May 2020
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Monthly Newsletter
Skyland Community Church, United Church of Christ
Minister: Rev. Kevin Omi
Sunday Worship Service:
During COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place
Services will be online, check website link below
10:30 A.M.
May to mid-June Church Calendar

Sunday Worship at 10:30 A.M.
To connect by phone: dial 1 669 900 6833 and enter the Meeting ID: 239 585 779, followed by the # sign.
To connect via smartphone, tablet or computer: click

Wednesday Community Check-in at 5 P.M.
To connect by computer, tablet, or smartphone:
by phone: dial 1 669 900 6833 and enter the meeting id 782 093 134, followed by # sign.

Thursday Bible Study 
Introduction 8:45 A.M.
Sunday’s Scripture 9:45 A.M .
by computer, tablet, or smartphone:
by phone: dial 1 669 900 6833 and enter the meeting id 964 496 464, followed by # sign.

Sunday, May 10
12:00 P.M. Deacons

Sunday, May 17
10:30 A.M. On-line Worship with Rev. Melanie Weiner
11:30 A.M. On-line Congregational Meeting directly after the service
(please see Special Announcement in this newsletter)

Sunday, May 24
12:00 P.M. Church Council

Monday, May 25
 Margretta turns 100 !

Sunday, June 14
12:00 P.M. Deacons

see more upcoming event s on the Church Calendar

All Regularly Scheduled Events in Whitaker Hall
are on hold during Shelter-in-Place
Message from Reverend Kevin Omi
The Constancy of God

from: Rev. Kevin Omi

“Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
   in all generations. 
Before the mountains were brought forth,
   or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)

Beloved, we are anchored in the protected harbor of God’s love, no matter what our circumstances may be. God is our resting place, sometimes our hiding place, in the midst of our concerns for ourselves, those we love, and the world. 

The sweet bouquet of God’s love penetrates our anxieties, even in the midst of liminality and life’s many transitions:

“The fig tree puts forth its figs,
   and the vines are in blossom;
   they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
   and come away.” (Song of Songs 2:13)

Jesus echoed these words, as both he and his disciples struggled to find their balance after the tragedy of John the Baptist’s death:

He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark       6:31)

All of us want to return to God’s dwelling place. The good news is that it is always available to us. The Central Valley is filled with the scent of orange blossoms. Children’s chalk drawings speak of joy in front of their homes. Waves surge in Santa Cruz, whether surfers ride them or not. Friend’s voices reassure us over the phone. Why? Because our God is the Great  “I Am”  and that is sufficient. God is also  “I-am-whom-I-am becoming”  – for you, for me, our beloved church and community. God’s steadfast love endures forever, is unchanging, and always, always ready to embrace you. 

May God’s fragrant blessings lift up your hearts. Amen.
reVision Action Teams News

"Mountain Hangout"
"Lunch and a Documentary"
are suspended until further notice
due to COVID-19
Email the reVision team:
For more information on the phases of reVision click here: /


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: transitions/
Church Council News
The council met virtually, using Zoom on April 28 with ten members present. Anne and Jackie presented the budget that they had formulated using last year’s actual numbers estimated through May and modified with the expected impact of the prolonged shelter-in-place. Although there was extensive discussion, it centered around the placement of information on the page that would be given to congregation at the congregational meeting and whether to add Mission’s information to the page. The proposed budget was unanimously approved but the information regarding projects that were outside the budget, such as the women’s bathroom funded by a separate donation, were to be put on the back of the page. In addition, information about the amount of money missions expected to raise in their various campaigns in the next fiscal year would also be added to the back page and placed separately from projects funded outside the 20-21 budget.

The pledge drive will begin in early May and Jackie read the Stewardship letter she had written that would go out with request for pledges. The council decided the letter though very nice was not strong enough. Patricia Wood agreed to add a paragraph to the letter. Patricia actually wrote a page and since it was much stronger it was used as the pledge letter instead. Rev. Omi suggested that we consider stewardship and pledge drive a 12 month / year endeavor and not just the one time per year effort it is now.

The Congregational Budget meeting will be held on May 31 and will need to be done virtually to the extent possible.

A request was again made for suggestions for those who would be on a nominating committee formed to fill the vacancies left by those who had fulfilled their terms. No names were put forth, though Gerald Alonzo had volunteered himself at the last council meeting.

