Category Archives: EVENTS

Christmas Concert

Friday, December 7th at 7:30p.m.

Music for the Christmas Season
Featuring local instrumentalists and vocalists
Admission is free with encouraged donations helping those affected by wildfires in northern California.
Cookies and a beverage will be served after the concert.


Dale Clarence Dunham Memorial & Funeral

Dale Clarence Dunham
November 26, 1936 – November 1, 2018

Dale Clarence Dunham, 81, passed away on November 1, 2018 as a result of injuries after being struck by a car near his home in Richmond, California. He was born in Spring Prairie Township, Minnesota on November 26, 1936, just 30 minutes after his twin brother Donald (the doctor was already ready to leave when the family yelled that there was another baby coming out). Dale and his twin were the youngest of six children.

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Dale grew up in and around Hawley and Moorhead, Minnesota. In high school, Dale was very active in Future Farmers of America and played in the high school band.  He also played football and in his senior year, was co-captain of the wrestling team with his brother Don. He graduated from Moorhead High School in 1954 and then received a degree in electrical engineering from North Dakota State University in 1958. Soon after graduation, he and his twin brother both moved to Oxnard to work for the Department of the Navy at the Naval Air Warfare Center, formerly the Pacific Missile Test Center at the Naval Air Station, Point Mugu. Dale worked there for 35 years until his retirement in 1994, helping to design radar systems, including the F-14 fighter jet’s radar laboratory test facility.

In 1965, Dale Married his wife Sally (Sara Aikins) in Ventura. They lived for 46 years in North Oxnard on Elder Street. During those years, Dale was a Boy Scout leader, and a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Oxnard. He was also involved in AYSO soccer in North Oxnard for nearly 30 years, first as a coach and then as a referee (in fact, people still come up to Dale’s twin brother Don, asking if he was their daughter or son’s soccer coach so many years ago). Dale was also a long-time volunteer for Ventura County Food Share, the CROP Walk, and the Oxnard Community Food Pantry.

In 2011, he and Sally moved to Richmond California to be near his two daughters and their families. In Richmond, he was a member of Hope Lutheran Church and regularly volunteered for the Manna Food Pantry in Pinole and the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program.

He was a very friendly person who loved fixing things around the house and working in his garden, and was always willing to help his neighbors. He led a very active life, regularly hiking (and backpacking in the Sierra when he was younger) and square dancing. He especially loved his grandkids and his dogs, and he and Sally tried to attend all of his grandkids’ performances, baseball games, and cheerleading activities.

He was predeceased by his older sister Bernice and brother Jerry and niece Linda. He is survived by his wife of 53 years (Sally), his twin brother Donald (Sherry) of Oxnard, his older brother, Emil (Grace) of Detroit Lakes, MN, his older sister Doris of Detroit Lakes, MN, his children Larry (Mary) of New Hope, MN, Kate (Jill) of Berkeley, CA, and Beth (Paul) of El Cerrito, CA, by three grandchildren: Alex, Mykia, and Aidan, and many nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family.


Please join the Dunham family for a funeral at Hope Lutheran Church, 2830 May Rd., El Sobrante, CA on Saturday, November 17 at 1:00 pm. A reception will follow at the church.


Memorial Donations

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to National Glaucoma Research Bright Focus Foundation. Click here to donate , or mail your check to:

National Glaucoma Research Bright Focus Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, MD 20871

Quilting Group

Want to be a real sew and sew? Do you have a pressing need to help? Do you want to just be a cut up? Or would you like to tie one on with the gals? Come join the Lutheran World Relief quilt group at Hope Lutheran. Help wrap to those in need around the world in the warmth of Christ’s love. Recipients include schools, orphanages, refugees, families—whoever asks Lutheran World Relief for quilts. We welcome folks who want to sew, pin, cut, press or tie quilts. All helping hands are welcome. You need not be a member of Hope or even Lutheran—not all of us are. We meet monthly on either the second or third Monday, at Hope Lutheran from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Come for part of the time if you cannot make the whole session. Bring a sack lunch.  Our first meeting if this school year is Monday Sept. 17.  The quilts we finished last year will be dedicated on Oct 7 and turned in at the annual LWR ingathering on Oct 13.

Worship Service with Easter Hill United Methodist Church

This Sunday, August 26th at Hope

One Bread, One Body:
Celebrate our unity in Christ with Easter Hill United Methodist Church

10:00am – Joint worship (Pr. Dale preaching; Pr. Pamela presiding. Our combined choirs will lead our music)

11:30am – Brown Bag Meal assembly (we’ll make nutritious meals for hungry people in our neighborhood)

Noon – Potluck lunch
Please bring a salad, main dish or a dessert!

Join us as we worship, share a meal, and do God’s work together!

Innovating, inspiring, collaborating: Hope connects at the 2018 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly in Sacramento

Never have I seen so many Lutherans in one place. If I could recap the three days in one sentence, it’s this: No matter the burdens we face, our conference of 24 local congregations, and the Sierra Pacific synod share our yoke.

