Starting Sun, Jan 15 through Jan 21

The Justice and Witness Team and Pastor Laurie invite you to attend these and other events to be announced later in honor of MLK and Black History Month.  Please contact Nancy Taylor: (510-530-0814) ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com to RSVP or find out more.

 
Sun, January 15 – Annual MLK Jr. Day Church Service:  readers theater, great music; upcoming inauguration.

We will honor the memory of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., his sense of God’s calling in his life, and the larger civil rights movement to which he gave his life.  We will also take seriously our call to participate in the civil rights movement of our times for greater economic justice, particularly within our country.  Together, one day, we shall overcome!

Please bring with you friends who would be drawn to this celebration.  Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss ways that you’d like to take part at revlauriemanning@aol.com.

Sun, January 15 – 7pm – IN THE NAME OF LOVE: 15TH Annual Musical Tribute honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Marvin Gaye, What’s Going on?”  Oakland Scottish Rite Center.  Let Nancy know if you’d like to go.  http://www.livingjazz.org/mlk-about for tickets.

Sunday, January 15th from 3:00 – 6:30 pm  Swing Yo Thing Pho Martin Luther King!
2501 Harrison Street, First Congregational Church of Oakland
$15 Admission
Join Us!
3:00 – 4:00 East Coast Swing Dance Lesson
4:00 – 6:30 Lavay Smith & the Red Hot Skillet Lickers
There will be a Lindy hop performance during intermission!
Wheelchair accessible
(A)Rise In Power is a gathering for Christians and other Jesus followers who are committed to the Movement for Black Lives and interested in exploring how liturgical direct action can best serve that movement.  Nancy Taylor: (510-530-0814) ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com

Mon, January 16, 9:00AM to 12:30PM MLK Day of Service  MLK Day of Service 2017 – Oakland – Shepherd Canyon Park
*Transforming a Former Dump into a Place of Natural Beauty
*Meet at the Escher Gate, 5881 Escher Drive, (In Meadows above Soccer Field in Shepherd Canyon Park) *We will be planting and sowing seeds for CA Native bunch grasses and wildflowers, trail improvements, Creating Monarch Butterfly Habitat! Great event for adults, students and families (Kids need to be accompanied by parents).

Skyline doesn’t have a coordinated team attending but it’s always a valuable community contribution, so we invite you to go!

Mon, January 16: African American Museum & Library at Oakland MLK Film Festival

Please join the African American Museum & Library at Oakland in honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Film Festival. The museum will host a film screening of four films documenting African Americans’ struggle for civil rights: Black Americans Since MLK: And Still I Rise, The African American: Many Rivers to Cross, The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil RIghts, and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
The film screening will begin in the museum gallery at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, January 16, 2017.
Nancy Taylor and the J&W team invite Skyline folks to attend the screenings beginning in mid-afternoon and then go to dinner at a restaurant nearby at 6:00.  Exact times to be determined as the day comes closer.  Contact Nancy Taylor (510-530-0814) ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com to RSVP or find out more!

On Sunday, January 22, bring your lightly used clothes (especially warm coats) to the church or to the office by Jan 20 to be donated to local agencies, (like East Bay Switchboard and also to support immigrant families) – contact Mirtha or Nancy Taylor: (510-531-8212) office@skylineucc.org.

Friday, Jan 20th 7 PM, Skyline Church

Lead by Pastor Laurie and Benjamin Mertz

Many of us are still reeling from the unimaginable reality of the Inauguration of Donald Trump as President, and the implications for ourselves, for this country, for this world, & for our climate,  especially for those most vulnerable.

Come and join us for an evening during which you are invited to experience your experience; feel your feelings and honor all of our inner strength, community, light and hope as we prepare for whats to come.

We will join together for an evening of candlelight, poetry, wisdom, and Taize music.

All are welcome.  Please invite friends and family to share in this time.

Contact Pastor Laurie (510) 531-8212, office@skylineucc.org.

Fifty years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King preached one of his most prophetic sermons at Riverside Church in NYC (where I was ordained). The sermon is entitled, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”   Below is a summary of excerpt from this sermon where he focuses on the triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarism. 

It is a great question for our times, as next Friday, Jan 20th, we inaugurate Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. We live in a time when we cannot take democracy or our deepest moral convictions for granted. 

We have so much to learn from the wisdom of those who worked tirelessly in the black civil rights movement in this country and from leaders like Dr King, who in turn, derived his wisdom from the teachings of Gandhi and Jesus.  

This Sunday, join us as we come together widening the circle of community, to gain strength for the journey together.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

TRIPLE EVILS 

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.”

Some contemporary examples of the Triple Evils are listed next to each item:

Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty … The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.”

Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes…

“Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life. It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission. It is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the progress of the future. Racism is total estrangement. It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.”

Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime…

“A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war- ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This way of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Source: “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Boston: Beacon Press, 1967. 

Please join in the celebration of Christmas at Skyline’s annual potluck Christmas party on Sunday, December 11, 2016 from 11:45 AM to 2:00 PM in the sanctuary.  There will be plenty if you just found out about it, so please come – you are invited!

You’ll enjoy singing traditional carols and Christmas hymns.  The children (and the child in you) will be thrilled to hear the ho ho ho and feel the love love love of Santa.  We’ll share the Christmas story together.  And there will be delicious food and desserts, tea and partying!

If you have questions, would like to help out or have suggestions please contact Nancy Taylor at  ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com.  

hands_picDear Beloved Community,

Last Saturday morning we awoke to the horrible news..

