On June 3, Oakland Communion and The Way Church will officially become one. We’re gettin’ hitched! And while marriage in the Bay Area frequently produces hyphenated names, we thought The-Way-of-Oakland-Communion was a bit clunky. So we need a new name for our new, united identity. After an all-church “name-storm”, a survey, online research and weeks of talking and praying we have our new name.
So let us explain: A Tapestry is woven art. Its a rug with a picture. It’s sometimes a prayer mat, or a wall hanging, or a carpet. In it’s broadest definition, tapestry is a form of art practiced by Native Americans, South Africans, Europeans, Indians, Turks, and many others. It’s something practical that’s also beautiful and meaningful because a tapestry often carries symbols or tells a story that help to make sense of God, The world, and our lives.
Friends, as Tapestry Church we are living artwork.
We are people of many colors and cultures woven together into the fabric of Oakland to display the beauty of a God’s story.
The threads of our lives are very different. We may be different colors. Our lives may be heading in different directions. But God has carefully selected each person here and is weaving us together. And that word “weaving” is important. We aren’t just existing side by side. We are a community whose lives are intertwined. Whose favorite places to eat start blurring with each other. Whose networks of friends, whose pastimes, whose life experiences start to overlap and intertwine when, in this world, they ordinarily wouldn’t.
Into the fabric of Oakland
Our lives overlap and intertwine not just with each other, but also with our neighbors and friends and coworkers throughout the city of Oakland. We are not trying to create an ark of isolated Christians but a group of people intricately connected to the life of this Town on every level.
And you know what happens in a tapestry when a thread in the tapestry is pulled? Because it is one fabric, all the other threads feel it. No thread is ever pulled in isolation. When one thread is pulled, everyone feels it. So when our neighbors lives are pulled by injustice, by addiction, or by trauma we feel it. And we respond. So the ministry we do is not to or even for our neighbors, but rather with and among our neighbors.
To display the beauty of God’s story.
A tapestry is not just a rug. It’s not just a carpet. It’s artwork! It tells a story. It carries meaning and value beyond its “function.” As a church, we are living artwork! We want people to see our life together and interpret it as a symbol of God’s love. We want our collective life to tell a compelling story of the power, the goodness, the justice, the forgiveness, and the creativity of God.
We are not just a club or a special interest group, we are a church that has the very high calling to BE a display of the beautiful story of God’s love for this world.
That is our fundamental purpose. That is why God has woven us together into the fabric of Oakland. That is why we are Tapestry Church.
We look forward to our new life together with you,
Bernard and Kyle