A Vow Renewal

we still do...

Watercolor FloralWatercolor FloralWatercolor Floral

Scott Leiker


Tara Leiker


June 10, 2023

Oakland, CA

The Story of Why...

From Darkness to Light, From Old to New!

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. Isaiah 9:2 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for choosing to attend our Vow Renewal Ceremony - or, even if you can’t make it, we are just glad you are in our lives. Tara and I were talking and want you to know the reasons we are doing this. Explaining does involve sharing a bit of our history: Tara and I met around this time of year in 1996 in SF. I was living in Columbia, MO, attending University and Tara had moved to SF to study to be a yoga teacher at the sister ashram of one she had grown up in and around in Monroe, NY. Tara and I had both connected with folks from St John’s Order and were both getting more and more interested in practicing the strange blend of Tibetan Buddhism, Japanese Shugendo Buddhism, and Russian Orthodox Old Believers Christianity. At the end of that summer I returned to my studies and Tara, on her own accord, moved to Columbia to nanny for a family in the order. Tara and I became “clergy” in the order and focused our efforts on spiritual growth, service work, and academic achievement. We didn’t really like each other at first, (T) Scott was real clumsy and tall - but we took ballet lessons and that helped (S) but through working side by side we began to get to know each other, dating on and off until we married in June of 2004 (the big wedding was not until November). In 2006, we adopted Anthony and in 2008 we felt….guided? move to SF. That led us to become emergency foster parents where we were blessed to make connections with Clinton (b. 1998) and Shayna (b. 1995), who we are privileged to call family to this day. In 2011 we were very surprised to learn that Tara was pregnant and Remi was born in September of that year (T) taking a good long 19 days of contractions every 3-5 minutes to come out! (S) At that time, we met some fellow parents of Anthony’s kindergarten class and became interested in attending their church. We were not much interested for ourselves but wanted to find a wholesome, diverse environment in which spirituality was taken seriously. This was a Christian church, which we were leery of, but, when one of the first couples we met calmly admitted they had gotten into an argument on the way to church, we knew we were in the right place. This was not a place where pretending to be better than you are was the way these folks interpreted the message of Jesus. Sounds good to us! We began studying the Bible and came to realize that we didn’t really know anything about how to be married in a way that was really going to work, to keep it to last. It turns out the Bible has a lot to say about how to live your life, have a good marriage and how to raise up a good family. Who knew? Tara and I were baptized on May 28th, 2013 (about 10 years ago) and have wanted to renew our vows since then. Well, all number of things have gotten in the way of making that happen - we were fortunate enough to have Myles join us in 2014 (same birth mom as Anthony) and we have also had some pretty intense health challenges to navigate since. But, we’re here now and we’re so happy that you’re in our lives - that’s why we invited you! This ceremony is about 2 things - renewing our vows of marriage to each other, a marriage now lived in the light of Christ’s love and guidance. Without God coming into our lives, our lives and marriage would look a lot different today. It is also an opportunity to say “thank you” to each one of you. We really believe that our love for each other is, ultimately, a service to God and to all the people we know and have been touched by. We wouldn't have been able to make it this far without all of you and we want you to be fed and encouraged by this time that you might be inspired to go and bring light and love to this dark world.