What Church is For



We made our way back to our old church in Oakland for Easter Sunday. It’s been a year, possibly even last Easter, since we made the trip across the bay for fellowship. At church we found the comfort of a community that received us warmly. The hugs alone were worth the time spent in the car. Even total strangers embraced me, moved as they were by the spirit of the moment. We joked that we couldn’t find our name tags, even while the reality of our homecoming sank in.


The choir was enormous. I missed my friend who married and moved away, but there still seemed to be room for her. I strained to hear her voice. During silent confession I thought of my sisters, and asked for forgiveness–again. My joys filled my heart under the blaze of the Holy Spirit depicted in the mural of Jesus on the throne. I thanked God for the community we shared, and the joyfulness of little girls in bright dresses delighted with childhood. The faint scent of candles in the air and the sunlight reflecting off Lake Merritt spelled it out clearly: home, again.


The Resurrection is a time of renewal. It coincides with spring, Passover and blooming gardens. We are filled with hope, and it is reflected in our very presence. We dare to start over again, encouraged by birds and tadpoles. Where is this one? And how is he? Never mind. Just put your arms around me and let me breathe you in.




An Eye for Miracles by Diego Valeri


You who have an eye for miracles

regard the bud now appearing

on the bare branch of the fragile young tree.

But already it is a flower,

already a fruit,

already its own death and resurrection.


  1. Bravo Edissa! “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)

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