In honor of Black History Month I am sharing with you the timeless, prophetic voices of black civil rights leaders in this country.

I give thanks for the faith and courage of these great leaders, who’s voices echo the voices of the prophets, who stand with us forever on the mountaintop of  God, their eyes fixed upon the vision of the promised land. 

May we open ourselves to realize that we are standing with them, on Holy Ground. 

I encourage you to join us for the upcoming movies, outings, and discussions and  review the many resources and links listed below. 

   Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

Frederick Douglasshttp://www.azquotes.com/author/4104-Frederick_Douglass

http://www.azquotes.com/author/4104-Frederick_Douglass

mlk-marchonwashington-bannerThis weekend we celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  his prophetic words and actions for our lives today, and the difference between what is and the vision of how things could be. 

Many of us find ourselves standing in a place of tension. Some may have experienced this tension in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Rev. Dr. William Barber II implicitly evoked this tension in speaking recently of the prophetic grief and lament provoked by recent acts of violence and the decision not to bring charges against the police officers who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice. In response to this present reality, Barber cites Isaiah’s call to be “the repairers of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”

Commentators like Van Jones have recognized that environmental racism also relates to the Black Lives Matter movement. Some acts of violence are not of the kind that can be videotaped and shared on social media, but they nevertheless have a devastating impact on communities of color. The severe, and at times, deadly reality of environmental racism can be seen in relation to toxic dumpscoal plants and terminalsoil plants and refineriesfracked wells, and lead poisoning. There is much that necessitates a prophetic response.


To inspire the courage needed to speak out and to demonstrate how one can pull others closer to a vision of what could be, Dr. King’s oral and written works continue to be an invaluable resource. The UCC has developed a webpage to assist in exploring overlooked and under-appreciated sermons, speeches, and writings by Dr. King. Too often, the more radical messages of King become muted or silenced on his own holiday. Like the great prophets, however, King must be heard. His words are still vital and relevant today. They still possess the power to challenge and uplift. 

Join us this Sunday as we remember him.

EOCP Gift gathering 1Every year we coordinate with local Oakland shelters through East Oakland Community Project.  We ask for a wish list, invite members of the congregation to select one or more names, purchase their wish, and wrapt it.  We deliver them with a great amount of joy, carols, and fun.

This year we’ll be delivering Christmas Gifts to Homeless Shelters on:
Sunday, December 20th after church, and Tuesday, December 22, 6:30 PM

We will be delivering gifts to the Crossroads shelter on December 20th after church.  Please join us!

If you wish to hop on Santa’s sleigh and caravan to Matilda Cleveland Shelter on Tuesday evening, December 22nd, please join us!  We will leave the church at approx. 6:30 p.m., and we will deliver the gifts to the children there.  We are invited for dessert at 7 pm and for the Christmas party!

Friends, family and co-workers are welcome to both events! Call Nancy Taylor at 510-325-4957, or email her at ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com for questions/more info.

dreamstimefree_251476I was born and raised in the land of the Wampanaugs in what eventually became known to us as “New England”. On this Thanksgiving, in particular in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and in the face of crushing backlash against refugees, let us remember with gratitude the kindness and hospitality provided by the indigenous people to English refugees seeking a better life.  

Let us pray to be healed from our pride and greed; and above all, our fear of, and violence against, those who are different from us. May we see the Spirit of God within all people. I leave you with a prayer from the Ojibwa people in gratitude for life and for harmony with all people. 

    Blessings, and peace, Pastor Laurie  

                        Ojibwa Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds

and whose breath gives life to everyone,

Hear me.

I come to you as one of your many children;

I am weak I am small I need your wisdom and your strength.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever

behold the red and purple sunsets.

Make my hands respect the things you have made,

and make my ears sharp so I may hear your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may understand what you

have taught my people and

The lessons you have hidden in each leaf

and each rock.

I ask for wisdom and strength,

Not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able

to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come before you with

clean hands and a straight eye,

So as life fades away as a fading sunset,

My spirit may come to you without shame.

Photo: © Kmitu | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sunday, November 15 is Skyline’s Jubilee Action Sunday, as a part of Jubilee’s “Let There Be Light” project.  For more information, click here:  Jubilee_Weekend_2015_Action_Handbook

Screening Poster - Skyline Community ChurchJoin us!

10:00 Worship includes a blessing for the waters & reflections on our role as co-creators.

12:00 Showing the films, meet the director – David Braun, and discussion.

