Go Tell It on the Mountain
Skyland Community Church
Monthly Newsletter
10:30 Sunday Service
December 2013
Minister: Stephen Glauz-Todrank
Church phone: 408-353-1310

Altar Flowers

Flowers are needed for the altar each Sunday in December. Please sign up in Whitaker Hall.


--John Heyes


Temple bells die out.
The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!


       -- Matsuo Basho 





Los Gatos Poet Laureate Events for December and Beyond


Erica Goss will be at the First Annual Local Author Day, featuring author presentations, Q&A, and book signings at the Los Gatos Library on Tuesday, 12/3, 11:30 a.m.


She is a featured reader at the Well-RED Reading Series featuring contributing poets from the National Edition of Red Wheelbarrow, the literary journal of DeAnza College. The event is at the Works Gallery, 356 S. Market, San Jose on Wednesday, 12/11 at 7:00 p.m.


Erica will read a holiday poem at the Friends of the Los Gatos Library Holiday Music Program. Enjoy hot spiced wassail, holiday treats, and the South Bay Guitar Society. Town Council Chambers, 110 East Main Street, Los Gatos 95030 on Friday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m.


Don't forget the monthly Brown Bag Poetry Workshop: Bring your lunch for this informal workshop. Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave., Los Gatos 95030 on Thursday, December 5 at noon. Special guest speaker: Nils Peterson, Santa Clara County's First Poet Laureate.


There are lots of exciting things happening in 2014, including monthly poetry readings at CB Hannegans, The Vibrant Word Poetry Show on KCAT, and more! 

-- Erica Goss



Matt Returns from Tanzania 
Matt in Tanzania
Just a quick note to let you know that Matt arrived back safely from his trip to Tanzania. He gave a presentation all about his trip to about 50 people at the community center. Anne Evans has kindly recorded the event and it will be a YouTube video in the future.
Matt is briefly home for Thanksgiving from UC Davis where he is now a senior and hopefully, will be at church on December 1st to talk to anyone about his trip.
The photo is Matt with the Kids at The Steven Tito Academy, which is in the grounds of the Baobab home for HIV children.
Thank you all for your amazing support of all types to Matt during this life changing adventure.
Angela Patterson and Bill Colbran


Skyland Community Church
Minister's Column
This Advent and Christmas Season
The Advent and Christmas season call us into participation in stories, songs, liturgies and candlelight designed to open us to the theme of new birth in God's spirit of love. When you join us, you share the story, and hopefully the experience of giving and receiving God's love in deeper ways than before. On December 1st, we begin the season of Advent, the season of preparation for the new birth. This year we will pay particular attention to readings from the prophet, Isaiah, who speaks to how we humans yearn for Immanuel or "God with us". We will also sing hymns for this season that support that yearning in word and melody. On the 8th we will hear again about Mary and her consent that Jesus be born through her and then on the 15th we celebrate the Christmas pageant with players of all ages. Don't forget the potluck sponsored by the Women's Group on the 15th! On the 22nd and at our Christmas Eve candlelight service at 8:00 PM we will go deeper still into the story and how it can speak in our hearts of God's love and new life.


This year we will again have Wednesday evening services from 7:15-7:45 on the 4th, 11th and 18th. We will sing an advent hymn and spend most of our time in silence, a time for rest, prayer, meditation, or whatever would find most enlivening. Choir practice follows at 7:45. You are welcome to join in if you like.


We participate in the spirit of giving as a way of sharing God's love in several ways during this season. On the First we will dedicate our gifts of toiletry items, warm clothes and food to the Davenport Resource Center which serves the needs of migrant laborers and their families up the coast from us. We will also continue our opportunity to provide relief funds for the ongoing typhoon recovery in the Philippines. The UCC as a whole has set a goal to raise $250,000. for this effort. Please send or bring a check to Skyland Church with the memo " Philippine Recovery". On the First we will have our Giving Tree set up in the sanctuary. Every ornament is a request for gifts and food for a local family in need. Please bring items back on the Eighth for distribution to the family before Christmas. On the Eighth we will also take our annual Blanket Sunday collection for people in need both near and far. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the offering will support the Pastor's Discretionary Fund which gives me the opportunity to help local people on our behalf.


There's more: Please join us for our second annual Christmas Chorale and Sing-a-long at the LDS church on Summit Road on Saturday the 7th at 7:00 pm. We will share an evening with our friends from the LDS and Christ Child Catholic Church. Children are most welcome and will have a chance to sing Away in a Manger with kids from the other churches. Please bring something tasty to share at the reception that follows.


All told, there are lots of opportunities to share in the story and to give meaningful help to others. I hope that these and other events will fill you with the true spirit of Christmas.


Blessings to you and to all, 

-- Stephen

Ordinations Past and Future!

'Tis the season for ordinations! Last month, the Santa Clara Association of the UCC ordained Pam Nates, former intern and member at Skyland, at her current church, First UCC in San Jose. Pam has been a working as a hospice chaplain. It was a lovely event and blessing of her ministry. Next month, on January 25th, we will host the ordination of Patricia Wood! Please plan ahead now to attend. It will be wonderful!


Sermon Series for January


I recently read a very powerful book, The New Universe and the Human Future by local authors, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack. Joel is a famous astrophysicist who teaches at UCSC. I will be using themes from the book for my sermons in January and recommend the book to buy for yourself or the special person on your Christmas list. Order it through your local independent bookstore for extra good karma! There is a companion website for the book at www.new-universe.org. I am really looking forward to starting off the new year inspired by some of their new ideas.







Financial Report for November 2013


NOTE from your treasurer:


Thanks for your generous gifts of $1,516 for Philippine Relief. Recovery from this disaster will take a long time so we are happy to forward any additional support received.


Our overflowing Heifer Tube of quarters totaled $140.25 which has been sent towards giving a small animal, such as a goat, to a needy family.
The expenses in last month's report were a little skewed relative to planned expenses due to forgetting a $3,100 bill which now shows up in this November report.


 Nov. 2013      |Jun 1,2013 to Nov 30,2013
           Actual     Planned |    Actual    Planned  


Income    $ 16,141   $ 17,331 |   $ 96,539    $ 93,429  

Expenses  $ 11,176   $  9,155 |   $ 81,412    $ 81,702

Net       $  4,965   $  8,176 |   $ 15,127    $ 11,727


 -- Gerald J. Alonzo




May the humility of the shepherds,
The perseverance of the wise men,
The joy of the angels and
The peace of the Christ Child

Be God's gift to you this Christmas.