A toast of celebration with my beloved church family

This toast was shared during a sermon for Oak Life Church on Sunday, November 8th, 2020. Please forgive grammar/typos. For a link to the full service sermon- click here.
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Friends,

This week, after 4 years of political anxiety, stress, chaos, vitriol… after racism and racist rhetoric became normalized in the highest office… after the Jesus I love was used and exploited, silenced and contorted for political gain… after ego, narcism, and prideful, and shameful masculinity… after all this – and all the other crap – was unleashed in a torrent of divisiveness and ugliness into our nation- and in the midst of a once in a century global crisis- including compounding traumas, American democracy seems to have voted for change.  Most of us chose a different path.

To my kids (and all our kids) who will grow up in a world knowing that character matters and that our bullies will not get the last word.  I’m more hopeful today for the world that you will inherit. 

To all the women in my life who have had to live with the heightened anxiety because of our President’s language and demeanor, who have felt fear and been silenced and minimized, and now get to celebrate the history shaking election of our first female Vice Present.  

We see you, we love you, we honor you.

To all my friends of color who have had to carry the weight of a nation unwilling to acknowledge it’s racist history and a President who has normalized and empowered the evil of white supremacy May you now get a small chance to breath knowing that there lives matter. 

We thank you for largely being the reason this election went the way it did (cheers especially to you Ms Abrams), we’re sorry we’re sorry, we’re sorry, we love you, we’re learning to be with you.

To all my co-laborers  who have been working tirelessly (often without any recognition) to bring justice for immigrants, for the houseless, for those on the margins and who’ve felt like the last four years were filled with giant steps back and now see some of the fruit of their work –

We thank you, we need you, we wouldn’t be here without you

To my LGBT+ siblings who’ve been on a rollercoaster, especially within the church and maybe now feel a little more sure that their rights are secure –

We love you, we affirm you, and we’ve got your back

To all those who’ve been caged, silenced, torn from family, bullied, belittled, gaslighted, who’ve lost sleep, who’ve lost friends, to all those we’ll never know and all those we’ve chosen to ignore either in omission or commission-

We’re sorry, we’re sorry, we’re sorry- may this moment be a slight breath of fresh air and may God convict our all our hearts and may you find Gods nearness and protection in supernatural expressions.

To Oak Life Church who has consistently been a miraculous, diverse, messy but beautiful, justice seeking church- who would have continued to work for good no matter what happened.

I love you, our world needs you, thank you for letting me be a pastor to you.

Cheers to the repudiation of vitriolic politics which have harmed and divided!

Cheers to the rejection of the white, American Jesus who is a tool of empire, to the death of toxic Christianity!

And ultimately cheers to a new world where we can come together! regardless of our differences to seek the common good and the good of our planet!

Cheers to have Oakland in the White House!

Cheers to you God for continuing to move us forward, for never leaving us, for forgiving us, for renewing us, for being our ultimate hope and salvation, and for giving us the strength to get through these last 9 months and these last four years!

Cheers, Sliante, Amen!

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