Midweek Message

Update, October 21, 2021

Jim Hopkins

October 19, 2021

30th Anniversary Of The Oakland Hills Fire


Today is the 30th Anniversary of the Oakland Hills Fire. Many of us remember vividly the fear, confusion and destruction of that terrible day. Thirty years later, we are also well aware of the courage, caring and community that helped put out the flames, comfort the traumatized and galvanize the commitment to build back better.

Tonight I will be at a 30th Anniversary Commemoration of the fire organized by the Grizzly Peak neighborhood to offer this prayer.

God of our Courage and Community, Source of Healing and Hope.

You are the God of All People, the God of Many Names.

Our first response this evening of commemoration is that of gratitude. We are grateful for the fire fighters and police officers, the paramedics, the neighbors – all the first responders who responded to the crisis that hot, windy October day thirty years ago. We are grateful for the state and city leaders, the planners and organizers that helped ensure that though the loss was large, it was not larger still. We are grateful for the life of Oakland Fire Captain James Riley who truly gave his life so others could live.

Our second response is awe, awe at the magnitude of the loss the magnitude of the grief, the magnitude of the confusion, the magnitude of the fear that it could happen again. Continue to lead us through the valley of these ominous shadows.

Our third response is hope. Hope inspired by the memory, and the continuing example, of communities coming together to plan for disasters, to find ways to avert them, to find healing in the presence of old friends, memories of great courage and visions of a better day.

We confess that in our past there are scars and burns. We celebrate that there is also evidence of healing, that there is healing taking place even now. May that healing continue as hear again the names of those neighbors and friends who perished in the fire.


Love abides,

Pastor Jim

Today on LABC Zoom – Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study (10:30 a.m.), LABC Budget Committee (7:30 p.m.)