Archive for Events – Page 2

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. 

Gratitude Can Change Everything

 
Our theme for November is gratitude. 

Why? Because we need it, especially now. Seeing the world through the eyes of gratitude changes us. Gratitude can change everything. 

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:6-7, he writes,   Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Diana Butler Bass, bestselling author of “Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks,” writes,  The capacity for collective joy is encoded into us….We can live without it, as most of us do, but only at the risk of succumbing to the solitary nightmare of depression.  Why not reclaim our distinctly human heritage as creatures who can generate their own ecstatic pleasures out of music, color, feasting, and dance?  Why not?  Why not rediscover gratitude through play? 

November Calendar Highlights

Month – long initiatives:

  1. Virtual food drive with Alameda County Community Food Bank 
  2.  Journaling about gratitude. we invite you to: 
    1. keep a gratitude journal for the month of November. (Feel free to download and use)
    2. share your prayers of gratitude during our prayer time in worship. 

Key dates in November:  (for more details see below)  

Sunday, Nov 1, during service: All Saints and all Soul’s Day (remember to set your clocks back Saturday night, the 31st) (Here’s the facebook event to share)

Monday Nov. 2, 7 pm, Calm in the Storm –Gratitude on the Eve of the election;   Laurie, Ken, Benjamin and Gabrielle, and here’s the facebook event to share.

Thurs, Nov 12, 7PM   Green team: climate discussion, Zoom Link Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Sunday, Nov 15, Rev. Jim Antal guest speaker – Gratitude for the Earth – the Earth is God’s, discussion after the service (w/Green team) Zoom Link Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Thurs, Nov 19, 7PM:   Justice &Witness:  400th anniversary discussion of First People, Zoom Link Meeting ID: 716 026 467

Sunday, Nov 22,  Benjamin Mertz – 400th Gratitude for First People. Anniversary of Plymouth – Thanksgiving, Zoom Link Meeting ID: 716 026 467, https://www.facebook.com/SkylineCommunityChurch

Here are slides from last Sunday’s  quarterly meeting, describing more of our mission highlights for the fall. 

Remembering Loved Ones on All Saints Day: Sunday Service

Sunday, November 1, 10-11 AM
From Pastor Laurie: November 1 is All Saints Day. I invite us to remember our loved ones who have died.
As part of this service, I would like to make a video of photos of our beloved dead. If you would like to remember someone who has died from your past – a family member, a mentor, a dear friend – in this video, please send a photo of that person to Pastor Laurie at (office@skylineucc.org) by Thursday, October 29. The simplest way is to take a photo of your printed photo, and email a large image to me.
 
Second, please have photos of your beloved dead set out by your communion elements when you set up for worship on Sunday, November 1.
With love, Laurie
Meeting ID: 716 026 467 

Debt Relief – Jubilee Weekend 2020

Our UCC conference, and our church, voted in 2015 to become Jubilee conferences, which honors the biblical concept of debt relief for the poorest. I encourage you to read these addresses from Eric LaCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, addressing  the UN conference on Covid 19 crisis recovery and debt relief. 
 
This year’s Jubilee Weekend 2020: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus , will be held October 16th – 18th, the same weekend as the major IMF and World Bank meetings this year. We lift up our voices in defense of the world’s most vulnerable during this critical time, to help  expand debt relief for the 73 poorest countries and move forward more aid for developing countries.

This year is really important. The United Nations estimates that 265 million more people are facing famine due to the coronavirus crisis. The International Labor Organization says 400 million jobs will be wiped out and the IMF asserts the current economic crisis rivals the Great Depression.

During Jubilee Weekend 2020: Curing Poverty, Inequality and the Coronavirus, the IMF and World Bank will make decisions that will determine whether or not tens of millions of people will enter extreme poverty or if hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world can exit poverty. As coronavirus wreaks havoc around the globe and induces a global economic crisis on par with the Great Depression, we need to make a strong call for debt cancellation, relief and increased aid to address the crisis in developing countries.

I close with this prayer of Jubilee:
 
O Great G-d of all creation, hear our plea
We pray for an end to broken systems, in a world beset by the ravages of poverty and debt
We pray for rightness, fairness, justice and grace
We pray for your light to guide us as we seek your will.
Bless us with an economy that is whole and right, where all can live in dignity and hope and your light shines brightly in every land
G-d Most High, Bless us with your Jubilee
 
 
 
 

Calm in the Storm: Vespers with Skyline Church

 
 
 
An evening of meditative songs and prayers.
In this present moment, on the eve of the election, rest in a moment of slow, beautiful calm, and touch the center.
An hour of interfaith readings, prayers, music, and silence.
Our Musicians (above left to right):
Ken Medema
Benjamin Mertz
Gabrielle Lochard
 

Annual Blessing of the Animals – Virtual

Sunday, October 4, 3:00 PM PST  

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/716026467

Meeting ID: 716 026 467  or call: 510 421 2646 

On this day, Sunday Oct 4th,  we come together to acknowledge the sacred importance of all living creatures, honoring the wisdom of St Francis. 

