Go Tell It on the Mountain

April  2016 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

Rev. Stephen Glauz-Todrank
Church phone: 408-353-1310

Help Install Yael Sunday

A reminder: this Sunday, April 3, we will not hold services at Skyland but join Peace UCC at 900 High St. in Santa Cruz to install former Skyland intern Rev. Yael Lachman. Meet at that church, or come to the Skyland parking lot at 9:30 and carpool.


Renée Arrives
In Blaze of Action

Renée Pressler is a firecracker.


Only a few years after finding Skyland Church, she has worked so hard on the all-important Harvest Festival that she was named a Deacon shortly after becoming a member. After serving as Larry Cooke's assistant in past festivals, she hopes eventually to succeed him as director.

She herself tells best how that came about:

"I found Skyland church about four years ago. I was invited to help with the Harvest Festival. I worked in the clothing part. Felt a special connection. Reverend Stephen made a BIG impression with his kindness. I needed to be where Christians understood the concept of a church that opens its doors to all people. And yes I'm a Deacon and also will help Larry C. with the Harvest festival ... I feel I could never do enough for our Church. I love my Church family.  And I will send you a bio soon."

Which she did. Not soon, but immediately.

From it we learn that Renée lives with Spencer, her husband of 55 years, 40 of them in the Santa Cuz Mountains, plus two dogs and two cats, in a small cabin off Summit Road.

She and Spencer met in junior high school at a baseball game, and were married at 20. They have two adult grandchildren. In the meantime, Renée squeezed in a couple of careers, as a cosmetologist and as a massage specialist specializing in chronic pain relief.

She came into Skyland's orbit, or we into hers, via the Loma Prieta Club, which meets regularly in Whitaker Hall, and for which Renée ran the May fundraiser for five years. 

Lured by Nancy Jo Lopp into helping with Harvest Festival, she began by working with Linda Heyes and Shannon Edwards. Shannon calls her "the smiling 'I can do that' Energizer Bunny who can hang up more bags of clothes than 3 people combined. A joy to work with."
Linda suggested that Renée might find an equal reward in the church services; she began attending, became a member at the end of last year and a Deacon this year, and says now "I finally found a church family."
Happy to be here, she urges her new spiritual relatives "If I haven't met you, please come and say hello."
-- CB

Altar Flowers

Open Sundays for donating flowers are April 10, 17, and 24. Please sign up in Whitaker Hall.

Apricots ripen
plump and orange: promise of
jam making in June.
-- haiku by John Heyes

Meditation Moment   
Moses preaches to the Israelites 
Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with
all your strength.  

These commandments  that I give you today are to be upon your  hearts.

-- Deuteronomy 6: 5-6 ( NIV)

Reminder: Beach Party at La Selva April 24

Stephen, Rev. Yael Lachman, from Peace UCC in Santa Cruz, and Rev. Jane Grady from La Selva UCC are inviting members of their churches to join for a late afternoon, early evening beach party from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, April 24. We will have time to get to know people from the other two churches during a potluck supper and singing around a bonfire. It will be fun, so please plan to come!


What needs fixing?
Tell Trustees

See something at the church that needs repair or attention?  Then please take a photo of the issue (if possible) and send it with your explanation or concern to:   trustees@skylandchurch.com.

Your message will be seen by all the current trustees. Urgent issues will be addressed as soon as someone is available. Non-urgent issues will be put on the "to-do-list" and prioritized at the monthly trustees meetings.
--  Brian Wood
Trustees Chair
Minister's Column 

We Shall Come Rejoicing,
Picking Up the Trash

Dear Skyland Friends,

On Saturday morning, April 16, we will gather with members of all four mountain churches to spread out along Summit Road and pick up the trash we find there.
We may not ordinarily think of picking up the trash as a spiritual project, but I would like to encourage us all to do so. Psalm 24 begins, "The earth is the Lord's and all that dwell therein," which means that the earth and all of us belong to God.
Furthermore, God gives the earth into our care, so this opportunity to spend a few hours picking up the trash may be a way for us to feel joy in doing our part to care for this beautiful locale that is our home. But there is more: We also have the opportunity to work and talk together with members of our neighbor churches and share in a spiritual project that can unite us all in service.

