Go Tell It on the Mountain

June 2016 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Minister's Column

Honor to Grads, Choir;
Plus an Invitation
To Preach Our Gratitude

Dear Skyland Friends,

In the yearly rhythm of our lives together, June often brings graduations. Here are a few recent ones: Julia Selfridge from Medical School, Jesse Cole from Officers Training School for the United States Air Force, Sophie Colbran-Patterson from Los Gatos High School. Congratulations, graduates! (Two of these actually took place in May). 
June also brings the end of the school year and transition into summer. At Skyland Church we honor Margretta Dollard, Gerald Alonzo and our choir on Choir Appreciation Sunday, this year on June 19th. All of these events and more stir in me a profound sense of gratitude to God and to all of you who make our church such a wonderful place.

Now for an invitation: I will be off some Sundays this summer and am wondering if one of our summer preachers might be YOU with a story of how gratitude is at work in your life. Please feel invited to share. I will arrange the bulletin and all other parts of the service. If you would prefer to speak for half the length of a sermon, I will try to match you up with someone else who would like to do the same.
Sometimes things happen that don't feel so gratitude-inducing at first, but which turn out to be blessings in the end. We can be transformed by expressing gratitude to God and to other people and by telling our stories to others. During this summer season, I hope we will be especially mindful of all we have to be grateful for. My grandma used to sing, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done." 
Try it. It works. Please let me know if you would like to speak to others about your experience of gratitude.
Blessings to all!
-- Stephen


Altar Flowers

To sign up for an open Sunday in June, please use the calendar in Whitaker Hall.

Oakleaf hydrangea,
spearheads of creamy blossom,
roots in our garden.

-- haiku by John Heyes


Meditation Moment   

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

-- Philippians 4: 8-9


St. Stephen's primary school students write personal thank-you notes to Skyland for gifts of  library books.

Mission Board Spotlight

A Big THANK YOU from  Lesotho  Pupils
Grateful for African Library Shipment

Anne Evans has received the following email from the St. Stephen's primary school in Lesotho, the  recipient  of one of  the  Skyland Church African Library  Project  shipments.
Subject:  Re: THANK YOU from Lesotho
To:  Anne Evans 

On Sat, May 28, 2016 at 12:58 PM, Christine Helwick  wrote:


Teacher with tool.
Last month, Chris Bradshaw, Isabelle Mussard (African Library Project's new CEO), and I traveled to Lesotho to visit with our partners there, and to visit some of the schools that have received an African Library Project library. One of the schools we visited was St. Stephen's Primary School in Mohale's Hoek, about two hour's drive from the capital city of Maseru. Skyland Community Church did the book drive for St. Stephen's.

The school serves about 700 students, and interestingly has just 40 students per class, where another school just across the road had up to 155 students per class! The children do very well on their school exams - just one out of 112 did not pass in 2015. The library is in a former storeroom, and the teacher-librarian is very proud of her facility, which she uses well, given the very tight quarters.


Hard at it.
Enclosed are thank you letters that the children wrote to your church while we were there. Some wrote about their favorite book. Others were using a template. But the gratitude expressed by all is very genuine. Attached also are some photos from our visit of the school, the library, and the children. We hope that you will share them, especially with all the parishioners who contributed to the book drive, and enjoy them.

We are very grateful for all of your work for the African Library Project. You should feel very good about giving these children an opportunity to read and expand their imaginations, that they otherwise would not have.

Christine Helwick, ALP Board Member

Note: A .pdf file containing images of some of the letters from St. Stephen's pupils has been posted to the Skyland Church website and can be accessed at this link.

Looks like recess at St. Stephen's.

++ +
Members Asked to  Approve  New Financial Plan
at Post-Church Service Meeting June 12

The following plan was approved by the Skyland Church Council at its May 17 meeting. Members will be asked to  approve  it at a meeting June 12  after  the church service.
The Pastoral Relations board has recommended a 10% salary increase for Stephen and Margretta, since their salaries have not been raised in the past 5 years.
The Mission board has recommended increasing Skyland's basic support to our conference, the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, from 9.5% to the suggested 10% tithing of our operating budget. This item is the "Mission Our Share NCNC" on the proposed plan below.

Here is an outline of this plan, with comparisons to those of the most recent two years:
     Harvest Festival
     Harvest Festival In kind
     Hall rental
     Other (Dividends, Interest, Surplus,Gifts...)
     Music Dir.
     Mission Our Share NCNC
     Facility Insurance, Loan, Taxes
     Harvest Festival expenses
NOTE: Special Mission fundraisers are not shown, since all receipts
are dispensed to specified mission outreach projects and do not influence operating funds.
--  Gerald J. Alonzo,  Treasurer


NOTE from your treasurer:
NOTE from your treasurer:
Our financial picture for this fiscal year has a surplus of $8625, barring any fiscal disaster on the last day of May.

We can 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.

Here are our operating finances for  May  201 6  as of  May 30 .

                   Summary of Operating Finances

                May 2016     | Jun 1,2015 to May 30
           Actual    Planned |  Actual      Planned
Income   $  14,638  $ 11,965 | $178,948    $162,151
Expenses $   9,848  $  9,723 | $170,323    $172,342
Net      $   4,790  $  2,242 | $  8,625   $(-10,191)
-- Gerald J. Alonzo,  Treasurer