CONTACT:  Nancy Montier, 510-531-8212 (9AM-2PM M-F), office@skylineucc.org

Faith Against Fracking and Backyard: A Short Film Double Feature, Discussion and Call to Action:  with host David Braun, Director of Faith Against Fracking, Lead Organizer for New Yorkers Against Fracking.

Skyline’s Green Team is bringing these films to our local and greater communities because we believe that fracking is a danger to the earth and her people.  In July of this year Skyline’s national organization – United Church of Christ – passed a resolution to convert the economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy and conservation by 2040.  In this resolution they called for church leaders to seek laws that ban hydraulic fracturing.

California is leading the country in many ways in climate change legislation and action, and yet fracking is already very much a part of life in California. It has been happening for many years, but new techniques are making the practice even more dangerous than it was before. It has been documented in at least 10 counties around the state, but it’s also likely that fracking is taking place in other counties as well, since regulators and oil companies are not monitoring or tracking the process.

Faith Against Fracking is not only a film but a community of faith leaders and people of faith calling on world leaders to ban fracking and other extreme fossil fuel extraction techniques. A fundamental cornerstone of most, if not all faiths, is the imperative to protect creation. Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical on Climate Change called on all people living in our common home to be good stewards of the planet, “to protect the world, and not prey on it.”  Since fracking and other extreme fossil fuel extraction methods destroy the environment and hurt our communities, they must be stopped.

WHERE:

Skyline United Church of Christ, 12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619, 510-531-8212

www.skylineucc.org

David Braun has been working to stop fracking for a number of years and is the President and co-founder of United for Action and the lead organizer for New Yorkers Against Fracking, a statewide coalition for a ban. Previously, he was the grassroots coordinator for the film, Gasland, and designed the outreach plan for soon to be released new installment, Gasland 2. Previously, he was an organizer for MoveOn and has worked on numerous social, environmental and economic justice campaigns.  He is director of Faith Against Fracking.

Skyline Church UCC is a community faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  We acknowledge the worth of all beings. We invite all who wish to enter our Sanctuary and the full life of our church family.  Ours is a God of justice and compassion, and our church lives in covenant with God to do its utmost to pursue justice and compassion, as an Open and Affirming congregation.

Additional information may be found at www.skylineucc.org.

Additional information about fracking organizations:

http://www.faithagainstfracking.org/

http://californiansagainstfracking.org/

http://www.cafrackfacts.org/

Conversations are taking place across the country about how to liberate government from excessive moneyed influence and restore  representative governments to protect and preserve the environment and those who are most vulnerable to environmental degradation. 

Join us this Sunday for an interfaith conversation among spiritual progressives about what we can do, globally and locally.

Please invite your friends! 

Here’s the details! 

WHEN:  Sunday, October 25

10 am – 11:30 am Rabbi Lerner will speak at the regular worship service

11:30 – 1 discussion with Rabbi Lerner & Cat Zavis about Environmental & Social Responsibility Amendment (ESRA), the Global Marshall Plan, and the Network of Spiritual Progressives.   

Rabbi Michael Lerner is co-chair with Vandana Shiva of the interfaith and secular-humanist welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives, editor of Tikkun magazine, and author of 11 books including with Cornel West: Jews and Blacks: A Dialogue on Race, Religion and Culture in America; Jewish Renwal:A Path to Healing and Transformation; The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right; and Embracing Israel/Palestine: A strategy for Middle East peace. For more information about him, please click here: http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/biographical-notes-on-rabbi-lerner

Cat Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator and trainer in conflict resolution and empathic communication. Her spiritual practices are grounded in the prophetic voices of Judaism. These voices and values infuse her efforts with the NSP to build a movement of love and justice – one that actually embodies these values not only in the goals and outcomes it strives to achieve but also in the movement itself. 

This weekend we celebrate two significant themes, both of which relate to the story of Moses and the burning bush. We know the story by heart: God hears the cries of the oppressed, & raises up Moses to lead them into freedom.  Today, in honor of the long journey from oppression into the freedom of marriage equality, we celebrate Coming Out Sunday.

But, the story continues. Moses leads the people out of captivity to the promised land. Sounds great, but the land happens to be occupied by the Canaanites.  Doesn’t God also care about the Canaanites? Fast forward to Columbus leading the way to the Americas – doesn’t God also care about the Native Americans? How can we re-interpret this story beyond Manifest Destiny to one of living together in harmony? Today we remember the Native Americans, the people who lived on this continent long before Columbus “discovered” it. Today we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

native American b&wIndigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday Oct. 12, began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day. The purpose of the day is to promote Native American culture and commemorate the history of Native American peoples. The celebration began in Berkeley, California in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation.

pride2015-Boyd's photo Rhea WaveNational Coming Out Day, Sunday, Oct. 11, began 27 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.  We first observed this day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every 2 Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only 1 in 10.

