Monday, March 8, 2010

Oakland, California

What a beautiful drive it was going through the Santa Clara valley and in toward Oakland. It must be those lush green rolling hills which make it so scenic. We have driven through this area several times now and each time I am so awestruck by the beauty of the area. Our major aim in going to Oakland was to visit John's cousin Pastor Lois Mueller. The above pillars are what we first noticed as we walked toward the entrance of Pastor Mueller's church. It is Plymouth United Church of Christ. The church is very large and can seat up to 400 people. Like many congregations in an inner city setting it went through a period of decline and now only a small number of people attend there. Fortunately that is not the end of the story for this church. It has embraced the diversity of the neighborhood around it and now is in a process of regrowth and renewal. We felt blessed to have worshiped there.  After the worship service the women of the church provided a luncheon, which according to Lois is done every Sunday. Yesterday's luncheon was a special time for the congregation as it was the celebration of the wedding of Associate Pastor Marjorie Wilkes to her husband Bob. Their wedding was on Saturday. After the luncheon we went to the home of Lois and spent the afternoon walking her neighborhood. Below is a scene on Piedmont street where the 115 year-old historic Fenton Creamery is located. If you saw the movie Up you may have seen this building already. Many of you know John's sweet tooth. We had to try the ice cream and it is delicious.
It may sound bizarre but part of our walk was through the beautiful Chapel of the Chimes cemetery grounds. We also walked into the funeral chapel and mausoleum because of our interest in the work of Julia Morgan. She was the architect that designed this building as well as Hearst Castle.
We had to work off our ice cream so Lois chose a steep hill for us to walk up to return to her home. And I saw this as an opportunity to snap a picture of the two cousins.

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