August 11, 2015

Dear LABC,

Thanks for your prayers and concern for the Hopkins and Hathaway families. We had a good week moving Karen’s mom (Nedra Hathaway) from Forest Grove, Oregon to our home in Oakland. It was wonderful to be reunited with you in worship on Sunday .The reports from the Church Retreat are, as expected, glowing. Our youth and their leaders are staying on the coast for an extended retreat. I am sure they will have a magnificent time.

This week much attention will be paid to Ferguson, Missouri and the commemoration of the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson one year ago. This as the nation also remembers the beginning  of the Watts Riots in Los Angeles fifty years ago.The Reverend Tripp Hudgins, Director of Admissions at ABSW, said this in his sermon yesterday.

“Students from ABSW and the Pacific School of Religion are in Ferguson now with students from Eden Seminary studying with activists and theologians asking the same question that many in this country are asking, ‘Do black and brown lives matter as much as others?’

They are standing in the streets chanting with the crowds gathered there, ‘Tell me what a family looks like; this is what a family looks like…’

From Baltimore to Berkeley, people are asking the question. Do black lives matter? It has been a year and we cannot seem to find an answer to the question. ‘Of course they do’ some people state. ‘Then why is it so hard for so many to be black or brown in this country?’ is the question that follows.”

Following worship this coming Sunday all are invited to join across the street on Mandana Green for another Stand and Sing for Justice as a symbol of our commitment to seeking answers to these questions.

Our Minister In Residence, Sydney Webster, recently returned from Cuba, will be our preacher this Sunday. Her sermon will be “Be Careful How You Live.” The central text will be Ephesians 5 : 15-20.