Palm Sunday Virtual Service: April 5, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Our virtual service: a readers theater, journeying from the entrance into Jerusalem, into the Garden of Gethsemane, with the inspiring music of Ken Medema, Gabrielle Lochard and Benjamin Mertz. Hear the stories of Jesus’s journey to Jerusalem, listen to music of God’s love, peace, grace, sorrow and beauty.
Meeting ID: 716 026 467
Dial in by phone 1-669-900-9128
Maundy Thursday Virtual Service: April 9, 12:30 PM
Worship with the United Church of Christ. The leaders from across the life of the denomination will be leading a streamed worship service. Register for the webinar here
. Click here
for more details. Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash
Good Friday Virtual Service: April 10, 2:00-3:00 PM **Note time change**
On the most somber day of the Christian year, we gather in prayer and song to hear the Seven Last Words of Jesus, and mourn the death that changed the world. Our talented musical team, Ken Medema, Benjamin Mertz, Gabrielle Lochard, join with Pastor Laurie and others in this solemn and beautiful service. All are welcome.
Meeting ID: 716 026 467
One tap mobile +16699009128
phone # +13462487799
Easter Sunday Virtual Service: April 12, 10:00-11:15 AM
The promise of the resurrection is proclaimed, even in the midst of pandemic.There is nothing traditional about a zoom Easter Service, but we have a beautiful service planned for our expanded, loving progressive and inclusive faith community meeting via zoom. Rev. Laurie Manning, and our talented musical team of Ken Medema, Benjamin Mertz, and Gabrielle Lochard will be leading the service from their homes. We are creating a special experience.
Meeting ID: 716 026 467
Dial in by phone 1-669-900-9128
Children’s Time Easter Sunday 11:30 AM
Come along for an adventure with David G and Pastor Laurie! Here’s what’s in store:
Story Time: Have you ever had a friend who went away? Best friends Enriquita Kittycat and Edmund Caterpillar have a story to show you! Discover the meaning of friendship and reunions as we watch the tale unfold.
Brain Teasers: Get ready to put on your thinking cap!
Art Sharing Time: Parents, print off these coloring pages for kids to color or decorate, or kids can create their own art. We will share our art at the meeting!
After Service Family Chat: We’ll have a time of sharing to catch up and connect with children and families.
I write this to you on the last day of a decade, and you will receive this in this new decade.
I encourage us all to begin by seeking the light… be it the light of a single candle, or the light in the clear night sky of the stars and the planets, especially Venus these days. I encourage us to seek the light to remind us of something far greater than ourselves – the Light of Divine Unconditional Love that permeates everything, showing us a well-lit path to wholeness, forgiveness, and life.
The star over Bethlehem is a major symbol of Christmas—we sing about it, put it on the top of Christmas trees, even wear it on neckties—yet if you read the story closely, only a few wise men saw and understood the star. The shepherds did not notice a star, nor did anyone else. Would we have been among the wise? Are we seeing the stars of Christ around us now? Do we understand the signs of light that God is giving us that can fill us with hope and inspire us?
The wise men saw and were moved for a reason: they were looking, they were searching the skies for meaning, they had practiced and made themselves students of the light. They were part of a tradition that passed wisdom along to them. They added their own knowledge and experience and were open to something new happening in their day.
We need to practice looking and finding meaning, too, if we want to be among those who see signs of Christ’s presence in our world, who see the light and understand what it says and follow where it leads. We need to be open to learning the wisdom of our tradition and being changed by the new things that God is doing.
with love, Pastor Laurie
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
For unto us a child is born.
Unto us, love is born.
The highest truth of the human soul is love.
Let us remember love.
Let us remember this all-powerful force being born in a humble child in an impoverished and oppressed setting.
Let us remember how this force was at work, guiding and empowering his mother and father.
Let us remember how it has brought about good news to the poor, freedom to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and is ultimately more powerful than empires.
Together, let us bear witness to how love is still is at work in the world, and within every one of us.
I give thanks to God for each one of you, in the world and in my life!
Here are some videos of our beautiful Christmas Eve service, for all of you to experience!
This Sunday, join us, as we experience the beautiful music of Gabrielle and Ken Medema, and the powerful preaching of Rev Jerri Handy!
