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Archive for Events

Skyline Celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In June 1965, the Voting Rights Act languished in the House Rules Committee after passage in the Senate. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this letter to the New York Amsterdam News urging its passage as the first step in ensuring access to the ballot.

King wrote,

“There must be a change. There will be a change.
For to deny a person the right to exercise his political freedom at the polls
is no less a dastardly act as to deny a Christian the right to petition God in prayer.”

This week, we remember the legacy of a prophet in our times. Here are just a few opportunities for remembering him.

Some valuable resources from the UCC honoring Martin Luther King weekend, and schedule follow up discussions (see sections below). Let’s make the most of shelter in place, and immerse ourselves in the prophetic faith of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in these challenging times.

Blessings and love, Pastor Laurie

Radical King & Prophetic Faith

A Virtual Gathering to Reflect on the Radical Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 7- 8 PM PST

Join Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity on January 14, as we reflect on the radical legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Let us go beyond mainstream portrayals of Martin Luther King Jr, and how he continues to influence the work of many movements. Participate in prayer, song, storytelling, and action! Featuring Benjamin Mertz!

Click HERE to Register.

“What Shall We Say to These Things – Crafting a Social Gospel for the 21st Century”

We encourage you to watch this 90 minute recording at your convenience, of an inter-generational conversation, between Ruby Sales: member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960’s, founder of the Spirit House Project, and one of fifty African Americans spotlighted in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, and Brittany Packnett Cunningham: Ferguson Commissioner and activist, co- founder of Campaign Zero, NBC News and MSNBC contributor, and member of President Obama’s 21st Century Task Force, as we discuss the current role of faith and faith leaders in the midst of socio-political crisis. This conversation will be moderated by Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ.

Click HERE to watch

Christianity After Trump

Sunday January 17, 5 – 6pm PST:

Join us for a conversation with Brian McLaren on how white American Christianity has aided and abetted the Trump presidency, and how courageous Christians must chart a new course in its aftermath.

Brian will draw from his new book Faith After Doubt and also from his resources on bias and authoritarianism.

Register Here Today!

Following the discussion6 – 6:30pm, join us for a conversation with Skyline’s Spiritual Life team, for a 30 minute debrief!

Peace, Pastor Laurie

Here’s our Zoom Meeting Link:  https://zoom.us/j/716026467
Meeting ID: 716 026 467
Dial in by phone 1-669-900-9128
Dial in by phone: 1-346-248-7799

MLK Day of Service

Monday, January 187am – 11am PST  Yes, it’s an early morning!!
$35 per person  (4 hours, includes 1/2 hour lunch break).

Join us for a half day teach-in with Chuck Alphin,
certified Kingian Non-violence Trainer
, as we explore:

  • The Myths and Facts of Nonviolence
  • Types and Levels of Conflict
  • Six Principals of Kingian Non-violence
  • Six Applications of Kingian Non-violence

To Join the Webinar from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device
Please click HERE to join

Building Back Hope: A Service of Release & Renewal

Tuesday, January 19, 12:30PM – 1:30PM  PST 

Please join the United Church of Christ and The People’s Inauguration as we curate space for Release & Renewal at the intersection of Pain & Promise.

At the close of Martin Luther King Day Celebrations and on the cusp of the 47th Inauguration, we will worship together bearing witness to this past year and pouring Hope into the future.

What is Hope? Hope is the confident expectation that all God intends will come to pass. Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger; Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church; Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, Director of Faith Formation, UCC will join the Officers and staff as we Build Back Hope, followed with a sermon by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor of Trinity UCC-Chicago. *closed captioning and Spanish translation will be available.

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject
a new dimension of Love into the veins of our civilization.”

~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To join please click HERE

Sanctuary, Solidarity, and Epiphany

It’s the season of Epiphany! I’m searching for the light of that star, especially this year, how about you?

What is epiphany? An “epiphany” is a moment of understanding, a moment of consciousness. In last Sunday’s gospel, Matthew tells us the Magi (who were gentiles [that is, non-Jews]) know something is up. They’ve been watching the night skies and a star suggests to them that something is happening in Judea, something to do with royalty. So they travel Judea and check in with King Herod. They get sent off to Bethlehem to find the child and when they find him, they have an epiphany. They realize that this non-royal, peasant child carries God’s love in a special, perhaps even unique way. Thus, Epiphany (the holiday) celebrates the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles.

