March 2019
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Monthly Newsletter
Skyland Community Church, United Church of Christ
Minister: Rev. Kevin Omi
Sunday Worship Service 10:30 a.m.
March Church Calendar

March 3
10:30 a.m. Epiphany
Communion Worship Service
Noon Sunday reVision groups

March 5
3:00-4:30 p.m. Tuesday reVision group

March 7
9:45 a.m. Thursday Bible Study

March 10
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Trustees Meeting after Service
Deacons Meeting after Service

March 14
9:45 a.m. Thursday Bible Study

March 16
9-11:30 a.m. Skyland Lenten Retreat, Skyland Church, Whitaker Hall

March 17
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Noon Sunday reVision groups

March 19
3:00-4:30 pm Tuesday reVision group

March 21
9:45 a.m. Thursday Bible Study

March 24
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Potluck after Service
Church Council Meeting after Service

March 28
9:45 a.m. Thursday Bible Study

March 31
10:30 a.m. Worship Service

FYI: April 7, Sunday
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. reVision Convergence Summit in Whitaker Hall

Regularly Scheduled Events in Whitaker Hall
Mondays: Alcoholics Anonymous 8:00 p.m.
Tuesdays: Qigong 8:30-10:00 a.m. with Teacher Marcy Reynolds
Thursday: Qigong students only from 8:30-9:30a.m.
Thursday: Yoga 7:00 p.m.

Message from Reverend Kevin Omi
Rhythms of Our Lives

Singers and dancers alike say, ‘All my springs are in you.’ (Psalm 87:7)

As I write this article, I appreciate the gentle, rhythmic footsteps of the Qigong group above my office. The weather has its rhythm too: Yet another “atmospheric river” appears as a grey haze and soft rain. Surely if I could hear each droplet fall, I’d hear of gentle rhythmic murmuring of God’s love for us.

I appreciate the rhythm of the liturgical year and anticipate our shift from the excitement of Christmas and Epiphany to the quiet joy and reflection of Lent. In the opening lines of his book, Wondrous Encounters, Richard Rohr describes a “wondrous loop” (or, in my words, a wondrous dance):

“There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is  absolutely valuable and alive . The other is when you know your life as presently lived, is  entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you moving in the right direction. Lent is about both. The first such movement gives you energy and joy by connecting you with your ultimate Source and Ground. The second gives you limits and boundaries, and a proper humility, so that you keep seeking the Source and Ground and not just your small self.”

On Saturday, March 16 we will have a Lenten retreat that will encompass both Rohr’s wisdom and time for contemplation. Gerald May describes contemplation  as “complete, pure presence, being immediately awake and very openly alive to everything, just as it is - to ourselves, to one another, to the world, and to the divine presence that is always lovingly available to us.” There will be time for individual and group work, discussion and silence, as we dance between the two moments Rohr describes. Please feel free to bring a journal and dress comfortably. As was the case for our Advent retreat, please let me know if you can come and if you can help provide light breakfast items. We will meet from 9:00 to about 11:30.

At the same time, we are mid-stream through our 90-Day reVision journey. I celebrate the way everyone has fully embraced this process of discovery and renewal. This too, has its rhythm of preparation, small group discussions, community engagement, and sharing of what we are learning. The rhythm of our biweekly discussions is preparing us well for the Convergence Summit on Sunday April 7. Whether you have been an active participant in the small groups or not, please do everything you can to be present for our gathering from 9:30 – 1:30 in Whitaker Hall on April 7.

One of the most important times during our Sunday worship services is when we share our prayers for one another and those we love, particularly those who are experiencing severe challenges. Please continue to hold members of our church and wider community in prayer, especially those experiencing physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. All our springs of love and good works are lifted to the God in whom we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)

 May God continue to richly bless you as we dance into March and Lent.

Rev. Kevin Omi

Revision Update

As the reVision small group 90-day journey is at the halfway point, I have been excited, challenged and humbled by the process and it has enriched the Interim time for me.

