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!


BP_CA_SkylineChurch_2012-04-08_EasterSunriseService_0057This is a season of transition as we return from the peace of summer vacations and prepare ourselves for the season of fall. For many people this can be a very stressful time. It is our hope to offer you a sanctuary; a place of peace and welcome; a place where you come to be restored, fed with inspiring words & music, beauty, and community… and yes, delicious food! There’s something for everyone, including simply peace.

This Sunday some of us will be taking part in Oakland Pride  by walking in the parade and sharing at our booth, while others will be exploring the question of who we say Jesus is, here and now for us today!

Next Sunday, Sept 20, we will welcome you with a BBQ picnic- including a children’s Jump House and other family games!

On Wed Sept 23rd, we will hold two Interfaith vigils, in partnership with California Interfaith Power and Light, featuring music, reflections, and community building.  We will have sunrise service at 6:30 AM and a sunset service at 6:30 PM. This is on the eve of the Pope’s historic address to the US Congress on Climate Change.

On Sun, Sept 27th, at 3 pm, we will hold our annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St Francis’s vision of the preciousness of all Creatures, great and small. (link)

And remember, no matter who you are, where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

Blessings, Pastor Laurie

Click below for the information on the picnic/barbecue!

Church BBQ Picnic Flyer Sept 2015

pope francis and st francisSeptember 23, 2015:

Two Interfaith Vigils for the Climate & for Pope Francis’ Speech to Congress

As Pope Francis prepares to speak to the US Congress on September 24 about climate change, interfaith vigils are being held across the country. Skyline United Church of Christ, joined by members of other East Bay congregations concerned about the climate crisis, will host two interfaith prayer services for the climate – one in the morning and one in the evening.

WHEN:   SUNRISE at 6:30 a.m. &  SUNSET at 6:30 p.m (duration approx 45 min each)


Skyline United Church of ChristLabyrinth

12540 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619


Skyline UCC’s distinctively beautiful sanctuary will be the setting for prayers, meditation and music giving thanks for our common home, the Earth; and renewing our collective commitment to addressing climate change and repairing our broken world as a moral issue.

This vigil is being planned by California Interfaith Power & Light’s new Alameda County Interfaith Working Group.

Interfaith Climate Action Network Contra Costa LogoAlameda County Interfaith Working Group started in June this year. Different faith traditions gathered to form an East Bay California Interfaith Power and Light Working Group.  In July and August the team hosted, at different houses of worship in Alameda County, an interfaith study group of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change.


Skyline Church UCC is a community faithful to the teachings of BP_CA_SkylineChurch_2012-04-08_EasterSunriseService_0057Jesus 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,, and

Because bus service is limited, if you can offer, or need a ride, contact Heather MacLeod  510-459-3452

Our pride boothVisit Skyline’s Oakland Pride Booth Sunday, September 13: 11 am – 7 pm

Enter at these locations:

Main Entrance: Broadway & 20th Street (exit 19th St BART Station)

Webster Entrance: Webster & 21st Street

17th St Entrance: 17th Street & Franklin

Parade –  begins 10:30 AM at Broadway & 14th Street and goes to Broadway & Suzies Convertible20th.  Skyline is marching in the parade, with Suzie Harris’ convertible to be decorated in style (more info to come on car-decorating, but save some time on Saturday, September 12th).

There is almost NO PARKING at the event. It is recommended that you take BART in. You may drive (carpooling is good, too) to Rockridge BART or another BART station,  park your car there, and BART to the 19th ST. BART station the festival is right there as you exit BART.  BART back out when you leave.  BART parking is free on weekends.   A round-trip fare from Rockridge (or Fruitvale) to 19th St. is $3.70.  Most lines go through the 19th St. station. Check a map if you’re not sure which train to take to get you to 19th St. BART station:

matthew banna at pride booth

by Mirtha Ninayahuar

SAN FRANCISCO IMMIGRATION COURT VIGIL July 16, 2015. I attended monthly vigil at San Francisco Immigration Bldg.  We had a great turnout and energy. We gathered around the immigration court to be a public witness against our nation’s deportation machine, and to pray for the families and children with court appointments.
BENEFIT for “Root Causes” Delegation July 16, 2015. I attended fundraiser at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley to support the “Root Causes” delegation of 16 people going to Guatemala and Honduras August 7-17. This delegation will be led by Rev. Deborah Lee, Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and Jose Artiga, Executive Director of SHARE El Salvador.

