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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

301: Lots to do: Grab Your Calendars: Let's Celebrate the Diversity of Offerings we Have in 2021

Day 301: We've got films, podcasts, ZOOM Calls and More!

Grab Your Calendars: Let's Celebrate the Diversity of Offerings we Have in 2021

ANNOUNCEMENT from Dan Vrooman

Reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail"

Dear Friends,

After the January 6th white supremacist coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, now is an especially important time to dig deeper roots in nonviolence, renew our commitment to positive social change and commit ourselves to doing what we can. It's providential that long ago I planned a Zoom workshop to mark Dr. King's birthday by reflecting on his great 1963 "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" this January 16th. I invite you now to sign up and register, and/or to send this announcement far and wide to friends and co-workers who might be interested.

Together, we will walk through Dr. King's historic letter and reflect on what his key themes mean for us today in this critical, historical moment. I invite you to read the letter ahead of time, and to think of what concrete steps you can take in the difficult months ahead to heed his advice, help end racism and violence, war and injustice, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction, and become the "nonviolent gadflies" he calls us to be. The goal is to become more nonviolent, more just, more loving, more inclusive, and more welcoming, true anti-racist compassionate Gospel people. We can do this!

This online Zoom session,

"The More Excellent Way of Love and Nonviolent Protest" will start at

11 A.M. PST on January 16th

Cost $25 per person; scholarships available. You will receive a Zoom link for the event once you register online and a recording of the Zoom program will be sent to you after the event in case you want to watch it again. The links for the Zoom program and the recording will come to you from Ruth Ann Angus, Administrator through the email:

To register for this and other programs visit

Thank you so very much and blessing of peace!

Fr. John

ANNOUNCEMENT From Jacqueline Hayes:

This is the info on St. Columba Church in Oakland.

St. Columba’s parish helps maintain and enrich the heritage of Oakland's African-American community.


Good article on St. Columba’s Church

America Magazine

Black Catholics bear witness to a gentrified Oakland

There are good U-Tube videos about St. Columba's


Jan 14 | 7-8 Pacific Time:

Spiritual Activist in Residence Program

Join us in celebrating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's radical legacy, and his influence on interfaith organizing.

Event will take place on Zoom.

Once registered, you will receive a Zoom link the week of the event.

Register Here!

This event is a fundraiser to launch our new

Spiritual Activist in Residence Program

We are hosting a fundraiser to launch our new Spiritual Activist in Residence Program. This 12 month paid residency that invests in an emergent directly impacted leader with first-hand experience in the carceral and immigration detention system. Come to our event to meet our inaugural Spiritual Activist in Residence, Charles Joseph. His wisdom, leadership, and expertise will contribute to campaigns that uplift the sacredness of all people across bars and borders.

Now more than ever, we need to reflect on the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his time King called for an end to police brutality, faced largely by the Black community, and the three evils: racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. Yesterday as the world stood witness to an attempted coup on the US Capitol, we saw once again the blatant difference in how law enforcement polices Black people and white nationalists. King’s work continues through the call for ending all forms of incarceration and putting in its place systems of care.

In a prayer by IM4HI faith organizer, Reverend Dr. Larry Foy writes, “As people of faith, we will not bend nor cower to hatred, violence, and evil on any front. Rather, we will adhere to the divine command, “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”” Join us in diving deeper into King’s legacy in faith organizing and calls for abolition.

Listen to a retelling of Dr. King's radical legacy from our interfaith leaders who will speak at the event. Let this event inspire us as we press on in 2021 for the thriving of Black Lives, the dismantling of institutions that deny human dignity, and creating new systems based on our responsibility to one another.

ANNOUNCEMENT: from Sandy McKeith and Mary FitzGerald

THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG will premiere February 16 and 23, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song will explore the 400-year-old story of the black church in America, the changing nature of worship spaces, and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft, and church pews.

Two-part series reveals the broad history and culture of the Black church and explores African American faith communities on the frontlines of hope and change

Featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rev. Al Sharpton, Yolanda Adams, Rev. William Barber II, BeBe Winans, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and more

This moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage.

Renowned participants in the series include media executive and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey; singer, songwriter, producer and philanthropist John Legend; singer and actress Jennifer Hudson; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church; gospel legends Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar and BeBe Winans; civil rights leaders Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. William Barber II; scholar Cornel West; and many more. Through their interviews, viewers will be transported by the songs that speak to one’s soul, by preaching styles that have moved congregations and a nation, and by beliefs and actions that drew African Americans from the violent margins of society to the front lines of change.

For many, the Black church is their house of worship. For some, it is ground zero for social justice. For others, it is a place of transcendent cultural gifts exported to the world, from the soulful voices of preachers and congregants, to the sublime sounds of gospel music. For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., going to church in America also was “the most segregated hour” of the week. THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG will explore the changing nature of worship spaces and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft and church pews. The churches are also a world within a world, where Black Americans could be themselves; and the epicenter of the freedom struggle that revolutionized the United States across slavery and abolition, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Great Migration, and the civil rights movement.

“Our series is a riveting and systematic exploration of the myriad ways in which African Americans have worshipped God in their own images, and continue to do so today, from the plantation and prayer houses, to camp meetings and store-front structures, to mosques and mega-churches," says Dr. Gates. "This is the story and song our ancestors bequeathed to us, and it comes at a time in our country when the very things they struggled and died for — faith and freedom, justice and equality, democracy and grace — all are on the line. No social institution in the Black community is more central and important than the Black church.”


This is my story. This is my song.


Father Jerome LeDoux talks about the origin of music in New Orleans

(great video and it's free and fun)

Father Jerome LeDoux talks about the origin of music in New Orleans:

"Well, our Music grew natuarlly out of our history..", it all began with the slavery, when bibel verses became lyrics of traditional songs and spiritual dances. Since then music took its development to the Holy Blues, Jazz and Gospel...

Announcement from Jim McFadden:

Thursdays with Pastor Marie

The "T" with Pastor Marie The T is for Tea, Talk, Truth, Think, Theology A special time with the pastor. It will be in the Pub Theology format, in that there will be topics, quotes to ponder, or questions to start our conversations.

Zoom info

9 am Thursdays with Pastor Marie

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 448 715 0619 Passcode: sunshine

6 pm Thursday with Pastor Marie

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 448 715 0619 Passcode: sunshine

Each week during our shelter in place, we will send out the information for the zoom calls. Use the links and stay connected! There may also be some news that you may be interested in. Questions? You may contact Pastor Marie at, or phone 510-408-8559. You may also join zoom meetings by phone by calling (669) 900-6833 and enter in the meeting ID and password.

As you prepare for the discussion this week, please consider the following questions that were asked of participants in the Dismantling Racism Webinar that I attended last week:

1. As you think about the United Methodist Church and racism/colonization, what provokes you?

2. As you think about society and racism, what provokes you?

3. What is God calling you to do? What are your commitments to anti-racism in this moment?

ANNOUN CEMENT: from Sandy McKeith

Podcast: How To Citizen with Baratunde (on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts)

Baratunde is an American writer, comedian, and commentator who founded the black political blog Jack and Jill Politics. In his book How to be Black became a New York Times bestseller. Baratunde lays the spiritual foundation for the show. His first guest, Valarie Kaur, activist and author of See no Stranger, helps us go inward to ready our hearts and minds for How To Citizen. Welcome to the show!

In December 2016, activist, lawyer, and Sikh faith leader Valarie Kaur, asked this question in her Prayer for America: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?”

How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I Heart Radio Podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Keep the ideas flowing in!

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