I wish to thank Rev. Omi, my fellow guides and core leaders for their leadership and creativity, as we approach the culminating Convergence Summit on Sunday April 7th. 

The small group members have been interviewing people in our church and in our mountain community to learn about their interests and concerns. This anonymous data will be published and displayed in Whitaker by the end of March. Then we can start to see the skills/interests of the Skyland Church community and how they intersect with the interests and needs of the community. Ideas and proposals will arise out of discussion of this intersection at the Convergence Summit.

Proposal teams will form around these ideas at the Convergence Summit and with enough people interested will move forward into the next stage of reVision. The Proposal Teams will then receive training on how to create an implementation plan and framework for their proposal and then work on these plans for two months.  The proposal teams will analyze, reflect on and discuss the following:

  • the community need being met,
  • the desired outcomes of the proposal,
  • the alignment with Skyland Community Church's mission,
  • the theological framework for the proposal and
  • most importantly the necessary budget for resources; time, materials, people and money that are required.

The final step before the Action Summit will be a cost analysis and timeline for implementation.

At the Action Summit in late June these completed proposals will be put forward and voted on by the whole congregation.

Please join us for the Convergence Summit on April 7th., at 9:30 a.m. in Whitaker Hall.

Anne Evans


For God’s holy presence amidst change, we pray. 
For comfort because loss is part of change, we pray. 
For Christ-like steadfastness during the challenges of transition and seasons of faith, we pray. 
For reassurance through frailty and failings, we pray. 
For the abundant creativity the Spirit provides, we pray. 
For our loved ones in this community of faith, we pray. 
For God’s children beyond this community, we pray.

To learn more about the Interim period at Skyland please visit the Transitions page: transitions/

Church Council News
The church council met on February 24 in upper Whitaker.  Anne Evans reviewed the behavioral covenant and safe space guidelines that we will be using at every meeting.  

Jackie Seymour presented a reVision update and Rev Omi presented a roadmap of the tasks ahead of us in our church year, emphasizing the Interim tasks. The roadmap document can be found here . He also presented an updated member list that will be posted in Whitaker Hall and a review of our current Missions.  

Under new business we discussed the 2019-2020 budget and pledge drive.  The upcoming budget will need additional funds for the Settled Pastor Search.  These expenses are being estimated but will include search and travel funds as well other expenses that are commonly incurred.  Pledge drive letters will go out in mid March. Boards and committees will turn in budget requests that will be compiled in late March and April with a final budget available for approval at the annual meeting in May. 

Paula Leary and the trustees are progressing on the Facilities Rental Contract that will be available for council review and approval within the next month. 

Jeremy Cole said the trustees are working on the new project status forms for both the Women’s Bathroom project and the Elevator project. These forms will apprise everyone of the current status of each project and will be posted in Whitaker Hall.  

There were no other reports. The next meeting is on March 24. 

Skyland Community Church Website under "Newsletters and More."
Transparency and Love
Rev. Kevin Omi
Transparency is defined for nonprofit organizations as the widespread availability of relevant, reliable information about the performance, financial position, and governance of an organization. Over the next few months you will see increased transparency in two areas of church life: financial reporting and church projects. We are blessed with skilled leaders who carry out their work with great love and care.
  • In his role as our Church Treasurer, Gerry Alonzo will provide information about the various accounts on our balance sheet, which Board or Committee oversees them, and the funds in which they are held. 
  • I’ll be asking Brian Wood, who is on the Endowment Board, to share basic information about the endowment fund. 
  • The Trustees will be doing two things: sharing information about major projects, notably the Women’s Bathroom and Elevator projects, and sharing the list of ongoing tasks and project backlog that they manage.
  • In the context of stewardship and the pledge drive, I’ll be asking Gerry to share the distribution of pledges (without names) by dollar range

Transparency increases trust and enables the members of the congregation to fulfill their responsibilities as stewards of the resources we share and that enable us to carry out our ministries. Please let me know if you have any questions about this. 