I know that many of us are still reeling from the unimaginable tragedy in Oakland at the ominously named Ghost Ship warehouse. 

On Wednesday night, Dec 7th, at 7 pm we gather for an interfaith candlelight Taize music and prayer vigil. We will take a few moments and connect with one another, because our connection is precious and life is so fragile.  

Our hearts are broken.. Once again we gather for a vigil,  but this time the deaths and destruction were brought about by fire, fire caused by negligence and human greed. Each senseless death, every act of negligence and human greed, seeks to diminish us, to drive us to despair, to divide us into an “us and them.” But this death, this destruction, this violence does not have the last word.

Love has the last word. Love wins. Every time.

This particular tragedy hits close to home. This place was a sanctuary for artists, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community, a sanctuary for the rising numbers of people who cannot afford housing here in the Bay Area. This Oakland warehouse tragedy opens a deep wound.

And yet, through the tears, I have hope.

There is hope. You are part of that hope. 

We must never give up the struggle to make this world a better place. Always believe that you can make a difference. Always seek to widen your circle of love and empathy. Always seek the good in people and call yourself to your highest good.

We stand on the shoulders of people who have given their lives for equality and justice in safe affordable housing & commercial structures, and systems that value the lives of all people, over the opportunity to make a profit, while endangering the lives of others. We do not have the luxury to be complacent. This Oakland fire brings into sharp relief the fundamental need for change in our nation at every level. The political rhetoric bouncing off the sound waves is just that-rhetoric. Find the good. Seek the right. Remember that every life is precious.

And tonight and in the days to come, remember that there are millions of people who share your hopes, your dreams, and your resolve. As progressive Christians, the radical teachings of Jesus propel us forward, forging a path that will lead to more love, more equality, more justice, more grace, and more peace.

Never let that go.

Peace, peace, and more peace,

Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

The book of Isaiah, complex as it is, is framed by poetry. The poems of Isaiah envision the future God will yet give.

In this season, as the days grows shorter and chillier, hear these timeless words of hope for us (below):

Also, I encourage you to consider the many opportunities we are offering this month for prayer and reflection, for worship, for justice, and for fellowship. My deepest thanks to all of you in creating this beloved community and welcoming the wider community to take part.

isaiah-11A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples;
the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

cn_oakland_2015-12-24_skylinechrismassservice_0002Skyline Church in Oakland is holding an interfaith candlelight music and prayer vigil on Wednesday night following the deadly warehouse fire in our city.

The public vigil will be held from 7-8 pm at Skyline Church, 12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland CA.

This is a devastating loss to our community and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, victims, survivors, families, Oakland’s Fire and Police depts., and the Alameda County’s Sheriff’s office. Our prayers remain with the loved ones of the victims and the Oakland arts community.

Voluntary donations will go to support the relief efforts for those impacted by the fire. Taizé Prayer is simply sung prayer, CN_Oakland_2014-04-20_SkylineEasterService Labyrnth in fogconsisting of the repetition of simple chants. The experience of singing these chants can take us to that deep inner place that longs for communion with God. The service is comprised of meditative chanting, Scripture, spoken prayers, and silence.

Leading the event is Rev. Laurie Manning, Pastor of Skyline and Benjamin Mertz, Music director of Skyline.

All are invited to come together to share in God’s loving guidance.

As Thanksgiving approaches consider that we are not, after all, only what we eat. We are also with whom we eat.  In Jesus’s kingdom and at his table everyone, especially all those considered “the least of these”,  is welcome. This social healing was as profound and transformative as any medical miracle Jesus was said to have performed. It challenged the prevailing social order then and now. The gentle shepherd, the Prince of Peace, it turns out, was and still is a troublemaker and a revolutionary. He is working through us to bring forth the new kingdom, the heavenly realm here on earth.  He is working through us when we realize that Caesar is not our Lord, that Pharaoh is not our father, that CEOs and military leaders are not our ultimate guide. God is passionately in love with us, with all of us, and more than anything is yearning for us to live as sisters and brothers, united in love.  

This Sunday, we welcome everyone to the table! Join us as we welcome our newest members, as we share from our abundance with the local food pantries of ACCFB, and we honor Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Here’s UCC’s Pastoral Letter to a United Church in a Divided Country.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie

 On the day of this historic election I would like to share with you a reflection from UCC minister, Maren Tirabassi:

dreamstime_xs_50612988

Photo credit: © Bridgephotography | Dreamstime.com 

I vote the future

I vote my grandchild’s education

and my grandchild’s grandchild’s earth.

I vote the future.

I vote my faith in the gifts

to this country

of a child who is today 

running from the wars of Syria,

eating frijoles con arroz in Guatemala.

I vote the future.

I vote for water protectors

in the cold winds of North Dakota,

and Racists Anonymous

meeting in a church basement

to take the first step 

in recovery of the heart.

I vote the future.

I vote the memory of the gifts

of veterans and poets,

of the framers of constitution

and the people who walk 

a long afternoon knocking

with a knob hanger in their hands

for even the slammed door.

I vote the future.

With my debate-tired ears

and my email petition red eyes

I choose one candidate and another,

a President of the United States,

a Sheriff and a City Clerk.

I say yes or no on a change

for my state or my town.

I buy a cookie 

at the election day bake sale.

It doesn’t look glamorous.

It doesn’t feel brave,

I don’t expect the news media

of all the world

to watch my small act of faith.

But, for the sake 

of my grandchild’s grandchild,

I vote the future.

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10 a.m. Sunday Services

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

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