Oakland church

Tragedy, Tears, Hope, Love

hands_picDear Beloved Community,

Last Saturday morning we awoke to the horrible news..

I know that many of us are still reeling from the unimaginable tragedy in Oakland at the ominously named Ghost Ship warehouse. 

On Wednesday night, Dec 7th, at 7 pm we gather for an interfaith candlelight Taize music and prayer vigil. We will take a few moments and connect with one another, because our connection is precious and life is so fragile.  

Our hearts are broken.. Once again we gather for a vigil,  but this time the deaths and destruction were brought about by fire, fire caused by negligence and human greed. Each senseless death, every act of negligence and human greed, seeks to diminish us, to drive us to despair, to divide us into an “us and them.” But this death, this destruction, this violence does not have the last word.

Love has the last word. Love wins. Every time.

This particular tragedy hits close to home. This place was a sanctuary for artists, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community, a sanctuary for the rising numbers of people who cannot afford housing here in the Bay Area. This Oakland warehouse tragedy opens a deep wound.

And yet, through the tears, I have hope.

There is hope. You are part of that hope. 

We must never give up the struggle to make this world a better place. Always believe that you can make a difference. Always seek to widen your circle of love and empathy. Always seek the good in people and call yourself to your highest good.

We stand on the shoulders of people who have given their lives for equality and justice in safe affordable housing & commercial structures, and systems that value the lives of all people, over the opportunity to make a profit, while endangering the lives of others. We do not have the luxury to be complacent. This Oakland fire brings into sharp relief the fundamental need for change in our nation at every level. The political rhetoric bouncing off the sound waves is just that-rhetoric. Find the good. Seek the right. Remember that every life is precious.

And tonight and in the days to come, remember that there are millions of people who share your hopes, your dreams, and your resolve. As progressive Christians, the radical teachings of Jesus propel us forward, forging a path that will lead to more love, more equality, more justice, more grace, and more peace.

Never let that go.

Peace, peace, and more peace,

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

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