November 2018

Dear Friends of Orinda Community Church,

As we step fully into our season of Thanksgiving and Stewardship, we celebrate all the good things that are happening at Orinda Community Church - and all the good things that are ahead of us. You will be hearing more in the next couple weeks about the good work of the church, our many possibilities, and the financial needs that accompany our trying to be the church God calls us to be.


This last month was full of special moments in the life of our congregation, and there are a couple worth highlighting:


We tried a different kind of worship in the Fellowship Hall, welcoming many friends from Congregation B'nai Tikvah. The service was met by many with the comment "we should do something like this with regularity." At our staff meeting that following week, David and I discussed the variety of worship styles that people in our congregation appreciate, and how we might try doing a similar type of service every month or so - utilizing the talent in our own congregation, and offering a variety of worship experience.


And speaking of talent in our own congregation, last Sunday's Special Music Sunday and Oktoberfest was a great time for worship and celebration. In the midst of all that is going on in the world, it was a great gift to sit in the sanctuary surrounded by beauty, then enjoy the company of friends at our Oktoberfest celebration.


The choir, soloists, and instrumentalists were superb, and David of course pulled it all together with great skill and affection. We are so grateful to the donor in our church who made this possible, and to the many who put the work in to share this special moment with us.


And for Oktoberfest, thanks to all who donated so generously, and all who came and bid on items. It looks like we raised about $20,000, which is a testament to how great and generous O.C.C. is!


Special thanks to Sabine Hathaway, Trudi Garland, Dave Hoppock, and Gail Mead who headed things up. And many other hands were needed to make it a great success: Gwen McNeilus, Dagmar Slovak, Christiane and Hans-Liudger Dienel, Bruce Garland,

Kathy Kling, Ingrid Brommers Bergquist, Ellis Brommers Bergquist, Kurt Sunderbruch, Jill Oberheim, Eartha Newsong, David Milnes, Greg McCall, Bob Steiner, Fred Matteson, Anne Moss, Justin Ouellet, Dion Maskaleris (and many others who jumped in here and there)

This past Tuesday I had the great honor of speaking at a vigil hosted by Congregation B'nai Shalom in Walnut Creek. There were nearly 750 people in attendance, and it was a service of great depth, solemnity, and solidarity; and it has increased my desire to build more interfaith relationships in our greater community.

(If you are interested, you can see the service in its entirety here.)

Much good is happening at the Orinda Community Church, and I am grateful to be able to do the work with you,

Jim