Go Tell It on the Mountain

April 2017 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Holy Week Schedule

  April 9 - Family Palm Sunday Service.
  April 13 - Maundy Thursday Soup         Supper at 6:30 p.m., Service of   Tenebrae 7:30 p.m.
  April 16 - Family Easter Service at   10:30 a.m. followed by Easter Egg   Hunt and Potluck. We will also be   taking our annual One Great Hour of   Sharing offering at that service.
  (Please note that we no longer have 
  a service at sunrise.)


Leopold, Stone to Discuss
Soquel San Jose Rd Bridge

The Santa Cruz Mountain Alliance reports that Supervisor John Leopold and CA Assembly member Mark Stone will discuss repairs to Soquel San Jose Road at the Loma Prieta School Forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6.  A 150-foot prefabricated bridge will be installed when approvals from state and federal agencies are obtained.  

In addition, the Alliance says that county residents who suffered uninsured damages during storms between Feb. 1 and Feb. 25, 2017, may be eligible for low-cost repair loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.


UCC's JPANet Offers Way
to Reach Congress Directly

Stephen writes: I am grateful to Ann Baier and Jan Swayne, who brought their laptops to coffee hour recently to help us connect to the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network. Here are words Ann wrote to guide you in case you missed it:

Got five minutes? In that time, I can contact 
my  representatives and express my views 
on an issue, or two, or more!  I am speaking up for  love, peace and justice, equality 
and human  r ights. I am not alone.  I am 
part of a  community of people of faith and reason,  committed to the common good of humanity  and the earth. We can build a 
better world. 

The UCC's Justice and Peace Action Network ( JPANet) can help us, as people of faith, to  speak up.  JPANet is a way to 
communicate  directly with your members of 

Here's how:

Go to the website of the United Church of 
Christ here Click on "Advocate for Justice" 
> "Take Action" (in the drop-down menu). 

From that page, click on the words "Action 
Center" (in red).   Several issues are presented on this  page. Click on the green button beneath each  picture to see more data and a form to  email representatives.

a) Enter your contact information ( that  verifies  you are a constituent). 
b) See the sample letter. You can edit it, if you  wish, in that same window. 
c) Press the red "Send Email" button.  
d) Repeat for other issues.

-- Ann Baier


News Briefs

Missions Board to Sponsor
Beobab Home Student
At the February meeting, the Missions board decided to sponsor a child at the Steven Tito Academy, the English-medium primary school of the Baobab Home in Tanzania. The cost of transportation, food, staff salaries, and school supplies is $58 a month. A profile of our sponsored student will run in an upcoming newsletter. 
2nd Bob Theis Visit May 13

Berkeley landscape architect Bob Theis will be at Skyland May 13 for a return visit to discuss the church's site plans.  

The day is a Saturday;  Theis will lead a site tour in the morning, followed by lunch and an afternoon discussion meeting. All welcome; details next month.

Altar Flowers
Several Sundays in April are open for donating flowers. Please sign up on the calendar in Whitaker Hall.

bold tea tree blossoms
fill a corner of our yard
with deep reds and pinks.

--haiku by John Heyes


Meditation M oment   

A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

By this all men will know that you are  my disciples,  if you love one another. 

 John 13: 34-35 
         Quoting Jesus at the last supper
Minister's Letter

White Privilege Discussions Shine Light on Racism 
Our church has recently completed a four-session program on White Privilege following the United Church of Christ curriculum. I found these discussions meaningful in several ways.
First, I was surprised at how many people attended the sessions. We were always hunting for more chairs to seat the folks who just kept coming in. Even though we are a very white community and we could easily think of racism as something that is not a problem here, the "white privilege" part reached us where we are.
Second, I discovered that almost everyone who attended has a relevant story about an experience of racism, sometimes long in the past. These stories often have a "hurt" that goes with them. Sharing that hurt brings us together and helps with the healing, and also helps us enter into the realization that our whiteness shapes a surprisingly large portion of our lives.
Third, I found myself deeply engaged with this material; and though I was somewhat familiar with the concept of white privilege, I found that reading the material, watching videos, hearing others tell their stories, and using some of my time between sessions actively thinking of myself as "white" drew me deeply into reflection and commitment to go further.
Fourth, I learned that others felt the same; and so we plan to screen the documentary "13th" soon, with time for discussion. Nominated for an Academy Award, it tells the story of mass incarceration of black men in the US.
We have also been invited by our Conference Minister, Rev. Diane Weible, to participate in a racial justice training program taking place at the UCC church in Berkeley on June 2 and 3. We may send a delegation of 5 people free of charge. Please let me know if you are interested in attending.
Racism is one of the great stains on the greatness of our country and we all have a part in cleaning it up. Our white privilege discussions are the beginning of much we can do as a church community to help. Thank you to all who attended, who helped to lead and thought deeply on this important subject. We will keep it going!
Blessings for Peace and Justice,

