On Pentecost we celebrated the inspiring power of the Holy Spirit as we welcomed five new members into our faith community!

Welcome everyone!

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day, and remember how Jesus, in prayer, referred to God in an utterly new way as “abba”, “daddy in heaven”.

As part of honoring our fathers, I invite you this Sunday to bring a photo along with memories to describe the qualities you most love in your father.

liliesAs we draw ever closer to Holy Week and Easter, let us pause and take a deep breath.

Breathing deeply is part of what this week is about. Inspired (whose root means to breathe into) by the rich imagery of Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, and also by the story of the raising of Lazarus, let us consider how the gift of breath, of spirit, of inspiration comes to us in our own lives.

Let us consider how in the very midst of struggle, despair, and death; the Spirit -the Breath – Inspiration; brings forth new life as surely as the gentle rains that fall upon us this week green and renew the earth.

I am so grateful to be sharing this road with you, to be breathing together with you. Blessings as we begin this new week!

I leave you with this poem from Jan Richardson,

Where the Breath Begins - A Blessing

Dry
and dry
and dry
in each direction.

Dust dry.
Desert dry.
Bone dry.

And here
in your own heart:
dry,
the center of your chest
a bare valley
stretching out
every way you turn.

Did you think
this was where
you had come to die?

It’s true that
you may need
to do some crumbling,
yes.
That some things
you have protected
may want to be
laid bare,
yes.
That you will be asked
to let go
and let go,
yes.

But listen.
This is what
a desert is for.

If you have come here
desolate,
if you have come here
deflated,
then thank your lucky stars
the desert is where
you have landed –
here where it is hard
to hide,
here where it is unwise
to rely on your own devices,
here where you will
have to look
and look again
and look close
to find what refreshment waits
to reveal itself to you.

I tell you,
though it may be hard
to see it now,
this is where
your greatest blessing
will find you.

I tell you
this is where
you will receive
your life again.

I tell you
this is where
the breath begins.

Gratefully,

Pastor Laurie

Saturday, November 30 ~ 10AM – 12PM 
Come join us as we adorn the sanctuary with fragrant fresh cut greens, prepare wreaths and the advent candles, make decorations and hang lights as we welcome in the season of advent.

Delicious hot cider and lunch await you! All ages invited to help out!

Contact Pastor Laurie if you have questions!

This Christmas Eve, come experience the wonder of our candlelight service celebrating the birth of Jesus with carols, anthems, scripture lessons, 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

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 you favorite costume.  Be a shepherd, sheep, king, queen,angel, donkey!  Join us for fun, music and celebration!  Be part of the drama!  Friends, family, all are invited!

Christmas Pageant: Sunday, Dec. 22 at 10 AM!

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

 

Please join in the celebration of Christmas at Skyline’s annual potluck party on Saturday, December 8, 2013 from 7-8:30 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 desserts, tea and partying!

If you have questions, would like to help out or have suggestions please contact Tom Manley at 510-531-1796, or manley.com@gmail.com.

 

ChristmasParty_image

As the day light grows shorter and the air grows chillier, we become more aware of the changing seasons of our lives. May we also remember, with gratitude, our connection with this precious planet, and with one another.

I’d like to share with you, two blessings from the beautiful writings of John O’Donohue. 

Blessings to you in this season of giving Thanks! 

Pastor Laurie

Posted on November 21, 2012

Grace Before Meals
As we begin this meal with grace,
Let us become aware of the memory
Carried inside the food before us:
The quiver of the seed
Awakening in the earth,
Unfolding in a trust of roots
And slender stems of growth,
On its voyage toward harvest,
The kiss of rain and surge of sun;
The innocence of animal soul
That never spoke a word,
Nourished by the earth
To become today our food;
The work of all the strangers
Whose hands prepared it,
The privilege of wealth and health
That enables us to feast and celebrate.

Grace After Meals
We end this meal with grace
For the joy and nourishment of food,
The slowed time away from the world
To come into presence with each other
And sense the subtle lives behind our faces,
The different colors of our voices,
The edges of hungers we keep private,
The circle of love that unites us.
We pray the wise spirit who keeps us
To change the structures that make others hunger
And that after such grace we might now go forth
And impart dignity wherever we partake.

— John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

As the day light grows shorter and the air grows chillier, we become more aware of the changing seasons of our lives.

Undeniably it seems that autumn has finally arrived to the Bay Area.

Being originally from New England, I well remember the dramatic changes as the crimson leaves drop down to the earth, and nature begins it’s inward journey through the winter.

I’d love to share with you, a “Song for Autumn” from one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep

inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pondvanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

— Mary Oliver from New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Laurie

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

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