We had an inspiring annual meeting last Sunday, June 28.  We thanked last year’s officers, celebrated our many accomplishments, and covenanted with this year’s newly elected council members and officers.

6-29-15 Walter Jones 6-29-15 new council 2
6-29-15 old council with certificatesSpecial thanks to our dedicated council members for their many contributions, and let’s welcome our new officers!

Our next council meeting is Thursday, July 16th at 7 pm, and all are welcome!

For more information about annual meeting, please click here: http://w ww.skylineucc.org/community/church-members/6-29-15  annual meeting slide 

Here’s the new Skyline Community Church Council and Service Team Chairs!

 6-29-15  counting votes

Find out more at our Annual Meeting! Sunday, June 28th

Each year on the last Sunday in June Skyline Community Church holds its Annual Meeting. The community gathers for worship at 10 am and then has lunch afterwards. Officers and committee members are elected, accomplishments and goals are highlighted, the budget is voted upon, and we celebrate the transition of leadership and changes in the congregation.

Prior to the meeting, we encourage you to come prepared by reviewing our proposed budget, our narrative budget and our slideshow. They provide a good orientation to the church and gives a wide view of the activities of the church. This information is available on our members section of the website. http://www.skylineucc.org/community/church-members/ (password is in the newsletter or contact Pastor Laurie or the Office (510-531-8212))

“Congregational Polity”

In the United Church of Christ (UCC), congregations have a high degree of authority to make basic decisions about that way they run themselves. This is referred to as “congregational polity.” Congregations manage their own financial affairs and hire clergy and other staff. Congregations are in “covenantal” relationships with the other settings of church organization. The church is part of an “association” (in Skyline’s case, the Bay Association), which when combined together are “conferences”(Northern California Nevada Conference). The national setting of the UCC is located primarily in Cleveland, Ohio.

The relationships between Skyline Church and the other settings of the denomination are cooperative and mutually beneficial. While our church gets to choose our ministerial staff, it is the association that has the power to ordain clergy, and the conference partners with local churches in the process of supporting and developing church leadership.

The national setting of the church provides leadership and services and organizes a national meeting called General Synod every two years, where church members from throughout the denomination gather for worship, education, debate and action.

The church supports the conference and the national setting financially as well.

Bylaws

The church, like many organizations is governed under a set of bylaws, which are available on the members page of our website.  http://www.skylineucc.org/community/church-members/.

Church Council

Skyline has an elected Church Council who serve on the council along with the church officers (Moderator, Vice Moderator, Treasurer and Scribe) and At-Large members. Several members of staff, including our Pastor, meet with the Council with voice without vote. Members of the Council are raised up by the Nominating Committee of Involvement and elected by the congregation at the Annual Meeting in June. For details about last year’s council and this year’s proposed council, please see the powerpoint slides listed in the members page of our website.  http://www.skylineucc.org/community/church-members/

 See you this Sunday!

 

Hi, Friends,

In the spirit true congregationalism, from Thursday the 11th- Sunday the 14th , I will be meeting with over 300 delegates at our UCC Northern California Nevada Conference Annual Meeting in Sonoma.

Among the highlights, in addition to being in wine country, we will hear from PSR’s new president, David Vasquez-Levy, and Diane Weible, our new conference minister.

In addition, we will vote upon resolutions to be considered by our national denomination next month.

Among the topics we will be addressing are justice issues, and I will be presenting a resolution to strengthen our relationship with Jubilee USA.

To learn more, please see UCC’s justice programs and Jubilee USA.

Blessings and Peace, and see you next week!
Pastor Laurie

 

A Christian evangelical social research company recently surveyed young adult non-Christians on their attitudes toward Christianity.

  • 91%  said Christians are anti-gayboy meditating and sun
  • 87 % said Christians are judgmental
  • 85%, said they’re hypocritical
  • 78 % said they’re old fashioned
  • 72% said they’re out of touch with reality
  • 70% said they’re insensitive to others
  • 75% said Christians are too involved in politics, but the politics they’re talking about are not the politics of peacemaking or justice-making.  They’re talking about the anti-politics: anti-abortion, anti-gay-rights, anti-science.

No wonder people are spiritual but not religious!

Presbyterian pastor and social worker N. Graham Standish observes that the spiritual but not religious—he calls them SBNR for short—share several attributes: 

  1. they are “skeptical of hard and fast theological constructs about God.”  …they “tend to be post-modern, and thus are extremely suspicious of any ultimate truth claims.”
  2. the SBNR are willing to listen to all sides . . . “they want to consider religious and theological beliefs from a variety of perspectives.”
  3. they want to experience what’s true rather than be told what is true. . . . “they want to learn truth by touching it, smelling it, and tasting it.” 
  4. “SBNR folks tend to be sensitive to any form of hypocrisy, especially moralizing hypocrisy. When they see priest or pastor scandals in the face of the church’s obsession with homosexuality, they get turned off.”
  5. they are cautious about being identified too much with a religion. They see the “practice of religion as inhibiting the pursuit of the spiritual . . . .”

Do you know anybody who fits this SBNR description? Sounds like us! Come join us, as the power of the Holy Spirit continues transforming us in the ways of life! 

Also, Sunday June 7th – we celebrate our grads of all ages, including a procession to pomp and circumstance! Let us know who you are! 

Anyone up for a summer barbecue and family picnic on an upcoming Sunday after church? Let me know!! 

