March 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

We are in the church season of Lent and the earth season of spring. Curiously, in a way that is somewhat rare in churchspeak, "Lent" actually means "spring" rather than some reference to its religious significance. Lent is a time of spiritual preparation. As we proceed through the season, we will hear stories of Jesus' ministry in the final weeks and days of his life, messages about judgement and about death and resurrection that might make you uncomfortable. I hope that you will stick with us though, for it is from messages about judgement that we have the opportunity to learn about grace and compassion and from messages about death and resurrection that we learn about life. It is the return of life, resurrection, that this season, both the earth season and the church season are all about.

Look out at the earth preparing to burst into life! The days are lengthening and warming, seeds are sprouting, and trees are budding. Some early flowers are already opening. The wild animals have new young and the songbirds' chicks are hatching. Everywhere we look, we are reminded of new life.

Let us too prepare ourselves for the new life that we will celebrate at Easter. Let us take some time to reflect on the past year, as odd as this year has been, and look at what we have done, what we might continue, what we might change. We have a new ministry together, new bylaws to guide us, and new leaders. The Soothing Series for Women is bringing together women from all over the mountain community and as far away as Oakland. The Little Free Pantry has expanded from a box to a box, one side of Whitaker Hall, and recently a second refrigerator, from a couple of volunteers to a handful of volunteers to a *lot* of volunteers, from some people coming to pick up food that they need to a *lot* of people who now have access to a great variety of food, paper goods, books, videos, and cleaning supplies.

These are just a few of the ways that I see life springing forth. There is much more that we can see now, and there will be more to come in the future as we keep working together and growing together.

Blessings of good health and new life!

Rev. Melanie Weiner
Church Calendar

Bible Study on Thursday mornings:

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

by computer, tablet, or smartphone:

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)
Thank you Anne and Jackie

Word clouds are graphical representations of word frequency that gives more prominence to words that appear more frequently.
Skyland Church members offered 3 words about Jackie and Anne.

They were printed on a mental plaque and presented to them on
their last day of service as moderators.
Word cloud presented to Anne
Word cloud presented to Jackie
Skyland Community Church
Annual Meeting Minutes
Feb. 14, 2021
Reverend Melanie Wiener graced us with a prayer for our deliberations and entering into a new time of changes. The Skyland Community Church Annual Meeting was called to order by Jackie Seymore at 11:35 a.m. with 30 members present on Zoom.

Linda Heyes read the Behavioral Covenant for the group.
Minutes for the 3 prior council meetings were presented and approved.

New Skyland Community Church Bylaws:  After many months of work by church leaders, and several weeks of editing, reviewing, Church Council discussion, and small group reviews, the new Bylaws were presented for approval to this Annual Meeting. Appreciations were expressed to all involved, especially to our Interim Minister, Kevin Omi, our moderators, Anne Evans and Jackie Seymore, our new settled minister, Melanie Wiener, reviewers, Deanna Arnold and Patricia Wood, and all who participated in the effort to create bylaws that reflect who Skyland Community Church is, and is called to be, as we look forward. Motion to approve passed unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report showed that income has continued above plan by $14.7k plus last year’s $29k surplus. Expenses remain below prior years. However, large maintenance expenses, including re-roofing the Sanctuary, are in the imminent future.
Annual report for the congregation reviewed and approved without discussion.

Slate of officers, delegates, and representatives approved as presented. (List below.)
A Skyland Community Church Safety policy was developed some months ago and now made official, in response to need, was approved as presented.

Policies dealing with Abuse Prevention and Response and Sexual Misconduct were also developed in response to both need and insurance requirements. These policies were approved as presented.

It was pointed out that the official Skyland Community Church Bylaws and Policies will be accessible online as well as in a binder to be maintained, with Skyland Community Church Procedures, in an accessible place for current reference. Procedures will be developed and updated as needed over the coming months and years to assist in continuity and responsiveness in the life of Skyland Community Church.

Closing prayer was given by Reverend Melanie Weiner.

Pastoral Relations Committee Update

The Pastoral Relations Committee of Skyland Church meets regularly with Reverend Melanie. As an advisory group, our goal is to nurture the vital relationship between pastor and congregants. Reverend Melanie values direct communication and strives to be accessible to everyone. We feel blessed to be part of a congregation that communicates with honesty and care.

Mary Ellen McTamaney, Jan Parker, John Heyes
reVision- Thriving in the Community

After two years reVision is alive and well in our church and within the mountain community despite the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Soothing Series for women began February 11th on Zoom with the presentation of "Visual Memory and Nostalgia” with 30 women from near and far. Lesley Louden along with Rev. Melanie and Connected Through Adventures developed the series which will continue through May. See elsewhere in this newsletter for the details.

