President Obama’s controversial former pastor visited Oakland Sunday to deliver a rousing sermon to worshipers at Allen Temple Baptist, the church whose four members are still being held in Zimbabwe.
On Wednesday, Don Perata, former senator and mayoral candidate, hosted a breakfast with more than 50 of Oakland’s most influential religious leaders to solicit their help in addressing school truancy, one of the city’s most pressing challenges.
While the rest of the country memorialized the September 11 attacks and debated one Florida pastor’s threats to publicly burn the Quran, Joe Weston, owner of Temescal’s Heartwalker Studio, sought to create peace in his own small way. At sundown on the eve of the 9th anniversary of September 11, a diverse group of Oaklanders joined together to say their ecumenical prayers for peace, and they didn’t stop until the next day.
Throughout the city, Jewish congregants meet to symbolically cast away the sins of the past year, and prepare for a ten-day period of reflection and forgiveness.
Many of Oakland’s Ethiopian immigrants and their families and friends joined the Berkeley festivities Sunday for Enkutatash, an Ethiopian celebration of the new year.
Muslims in Oakland are in the last third of the month of Ramadan–its most intense part, as observers continue to fast during daylight hours, declining both food and water until the sun sets. Daylight, and with it the Islamic obligation to fast, lingers long in August.
As Theodore Olson, the attorney for the same-sex couples who sued the state of California for the right to marry, concluded his final remarks in the historic trial, people watching in the San Francisco courthouse’s overflow room stood up and cheered. Wednesday was the last day in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, and Olson used his final moments before Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker to argue that Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative that prohibited same-sex marriage, was discriminatory.
Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a faith-based federation of fifty congregations and schools, held a meeting Thursday night to educate and engage the community about violence intervention strategies.
Mayor Ron Dellums held a peace conference on Tuesday to discuss how faith-based communities can help prevent crime among youth and called for more collaboration among religious communities.