Oakland church

Archive for MLK

Skyline Celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In June 1965, the Voting Rights Act languished in the House Rules Committee after passage in the Senate. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this letter to the New York Amsterdam News urging its passage as the first step in ensuring access to the ballot.

King wrote,

“There must be a change. There will be a change.
For to deny a person the right to exercise his political freedom at the polls
is no less a dastardly act as to deny a Christian the right to petition God in prayer.”

This week, we remember the legacy of a prophet in our times. Here are just a few opportunities for remembering him.

Some valuable resources from the UCC honoring Martin Luther King weekend, and schedule follow up discussions (see sections below). Let’s make the most of shelter in place, and immerse ourselves in the prophetic faith of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in these challenging times.

Blessings and love, Pastor Laurie

Radical King & Prophetic Faith

A Virtual Gathering to Reflect on the Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 7- 8 PM PST

Join Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity on January 14, as we reflect on the radical legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Let us go beyond mainstream portrayals of Martin Luther King Jr, and how he continues to influence the work of many movements. Participate in prayer, song, storytelling, and action! Featuring Benjamin Mertz!

Click HERE to Register.

“What Shall We Say to These Things – Crafting a Social Gospel for the 21st Century”

We encourage you to watch this 90 minute recording at your convenience, of an inter-generational conversation, between Ruby Sales: member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960’s, founder of the Spirit House Project, and one of fifty African Americans spotlighted in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, and Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Ferguson Commissioner and activist, co- founder of Campaign Zero, NBC News and MSNBC contributor, and member of President Obama’s 21st Century Task Force, as we discuss the current role of faith and faith leaders in the midst of socio-political crisis. This conversation will be moderated by Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ.

Click HERE to watch

Christianity After Trump

Sunday January 17, 5 – 6pm PST:

Join us for a conversation with Brian McLaren on how white American Christianity has aided and abetted the Trump presidency, and how courageous Christians must chart a new course in its aftermath.

Brian will draw from his new book Faith After Doubt and also from his resources on bias and authoritarianism.

Register Here Today!

Following the discussion6 – 6:30pm, join us for a conversation with Skyline’s Spiritual Life team, for a 30 minute debrief!

Peace, Pastor Laurie

Here’s our Zoom Meeting Link:  https://zoom.us/j/716026467
Meeting ID: 716 026 467
Dial in by phone 1-669-900-9128
Dial in by phone: 1-346-248-7799

MLK Day of Service

Monday, January 187am – 11am PST  Yes, it’s an early morning!!
$35 per person  (4 hours, includes 1/2 hour lunch break).

Join us for a half day teach-in with Chuck Alphin,
certified Kingian Non-violence Trainer
, as we explore:

  • The Myths and Facts of Nonviolence
  • Types and Levels of Conflict
  • Six Principals of Kingian Non-violence
  • Six Applications of Kingian Non-violence

To Join the Webinar from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device
Please click HERE to join

Building Back Hope: A Service of Release & Renewal

Tuesday, January 19, 12:30PM – 1:30PM  PST 

Please join the United Church of Christ and The People’s Inauguration as we curate space for Release & Renewal at the intersection of Pain & Promise.

At the close of Martin Luther King Day Celebrations and on the cusp of the 47th Inauguration, we will worship together bearing witness to this past year and pouring Hope into the future.

What is Hope? Hope is the confident expectation that all God intends will come to pass. Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger; Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church; Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, Director of Faith Formation, UCC will join the Officers and staff as we Build Back Hope, followed with a sermon by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor of Trinity UCC-Chicago. *closed captioning and Spanish translation will be available.

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject
a new dimension of Love into the veins of our civilization.”

~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To join please click HERE

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday – MLK and Housing

We are living in historic times…
 
On Tuesday before dawn, a group of moms were evicted from a vacant house in Oakland, drawing attention to the fact that here in Oakland there are nearly four vacant properties for every homeless person. It’s not so much an issue of scarcity, but of distribution.  It raises many questions: Who are we? Why is this happening? What are we called to do, as a society, and as people of faith? 
 
The questions raised by another great prophet of recent history, Rev Dr Martin Luther King Junior, who, following in the ways of Jesus and of Gandhi,  embraced non violent civil resistance to bring forth greater justice and good news for the poor, who continue to be disproportionally people of color. 
 
I am sharing with you these articles about Kingian Nonviolence conflict reconciliation: “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence and “Statement and Letter from Birmingham Jail“. 
 
Please join us for worship and for a conversation after worship about non violent conflict reconciliation as it relates to our current housing crisis. 
 
I leave you with the prophetic words of Dr King: 
We shall overcome someday, 
The ultimate measure of humankind is not where we stand in moments of comfort and  convenience but where we stand and times of challenge and controversy.
We’ll walk hand in hand… 
We will have to repent in this generation.. not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of silence of the good people. in the end will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.
We are not afraid… 
nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon because it cuts without wounding and ennobles the one who wields it.  Non-violence is a sword that heals.
The truth shall set us free…
unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
We are not alone .. 
the solution to poverty is simply this.. we must abolish it..
We shall all be free… 
on the day before his death he simply said,  I just want to do God’s will.. 
Blessings, Pastor Laurie 
 

MLK Sunday – a Drum Major for Justice

50 yrs ago the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr. preached his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church before his assassination. It is a remarkable sermon. In it, he discusses his own death and how he wanted to be remembered. In addition, he skillfully used the “Drum Major Instinct” theme – “thinking that you are somebody big because you are white” – to offer a deep critique of contemporary culture and an inspired, practical vision for living the Gospel. Specifically, he critiqued the dangerous down-side of the drum major instinct. He addresses white supremacy, racism, economic injustice and war.

Like so many of his sermons, this one has incredible relevance for us today, the year after an election in which various forms of the drum major instinct are on parade all across our nation.  It is also what makes the message King brings home so poignant: the call of the Gospel to be a drum major for justice and peace, a drum major for serving humanity, that we may “make of this old world a new world.”

Join us this Sunday, as we listen to the prophetic voice of Dr King, 50 yrs later.

I share with you an excerpt from his sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church:

… And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. …And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, “Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You’re just as poor as Negroes.” And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.”

Now that’s a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can’t hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)

Delivered February 4, 1968.  listen to the audio.