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!”

 

 

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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

 

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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

mlk-marchonwashington-bannerThis weekend we celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,  his prophetic words and actions for our lives today, and the difference between what is and the vision of how things could be. 

Many of us find ourselves standing in a place of tension. Some may have experienced this tension in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Rev. Dr. William Barber II implicitly evoked this tension in speaking recently of the prophetic grief and lament provoked by recent acts of violence and the decision not to bring charges against the police officers who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice. In response to this present reality, Barber cites Isaiah’s call to be “the repairers of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”

Commentators like Van Jones have recognized that environmental racism also relates to the Black Lives Matter movement. Some acts of violence are not of the kind that can be videotaped and shared on social media, but they nevertheless have a devastating impact on communities of color. The severe, and at times, deadly reality of environmental racism can be seen in relation to toxic dumpscoal plants and terminalsoil plants and refineriesfracked wells, and lead poisoning. There is much that necessitates a prophetic response.


To inspire the courage needed to speak out and to demonstrate how one can pull others closer to a vision of what could be, Dr. King’s oral and written works continue to be an invaluable resource. The UCC has developed a webpage to assist in exploring overlooked and under-appreciated sermons, speeches, and writings by Dr. King. Too often, the more radical messages of King become muted or silenced on his own holiday. Like the great prophets, however, King must be heard. His words are still vital and relevant today. They still possess the power to challenge and uplift. 

Join us this Sunday as we remember him.

dreamstime_s_47580200I love these rainy days, as the thirsty earth drinks deeply of the waters of renewal.

It seems to me that Christmas, like such rainy days, is a time of renewal, transformation and rebirth. The timeless story echoes throughout history, from stories like “Christmas in the Trenches”, to Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and yes, even to “How the Grinch stole Christmas.”

I encourage you, on rainy days like these, to pull out these timeless stories and listen for the voice of resurrection speaking in them. Words like:

Maybe Christmas,” the Grinch thought, “doesn’t come from a store.” Dr. Seuss,  “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Scrooge, on Christmas day, from Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”

Christmas is a fine season for joy to think of those we love. Molere

And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. Jesus Christ

I leave you with a beautiful poem by Madeline L’Engle:

The Risk of Birth, Christmas

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn–
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn–
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

Blessings and love, Pastor Laurie

The days grow shorter, and yet, we know that the light will return. 

So too, in our lives, we wait and participate in hope. 

This Sunday we welcome you, your families and friends to join us in the lovely re-telling of the Christmas story, in our child – led Christmas pageant. We have costumes for everyone, or bring your own, because everyone is welcome to come and see baby Jesus! 

I leave you with a prayer of peace for this season: 

Holy Mystery, Sacred Wonder,child and curious innocent
you came to us as a child–
pure, innocent, vulnerable–

this was the Word you spoke
into your world, into our world. 

speak again, please. 

Come this Christmas to the
child we once were,
the child that lives within
each of us.

We long to touch that child that is still
a part of us, where innocence is still alive. 

Come to the manger of our hearts, that place
before we knew fear or shame; come to the child in us
who remains free of cynicism, who has not yet made
friends with disillusionment. 

 Blessings, Pastor Laurie 

EOCP Gift gathering 1Every year we coordinate with local Oakland shelters through East Oakland Community Project.  We ask for a wish list, invite members of the congregation to select one or more names, purchase their wish, and wrapt it.  We deliver them with a great amount of joy, carols, and fun.

This year we’ll be delivering Christmas Gifts to Homeless Shelters on:
Sunday, December 20th after church, and Tuesday, December 22, 6:30 PM

We will be delivering gifts to the Crossroads shelter on December 20th after church.  Please join us!

If you wish to hop on Santa’s sleigh and caravan to Matilda Cleveland Shelter on Tuesday evening, December 22nd, please join us!  We will leave the church at approx. 6:30 p.m., and we will deliver the gifts to the children there.  We are invited for dessert at 7 pm and for the Christmas party!

Friends, family and co-workers are welcome to both events! Call Nancy Taylor at 510-325-4957, or email her at ngtaylor94619@yahoo.com for questions/more info.

Christmas party 2014 singing 12 DaysChristmas Party 2014 SingerPlease join in the celebration of Christmas at Skyline’s annual potluck Christmas party on Sunday, December 6, 2013 from 5-8: PM in the sanctuary.

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 Rev. Laurie at 510-531-8212 or email her at revlauriemanning@gmail.com.

CN_Skyline_2010-12-24_ChristmasEveService_0956This Christmas Eve, come experience the wonder of our candlelight service celebrating the birth of Jesus with carols, anthems, scripture lessons, a Christmas Rhapsody, children’s choir and instrumental music.

The service will be followed by delicious Christmas treats, hot apple cider, and fellowship.

This is a beautiful way to celebrate the season with your entire family. ALL are welcome!

December 24th at 7:00 pm

For more information please contact the office at 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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