I have three updates for you this month.
1. On June 6th I sent a photo of Sydney and me in the orange Ceasefire stoles made by Wally Bryen that we wore in worship on June 5th to the Ceasefire leaders in Oakland. This following email is representative of the response:
Hello Pastor Hopkins:
This is beautiful!
It will interest you to know that currently Oakland is experiencing a 47% decrease in homicides. Sadly, the support of the community sometimes wains when they hear about major decreases in the violence. Possibly they think it’s “under control” and no longer an issue. This is, of course, far from the truth. While reducing the violence is an incredibly complex and difficult task, maintaining a downward trend is equally complex and difficult. Thank you for partnering in this important work, for always keeping Ceasefire close, and for continually coming up with ways to keep the goals of Ceasefire in the hearts and minds of our communities.
Barbara De Salvo
Ceasefire Oakland Strategy
Oakland Police Department
Visit Our Website: Ceasefire Oakland
Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to the work of Ceasefire.
2. If the above email reflects good news, the news from Mary Alice that she is ready to retire as our Church Administrator is the opposite. For twenty-three years she has brought great wisdom, integrity and skill to our community and she will, of course, be greatly missed. An official date for her retirement has not been set but rumor has it that her husband, Abe, would like her to join him in retirement as soon as possible. Thus, the search for a Church Business Manager has begun. Here is the job announcement. Please share it widely.
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, a great congregation and a great place to work, is in need of a Church Business Manager. Major responsibilities of this full-time, fully benefited position are: Facilities Management, Human Resources Management, Church Office Management and Financial Oversight. Contact Pastor Jim Hopkins at email@example.com or 510.893.2484.
3. I look forward to seeing you in worship in July. On the Sunday nearest the 4th of July, July 3rd this year, I like to have a Religious Liberty theme to my sermon. This year I will begin a three-part sermon series based on the John’s description of Jesus in Revelation 1:5 as “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” I will note that long before the signators of the Declaration of Independence freely pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to their cause, Jesus the faithful witness (or martyr), freely pledged his life to the cause of bringing God and humanity together.