But that one paragraph summary fails to capture the drama of the story. During their visit to King Herod, the Magi were ordered to report back to the king the location of the child. “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road,” Matthew tells us.

Theology professor Dr. Serene Jones tweeted, Civil disobedience lies at the heart of the Epiphany story: The magi receive an unjust order from a vindictive tyrant. Instead, they defy him. May we do likewise.”

Our sacred stories remind us that Jesus came to stand up to the principalities and powers that abuse and neglect. Time and again, Jesus calls us to participate in this holy work. Regardless of the outcome of the elections in Georgia, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s certification of the Electoral College vote, that holy work will not end. The principalities and powers – in the halls of government and the halls of corporations – that abuse and neglect will continue their ugly work. And so, our Christ-like work of pursuing justice, compassion, and love will continue.

Join us this Sunday, as we continue in this season of Epiphany, with Jesus’s baptism. We are invited to remember that each one of us is God’s beloved child, and that together, as Skyline community church, we are a beloved family, building the beloved community. As part of this service, we will remember our calling as a sanctuary congregation – a renewing of our sanctuary vows, and the power of solidarity in this season of Epiphany.

We are also pleased to have with us this Sunday, my/our friend and colleague, Rev Deborah Lee, https://www.im4humanintegrity.org/our-staff/, Executive Director of the Interfaith Center For Human Integrity. https://www.im4humanintegrity.org/who-we-are/. We will learn more, during and after the service about their work and how we can be of support.

Please be sure to bring with you, a bowl of water for the renewal of our baptismal vows.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie

Christmas Eve – Virtual Gathering

 

Join us on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec 24 at 6PM, for a traditional lesson and carols service, featuring music by the talented Gabrielle Lochard, Ken Medema, and our Skyline choir ensemble.   Led by Pastor Laurie.

Zoom Link:  https://zoom.us/j/716026467
Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Longest Night Vespers on the Solstice

Longest Night Vespers on the Solstice
Dec 21 7PM

Continuing our recent series of interfaith vespers services, join us for an evening of music, readings, and contemplation. If you are lonely, grieving, depressed and/or just want to give full attention to the shadow side of the season, join us.  We will meditate on the moment and center down on the longest night of the year. We will remember that God created light and dark, day and night, and said both were good. 

   

An evening of meditative songs & prayers.
In this present moment, on the eve of the Longest Night, rest in a time of slow, beautiful calm, and touch the center.

An hour of interfaith readings, prayers, music, and silence.

Featuring music by the talented Gabrielle Lochard and Ken Medema, with reflections from Pastor Laurie

   
 

Magnificat Sunday

Magnificat Sunday, Dec 20 10AM

Join us for Sunday worship on the 4th Sunday in Advent – Magnificat Sunday – Love, Magnifying the Light into the World as we explore Mary’s ecstatic and mystical expression of the divine, featuring a premier of “My Soul Magnifies the Light” by composer and vocalist Sarah Grace Graves. In this new setting of the Magnificat, commissioned and written for Skyline’s virtual choir, Sarah offers an interpretation of these words woven in meditative sonorities and ecstatic, expressive improvisations for the voice.

She writes, “I love the Magnificat. Mary’s words are so charged with feeling and energy. […] Mary’s song resonates with me at the time of my writing this because the world is, like it was then, completely upside down, and I don’t know what will happen. I can accept not knowing. […] But in moments like these, I want to hope, and the hope and awe of her words inspire me to face the future with courage and grace.”

Featuring music by the talented Gabrielle Lochard, Ken Medema, our Skyline choir ensemble, and our sermon from Pastor Laurie.

Zoom Link:  https://zoom.us/j/716026467
Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Virtual Christmas Party

Join us this Sunday, December 13, for our Virtual Christmas Party!

Sunday Service 10AM – 3rd Sunday in Advent – Joy, Young at Heart
Zechariah (Luke 1:5-25) 

Jane Medema guest preacher in worship

*Stay tuned – At 11:30AM after worship for our Virtual Christmas Party
with lunch, lessons, and carols. Bring your lunch, download the Carol Sing hymnal, and let’s join in singing. Feel free to share your own celebration ideas with Pastor Laurie & David Guerra! So far we have – the 12 days of Christmas, your earliest Christmas memories, your own experiences of being young at heart, brainstorming together about the good news about virtual Christmas parties!

