Archive for Green – Page 2

Earth Day – “I come into the peace of wild things…”

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!

Earth Day Thanks

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. 

This Friday, April 27th, join us for a potluck movie night, Al Gore’s powerful film, “An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power”, from 7- 9 pm.  Here’s a review in The Guardian.

This weekend I will be away in Lake Tahoe, honoring the beauty of the earth and my birthday. Rev Ruth Sandberg will be leading worship.

Peace to you all, with love, Pastor Laurie 

Skyline and Taking Action on Climate Change

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?

Skyline Leadership for Environmental Justice

2-16-16 coal laurie davidFrom Pastor Laurie:

News outlets from the New York Times to Mother Jones Magazine have praised the leadership of California at the November UN climate summit in Paris.  The LA Times portrayed Governor Jerry Brown’s active presence in Paris as representing not only the crafting of his “political legacy” but also his preoccupation with preventing “catastrophe.”

 Yet environmental lawyers, community activists, and faith leaders are increasingly bringing to the public’s awareness what has long been California’s dirty secret. In a state known for its environmentalism, environmental racism has remained a festering, unbridled sin. 

Environmental racism is the placement of low-income or minority communities in close proximity of environmentally hazardous or degraded environments such as toxic waste, pollution and urban decay.

Skyline Community Church UCC in Oakland has been active in struggles against environmental racism here in California, particularly with respect to fracking and the proposed coal terminal in Oakland.

In November, Nancy Taylor of our Green Team and I joined together with an interfaith coalition to deliver a letter to Brown that called for a halt to fracking.

On Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016, several members of our Green Team  joined me as I addressed an interfaith rally outside Oakland’s City Hall in seeking to delay consultant work that could bring the city closer to having a coal terminal.  Becky Taylor, a former Oakland Port Commissioner and a member of Skyline’s Green Team and I spoke at the City Council meeting against coal.   In my remarks, I spoke of the pride I feel about Governor Brown’s environmental leadership in Paris, but then asked, “Why would we want to be complicit in prolonging and accelerating this environmental and humanitarian health crisis?”  

The combined will, wisdom, voice and energy of the interfaith community of Oakland, its people, and prayers resulted in the City Council voting to delay the opening a coal terminal in Oakland!

Skyline is a small but mighty force for environmental justice here in Oakland! Thank you Skyline!! 

 Here are a few articles that reference our good work! 

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2016/02/23/californias-dirty-secret-comes-to-light-environmental-racism-meets-black-lungs-matter/

http://www.ucc.org/californias_dirty_secret_comes_to_light

No Coal in Oakland

2-16-16 ministers in front of city hall 2

Statement by Rev. Laurie Manning, pastor of Skyline Church UCC-Oakland Hills, and UCC Northern California representative for Environmental Justice 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?

As Flint Michigan reminds us, environmental toxins particularly impact poor children of color, globally, & locally. West Oakland has many parallels to Flint. (%90 black & Latino, where residents already experience high rates of poverty and unemployment).2-16-16 Coal Nancy Laurie David

This is a local health issue. The children of West Oakland are already contending with fumes & noise from the Port. We need to ask ourselves, what if it were our own children?  

Now the proponents of the coal partnership in Oakland argue that it is bringing a $52 million investment and will bring almost $3 mill in annual property taxes and 2300 jobs.

But at what cost? What cost to the environment: excavating coal in Utah, transporting it here by rail, & shipping it by ocean to be burned in China? What cost to human lives in every step of the coal production process:  the health risks to those most vulnerable; the miners in Utah; the residents of West Oakland; and those who breathe the air in China? 

I’m so proud of Governor Brown, and his global leadership in environmental justice. Speaking out in Paris, and at 2-16-16 Becky? at CouncilVatican, Governor Brown echoed the global scientific community’s unanimous pleas to leave 90% of fossil fuels in ground. Why would we want to be complicit in prolonging and accelerating this environmental and humanitarian health crisis?

Furthermore, besides the moral argument, there’s an economic argument.  It’s a bad investment for Oakland. The demand for coal and the coal industry are rapidly failing. Why would Oakland want to invest, even in the short term, as major coal companies are going bankrupt? As Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize economist, has recently noted, “fossil fuels 2-16-16 Laurie at Councilare the way of past, renewables are way in the future – if we care about the future, we care about switching.”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/wind-sun-and-fire.html?_r=0

Finally, there’s the voice of the people. According to the recent Sierra Club survey, 76% of Oakland residents are against coal in the port. 