African Library Project

Dear Ariela, Kathy, Graciela, Saurish, Jennifer, Catherine, Divya, Shannon, and Azalea,
The books you collected and shipped finally arrived in Sierra Leone!  While the shipping container was delayed in Europe for a month-and-a-half for some reason, that didn’t dampen the spirits of the representative from the nine regional school to be one of the first in line to pick up your books. Many thanks for your efforts!
I’d like to share some photos taken by John Koroma, founder/CEO of Library Development Initiative, ALP’s lead partner in Sierra Leone. John is the one wearing glasses and clutching his SL6 (the 6 th annual ALP book container to Sierra Leone) checklist at the port in Freetown.

Soon the books will be set up in the school library and a teacher-librarian trained by LDI and RISE Network members, all who support ALP’s efforts in Sierra Leone. 

With gratitude,
Carolyn Gannon
African Library Project Liaison 
for Malawi & Sierra Leone
Flowers for the Altar
 Several Sundays during March and April are open for floral gifts. Please sign up on the calendar in Whitaker Hall. You can check the calendar in the links at the end of this newsletter.
John Heyes

Thus It Was  (partial)
from  Markings  by Dag Hammarskjöld

I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land,
The pass grows steeper,
The air colder and sharper.
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings of expectation.

Still the question:
Shall I ever get there?
There where life resounds,
A clear pure note
In the silence.

There where life resounds,  for each of us, our church, and community.

Missions Board Spotlight


Thank you for helping us make our goal! During the month of January, Skyland Church members shared their stories about the students that we have visited and supported in Guatemala, Fiji, India and Tanzania. We provide tuition, food, books and supplies to help young men and women get an education that will allow them to improve their lives. 

In February we sent $2,442 to support the education for student scholarships. 62 million girls around the world are not in school. Every year of secondary school increases a girl's individual earning power by 18%. The longer a girl stays in school the later she marries and has children. Complications during pregnancy and children are the second leading cause of death for girls 15--19 globally. Our U.S. dollars go a long way in developing countries to shape the lives of young people who will make their countries (and our world) a better place. Thanks to all members for your generosity over all these years (even decades!) 


The Mission Board will continue collecting warm winter items that will be distributed in the Santa Cruz area. Please bring new, or clean and lightly used, sleeping bags, coats, jackets, scarves, hats and gloves for Davenport Resource Center and MHCAN
Please contact John Heyes   if you have questions . You can read more about the Davenport Resource Center here at:

During March and April, we will be asking members to donate forks (not plasticware) and razors for Mental Health Client Action Network (MHCAN), 1051 Cayuga, Santa Cruz. MHCAN helps all in need and uses the forks for feeding its clients lunch and breakfast during the week.  
MHCAN provides showers to help those on the streets. The razors are for those working to transition back into the community and looking for jobs/support/etc. Please contact Shannon Edwards if you need a pick up:

Food Pantry Requests

Sharing Our Abundance!

Thanks to your generosity, we have a well stocked food pantry with surplus canned goods in the shed.

We have also been able to donate pantry staples and after school snacks to the Davenport Resource Center, which in addition to providing food to
North County residents in need, also directs an after school program/homework club, and teen center. 
The center's director, Isai Ambrosio, continues to provide legal assistance to those renewing DACA status and Central Americans seeking asylum.  

We are blessed to have this continuing connection with our neighbors to the north. 

Julie Victorine

 NOTE From Your Treasurer

Pledge donations continue to lag behind anticipated contributions, $-1,690 year to date.
Due to reduced expenses our June-February 9 month operating net is +$22,809 which is $6,639 more than planned.
Additional donations for Mission Board funding for foreign student education resulted in $2,550 total support. This exceeded the planned support by $108. Current plan is to hold extra funds in reserve for next year.
We are 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.
Below is our operating finances as of February 24 for our 2018-19 fiscal year.

Respectfully submitted,
Gerald Alonzo, Treasurer
Quick Links
Skyland Community Church, United Church of Christ
25100 Skyland Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033
phone: 408-353-1310
USPS mail: Skyland Church
P.O. Box 245
Los Gatos, CA 95031-0245