Go Tell It on the Mountain

November 2015 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Minister's Column
Shhh...Quiet, Please
At Skyland Church, the Deacons are responsible for the worship service. This month they are asking us to try an experiment to deepen the worship experience for all attendees. 
Our custom, as we gather for worship, is to greet our friends and say hello to visitors; and the Deacons want to maintain that friendly and informal atmosphere. But they are asking us to enter into silence when one of the children lights the lamp, and to avoid chatting with one another until the Passing of the Peace at the end of the service. 
The Deacons hope that in doing this, we may be able to go deeper into the worship experience, shifting gears from regular life to worship, then back again. I have already found it more peaceful and worshipful in the last couple of weeks as we have tried it. My mentor in the life of the spirit, Fr. Thomas Keating, writes, "God's first language is silence." Of course, he is a contemplative monk; what would we expect him to write! 
Nevertheless, in the busy-ness of our lives in the world, we may feel even more drawn to our Sunday morning worship time if we create a sanctuary where we can share the silence, along with words of scripture, prayers, songs of the spirit and our monthly celebration of The Lord's Supper. I hope this experiment will succeed and we will find ourselves even more deeply moved by God's presence as we learn to dwell in quiet peacefulness together.
-- Cheers,  Stephen

9th ALP Library Ship s
The ninth African Library Project container is on its way to Sierra Leone and with it your hard work in the form of a future library. The container is scheduled to arrive in Freetown, Sierra Leone, around Dec. 23;  and then the ALP partners will start distributing the books to our individual library in Tungbebu. 
Skyland Churc has been named a 2015 Global Literacy Champion by the ALP for providing books for this library.
Thanks from Baobab
Meanwhile, the Baobab Home in Tanzania has thanked Skyland Church and the Mission Board for purchasing 125 special books for their library. The JAWS books, written for African children, deal with HIV/AIDS and its stigma, as well as technology, alternative energy, weather, and local folklore.   

Altar Flowers

To donate flowers in November, please check the calendar in Whitaker Hall and sign up for an open Sunday.

cedar waxwings feast
on pyracantha berries--
will they stay sober?

-- haiku by John Heyes

Meditation Moment 

A Benediction:

May the peace of God surround you
Like the trees of the forest;

May the peace of God warm you all      over
Like the sun in the sky;

May the peace of God swell and roll    over you
Like a wave in the sea;

May the peace of God fill you
Like the cool wind;

May the peace of God be with you.


Carolina's New Painting Viewable Online

Carolina McCall's painting of a Mayan marketplace is now hanging at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera CA, which commissioned it. A digital version of the painting can be seen on her website, www.carolinamccall.com .
Implementing   Laudato Sí:

