Hi Friends and Family,
If you have been keeping up with current events and news Oakland has been in a few of those reports. Addressing the question of safety; Yes, we are safe and well. And we will continue to take all necessary steps to remain safe and well. If anything it is a reminder of how our cities become platforms in times of controversy for opinions to be heard. I recently, heard from a local Oaklanders that in many of these situations its the local residents who get caught in the middle as outsiders come into the city to stir up trouble.
It is also a place for us as a faith community to wrestle with our own convictions while praying for the safety and peace for all here in Oakland. I recently read a statement released by Michael McBride, a pastor, community organizer, and one of our work site partners here in Oakland. He reminded me that the pain caused by the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case is very real and should not be overlooked yet, in a time like this “its not about the verdict but about our collective values.” And how we choose to respond as a faith community should reflect the values of Christ. And maybe our fate is to not be stuck in the middle but to analyze our values and fall on the side of justice and grace.
Tonight, we go to sleep with the sound of sirens but for many in the city, including Honolulu (my city), it is a nightly reality. Tomorrow, may we awake to peace. Thank You!!! for your continued prayers for our safety and also the safety of all here in Oakland.
Jason on behalf of Natalie, Hiram, Shelby, Jackie, Afton, and Philip