The Green Team and Justice and Witness Team request your attention and action:
To Oakland Residents: You are invited to either of these 2 TownHall Meetings, to review and give your comments on Oakland’sDraft2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan Visit this linkto comment directly on the draft, and join us at a Town Hall to review and discuss the Plan as a community. Town Hall 1: Saturday, November 2 Location: Rainbow Recreation Center 5800 International Blvd. Time: 1-4 pm (lunch at 12pm) RSVP: https://climatejusticetownhall1.eventbrite.com
At the Town Hall meetings, Oaklanders will come together to dive further into the ECAP and the draft Actions, and vote on what needs to be kept, improved, or eliminated. Food and childcare will be provided. Simultaneous interpretation will be available with advanced request. Both Town Halls will cover the same material. For more information or if you need a ride, contact Catherine Kessler via the office at 510-531-8212 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Days after global protests calling for climate change action, the United Nations held a special climate summit where world leaders and other officials gathered to hammer out specific pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Recently, the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, measured the percentage of people in the US who believe that climate change is a threat to the well-being of the planet. The results were more telling than even I expected. 94% of liberal democrats believe it is a threat, but only 19% of conservative republicans do. Perhaps even more frightening is that only 57% of all people in the US do.
In Europe, the very question would illicit incredulity because they KNOW climate change is a threat, just like they know the earth is round and the sun is hot. How this became a matter of opinion in this country is a frightening tribute to politicians’ ability to use the media and the bible to manipulate our trust in the most basic science-based facts.
Relatedly, if we can be made to doubt something so obvious, what other things have we been made to believe that simply aren’t so? Well, a good portion of people in this country believe that tax cuts for the rich will help the poor and middle-class. Many people believe we went to war with Iraq because of 9/11. Apparently, many people still believe that capital punishment deters crime and that guns make us a safer nation.
I have been so moved by the clarity of Greta Thunberg, the voice of a young prophet of our times, challenging insatiable greed, at the expense of life itself.
I give thanks to Skyline for being a part of the movement, to reform our understanding and our ways of what it means to be good stewards of this precious planet, and embodying inclusive love of all people, especially the most vulnerable. I give thanks for advocating for the Green New Deal, as part of this global grass roots movement for life.
Join us this Sunday as we deepen our connection to this global grass roots movement for life. We look forward to celebrating Yom Kippur with Rabbi David Cooper, a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, and founding rabbi of Kehilla synagogue in Oakland. Here’s some info about David.
I recently listened to Carl Sagan’s “The Pale Blue Dot,” a moving description of our planet written after Voyager 1 looked back at Earth as it left our solar system in 1990. It reminded me of Earth’s fragility and the thin layer of atmosphere that makes our world livable. We now have a little time left to save ourselves from devastation; the changes we have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not keeping pace with the heating up of our atmosphere. www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html
So, we all must do more. I am addressing something every person can do, that is actually simple, no added cost, and is significant to a healthy you and a healthy planet.
The world’s food system is responsible for about ¼ of the planet-warming greenhouse gases, C02, methane (“natural gas”) that humans generate each year. That includes raising and harvesting all the plants, animals and animal products we eat, as well as processing, packaging and shipping food to markets all over the world.
Meat and dairy, particularly from cows, have an outsize impact, with livestock accounting for around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases each year. That’s roughly the same amount as the emissions from all the cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined in the world today.
What about all the talk about eating more animal protein and very low carb for good health?
More recent evidence unequivocally shows that the plant-based diet is the best. When studies are continued for longer periods on large groups, the outcomes show lower blood fats and blood pressure, healthier weight maintenance, healthier gut bacteria which in turn maintain a healthy immune system. (very low animal fat, high fiber, increase of beneficial plant compounds and the omission of harmful compounds produced from charred meat).
So, what is a Plant-Based Diet?
It means using the main plant proteins (see below) instead of animal proteins, but does not completely eliminate the foods that may be part of special cultural celebrations. And it also has a significant amount of your Calories coming from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plant oils, to lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Try making a gradual shift to mostly plant-based eating:
Reduce beef portion size (adult needs are met with 3 oz.or 21grams of protein at one time)
Reduce frequency of beef gradually to monthly; substitute poultry, seafood, plant protein.
Plan several days of meatless meals by making a large pot of beans, or lentil stew.
For YOUR health, don’t increase intake of fatty pork (even though its carbon footprint is lower than beef and lamb.
Gradually move to making your protein source plant-based: Beans, lentils, hummus, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, seeds are the highest in protein quantity and quality.
It’s Monday, Earth Day, and it’s a glorious spring afternoon. I am sitting in the Garden of Eden which exists in my back yard; as the warm sun kisses my shoulders through the shade of graceful redwood and bay trees, and my senses are filled with the fragrance of roses and trees.
It was Wendell Berry who wrote:
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
All of us who know that all is not as it should be in the world, and it is easy for despair to grow-yet today, Earth Day, we remember our interconnection with Earth and with one another, while pledging to make a difference in how we live, work, and worship.
I give thanks that I am part of a faith community and a denomination that embraces God’s calling to us as active participants in caring for this Garden of Eden.
