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“The Condor and the Eagle” film on climate

Sunday, June 28, 3 PM

An exciting new award-winning film, The Condor and the Eagle is available for viewing online on Sunday, June 28 as part of Interfaith Power & Light’s summer film series!  

This fascinating film highlights the work of Indigenous and Hispanic environmental leaders in the Americas as they battle to safeguard their communities from the impact of fossil fuel development. Their courage and determination in the face of nearly insurmountable odds will inspire you to action.
Click here to view a preview and sign up to take part in this one time event.
Catherine Kessler  and Green Team sponsoring.

Status quo or Justice, Equality, and Humanity?

On Monday evening, the POTUS stood before our grieving country. Viruses are killing us (COVID, racism, militarism, materialism, environmental degradation), people are demanding justice, and grief is wracking us. What he gave us was a blustering speech on “law and order” and a blasphemous photoshoot where he held a bible upside down, without even a prayer, or a word of hope. Moments earlier he had ordered security officers to deploy teargas on peaceful protestors to clear them away.

If this is the image of Christianity that we worship, then I am not a Christian.

While we have made meaningful progress in our past toward freedom and equality

for all, we have taken that progress for granted and are losing ground.

Pastor and activist, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis reminded us recently that since lots of white people seem eager to invoke Dr. King’s legacy to condemn ongoing protests, it’s worth revisiting what he actually said in his speech called “The Other America” given on April 4, 1967:

It is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the conditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots. I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. 

We have much work to do to embody the beloved community that Dr. King spoke of. Today we repeat a cycle of pain and grief that we’ve known before and must learn once more. White supremacy is a sin that will not stand.

We have no “status quo” or middle ground here: you are either anti-racist, or you are racist. You are either actively working against racism, or you are complicit in upholding it. Being polite or “not political” is not an option. Either you believe we were all made in God’s image, beloved by our Creator, and meant to see God in the face of one another (Genesis 1:27), or you believe whiteness is better than the rest. Remember,  that Jesus was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.

Thank you to so many of you, for sharing resources about how we can transform the system of police violence, learn more about our own implicit bias as “white people”, support young protestors of color, through prayer vigils, learn more about the poor people’s campaign, support Nueva Esperanza and Iglesia de Presbyteria with badly needed food, and support the efforts of the NAACP to ensure that people, particularly people of color,  are not arbitrarily removed from voting rolls in swing states.

   With love, and see you on Sunday! Pastor Laurie

Prayer:

Wake me up, Lord, so that the evil of racism finds no home within me. Keep watch over my heart, Lord, and remove from me any barriers that may oppress and offend my fellow humans. Fill my spirit, Lord, so that I may build your kin-dom of justice and peace. Clear my mind, Lord, and use it for your glory. Remind me, Lord, that you said, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Amen.   ~ adapted from a prayer in For the Love of One Another

These next two weeks, our talented music director, Gabrielle Lochard,  is taking a few weeks of well deserved rest. We are blessed to have with us, our member Ken Medema, leading us in music.

 

Strengthen the Church Offering

Strengthen the Church Offering

Ongoing starting now through Sunday, June 7

The Strengthen the Church offering supports the UCC in fulfilling its commitment to create a just world for all by investing in new ministries and practices that meet the emerging needs of local communities. As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. Our congregation will receive the Strengthen the Church offering on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020. See this video for more information.   or read more here
 

Ways to donate to Skyline and to the
Strengthen the Church Campaign:

  1. Write a check and mail it to the office at 12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, 94619 (they are deposited weekly)  If the check is for Strengthen the Church write that in the memo field
  2. Use the Quiks smartphone app for a secure ACH transfer and low fees (read more below about security).  After the initial setup, you can easily make donations with a click or two, or set it up for repeat donations. To get started donating, click here!  Read more about online giving here/. You can donate to Strengthen the Church here, too.
  3. Use your own bill pay system through your bank. Contact the office manager for the routing and account numbers.

