January 3, 2017

Dear LABC,

Greetings as the new year begins. At the annual Service of the Crosses at St. Columba’s Church, a service in memory of those who have died by homicide in Oakland and a service of commitment to work to end the killing, Rabbi David Cooper and I led this prayer. For me it expresses well the values and commitments of our congregation.

We pray for those who have been killed in our city this year.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray for the loved ones left behind.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that the families in their grief be held and supported by our whole community.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray for all victims of violence everywhere in the world this year.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that violence cease.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that the causes of violence cease.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray for the end of hatred, greed, disempowerment and deprivation.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that Oakland be a city of peace.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that our Ceasefire efforts succeed ever better and better.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that Oakland be a city where all our young people can find good recreation and fulfilling lives.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that Oakland be a city of full employment, a city of good schools, a city of health care for everyone.

Merciful One, hear our prayers

We pray that we not only pray with our lips but with our actions.

Merciful One, hear our prayers.

We pray that when we return here next year that there are no crosses for us to remove.

Merciful One, hear our prayers. Amen.

Also in our prayers as the new year begins are those who are mourning the death of Max Vines, Carol Travis as she cares for her brother in Dallas, Katrina Lau, Daphne Chin (daughter of Tuck and Jayne), Joan Thatcher, Dennis Tanner, Melanie Baggao as she works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Carol Leichter’s friends Linda and Howard and her great-nephew Tiago, LeAnn Flescher as she recuperates from surgery, all our homebound members and our Long Range Planning Committee as it begins the final phase of its work.

We will observe Epiphany Sunday on January 8. The day will begin with the Leadership Breakfast at 8:30. Our still in formation Earth Justice Task Force will lead the Forum and it would be a great help if you could stay afterward and help take the Christmas decorations down.

In Hope,

Jim H.

Announcements

January is Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering month at LABC. Thank you for your gifts of gratitude to those who have served faithfully as part of the American Baptist family.