Sunday, February 17, 2008

Faces from the Episcopal Urban Caucus

Participants in the meeting of the Episcopal Urban Caucus in Oakland last week displayed a wide variety of emotions, ranging through earnest discussion, serious purpose, curiosity, laughter, delight in meeting with friends -- and, in one case, anxiety verging on fear. Take a look.

The group hunts through its packets, looking for the item described by the questioner.

Helene Davis' 16- year old son was murdered nineteen years ago by another 16-year old. She is the co-leads the Oakland group Family and Friends of Murder Victims. Seeking to transform their own pain into healing for others, they have reached out to youth jailed for violent crimes who have often not previously understood the hurt their acts have caused.

Ruth Morgan of Community Works described a program for "at risk" youth at Balboa High School in San Francisco which offers adult attention, encouragement of creativity, and support for getting an education.

United Methodist minister and long time East Bay justice activist Phil Lawson was on hand for a workshop by the Black Alliance for Immigration Justice.

Urban Caucus treasurer Diane Pollard delivered the budget news.

After her keynote speech, Eva Jefferson Paterson of the Equal Justice Society chatted with new friends.

Young members reported what they'd learned from visits to Oakland organizations.

Old friends -- the Rev. Anna Lange-Soto and Bishop Nedi Rivera -- mugged for the camera.

Meanwhile a reporter from the Institute on Religion & Democracy was on hand to record the activities of these dangerous peacemakers. Despite his evident distress, no one molested him. The IRD is a right wing funded initiative to stamp out interpretations of the Gospel in mainline churches that lead to justice activism and full inclusion of all Christians in the life of the church.

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