Lighting the candles
Come experience the wonder of our candlelight service and celebrate the birth of Jesus with
Carols and Singing
Beautiful music performed by the Christmas Choir
The service will be followed by delicious Christmas treats, hot apple cider, and fellowship.
This is a beautiful way to celebrate the season with your entire family. ALL are welcome!
Skyline Community Church UCC
12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland
For more information please contact the office at 510.531.8212, [email protected]
In the midst of this advent season of waiting, I invite you to set aside the distractions of the busy-ness of this season to to take a moment of mindfulness. I invite you to realize the radical transformation that comes from setting aside preconceived ideas.
This Sunday, we will explore questions raised by T.S. Eliot and other great thinkers to move towards a direct, experiential understanding of what it means to live an awakened life, and to contemplate the meaning of waiting in the words of the poet, TS Elliott:
Wait Without Hope
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.
We may not be ready for thought unless we’ve trained our minds in mindfulness. Our love may be tainted by selfish attachment. Let us begin —be still, even if for a moment. And now, “wait without hope.” Isn’t that pessimistic? I venture to say, no, it is not pessimistic. Optimism is good, hope can get in the way.
Is it better to acknowledge our desire, to understand its context, and to wait without hope? Yes, I think so. Then we can watch the spectacle unfold with pleasure and equanimity. If we cling to hope, we make ourselves vulnerable to disappointment, anger, and frustration.
The words “breath,” “wind,” and “spirit” are used interchangeably to remind us that God is always coming to us. Become aware of your breath. Notice how breathing more deeply calms you. Notice how long you can hold your breath to remember how essential it is for your life. The Living God, or the God of Life, seeks to come to dwell within us and to give new life to us and through us.
Advent calls us to pay attention and to anticipate what “the God who comes to us” wants to do within us and through us. So, we wait in hope of what yet may be. This process of waiting in hope, is active, not passive.
Join us this Sunday as we continue to awaken to the new life full of hope, peace, joy, and love that God is calling each one of us, by name, into.
What are you waiting for?
Blessings, Pastor Laurie
When you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” what comes to mind? As a child, the word immediately brought to my mind’s eye a huge turkey, roasted golden brown. I saw potatoes, stuffing, peas and onions, gravy, and of course pumpkin pie. I saw children and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles happily gathered around the table. I was unaware that everyone was white, just like the famous Norman Rockwell painting.
But then I learned more about the Pilgrims and Wampanoags gathered around the table at the first Thanksgiving feast, and that fleeting moment of peace, friendship and mutual gratitude..But through the years, new images come to mind:
- Native Americans amassing in Plymouth, Massachusetts, for a National Day of Mourning—mourning for their ancestors and the theft of their lands.
- Undocumented children being separated from their parents at the border of this country.
- Trans women, fleeing the violence of their countries, seeking safety in this country, only to be brutalized and left to die in detention camps.
- The faces of so many others in our times, who like the Pilgrims, come to this land seeking freedom from violence and oppression, shelter, a new home, and a new life.
Today, I want to lift up gratitude for this congregation for choosing, in our words and actions, to become a sanctuary congregation.
Whatever our nation or race or religion or language we are all one family, and we have to help one another.
Join us this Sunday, as we lift up the theme of gratitude.
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!
Skyline Invites the Oakland Community to Attend Family Easter Services
Come celebrate the Spirit of Easter where we welcome ALL of God’s people. Join families from our church and the neighborhood for a fun hour of learning and celebrating! Families of all configurations (we are an LGBTQ+ affirming church!) are invited!
April 21, 12:00 PM
We’ll gather at noon in the sanctuary to sing Easter songs, learn a bit about the Easter story (and how eggs are connected to it!), do some art, and participate in a service project for Nueva Esperanza, a preschool for immigrant children that our church helps to support.
Kids will also be invited (by age group) to participate in a (small) Easter egg hunt. Please bring your own basket/bag!
We also welcome you to join our community Easter service at 10 AM before the hunt, if you wish. We offer a children’s program for your little ones.
Come celebrate Easter with your family, neighbors, and friends in our beautiful sanctuary on the hill with a stunning view of Mt. Diablo and the Oakland Hills.