dreamstimefree_251476I was born and raised in the land of the Wampanaugs in what eventually became known to us as “New England”. On this Thanksgiving, in particular in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and in the face of crushing backlash against refugees, let us remember with gratitude the kindness and hospitality provided by the indigenous people to English refugees seeking a better life.  

Let us pray to be healed from our pride and greed; and above all, our fear of, and violence against, those who are different from us. May we see the Spirit of God within all people. I leave you with a prayer from the Ojibwa people in gratitude for life and for harmony with all people. 

    Blessings, and peace, Pastor Laurie  

                        Ojibwa Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds

and whose breath gives life to everyone,

Hear me.

I come to you as one of your many children;

I am weak I am small I need your wisdom and your strength.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever

behold the red and purple sunsets.

Make my hands respect the things you have made,

and make my ears sharp so I may hear your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may understand what you

have taught my people and

The lessons you have hidden in each leaf

and each rock.

I ask for wisdom and strength,

Not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able

to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come before you with

clean hands and a straight eye,

So as life fades away as a fading sunset,

My spirit may come to you without shame.

Photo: © Kmitu | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Looking out over the water at Terra Nova Park Richmond, BC Canada

Looking out over the water at Terra Nova Park
Richmond, BC Canada

For many of us, this time of year can be wrought with worry and anxiety, and filled with expectations about the upcoming holidays; yet underneath also can be saddened by the chill in the air, the shortened daylight, and missing all those we love who are no longer with us. 

Being a New Englander, I am reminded of how cold and bleak this season can become, and how much it can unsettle our souls. 

So, I offer to you a poem, a meditation, to cultivate peace within you.. 

Keeping Quiet  By: Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves
with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Blessings, Pastor Laurie
Photo: © Craig Ikegami | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Pentecost is upon us.. a celebration of the life giving power of the Spirit, a gift from God promised to us all, not just once upon a time thousands of years ago, but now.

May we be all be kindled in the fire of  Divine love.

I leave you with a poem from the poet William Blake:

Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.

William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost

Last Sunday afternoon I had the honor of being with one of the most amazing moms I’ve ever met!

There she was,  nursing four of her little ones all at the same time, with such ease and joy.

Find it hard to believe? Well, Here she is! cat nursing kittens

We are one truly “one body with many parts”. With our mothers, we were literally one body.

Hidden deep within her our genesis began. Let us on this mother’s day give thanks for the wonder of our birth, our lives, and our mothers.

Blessings and love, Pastor Laurie

What is the essence of the Easter experience? cross and light

A transformation occurred.

Jesus was reborn in the hearts of his followers. Death was the occasion, love the medium, & forgiveness the catalyst.

We all are children of God.

We all are sinners. We all can be forgiven if we will refrain from harsh judgment.

Love casts out fear. God is love & only love remains. Only the love we give away.

Join us this Sunday as we experience resurrection!

Bring your loved ones!

green cloverSt. Patrick’s Day should be a celebration, one that surpasses the kind of ecstasy reached with one too many green beers. This year may St. Patrick’s Day be an occasion to bless and be blessed and a moment to remember the Spirit that draws us to one another in celebration and in sorrow.

To bless someone, in the most literal sense of the word, is to confer your hopes to them. That’s why so many traditional blessings begin with the word “may.”

Take, for instance, what is perhaps the best-known Irish blessing (or toast, as the case may be this time of the year):

© Mircala | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Mircala | Dreamstime Stock Photos

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“May” doesn’t mean “so be it.” May implies that something is possible, but not a done deal. May hopes that God puts it in play and that you get out of your own way and allow it to happen.

John O’Donohue, the great contemporary Irish poet/philosopher (and former Catholic priest), knew the power of “may”, and the power of blessing.

Here is a video montage accompanying John reading his poem called “Beannacht”, which means “Blessing” in Irish (from O’Donohue’s Echoes of Memory):


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

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:  revlauriemanning@aol.com

Office:  office@skylineucc.org, 510-531-8212


Friday, April 3rd 12:00 noon  Labyrinth

Our Good Friday service is a meditative service of Taize music, labyrinth walking, and quiet reflection that invites us to connect our own personal pain and our collective ongoing struggle for social justice and relate it to the story of Christ’s death and resurrection.

 For more information, email the office or call 510 531 8212.



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 ~ 6:30 am

Featuring the Oakland/East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus

Easter Worship Service ~ 10:00 am

Celebratory Traditional Music 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

Email Skyline Office

Skyline’s traditional Easter Egg Hunt is happecn_skyline_2007-04-08_easter10am_189.jpgning RAIN or SHINE, starting at 11:30 am on Easter Sunday morning, April 5th. 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.  Also, we have a special Easter Sunrise Service with the Oakland/East Bay Gay Men’s Choir if you can slip out nice and early that morning!

For more information please contact our office at:

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

Visit Us
Visitor's Page

10 a.m. Sunday Services

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

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