June 26, 2018

Dear LABC,

As June ends I want to once again thank Sheila Sims. Leilah Clark, Christian Dawkins, Aaron Singh, Pastor Tanner, Brian Byamakuma, Declan Brown and Rick McKillop for being part of our Sacred Conversation sermon series. I believe that when people speak the truth in love the Spirit of God is present. My experience this month certainly strengthens that belief. Thanks also to everyone – the musicians, the ushers, the greeters, the welcomers, the communion servers, the storytellers, the sound technicians and the coffee hour providers – who helped make the June Sundays go by so wonderfully.

In July we will speak frequently of freedom, its challenges, its gifts, its meaning, and its significance. On Sunday, we will consider some of the lessons the era of Reconstruction (1865-1877) has to teach us about freedom. Using Paul’s words to the Galatians “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free” (5:13) as a reference point, we will consider the truth that freedom, while powerful, is also vulnerable. Freedom always needs the support of friends, focus and facts.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we welcome the month of July, gather at the communion table, and commit ourselves to being friends of freedom.

Pastor Jim

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Kay Baxter for Jamie, Stacey and herself
  • Bryan Byamkuma as he awaits word on his application for asylum
  • Marian Ott (health) and family
  • All who are grieving
  • All who are traveling
  • Alice Singh (heath) and family
  • Myrtis Anderson for family and friends in a time of loss
  • Alice Butler for friends Leslie (health) and Betty (grief)
  • Larry Sims for his family
  • Alean Saunders-Coffey for her family
  • Peggy Rogers-Tamayo for her family
  • Ann Fields for her family
  • Mary Karne for her family
  • The Meads family for Arielle and Alfonso
  • Margaret Oldadoja
  • Tess Benin
  • Jesus Portillo for his family
  • Barry Breaux
  • Carol Travis for Rosalyn (health)
  • All who live with depression and anxiety
  • All immigrants, refugees and displaced persons
  • The firefighters and other first responders of California as another fire season begins
  • Dayle and Darlene Scott
  • Ashley Ash
  • Wally Bryen as he preaches at FBC Palo Alto
  • Toni Daniels
  • Our leaders who are preparing for Vacation Bible Camp (we need students) and the Church Retreat
  • The peace of all who call the Lakeshore neighborhood home

A Draft of a Statement I am Writing

The Interfaith Council of Alameda County is deeply committed to the principle of religious liberty for all. Thus, we are disappointed by the June 26th ruling of the Supreme Court upholding the travel restrictions on persons from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. Noting President Trump’s use of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and the fact that six of the eight countries are predominately Muslim, we are concerned that this ruling will embolden anti-Muslim sentiment and place our Muslim neighbors at greater risk of religious persecution and personal attack. Thus, as the Fourth of July approaches, we call on the faith communities of Alameda County to speak out on the importance of religious liberty to the well being of our country and find ways to stand in solidarity with those who are potential victims of bigotry and hate.