Surely, there are healthier and safer long term sources of jobs and revenue that will benefit all of the people of Oakland.

Coal in Oakland & Refugees from Central America

2-16-16 ministers in front of city hall 2On Tuesday evening members and friends of Skyline’s Green Team joined hundreds of others to take part in Oakland City Hall’s ongoing discussions about approving a coal distribution center in the port. There will be an interfaith vigil, and undoubtedly, a long evening of discussions. 

I lift up thanks to the great collective sense of civic responsibility involved in these meetings, and even more, in our collective efforts to transition to renewable energy sources.  

The outcome of Tuesday’s meeting is that the City Council did delay the vote on taking the next step to bring coal through Oakland.Here’s a video of Laurie speaking at the press conference Here’s CBS Bay Area’s news report from last night.

I’d like to share with you some quotes on the UCC’s stand and long history involved in the environmental justice movement. 

This Sunday, Rev Deborah Lee will be joining us to share stories about the refugees from Central America and Dleeways in which faith communities, including ours, are offering support to refugees and their families.  After worship she and her colleague, Daniel Pinell, will share stories about the underlying causes. 

Thank you, Skyline for your compassionate hearts and voices!

A Press Conference and Vigil to Oppose Coal in Oakland, Feb 16

dreamstime_Coal trainThere will be a press conference sponsored by several faith and environmental groups at 4:30.   Then the vigil will be held from  5:00 – 6:00 pm at Oakland City Hall (Frank Ogawa Plaza). The Oakland City Council needs to hear from people of faith about our deep concern about the negative impacts on the health of our brothers and sisters in West Oakland if this proposed project proceeds. (See below for City Council members you can contact). For more information contact Rev Laurie Manning, revlauriemanning@gmail.com.

Pastor Laurie’s statement on coal in Oakland.

Some organizations supporting this:

350BayArea.org http://www.350bayarea.org/coal-free_oakland_city_council_20160216

OccupyOakland.org https://occupyoakland.org/event/no-coal-in-oakland-city-council-meeting/

Article in New York Times

WHERE:

Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza, in front of

Oakland City Hall. (1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza)

WHAT CAN I DO?

City council members really need to know how the people that they represent feel about Coal so that they may take action and stop this disastrous plan. You can;

1.     Sign the MoveOn petition to tell the city Council to stop Big Coal

2.    Copy this email and send it to your neighborhood listserv if you live in Oakland. Otherwise, forward it to everyone you know in Oakland

3.     Call and write Oakland city council members.   Email is easy to ignore, a phone call isn’t.  It doesn’t hurt to do both

Below is a brief script for calling and the text of a sample email. Feel free to personalize them.

To find your council district click here:

District 1 Dan Kalb   

   238-7001 dkalb@oaklandnet.com

District 5 Noel Gallo

238- 7005 ngallo@oaklandnet.com    

District 2 Abel Guillen

238-7002 aguillen@oaklandnet.com

District 6 Delsey Brooks

238-7006 dbrooks@oaklandnet.com

District 3 Lynette Gibson McElhaney

238-7003  lmacelhaney@oaklandnet.com

District 7 Larry E. Reid 

238-7007

lreid@oaklandnet.com

District 4 Annie Campbell Washington

238-7004

ACampbellWashington@oaklandnet.com

At Large Rebecca Kaplan

238-7008 rkaplan@oaklandnet.com

 

Mayor Libby Schaaf 

238-3141 lschaaf@oaklandnet.com

Phone:

“Hi, My name is _____________ and I live and vote in your Council district. I’m concerned that the city of Oakland could become a terminal for shipping coal. West Oakland does not deserve the negative health and toxic environmental impacts of mile-long coal trains shedding coal dust. Coal must be prohibited from the new export terminal. I call on you as my city council representative to pass an ordinance banning coal on health and safety grounds.”

Thank you

Email:

Subject:   Coal trains

Dear Mr./Ms./ council member,

My name is _____________ and I live and vote in your Council district. I’m concerned that the city of Oakland could become a terminal for shipping coal. West Oakland does not deserve the negative health and toxic environmental impacts of mile-long coal trains shedding coal dust. Coal must be prohibited from the new export terminal. I feel strongly that it would be a terrible mistake to expose our community to this toxic commodity.  I call on you as my city council representative to pass an ordinance banning coal on health and safety grounds.”

Thank you 

  This action section was prepared by Heather MacLeod, Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network (A-ICAN)