Join us this Sunday as we are blessed by the music of the Pacific Boychoir Academy, and learn more about how we are advocating for the Green New Deal!
What an amazing Earth Day celebration we had last weekend! (Although, I really believe that we should be honoring and celebrating the earth every day, especially now).
Special thank you’s on this Earth Day weekend to:
Catherine Kessler, Chair of the Green team, for her tireless advocacy for the earth, and instilling best practices in nutrition, recycling, composting, and policy changes, locally & globally.
Michael Armijo, for his knowledgeable dedication to our campus building and grounds.
Walter Jones, co-chair of the Green team, for his love of the “Garden of God” and the UCC.
Our talented musicians, Ken Medema and Benjamin Mertz, for Friday’s “Care for Creation” concert.
To all of you, for contributing your time, energy, and talents to our advocacy for our precious home, planet earth.
On Friday Night we held a benefit concert featuring two extraordinarily talented musicians, Ken Medema and Benjamin Mertz (see photos and videos below). We partnered with our local climate justice coalitions and supported the efforts of No Coal in Oakland, in their advocacy to keep coal out of the Port of Oakland. Thank you for your generosity. We will donate a part of the proceeds to West Oakland Environmental Indicators, a project begun by Margaret Gordon, a Commissioner of the Port of Oakland.
On Saturday we had a workday, to clear away some of the rapidly growing plant life on our campus.
Then on Sunday, we held an Earth Day service, featuring Oakland’s Major Libby Schaaf.
After the service we engaged in a conversation with her about our partnership as people of faith, to create local policy changes needed to reduce global warming, and to end environmental racism.
Guess who’s joining us for worship as we honor Earth Day this Sunday? Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaff!
We will worship together, and share our hopes and dreams for a healthy environment for all of Oakland. She’ll be with us from 10 – 12, with time devoted from 11:15 – 12 noon for conversation with her.
In 1962, in a book entitled Silent Spring, Rachel Carson lifted up her prophetic warning about humanity’s adverse effective on the environment, which spurred the birth of the environmental movement. Here we are almost 50 years later, and her warning is more urgent than ever: we citizens of earth are facing the greatest challenge of our day, or one might argue, of any day- the warming of the planet, threatening all life forms.
The good news is that for the 1st time, virtually all the nations of the world have agreed–climate change is real, and people are causing it.
The bad news, despite the will of the majority of people in the US, President Trump withdrew the US, the largest economy, from out of the Paris accord. In addition, he hired Scott Pruitt, with an agenda to roll back environmental regulations, to support the economy. It is a short term strategy to maximize profits, at the expense of the long term, & the most vulnerable on the planet.
I am a minister, and hopeful by nature. However, I am also a realist, and I’m guessing that we’re in for a pile of trouble. Emissions in China and India and other developing countries are rising. Population growth is expected to peak at about 9.5 billion by 2050, from the present 7 billion, straining the planet’s resources further. We are in a global-wide crisis that is unprecedented. This is the first time in the history of the earth that a generation of people has held the fate of the earth in our hands.
So, each of us, individually and collectively, must do what we can, within the context of our lives.
Join us on Friday evening for an amazing Earth Day Concert here at 7 pm , and an inspiring worship service on Sunday, joined by Mayor Libby Schaaf, where we will lift up many voices and calls to action about what have done, and what we can do together.
While Laurie is at the Climate Leadership Conference hosted by Al Gore, I looked through our website for blog posts about Skyline’s action towards climate health. Here are just a few excerpts, and they speak loudly for the environmental justice stand of Skyline.
Also, check out Laurie’s Gofundme page for her travel expenses to the Leadership Conference. Thanks! Blessings, Nancy Montier, Office Manager.
Posted July 5, 2017: The United Church of Christ General Synod 2017 has just overwhelmingly approved the Climate Resolution calling on clergy and congregations across the denomination to take action to protect the environment, and churches are lining up to stand behind it publicly.
Posted April 25, 2017:Join the Skyline contingent going to the Oakland March under the People’s Climate March on Saturday, 4/29 (100 days into the Trump administration). We will meet at Lincoln Square in front of the liquor store at 10:00 am and carpool
Posted June 30, 2016: From Laurie’s speech at the June 25 No Coal Rally: “I feel so much hope today, here with you, and here representing the voices of so many Oakland faith communities, including the dozens that are part of CIPL & the Sierra Club, in saying no to coal in Oakland …. Tonight, our City Council will vote a/ bringing coal into W. Oakland from Utah to export to Asia. I think if they asked us, we’d tell them right away – NO! no more coal dust, no more asthma, no more cancer, no more climate change!”
Posted Feb 17, 2016: Statement by Rev. Laurie Manning at the no-coal-in-Oakland press conference outside City Hall Tues, Feb 16, 2016: “We’re all familiar with “the Golden Rule.” It’s a universal principal, an ethic of reciprocity that teaches: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It teaches us to care about our neighbors. Who doesn’t care about the kid down the street, or down the hill breathing dirty air?”
