The community of Santiago/St. James is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic faith community with a definite Latine flavor. Located in the Clinton neighborhood of Oakland this church like its neighbors are mostly poor and working people trying to manage life with minimal resources and more than a lion’s share of oppressive systems.
Choose the circle of life.
We officially began a new Lenten season on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Many would argue, including me, that this season started on February 26, 2020, with the shelter in place orders that began in San Francisco and rolled out over the Bay Area and all of California as COVID-19 cases exploded throughout the state. Click, slam, clang, creak. The sounds that heralded this Lenten season as doors were locked, windows were shuttered, and we hunkered down for the season of Lent that seems to have stretched from 2020 to 2021. Wandering and wondering, suffering and rejoicing, falling and rising, we have been formed as new people to imagine new practices wherein we always choose life. So to this latest iteration of the season of Lent, we have taken of honoring the ancestors of our scriptures and in our DNA with a life-affirming praxis of 10 well-known ways so that we may all rise up:
1. Practice loyalty to the Sacred.
2. Remember every image of God is only a glimpse.
3. Do not use God’s name to do harm.
4. Do not allow productivity to dominate life.
5. Care for those who have cared for you
and honor those who have paved your way.
6. Do not be unnecessarily destructive.
7. Be faithful to the commitments you make.
8. Do not take what does not belong to you.
9. Do not hinder justice from coming to fruition.
10.Do not use power over others to get what you want.
Rev. Liz Muñoz is Vicar of Iglesia Episcopal de Santiago/St. James Episcopal Church, Oakland, California.