Come and celebrate with us LIVE ON ZOOM, the animal companions in our lives with internationally renowned musician Ken Medema and Pastor Laurie Manning in a spirited, creative, joyous and spiritual ceremony.  

Especially now, as we are sheltering in place, this is a time to honor and give thanks for these beloved companions who are part of our families, that are a blessing to us all. This is an event for the entire family, so please bring not only your children, but also brother dog and sister cat, as well as your beloved gerbils, geckos, goats, hamsters, mice, rabbits, parrots, turtles, mini-horses, etc. All are welcome! 

Together we will:  

  • Honor the wisdom of St Francis, as well as indigenous traditions, Buddhism, and other faiths. 
  • Meet each other’s extended families!
  • Celebrate your pets -so bring them if you can on zoom, or bring your photos, and be ready to share your stories! 
  • Remember our beloved pets who have died, so bring your photos and your stories!
  • Sing and enjoy with Ken’s magical, gifted, improvisations!

Here’s an article by Oakland North from a few years ago when they covered our ceremony a few years ago:  “Dogs, mini-horses and a leopard gecko received blessings at Skyline Community Church [at the annual blessing ceremony], along with a cat, goat and photos of animals ‘with us in spirit.’ On a hot, summery afternoon, pastor Laurie Manning and church member Rhea Babbitt kneeled before some 40 furry, four-legged creatures and their owners, and blessed them. …Churches worldwide honor animals on the first Sunday of October, the feast day for the patron saint of animals St. Francis of Assisi….In the back were two mini-horses, their eyes like baseballs, their summer coats shedding. Some dogs sat on their owners’ laps while others lazed on the cool floor, perhaps tired from sniffing and circling other dogs before the service. One church member said he would have brought his cat, if not for his arm being in a sling, and his cat’s grumpiness that morning. Babbitt, who organized the ceremony, led the congregation in a reading. ‘On this day we come together to acknowledge,” they read aloud, “the sacred importance of all living creatures…. ‘”

And another article from even earlier!

Reverend Laurie Manning is available to bless your dog, cat, goat, parakeet, fish, horse or whatever your and your camera can bring to Zoom!  You can also bring photos of beloved pets who cannot handle a Zoom meeting (can you blame them?)  or have passed on to receive a blessing.

About Ken Medema – For four decades, Ken Medema has inspired people through storytelling and music. Though blind from birth, Ken sees and hears with heart and mind.  His ability to capture spirit in word and song is unparalleled. One of the most creative and authentic artists performing today, Ken custom designs every musical moment of his performance with brilliant improvisation that defies description. With an ever-growing circle of friends around the world, Ken’s vocal and piano artistry and imagination have reached audiences of 50 to 50,000 people in 49 United States and in more than 15 countries on four continents.

About Pastor Laurie – The Reverend Laurie J. Manning joined Skyline Church in 2006. She holds respective Master’s degrees from Union Theological Seminary (Columbia U), Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. Prior to becoming a minister Laurie worked in various management capacities for Hewlett Packard  and then as a consultant with high technology and medical clients. Laurie brings a solid understanding of the psychological and organizational complexities of living as a Christian in today’s pluralistic and scientific world.  She has a passion for the spiritual well-being of people, for social and environmental justice, and lives life with gusto!

Abolition and Liberation – Connections Between the Prison Industrial Complex and Freeing Palestine

On Thursday August 28, 10-11:30am Pacific time, The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity is co-hosting an international discussion of the connections between Black Lives Matter calls for abolishing the prison industrial complex, and Palestinian calls for tearing down all apartheid walls and freeing Palestine. 
 
Our speakers bring years of on-the-ground experience and strategic thinking to the conversation.
  • Angela Davis is an international activist and scholar, whose legacy dates back to the 1960s. Her 2003 book Are Prisons Obsolete?  laid the strategic groundwork for the current abolition movement.
  • Jamal Juma’, a leading grassroots organizer since Palestine’s First Intifada in 1987, and currently the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots :Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign” and “Stop the Wall”.
  • Kristian Davis Bailey, a co-founder of “Black for Palestine” and a co-author of the 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine Statement signed by more than 1,000 Black activists. Kristian currently works at Palestine Legal and is a member of “LeftRoots”. 
There has never been a more critical time for this thought-provoking and inspiring conversation. Please join us as we sharpen our understanding of these critical issues and build our capacity for effective resistance!
 

Zoom with the Justice and Witness Team: Racial Justice

Thursday, August 13th, 7:00 pm
 
As we experience heightened awareness of racism and White Supremacy in our country – and in our community – especially since the killing of George Floyd; and as we consider how we can become involved with one another in this movement for racial justice, our first meeting in a series will start from the the desire that we connect more deeply with one another.  To that end, we will share our “stories” – who we are, our beginnings, what are the things in our lives that have shaped our world views.  All are invited!  Please join us!  

For questions, contact Nancy Taylor via the office at 510-531-8212, office@skylineucc.org. (during shelter in place email is best)

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/901784352 Meeting ID: 901 784 352 One tap mobile +16699009128,,901784352# US (San Jose) +13462487799,,901784352# US (Houston)