Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Last Friday, inauguration day, was a long and painful day for many of us in the Bay area.
But then Saturday came, with the women’s marches happening on every continent on this planet; millions of women and men, of every race and religion, of every age from babies to women in their 90s, all over the globe marched, including an estimated 100,000 people right here in Oakland. An empowering movement is happening now that so many of us are drawn to, and it gives me hope.
Today’s gospel is a story for our times. It’s the age old story of the ongoing grass roots movement of the people inspired by leaders who, throughout time, believed in the people and loved them, and had compassion and hope for them. Leaders who also had the courage to challenge systems that did not value all of the people equally, so before long the masses of people began to follow them. And they learned not only to follow, but also to lead.
I leave you with these words from Psalm 15 that remind us of the nature of true leadership:
Psalms 15 A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)
Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.
Blessings, pastor Laurie
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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) email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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!
(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) email@example.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) firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or find out more!
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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, email@example.com.
Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The next few weeks will be filled with the joyful voices of our children and our choir!
Starting this Sunday is our fabulous Annual Christmas Pageant featuring beat poetry written by our innovative David Guerra, music by our inspiring music director Benjamin Mertz, and carols sung gloriously by all of us; everyone – all ages- is invited to take part! You can wear whatever costume you want, because Baby Jesus welcomes everyone! Bring your friends, especially those with children!
Also, mark your calendars for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, where we will be lifting up more beautiful and inspiring words and music!
In addition, related to music, please check out our music director Benjamin Mertz’s new CD, “Christmas at the Crossroads”; you can listen to the tracks and order it here.
Finally, I leave you with inspiring words of hope, in these challenging times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.
The reflection is entitled, “We Were Made For These Times”
Blessings and peace in these challenging times.
Posted: Friday, December 9, 2016
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Dear 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
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Come and experience the wonders of the Christmas story!
Join us for a child/family friendly worship service of carols where everyone is invited to take place in the Christmas pageant!
Wear your favorite costume. Be a shepherd, sheep, king, queen,angel, fireman, donkey!
Join us for fun, music and celebration! Be part of the drama! Friends, family, all are invited!
Christmas Pageant: Sunday, Dec. 18at 10 AM!
(Contact Laurie for practice schedule – email@example.com or 510-531-8212).
Invite everyone you know with children or grandchildren! We’ll see you there!
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Skyline 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, consisting 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.
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2016