We are a multigenerational, social justice-oriented community of joyful, imperfect people who welcome absolutely everybody with hospitality, openness and acceptance.

Congregational Life and Congregational Meetings

Dear Friends,

I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon, and already the work of preparing for Saturday’s talent show and auction is seriously underway. Our family room is festooned with festive lights. Artwork is being displayed. Music is being rehearsed (in fact, on Monday I found myself in possession of a loaner electric guitar so I can sit in with the house band). Food is being prepared. As a congregation we are in high gear. To me, as a pastor, this is a beautiful thing to see: folks coming into the church to work side by side, building community, and doing something that will benefit our church. I am so grateful for all the work so many of you are doing in preparation for this weekend’s big event.

And there is more. Church folk are working together to help get the Youth Group up to Tahoe next month, women of the church are working together to get training in political activism, the choir is forever making wonderful music, the session and its various committees are keeping us focused on the church’s ongoing work. The Beacons are keeping us connected. 

I love watching a church work when it is functioning well. And this church functions well. It is a credit to so many of you who bring good energy to our congregational life.

On Sunday we will have a congregational meeting at which, among other things, we will talk a bit about what will happen with the creek that runs out in front of our sanctuary. As you may know, our bridge is nearing the end of its life. Its undercarriage is rotting and its planks won’t stay screwed down, and so we will need to employ our cooperative efforts and collective imaginations around what to do with the bridge.

The bridge’s structural challenges are not the only issues we must address. We also have to comply with the city of Oakland’s increasingly restrictive rules about building bridges over creeks.

But all this brings some unexpected opportunities with it as well. This gives us the chance to dream of something new for the front of our church. It also is an opportunity to live our values as a green church by removing structures that span the creek. Figuring out what to do with the front of the church won’t necessarily be easy, but with the good grace, good humor, and good efforts of this beautiful community, we can do something amazing.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday at the talent show and auction, and then again on Sunday at Celebration.

God’s Peace,

Ben