News at First
SEPTEMBER 2008
www.FirstOakland.org
CHAOS THEORY & THE BODY OF CHRIST
"We might define true community as that place where the person (or people)
you least want to live with always lives."
- Parker Palmer, A Place Called Community
- Receive -
NEWS at FIRST
Join Our Mailing List
SUNDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE
September 7th
FAMILY FEUD
Pastor Lynice Pinkard
Matthew 18:15-20

September 14th
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
Pastor Lynice Pinkard
Matthew 18: 21-35

September 21
LOVE'S LABOR
Nichola Torbett
Matthew 20:1-16

September 28th
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE
Pastor Lynice Pinkard
Matthew 21: 23-32
WORKSHOP:
Home Ownership & Healing Oakland Neighborhoods

From Pastor Lynice &

Nichola Torbett


For some time now, we have been concocting a long-term vision for facilitating the movement out into our city of the Spirit of life that is being catalyzed here at First Congo.

As the first step in that process, we've formed a partnership with Red Oak Realty and Operation Hope to address the foreclosure crisis that is threatening our most at-risk neighborhoods. In the process, those of us who thought we would never be able to buy a home in Oakland can be supported in doing so.

IMAGINE
  • owning your own home and cultivating intentional community in the neighborhood
  • putting your gifts at the service of your neighbors and receiving their gifts
  • participating in urban sanctuaries where people can build relationships; learn anything from liberation theology to holistic self-care to leadership skills; and be rejuvenated for their work in the world
  • building capacity for the life of God in your community...
- Download this entire article
EVENTS
PRISON MINISTRY OR PRISON ABOLITION

  • Do you believe that humans don't belong in cages?
  • Are you concerned that the U.S. incarcerates almost 2.5 million people, more than any other country in the world?
  • Do you want to find out who profits from the mass incarceration of people of color, queer and trans people, low income and immigrant communities?
  • Do you want to redirect the $7.7 billion dollars currently designated for prison expansion In California toward schools, hospitals and community resources?
Critical Resistance is hosting CR10, a national movement conference and strategy session to be held in Oakland, CA, September 26-28, 2008. We hope to bring together people from all over the country and world - former prisoners and family members, political organizers, policymakers, journalists, attorneys, and others - to assess the state of the movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) during the last 10 years and where we must head next. CR10's goals are to: assess the movement against the PIC over the past 10 years (what have we won? what have we lost? why?); to engage the movement in a practical discussion about PIC abolition; and to think collectively about where we need to head during the next 10 years and beyond.

First Congregational Church of Oakland has been invited to co-host an Interfaith Breakfast at CR10 entitled "Prison Ministry or Prison Abolition?: An Interfaith Conversation on the Prison-Industrial Complex". The goals of the Interfaith Breakfast are to create a network of progressive, anti-prison, spiritual and religious leaders and to generate an action plan for faith-based PIC abolition work in the coming years. The Breakfast will take place on Saturday September 27 and will include speakers and conversation from a range of faith backgrounds, including our own Senior Pastor Lynice Pinkard.

If you are interested in helping with planning this event, please contact Julia Sudbury at jsudbury@mills.edu. We particularly need volunteers to cater the breakfast.

Do you believe that humans don't belong in cages?
Are you concerned that the U.S. incarcerates almost 2.5 million people, more than any other country in the world?
Do you want to find out who profits from the mass incarceration of people of color, queer and trans people, low income and immigrant communities?
Do you want to redirect the $7.7 billion dollars currently designated for prison expansion In California toward schools, hospitals and community resources?
Critical Resistance is hosting CR10, a national movement conference and strategy session to be held in Oakland, CA, September 26-28, 2008. We hope to bring together people from all over the country and world - former prisoners and family members, political organizers, policymakers, journalists, attorneys, and others - to assess the state of the movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) during the last 10 years and where we must head next. CR10's goals are to: assess the movement against the PIC over the past 10 years (what have we won? what have we lost? why?); to engage the movement in a practical discussion about PIC abolition; and to think collectively about where we need to head during the next 10 years and beyond.

First Congregational Church of Oakland has been invited to co-host an Interfaith Breakfast at CR10 entitled "Prison Ministry or Prison Abolition?: An Interfaith Conversation on the Prison-Industrial Complex". The goals of the Interfaith Breakfast are to create a network of progressive, anti-prison, spiritual and religious leaders and to generate an action plan for faith-based PIC abolition work in the coming years. The Breakfast will take place on Saturday September 27 and will include speakers and conversation from a range of faith backgrounds, including our own Senior Pastor Lynice Pinkard.

If you are interested in helping with planning this event, please contact Julia Sudbury at jsudbury@mills.edu. We particularly need volunteers to cater the breakfast.
CALENDAR
 
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Sunday Service Schedule
Calendar
Chaos Theory & the Body of Christ
Upcoming Events
CHAOS THEORY &
THE BODY OF CHRIST


By Pastor Lynice Pinkard

At the "fireside chat" on Sunday and in dozens of recent conversations, our collective longing to become an alternative community serving the common good has been palpable. What does this really look like?

Corinthians tells us that "We are one body, with many members, all fueled and powered by the Spirit of Christ", and the possibilities of using our infinite variety of gifts to serve God's kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit are endless-those of us who are feet can walk, those who are mouths can talk-powerful! Paul was trying to persuade the people in Corinth that wholeness was a matter of many different parts all being themselves and doing their jobs. In other words, unity and diversity are not contradictory terms. They are two words for one paradoxical reality, namely that our survival depends not on our sameness but on our infinite variety.  So far, this is good news for an intentionally multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-faith-perspective church like ours. And yet in practice it doesn't seem so simple. In fact, it seems a lot like chaos...

