This teaching is true, and I want you to be sure the people understand these things. Then those who believe in God will be careful to use their lives for doing good. These things are good and will help everyone.

Titus 3:8 NCV

Happy Thanksgiving, BACC friends and family! 

We are thankful for so many things this year, and one of them is the way God can move through each of us to make a difference in our community. As you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, or as you relax this evening into a tryptophan-induced food coma, take a minute to read a few inspiring stories about how God has been doing good through the lives of his followers over the last couple weeks.

Feeding families in East Oakland with over 700 bag lunches

The inner city of Oakland has been hard hit by crime and violence this year. Rob Hannah, a member of the BACC in Alameda South, was born and raised in Oakland. He has always had a heart for the community and he works for the Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO). 

MACRO is a community response program for non-violent, non-emergency 911 calls. The purpose of the program is to meet the needs of the community with a compassionate care-first response model grounded in empathy, service, and community. MACRO’s goal is to reduce responses by police, resulting in fewer arrests and negative interactions, and increased access to community based resources for impacted individuals and families.

Rob connected the Alameda South sector of our church with the Oakland Fire Department and various community outreach programs to collaborate on feeding families in East Oakland who have been particularly hit hard during these difficult times. 

Rob and the MACRO program then asked for donations of some “grab and go” lunch bags for families in need at an event on November 13. Members of the Alameda South sector worked together to make and donate over 700 grab and go lunches! 

Their work far surpassed the expectations of the community organizers. Those in Alameda South are looking forward to more opportunities to collaborate in the future and to serve alongside programs that are doing good in their community. 

Serving at the Oak Center Thanksgiving Giveaway

This past weekend, the Alameda North sector of the church volunteered together at the Oak Center Cultural Center Thanksgiving Giveaway in Oakland. The event was organized by Deltrina Johnson, a member of the BACC and a longtime volunteer at the Oak Center. Volunteers from the church ranged from college students to families and they assembled over 150 meal bags, snack bags, and toiletry bags together over the course of the week before the giveaway. They were able to meet all the needs of those who came with bags to spare. 

The Oak Center is a non-profit organization that is a staple of the community, and members of the BACC have been volunteering at their events for many years. The Oak Center provides programs to effect positive change in the Oakland community in many different ways, from education to mentoring, drug prevention, job training, and the arts. 

Those who served at the Thanksgiving Giveaway expressed that they had a great time being together and working to help their community, and said they are looking forward to doing it again soon.

‘Tis the season of holiday serving, and there are so many ways we can do good in our community in the weeks to come! 

So we’ll leave you with this question: What community needs has God put on your heart today? Remember that every one of us can make a difference as we use our lives to help others!

Until next time,

Sam and Tenea Manuel

East Bay Lead Ministers

Sam Manuel

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.

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