February 2021
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Monthly Newsletter
Skyland Community Church, United Church of Christ
Minister: Rev. Melanie Weiner
Sunday Worship Service:
During COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place
Services will be online, check website link below
10:30 A.M.
Message From
Rev. Melanie



but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.

-Isaiah 40:31 (NRSV)

In this season of Epiphany, a season of new ideas and new hope, even as we weather the stormy days of winter we can already feel the light returning and the promise of spring. With our relatively mild weather here, we are already seeing trees budding and a few bulbs beginning to sprout. As the hymn reminds us, "In the bulb there is a flower...."  

Even as we continue to wait, wait for our turns to receive the vaccine, wait to be able to meet together safely, wait to be able to see family safely, we must remember the promise in that hymn whose alternate name is "Hymn of Promise." The seeds of everything needed for what we await are present in the world and they will unfold into our lives at their pace.

Continue, beloved, to hang in there, to celebrate the joys in our lives, to be grateful for what we are given, to be generous with our gifts as we continue this extended season of waiting. Something new is coming. This we are promised.

Rev. Melanie Weiner
Church Calendar


Bible Study on Thursday mornings:

Schedule:
8:45 - 9:45 Important Passages from the Bible
9:45 -10:45 Sunday's Scripture

by computer, tablet, or smartphone: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83544553057

by phone: dial 1 669 900 6833 and enter the meeting id 83544553057#

Sunday Worship
Online Worship at 10:30 A.M. with Rev. Melanie Weiner
To connect by phone: dial 1 669 900 6833 and enter the Meeting ID: 833 3487 6493 followed by the # sign.
To connect via smartphone, tablet or computer: click

see more upcoming events on the Church Calendar

All Regularly Scheduled Events in Whitaker Hall 
are on hold during Shelter-in-Place
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Video Chat

Zoom, The Pandemic, and Keeping Each Other Safe

I am sure that you have all heard that Santa Cruz County has moved to the Purple Tier on the state's pandemic response system. According to this level, it is not safe for us to meet together in person. 

Last July the Council adopted a policy about reopening saying that we will not host in-person gatherings of any kind, including worship, until a vaccine is available to all. The Council will revisit this policy in January.  

For now we will continue to worship over Zoom and connect with each other in socially distant ways. It isn't perfect, but it is what we have. Let us be grateful for the technology that allows us to gather while we wait for that joyful day when we worship together in person again.

Rev. Melanie
Melanie preaching

Rev. Melanie's Work Hours and Contact Information

Rev. Melanie's work days will be Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday. She will take Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays as her days off. 

While it remains necessary to maintain social distancing, Melanie plans to work in her office on Mondays and work at home on most other days. 

If you want to visit, please contact her to make an appointment. For everyone's protection, we can speak outside or in a large room like Whitaker Hall. Please plan to wear a mask. 

If you would like a home visit, Rev. Melanie is willing to visit you outside your home from more than six feet away. 

You can reach Rev. Melanie at:
Church office (408)353-1310 (leave a message)
Mobile phone (408)307-3709 (voice or text)
Church Council News
from January, 2021

The Council met on January 18 with 8 members present on Zoom. Gerald Alonzo gave a short treasury report that continues to be favorable – income above expected and expenses below expected.
 
Reports from the team leaders and officers to be compiled for the Annual Report were all turned in with the exception of one.
 
The Nominating Team, Ann Baier, Deana Arnold, Mary Ellen McTamaney, Gerald Alonzo, John Heyes and Jackie Seymour have begun their work. Finding a Moderator and Vice Moderator/Co-moderators is a bit of a challenge. However, with the exception of an At-large representative other positions have been filled.
 
Anne Evans gave an update on the status of the Bylaws. They were distributed to everyone on Jan 3 and discussion groups began on Sunday, Jan 17. The first group went relatively well. There have been no big issues only further explanation required in some areas. There will be discussion groups following the Sunday church services for the next two Sundays. The congregation will then vote to approve the Bylaws at the Annual Meeting on February 14, 2021.
 
Jackie Seymour discussed the Covenant, Policy and Procedures Book that has already begun with two policies and the Open and Affirming Covenant. In the next year, each Ministry Team will write their own procedures regarding how they conduct business. These can be changed as needed by the team. This will allow much more flexibility and consistency in the operation of the church going forward. The Book will be stored on-line as well as in hard copy in a notebook overseen by Rev. Melanie Weiner. Jackie has offered to help each team write their procedures if they want the assistance.
 
