Child refugee posterFor weeks now, we’ve learned about the growing humanitarian crisis of 57,000 unaccompanied children who have crossed the U.S. border this year… the story of refugees making the long and dangerous journey, with little but hope and the love of their parents far away to sustain them. It echoes the birth narrative of Jesus, born as a refugee. A tiny child, born into poverty, a precious, yet hidden treasure.

These children make the long and dangerous journey to escape the far greater danger of poverty and violence in their own countries; especially Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.  As people of faith, we are called to notice them, imagine them as our own children, and to protect them.

In addition, as people of faith, we are called to address the vicious cycles of violence and poverty that are spurring the children to flee their countries of origin.

We are pleased to invite this Sunday at 10 am, Rev Deborah Lee, Director of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrants Rights, http://revdeblee.blogspot.com/.  The Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights for the past 20 years has sought to call forth people of faith to promote the fair treatment and dignity of all immigrants so that all may be welcome and fully participate in our nation.  Deborah is here to deepen our understanding of how we together can protect these children, inform people about the dangers of such a journey, promote development in their countries of origin, and influence new forms of legal and secure migration.

Here is a link to an article in the SF Chronicle last week- explaining the situation where we are.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

Josh KornbluthCritically acclaimed comedian Josh Kornbluth will perform his hit comedic monologue “Love and Taxes,” with proceeds donated to Jubilee USA, an anti-poverty advocacy organization. (www.jubileeusa.org).

See a sample here!

Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased at http://joshkornbluthjubilee.brownpapertickets.com/ or at the door.

Wednesday, August 6, 7:30 PM

After years of failing to file his tax returns, Josh falls in love with Sara, a beautiful public-schoolteacher.  When she gets pregnant, she tells him that she wants them to get married before their baby is born — but that she won’t marry him until he solves his horrible tax problems!  Josh tries everything he can think of to get out of his growing tax obligations, and yet the situation only gets worse and worse.  His increasingly desperate quest leads him to Washington, D.C., where he has a fateful encounter with a former commissioner of the I.R.S.  Ultimately, Josh’s encounters with the Tax System — and his love for Sara — lead him to a stunning change in his views about his role as a citizen.  This hilarious one-man show has been a hit from coast-to-coast — and will soon be a major motion picture!

At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave, Berkeley

Image converted using ifftoanyThis past Mother’s Day weekend my heart rejoiced in the many eco-justice events happening throughout the Bay Area; from the East Bay chapter of 350.org, to the Sierra Club, to Skyline Green Team’s  “Water Concerns” event.

I believe that we are becoming more aware of how inextricably connected we are with our many mothers – including Mother God and Mother Earth.

I leave with you the wisdom of two visionary writers, who share this love of our Mothers:
A Call to Prayer
Hildegard of Bingen
The earth is at the same time mother,
She is mother of all that is natural, mother of all that is human.
She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all.
The earth of humankind contains all moistness, all verdancy, all germinating power.
It is in so many ways fruitful.
All creation comes from it. Yet it forms not only the basic raw material for humankind, but also the substance of the incarnation of God’s son.

A Quote by Chief Seattle
Teach your children what we have taught our children: that the earth is our true mother. Whatever happens to the earth, happens to the children of the earth. If people spit on the ground, they spit on themselves. We know: the earth does not belong to people, but people belong to the earth. We know: everything is joined together in some way, like the blood that runs through a family. Whatever happens to the earth, happens to the children of the earth. We did not weave the web of life; we are just a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

Thursday, May 22 from 7-9 PM we’ll honor Harvey Milk with a community night – we’ll watch the movie, “Milk” together, have dinner and share what the man and his story mean for us and our world.  All are welcome!  Directions.

About Harvey Milk Day: (quoted from the Harvey Milk Foundation website) “Our Equality Movement across the globe will celebrate the life story, message, and legacy of my uncle Harvey Milk. Join thousands across the globe to honor his memory and celebrate his message of hope. We are asking you to celebrate Harvey Milk’s life story, message and legacy in celebrating globally on his birthday to give hope and inspire disenfranchised communities.

Harvey was a pioneer of the 20th century. His struggle and his deeds will prove to history that there’s no such thing as a gay way, there is only one way. We can make Harvey live forever by continuing to do things his way, in the deeds and in the accomplishments of our daily efforts to make our world live.

He believed broad public education and dialogue was paramount to his life’s work as a civil rights leader and with your energy we hope you will work to inspire individuals, communities and organizations to carry on his values in a timeless vision for a better world…..”

About Harvey Milk: (quoted from the Harvey Milk Foundation website) Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s.

Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the Castro District. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and ran unsuccessfully for political office three times. His theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and Milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977, part of the broader social changes the city was experiencing.

Milk served 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back. Milk’s election was made possible by and was a key component of a shift in San Francisco politics. The assassinations and the ensuing events were the result of continuing ideological conflicts in the city.”

Even with all of the evidence about the growing urgency of the global warming crisis it continues to be a low priority for Americans according to Pew Research.

Despite the public doubt and misinformation, the message does seem to be slowly getting through.