       Peace, Pastor Laurie 

This Sunday we honor the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us, to fill us with vision, and to transform our fear into love.

We also honor the power of the Holy Spirit which calls forth our unique gifts and our desire to use them for the greater good.

I leave you with this reflection:

sally_rogers_hymn

(Written by Tom Manley)

Recently when driving up to church, Lucy has become keenly aware of the changing banners hung below our ‘Skyline Community Church’ sign down on the road. Every week, she reads it aloud to me and Josh. Some weeks, she’s disappointed, but often enough… “Oh, it’s my favorite one! ‘Community is our middle name’,” she blurts in joy. “It’s true! ‘Community’ is our middle name!”

It makes me laugh, every time.

But, I do think she’s onto something.

She takes great delight in the wordplay, sure, but she also recognizes Community as an essential, defining characteristic of who we are. (Even if she wouldn’t put it that way.) Frequently, Pastor Laurie includes a mention, somewhere in the service, of Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves, “and who are our neighbors?” she asks. “Everybody!” we answer.

It is this beautiful dichotomy of Community that serves us so well. Skyline Community Church is an active community of forty or fifty people – members, friends, kids, and visitors – who gather together on Sunday mornings to worship God, to make music together, to learn from one another, and to care for one another. Skyline Community Church is also an active community of thousands of people – members, distant friends, school children, hungry families, and traveling pilgrims – who may never gather together, may never worship God, may never make music together, but who can still learn from one another, can still care for one another, and are still our neighbors whom we love.

In this season of stewardship, we ask every member of the Community to make a commitment to the Community. What can you give? What can you do? How can you participate? It is in these individual pledges, large and small, that we become a Community. We make promises to be there for each other, to care for one another, to gather and worship God, to make music, to feed the hungry, teach the children, and do our best to support each other as we struggle to follow the difficult path that Jesus showed us and that God calls us to walk.

This year, we are seeking a commitment from every one of you who are part of our community. It doesn’t matter how much money you pledge and it doesn’t matter what talents you pledge. What matters is that you make a commitment. Whatever you can afford and whatever you can do, your commitment to Skyline is what keeps this church vibrant.

We prefer, if possible, that you complete the Time, Talent & Treasure Commitment Survey on line: Here’s the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHQ3HYW.

If you need help, we will have computers and assistance set up in the Friendship room next Sunday, the 26th.   Otherwise, we will have printed copies of the survey available at church or we can mail you a copy so you can make a commitment to peace, justice, and love.

Stewardship begins on Sunday April 24th and ends on Sunday, May 17th!

For all that you are and all that you do, thank you.

Let’s walk together.
Peace & Blessings,
Tom
Tom Manley, Skyline Community Church Moderator

One of my favorite reflections is from the great theologian and philosopher St Augustine of Hippo who embraced doubt and questions as a part of a growing and evolving faith.

As Augustine put it,  “Our questions are our faith seeking understanding.”

Here’s another favorite of mine from author Anne Lamott:   “I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”

May we all have enough courage to notice the mess, the emptiness and the discomfort,
as we wait in hope for the light that will return!

Blessings upon your week,
Laurie

sunbeams sunsetSunday, January 25,  11:30 – 12:30 after worship

Curious about Skyline? About our denomination?

Want to learn more about who we are and how to get involved?

You’re invited to take part in our inquirers’ session to learn more about who we are as a faith community and as a denomination.

Lunch and childcare will be provided. 

Contact Pastor Laurie at revlauriemanning@gmail.com or 510 421 2646. 

Love,   Pastor Laurie

CN_Skyline_2010-12-24_ChristmasEveService_1014Blessings to you in this season of darkness, where we light candles and are reminded once more:

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Yes, we live in a broken world.

 At the same time, through us all I experience the in -breaking of God’s love right here in our community.  I experience it in the wonder of children taking part in our Christmas pageant. I experience it in the outpouring of love from this community to the homeless shelter in East Oakland; to feeding the hungry here in Alameda County; to supporting the education of 400 children of Makomray, Sierra Leone; and to caring for the immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

We experience it when we see the face of Christ, in everyone!

Come and celebrate the wonder of God’s love on Christmas Eve with us, Wed Dec 24th at 7 pm!

Bring your friends! We have childcare! It’s a short – all ages friendly service!

I wish to share a photo of a mom and dad with their three month old son, Air; one of the many EOCP Gift Familyfamilies with children that we visited earlier this week.  His parents named him Air because he is as precious as every breath we take and is filled with the Spirit of life. I cannot help but be reminded of that Holy family thousands of years ago who sought shelter as refugees, who’s precious child was born in a stable because there was no room at the inn. (The family gave me permission to share with friends and members of Skyline)

I leave you with this poem by Howard Thurman about the ongoing healing of the world that we are called to bring forth in our lives.

Candles for Christmas

I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.
Blessings,
Pastor Laurie

3Advent CandlesThis Christmas Eve, come experience the wonder of our candlelight service celebrating the birth CN_Skyline_2010-12-24_ChristmasEveService_1014of Jesus with carols, anthems, scripture lessons, a Christmas Rhapsody, children’s choir and instrumental music.

The service will be followed by delicious Christmas treats, hot apple cider, and fellowship.

This is a beautiful way to celebrate the season with your entire family. ALL are welcome!

December 24th at 7:00 pm

For more information please contact the office at 510.531.8212

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Skyline UCC
A United Church of Christ
12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-8212

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