Oakland church

Barack Obama Prayer for Unity, Compassion, Justice

In honor of July 4 weekend, I want to lift up an excerpt of a presentation given by former President Barack Obama at the 2016 national prayer breakfast.  It is a prayer for our country that I believe is particularly relevant now. 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  I pray that by His grace, we all find the courage to set such examples in our own lives —  not just in the public piety that we profess, but in those smaller moments when it’s difficult, when we’re challenged, when we’re angry, when we’re confronted with someone who doesn’t agree with us, when no one is watching.  I pray,  that our differences ultimately are bridged; that the God that is in each of us comes together, and we don’t divide.  

I pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity.  I pray that my failings are forgiven.  I pray that we will uphold our obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation — this beautiful planet.  I pray that we will see every single child as our own, each worthy of our love and of our compassion.  And I pray we answer Scripture’s call to lift up the vulnerable, and to stand up for justice, and ensure that every human being lives in dignity.

Blessings to all who love you, on this weekend when we’ll remember who we are called to be; as individuals and as a nation, at our best.

with love, Pastor Laurie

“There is a Crack”

Leonard Cohen, the legendary 82-year-old Canadian poet and singer, is well-known for a set of powerful lyrics from his song “Anthem”. The message of hope in darkness is particularly striking for many: in our personal lives, as communities of faith, and in the months following the US election:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

This Sunday we will reflect on the transformative and healing power of Divine love and the gift of being broken open so that the light can get in. Join us for an inspiring worship service, an engaging interactive annual meeting, and a delicious lunch; all within the context of allowing the Light to guide our way.

Our denomination’s Northern California Nevada conference, otherwise known as NCNCUCC unanimously passed Skyline’s emergency resolution on climate justice, which was written in response to Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord. The resolution was presented by Pastor Laurie, the environmental justice rep for our conference.  

We will share more details this Sunday! Special thanks to our church Council, and to our Green team!

From Laurie and Siri

I’m actually dictating by Siri my weekly email to you because I broke two fingers in my right hand last Saturday!

Whether or not God preplanned this, it has been a wonderful opportunity to be reminded of the gift of both hands and the gift of the helping hands of others, and the gift of asking and receiving support. Over the past few days I have experienced such love and support from friends and neighbors and family and from you, Skyline!

This weekend I will be traveling to Sonoma to present a resolution on climate justice which hopefully is headed to our General Synod. Joining me are skylines delegates Cheryl Coleman and Nancy Taylor.

This weekend I am thrilled to have the Rev. Sandhya Jha here at Skyline preaching. See her information later in this newsletter.

Our prayers for traveling mercies for all those attending our NCNCC Annual Meeting, all those traveling on vacations, and all those traveling to be with family and friends.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 
(421-2646) revlauriemanning@aol.com 

Skyline  Environmental Resolution Vote on 6/25

Last week President Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords.  In response, the UCC President, Rev. John C. Dorhauer, asked Rev Jim Antol, Massachusetts conference minister and environmental justice advocate, to write an emergency resolution, “The Earth is the Lord’s Not Ours to Wreck” , to take a stand as the UCC denomination. 

The resolution was the topic at the monthly National Environmental Justice conference call June 7  (that Pastor Laurie attended as the NCNCC Rep). Laurie was inspired by her role as the Environmental Justice Rep to bring this resolution to the NCNCC Regional Conference next weekend so Northern California could take an active, grass roots role in support of it at General Synod. In order to submit a resolution to a conference a church can sponsor it, so she sent her idea to Skyline’s Council this week, proposing that Skyline Church sponsor the resolution at the NCNCC Conference.  Since there’s not time for a congregational vote before the NCNCC Regional Conference, the church Council leaders voted to support the resolution and that we ratify this “after the fact” by a congregational vote at our annual meeting on 6/25.  It does not ask for any financial commitment.

Thank you Skyline, for your leadership in environmental justice.

Skyline Council

Holy Spirit Power!

Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit, who’s power works in everyone, including YOU!.   YOU are enough, right now, for the Holy Spirit to work through. You have the power TODAY to speak bold truth today in a world that desperately needs to hear it.  

Last Sunday, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we celebrated Pentecost. We heard a powerful scripture reading by Lucy Manley and felt winds from the heavens.  We were blessed with hand imitations of tongues of fire over people’s heads and with people speaking numerous languages. We also shared a powerful laying on of hands as we sent forth Elijah Carroll to begin his new ministry as Director of Faith Formation at Mayflower UCC in Minnesota.  

As part of the celebrating Pentecost, we also  read  a passage written by Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, The prayer calls on the Holy Spirit to work in each of us:

Wash what is unclean.
Water what is parched.
Heal what is diseased.
Bend what is rigid.
Warm what is cold.
Straighten what is crooked.

There is a LOT that is bleak & broken in our world today, a LOT that is unclean, parched, diseased, rigid, cold, and crooked.

But none of these things can withstand the power of God working through us. Join us this Sunday, as together we listen for the wind, and look to the heavens for the doves. 

Together, let us bravely proclaim, in words and especially in our actions, this good news for all people. 

Be Kindled in the Fire of Holy Love this Sunday!

 

 

 

 

Come catch fire this Sunday, June 4th 

A Poem for Pentecost
Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.
William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost

Pastor Laurie

Memorial Day, Equality, Love, and Non-violence

On this Memorial Day, as people of faith we come to mourn the ways in which all religions, including Christianity, have been “literalized”, nationalized, and taken out of context to justify wars, division, and violence in our words and actions throughout human history. May the still speaking God move us to liberate the timeless messages of love, peace and righteousness; and prevent us from being coopted by empires for military, political and economic interests.

May we remember the courage, love and power of Jesus who taught another way of achieving this birth of freedom: the ideal where all people are created equal. 

May we recognize our interdependence with everyone.

May we take courage challenging unjust laws, and exercising non violent civil disobedience in our words and actions.

May we remember the power of princes of peace like Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., to mobilize and inspire millions to change the world for the better through non violence. 

Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the feast of the ascension and Memorial Day. 

with love, Pastor Laurie 

“No Hands…But Yours”

There’s so much news this week between the new website, earth month, and stewardship season! Here we go! 

New Website!

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).

Stewardship Month

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.

 

Bringing Back the Natives Tour

Sunday, May 7

Walter Jones and Nancy Taylor will be attending this year’s Tour after church on

Sunday, May 7th and invite you to join them.   You can register at http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/

The self-guided tour is free.  Contact Nancy to coordinate.

People’s Climate March in Oakland

April 29, 11 AM, Lake Merritt Amphitheater, Lake Merritt Blvd.

Join the Skyline contingent going to the Oakland March under the People’s Climate March on Saturday, 4/29.  We will meet at Lincoln Square in front of the liquor store at 10:00 am and carpool to Lake Merritt.  Contact Catherine Kessler for more info and Nancy Taylor and click here  for the full schedule of 4/29 in Oakland.

From the website:

On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington D.C. to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.

We will come together from across the United States to strengthen our movement. We will demonstrate our power and resistance at the gates of the White House. We will bring our solutions to the climate crisis, the problems that affect our communities and the threats to peace to our leaders in Congress to demand action.

We invite you to join the Peoples Climate Movement on Saturday, April 29th as we march to:

  • Advance solutions to the climate crisis rooted in racial, social and economic justice, and committed to protecting front-line communities and workers.
  • Protect our right to clean air, water, land, healthy communities and a world at peace.
  • Immediately stop attacks on immigrants, communities of color, indigenous and tribal people and lands and workers.
  • Ensure public funds and investments create good paying jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage and benefits and preserve workers’ rights, including the right to unionize.
  • Fund investments in our communities, people and environment to transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy that works for all, not an economy that feeds the machinery of war.
  • Protect our basic rights to a free press, protest and free speech.

March with us on April 29th as we come together to resist and march for our families, our communities and our planet.