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

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. 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

wisdom to survive


The Wisdom to Survive

Climate Change Capitalism & Community sponsored by our Green Team!

THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of society, and the lives of billions of people.

Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. They urge us to open ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us and get to work on ensuring it thrives.  See video preview here.

Among those featured are Bill McKibben, Joanna Macy, Nikki Cooley, Roger Payne, Richard Heinberg, Amy Seidl, Stephanie Kaza, Gus Speth, Jihan Gearan, and Ben Falk.

Praise for Wisdom to Survive

This film is deeply moving and profoundly engaging. Indeed, it has the potential to transform lives because it provides visions of how we should live in the midst of massive environmental challenges. I cannot recommend it more highly!”—Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion & Ecology at Yale

This is a starkly prophetic film. It combines the direst of warnings with deep love of life. Better than any other film I know, it makes clear that our profit-oriented growth economy has caused the climate catastrophe and cannot itself rescue us from disaster. We need new thinking and a new way of life.”—Tom F. Driver,  Paul Tillich Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary

Duration : 56 min.

Questions: Contact or

Spring Fling Postcard

Skyline Community Church is a member of Jubilee East Bay, a chapter of Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 75 US organizations, 400 faith communities, and 50 global partners.  Jubilee is building an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable.

Tuesday, May 5, Skyline is hosting a Jubilee Lunch & Learn from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Join us for a lunch, presentation of what Jubilee does, successes, and an action item to take home to your congregation.

Please RSVP to  Thank you!  See you there!

CN_Skyline Mt DiabloSpring has arrived, Easter has passed, and Earth Day is upon us. We are invited to open ourselves with wonder and reflect upon our relationship and responsibility as part of nature.

Join us this Sunday, as we celebrate Earth Day with our amazing Green team! Catherine K. invites you to think about what you do, have seen, and want to change to bring about a healthier environment for all people and animals. We’ll share these ideas in an open discussion on Sunday.

In honor of Earth Day, I  share with you a poem of gratitude by e.e. cummings.


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e.e. cummings

Love, Pastor Laurie

Labyrinthyellow flowersCelebrate the spring equinox March 18 at 6:30 pm.

We will walk the labyrinth, honor the beauty of the earth, sing songs, share prayers and celebrate the renewal, rebirth, and revivification of the earth and of our lives. 

Wear walking shoes and bring food to share for a potluck following the ceremony.

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre. (The origin of the word east, the direction of the rising sun, comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word aurora, which means “to shine”) 

Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19 and March 22 (note that many resources only mention March 21, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending on when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late March and mid-April.

Rev Laurie:

Office:, 510-531-8212


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

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