Go Tell It on the Mountain

 December 2015 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Donate to Kids
Via Giving Tree

The Skyland Women's Group will once again sponsor local families at CT English and Loma Prieta Schools for this holiday season. We will give Target gift cards to 21 children and Safeway gift cards to 13 families.  
The felt Giving Tree in Whitaker Hall is our way of showing the generosity of our church community and our neighbors. We are two-thirds of the way to our goal.  Next Sunday, Dec. 6, will be the last day to add your contribution. 
There are more decorations to be added to decorate the tree fully. Some people are making donations in the name of special people in their lives.
Feel free to add such names and help those who might need a little extra during this season of giving. If you have any questions or want to give and can't make it to church on Sunday, please email Christina at christina@lopp.com or Shannon at shannonedwards14@gmail.com and we'll include your contribution. 
--Shannon Edwards


 Peggy Grettum

Peggy Grettum 
to Sing at Dec. 20
Christmas Pageant
Peggy Grettum, a singer and frequent soloist with the Santa Clara Chorale, will perform at Skyland 's Christmas Pageant 
Dec. 20.  

She will sing "O Holy Night"  in the Chorale's holiday program this year, and has also agreed to sing it at Skyland.  

Peggy is a good friend; and when I worked up my courage and asked her if she would do this, I was excited and happy that she said "Yes!" Maybe besides having the voice of an angel, she is an angel!  
-- Mary Ellen McTamaney


Altar Flowers

To donate flowers in December, please choose an open date on the calendar in Whitaker Hall.

On Thanksgiving Day
Christmas cactus bursts into
rosy caroling

-- haiku by John Heyes

Meditation Moment   

Take time this Christmas Day to go
   A little way apart
And with the hands of prayer prepare
  The house that is your heart.

Brush out the dusty fears, brush out
  The cobwebs of your care
Till in the house that is your heart
  It's Christmas everywhere.

Light every window up with love,
  And let your love shine through,
That they who walk outside may share
  The blessed light with you.

Then will the rooms with joy be bright,
  With peace the hearth be blessed,
And Christ Himself will enter in
  To be your Christmas guest.

"Your Christmas Guest,"  by
James Dillet Freeman


Minister's Column

Celebrating Christmas 
All Month Long 

Advent and Christmas provide us with special opportunities for worship, fellowship, giving, and opening our hearts to the spirit of Christ. Here is a schedule to let you know what's coming your way at our church:

S aturday, Dec. 5,   we will meet at the LDS Church on Summit Road at 7 p.m. to join them and our friends from Christ Child Catholic Church for an interfaith Christmas musical program. This is the 4th annual gathering and will include listening to Christmas music from the choirs of the three churches, singing carols together and sharing food and fellowship. Please bring a plate of Christmas cookies for the reception and canned food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

Payton Steffen, 6 1/2, lights 
first Advent candle Nov. 29
Sunday, Dec. 6, we will continue hearing from the prophets for our second Sunday of Advent, celebrate communion together, and finish and bless our Giving Tree program which this year will help 13 local families with gift cards for food and presents. 

Sunday, Dec. 13, we will hear and respond to Mary's conversation with the angel Gabriel about the coming birth of her baby boy. We will also take our offering for Blanket Sunday, a long tradition in our church. 

Sunday, Dec. 20, is a big day. We will share our Christmas Pageant and the Potluck sponsored by the Women's Group, and this year we will be welcoming new members in a special prayer of blessing during the service. If you have been attending our church and would like to become a member, consider joining us on this special day. Please let me know if you would like to do so.

Thursday, Dec. 24, is Christmas Eve! Our service for the whole family is at 8:00 PM. We will sing carols and hear readings, light candles, and pray together for "Peace on earth, goodwill to all." 

Sunday, Dec. 27, will be a Family Sunday, a low-key, but, we hope, spiritually meaningful reflection on the wonder of Christmas.

Christmas holidays can be lonely and difficult times for people. We hope everyone will feel welcome to participate in these gatherings so that God may embrace all of us in the big family of love and care. May God bless all of us and all the earth!  

-- Stephen


AIDS Books a Hit at Baobab Home

Baobab Home children unpack shipment of AIDS and HIV books

The special HIV and AIDS books have arrived in Tanzania and have been excitedly unpacked by the students at Baobab Home, many of whom are HIV positive. Terri Place, the director of the Baobob Home, reports by email:
" Sabra, age 11, who has been with us since she was 5, picked up a book and proudly read 'I AM HIV POSITIVE.' She read the whole book to me, and I had tears in my eyes remembering her early years with us. Now here she was, fully cognizant of her HIV status, and reading this book in English with confidence. She even said that she will read it at the HIV+ support group meeting and translate to the other kids. Today she spoke to a group of American college students about HIV."
Skyland Church's purchase of these 120 books will change lives and support the work of the Baobob Home.
-- Anne Evans, for the Mission Board


Chajul  Market Scene

Mayan gift sale brings in $800 for Ixil village

The pop-up sale of Mayan weavings, ornaments, jewelry and purses at Whitaker Hall Nov. 22 netted some $800 for Limitless Horizons Ixil, the Santa Cruz nonprofit that runs a program supporting the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala. 

"Ixil" is the name of the language spoken by Maya in Chajul and in the surrounding villages in the "Ixil Triangle," the area that offered the greatest resistance, and suffered the most, in the 20-year civil war with the Guatemalan government.

Some of these gifts were made by mothers of students in Chajul. LHI offers additional artisanal goods at its local office in Santa Cruz; those who wish to see them can call 831-920-8364 to set up a time to visit and purchase items. If you are interested in knowing more about the organization and supporting its programs, please visit www.limitlesshorizonsixil.org.

LHI will again be offering a summer tour of Guatemala (which I experienced last summer); details on the website. The tour offers visits to indigenous communities and helps support students. I would be happy to discuss my visit to LHI in Chajul with anyone interested.

-- Jan Parker


NOTE from your treasurer:
November 2015 financial report.
$860 was donated to the Giving Tree project to help several of our neighborhood families with food and gifts this season. Thanks to all for your generosity.
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 looking good; but planned income for December anticipates generous special year-end gifts totaling $5,000.
Here are our operating finances for November 2015 as of Nov30.
 Summary of Operating Finances
           Nov 2015      | Jun 1,2015 to Nov 30
         Actual  Planned |  Actual    Planned
Income   $10,266 $ 11,317| $ 88,544   $ 86,265
Expenses $17,546 $ 15,423| $ 88,121   $ 89,550
Net      $-7,280)$(-4,106| $    423   $(-3,285)
-- Gerald J. Alonzo,  Treasurer