The Fire Safe County Roads(FSCR) team is organizing the landowners along more than five miles of the Summit Corridor. SC Mountain Alliance, Santa Cruz County Agencies, CALFIRE, and FSCR are together seeking grants for access and emergency escape routes by creating a shaded fuel break and felling hazardous trees on the landowner’s property adjacent to the road. Last summer’s CZU fire was a wake-up call and we need to support this project, our dedicated community members, David Fullagar, Lou McTamaney, Thomas Sutfin and our FSCR ministry team; Larry Lopp, Gerald Alonzo, Jeremy Cole, and Al Feuerbach. For more information visit:
Email the reVision team:
For more information on the phases of reVision click here:
Soothing Series in March
Skyland women and other women friends have begun meeting together on Zoom to participate in a series of "Soothing" presentations. We meet for an hour, 7 PM to 8 PM, on Thursday evenings twice a month.
On Thursday, March 11, our presenter will be Lindsay Grote who is a Colorado based kitchen designer and cook. In her unique "Soothing Series" session she will start us off with gentle, seated movements to open our palettes. She will then present her unique food board concept and teach us how to make a special hummus! Bring your favorite dip recipe (or the name of a dip that you love to buy at the store). Join us for this relaxing, joyful, soothing evening.
Looking ahead to March 25, our session will highlight ways that creative arts can soothe us. Please stay tuned for details. We can all use a little soothing...we hope to see you during these next months.
Anne Evans, Lesley Louden, Jan Parker and Connected Through Adventures

The "Soothing" Zoom Series:

Trustees Update

The Handicap Lift project is underway and is being led by Lou with help from Gerald and Jeremy. Here are some photos of the progress.

Prep work for the
concrete pad
Prep work for the
concrete pad
Prep work for the
concrete pad
Pouring concrete
for the Lift pad
Finishing work on
the concrete pad
Completed concrete pad for the Lift
Mission Board News
Skyland Community Church's
Little Free Pantry

This month we grew.  

We added volunteers so now we have folks helping each and every day of the week. 

Thanks go out to:  
Monday- Bonnie Cloyd
Tuesday- Terrie Landini
Wednesday- Janet Davies, John Heyes, Shannon Edwards, Renee Pressler and Bonnie Cloyd
Thursday- Dawn Hooper and Rose Paysnick
Friday- Lynn Mitchell
Saturday- Renee Presler and Jan Swayne 
All day backup- Gerald Alonzo

And our new subs are: Jeanne Tilmann and we are happy to have more. 
Please contact Shannon Edwards, 408- 353-2710 or if you would like to help fill the pantry. 

We expanded our food boxes and veggie bags to 25 each Sunday with San Agustin Catholic Church and Second Harvest of Santa Cruz County.  
We expanded our food bags and bread from Grey Bears.  
We got extra boxes of protein for the month of February from SEWA and Loreto's Brigade on Saturdays.  
Since we have grown in addition to the original Little Box we have added a produce shelving unit and a cabinet. Thanks Gerald for building it for us. 
Peninsula Food Runners has donated a refrigerator so that we can store the produce and perishables that come every week. We are so thankful to them. 
We got 200 corn pies that would usually sell at Trader Joe's from them as a gift too. They are a great group! 
Many church members and even community members who have heard about our work have sent checks to support the food that we have to buy.
And, we got 50 or more bags of food donations from the

Who we serve:
We have grown to serve over 20 mountain families who we know and many more are using the pantry at times there is no volunteer. 
We also feed 45 plus families who live in Watsonville and do labor on the mountain, but return home to their families each evening.
Forty apartments are in a strawberry field where many folks are still on hiatus from picking our food.

Thanks all for making this community service continue. This is faith in action.  
Shannon next to table of donated food
Volunteers ready to unload donations
Donations from the wider community
 Note from your Treasurer for first 9 months of our ’20-‘21 fiscal year:
Pledge income is $15,859 above budget primarily due to late pledge commitments after our budget was approved.
Offerings are also $1,082 above budget.
New donations have increased our Facility Maintenance Fund to almost $50,000 which is close to what is needed to replace sanctuary roof.
Thanks for your generous giving to our special mission offering to help foreign student education, a total of $2,800 has been sent. We also received and sent an additional $500 to help students in India.
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 Feb. 28 for our 2020-2021 fiscal year.
In addition to this year’s current $22,260 operating surplus we also have last year’s $29,271 surplus.
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