February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day.  May your day and week be spent in the company of those you love.

Here is the third and final paragraph of Howard Thurman’s “O God, I Need Thee” prayer.

I need Thy sense of the future. Teach me to know that life is ever on the side of the future.  Keep alive in me the forward look, the high hope, the onward surge. Let me not br frozen either by the past or the present. Grant me, O patient Father, Thy sense of the future without which all life would sicken and die. Amen.

Our pulpit guest this Sunday will be a great friend of Lakeshore, The Reverend Dr. Paul A. Martin, President and Professor of Pastoral Theology at American Baptist Seminary of the West. The title of his sermon is “Passing the Torch.” His text is Deuteronomy 4: 9-14 in which Moses describes again the process at Horeb by which the people were convened to see the fiery signs of God’s presence among them and to hear the covenant and its obligations summarized in the ten commandments inscribed on the two stone tablets. This story reminds us that we are a people that like to have things written down so we can remember them, discuss them, interpret them, and share them.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Thanksgiving with Shirley Jones on her return home
  • Kay Baxter for Jamie and Stacey living in Virginia
  • Many offer prayers of thanksgiving for the life of Whitney Houston and prayers of solace for her family
  • Ann Fields for Tamera, Leslie, Bryan and Scott
  • Jessie Guiton for Caleb, Leola and Harvell
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Jon
  • Maresa Farina for her family in the face of important decisions
  • All who mourn
  • The people of Syria
  • That all people will receive the health care they need
  • David Phillips as he recuperates from surgery
  • All our students and teachers
  • Steve and Carol Leichter
  • Norman Allen and all the residents of the streets of Oakland
  • Thanksgiving that Sandra Dunn was with us in worship
  • Annelle Clute on the tenth anniversary of Arden’s death
  • Al Johnson and Roy Browner as they search for a new home
  • Lloyd Scott as he continues his studies
  • Marc and Helen Harrison for Marc’s dad and Mike Casey
  • Marie Johnson for Cecilia
  • Joan Patten for Peter and Clio
  • Jim Jeffery

Commentary

Yesterday afternoon Oakland Community Organizations held a press conference to launch our “All Children, All Schools, Our Decisions” campaign.  Research and experience shows that school, be they public or private, do best when the important decisions of staffing, budget, curriculum and schedule are made by the school community (administration, teachers, parents, students, supporters) itself. Thus, we are calling on the Oakland Unified School District to develop and implement policies and procedures that will insure that each school community has the ability to exercise these four essential autonomies.  There is no lack of voices in the community calling for better schools for our children. OCO sees “All Children, All Schools, Our Decisions” as a specific set of policies that will  move us forward,  in significant and lasting ways, toward the goal of quality public education for all.