 

Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories and our support are powerful to each other.

Come join us this Sunday at 10 AM for coming out stories and support, and to re-interpret the story of Moses, Columbus and the native peoples.

 

BP_CA_SkylineChurch_2012-04-08_EasterSunriseService_0057“After the Pope, now what?” How do we repair and preserve our wounded planet?”

Come join your Oakland community in an Interfaith Worship Service for the Climate led by Rabbi Michael Lerner , Cat Zavis, and Rev Laurie Manning; followed by a discussion of the Environmental & Social Responsibility Amendment (ESRA) and the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

In the weeks after Pope Francis’s visit to the US in which he called upon leaders to take serious steps to address climate change, and before the November Paris Climate Change summit, interfaith conversations are taking place across the country about how to liberate government from excessive moneyed influence and restore more representative governments to protect and preserve the environment and those who are most vulnerable to environmental degradation. Join us for conversations about what we can do, globally and locally. Learn more about the ESRA, the Global Marshall Plan, and the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

WHEN:

10 am – 11:30 am worship

11:30 – 1 discussion with Rabbi Lerner & Cat Zavis about Environmental & Social Responsibility Amendment (ESRA), the Global Marshall Plan, and the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

WHERE:

Skyline United Church of Christ

12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619

510-531-8212

www.skylineucc.org

Skyline UCC’s distinctly beautiful sanctuary will be the setting for prayers, meditation and music giving thanks for our common home, our Earth.  We will renew our collective commitment to address climate change and repair our broken world as a moral issue.

 

Rabbi Michael Lerner is co-chair with Vandana Shiva of the interfaith and secular-humanist welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives, editor of Tikkun magazine, and author of 11 books including with Cornel West: Jews and Blacks: A Dialogue on Race, Religion and Culture in America; Jewish Renwal:A Path to Healing and Transformation; The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right; and Embracing Israel/Palestine: A strategy for Middle East peace.

Cat Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator and trainer in conflict resolution and empathic communication. Her spiritual practices are grounded in the prophetic voices of Judaism. These voices and values infuse her efforts with the NSP to build a movement of love and justice – one that actually embodies these values not only in the goals and outcomes it strives to achieve but also in the movement itself.

Reverend Laurie J. Manning is pastor at Skyline Church UCC.  She holds respective Master’s degrees from Union Theological Seminary (Columbia U), Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. Laurie has also served on the University Religious Council of Churches at UC/Berkeley to foster greater support and understanding of religious differences within the student and faculty body. This position included Christianity in dialogue with other faith traditions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths. Prior to her ordination, Laurie worked in various management capacities for Hewlett Packard’s Medical Products division, and then as a consultant with high technology and medical clients. Laurie brings a solid understanding of the psychological and organizational complexities of living as a Christian in today’s pluralistic and scientific world.

Skyline Church UCC is a community faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  We acknowledge the worth of all beings. We invite all who wish to enter our Sanctuary and the full life of our church family.  Ours is a God of justice and compassion, and our church lives in covenant with God to do its utmost to pursue justice and compassion, as an Open and Affirming congregation.

Additional information may be found at www.skylineucc.org.

sunbeams sunsetThis week, millions across our nation will witness the words and vision of a man who has revolutionized a church and reinvigorated a 2,000-year-old gospel.

What’s revolutionary about this? It’s not some radical new idea or ideology. In fact, it’s very old. 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. He embodies the mandate often credited to his namesake St. Francis, “Preach the gospel daily, use words if necessary.”

We invite you to join us in praying for a transformative week for the US, the world’s wealthiest nation in our spiritual leadership; particularly with respect to climate change. It takes all of us working together in our great diversity.

Towards this end, Skyline’s Green team is partnering up with California Interfaith Power and Light and the emerging Alameda County Interfaith climate change team to host two prayer vigils on Wed Sept 23rd, at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm here at Skyline. We are pleased to be including a truly diverse interfaith team in this stunningly beautiful setting and times. Come sing, pray, meditate and learn more about what we can accomplish together. Bring your friends who love the earth!

This Sunday we will continue to honor St Francis in our morning worship followed by an Inquirer’s Session (see below) for folks who want to learn more about who we are as a faith community.

Then on Sunday, we will also hold our annual Blessing of the Animals at 2:45 pm. Bring your friends, bring your pets, bring your friends with pets!

 

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

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