Click for a little bit more about Quiks

Thank you for investing in our community!  If you have questions about Quiks, contact Nancy Montier, 510-531-8212, office@skylineucc.org.

Thank you for your donations, and the extra steps it takes to mail it in or learn a new application.  We are blessed by your love and presence.

Update Zoom

Update Zoom Before Sunday! 

If you’re not running the latest version of Zoom, you won’t be able to come to worship on Pentecost this Sunday. There are three ways to update the Zoom app on your computer. This one-minute video  shows those three ways. If they can show you all three ways in one minute, you know it’s going to be simple.

Also, here are written instructions adapted from the zoom website.  You must do this update before Sunday.  It may look detailed but there are only 4 simple steps.

Zoom Desktop Client (PC, Mac, or Linux)

Zoom provides a pop-up notification when there is a new mandatory or optional update within 24 hours of logging in.

You can also manually download the latest version by:

  1. Go to the zoom website at https://zoom.us/download.  If that link doesn’t work, try – https://zoom.us
    1st Photo below shows what zoom.us/download website looks like.
  2. Under Zoom Client for Meetings click on the blue Download button and the zoominstaller will be downloaded to your computer. – see the 1st photo below to see the download button.
  3. At the bottom of your screen in the lower left you’ll get a little grey box with zoominstaller.exe written in it.  (it’s shown in the 1st photo below, but a little hard to see).  Click on it.  
  4. A popup (see second photo below) asking permission comes up.  Click on the button labeled Run.   The installation will begin.When complete (less than 30 seconds usually) you’ll get a little blue zoom camera icon in your bar that shows your running applications.

That’s all!

This is the website to go to to  find the new zoom. 
It also shows the zoominstaller.exe button in the lower left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the box that opens when you click on the zoominstaller.exe button. Choose Run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you already have the Zoom desktop client installed, you can check for updates:

  1. Sign in to Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture then click Check for Updates and the new version will be installed if you don’t already have it..

See you Sunday morning!  If you need some help, contact Nancy  during office hours Thursday and Friday between 9 AM and 3:30 PM – office@skylineucc.org,  510-531-8212.

 

Bible Study

Pastor Laurie’s virtual Bible Study
Tuesdays.  10:30 – 11:30 am.
Zoom link:  https://zoom.us/j/901784352
Meeting ID: 901 784 352 One tap mobile
Dial in by phone 1-669-900-9128

 

 

The Feminine Face of God

This Sunday we recall the feminine face of God, Sophia (wisdom), often missing in religion. We need wisdom in this liminal time. May we be blessed with the birth of a new collective consciousness in all of our relationships and our interdependence with all people, with all of life, including our mother, the earth.

We will hear stories from various traditions, including Matthew Fox’s scientific poetic re-telling of the Genesis story, and a MiWok poem about our home, told to us by local environmentalist and story teller, Mary Ellen Hill.
 
This will be a child friendly service! Join us!!

Becoming Something New

Photo by Andrew Claypool on Unsplash

The wondrous transformation from the caterpillar into the new life as a butterfly includes the cocooning season, where your body literally becomes mush. You disintegrate. You lose shape. You lose everything that defined you as a caterpillar. You become goo. In meaningful ways, you die to what you were.

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

But here is the miracle: inside that deathly mush are imaginal cells. These cells hold the vision of a future within them. When all seems lost and nothing that was known can be known as it was, the imaginal cells give us the vision for moving forward. They know that with the right conditions and a little time, a butterfly waits to be born.

Some of us these days, feel like mush right now. We are messy, fragile, unprotected, insecure, unrecognizable, disoriented, developing, transforming, imaginal beings. We are in that liminal space between what was and what can be. Our becoming something better on the other side of this is not guaranteed. But with the right conditions, with the awakening of people to the beauty of our planet and the intimacy of our connection to everyone and everything, we have the chance to become something new.

 If ever there was a time for us, to become the new creation that God is calling us into, it is now, and I am grateful that we are together on this journey into new life.

Photo by Doug Kelley on Unsplash

 

Earth Day at Skyline, Bay Area, and U.S.

