Celebrating, Praying and Learning

Celebrating Oscar’s Freedom

Last Friday members of four congregations who have accompanied our friend Oscar on his journey to freedom celebrated the final step of his freedom from ICE’s cruel clutches – the removal of his ankle monitor. Oscar is now free to live in the United States, free to move around without surveillance or humiliation, free to live his life without threat of detention or deportation. It was a joyous day to celebrate after years of struggle against unfair treatment – finally realizing the hope that has sustained both him and us. The celebration was a reminder of the power of community to join together for the work of freedom. Oscar moves forward in his life, knowing that Lakeshore continues to cheer him on and offer support as needed.

This week immigration activists across the country are asking the faith community to offer prayers for Nancy Pelosi to ensure a pathway to citizenship and permanent residency for for 11 million immigrants. The faith community joined with those directly impacted to sing, pray and march to Pelosi’s home in San Francisco to deliver her a rosary imbued with 11 million prayers. These prayers reflect the pleas of the undocumented community as well as our deep hope that Nancy will successfully lead the effort to provide legal status to so many who are essential to our country. Here is an excerpt of my prayer:

Because we need each other we pray – NO EXCLUSIONS

Because we protect each other we pray – FULL INCLUSION

Because we belong to each other we say – WE ARE COMMUNITY

Please join in offering 11 million prayers for our immigrant brothers and sisters, neighbors, friends and family. You can share your prayer on social media with this toolkit.

This Sunday’s worship will feature Lakeshore’s commitment to being a Sanctuary Congregation. We will reflect on the past 4 1/2 years and our journey from Welcoming the Stranger to Loving our (Immigrant) Neighbors to Releasing the Captives. We will be joined by partners in the work Rev. Deborah Lee and Charles Joseph of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and musician Benjamin Mertz. Following worship will be our Laketoberfest Picnic on the church lawn.

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For those who missed October’s Public Witness Forum featureing Rev. Robert Wilkins discuss the essential labor of seafarers who enter Oakland’s ports, you can view the recording here. Rev. Wilkins, a member of Lakeshore, is the new Executive Director of the International Maritime Center and Program Director of the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate.