.

But seasons change and so do we.

Two years ago, on Oct 24th, my father died, letting go, like a leaf, falling gently to the earth.  In his memory, I had planned to attend a retreat, starting the evening of Oct 24th, in Geyserville.  That very same morning, Oct 24th, a PG&E transformer ignited a fire, during the deadliest of the Diablo winds. The epicenter, of all places, was in Geyserville. Had it been a day later, we would have been among the evacuees. The child within me asks, “was Dad watching over me?”

This time we were spared, while others were not. The Kincade fire is only 5% contained at the time of this writing, while others have started… and the Diablo winds continue, with more to come.

  • Evacuees… 180,000 people and rising,
  • Power outages for millions,
  • California is in a state of emergency.

It feels as if we are living in a war zone.  We try to carry on… as best we can… yet we are living with a sense of foreboding… because the Diablo winds will get worse. They say  this is becoming the new normal for us.

We are glued to the news… or trying to limit our intake of it.. worried that the fires may ignite here, haunted by memories of ever closer encounters with fires… 

I find myself haunted by the recurring dream that our beautiful Skyline church has burned down…that we are standing at the foundation in prayer, grateful for our lives,  looking out over a charred East Bay Regional Parks,  sharing photographs of this once beautiful place, filled with so many happy memories, where so many couples have come to get married and preschool children once played, and people once worshipped. Haunted by the reality that our beautiful sanctuary looks out at Mt Diablo.. We must face it… the Diablos..

God of life, we come again to this terrifying season of fires..
We pray for those who have lost their homes and businesses,
We pray for the people evacuated and those who shelter them,
We pray for those whose power has been cut off,
For those in nursing homes, and children with school cancelled, and life disrupted.
We pray for the firefighters.
We pray for ourselves,
to have the courage to face the diablos of the world,
the forces behind the winds of war, violence and destruction.
Give us the courage to do our part.
Inspire us, with the breath of life, to transform these diablos
into the winds of healing and peace.
Inspire us to transform this world into a place
where all people are safe from harm,
now and forever
       amen.