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is this Wednesday, April 22nd! It’s no coincidence that it coincides with the 50th anniversary of our beautiful sanctuary, high on the Skyline ridge overlooking the East Bay Regional Parks.  Please join us as we honor Earth day, this Wed at 12 noon, with storyteller Mary Ellen Hill.  

Here are more events, suggestions, and actions for our anniversary:

  1. Encourage your children to learn about Earthday in this video with Mirabelle the Fairy.
  2.  Enjoy the photos of our redwood tree planting! 
  3. Review this outstanding primer from the UCC on Love of Creation, Climate Change sabbath toolkit.
  4. Also join us for this 3 day “Earth Day Live” live stream, detailed below, and featuring Al Gore, Bill McKibben Rep AOC and so many others.

Back in the fall, plans were being made to pack Earth Day and the following two days with rallies, protest, and nonviolent direct action. With the pandemic, those plans have had to change. Gathering in groups is simply too dangerous for our communities. Now, the actions have gone online.

Here’s an overview of what’s happening each day:

  • April 22 – STRIKE: On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we will demonstrate our collective power and unity through community building and storytelling. This first day will focus on amplifying the voice of Indigenous leaders and youth climate activists who are leading the movement to halt the climate crisis.
  • April 23 – DIVEST: The world’s largest banks have pumped $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement. We can’t let fossil fuel companies use the pandemic to loot trillions more when people need relief so desperately. Led by the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition, April 23 focuses on the role of money in driving the climate crisis.
  • April 24 – VOTE: We need leaders who will address the existential threat of climate change, and for this to happen, we need people to show up at the polls. Led by the US Youth Strike Coalition, April 24 will focus on the urgency of political change through a nationwide youth voter registration day.

This is all being done online. You can go to the Earth Day Live website to sign up for emails with details about this 3-day live stream and online mobilization. The live stream will include training sessions, performances, and appearances to keep people engaged, informed, and inspired, with speakers including celebrities, politicians, scientists, and youth activists.

Earth Day in California

There are also a whole series of online events happening in California. You can access a pretty comprehensive list of those here. And here is info about some Bay Area events:

April 22: Climate Strike – stories, indigenous voices

April 23: Divestment day – Stop the Money Pipeline

April 24: Political action & voter registration

Bonus Day – Saturday, April 25: Post-Earth-Day Virtual Party

I hope you’ll participate in some of these wonderful events designed to help us celebrate Earth Day and to encourage our continued commitment to caring for the earth.

May we continue to rise up in the Spirit of Easter!
Pastor Laurie 

Earth Week Events

Weds, 4-22, 12-1:30 PM: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day 

Sun, 4/26 11:15 AM:  The Human Element Film Discussion – view the film this week

Fri, 4/17-Sun, 4/26:  Faith Climate Action Week,   Pray, Plant a Tree

Holy Week – May We Find Solace and Inspiration as We Shelter

Dear beloved community,
  
I hope you were able to join in the our live zoom Palm Passion Sunday worship service. If not, you can visit our website (skylineucc.org) and view it. A big shout out to our musicians, Ken Medema, Benjamin Mertz and Gabrielle Lochard, and our zoom host Tom Manley! 
 
I also hope you were able to join us for the live zoom Children’s time on Palm Sunday with Donkey Odie!  If not, you can visit our website (skylineucc.org) and view it. Special thanks to David Guerra, our fabulous puppeteer! 
 
Although we are having to do things differently, many people are finding great solace and inspiration in being able to tune in online and be lifted up by the services. We actually had our old members Maureen Johnson, Alex and Nora, tuning in from Connecticut! 
 
This week is Holy Week.  May be as poignant as it ever has been for many of us. Here are ALL the opportunities (Maundy Thursday on April 9, Good Friday on April 10, Easter Sunday on April 12)  to mark this special week and deepen your faith in a time when we need more faith than ever. 
 
Love,
Laurie 
 
Inspiration
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Humor