The church I serve as pastor celebrated it's 8th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday afternoon. The church hall eerily seemed a bit too empty 45 minutes before the beginning of the meal, and was quickly filled to more than capacity with a diverse crowd of participants hungry for a hot meal, for the opportunity to celebrate with others, and the chance to meet neighbors. Kids running from the pie area to the crafts table, flutes melodiously playing underneath the brouhaha of discussion, snaking lines for food, quick moving hands dancing above the serving tables, Bertha surrounded by all those pies, Di-Di washing all those dishes and the different conversations I entered into: all those snapshots compose the mosaic of my memories from yesterday's event. Thanks to all who helped, from the meal coordinators, to the turkey cookers, from the flutists to the water servers, from the decorators to the cleaner-uppers!
What a statement of what community is and can be. What a proclamation of the power that Oakland needs to move forward harnassing and empowering the long-present desires for continued emerging organizing, school improvement, civic involvement, and local sense of community.
Here's some of my shapshots
Here's a video snapshot of some of the music. This piece performed by the Candelight Quartet.
If you're still looking for a way to volunteer this Thanksgiving Season here in Oakland, look for connections in my blog article from last week"Volunteering to make a difference"