The Delegation will:

  • Listen and meet with grassroots and religious partners on the ground, to more deeply understand the root causes of migration in the Central America Region (economic and free trade policies; narco -traffickers, gangs, and US Drug policy’ US Military aid in the region.)
  • Explore the paths of migration and the human rights impact of US- Mexico immigration and border enforcement policies. Speak with those who have been deported from the the US back  to the region.
  • Listen to the recommendations and proposals coming out of Central America for addressing the root causes of migration, unaccompanied children, poverty and violence.
  • Engage in policy advocacy and education upon return to the US, that addresses the root causes of Central American migration and calls for the protection of migrants. See their pilgramage blog:

About 35 people attended the benefit; great speakers, excellent food and company. It was great to meet some of the delegates and hear why they are taking the journey. We grossed $976!

ACCOMPANIMENT TEAM visit August 11, 2015. As part of an accompaniment team (community and interfaith groups responding to needs of Central American refugees), Carolyn Cox of First Congregational Church of Berkeley and I went to visit our assigned young indigenous Guatemalan mother and her 6 year-old daughter. Our first baby step toward establishing a relationship and building trust. Although we weren’t invited into the apartment, we were happy that she felt comfortable enough to talk to us for awhile. We brought art/writing materials for her daughter.  I was able to use a few words of Mam, one of the indigenous languages of western Guatemala.

Pastor Adolfo, of Iglesia de Dios, has been teaching some accompaniment teams Mam on a weekly basis. We’ve had 3 classes already. Interesting to learn that Spanish speaking people tend to shun them when they find out they are indigenous Mam speakers. In Guatemala, the Mam community wasn’t allowed to have Mam teachers, only Spanish-speaking teachers.

GRANT OPPORTUNITY MEETING at First AME Church August 13, 2015. Today I’ll be attending a meeting for information on grants for education at faith based organizations. Reverend Deborah Lee thought it would be good to find out if Pastor Adolfo’s Mam church, Iglesia de Dios, could benefit from this literacy project for children 0-5 years. Padre Adolfo is working and cannot attend, so I offered to go.

Click here for more information for the Sept 2 study group:

CIPL Pope Francis Encyclical Sept 2 at Skyline

Also, we are providing healthy organic fruit, veggies, proteins, and drinks! 

Come and celebrate the animal companions in our lives on Sunday, September 27th at 3:00 PM!

This is our 16th annual special ceremony to honor our animal companions and acknowledge the blessings they bring to our lives. Bring your pet(s) or a picture of your pet (or even a stuffed animal) – this is a family event!  Refreshments provided for both pets & humans.

Special!  Amy Phelps, who is in charge of the giraffes at the Oakland Zoo, will speak on the specialness of the zoo giraffes.  (She won’t be bringing one, though!).

Special! Dr. Jenny Taylor of Creature Comfort will microchip your cat or dog (for a nominal fee).

Afterwards, come and walk your pet through our unique labyrinth!

Watch a video from a previous blessing! And last year’s ABC News coverage!

All over the world lively and sacred ceremonies to bless our animal companions and honor the blessings they bring to our lives are held in the fall.  Churches of all denominations honor beloved pets around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4) the patron saint of animals.

Reverend Laurie Manning and Rhea Babbit of Skyline Community Church, affiliated with United Church of Christ,  bless your dog, cat, goat, parakeet, fish, horse or whatever you bring (safely) with you.  You can also bring photos of beloved pets who cannot make the journey or have passed on to receive a blessing.

The ceremony is at 3:00 PM, with registration at 2:45, in the beautiful courtyard at:

Skyline Community Church
 12540 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, Ca. 94619

(½ mile S. of Redwood)

Come one and all, with dogs, cats, hamsters, goats, parakeets, horses to celebrate and enjoy our animal companions.


Thursday, July 9, 7 pm- 8:30 pm, Friendship Room

Gather in honor of Marriage Equality!

Join us to laugh and celebrate watching the lighthearted comedy “In and Out”

The film features Kevin Klein, Bob Newhart, Sally Fields, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillon, and Joan Kusak!

Here’s the trailer

Here’s some reviews:

Bring your friends and a dish to share!
Rev Laurie: at (421-2646)

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice! Rainbow dreamstimefree_120296

I’m still basking in the glow of the many blessed decisions from the supreme court last week: from upholding health reform, marriage equality rights, fair housing, & although not the supreme court, a long-overdue recognition that fighting for slavery was wrong. These decisions uphold the inherent worth & dignity of all people, created in the image & likeness of God, and are so consistent with who we are as a faith community and as a denomination.

I am so happy to be part of this small, evolving, prophetic denomination – the UCC: the 1st mainline religious group to affirm equal marriage rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, the 1st to ordain openly gay minister, the 1st to ordain an African American and a woman.

God IS still speaking!  rainbowcomma

    Blessings, 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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