Posted Sept 22, 2015: This week, millions across our nation will witness the words and vision of a man [Pope Francis] who has revolutionized a church and reinvigorated a 2,000-year-old gospel…. What’s revolutionary about Pope Francis is how he lives out his Christian faith through selfless good deeds, prophetic words to world leaders, and compassionate pastoral care. …We invite you to join us in praying for a transformative week for the US,…particularly with respect to climate change. …Skyline’s Green team is partnering … to host two prayer vigils on Wed Sept 23rd, at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm here at Skyline.
Posted Aug 31, 2015:As Pope Francis prepares to speak to the US Congress …about climate change, interfaith vigils are being held across the country. Skyline United Church of Christ, joined by members of other East Bay congregations concerned about the climate crisis, will host two interfaith prayer services for the climate – one in the morning and one in the evening. WHEN: SUNRISE at 6:30 a.m. & SUNSET at 6:30 p.m
Posted April 29, 2015:THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE (a film) accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of society, and the lives of billions of people.…The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption.
Skyline’s commitment to a green, healthy world for all is clear in our actions. What’s next?
I’ve returned from sharing precious time together with my family on the east coast where I grew up. I’m grateful for the cooler weather out here, especially after the record setting temperatures last weekend!
Many of us have been stunned by the unprecedented climate events these past few weeks, with global heat records being surpassed, and hurricanes like Harvey and Irma becoming ever more devastating. Many of us are wondering how can we support the disaster relief efforts and how can we prevent such events from occurring in the future?
Charity Navigator provides guidance to ensure that your donations maximize your contributions to relief efforts for Harvey and Irma victims.
In the long term, we need to embrace God’s calling to us to love and to protect this precious planet, not only for ourselves but for future generations and for those most vulnerable. We must continue to embrace the science that points to the underlying influences of human induced climate change and continue to advocate for our planet. In an effort to do both, and as our NCNCUCC Climate Justice Rep, I have applied for and have received a scholarship to attend Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Conference in October. I look forward to sharing this learning with you, as partners in this ministry.
Peace in these times and prayers for all who need help and safety,
There’s so much news this week between the new website, earth month, and stewardship season! Here we go!
Last week we launched our new website for the church, weddings and preschool, and I must say, it’s beautiful! Check it out! https://skylineucc.org/! What a compelling way of letting our light shine to the wider word, to engage others in the life giving ministries that we are engaged in! Special thanks to Pastor Laurie and Office Manager Nancy Montier, with input from the church council, for managing this process!
Earth Month Honored:
In addition to our new website, this month we honor our commitment to the earth. Earth. As many of you know our Green team has quite a track record with our commitment to the environment, locally and globally, and you can read more about it on our website: https://skylineucc.org/environmental-justice-green-team/.
Join us this Saturday, for the People’s Climate March (more info below).
Finally, it’s also the season of stewardship for our faith community, to serve for the glory of God. I encourage you to consider giving of your time and talents generously, to support the life giving ministries of this amazing faith community.
When I was confirmed in junior high school, I chose as my confirmation name, Teresa of Avila. Her words continue to inspire me. May they inspire us all!
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
I want to keep things rolling, and even if this time of year is busy, I am calling a meeting this week for those who are available; dinner is provided. Meet at my house on Brookpark Rd. Email the office for the address and to RSVP unless you already have my contact info. It’ll be a short meeting, and for those who can stay, we’ll watch the film, “Time to Choose” See info below.
All are welcome! Agenda:
Opening: environmental news:
Climate change/temp.increase happening at a faster rate than predicted
Global efforts to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (refrigerant) which are more powerful greenhouse gases than C02
Fema withdraws $ to remove eucalyptus trees in EBay hills
Other news: bring issues to the group to educate us all
Plans drafted for new preschool modular bldgs and new play area at SCC (will include solar collectors for whole campus)
New website: Green Team has a spot for updates and information about our site
Skyline Trail plans
Wrap-up from showing of film, This Changes Everything; we have donation $, how to use?
What do you want to see at Skyline next year?
Time to Choose Award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson turns his lens to address worldwide climate change challenges and solutions in “Time to Choose”. Featuring narration by award-winning actor Oscar Isaac, this film leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what can to be done to fix this global threat. Ferguson explores the comprehensive scope of the climate change crisis and examines the power of solutions already available. Through interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and brave individuals living on the front lines of climate change, Ferguson takes an in-depth look at the remarkable people working to save our planet.
At Skyline, we’re committed to nurturing the spiritual development of children and youth by equipping them with the tools they need to discover faith-filled answers… for themselves.
God has no hands but your hands, no feet but your feet, no face but your face. Join us in cultivating a more just and compassionate world, working together to understand and meet the real needs of our local community (Food Bank) and beyond (Sierra Leone School).
At Skyline, we’re committed to nurturing the spiritual development of children and youth by equipping them with the tools they need to discover faith-filled answers… for themselves.
We recognize the fragility of the earth and our own capacity to do harm. It is urgent that, as earth’s stewards, we make a commitment to our children and future generations to minimize our impact on the earth. We are working locally and globally in these efforts.