Zoom Link:  https://zoom.us/j/716026467
Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Gifts For The Children

ANNOUNCEMENT:
December Gift Giving!
Gifts for the Unhoused Children of East Oakland Community Project

Once again, Skyline Church and Preschool have an opportunity for gift-giving to the homeless children of the East Oakland Community Project.

In 2019, Alameda County reported the biggest increase of 43% since its last tally in 2017, with a total of 8,022 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people counted during a single day.  Deaths in Alameda County’s unhoused communities increased 40% during the first nine months of 2020, compared to the same period the previous year. 

We are grateful for our planned generosity to EOCP.

This year, because of COVID, we will be signing up to give gift cards rather than wrapped presents. The Church is taking 27 names and the Preschool is taking 26 names of the total 53 children in the EOCP programs.

Because we don’t have the list of children’s names yet, we ask that you sign up anyhow – with a name to be assigned later.

We’re recommending that you purchase a gift card with a value of $30 from either Target or Walmart, and place the card inside an envelope with a Christmas card, with the child’s name on the outside of the envelope (if we get names by 12/15), signed with your name(s) on the inside.  Please do not seal the envelope.  We haven’t received a date to deliver the cards yet; but please plan on dropping these off at the Preschool, no later than December 15.  A box will be provided at the bottom of the stairs during school hours for this purpose. As an alternative, feel free to drop at Nancy Taylor’s: 4207 Knoll Ave., Oakland 94619.  Finally, if you are unable to go out and purchase a gift card, you may write a check made out to Skyline Church with “EOCP” in the note field, mail it to the church.  Nancy T will use the funds to purchase gift cards and Christmas cards and sign for you.

To sign up, please email Nancy Montier 510-531-8212  office@skylineucc.org

Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

Advent Reading Party: Moving Towards the Light

Monday, Nov. 16, 7PM by Zoom

What a joy it will be to receive the timeless gift of Christmas in this strange and troubling year.  With so many distractions, we are going to need to give careful attention to the things that matter; that nourish and restore our hearts and minds.

You are invited to a heart-warming Skyline online party.  No sermons, no lessons, no liturgy, no music. Just reading aloud to one another and chatting about the beautiful words of Old and New Testaments that have graced every Advent  and Christmas season….just because they are dear to us, and we love the sound of them. 

Bring a cup of tea and a Bible, and a heart ready to hear once again.

 

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Virtual Food Drive for Alameda County Community Food Bank

Results – November Food Drive
For the Alameda County Community Food Bank

Dear Skyline Church and Preschool,

With an initial goal of $800 surpassed, the goal was expanded to $1500. Our virtual food drive is over, and you’ve donated $1,751 to supply 3,502 meals to Alameda County residents! Well done!

Here’s a thank you from the Alameda County Community Food Bank:

Even though 2020 has been a challenging year, we still found some bright spots: YOU.

Your compassion, support, and dedication to ending hunger in our community is something all of us at ACCFB are grateful for. You’ve donated, volunteered, shared our messages, and so much more. 

You may not always get to see the impact you’ve had – but we want you to know just how important you are to our community. We made this short video to say thank you.

From all of us at Alameda County Community Food Bank, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

Gratefully,
The ACCFB Team

 

While our food drive is over, if you’re inspired to give on your own, you can learn more on ways to give here.  And, here’s the direct link to the donation page – https://donate.accfb.org/

Thank you for your huge generosity and love!

Contact:  Nancy Montier (510-531-8212  office@skylineucc.org)

Gratitude for Awakening: Remembering the 400th Anniversary of Plymouth Thanksgiving

Sunday, Nov 22, Benjamin Mertz, Guest Preacher in worship    

Discussion after the service with Benjamin

This year, Nov 22, 2020, marks the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth MA. We remember in fact, this was the Pilgrims’ invasion of the Wampanoag people which led to the enslavement of Indigenous Peoples on the East Coast and the removal of and genocide against Indigenous peoples across the continent;  we remember that many Christian churches have uncritically traced their origins to the Pilgrims’ “Free Church” tradition – a mythos that sanctifies white supremacy and depends upon erasure of Indigenous peoples. Benjamin Mertz, our former music director at Skyline, is also a composer, singer, songwriter, choir director, and social racial justice activist who builds interfaith and interracial alliances.