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.

Christmas party 2014 singing 12 DaysChristmas Party 2014 SingerPlease join in the celebration of Christmas at Skyline’s annual potluck Christmas party on Sunday, December 6, 2013 from 5-8: PM in the sanctuary.

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 Rev. Laurie at 510-531-8212 or email her at revlauriemanning@gmail.com.

CN_Skyline_2010-12-24_ChristmasEveService_0956This Christmas Eve, come experience the wonder of our candlelight service celebrating the birth of 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

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

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!

 

Dear Ones,

Here are two prominent current social justice issues that the UCC is taking action on:

Syrian refugee support:

The UCC, in solidarity with several religious groups in the US, is urging the White House to act in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, which has escalated in the last few weeks with hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives to reach Europe.

So far, the American government has allowed just 1,500 Syrians to resettle here — a fraction of the millions that have fled the country. The UCC is asking members to voice their support to allow more refugees into the U.S. by signing a petition calling on the government to make space for Syrians in the next year.

The petition, organized by Church World Service, calls for a pledge to resettle 65,000 Syrians by 2016.  (to read more…) The goal, 100,000 signatures by September 30. Church World Service is a global humanitarian organization that represents 37 Christian denominations, and works side by side with the UCC on issues of immigration and refugee assistance.

http://www.ucc.org/news_syrian_refugee_09102015

California Right to Die:

The California State Legislature approved a bill Friday that would make it legal for doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The End of Life Option Act was passed by the State Assembly on Wednesday; Friday’s final approval by the Senate sends the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Issues surrounding death and dying are not easy to engage in a death-denying culture. As people of faith we grapple with them to insure that transition to another stage of eternal life is as peaceful as possible for those who are dying and for those who love them. We know that God is present in both our living and our dying; therefore we are comforted in difficult times.

Here’s a helpful resource for you from the UCC:  http://www.ucc.org/faithfully_facing_dying

Blessings and thank you, for your extending your sense of family, with such open arms! See you soon!

Love, Pastor Laurie 

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Skyline UCC
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12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-8212

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