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.

starCome and experience the wonders of the ChristmasPageant 3 kings 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 – office@skylineucc.org or 510-531-8212).

Invite everyone you know with children or grandchildren!   We’ll see you there!

thanksgiving-images-free-768x432Last Sunday we gave thanks for the glorious diversity not only of the world but also of our  faith community, as we welcomed five new members!

Please extend a special welcome to Anna Quandt, Becky Taylor, Bee Franks-Walker, David Guerra & David McGuinness! 

If you haven’t had a chance to get to know these five unique, brilliant, authentic, compassionate, fair-minded, creative, amazing human beings, please be sure to say hi!  

We invite you to join us this Saturday from 10 am – 12 noon to prepare the advent wreaths, and to decorate the Christmas trees for advent. Pastor Laurie will be providing delicious chicken soup, bread and hot apple cider and festive advent music!  

During this season of giving thanks for the abundance of our lives, we remember  all of those who do not have enough, who are afraid, who are lonely, and who suffer. We wish for the abundance of this world to be shared, for fear to become love, for the lonely to feel welcomed, and for the suffering to know rest and joy. 

I leave you with a Thanksgiving prayer, by Walter  Rauchenbach..

O God, we thank you for the beauty of this earth, our home;

For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

taize-flyer-dec-2016

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

holding-hands-heart-shaped-earthBlessings to you on this Memorial Day weekend!

When I was a child growing up in the small town of Barrington, RI in the 1960’s, it seemed like everyone in town would gather at the war memorial in the center of town for Memorial day ceremonies. We school children would always have a part, having rehearsed in school our lines of patriotic glorification often originating from the Bible. There would be patriotic and religious songs sung and prayers by the local minister and perhaps by a teacher or government official.

Memorial Day is an example of what sociologist Robert Bellah has called “civil religion”, where government adapts a kind of generic religiosity that often refers to God and Country as somehow connected to our government and secular political leaders and their actions, especially in wartime.

We could as easily call it the American mythology which we are always helping to shape and co-create, especially on Memorial Day and perhaps the Forth of July.  These two sacred, civil, religious, patriotic days always seem to blend religion and state in what I want to call a troublesome way; a way that I believe we must outgrow to become more of what Jesus taught us: to love one another, that we may all be one, in a more universal love.

Join us Sunday morning (10 AM) for a time of re-imagining what it means to transform our swords into plowshares and cultivate peace within the world, beginning within ourselves.

Art from https://peaceartsite.com  Peace Sign Graphics

palm Sunday and cross“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” – Matthew 21: 8

When I was young, Palm Sunday was simply Palm Sunday. Palms, hosannas, joyous music – a sort of mini-Easter.

Somewhere along the way Palm Sunday became Palm/ Passion Sunday. This meant that we began with the palms, hosanna and cheerful songs about the children singing to Jesus, but before long we were into the betrayal and Christ’s death on the cross.

That made Palm Sunday seem like a Trojan Horse. It looked like fun and games until you unpacked it. When you did, the upbeat party soon became a downbeat prelude to a memorial as the music changed from major to minor key.  Instead of being part of the cheering crowd that was comfortably on Jesus’ side — “Go Jesus! Ride ’em!” — we found ourselves part of the crowd that shouted, “Crucify him, Crucify him.”

This was confusing.

But it was something besides confusing. It was true. We aren’t just the good guys, innocently cheering Jesus on. We have a part in the mess, in the awful that happens.

But seeing that painful truth — our part in the mess and owning it — can help us have eyes for something else besides — that God’s mercy and forgiveness are poured out for us, poured out all over us. When the hosannas of Palm Sunday have faded, praise for the deep love and mercy of God to us is the song that keeps on singing.

Skyline Community Church, United Church of Christ Invites Oakland Community to Attend Easter Services

Come celebrate the Spirit of Easter where we welcome ALL of God’s people. Experience fabulous music and an inspiring message with a spectacular view of the Oakland Hills.

CN_Skyline_2013-03-31_EasterSunrise&10am_0624Easter Sunrise Service: March 27, 7:00 AM:  Rise and shine to the uplifting music of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus!  Experience sunrise from our Sanctuary which rests on the summit of the Oakland hills and has windows spanning 30 feet high!  As you look out on a stunningly beautiful view listen to inspiring preaching, heavenly music and feel welcomed into the warmth of a loving progressive and inclusive faith community.

Rev. Laurie says, “The music in this service sings out about a God of love, of freedom, of liberation… and that the world is more wonderful with the great diversity of all of humanity. This is good news!”

 

 

CN_Skyline_2009-04-12_Easter10AM_61

 

Easter Sunday Traditional Service: March 27, 10 AM:  Skyline’s sanctuary windows overlook Redwood Park to Mt. Diablo   Here we have a traditional Easter Service as a loving progressive and inclusive faith community. Rev. Laurie Manning , the choir and orchestra (directed by Puja Soto) and the people fill the sanctuary with joy, celebration and love. Today’s service will have drama, singing, prayer, and a special honor garden for loved ones.  And to top it off, an Easter Egg Hunt (following service) for children of all ages: 11:30 AM.

 

 

 

Egg hunt in labyrinth CN_Skyline_2013-03-31_EasterSunrise&10am_0233

 

Easter Egg Hunt: March 27, 11:30 AM:  Skyline’s traditional Easter Egg Hunt is happening RAIN or SHINE. We welcome our neighborhood families and all who would love to come to join us!  Stay for refreshments and conversation following the hunt. We also welcome you to join our community Easter service at 10 AM before the hunt, if you wish.  We offer a children’s program for your little ones.

 

 

 

Skyline Church UCC is a community faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  We acknowledge the worth of all beings, regardless of ability, age, ancestry, family or economic status, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual path, cultural origin, or any other visible or invisible difference.  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.

For more information please contact our office at:

Skyline Community Church,
United Church of Christ
12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
510.531.8212

Email Skyline Office

 

cn_skyline_2007-04-08_eastersunrise_011.jpg

Come celebrate the Spirit of Easter where we welcome ALL of God’s people. Experience fabulous music and an inspiring message with a spectacular view of the Oakland Hills.

Sunrise Service ~ 7:00 am

Featuring the Oakland/East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus

Easter Worship Service ~ 10:00 am

Celebratory Traditional Music with the Skyline Choir, Children’s Choir, and orchestra followed by
an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids!

Skyline’s traditional Easter Egg Hunt is happening RAIN or SHINE, starting at 11:30 am on Easter Sunday morning. We welcome our neighborhood families and any who care to come to join us!  Stay for refreshments and conversation following the hunt.

For more information please contact our office at:

Skyline Community Church,
United Church of Christ
12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619
510.531.8212

Email Skyline Office

In honor of Black History Month I am sharing with you the timeless, prophetic voices of black civil rights leaders in this country.

I give thanks for the faith and courage of these great leaders, who’s voices echo the voices of the prophets, who stand with us forever on the mountaintop of  God, their eyes fixed upon the vision of the promised land. 

May we open ourselves to realize that we are standing with them, on Holy Ground. 

I encourage you to join us for the upcoming movies, outings, and discussions and  review the many resources and links listed below. 

   Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

Frederick Douglasshttp://www.azquotes.com/author/4104-Frederick_Douglass

http://www.azquotes.com/author/4104-Frederick_Douglass

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

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