Skylanders Report on White Privilege

Here are some of the reactions of other Skylanders who attended the series of white privilege meetings:

The readings and our small-group discussions helped me to see that much of my well-being is predicated entirely on the color of my skin, not on my intrinsic merits. Doors have been opened to me - in education, career, housing, social standing - that remained closed to my darker-skinned fellow citizens.
I have learned that being a warrior for racial justice entails not only being in solidarity with people of color but also working with fellow whites to change minds and hearts. - John Heyes.

The program on white privilege helped me to be more aware of the prevalence of this issue in society.  I would like to learn more about what actions on the part of white people are most appropriate and effective to help to reduce racism. - Marcia Rollins

I am grateful for the series on white privilege  that we have been working on at Skyland Church. I was impressed at how informative and potent the meetings have been, even though I was not able to attend all of them. I am coming to understand some of the landscape of privilege I have lived with my whole life, and am starting to have a better understanding of how I can grow. I have been discovering how I can more respectfully interact with people of color. I tend to not want to notice our differences; yet I am beginning to own that I do see differences, and to give up the pretense that I don't.
I am grateful for Skyland Church as a place of learning, of personal growth, and of growing together as community.  - Jan Swayne

I've been aware of white privilege 
ever since I learned about the plight of people of color in America. While i supported the civil rights movement, I more or less accepted white privilege as the inevitable byproduct of racism.  I now see that it is not at all inevitable, and that widespread awareness of this social phenomenon among us whites can play a role in eroding the effects of racism. 

At Skyland, we can continue our investigation of white privilege among ourselves, and see if we can recruit more members to them.  We can continue to run a  "white privilege" item in each issue of the newsletter. A dose of humor might help. --  Cliff Barney 

Harvest Festival Already? Renée Collects Bikes, Needs Toys, Plants

The Harvest Festival may seem far off to some, but not to Renée Pressler, who has been busily collecting items for sale and fine-tuning plans to market them. She reports:
"I've collected several bikes, and hope that we can keep collecting them for the Harvest Festival. I'm planning on a Bike Shop, so we need things that move kids, including push toys (cars, trucks, doll buggies etc.). I need help housing them; if you have room for one or two bikes please let me know. I live in a cabin and have little space.

"I have two trikes, two medium-size bikes, and two adult bikes coming my way. Don't forget to ask your family and friends for their goods. We need them.

"Our in-house gardener Lynn is asking for succulents; last year we sold every one we had. Just trim the succulent and put it in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.

"Deana and Zoe and Kaelie are going to help create great things. I will keep in touch so everyone will have an idea what I'm doing.

Please let me know if you can help me. Thank you!"
Your very grateful HF chairperson,
Ed. note: Buttonhole Renée in church, email her at rpressler2006@gmail.com, or call 408-309-5962.


NOTE from your treasurer:
Pledge income through February is $794 less than committed. If you are able, please attempt to keep your pledge gifts current.
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 me after service for these transactions.
Here are our operating finances for February 2017 as of Feb28.

                   Summary of Operating Finances
              February 201 | Jun 1,2016 to Feb 28
           Actual    Planned |  Actual      Planned
Income   $  10,405  $ 10,532 | $155,148    $151,581
Expenses $   9 174  $ 10,211 | $139,136    $141,725
Net      $   1,231  $    321 | $ 16,012    $  9,856
-- Gerald J. Alonzo,  Treasurer