Faith at Work…where secular, spiritual, and peacemaking meet
The Oakland Peace Center is really proud of who supports our work. The Gay Chemists’ Fund, National Benevolent Association, the Akonadi Foundation…all organizations deeply committed to equity and justice. And most of our funding comes from generous individuals, many of whom do not have tons of extra cash to throw around but who believe in investing in what Dr. King called the Beloved Community, especially at such a time as this, when efforts to dismantle it run rampant in the corridors of power.
This week we received a donation from the Faith at Work endowment fund of University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, CA.
The Oakland Peace Center is a non-religious organization. So let me tell you why I’m proud we got this grant. One of the magical things about the Oakland Peace Center is that it is a space where changemakers get to bring their whole selves: their activist selves, their healing selves, their gendered selves, their spiritual selves, their creative selves, their visionary selves, their compassionate selves. We have partners who are not at all interested in religion and partners whose religion is what causes them to care about justice.
And so I was really honored and inspired that University Lutheran Chapel, knowing all of that about us, wanted to invest in us, because they see faith as being about us all being on a shared journey towards Beloved Community. They didn’t need to do a test of whether we followed a particular doctrine. They saw us in the streets and in the neighborhoods alongside them, working on housing and immigration and race issues, hosting conversations that lifted up the powerful voices of indigenous leaders and prison abolitionists and immigrants, investing in longtime Bay Area residents during our displacement crisis, and promoting nonviolent ways of resisting oppression and authoritarianism.
There are a number of faith communities that have invested financially and physically in the work of the Oakland Peace Center, and in this moment when the work is so great, that makes us feel less alone. Right now, we are grateful for progressive voices in the faith community that counter the ugliness, hate and violence from some conservatives who proclaim themselves to be religious. Thanks to everyone who donates to our work. As the proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Together we will build the Beloved Community that serves all and receives the gifts of all people, creatures and creation.