The 2018 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly in Sacramento last weekend brought representatives from 192 congregations and the national ELCA and even international guests together to connect, inspire, collaborate, and elect several leadership positions. Pastor Pamela Griffith Pond, Council President Vicki Steele-Woodall, and I (member Brandon Mercer) represented Hope Lutheran Church as voting members, and Cathy Baca staffed the Hunger table. We also were represented by your incredible cookies, several dozen of which were enjoyed by the group (and a few of which were enjoyed directly by me prior to their delivery to the hospitality table).

The most inspiring moments of the assembly for me were found in the diverse perspectives of the speakers.

The most useful moments for me were found in working with our conference, the “Bridges Conference”—a subgroup of the greater synod—to discuss collaboration, mutual concerns, inter-congregational communication, and issues impacting the 24 congregations in the Marin, Napa, western Contra Costa, Oakland, and Alameda areas.

The most lighthearted moment for me came halfway through dinner on Saturday, but you’ll have to ask more about that in person.

Standing there, worshipping, debating, and sharing a meal shoulder to shoulder with so many Lutherans was proof incarnate that we have critical mass to do big things. It’s a matter of tapping into that power and those ideas to breathe life into our local vision.

The keynote speaker, Rozela Haydée White talked about who are our neighbors, and how do we see them. She’s the Houston City Director for Mission Year, after serving the ELCA as the Director for Young Adult Ministry.

In two separate sessions, we reflected at our table on questions of how we love ourselves, how we see ourselves, and how we love our neighbors, and what that love looks like.  With the on-going theme of social justice, she asked what reconciling means, and how our church and our nation can come to grips with how we dehumanized another race for so much of our nation’s history. She also talked about sharing faith, and the importance of listening when sharing, not just talking. Hearing where people are and what they need, and being a church in the neighborhood.

Bishop Mark Holmerud began the final two years of his term leading our synod talking about our buildings and how we think about those resources.  “We have to give up our love affairs with our buildings if we’re going to be good neighbors,” he said to the assembly, to strong applause. Think new, think big, and think beyond were the themes in his address. Look at not your church’s survival, but your role in the community, and what God can do with us.

At the table, we discussed what we value meaning what we spend our time and resources on, and how it aligns with our actual values.  We brainstormed about the reasons people attend Hope, and what they want to get out of the experience, and whether we are delivering that.  All good questions that we will consider more in-depth in the transition process.

THEME: We are church together. This is our neighborhood.
VERSE:  Luke 10:27  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
FULL AGENDA: (Includes resolutions, speakers, and more):

Many leaders shared visionary ministries where one congregation opened its doors to feed the hungry in a big community event, but no one came in. Looking around at all the food and coffee, they decided to leave their walls, and go out in the community.

They found dozens of day laborers waiting for work at Home Depot, and stopped, and were able to pass out all the food they had right there in the parking lot next to the big orange building.

They said, well, that did some good, so let’s try it again.

So they did.

And again.

And the men looking for work asked if someone might pray with them. So they did.

And they asked, might they share communion. And they did.

And might they sing a hymn. And they did.

And today, that group is now meeting every Sunday as its own organized and recognized congregation of the ELCA.

Sunday morning, brought three courageous women to the stage, each sharing what the “Justice for Women Social Statement” meant to them. (Join our own discussion of it at 8:30 a.m. June 10th, this coming Sunday.)

A friend of mine, Rebekkah Turnbaugh from St. John’s Lutheran Church (the congregation Adriane and I transferred from), shared poignant words about her conservative father and his vision for her life to grow up and become a mother and wife. Watch it here or read on

Growing up in a strict Calvinist home, Rebekkah had been taught that a woman’s place was to submit to her husband, and focus on the family. The challenge for her as she reached adulthood was her father’s concern that she could never realize that role.

She was different. Rebekkah uses a wheelchair after being paralyzed as an infant, and her father worried she would never find a man who would take her. This pivotal moment shaped who she became, as she was so much more than a future wife or future mother, but rather an intelligent, fierce, independent, and powerful woman on her own. She reflected on her experience as being “infinitely a woman,” “consciously white,” and “healthfully a person with a disability” because her body is not sick not in need of healing.

Our very own Pastor Pamela led a workshop called, “So your pastor is leaving,” which I was eager to attend. In it she and the other ELCA interim pastors shared some of the process and reasons for the transition period before putting out the call.  I’d read this before, but it took on new meaning now in the context of our work at Hope and our future.

—  Brandon Mercer

New Members Class

  • Are you looking for a church home?
  • Do you want to know more about being a Lutheran Christian?
  • Have you been worshiping at Hope, but never officially connected?

Join our small group study this July, Sunday mornings at 11:45, beginning July 1st.  To register, put your name on the clipboard on the table in the narthex, or email the church office.