Oakland church

Archive for Labor Day

Labor Day and Immigrant Rights Day as a Sanctuary Community

When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34

May is here. May 1st marks, for many people of the world, International Workers Day, also known as Labor Day, a time of honoring and advocating for laborers and working class people.  Relatedly, May 6th is Immigrant Rights Day to champion the rights and contributions of immigrants as a vital part of our country, especially here in California and in Oakland.  

Celebrations on May 1 have long had two, seemingly contradictory meanings. On one hand, May Day is known for maypoles, flowers and welcoming the spring. On the other hand, it’s a day of worker solidarity and protest. Though the U.S. observes its official Labor Day in September, many countries will celebrate Labor Day on Wednesday.   I’d like to share with you an article that reflects on the bloody history of this day.
 
Come and learn more about how we can become better friends and advocates as a sanctuary congregation and a justice faith community.  For example, supporting the children of Guatemala and their families through the Nueva Esperanza preschool; advocating for those held in detention centers and for children separated from their parents at the borders; and advocating for living wages, affordable housing, education and healthcare for all people.
 
with love, Pastor Laurie 

Labor Day and Immigrant Rights Day at Skyline

When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34

May is here. May 1st marks, for many people of the world, International Workers Day, also known as Labor Day, a time of honoring and advocating for laborers and working class people.  Relatedly, May 6th is Immigrant Rights Day to champion the rights and contributions of immigrants as a vital part of our country, especially here in California and in Oakland. 

During our 10 am worship service we will hear reflections from Miriam Noriega, a staff member of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

Miriam is a first generation immigrant, and an MDiv student at the Jesuit School of Theology at the GTU. We will also hear from Jenifer, a young adult, who needed to leave Guatemala given the corruption and politics.  She is living in Oakland facing the challenges of living as an undocumented person.

After the service, from 11:30 – 12:30, with Miriam and Jenifer, we will focus on the fuller meaning of being a sanctuary congregation, specifically, the intersection of racism, class-ism, and the importance of interfaith dialogue and empowerment. Our co-chair of justice and witness, Mirtha Ninayahuar,   will share highlights of our sanctuary work as a congregation. 

Come and learn more about how we can become better friends and advocates, as a sanctuary faith community.

 

Labor Day, Poverty and Wealth

a pair of worker's gloves and suggestion of building materials

Photo: © Wendy Kaveney | Dreamstime Stock Photos

On this Labor Sunday, let us remember workers, locally and globally. 

In the U.S. today, it is hard not to notice the impact of poverty and wealth. Inequality is at a record high. The middle class is shrinking. Some 45 million people live in poverty and another 60 million people have incomes below what experts believe to be a minimally adequate level.  (Poverty counts for each state are here).  Food insecurity for seniors is a growing challenge.  In total, about one-third of the population has too little income. Many others worry about their finances.

But although millions struggle, the United States is a very wealthy country. Over the past 40 years as wages for many have fallen or stagnated and inequality has climbed, the economy as a whole has continued to flourish. Resources are plentiful. But when they are not shared with all people, the result is inequality, a condition that prevents us from living lives of wholeness as intended by God.

Here in the US, many of the poor are working but they earn too little to get out of poverty. Among the poor age 18 to 64, just over one-third are not available to work because they are retired, going to school, or disabled. Among the other two-thirds who could work, 74% are either working or looking for work (Economic Policy Institute ).

Let us resolve to do our part to bring forth the economics of the Beloved Community. 

Blessings, Pastor Laurie