Oakland church

Archive for Sunday Worship

Coming Out Sunday

This Sunday, Oct 15, we celebrate “Coming Out Day”, which is really an invitation to all of us to let our own uniquely brilliant light shine.  And, in doing so, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Please join us this Sunday as guest preacher, Nichola Torbett, shares her reflections on this theme. I will be away on the east coast visiting family, and then attending the Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership conference. I am with you in Spirit!

     With love, Pastor Laurie

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

― Marianne WilliamsonA Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Jesus Wept

We continue our journey through the season of Lent in the Gospel of John.

This Sunday’s gospel includes the phrase,  “When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.  He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept. – John 11:32-35

The above passage from John contains the shortest verse in the Bible, a sentence consisting of just two words: “Jesus wept.”  He wept for all the reasons mourners weep—because he had lost his friend Lazarus, because he felt helpless, because this is a stinging encounter with the fragility of life.

Some biblical commentators express puzzlement that Jesus would weep over the death of Lazarus when he is about to restore his friend to life.  But death is painful even when we know that eventually it will be swallowed up in victory.  Grief is baptized with tears even as it enters into the promise of new life.

The shortest of sentences—”Jesus wept”—is an arresting reminder of a very big truth:  Jesus was human.  He joins us in our grief so that we join him in his victory.

May we, in this season find ourselves walking ever more closely in the journey with Jesus. 

Reminder – Congregational meeting this Sunday, April 2nd, after worship.

For our Passion and Easter Services – see the announcements below.

Blessings upon your week,

Pastor Laurie

Children’s Christmas Pageant 2016

starCome and experience the wonders of the ChristmasPageant 3 kings story!

Join us for a child/family friendly worship service of carols where everyone is invited to take place in the Christmas pageant!

Wear your favorite costume.  Be a shepherd, sheep, king, queen,angel, fireman, donkey!

Join us for fun, music and celebration!  Be part of the drama!  Friends, family, all are invited!

Christmas Pageant: Sunday, Dec. 18at 10 AM!  

(Contact Laurie for practice schedule – office@skylineucc.org or 510-531-8212).

Invite everyone you know with children or grandchildren!   We’ll see you there!

Celebrating Halloween!

costumeOctober 30th is a busy Sunday!  It’s the day before Halloween! A chance for you to have a dress rehearsal for your Halloween costume! In the spirit of All Saints and All Soul’s day, we encourage you to think about heroes that you admire, and want to embody!

Everyone, especially children, are invited to wear their Halloween costumes!! After the service,the children will have a Halloween costume procession with music like “Because I’m Happy”! 

Following the procession, we are happy to be celebrating with a BOUNCE HOUSE (rather than a haunted house!) for children. We will also provide other fun games for all ages! We encourage you to bring your friends and your favorite Halloween games for our celebration…Here are some ideas: 

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/halloween-ideas/g2618/halloween-games/?slide=1halloween-dance-at-church

Finally, parents with teens too old for trick or treating but love giving out candy to children on Halloween- I literally get hundreds of children at my home. You’re invited to come and join me between 6-8 pm to hand out candy to children! Contact me or the office for my address in San Leandro.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

Inclusivity: Coming Out, Indigenous People’s Day, Rosh Hashanah

This Sunday we are celebrating “Coming Out Sunday” and Indigenous people’s weekend.  As part of the service two of our friends, David Guerra and David Styers, will share stories about their experience of coming out and the liberating power of love and the support of their faith communities in supporting them on the journey.

Mark your calendars for Sunday Oct 16th which is not only the first Sunday with our new CYF director, Elijah Carroll (see story below) but it is also a time when we will hear the results of the 2016 Capital Improvement feasibility plan, immediately after worship.  Lunch and childcare provided. (See article below from our moderator, Dave Byrens and our treasurer, Chris Rutter).

  Drawing from our origins from Judaism, I leave you with a prayer from Rosh Hashanah,

Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One 

In an undertone:

Barukh sheim k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

V’ahav’ta eit Adonai Elohekha b’khol l’vav’kha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Jesus at the Pub: Luke 15

A New York Times travel article on pubs in Oxford commented that “a good pub is a ready made party, a home away from home, a club anyone can join.” It reminds me of Cheers, the 1980’s sitcom filmed in the pub in Boston, with the theme song  “Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name!”. We all needs a place like this…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7U3lo80YrQ

One can imagine the Jesus of Luke 15 sitting in such a pub, eating and drinking with “anyone,” to the chagrin of the proper and the pure. In response to this muttering, Jesus tells a series of “lost and found” parables that have to do with homes and parties and letting anyone in.  It raises the question for us: who is in and who is out, who is lost and who is found? How does the acknowledgement of being lost help to bring about our salvation?