Anne Evans reported that the Annual Meeting will be held virtually on Feb. 14, 2021. After the minutes of the three 2020 Congregational meetings are approved there will be a motion to approve the new Bylaws. When they are approved, going forward we will be operating under the new Bylaws. Gerald Alonzo will give a Treasury report for the year 2020 which is the second half of the 2019-2020 fiscal year and the first half of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. There will be a motion to accept the Annual report that will be available ahead of time. Also, the slate of Officers, those filling the various Ministry Teams, at-large representative and delegates to NCNC will be presented for which a vote of approval will be called. The last item of business will be a call for a vote to approve the Abuse Prevention and Sexual Misconduct Policy required by our insurance provider. 
 
Shannon reported that more space is needed for the outdoor Little Pantry and ways to accomplish that would be considered. Also, there were several additional donations of food this week due to contributions from community members observing the National Day of Service.
 
The meeting was adjourned. The next council meeting will be at the discretion of the new Moderator team. 
reVision Action Teams News
Because of COVID-19, in-person gatherings are suspended indefinitely.

Email the reVision team: reVision@skylandchurch.com
For more information on the phases of reVision click here: http://skylandchurch.com/transitions/
Mission Board News
Skyland Community Church's
Little Free Pantry

Martin Luther King's National Day of Service was a resounding success!  As part of the Biden/Harris campaign we signed up Skyland Community Church as a Food Pantry donation site.  

Such generosity and care was shown as over a dozen folks brought loads of lovely food at Skyland Community Church on the front porch to be taken 24/7. 

Renee and Bonnie did the organizing of the food and Debra helped with the paper products. 

Rev Melanie and Shannon were able to socially distance and wearing masks, we welcomed our new friends.

One Los Gatos supporter used her front porch as a dropping off site and she got over 50 bags of food, toiletries, diapers and more!  Another man from Los Gatos arrived with his car full; he spent his whole stimulus check for feeding our neighbors. 

Folks came from Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Soquel and Felton to help our little free mountain food pantry. They were amazed at our views and our desire to help those in need. 

Please spread the word to those who need a helping hand during this terrible time that will soon get better. 

We hope to have another drop off for folks on Sun. Feb. 28th from
1-3pm. Do you have neighbors wanting to help? Feel free to collect the food and bring it to the church that day (or any time)
Hope to see you then :)

Food Pantry volunteers 
Shannon, Bonnie, Renee, Lynn, Debra, Melanie, Gerald and John

This month we present a photo essay of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Community Action.
Shannon next to table of donated food
Volunteers ready to unload donations
Donations from the wider community
Donations from the wider community
View from the southside of the church
Donations from the wider community

Education/ Tuition Financial Assistance Provided for
8 Students:

In January we collected tuition for young people who are pursuing education on four continents.
Our members have personal links with these schools and as of now have donated a total of $2,800.

India: We helped one student with college tuition for the ministry- $600
Fiji: (Kadavu-Fiji Island Education) Support went to three high-school students (nursing and more)- $600
Guatemala: (Doroteia Pathways Foundation- Creando mi Futuro) Two middle-school student in an art school will receive tutoring, family support and food- $800
(In addition, church members supported a Mayan Art Sale last year to help our adopted Guatemala school.)
Tanzania: (Steven Tito Academy/ Baobob) We adopted two students in Baobab Home for HIV orphans- $800

Thanks for the wonderful work that we are doing for the whole world.
Skyland Community Church is making the world a better place.

 Note from your Treasurer for first 8 months of our ’20-‘21 fiscal year:
Pledge income is $13,441 above budget primarily due to late pledge commitments after our budget was approved.
Offerings income is now $1,002 above budget.
 
Thanks for your generous giving to our special offerings to help those in need.
$2,771 is now available to help foreign student education.
 
During the current “Shelter In Place” restrictions please mail your pledge and other donations to
Skyland Community Church
P.O. Box 245
Los Gatos, CA 95031-0245
 
We are able to accept credit card payments for pledge, general and special offerings if that is more convenient than check or cash. Just come to church and you will find me in the downstairs copy room using church internet. Best time is 4 PM to 10 PM every day.
 
Here is a summary of our operating finances as of Jan. 30 for our 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Respectfully
Gerald Alonzo, Treasurer
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