- Click here to download entire article!
*TO THE VOTING
MEMBERS & FRIENDS
OF FIRST CONGO!
9/5/2008
This is a reminder to attend the September 14 congregational meeting whose ultimate outcome is for voting members to vote whether to call Pastor Lynice Pinkard as the church's Senior Pastor.  

Our bylaws require having at least 30% of the voting membership present.  We hope to exceed that requirement substantially. Please come! 

Our bylaws also require that actions of the church such as calling a Senior Pastor are taken by voting members present at duly-noticed congregational meeting.  Our denomination advises that voting be done by confidential ballot in the case of calling a Pastor.

For those reasons you must be present at the meeting to cast your ballot. We deeply regret that this means voting members who cannot attend the September 14 meeting will not be able to vote.

Please come!  All of us want to know that the decision made on September 14 represents the will of a substantial portion of the congregation's membership.

The meeting is on September 14,
in the sanctuary, 1:15-3:30.  


With thanks and blessings,

Pat Bruce-Lerrigo                                                     
Moderator


OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS
FIRST CONGO HOSTING
COVENANT OF CONGREGATIONS
Founding event for Genesis

First Congregational Church of Oakland is proud to host the Covenant of Congregations founding event for Genesis on Sunday, October 26, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.   Genesis is a regional, faith-based movement for justice and the environment.  Please save the date and begin inviting friends, family and colleagues.  Feel free to print the attached flyer and share it.  (It copies well in black & white).  

Leading up to the meeting, which will fill our sanctuary, Genesis is sponsoring a series of issues dialogues in congregations around the East Bay. These issue dialogues are focused on our values, how our values are reflected in public policies and how public policies influence the health and vitality of our communities.  Experts on each of the themes will inform and engage us in identifying real responses.  Please join us at one or all of our dialogues.

BEYOND ROSA PARKS: Transportation Equity Today
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008           7-9 PM
St. John's Episcopal Church, 1707 Gouldin Road, Oakland
Mr. Richard Marcantonio, Public Advocates, San Francisco

HEALTHY CHILDREN: Preventing violence by getting to its roots
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008           7-9 PM
Mira Vista United Church of Christ, 780 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito
Mr. Charles Morimoto, Dept. of Public Health, San Francisco
(Mr. Morimoto is Pastor Lynice's former boss when she developed programs for families of victims of violence for San Franccisco County.)

- CONVENIENT & FREE -

A vision for a bus system for youth, seniors & the disabled.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2008                  7-9 PM
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 322 St. James Drive, Piedmont
Ms. Summer Brenner, Youth Transportation Coalition

BUILDING AN ISSUES CAMPAIGN
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2008         7-9 PM
Twin Towers United Methodist Church, 1411 Oak St., Alameda
Gamaliel Foundation

REHEARSAL FOR 10/26 PUBLIC MEETING
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008      7-9 PM
Location:  FCCO

The other focus for the Genesis campaign is "You've Got the Power" : Get Out the Vote and Ballot Measure Education.  IS YOUR VOTERS' REGISTRATION UP-TO-DATE?  Have you moved, changed your name or party affiliation since the last election?  We will have voter registration forms at church this month to make it easy for you.  Anyone interested in having an FCCO contingent at Whole Foods to register voters please contact  Victor Lewis at victorlewis@aim.com or (510) 204-9567.  If you have questions or want to join the FCCO team working on this project, please contact Marcia Lovelace at marcialovelace@yahoo.com or (510) 465-7192.

- Download this event announcement
Stir Fry Seminars presents
Walking Each Other Home



HEALING BROKEN HEARTS WORKSHOP
  • Are you currently going through a separation or divorce?
  • Are you recently separated or divorced?
  • Would you like to connect with others experiencing the
  • same thing?
This 12-week workshop will help you with the emotional and spiritual aspects of divorce and separation. Based on Dr. Bruce Fisher's highly regarded healing model, "Rebuilding After Divorce" (www.rebuilding.org) this workshop will take you through a proven process for putting one's life back together. Built on more than two decades of research and practice, the Rebuilding model has made the
divorce/separation process less traumatic for thousands of people...



- Download the official event flyer
ANNOUNCEMENTS
HOW TO SUBMIT ARTICLES TO NEWS at FIRST

Do you have something important to include in an upcoming issue of NEWS at FIRST?  Great! Submit all items to Kai by email, kai@firstoakland.com, if electronic; or hardcopy items can be left in Kai's inbox located in the main office during working hours.  All materials to be included in NEWS at FIRST publications, must be submitted by noon on the 25th of the month prior to desired publication.  Along with your materials, please include contact information.
 
Main Office Hours
Tue-Fri, 11-5pm

Pastoral Care Hours
Wed, 3-7pm
Thu, 3:30-7:30pm

Please contact Kai at (510) 444-8511 x10, or by email, kai@firstoakland.org, to
schedule all pastoral care appointments, or to arrange a meeting with Pastor Lynice Pinkard.


KAI LAVATAI
Administrative Assistant
(510) 444-8511 x10
Tue-Fri, 11-5pm

DEBORAH J. HAMOURIS
Booking Coordinator
(510) 444-8511 x18
Tue, 1-6pm

Wed, 1-6pm
Thu, 12-5pm

KIRSTEN SWENSON
Church Administrator
(510) 444-8511 x19
Tue-Fri, 11-5pm

MISSION STATEMENT

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of OAKLAND gives glory to God by reaching out to people of all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, ages, abilities and sexual orientations,  to welcome them into the beloved community, where together we discover our gifts; develop authentic relationships with God and each other; join in passionate, creative, Spirit-led worship; grow in faith, understanding, power, love and service; and  respond to the word of life we encounter in Jesus Christ, by becoming part of what Spirit is doing to create justice and peace, to heal the earth, and to restore kinship with all creation.