Session Sends Financial Support to Four Local Organizations

Nov 8, 2021

At the October Session of elders, Pastor Matt urged funding to three local youth organizations: NOVA Choir, College Awareness Program, and Oakland Kids First. The Session agreed to provide grants of $500 each to these groups with funds provided by the Davidson Family Bequest. The bequest was created by former First Church members to provide $700 annually for First Church to use in support of community youth initiatives.

NOVA Choir is a choral singing program offered by First Church Community Partner and tenant, Cantare Con Vivo. NOVA provides choral singing and performing arts experiences for Oakland Unified School District youth. NOVA will perform at First Church Spring 2022.

College Awareness Program was started by Don and Lorraine Provost, also First Church members, to link graduating high school seniors with historically black colleges and universities, particularly those run by Presbyterians.

Oakland Kids First is a local non-profit that provides trains hundreds of high-school leaders each year who work to advance safe and caring school cultures, academic success, and educational equity campaigns that center the needs of underserved Oakland students.

In addition to these groups, the Session provided $500 to Faith in Action East Bay in support of its initiatives to curb gun violence in Oakland, including “Ceasefire,” a program which advances thorough analysis of violent incidents and trends, respectful, in-person communications with high-risk residents by police and community volunteers, relationship-based social services, narrowly focused law enforcement actions and an intentional management structure.