Join us this Sunday, as we explore these issues and have some fun! 

As part of the service, we are bringing the Oakland Pride Parade here! Children are invited to come and join the parade as we process out of the service to the Tune of Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”, and into the courtyard to join in a welcoming barbecue. Bring your musical instruments, games to share, and your friends!

“Fear Not”

20160709_133651_resizedMore than any other phrase in the scriptures, Jesus lifts up these words, “Fear not!”.

This Sunday we explore Jesus’s teachings of comfort for us in times of grief, loss, and change to find ways to cultivate that deep peace, that sense of home and connection with the Divine beyond our understanding.  Join us, as we immerse ourselves in the beauty of Creation.

Luke 12: 22-29

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Jubilee Presents: Payday Loans, the Panama Papers and Poverty

Jubilee USA and Jubilee East Bay invite you to a presentation and discussion:

 Payday Loans, the Panama Papers and Poverty

Why the fight to end extreme poverty is global and winnable

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Skyline Community Church,

12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619  Click here for Directions

 

You are also invited to join us for worship at 10:00am (Andrew Hanauer preaching)

And Free Brunch at 11:30  

RSVP for brunch to Nancy Montier 510-531-8212. office@skylineucc.org, https://skylineucc.org/

Event on Facebook

Building an inclusive economy requires changing the structures and policies that trap more than one billion people in extreme poverty around the world – and fuel poverty and inequality right here in the United States. Learn about how these structures intertwine from the East Bay to Ethiopia and how we can build an economy that works for all.

Speaker:
Andrew Hanauer is the Campaigns Director at Jubilee USA. Andrew represents Jubilee in policy meetings with the White House, Congress, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. He serves on steering committees at the United Nations and with the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition. Andrew’s views on poverty and economic policy appear in news outlets including Al Jazeera, Pacifica Radio, Common Dreams and The Washington Free Beacon.

Jubilee USA is a coalition of 550 US faith communities and 75 national organizations working with 50 global Jubilee partners. Jubilee USA promotes debt, tax and trade policies to end poverty and solve financial crisis. Our efforts build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the vulnerable.

Jubilee East Bay, a coalition of individuals and 20 congregations based in the Bay Area, works with Jubilee USA through education and local organizing.

For more information, contact Linda Young at zmom@comcast.net, see Facebook

RSVP to Nancy Montier for brunch: 510-531-8212. office@skylineucc.org, https://skylineucc.org/

http://www.jubileeusa.org/home.html

Bells, Moms and Mother Father God

The bells will be ringing this Sunday! In honor of Mother’s Day, we are honored to have the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church Youth Bell Choir here with us to perform in worship!  My dear friend and Bell Master, Carol Martin, will be bringing ten of her choir teens along!

I’d like to share with you a poem about the Divine Love of our Mother Father God, with us always, through it all.

Divine Love, of our Mother God
Her love is like
an island in life’s ocean,
vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender Counsel on the South
And on the East by Rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro’ the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie

Celebrating Earth

What a wonderful celebration we had last Sunday at our Earth Day celebration near the labyrinth and in God’s green spring!

Special thanks to Catherine Kessler and the Green team for their vision of worshipping in the labyrinth; to the choir for singing a-cappella; to the many of you who took part in everything from the circle dances, to chanting, playing guitar, the dramatic reading about “No Coal in Oakland”; and above all, to God, our Creator, for life itself. 

Also, mark your calendars for Earth Day, Sunday April 24th:

  • 10 am worship: Teresa Jenkins will be preaching about her experience of God in all of creation. 
  • 5 – 7 pm: Join us for an Interfaith Earth Day Celebration with music, dance, and a potluck here at Skyline. 

God is the foundation for everythingredwood trunks

This God undertakes, God gives.

Such that nothing that is necessary for life is lacking.

Now humankind needs a body that at all times honors and praises God.

This body is supported in every way through the earth.

Thus the earth glorifies the power of God.

Hildegard of Bingen

Blessings, Pastor Laurie and the Green Team