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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.  www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html

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, office@skylineucc.org)

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?

Green Team Meetings

Green Team Meeting

Thurs, Dec 22, 7:00 PM; Message from Catherine:

I want to keep things rolling, and even if this time of year is busy, I am calling a meeting this week for those who are available; dinner is provided.  Meet at my house on Brookpark Rd. Email the office for the address and to RSVP unless you already have my contact info.  It’ll be a short meeting, and for those who can stay, we’ll watch the film, “Time to Choose”  See info below.

All are welcome!  Agenda:

  1. Opening: environmental news:
    1. Climate change/temp.increase happening at a faster rate than predicted
    2. Global efforts to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (refrigerant) which are more powerful greenhouse gases than C02
    3. Fema withdraws $ to remove eucalyptus trees in EBay hills
    4. Other news: bring issues to the group to educate us all
  2. Plans drafted for new preschool modular bldgs and new play area at SCC (will include solar collectors for whole campus)
  3. New website: Green Team has a spot for updates and information about our site
  4. Skyline Trail plans
  5. Wrap-up from showing of film, This Changes Everything;  we have donation $, how to use?
  6. What do you want to see at Skyline next year?

Time to Choose   Award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson turns his lens to address worldwide climate change challenges and solutions in “Time to Choose”. Featuring narration by award-winning actor Oscar Isaac, this film leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what can to be done to fix this global threat. Ferguson explores the comprehensive scope of the climate change crisis and examines the power of solutions already available. Through interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and brave individuals living on the front lines of climate change, Ferguson takes an in-depth look at the remarkable people working to save our planet.

Catherine Kessler (510-531-8212;  office@skylineucc.org)

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

Outdoor Earth Day Worship, April 17, 10 AM

4-3-16 view out window These next few weeks we will be honoring the earth and caring for our precious environment.

We are blessed to worship in such an incredibly beautiful setting, especially this time of year, and after the much needed rains.

The weather forecast for this Sunday, April 17th  is for perfect conditions, and so (weather permitting) we will plan to worship outdoors! Bring your friends who love nature, your musical instruments, sun visors, sun screen, an umbrella to block the sun, etc. and wear casual clothes. We will have tents & umbrellas for shade, and will assist anyone needing help.  We’ll have a shuttle to help people down the driveway to the labyrinth.  The flowers and plants are thriving there – it is beautiful.

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 many of you who will be taking part in the dramatic reading, to the set-up team, and above all, to God, our Creator, for life itself.

If you’d like to come and help set up early, please contact Catherine Kessler or Nancy Taylor  who will be setting up Saturday at 6PM.  (contact information at end of this article)

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 Earthday celebration with music, dance, potluck here at Skyline. (see the attached flyer)

Blessings, Pastor Laurie and the Green Team

Catherine Kessler (510-530-7688;  cath.kessler@comcast.net.
Nancy Taylor (510-530-0814) ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com
(510) 421- 2646,  revlauriemanning@aol.com

“Everybody Needs…Places to Play in and Pray in…”

5-30-15 Catherine Work DayThis Sunday you are invited to rise and shine an hour earlier, put on your casualXmas Food Party clothes, and join us for a day of inspiration, gardening with the green team after church and good food… not only for lunch but also for Sunday Supper!  

As environmentalist and founder of the Sierra Club John Muir wrote, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”.

Particularly now, with the greening of the earth, our beautiful sanctuary reminds us of God’s renewal of the earth and invites us deeper into our own renewal in body, mind and spirit.

Come join us to experience:

— the renewal of your body, mind and spirit.
–   the healing power of community, for all ages.
–  the joys of gardening in this beautiful setting, guided by our Green team.
–  a delicious and heathy Sunday Supper, hosted by Suzie Harris.

“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible:  The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.  If you don’t want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don’t have a soul.”
–  Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1996, p. 101

Blessings upon your week, Pastor Laurie

Church Work Day 3-13-16

Green Team Work Day!

This Sunday, March 13 after worship

Join Skyline’s dedicated Green Team and give our church grounds some tender, loving care for spring!

You can make our grounds beautiful with your loving hands, be outside in nature, and gently move your body!  What we’ll do:

  • prune shrubs to help encourage healthy growth and flowers;
  • hoe areas that have weeds growing; the hoeing is easy because the ground is damp and soft.
  • rake the weeds in our labyrinth;
  • plant trees, ferns and flowers that Catherine has ready and waiting.
  • spread topsoil to fertilize new growth.
  • pull weeds coming up in the pavers.

Thanks for your many hands!   Catherine Kessler;  cath.kessler@comcast.net

Office phone 510-531-8212

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

“I Thank God for This Most Amazing Day”

CN_Skyline Mt DiabloSpring has arrived, Easter has passed, and Earth Day is upon us. We are invited to open ourselves with wonder and reflect upon our relationship and responsibility as part of nature.

Join us this Sunday, as we celebrate Earth Day with our amazing Green team! Catherine K. invites you to think about what you do, have seen, and want to change to bring about a healthier environment for all people and animals. We’ll share these ideas in an open discussion on Sunday.

In honor of Earth Day, I  share with you a poem of gratitude by e.e. cummings.

I THANK YOU GOD FOR MOST THIS AMAZING DAY

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e.e. cummings
1894-1962

Love, Pastor Laurie

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:

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