Go Tell It on the Mountain

October 2016 Newsletter
Skyland Community Church

10:30 Sunday Service

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

Emile to Cook Benefit Dinner for Orphans
at Whitaker Oct. 9

Emile Mooser, center, with Pean Pol, director of the Rainbow Orphanage, at his left, and Emile''s friend and co-donor Janet Dashiel, far right. Woman in pink is a teacher at the orphanage.
Miss out on the Harvest Festival auction for a dinner cooked by Emile Mooser? Here's another chance, and this time all entrants will win.

Eight years ago, after he had sold his restaurant, Emile and a friend visited an orphanage in Cambodia. They were so impressed with the operation, and the work done by its director, Pean Pol, that they immediately contributed support money; and when Emile got home, he began cooking dinners as fundraisers. He has done so ever since.

The kids are all of school ages, and go to school at all levels: primary and secondary at the orphanage, several students in high school and more than a dozen at a university this fall.

The next support dinner will be at Whitaker Hall Oct. 9 (Sunday) at 6 p.m. On the menu: assorted small hors d'oeuvres, lasagna Bolognese, a mixed salad of seasonal greens, pears, dried cranberries, caramelized walnuts, and julienned carrots, with a French dressing.  Dessert is chocolate mousse, and a glass of white or red wine is included. The price: $25 for adults, $15 for children

These contributions are tax deductible, and every penny will go to the orphanage, Emile says. "Please make reservations as soon as possible, so I will know what to prepare," he asks. "And please specify how many adults and how many children."

Send checks to :
P.O. Box 245
Los Gatos, CA 95031-0245
Attention Gerald Alonzo
Rainbow Orphanage children 
celebrate in front of girls' dorm

Under Pean Pol's direction, Emile reports, the school has come a long way toward becoming self-supporting, raising ducks, chickens (and eggs), mushrooms, pigs, fish, vegetables, fruit, and rice, both for their own consumption and to sell at the store they maintain in the nearby village.

However Pean Pol reports that extra funds are needed to pay teachers at the school, and to cover school fees, housing and living support for students in high school, in the nearby town, and at the university.
Emile's contributions have already helped build a dormitory for girls (who make up half of the school's population), a building for volunteer helpers, a stable for the pigs, chickens and ducks, and a water filtering system.


Psychedelic Posters
on Display at Skyland

Jeremy Cole and Kathy Cagan invite everyone to a special, one-time showing of rock posters and "other ephemera" from the hippie daze of 1966-67 at the old Fillmore, Winterland, and Avalon ballrooms in San Francisco, on Oct. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Whitaker Hall.  Refreshments (unspecified) will be provided.


Altar Flowers

Open dates for donating flowers are October 2, 9, and 23. Please sign up in Whitaker Hall.

  robust geraniums -
red, white, salmon, magenta -
flaming into fall

- haiku by John Heyes


Meditation Moment   

Break forth  into exclamations of joy         and gladness,  you who serve the       Lord!
God is not dead!  He is ever our             God!
He made us, we belong to Him;
      we are His sons and servants.
And His love for us never runs out;
      His care and concern for us will         go on forever.
Let the world see our manifestations       of joy!
Let us lift up our voices in songs of         praise,  and surrender our lives
      as perpetual offerings of                     thanksgiving! 
Let us  bless His name forever! 

Psalm 100
Leslie F. Brandt


As always, the salad bar was a big hit.

Festival Sets Record:
Net Sales $ 17,780.69

All of that hard work paid off.

The sorting, the packaging, the baking, the preserving, the cleanup, the volunteering, the support troops who fed the volunteers -- when the dust had settled and the last of the leftovers had been hauled away, the results exceeded any previous returns in the decades-old Harvest Festival. There may be some expenses still to account for, cautions treasurer Gerry Alonzo, but for now we can bask in the glow of a net of $17,780.69.

"Yes, we made it to the finish line and were successful! What a great day, so many happy people," exults Renée Pressler, who coordinated the effort. "Thank you to all that worked the  Harvest Festival. Thanks for bringing family and friends to help. This was my learning year but I finally got it; next year will be easier for all. Larry Cooke [previous years' leader, who coordinated the "outside" work of procuring the pods, etc], don't you leave me - I still need you! 

"Please remember we serve a sit down lunch on Tuesdays [this year produced by Debra and John Hultgren]. Everyone who helps, including the hard-working men, gets to share the company of great workers! Thanks again to all for helping with the Harvest Festival." 

Deana Arnold accepts goodie from daughter Kaelie at pastry table

Photos by Carol Greene

Harvest Festival Numbers

Miscellaneous Donation 400.00
Lunch donation 465.15
  Total Contributed support 865.15

Booth Donations
Accessories 378.00
Auction 7,264.77
Auction Wall 2,357.60
Bakery 1,108.76
Books 760.45
Children 46.50
Clothes 814.40
Coffee 37.63
Dollar Bag 56.45
Housewares 337.00
Jams & Jellies 1,006.00
Jewelry 182.00
Luncheon 931.00
Odds & Ends 296.86
Plants, Garden & Produce 919.28
Rummage 148.49
Sporting 308.20
Toys 233.55
Workshop 193.75
Total Booth Donations


Total Income

Luncheon 365.15
Other 100.00

Total Expenses


Harvest Festival Net



Who says no one reads any more?

Postscript - What about Next Year?

No Harvest Festival would be complete without a look at what went wrong - or right - with the current one, and what can be done to make next year even better.

That happened after church Sept. 18, when a half-dozen veterans of the Festival prep gathered in Whitaker Hall with Larry Cooke and Renée Pressler to hash it all out.  

Renée urged the recruiting of more volunteers to help with the sorting, a suggestion that was balanced by its counterpart, "less sorting"; both of these found support in the group.  Some urged an earlier start on jam and jelly making, to avoid a September rush when many fruits had passed their prime. 

Recruiting volunteers, it was noted, is squeezed between having an aging church population and the fact that younger members have jobs and can't easily help on weekdays (leading Renée to inaugurate Saturday activity). Attraction of more helpers was supported by a suggestion for appointing individual "captains" for the different sections, who could then actively recruit their own helpers rather than wait for both leaders and helpers to sign up on the lists in Whitaker. 

Perhaps the most radical idea was to abandon the Harvest Festival completely and revive the annual Skyland Mountain run as a source of income. This suggestion invoked much dismay, and was abandoned. 

--  CB

NOTE from your treasurer:

Harvest Festival was a big success both to our community and our finances. Net donations minus expenses of $17,780 is a record. There may be some expenses still to be submitted.
P ledge income is  still lagging  behind pledge commitments , even after receiving a lump sum gift to finish one pledge . If you are able, please attempt to keep your pledge gifts current.
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.

Here are our operating finances for  September  2016 as of  Sept   27:

              September  2016  | Jun 1,2016 to  Sept   27
           Actual    Planned |  Actual      Planned
Income    $  33,734  $ 28,733 | $ 81,640    $ 80,754
Expenses $  22,056  $ 22,357 | $ 62,676    $ 64,168
Net      $  11,678  $  6,376 | $ 18,964    $ 16,586

                --  Gerald J. Alonzo