Go Tell It on the Mountain

May 2016 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Mountain Churches Clear Summit Trash

Trash pickup crew at work.

On a beautiful April morning, over 40 neighbors picked up more than 40 industrial-size garbage bags of litter along Summit Road. 

The four mountain churches organized the event and supplied the safety signs and vests, litter bags, and beverages. There was a lot of laughter and energy as teams of young adults, parents, and children headed out to clean up the four mile stretch and then enjoy lunch afterwards. People pitched in and got this huge job done quickly. 

Harold Hoyt holds traffic warning flag.
I remember looking down the heavily trashed poison-oak-filled steep ravine by the Highway 17 parking lot and wondering how we would ever get the trash out of there, imagining a need for special machinery. 

Next thing I knew there was a whole group of enthusiastic young folks jumping like antelopes down into the mess and muscling it back up to the road. It's amazing what a group of committed people can do. 

Thank you to these neighbors and our local churches for loving our mountains!
-- Leslie Meehan

Stephen consults littlest trash foe.

Altar Flowers

Open Sundays for donating altar flowers are May 22 and 29. Please sign up in Whitaker Hall.

soft spring rain summons
bee-magnet lavender like
purple butterflies

-- haiku by John Heyes


Meditation Moment   

I have never learned to wander 
to trust in grass and stars and
   mouthfuls of air.
If I ramble without keys or shoes
I might meet my ghosts, who always      seem friendly
at first. No drifting allowed, no matter      the delicious
temptation of the vanishing point. I'd      rather hit
a sign than turn an unnamed corner
regardless of its lonesome beauty.          And so I study
maps of the world, avoiding
shady groves hung with moss,
or streets tense with empty cars
or large bodies of water. When lost
they say, keep to one spot.
Don't meander. That's how you found    me
a map of the spirits stuffed in my back    pocket.
All I had to do was stay put.
-- Erica Goss

Los Gatos Poet Laureate Emerita (2013-2016)


Reminder: Women's Group Retreat May 7

It's from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Maison du Lac and Betsy Fullagar's home. There will be a garden and bird-walking tour, followed by lunch and a  discussion  of Gratitude. To secure a reservation, register ASAP with Fern Thompson (408-353-2632, fernthompson@comcast.net).

Minister's Column 

Skyland Is Active: Joint Service, Trash Pickup, Beach Party

Dear Skyland Friends,

April was a big month for us at Skyland Church. On April 3, we took a Sunday morning and went to Peace UCC in Santa Cruz to be part of a service of installation for our friend and former intern,Yael Lachman.

Yael preaches at Peace UCC
It was deeply meaningful and fun to worship with another congregation and share in this special event with Yael.

We also participated in two other multichurch events: picking up 40 (!) bags of trash on Summit Road and on the school grounds with members of other mountain churches; and a beach party last Sunday in the late afternoon with members of the UCC churches at La Selva Beach in Santa Cruz.

I think these events gave us wonderful opportunities to be the church together and make new acquaintances. The mood was high to pick up trash together again next year and to have a summer beach party on a less windy afternoon. Two of us, as we watched the top of the beach blasting on the strong wind thought of the old movie, Lawrence of Arabia. We had fun anyway singing 'round Jeremy's excellent campfire. Thanks to all of you who took the extra time to participate.

Cross-builders Tish O'Reilly (2d from left) and crew members Masao Takahashi and (right of cross) Serafin and Javier Vega.
I also want to extend a very big thank you to Tish O'Reilly and her crew from Pacific Mountain Horticulture for erecting a new cross in the place of our old one, which had reached advanced old age. 

The new cross is fine old redwood, well joined and firmly set to last a couple of generations at least.  We are keeping the old cross and will find an appropriate use for it. 

Trivia question: Does anyone know who built it?

What I love about all that we do is the creative and loving Spirit that brings us together to work and play in this beautiful world that God has given us. Let's keep enjoying it and making it better. 

With cheers and thanks,  -- Stephen

++ +

Beachniks  Enjoy Sun, Sand, Surf and....

Bundled-up beach 
partiers keep spirits up with songs.

It's almost impossible to spoil a beach party, and that was certainly true of the triple-UCC bash last month at La Selva beach south of Santa Cruz. It was a gorgeous afternoon, with brilliant sun gleaming off the surf and a nearly deserted stretch of sand for the 30-odd members of Skyland, Peace, and La Selva churches, who spread blankets and beach chairs around a firepit and enjoyed a typical UCC potluck, with tasty main courses requiring no cooking, imaginative salads, and enough desserts for everyone, while kids frolicked among the dunes and raced after frisbees. 

Jeremy Cole keeps fire going in high wind. That's Yael Lachman at left.
The setting couldn't have been better - except, perhaps, for one factor: a late afternoon wind that 
approached gale force. This wind blew enough sand to almost bury the firepit, which required digging out before Jeremy  Cole could perform fire  magic and quickly get a stack of logs burning briskly.

Forewarned, everyone had dressed in layers topped by sweaters and jackets.  The only casualty was a tray of fatly frosted cupcakes, which blew off a table and landed face down in the sand.

No matter; there were plenty more and no one went hungry.  The afternoon ended with everyone gathered - some would say huddled - around the fire singing folksongs and oldies but goodies to Stephen's guitar, and trying valiantly to coax the complex lyrics to "Mr. Tambourine Man" from 50-year-old memories of the golden age of hippiedom.

We must, everyone agreed, do it again - next time, perhaps, in a more sheltered venue.
-- CB

NOTE from your treasurer:
Remember to bring or mail your pledge cards for the upcoming June 2016 through May 2017 fiscal year. You may also send an email to gerald_alonzo@amat.com with your 2016-2017 pledge amount.
We are planning an increase in our financial expenses of about $11,000, resulting from anticipated increases in facility and medical insurance and proposed raises for Stephen and Margretta  after seven years of no change.
April  2016 financial report.
An additional $100 was received for the OGHS offering, bringing our total to $1,802 this year.  Thanks for your generous support of our mission work.
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.
Our financial picture is still looking healthy.  In case you forgot, our adopted financial plan had an operating deficit of $10,191. However,
due to lower than planned expenses and higher than anticipated income, it appears that our actuals should cover that deficit.
Here are our operating finances for  April  201 6,  as of  April 28 .

                   Summary of Operating Finances

                Apr 2016     | Jun 1,2015 to Apr 28
          Actual    Planned  |  Actual      Planned
Income   $   9,778  $  6,693 | $164,310    $150,186
Expenses $    9,350   $   9,273  | $ 160,475     $ 1 62,619
Net      $      428    $ (-2,580  | $   3, 835      $(-12,433 )
-- Gerald J. Alonzo,  Treasurer
Mission Board  Spotlight
    T ake the Community Resilience Challenge!

Join your neighbors to grow food, save water, conserve energy, reduce waste, and build community here in the mountains.
The Community Resilience Challenge is an annual campaign across America in which people and organizations take action where they live. Almost 50,000 actions have been registered, including converting thousands of lawns to gardens while saving millions of gallons of water.

You could organize a garden work party, start composting, replace your light bulbs with LEDs, or host a Map Your Neighborhood emergency preparedness meeting for your neighbors (see lpcf.org).
Register your action at   communityresiliencechallenge.org.  Game on!