November 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.
November 2019 to mid December Church Calendar

Sunday, November 3
10:30 A.M.    Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi
3:00 P.M.      Children's Photo Show -- Milk + Cookie Reception

Wednesday, November 6
10:30 A.M.    Loma Prieta Club

Sunday, November 10
10:30 A.M.    Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi

Monday, November 11 – 14  Rev. Omi attending Interim Conference

Sunday, November 17
10:30 A.M.    Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi
12:00 P.M.    Potluck Sunday

Friday, November 22
12:00 P.M.    4th Friday Documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

Sunday, November 24
Giving Tree
Thanksgiving Sunday
10:30 A.M.    Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi
12:00 P.M.    Church Council

Sunday, December 1
Advent Begins
Giving Tree
10:30 A.M.    Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi

Wednesday, December 4
10:30 A.M.    Loma Prieta Club

Saturday, December 7
6:00 P.M.     Summit Riders Party
7:00 P.M.      Mountain Church Christmas Concert – LDS Church 23187  Summit Rd

Sunday, December 8
Blanket Sunday
10:30 A.M.   Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi

Saturday, December 14
10:00 A.M.    Private Party

Sunday, December 15
Blanket Sunday
10:30 A.M.   Worship Service with Rev. Kevin Omi
12:00 P.M.    Potluck Sunday


Regularly Scheduled Events in Whitaker Hall
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Mondays :
Alcoholics Anonymous 8:00 P.M.
Tuesdays
Qigong  8:45-10:00 A.M. Member led. (November Only)
Thursday :
Qigong students only from 8:45-9:30 A.M.
Thursday :
Yoga 7:00 P.M.
Message from Reverend Kevin Omi
Leaning into Gratitude

I write as PG&E begins to turn off electrical power for many in Northern California and with a sense of dread and deep concern for so many, not only in our state and nation, but throughout the world. Extreme weather, global migrations, methane bubbling in the Artic, and the relentless stream of political news are both alarming and exhausting.  

What are we called to do as people of faith in the face of overwhelming, seemingly intractable challenges? 

Chapter 33 of the Book of Isaiah has one answer:
“And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ “
 
The journey of faith is taken one step, one breath at a time, trusting in God’s love for all creation. Each of us is given a sphere of influence: people, causes, and a circle of care in which we move and help others. When I visit a longtime member of our church, recovering in the hospital after major surgery and losing the love of their life, a word, a touch, a silent prayer is the center of the universe.  Nothing else matters in that moment. We are connected in the depth of God’s love.

In the same way, sharing tacos, watching The Biggest Little Farm, and sharing children’s photos with people we haven’t met before are, in the moment, all that matters. Yes, we will work with others, to have a safer and more sustainable community, and, yes, there are actions we  must take  in the wider world, but in the moment,  all that matters  is that we seek and find God’s grace in the people God has placed right in front of us. We listen and we hear a voice behind saying,  ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ 

When we pay attention, in the string of precious pearls that are life’s moments, we find that which is sacred and holy. Our only response can be  gratitude . Who and what are you grateful for in your life? What causes you to catch your breath in wonder and joy? 

“As we learn to give thanks for all of life and death, for all of this given world of ours, we find a deep joy. It is the joy of trust, the joy of faith in the faithfulness at the heart of all things. It is the joy of gratefulness in touch with the fullness of life.”  

I give thanks to you and thanks to God, for the deep joy, trust, and faithfulness I find alive and growing in you.

Rev. Kevin Omi
 








reVision Action Teams
Welcome the Mountain Community
Larry Lopp welcomes 80 community members
to the Fire-safe Roads Meeting

Fire-safe Roads  
The Fire-safe Roads team hosted a very successful meeting last month at the Loma Prieta Elementary School forum.  There were four speakers from the fire-safe roads team followed by a lively Q & A with many local community organizations. The team collected data from forty people which included feedback on the meeting, home location, and other relevant data. 
The Fire-safe roads team plans to hold more informational community-wide meetings on different approaches to emergency escape routes. Their idea is to invite different experts each month who will give a short informative talk and then facilitate a discussion on the approach. Examples of different approaches are "shaded fuel breaks" or partnering with selective logging operations along the county roads modeled on the Soquel Demonstration Forest.

