November 7, 2017

Dear LABC,

The murderous rampage at the First Baptist Church of Sunderland Springs, Texas is cause for both mourning and concern. We mourn the lives lost and pain of the grieving. We mourn the fact that there seems to be no political will in our country to admit that we are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence and deal with it honestly and earnestly, to deal with it as we would with any other public health crisis. The only answer that seems to be acceptable in the Halls of Congress is “let’s just make sure that everyone is carrying a gun.” A savage answer at best. There is cause for concern for we cannot assume that LABC is invulnerable to such a tragic, violent occurrence.

The LABC Department of Stewardship and the Church Council will need, in consultation with our insurance company, to review the LABC Security and Safety Plan. We need to continue to practice radical hospitality while at the same time keeping an eye on things that don’t seem right or seem out of place. We need to be ready to call 911 quickly in the face of a perceived emergency.

Thoughts and prayers are good and needed things. They are meant to be signs of a life-giving connection, of compassion-filled commitment to well-being of the other. Unfortunately, to say “The grieving are in our thoughts and prayers” has become a platitude, a pious way of saying no action will be taken. This saddens and angers me. I want to be able to say “you are in my thoughts and prayers” and have it mean something. We always need to find ways to put our faith into action. This is particularly true in the face of the current epidemic of gun violence that has visited so many of the families, so many of the communities, of our nation. As a congregation let us commit ourselves to keeping the grieving of the world in our thoughts and prayers and to finding ways to give form, substance, muscle and motion to our thoughts and prayers. We have a congregational meeting after church on Sunday, perhaps we can devote some time to talking about being both a safe and hospitable congregation.

Jim H.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • All who are grieving
  • All trying to rebuild after fire, hurricane, earthquake and flood
  • Tess Benin (Alameda Hospital)
  • Edwina Hunter (Eden Hospital)
  • Joel Reyes
  • Peggy Rogers-Tamayo
  • Whitley Joachim
  • Edie Parrott (Bancroft Convalescent Hospital)
  • Leslyn Henry and Anthony Marshall for Christopher Rodriguez and his mom, Jennifer
  • Ruben Artery as he mourns the death of his dog, Boo
  • Thanksgiving for the ministry of City Team Oakland and all who work to end homelessness, hunger and addiction
  • Gail Carter for the health of friends Diane and Janet
  • Gloria and Phil Meads for Jeffery and Elizabeth
  • Larry Hutchings for Dennis and family
  • Mary Karne for Maryla
  • Zondra Martin for Marty
  • Kay Baxter for Stacey and Jamie
  • Wisdom for all our elected leaders
  • Thanksgiving that Katrina Lau was with us in worship
  • Jesus Portillo for Max and his mom
  • Larry Sims on the death of a dear friend
  • The SF Kachin Baptist Church as they mourn the death of one of their members
  • Crena Alexander for her dad recuperating from kidney transplant surgery
  • LaRhonda Alexander for her family
  • Cecil White for his brother, Kenneth, who is hospitalized
  • Pat Hughes for all who are looking for work
  • LCC teachers Teresita Arciaga and Joni Nomura (health concerns)
  • Jerry Wolf as he mourns the death of his friend, Rich
  • All who are incarcerated, including the 400,000 in ICE detention centers
  • All who are working for a world without walls

Invitations

  1. The Interfaith Council of Alameda County meets this Thursday, November 9th in the Visitor Center at the LDS Temple at the top of Lincoln Avenue. Mayor Libby Schaaf will be with us to discuss Oakland’s response to the unhoused, 12-2 p.m.
  2. Forever Young gathers for lunch this Saturday, November 11th at 12:30. Dr. Aaron Hopkins (Physical Therapist) will talk about staying healthy and strong, advice usually reserved for his father. RSVP with George Lee or Alodia Corpuz.

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