October 2018
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.
October Church Calendar

October 3
Whitaker Hall--Loma Prieta Club 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

October 7
10:30 a.m. Communion Worship Service and special collection for Neighbors In Need program of the UCC. (see article below)

October 14
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Trustees Meeting after Service (possibly)
Deacons Meeting after Service

October 19
Whitaker Hall--Building Blocks Preschool Dinner 3:00-8:00 p.m.

October 21
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Potluck after Service

October 28
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
Church Council Meeting after Service

November 4 10:30 am PST --Worship
Return to Standard Time! Extra hour of sleep, or be EARLY to church and sing with the choir!

Regularly Scheduled Events in Whitaker Hall
Mondays: Alcoholics Anonymous 8:00 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: QiGong 8:30-9:45 a.m.
Thursdays: Yoga 7:00 p.m.
Sundays in October: Sewing Costumes for Theatre in the Mountains

Message from Reverend Kevin Omi

Dear friends: 

I was surprised, not only by the warmth of the weather during my first week, but also by the warm welcome I received from everyone! By the time you receive this, I’ll have preached during our first Sunday worship together. I am really looking forward to getting to know all of you as soon as possible. One of the ways to do this is during my office hours, which, for now at least, are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you can drop by or would like to schedule a visit during those hours, I’d love to see you. If another time would work better for you, drop me an email at  revkevinomi@skylandchurch.com and we’ll set something up. At a minimum, let’s try to connect on Sunday, okay?

Speaking of getting to know you, I have a request. It would be  really helpful for me if everyone wore their names tags every Sunday for awhile…really helps to put names and faces together. I’m also interested in hearing about your hopes for our Interim Time together.

Here’s a bit about me. I’m in the process of selling my home in Albany, which is near Berkeley. I’ve been living for a few weeks now with my long-term partner, Rev. Carol Barriger, and our cat, Shimano (named after the bicycle manufacturer). I have two adult sons, Alex and Ted, who live in the East Bay. My primary form of exercise is cycling in the hills above Redwood City. I look forward to exploring some routes near the church soon. I’m also a participant in the Mercy Center’s East West Program, which places Christianity in dialog with zen practices.

I’ve been involved as a lay leader in my local churches and chaired a Conference committee for many years before attending the Pacific School of Religion from 2003-2009. For the past several years, I was the Senior Minister at Sycamore Congregational Church UCC, a Japanese American church in El Cerrito. I leave Sycamore with warm memories of people I loved and hopes for their future. I also serve on the UCC’s Board of Directors and Section B of NCNC’s Committee on the Ministry.

Skyland, like 80% of churches in the U.S., has experienced demographic and cultural changes over many decades. I’m in the process of learning about some of its unique strengths and like what I see. So far, these appear to include dedicated and capable leaders, lots of “can do” folks that believe in direct service to the community (which I highly value), a core group of folks that wear many hats, and a desire to make a real and lasting difference in the world. People really care for each other here. Many people have been deeply involved with the church and community for decades. 

I’m looking forward to not only serving together in ministry with you, but in exploring our heritage, leadership, missions, connections, the ReVision process, and planning for the future. I’ll be working with the Church Council, boards, committees, and Associate Conference Minister, Rev. Daniel Ross-Jones, to figure out how we sequence our activities so we don’t have too much going on at once.

God is in this place. Of this I am sure!

Love and blessings,

Rev. Kevin Omi



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, the progress in the search for the Interim Minister and other transitions at Skyland please visit the Transitions page: http://skylandchurch.com/ transitions/

Church Council News
The Council along with Rev. Omi met at noon on Sunday, September 30, on the memorial benches.

An updated facilities rental agreement will be drafted by Paula Leary, Jeremy Cole, and Anne Evans for presentation at a future Council meeting. The new agreement will cover all non-Church sponsored activities held on the Skyland Church property.

There was also discussion of a need to develop a plan for an elevator in Whitaker Hall to ease movement from upper Whitaker to lower Whitaker. The Trustees will be looking into that project.