Jeremy and Shannon have been working on ways to have an exterior food pantry, safe from critters, insects and the elements. They will present some ideas they have in the future.

The next meeting will be Tuesday May 26.

Submitted by your co-moderators:
Jackie Seymour
Anne Evans

Skyland Community Church Website under "Newsletters and More."
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Special Announcement
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Dear Fellow Members of Skyland Community Church,

The Search Committee is delighted to inform you that we have unanimously chosen the Reverend Melanie Janet Weiner as our candidate for the position of Senior Pastor.
Rev Melanie Weiner

Rev. Weiner was ordained into ministry in 2014 and served as Associate Minister at Foothills Congregational Church in Los Altos until late 2019. Her roles included that of Faith Formation Minister. The Foothills congregation valued Rev. Weiner for her stimulating sermons, Biblical knowledge, spiritual wisdom, and ability to connect with all age groups. Rev. Weiner’s commitment to outreach and to respect for all faith traditions led her to establish a relationship with a Muslim congregation in San Jose that involved conversation and sharing meals together. Rev. Weiner’s experience also includes serving as volunteer chaplain to mentally ill inmates at the Santa Clara County Jail. In her spare time she may be found creating interesting things with yarn or fabric, hiking one of the many local trails, or reading with her face in the sun and her toes in the sand.

Over the past four months, the Search Committee has reviewed nine ministerial profiles. We looked for a pastor who can provide leadership, encouragement, and spiritual guidance for all age groups. We also sought a candidate with deep faith, compassion, and intellect.

After the Search Committee had initially discussed Rev. Weiner’s profile, along with the others that we received, we decided that she was a compelling candidate. Our interest led us to invite her to an online interview. Using carefully prepared questions, we invited Rev. Weiner to speak on a variety of topics. This conversation further strengthened our interest. We then conducted telephone interviews with Rev. Weiner’s references, all of whom spoke highly of her skills, personal attributes, and accomplishments at Foothills.

After further discussion and discernment, we decided to invite Rev. Weiner to a neutral pulpit. Because this event would have to be of the virtual kind, we invited her to create an online worship service which the committee alone would see. We worshiped together with Rev. Weiner on April 17. The thoughtful manner in which Rev. Weiner designed and conducted the service reinforced our belief that she possesses the compassionate spirit, thoughtful and effective worship leadership, maturity, humor, and commitment to outreach and social justice to lead our church.

In our next meeting, the Search Committee decided unanimously that Rev. Weiner would be our chosen candidate and invited to a Candidating Weekend. Our co-moderators then met with Rev. Weiner and developed a call agreement, a covenant between Rev. Weiner and Skyland Community Church. This call agreement includes employment details and follows the guidelines of our UCC denomination. Skyland’s Church Council has endorsed Rev. Weiner as our final candidate for the position of Settled Pastor and approved the call agreement.
Because of Shelter-in-Place guidelines, the traditional Candidating Weekend will be replaced by a series of virtual events. Instead of small gatherings in homes, we will meet online (via Zoom) during the week of May 11 in groups of six to eight so that you and Rev. Weiner can become acquainted. On the Sunday of the Candidating Weekend, May 17, she will lead an online worship service.

After the service, the congregation—without the candidate present—will gather for a congregational meeting to vote on calling the candidate as our new Settled Pastor. According to our bylaws, the election of a pastor shall be by vote of the church at a regular church meeting. A two-thirds majority of votes cast is necessary for affirmation. A strong affirmative vote (upwards of 85%) is most desirable for church and candidate alike. In the event of such a vote, the officers and the candidate will sign the Call Agreement, written and agreed on two weeks before the Candidating Weekend. If the congregation does not approve the candidate, the Search Committee continues its process to find another.

Like Rev. Weiner, we believe that God has led us to this exciting moment in our ministry. If she is affirmed by Skyland members, we look forward to growing together as a church family, serving others and proclaiming the good news of God’s love.


Skyland Search Committee
Missions Board News

This letter is from Miranda Talbott-Pope, who runs the organization in Guatemala through which the Skyland Mission Board and three of our members support students:

Dear ones: I think we would all agree we are living in MOST interesting the Chinese sense.  Last year's climate episodes.  March's election primaries. And now the coronavirus and it's many effects, all over the world.

Disturbing times, distressing times, and times that require us to see things newly, assess our own lives newly.