The UCC is the first major denomination in the US to vote to divest from fossil fuels, as a way to bankrupt Big Oil and Big Coal; not financially so much as morally in order to isolate them as outsiders just as anti smoking activists stigmatized big tobacco. The movement is spreading among the young and the educated. Students throughout the country are pressuring their administrations to divest from fossil fuels. Over 300 universities throughout the country, including UC Berkeley have divested, as the movement continues.

This year, our UCC Annual Meeting for the Northern California Nevada Conference is focusing on the theme of water conservation, education and advocacy.

At Skyline our Green Team is taking the lead on climate change issues for our church and is mobilizing the wider community here in the Oakland Hills to adopt renewable energy sources, influence practices to conserve water and encourage clean energy and sustainable living. This, too, parallels what happened in the tobacco debate when the first restrictions came at the local level. It starts with grass roots community organizing.. w/students, w/courageous faith communities, and people like you and me. Come join us for our May 10th Water Concerns event! (See event notice below)

The story of the resurrection is beckoning to us now to come and be part of the healing of our wounded planet.

I share with you this poem by Emerson:

Water
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

The water understands
Civilization well;search
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.

With love and hope,
Pastor Laurie

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

 

 

 

It’s Earth Day! It’s spring!
The season of Re-Creation!

earth day logo

Join us for our child friendly Earth Day celebration!

Sunday, April 27th at 10 am.

Parents, the service will focus on our earth with music, prayers, and talk centered on earth day themes.

Children’s Sunday School will have:

  • Music
  • Games
  • Crafts
  • Discoveries about how to heal our wounded planet.

We’ll be teaching our children to care for the earth and for one another.  A local ranger will bring plants and items for the children to learn about.

Please join us with your children for this enriching morning for the whole family!

Presented by Skyline Community Church’s Green Team 

water drop & hand

DIALOGUE WITH NEIGHBORS ABOUT WATER USE AND NEW WAYS TO SUPPORT  A RESILIENT,  THRIVING AND BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE

Saturday May 10, 1 – 4 PM

1:00 – 2:30 pm

Robin Freeman:    Chair, Environmental Management and Technology Emeritus, Merritt College    

 Speaking about Water use in the Bay Area:

A Look at local water options:

  • catchment
  • conservation
  • re-use at your work, schools, church, neighborhood, at home & in your garden
  • how to collect and use rain water and grey water

After the talk there will be time for questions and open discussion about the ways we can improve the health of our local environment.

2:30 – 4:00 pm

  • Refreshments, information tables, meet neighbors
  • Native Plant  tour in Skyline’s labyrinth (mostly local Oakland Hills natives)
  • Composting Demo
  • Sheet-Mulching demo (for weed or lawn composting while new plants grow on top)

Hands holding earth photo

For more information contact: Skyline Community Church, 510-531-8212

Directions

Skyline’s traditional Easter Egg Hunt is happening RAIN or SHINE, starting at 11:30 am on Easter Sunday morning, April 20th. We welcome our neighborhood families and all who would love to come to join us!  Stay for refreshments and conversation following the hunt.

We also welcome you to join our community Easter service at 10 AM before the hunt, if you wish.  We offer a children’s program for your little ones.  Also, we have a special Easter Sunrise Service with the Oakland/East Bay Gay Men’s Choir if you can slip out nice and early that morning!

For more information please contact our office at:

Skyline Community Church,
United Church of Christ

12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
510.531.8212

 

Think. Act. Be.

Think boldly.
Act differently.
Be you.

February is dedicated to celebrating Black History Month. It is  a time to honor and elevate the many accomplishments of African Americans throughout US history – individuals who thought boldly, acted differently, and had the courage to be themselves in the face of any and all adversity.

I encourage you to take a look at the following links, about our denomination’s history, from La Amistad to the presidency, our denomination, the United Church of Christ, as allies in this journey.  UCC Firsts.  I also encourage you, to review the links about inspiring African American leaders: UCC Black History Month, Museum of Black Inventors and Innovations

I encourage you to visit the display in the Friendship Room of notable African American leaders, and their bios.  (here’s a photo)…

 

And  join us for these outings in February! Special thanks to Cheryl Colman Jones, Philippia Pegram, and Nancy Taylor for joining me in lifting up these many opportunities for us.  Find contacts and details in Month-at-a-Glance.

 

Saturday, February 8th, 3:30-5 pm  (3:00 carpool from church): Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond.    Dinner afterward for those interested. 
Saturday, February 15th, BHM event:Annual Bay Area Social Justice Forum, 8:00 – 4:00.  $25 (no lunch), $35(with lunch).
Sunday, February 23rd, BHM event:  JAZZ:  Lunch/Brunch and Tony Pegram playing jazz at Scott’s in Jack London Square
Sunday, Feb 23rd, BHM family event: Oakland Museum of CA, 12:00 – 3:00 pm:  Explore the legacy of black pioneers in science and invention

 

Join us for the start of the Lenten season, Ash Wednesday, March 5 at 7 PM, as we join together to deepen our relationship with God!

May this month be  a time for you to think boldly, to act differently, and to be you.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie

 

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

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