F inally, we spent quite a bit of time last fall on Pope Francis' encyclical, "Laudato Si," considering ways that our wider Christian community may respond to God's call to care for the earth and one another.  So here is our chance to do do  something lovely and  beautifying together. 

We will meet at 9 a.m. at Mountain Bible Church ( 23946 Summit Rd, just past the wineries on left going west) , spend the morning working on road cleanup, and then share a brown  bag lunch to celebrate our joint efforts. [Skyland has orange vests to warn traffic. Other churches will provide bags. We will all contribute drinks. Gloves, hooked sticks, and other implements of apprehension are personal responsibilities.]
I hope you will join us in body and in Spirit. I have arranged with Corey Kidwell so that students may use the time to pick  trash on the school grounds, and thus not be endangered by the speeding cars along Summit Rd. This is an opportunity for them to provide community service and get credit for it if they wish.
On another topic: Thank you very much for contributing so generously to a collection for me as part of the celebration of my 25th anniversary as the minister of Skyland Church. I am grateful for your gift and honored to be of service to you.
Thank you!
-- Stephen

Mission Board Spotlight

 Clean Summit in  Compassion Games 

The Mission Board invites (and challenges) you to join us in playing the Love This Place Compassion Games April 16-24. The Compassion Games are the antidote to the Hunger Games. They're played around the world with over 1,500,000 volunteer hours reported so far. There are no losers in the Compassion Games; everyone wins as people compete to do good. 

Our Love This Place church project is the  Summit Road cleanup on April 16. Please see Stephen's letter above for more information.

You can find many other ways to play at  compassiongames.org. Sign up as a Secret Agent of Compassion to receive an inspiring email each day during the games with your secret mission for the day. Take the Community Resilience Challenge by committing to grow food, save water, conserve energy, reduce waste, and build community. 

Or you can find your own way to love our mountains. Plant foxglove seeds wherever their flowers can be seen from the road. Foxgloves are real compassion flowers. They are beautiful, don't need extra watering, are deer and rabbit-proof, and good providers for hummingbirds and bees. You can host a Map Your Neighborhood emergency preparedness meeting for your neighbors (see the Loma Pieta Community Foundation site at  lpcf.org). What's been on your to-do wish list that the Games gives you a great reason to get it done?

After you play, post a simple report for our Santa Cruz Mountains team at  compassiongames.org so the whole world can Love Our Place.

Calling all compassionistas! Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is... up to you! 

NOTE from your treasurer:
March  2016 financial report.

$1702 was received for our One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Thanks for your generous support of our mission work.
We are now able to accept credit card payments for pledge, general and special offerings if that is more convenient than check or cash. See either Jan or myself after service for these transactions.
Our financial picture is still looking healthy.

In case you forgot, our adopted financial plan had an operating deficit of $10,191. However, d ue to lower than planned expenses and higher than anticipated income, it appears that our actuals should cover that deficit.
Here are our operating finances for March 2016, as of Mar. 28.

                   Summary of Operating Finances
                Mar 2016     | Jun 1,2015 to Mar 28
          Actual    Planned  |  Actual      Planned
Income   $   9,242  $  6,965 | $154,532    $143,493
Expenses $  20,709  $ 20,050 | $151,126    $153,346
Net      $(-11,467) $-13,085)| $  3,406    $(-9,853)
-- G erald J. Alonzo, Treasurer  
Women's Group Retreat May 7  at Maison du Lac


The Women's Group will hold its annual retreat Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Maison du Lac and Betsy Fullagar's home.

It will be a day of spiritual exploration, personal sharing, and revitalization, including a surprise event, promises Mary Ellen McTamaney of the retreat committee.

Details to be announced.


Easter Feast at Whitaker

Photo by Ellie Lavender
John and Linda Heyes with Mike Mahrle, center, at 
post-Easter service's remarkable coffee hour ...

 ... featuring this adorable coconut lamb 
created by Mary Ellen McTamaney.