But for the moment, we are probably all of us trying to figure out what to do now and what to do next.  I hope each of you is finding some interest and some pleasure despite the wide-spread concern.

Here in Guatemala, so far we feel pretty safe, since the President here (rather astoundingly!) is seeming to place public health and safety above economic concerns.  He has immediately put curfews in place, closed stores and forbid public gatherings, including at churches, and of course closed schools.

As you can imagine that effects us, though I am paying our two young teachers to spend their regular after-school session time sorting out our materials, cleaning up, working on lesson plans and preparing for the return of class - hopefully in two weeks.

But since Guatemala's economy is very much sustained by tourism, you can imagine the economic shock as flights are cancelled, no one is permitted into the country, and some people who have been here for awhile - paying their share into hotels, shuttles, and restaurants - are headed home by whatever means they can find.

Some of Creando's Parent Board came forward to ask if it were possible to receive a cash payment this month, instead of the regular food basket, since the shops were not allowed to sell in bulk (to prevent some people stocking up), and since they were hurting in many ways, not just for food.  I talked to the members when we gathered last Thursday, about 10 days earlier than the usual food distribution -- keeping very careful distance - and learned that since the schools are closed, the mothers that do cleaning there, or sell snacks at recess can't work. Those that sell in the street at the mercado are limited in hours and space, since the Muni is curtailing crowds - so they are hurting, and of course if trucks bringing produce can't get in, they have little to sell (though most sell things they've raised themselves - bananas, avocados, onions, herbs, etc.)  I thought the mozos/day-workers would keep on as usual, but they told me that there is work, of course, but their employers don't have any money.  Many jobs cleaning stores or restaurants have also been lost.   So everyone is hurting.

So I decided to give your sponsorship money early and give a little more than the usual cost of the food basket.  And of course everyone was very grateful. The parent board members and one of our teachers each went off with a bundle of money, receipts for the parents to fill out, and a list of 5-8 parents, depending on who they lived close to.  Money was given out last Friday.  And hopefully we have relieved some worry, and helped in one way or another during this difficult 2nd week.

The lake is still beautiful, it is quieter than usual with no trucks motorcycles and few tuktuks running.  I am safe as long as my vitamins/minerals and rice flour hold out (allergic to wheat).  We are so far very fortunate here.

I am concerned for each of you, but hope ingenuity is strong and you're figuring out ways to manage, to stay safe, and even stay entertained.

This is perhaps not the best of the inspirational poems coming out these days, but it's a good one:

The real meaning of these times - take them with Grace.


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan (China) after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi (Italy)
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighborhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
- Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

Much love to all of you.  May you be safe and healthy; May you find some Grace.
A reading from Earth’s Echo: Sacred Encounters with Nature , by Robert M. Hamma
Provided by Kevin Omi

While this passage is introduced in this book with the story of the prophet Elijah [1] searching for the presence of God on a mountain, we can also understand “the mountain” as representing our search for answers during great uncertainty, the strong emotions the unknown can evoke, or total immersion in all that is.               

What are you doing here on this mountain?
Looking for answers,
seeking inspiration,
hoping for comfort,
trying to escape.
But my answers are partial,
the inspiration, fleeting,
the comfort, incomplete,
the escape, foiled.

What are you doing here on this mountain?
Looking for something I cannot name,
but have seen in rare moments,
heard in faint calls,
felt in light breezes.
Something from which I hide my face
even while it calls me to come out.
Something that passes quietly,
stilling my unquiet mind.

Here on this mountain
I am waiting in silence,
hoping for presence,
standing in awe.”

Note from your Treasurer
for 11th month of our fiscal year:

Pledge income is almost on par with expectations based on anticipated distribution of pledge donations, only $-476. Only $6,889 to go o meet our $130,00 budget, excellent chance our goal will be met.                                                                                                                                                 
Offerings received during April are $96 above expectations, but for 11 months $-1,222 below expectations.
No Hall Rental in May due to facility shutdown but still $818 above expectations for first 11 months.
Total expenses are $4,025 less than budget.
Fiscal year to date operating income exceeded expenses by $257. This does not include last year’s surplus and budgeted one time transfer from special funds.
The special Mission RIP Medical Debt Relief gift of $4,250 was sent to
$1,350 has been donated for OGHS and mailed to NCNC-UCC.
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 April. 26 for our 2019-2020 fiscal year.
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