Archive for Green Team

Skyline’s New Climate Action Group

What is it? What are we doing? 

The Climate Crisis is an Environmental and Social Justice, Moral issue of our time.

WE must respond to this with action, even on a small scale.  We were motivated by our own Pastor Laurie’s call to action and by our guest UCC Pastor Jim Antal, who spoke November 15, 2020. 

Meeting about every other Wednesday at 3:30pm, we started working as a group on our own local environmental problems that we may be able to change.

We feel horrified by the amount of Styrofoam particles on our shorelines as well as the plastic in the ocean.  We have learned about the toxic life-cycle of plastic: Fossil fuel extraction, cancer in people who live where plastic is created, to the end of use microparticles in aquatic life, in our waterways, and in us! While we are trying to make wise food purchases we find it inevitable that we are buying foods packaged in Styrofoam and other non-compostable and likely non-recyclable plastic.

Therefore we are working on a campaign to encourage or convince local big food chains to use alternatives, starting with Costco.  We are also partnering with CalPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group) and EnronmentAmerica, on their campaign to reduce single use plastic at Whole Foods. Please click here to sign and submit their petition:

We have an excellent team of Skyline folks who are engaged in the scientific aspects of the harm from chemicals in plastic and polystyrofoam, and how we can encourage businesses to change their packaging practices.

If this topic interests you, please join us!  Send an email to [email protected] to get on the email list for meeting dates and agendas.

For more information:  the local group As You Sow has graded many businesses on their packaging practices. Click here to see the reports.  And also from Greenpeace: click here to learn more about what Greenpeace is finding.

You will see that Whole Foods has a sustainability grade of F and Costco of D-

Add your voice to the action!

Oakland’s Draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan – Town Halls

The Green Team and Justice and Witness Team request your attention and action:

To Oakland Residents:
  You are invited to either of these 2 TownHall Meetings, to review and give your comments on
                        Oakland’s Draft 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan 
Visit this link to comment directly on the draft, and join us at a Town Hall to review and discuss the Plan as a community.
Town Hall 1: Saturday, November 2
Location: Rainbow Recreation Center
5800 International Blvd.
Time: 1-4 pm (lunch at 12pm)

Town Hall 2: Wednesday, November 13
Location: Lincoln Square Recreation Center
250 10th Street, in Chinatown
Time: 6-9 pm (dinner at 5:30)

At the Town Hall meetings, Oaklanders will come together to dive further into the ECAP and the draft Actions, and vote on what needs to be kept, improved, or eliminated. Food and childcare will be provided. Simultaneous interpretation will be available with advanced request. Both Town Halls will cover the same material.
For more information or if you need a ride, contact Catherine Kessler via the office at 510-531-8212   [email protected].

Plant-Based Diet = PlanET-Based Diet

…by Catherine Kessler, Green Team Lead

I recently listened to Carl Sagan’s “The Pale Blue Dot,” a moving description of our planet written after Voyager 1 looked back at Earth as it left our solar system in 1990.  It reminded me of Earth’s fragility and the thin layer of atmosphere that makes our world livable.   We now have a little time left to save ourselves from devastation; the changes we have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not keeping pace with the heating up of our atmosphere.

So, we all must do more.  I am addressing something every person can do, that is actually simple, no added cost, and is significant to a healthy you and a healthy planet.

The world’s food system is responsible for about ¼ of the planet-warming greenhouse gases, C02, methane (“natural gas”) that humans generate each year. That includes raising and harvesting all the plants, animals and animal products we eat, as well as processing, packaging and shipping food to markets all over the world.

Meat and dairy, particularly from cows, have an outsize impact, with livestock accounting for around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases each year. That’s roughly the same amount as the emissions from all the cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined in the world today.

What about all the talk about eating more animal protein and very low carb for good health?

More recent evidence unequivocally shows that the plant-based diet is the best.  When studies are continued for longer periods on large groups, the outcomes show lower blood fats and blood pressure, healthier weight maintenance, healthier gut bacteria which in turn maintain a healthy immune system. (very low animal fat, high fiber, increase of beneficial plant compounds and the omission of  harmful compounds produced from charred meat).

So, what is a Plant-Based Diet?

It means using the main plant proteins (see below) instead of animal proteins, but does not completely eliminate the foods that may be part of special cultural celebrations. And it also has a significant amount of your Calories coming from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plant oils, to lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Try making a gradual shift to mostly plant-based eating:

  1. Reduce beef portion size (adult needs are met with 3 oz.or 21grams of protein at one time)
  2. Reduce frequency of beef gradually to monthly; substitute poultry, seafood, plant protein.
  3. Plan several days of meatless meals by making a large pot of beans, or lentil stew.

For YOUR health, don’t increase intake of fatty pork (even though its carbon footprint is lower than beef and lamb.

Gradually move to making your protein source plant-based: Beans, lentils, hummus, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, seeds are the highest in protein quantity and quality.

This link provides a guide for decision-making.

Here is a vegetarian guide for selecting foods.

Enjoy increasing health benefits for yourself as you join with others to give our thin layer of atmosphere a long life!

Contact me through the office  (510-531-8212, [email protected])

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?

Beautifying Without Harming – the Green Team

5-30-15 Catherine Work DayMichael retold the events of our May 30th Green Workday  during worship on the 31st:

We are caring for our Church gardens by beautifying without harming any living thing (except the weeds!).  Thanks to everyone who participated.

Because we want the Church to look cared for, as it is, in the labyrinth we removed weeds by uprooting with shovels and hoes and then laying down paper to prevent regrowth. We then put the pebbles back over the paper. We also used a fire torch remove weeds in the courtyard.

As a faith community, we are committed to not using chemical herbicides. It is now known that herbicides in frequent use today cause birth defects in humans. They are known to kill amphibians and insects. The salamanders on our church property are vulnerable.
Recently, the U.N. World Health Organization has issued a statement that these herbicides are probably cancer causing. We want to keep the Church property safe for children, pregnant women, all  people, and the wildlife that lives here.  Our church land is part of the watershed that drains into Redwood Creek, a habitat for native trout.

Finally, we installed 32 LED (light emmiting diode) lights in the sancurary. They are energy-saving and have a very long life, which is great because it is not so easy to changethose lights!

We hope you will join the next Workday and take part in our stewardship of our part of Mother Earth.

Catherine Kessler and Michael Armijo

SCC Green Team’s Mission Statement

water drop & handWe recognize humanity’s impact on Earth and the urgent necessity to be stewards of God’s creation for the future of all beings.

We will promote awareness of our local and global environment, and work to reduce our environmental footprint in all Skyline activities:

buildings and grounds
energy and water use
community service
our individual lives