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Taco night served 81 people a delicious Taco dinner
 
Mountain Hang-out Taco Night
On Friday Oct. 18, the Mountain Hang-out Team + friends cooked up a storm and welcomed eighty one people and a baby. Many people lingered for hours talking with their neighbors and long lost friends. The art of conversation has returned! The delicious dinner required a lot of work within the team and from friends.
Save the date:
Mountain Hang-out Lasagna night-January 17, 2020, 5 - 8 P.M.

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Twenty six people ate popcorn and watched
the Biggest Little Farm on October 25
 
4th Friday Documentaries
( Community Building Events )
Our neighbors enjoyed lunch and conversation followed by a documentary at this community building event.  The Biggest Little Farm  was inspiring and heartfelt with exquisite nature cinematography. Ann Baier led a discussion afterwards on the movie and organic farming.
Save the date-
November 22  12 P.M. - 3 P.M. lunch and the documentary 
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

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"Froggy" artist: Rock- 6 years old- 
 
  Children's Photography Show  
( Connected Through Adventures)
Sunday   November 3
3 P.M. - 5 P.M.   
Eighty two children, ages 2-11 years old, submitted digital photos with the theme  "My World in the Mountains"  to be hung in Whitaker Hall. The Milk + Cookies reception for the artists and their families is on November 3 from 3 P.M. - 5 P.M.
The photos will remain on display throughout November.
 
Email the reVision team: reVision@skylandchurch.com
For more information on the phases of reVision click here: http://skylandchurch.com/transitions /
 
Anne Evans
Fourth Friday Documentaries:  

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  
"takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers. A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination." ( documentary.org )

Friday, November 22nd
12–3 P.M.
Whitaker Hall, Skyland Community Church 
25100 Skyland Road, Los Gatos, CA 

Join us for lunch and a documentary video, plus discussion.
Food will be provided. This community building event will be a fun and engaging afternoon.


LITANY THROUGHOUT THE INTERIM PERIOD

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: http://skylandchurch.com/ transitions/
Church Council News
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The council met on Sunday October 24.

A revision update was given by Anne Evans. All groups are doing well and the most recent activities have been well attended.

Rev. Kevin Omi reported the need for our informational flier to be updated with reVision information and then made available to those attending reVision events. He will try to have that ready for next Sunday’s photograpy exhibit and reception. He also suggested that each group have their future activity date and time available at each event if possible to build on the momentum attained. He encouraged the Action teams to get their upcoming events in the December issue of Mountain Network News.

Jackie reported that the Search committee is progressing well with the Church Profile. A rough draft will be finished within the next two weeks. Then the process of reviewing the document for completeness and consistency as well as editorial polishing will commence. When that is complete the document will be made available to the entire congregation for their review.

Under new business, Jackie reported that we now have three different Facilities Contracts, one each for weddings, private events, church sponsored events. Anne has completed the contract update for private events. For church sponsored events, whom ever sponsors the event will be the contact/interface person to see that the needed dates are given to Anne so she can update the church calendar.

Shannon reported that there are still things in the shed that need to be taken to donation sites. It was suggested that on Sunday November 10 after church everyone participate to get these things taken away. If everyone that can, takes a few things to a donation site it should be finished in short time.

Gerald Alonzo has done the work to connect us to Beneficity, an organization used by several companies including Apple to support efforts of their employees to help non-profit organizations by donating funds equal to the volunteer effort provided by an employee. 

Rev. Kevin Omi reported that his first meditation group for parents of school age children was well attended. 
Your co-moderators,
Jackie Seymour and Anne Evans

Skyland Community Church Website under "Newsletters and More."
Thought for Reflection:

"We are situated in a web of life. The same currents that run through our human blood also run through the swirling galaxies and the myriad of life-forms that pervade this planet - a single self-transcending current of all-pervading energy that brings new life out of seeming catastrophe." (Ilia Delio) 

May you connect with, feast upon, and share this energy. Amen.
Search and Call Process
I hope most have heard or read about the Search Committee’s work on the Skyland Church Profile.

