LabyrinthCelebrate the spring equinox March 21 at Sunset – 7pm – with us in the gentle, winding peace of our Skyline labyrinth.

yellow flowers

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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 ~ 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
510.531.8212

Email Skyline Office

The rains have quenched the parched thirsty earth, and the hills are lush and green with new life.

The sunlight sparkles upon the bay, ushering in a new day.

Valentines Day is upon us, and the supermarkets are pressuring us to purchase chocolates, candied hearts, and helium balloons. May I offer to you the timeless words of Paul in his letter to the people of Corinth, reminding them of the qualities of enduring love. Wishing all of you the blessings of love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love, Pastor Laurie Blessings

Sun Feb 15th 2-2:30 PM

We will join LakeShore Avenue Baptist Church and other faith communities to sing spirituals and songs of liberation, justice and freedom!  Come join us. We can carpool from the church or meet at Lake Shore Ave Baptist Church (3534 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610). For more information contact Nancy Taylor or Pastor Laurie.

A Public Witness of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church and Skyline Community Church!

What We Are Asking For:

  1. A continued commitment on the part of Oakland’s elected officials and Oakland Police Department leadership to support Ceasefire and other proven violence reducing and life enhancing initiatives.
  2. A continued commitment on the part of Oakland’s elected officials, Oakland Police Department leadership and Oakland Fire Department leadership to cultivate a police force and fire department that reflects that diversity of Oakland. This includes prioritizing the hiring of Oakland residents by the OPD and OFD.
  3. A continued commitment on the part of Oakland’s elected officials and Oakland Police Department leadership to the hiring, training and disciplining of OPD officers in such a manner that insures the members of the force are committed to offering community and constitutionally oriented police services.
  4. A continued commitment on the part of Oakland’s elected officials and Oakland Police Department leadership to data driven deployment of OPD officers.
  5. A commitment on the part of Oakland’s elected officials and Oakland Police Department leadership to correct the wrong of racial profiling whereby 75% of the stops by OPD officers are of African-Americans and Hispanics, members of groups that make up approximately 40% of the population. Of these stops, less than 20% result in arrests.


What We Are Committing To:
Partnering together with these groups and the wider community to resolve the underlying causes of racism and violence in our city.

Be mindful – Dehumanizing those who are dehumanizing you only contributes to the cycle of dehumanization in the world.    Cornel West

Fresh from the rains of these past weeks into this new year, water reminds us of life itself and the promises of new life symbolized in baptism.

Yet water is full of paradox, of life and death, of beauty and terror and transformation.

“I am haunted by waters.” These are the last words of Norman Maclean’s novella, A River Runs Through It. Waters haunt all of us.

 The human imagination is consumed with images of water, and rightly so. Our bodies are made up of water. If we fail to drink or if we are prevented from drinking, we will expire. Drought means the possibility of death for both land and humans—too little rainfall and life as we know it is threatened.

Water is also dangerous, chaotic, and devastating. In the ancient world the primeval disorder takes shape in the form of a watery chaos or monsters from the deep. An abundance of rain can lead to the land’s fertility, but too much water will drown the crops. Hurricanes and tsunamis remind us that water can be an agent of death. The watery depths of the sea are a great unknown. We know that we cannot tame or master them and that, as generations come and go, the water remains.

Water will play a central role in the coming decades or centuries. Will the waters bring death or life?  Humanity has a tremendous role in answering that question.

Let us recall our baptism, reaching back to hear the voice that speaks to us out of the waters—the voice that proclaims to a world of conflict that we are all “very good” and claims us all as “beloved.” The Spirit moves in and out of our busy lives, and there are times when I recognize the Spirit’s hovering presence beckoning all to a different order, to a new creation. As I reach for the water, whether in a font or on the ocean’s edge, I find myself trying to connect to the chaotic, life-giving and mysterious power that resides in its depths. One day I hope that I can say along with Langston Hughes: “I’ve known rivers: ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

gay marriage 2 guysThe Advocate.com wrote a year in review series and included an article about religious people who gave hope in 2014 to the LGBT community for inclusion in religion.  The UCC’s General Synod is listed as #11.  Read the article here.

Here’s a link to UCC’s page about our LGBT ministry.

Skyline Community Church voted many years ago to be an open and affirming church – welcoming all peoples.

 

starHappy New Year!

What does that expression bring up for you?

In a sense, New Year’s Day is no different than any other day.  After all, the calendar we live by is a human construction.  Yet in another way the new year always brings with it the sense of a fresh start, “another chance to get it right” as Oprah would say.  So it begs the question, why not start every day with that attitude?

The journey of the magi and the feast of the Epiphany offer an opportunity for us to consider our own journey – to gaze up to the heavens and to consider what star it is that we are following. May we be guided by the Light from above to expose the darkness that stalks our souls; and to show us the way, every step of the journey, and every day of our lives.

searchThe rains and the dark storm clouds continue this week. For some of us this is a sad and stressful time of year. Even more so, to those of us who take in the wounds of the world through the news and through our own personal lives. Our experience of the world’s brokenness can shake us to our foundations. Grief, violence, sorrow, depression can stuff out the light for us, and threaten our capacity to dream, to envision, and to find creative ways to respond to the wounds we encounter in the world and in ourselves.

In the face of this we must sing, or draw, or dance, or write. We must find whatever replenishes our imaginations and restores our ability to envision and dream anew.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

- From the hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?”

May we all consciously seek to follow the Divine Light, rejoicing in the love which leads us home.

Blessings,

Pastor Laurie

Dear Ones,

 In this season, God is inviting us to make room in our hearts and in our lives.

 Whatever outward expression Advent takes for us, Christ calls us to open our heart to welcome him anew.

“Let every heart prepare him room” we hear in the lines of one Christmas hymn.450x299xAway-in-a-Manger.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DzbaKxVhch

 “God will speak peace to the people…to those who turn to God in their hearts” one of the Advent psalms tells us.

But what does it mean for us to do this? What does it look like to prepare our heart to welcome the God who comes to us? Are we certain we want this in the first place? Jesus, after all, is hardly a tidy guest. When he arrives, he is always turning things upside down. He sees more than we sometimes wish he would see, knows us more thoroughly than is comfortable, embraces us as he finds us but does not leave us there.

Prepare him room!  Blessings, Pastor Laurie

sunbeams sunsetWe enter the season when the light begins to fade.

It is a season that for many of us brings about a sense of sadness and turning in.

For some, it’s as if  just as the light is fading, so too is life.
During such times it’s important to kindle the light within ourselves.

All the world’s religions speak of kindling this light and seeking wisdom.

Here are some readings to reflect upon in seeking light, insight, and wisdom.

Blessings and peace, Pastor Laurie

“O Lord, Lead me from the unreal to the real.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.
May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace”.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28.

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”

Tao Te Ching, 33, tr. S. Mitchell

Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20
The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction,
and concern for instruction is love of her,
and love of her is the keeping of her laws,
and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality,
and immortality brings one near to God;
so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom.

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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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