September 5, 2013

There is much to look forward to this September. Yes, the A’s are in the running for the title in the American League West, however, as important as the A’s success is to my mental well being, I have several other things in mind.

  1. Homecoming Sunday is September 8. At the luncheon the Daisy Funderburk Award for Excellence in Christian Education will be presented to one of our leaders, scholarships will be presented to some of our outstanding young adults and we will receive a report from our Sanctuary Art Committee. I am hopeful that the committee will be able to announce that it has raised the money necessary to have the “Living Tree” installed in the Sanctuary. In my humble opinion, the sculpture will add beauty to our worship, serve to inspire our ministries and stand as a gift to the generations that come after us.
  2. On September 11 and 12 we will serve as host to a “call-in,” one of the strategies of the Ceasefire Violence Reduction Program that the Oakland Community Organizations strongly support and that the city has recently adopted. At a call-in leaders from the community present young citizens deemed possible perpetrators of violent acts with opportunities (education, jobs, community service) to choose a different path. The invitation comes with the assurance that there will be support for them as they make changes and legal consequences if they do not. If you would like to learn more about Ceasefire go to www.piconetwork.org and touch the Lifelines to Healing icon. Please pray for the success of the call-in as well as the peace of our city.
  3. On Saturday morning, September 14, LeDayne McLeese Polaski, Program Director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, will be in town and would like for all interested members of LABC to join her for Coffee in the Family Room at 9:00. We are a Partner Congregation of the BPFNA, the peace making efforts of the Fellowship have global significance and LeDayne is an engaging and insightful leader so I hope we will have a good turnout for this conversation.
  4. On Saturday, September 28, LABC Reads (aka the Lakeshore Reading Group) will gather in the Library at 9:00 to begin its 13th year of exploring the world through books. The bibliography of this gathering is most impressive. It includes, history, theology, fiction, science, political commentary and biography and autobiography. Included in the schedule for the year ahead are: “In the Garden of Beasts: Love Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” by Erik Larson on September 28, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens on December 28, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander on February 22 and “On God’s Side: What Religion and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good” by Jim Wallis on May 31. LABC Reads is important expression of our commitment to thinking, learning and conversing, each essential components of the ongoing work of Christian Formation.

Again, I look forward.

Peace,

Jim H.