The profile is a document required by the Conference, and really, the UCC as a whole, before ministerial candidates can request to have their Ministerial Profiles sent to us for our settled pastor position. The document not only provides data about us – number of members, our budget, etc. – more importantly it provides information about who we are as a group, what we value in ministry, what strengths we are looking for in our settled pastor, and what our vision is for the future. 

The search committee along with Rev. Kevin Omi, Anne Evans and Jackie Seymour, have been working on this document for the past two months. As you can imagine, the questions are many and the answers aren’t simple. They demand we consider the entire congregation in our responses. The group meets every week to discuss the thornier issues and questions. Then one or two committee members will take the information from the discussion and write up it up as a response to a question on the profile. The rough draft of the complete Church Profile is nearing completion. Then begins a time of editing and revising to make the document consistent, complete, and polished.

When that is done it will be made available to the congregation for their review. Comments will be addressed and either an explanation provided or a modification made. When most of us agree that it reflects who we are, what we value and our vision it will be sent the to UCC Conference office for their review and approval.

After it is approved at the Conference level, by Associate Conference Minister Rev. Davena Jones, it will be posted on UCC Ministerial Opportunities. At that point, candidates from throughout the country may learn about our church and what we are seeking for our next settled pastor. Interested pastors will contact our Conference and ask that their Ministerial Profiles be sent to directly to our Search Committee. Once the Search Committee begins to receive Ministerial Profiles, they will enter into a highly confidential time of reading, discernment and discussions.

Please keep our search team and our process in your prayers.

Your co-moderators,
Jackie Seymour and Anne Evans
Flowers for the Altar
 Several Sundays in November and December are open for floral donations. Please sign up on the calendar in Whitaker Hall.

We have enjoyed some beautiful floral arrangements on recent Sundays. If you wish to plan ahead--perhaps for a special occasion--please write your name alongside any open Sunday on the calendar in Whitaker Hall.
hardy geraniums--
red, white, salmon, magenta --
flaming into fall

~haiku by John Heyes
Missions Board Spotlight

We have received a letter from the student we are sponsoring at the Steven Tito Academy, the educational arm of The Baobab Home orphanage in Tanzania. Jesika is eleven years old and has an older sister and a younger brother. She especially enjoys her science class and playing netball. In her letter Jesika tells us, "I appreciate your love and support for my education."

Please look in Whitaker Hall for a photo of Jesika, her letter, and an update from the director of The Baobab Home.

John Heyes
Our Food Pantry Needs You!

It seems as though the food pantry is being more heavily relied upon and supplies have recently become quite limited.

We really need the following nutritious items:
Hearty soups including vegetarian,
vegetarian chili, peanut butter, shelf stable milks, tuna, crackers, and cereal.

Thank you for providing the hungry in our community with food to sustain body, mind, and spirit.

Julie




The Skyland Church Giving Tree






Skyland Church sponsors local families at CT English Middle School , Loma Prieta Elementary School and Building Blocks Preschool for the holiday season. Gift cards will be bought for children's gifts and for family meals for the holidays. 

The felt Giving Tree in Whitaker Hall is our way of showing the generosity of our church community and our neighbors. Decorate the tree with a felt ball to symbolize your gift. Money will be collected starting November 24 at church and during Advent. 

If you want to give and can't make it to church on Sunday, please email Shannon Edwards at:  shannonedwards14@gmail.com  or Deana Arnold at:  darnold@mac.com  and we'll include your contribution.
 NOTE From Your Treasurer
Note from your Treasurer for first 5 months of our fiscal year:
 
Pledge income is $2,778 above expectations, however my planned distribution of pledge income may have a small error due to unexpected full year lump sum donations. I will continue make adjustments to monthly expectations as year progresses.
Offerings are $-1,136 below expectations.
Hall Rental is $704 above expectations.
 
The Heifer Quarter Tube overflowed, $135.75 sent to Heifer Project International.
 
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.
 
Here is our operating finances as of Oct. 30 for our 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Respectfully
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
Website 
 http://skylandchurch.com