The Harvest Festival clean-up is nearing completion. Many thanks to Linda and John Heyes, Jan Swayne, Ann Baier, Cliff Barney, and everyone else who has been taking the remaining goods to local charities.

Patricia Wood reported that the Religious Education Board is interested in organizing some activities that are more focused on adult education, including a Bible study group, which Rev. Omi is very interested in leading. We were reminded of a revival of the ornament-making activity on the first Sunday of Advent after worship, and attendees were enthusiastic about the idea. So, stay tuned for more information!

Rev. Omi also expressed an interest in leading a retreat in the fall, and offering some type of meditative practice on a weekly basis. If you are interested in either of these, please reach out to Rev. Omi to let him know your thoughts.

The Santa Clara Association (our association) of the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC) of the UCC is holding our Fall Meeting in Carmel on November 4 in Carmel. There will a Choir Fest which will include our choir. All Skyland members and friends are invited to the business meeting, Choir Fest, and snacks. Come to enjoy the gifts of our many churches and song by the sea. Skyland Church expects to form carpools to maximize our participation.

Our next Council meeting will be October 28.  

Respectfully Submitter,
Deana Arnold, Moderator
Flowers for the Altar

Several Sundays during October 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

Neighbors in Need

Skyland Church will be taking up a collection for the United Church of Christ's Neighbors in Need program on Sunday, October 7.

Neighbors in Need is the UCC’s annual offering to support ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States, including the Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM), justice and advocacy efforts, and direct service projects funded by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries.

Neighbors in Need helps make A Just World for All possible. For this to occur, we need your support.

Please give generously. And remember, contributions to Neighbors in Need can be made online at anytime:
Missions Board

The nineteen boxes of books will be on the boat to Africa in September and will arrive before the New Year.  A BIG thanks to the Mission Board and all who helped. It was a group effort!
Contact: Cindy Siwajek

Local Support
Mental Health Community Action Network in Santa Cruz helps those transitioning into homes. 
We continue to collect socks, coats and sleeping bags. If anyone has a diaper changing table we are still looking for one. 

Contact: Shannon Edwards
Continuing To Be Green at Skyland Church.

Several years ago Skyland church became certified as a Green Business in Santa Cruz county.  An important part of maintaining that certification is careful attention to the products we use in the everyday business of the church.

To minimize our effect on the environment it’s vital that we use paper and cleaning products that are minimally polluting and/or toxic to the environment.  If you are planning to donate or provide paper or cleaning products for use in the church, please consider the following guidelines:

  1.  Paper products such as paper towels, toilet paper, or napkins should be 100% recycled content and unbleached.  Seventh Generation makes these products and they are generally available at stores such as Safeway.
  2.  Printer paper for bulletins, etc. should also be at least 50% and preferably 100% recycled content.  This type of paper is available at several places but Staples is one of the few that carries single reams.
  3. Cleaning products need to be minimally toxic.  Products are acceptable if they are on the Green Seal website, if they are on the EPA Safer Choice website, or if they rate 8 or above on Goodguide.com.  

Thank you for taking these guidelines into consideration when providing and using these products for the church (and maybe for yourself as well).


He who binds himself to a joy
Doth the Winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity's sunrise.
— William Blake,  Several Questions Answered

Harvest Festival Report

 NOTE From Your Treasurer

In addition to a fun event, Harvest Festival donations have exceeded our planned $8,000. Thanks to everyone for their support.
Pledge income is behind what we expected by $-2,730. However due to income from Harvest Festival and Other exceeding our plan, total income is only $-666 less than anticipated.
Individual account expenses are all less than anticipated amounts. The one big surprise was a refund from the UCC Pension Boards from advance payments for Stephen’s Annuity, Medical, and Life Insurance. End result is an operating net of $28,817 which is $6,300 more than anticipated.
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 September 27 for our 2018-19 fiscal year.

Respectfully Submitted,
Gerald J. Alanzo, 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