Racial Justice & Diversity

New Ministry Team Supports Central American Refugees in East Bay

Members of Children at the Border/Sanctuary, First Church’s newest ministry team, are actively answering the 
call from the United Church of Christ for congregations to respond to the escalating humanitarian crisis with the increase of migrant children and families crossing the US/Mexico border. Read more...

Mourning with Charleston

First Church mourns the loss of nine members of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, in a tragic and shocking shooting spree.

In particular, we send prayers of support to UCC national staff member Waltrina Middleton who lost a cousin in the violence. Ms. Middleton serves as Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation in Cleveland. Read more...

Diversity Team Reflects on Baltimore

Recognizing the importance of the recent events in Baltimore both for their particularity and their connection to important and challenging nation-wide concerns, the Diversity Ministry Team posted an article on the Diversity Team Blog called “Baltimore and Beyond”.

It begins: Read more...

UCC Leaders Call for Accountability in Baltimore

First Church Berkeley continues to pray for the situation in Baltimore, Maryland as members of that community and people around the country seek information and justice in the case of Mr. Freddie Gray who died while in police custody.

The leaders of the United Church of Christ, First Church's denomination have issued a statement which thoughtfully addresses the issues that surround this tragic loss. Read more...

Welcome to the Table Meetings

Last month, Toni Battle, who is involved in the group Welcome to the Table, spoke during a First Church Learning Hour. This Bay Area group is related to the national organization Coming to the Table, which brings together descendants of slaves with descendants of slave holders.

The group meets in Oakland each month, and after Ms. Battle’s presentation several First Church members expressed an interest in getting involved. Read more...

Room at the Table: From Lynching Tree to Healing Circle

This year's Lent theme is Room at the Table. Three Learning Hours will explore tables of exclusion and inclusion. On Sunday, February 22, Toni Battle will come to present From Lynching Tree to Healing Circle at 10 am in the Large Assembly. Read more...

“Black Lives Matter” Events

They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. — Jeremiah 6:14 Read more...

"Black Lives Matter": A March in Solidarity with Ferguson

Members of the First Church community joined with other people of faith to participate in a walk in the Telegraph Avenue area in a faithful response to the issues raised by the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Between 100 and 150 people marched through the area with signs proclaiming "Black Lives Matter" and "People of Faith Respond". The group was silent for 4.5 minutes at the edge of the UC Berkeley campus to mark the 4. Read more...

Diversity Team Endorses Prop 47

First Church’s Diversity Ministry Team is endorsing Proposition 47 on this November's ballot. It is referred to publicly as both Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative and The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act. Read more...

First Church Support for Children at the Border

First Church is responding to the recent wave of youth immigration into the US from Central America. A group of a dozen First Church members met on July 16 to explore the issue prompted by concerns raised by First Church member Jennifer Fisher. She shared a testimony in worship on Sunday, July 20 and the congregation stood in solidarity and support. Read more...

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