August 25, 2022
Many thanks to the congregation for providing me with a six-week study leave. I spent a month in Mexico exploring the sights, practicing my Spanish, and connecting with various Baptist organizations, immigration rights advocates, indigenous rights defenders, and environmental leaders. I learned much, even as I enjoyed some down time, sightseeing, self-care, and connecting with family. I even had the privilege of preaching and sharing about our work on immigrant justice in two indigenous churches in Chiapas. I look forward to sharing stories, photos, and insights from my trip at September’s Public Witness Forum on September 11.
Many thanks to those who offered prayers and financial support for my Ride for Palestine in support of Palestinian children in Gaza, the West Bank and Palestinian refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Carol Glann and I represented Team Lakeshore and raised $1100 for the children.
September brings more travel in my work of Public Witness. I’ve been invited to Philadelphia September 17 for a national ecumenical strategy session to develop a campaign for congregations to commit to become Apartheid Free Churches. I will represent the Alliance of Baptists in these discussions and bring home an invitation for Lakeshore to further our support the Palestinian struggle against apartheid. In addition, I will represent Lakeshore at Space for Grace, a gathering of the American Baptist Home Mission Society held in Kansas City September 20-24. This gathering will highlight the grace-filled ways the liberative Spirit of God is at work in our country. I fondly remember the last Space for Grace gathering I attended with Jesus Portillo to share about Aspire and Achieve, our ministry at Oakland Tech to help close the achievement gap. Rev. Paul Keener was with us as well.
Many thanks to all who have continued the work of public witness in my absence. Lakeshore’s public witness remains a powerful way we live our faith in our community. I look forward to returning to my work as Pastor of Public Witness in September.