St. John’s, Oakland blesses new buildings

On November 1, 2014, St. John’s, Oakland was greeted with its own version of the Biblical flood. 

Tons of gallons of sewage poured into the church, courtesy of blocked sewage pipes. Sixteen months later, the St. John’s community gathered with great joy on Saturday, March 19, 2016 to celebrate the new space and the renewed strength that they hoped it would bring to their ministry together.

Despite the crisis caused by the sewage flood, St. John’s carried on. A small room behind the kitchen was repurposed as a vestry room and services continued in the sanctuary. The City of Oakland agreed to pay for the damages caused by the sewage leak and slowly a new building began to rise. 

One congregant remarked on how the new space was more welcoming and safe for those who used it. She remarked how before the renovation the path and patio adjacent to the sanctuary was rocky and overgrown. This made it difficult for those with mobility challenges and disabilities to safely reach the sanctuary. Now, the patio is fully ADA compliant and a wonderful way to welcome people into the church.

With God’s help, this renewed space will serve the people of St. John’s for years to come. Beauty does indeed rise from the ashes — or, in this case the mud.