News At First Church

Read stories about the ministry and work of our congregation in Oakland.
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Joel Mackey Joins First Church as Parish Associate

Joel Mackey Joins First Church as Parish Associate

First Church has a new Parish Associate, Rev. Joel Mackey. Joel is a long time Bay Area resident and has served most recently as Parish Associate at Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church. Joel is currently a professional clinical counselor at Bay Area Community Resource...

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Oakland Civic Orchestra Performs First Concert at New Home

Oakland Civic Orchestra Performs First Concert at New Home

Oakland Civic Orchestra, an all volunteer group led by Music Director Martha Stoddard, performed their first concert at First Church, in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday. The free concert featured the world premiere of Burlesk for Two Solo Violoncelli and Orchestra by...

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Southern Pilgrimage Retraces Black Freedom Struggle

Southern Pilgrimage Retraces Black Freedom Struggle

Pastor Matt helped guide the Empower Initiative Team on a pilgrimage to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma Alabama in February, a trip that coincided with Black History Month. The pilgrimage retraced sacred sites of the Southern Black Freedom Struggle. Those attending...

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Black History Month Wraps Up With Joy

Black History Month Wraps Up With Joy

First Church’s annual celebration of Black History wrapped up on Sunday with an invitation to attend the Black Joy Parade in downtown Oakland. The parade, which begins at 12:30 pm extends along Broadway, from 14th Street to 20th Street. A performance and vendor area...

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Ceasefire Night Walk Calls For Peace Amid Gun Violence

Ceasefire Night Walk Calls For Peace Amid Gun Violence

With Oakland’s gun-homicide count reaching 138 deaths as of publication, First Church members joined Faith in Action East Bay for a second “Night Walk,” joining other faith communities in Oakland in calling for an end to gun violence and for peace. Six members from...

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Student Concerts Bring Sounds of Joy to First Church

Student Concerts Bring Sounds of Joy to First Church

A standing-room only crowd filled First Church for the Oakland School for the Arts annual Winter Concert on Friday evening. Performers included various middle school and high school level ensemble groups, performing choral renditions of mostly popular music and some...

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Rev. Matt Prinz Installed as 19th Pastor of First Church

Rev. Matt Prinz Installed as 19th Pastor of First Church

On November 14, representatives from the San Francisco Presbytery and as far south as El Cajon, California, were welcomed for the installation of Rev. Matt Prinz as pastor of First Presbyterian Church. Matt is the nineteenth person installed by the Presbytery as...

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With Gun Violence Soaring, Churches March for Peace

With Gun Violence Soaring, Churches March for Peace

When the City of Oakland experienced its one hundredth gun homicide in September, the City Council declared a public health emergency. Since then, the toll has risen to 119 shooting deaths, just shy of the 120 shooting deaths reported for all of 2020. Oakland is not...

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Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus performs “Together Again”

Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus performs “Together Again”

The Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus, headquartered here at First Church since June, performed their first concert since the Covid Pandemic began in March 2020. The performance, sung to a socially distanced crowd of approximately 200, consisted of Chorus standards including...

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“Making God’s Welcome Known” Is Not Always Easy

“Making God’s Welcome Known” Is Not Always Easy

When the blocks around First Church began to transform into the city’s most densely packed residential hub, we all knew that there would be changes to how the neighborhood behaved. The First Church lawn, one of the only green spaces available to many of apartment...

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First Church Honors Identity with Pronoun Buttons

First Church Honors Identity with Pronoun Buttons

The Building the Beloved Community team continues to make available pronouns buttons for anyone in the congregation who wishes to use them.There are many reasons for making our preferred pronouns evident, among them helping everyone to feel included and respected and...

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Sacred & Profane Chamber Chorus Comes to First Church

Sacred & Profane Chamber Chorus Comes to First Church

The Sacred & Profane Chamber Chorus joins four other choral organizations in calling First Church home – at least temporarily. The Chorus, whose repertoire consists of a cappella music from the medieval through contemporary era, was started in 1977. They ordinarily...

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Goin’ Home: Lucy Kinchen Chorale Returns to First Church

Goin’ Home: Lucy Kinchen Chorale Returns to First Church

The Lucy Kinchen Chorale met together for the first time since the pandemic began on Saturday, for a rehearsal that was filled with warm embraces and lots of laughter. “We are like a family, it was wonderful to back together,” said conductor Lori Willis. “There were...

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Prayer, Care and Generosity Define Deacons’ Ministry

By Julia Marquez Over the past year or so I have served as moderator of the Deacons. As noted in last week’s Temple Tidings article, I have stepped down as moderator, and Judy Rowan will take my place. My role as moderator allowed me to gain insights about the...

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