Carol Greene & Co.
Socko Hit at
First there was a delicious meal, ably presented under the direction of Carol Carré, then F
ern Thompson's politically correct standup comedy introduction; then Zoe and Kaelie Arnold and their mother Deana, accompanied by Stephen on the guitar, warmed up the crowd with some songs --
after which Carol appeared with two sidekicks, Katie Lynn and the naughty Reginald Rabbit, and quickly had the crowd in stitches
an awesome three-person rendition of a Japanese version of The Twelve Days of Christmas that no one could quite believe was actually happening.
Before anyone could recover from that, up sprang Christina Schwabecher and son Julian, who danced through a lively duet, with audience help, singing their own version of the song in a kind of Hawaiian pidgin.
More jokes from Fern's vast repertoire, and then
Stephen - in rare form on the guitar and accompanied by the whole cast and many of the diners
- wound up the evening with
a series of folk and pop favorites.
The occasion was the annual Woman's Group spaghetti dinner Jan. 22. A large crowd that braved a storm was served spaghetti with two kinds of sauce, garlic bread, and salad, followed by Mary Ellen McTamaney's ineffable lemon bars.
Before performing, Carol Greene made the meat sauce with Lynn Mitchell. Nancy Jo Lopp sauced the vegetarians. The pasta was cooked
by Sharon Edwards, Ken Chambers, and Renée Pressler; Betsy Fullagar made the salad, Glenda and Randy McCalla provided bread, and Julie Victorine teamed with Mary Ellen on those lemon bars.
Gerry Alonzo played cocktail piano and Paula Leary backed up Stephen on the flute.
You really had to be there.
Open dates for donating altar flowers are February 7, 21, and 28. Please sign up in Whitaker Hall.
plump apricot buds
nurtured by sunshine and rain
pink explosions soon
-- haiku by John Heyes
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you
-- John 8:32
Seeing God in us, and us in God
Dear Skyland Friends,
Today, newsletter deadline day, I have been musing about how the Bible sets forth the extraordinary intimacy God intends with humans.
The first chapter of Genesis has God saying, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness". We can think of the rest of the Bible adventure as attempts by God and human beings to bring that truly incredible concept to life in the world.
As Christians, we are taught to believe that Jesus, in his life and teaching and in his death and resurrection, embodies that intimacy with God and shows us how to make it real in our lives.
I have been preaching most recent Sundays from the Gospel of John, which points again and again to the intimacy of Jesus and God and of Jesus and us, inviting us always to deeper communion, one might even say union, with him and with God. During Lent, I will continue with this theme, hoping that God will enhance our perception of our "image of God-ness," our "likeness" to our Creator with Jesus as our guide, so that we in turn may see the "image of God-ness" and the divine "likeness" in our fellow humans, those we love and those we loathe.
I hope and pray that by Easter, we will all be more finely attuned to how the Divine One lives in us and all people and transforms the world through us all. Jesus says, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." May that teaching come alive in our lives, in our church and in all the earth. Amen.
Marcia Rollins and treasurer Gerry Alonzo report at annual meeting.
Report Quickly OKd;
Site Planning Tour Feb. 28
Skyland members approved the 2015-2016 annual report and proceeded smoothly through the annual meeting after the service on Jan. 31.
The meeting, conducted with dispatch by moderator Marcia Rollins, included a presentation by Gerry Alonzo of the treasurer's report for calendar year 2015, showing an increase in total assets of just under $5,000 for the year. This report, and others from Stephen, Marcia, the trustees, and the various church boards, were quickly approved by those present, who numbered well over the required 25-person quorum.
There was some discussion of site planning, which will incorporate the Wicht family's gift of the triangular piece of land at the southwest corner of the Skyland property. Jan Swayne reported that Berkeley architect Bob Theis will be present at the site planning kickoff meeting scheduled for Feb. 28, and will talk about methods of integrating the new property into the current design. (Jan emphasized that Mr. Theis's role will be purely advisory, and that no architectural contract has been discussed.)
The Feb. 28 meeting will include a tour of the property, for those willing and able to climb a bit.
Jeremy Cole heads an advisory planning committee, composed of himself, Marcia, Jan, Carol Carré and Deana Arnold. The goal is to have a plan in place by the end of 2016.
The entire annual report is available at the church website, at
Yoga at Whitaker Hall Feb. 4 and 11
Local mountain yoga teacher Julie Moore will offer two Gentle Flow yoga classes in Whitaker Hall this month. She writes: "Experience how yoga will immediately make your body feel better and stronger and bring peace and clarity to your mind. Simple breathing exercises and gentle yoga poses help you relieve stress and discomfort."
This mixed pace class is suitable for all levels, including beginners. Emphasis is placed on building stress and balance, breathing mindfully, increasing flexibility, strengthening mental focus, and relaxing into the moment.
The classes will be held on Feb. 4 and 11 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wear loose clothing and bring a yoga mat and a block if you have them.
Julie suggests that participants make a $12 donation, to go to the church. If there is sufficient community interest, Skyland will work with her to develop a regular schedule.
NOTE from your treasurer:
$1,215 has been donated to our special Student Education fund, which now has a balance of $640.26 as a start for future support of Student Education in impoverished areas.
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.
Here are our operating finances for January 2016 as of Jan. 31.
Summary of Operating Finances
Jan 2016 | Jun 1,2015 to Jan 31
Actual Planned | Actual Planned
Income $ 13,180 $ 7,949 | $135,584 $127,079
Expenses $ 9,531 $ 10,423 | $121,640 $124,923
Net $ 3,649 $(-2,474)| $ 13,944 $ 2,156
-- Gerald J. Alonzo, Treasurer