Skyland, Christ Child Church discuss climate, justice plan

Post-potluck discussion at Christ Child Church
After a delicious potluck dinner hosted by Christ Child Roman Catholic Church and contributed to by Skyland Community Church on Oct. 25, members of both churches and their pastors entered into a discussion of our responses to Pope Francis's Encyclical, Laudato Sí:
On Care for Our Common Home.
Following the meal, Fr. Eugene of Christ Child welcomed the guests and opened the floor for a freewheeling discussion of responses to the Pope's message, and suggestions for spreading that message. He emphasized that Laudato Sí was intended not solely for Catholics or Christians but for all, religious or not. Stephen also welcomed the group  and noted that for decades he has been concerned with climate change and has sought ways in which church communities could address it. Among the suggestions that followed were:
-- Hold an Earth Day celebration in our community next April.
-- Reduce our use of non-renewable energy; in our homes, fix air and water leaks, and adjust thermostats to use less fuel for cooling and heating.
-- Bring all mountain churches together around these responses.
-- Keep people's abilities and needs in mind, especially the low-income, disabled, youth and elder members of our community.
-- Clean up dead trees, especially the oaks killed by Sudden Oak Death disease.
Fr. Eugene of Christ Church welcomes guests
-- Because we are all consumers, become more prudent buyers; research the source of labor for products we use to avoid supporting near-zero wages that oppress workers in our country and others. Share this knowledge in the community.
-- Reduce consumption, and when necessary, recycle and repurpose what is replaced.
-- Assisting the poor helps everyone; find ways to be effective and respectful in these helping efforts.
-- Always use washable dishes, tableware, and coverings.
-- Consider making a video, "After hearing of Pope Francis's Encyclical, I promise to...." Include people of all ages and cultural/religious backgrounds.
-- We can use the yard waste container to compost all vegetable and fruit discards, thus reducing our contributions to landfill.
-- Consider a regular collection day for reusable, recyclable items.
-- Involve youth in these efforts to extend the education and experience of planet/people care. Connect these efforts to opportunities for the middle school and high school students to fulfill community service requirements.
-- Keep animals' and birds' needs in mind in all our efforts.
-- Look for ways to influence schools, employers, and insurers to keep in mind and action the planet and those who have been kept on the edge of poverty and isolation.
-- Form a committee to decide where to go/what to do next.
-- Get this list publicized; write a Mountain Network News article about this meeting and our concerns.
In a short session with several volunteers that followed, the group committed to continuing this discussion and to plan activities to implement its suggestions. The following ideas were presented:
* Irene Miller of Christ Church and Diane Cooke of Skyland will co-chair the committee described above.
* We desire to bring together people from all four mountain churches for future discussions. Rev. Stephen Glauz-Todrank will follow up with the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) and Fr. Eugene will follow up with Mountain Bible Church.
* No agendas of particular religious beliefs will be pressed; the group is open to all mountain residents, irrespective of belief/no belief/culture/economic status/age.
* Keep in mind other resources available: Mountain Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Rebuilding Together, Residents Night Out, Mountain Network News, community events,
* Form an organization to address climate change and justice.
* Work with Mountain Neighbors Helping Neighbors for activities to assist people in the wider community.
* Organize another Summit Road cleanup day next spring, perhaps near Earth Day 2016.

-- Patricia Wood

NOTE from your treasurer:
 Octo ber 2015 financial report.
 Harvest Festival update:
 An additional $1,241 of  booth donations  were received in  October bringing the total to  $1 6,317  which is $857 above  planned receipts.
 We also received $1,912 of in-kind donations to offset expenses  for Pods, signs, baked goods and other miscellaneous items.
 HF summary:

Booth donations    
  Accessories 225.75
 Included  in Clothes
  Auction Baskets   3,391.00 8,175.43
  Auction Wall   3,976.52
 Included  in Auction  Baskets
  Bakery   860.05 714.66
  Books   646.50 511.75
  Clothes   2,211.55 1,576.35
Included in 
  Face Painting   13.19
 To special  Outreach
  Jams & Jellies   1,149.00 1,217.39
  Jewelry   319.00
 Included  in Clothes
  Kitchen   381.75 210.58
  Luncheon   1,208.20 973.50
  Odds & Ends   601.26 371.65
  Plants, Garden & Produce   376.25 601.51
  Toys   289.57 433.50
Total HF Booth Donations     15,649.59 14,840.04
  Misc Donations   1,006.82 200.00
HF InKind donation   1,911.74 1,449.58
Total HF Donations     18,568.15 16,489.62
HF Expenses    
  HF InKind Expenses   1,911.74 1,449.58
  HF Misc Expenses   681.65 30.92
  Advertising/Publishing   286.49  
Total HF Expenses     2,879.88 1,480.50
Net HF Receipts     15,688.27 15,009.12
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 Swayne or myself after service to utilize these transactions.

Here are our operating finances for October 2015 as of Oct. 28.
Pledge and Offering donations are slightly above projections for June 1 - Oct. 28. Thanks for your continued support. 

             Summary of Operating Finances
                Oct 2015     | Jun 1,2015 to Oct 28
            Actual  Planned  |   Actual     Planned
Income   $  14,146  $ 10,963 | $ 78,278  $ 74,948
Expenses $  11,301  $ 12,423 | $ 70,575  $ 74,127
Net      $   2,845  $(-1,460)| $  7,703  $    821
Gerald J. Alonzo, Treasurer