Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Plant Sale Coming Soon: April 9th!

Monday, March 21st, 2016

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Tomato plantOur third annual Plant Sale is happening Saturday, April 9th, 10 AM to 4 PM, rain or shine. There will be hundreds of tomato plants in forty-nine heirloom varieties, including some unique and rare varieties, many succulents, cacti, California natives, orchids, bromeliads, iris, herbs, vegetables, flowering perennials, drought-resistant plants, trees, seeds, bulbs,houseplants and much more.

We will also be having a bake sale with fresh goodies prepared by our talented members. This will be the church’s major fundraiser this year to support the church programs. Please come and browse this fun event!

Plant Sale Photo

New: Plant Sale 2016 Press Release

New: Plant Sale Flyer 2016

The Tomato List is here! Download Tomato Descriptions 2016 (PDF)

Donate Plants – We’ll be seeking well established plants at the time of the plant sale. If you have a green thumb, and can get some started for us, please reach out to Amy Bess – we’d love to know what’s coming so we can plan accordingly.Have some plants you’re planning on donating? Visit our Plant Donation Form.

Tomato plant photo by Luke Addison


Holy Week

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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palms swiv flickrEaster is early this year! Come and get ready with the festive celebration of Palm Sunday on March 20th. Then come for a family-friendly evening communion service on Maundy Thursday, March 24th at 7 PM (potluck dinner at 6pm). We will also observe the very solemn Good Friday on March 25th at 7 PM by candlelight.

These services help us get ready to approach the joyous mystery of Easter. See you there.


Advisory: Palm Sunday is also the Oakland Running Festival!

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

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runners croppedThe Oakland Marathon returns Sunday, March 20 – YES on Palm Sunday! The course will come through Montclair once again with runners along Mountain cutting off access to Thornhill from 7:45am to 10:00am. To turn onto Thornhill, you will need to approach Thornhill from the south side of Montclair Village on Mountain Blvd.

From the Piedmont side of Highway 13:
Take Moraga and head up toward Highway 13. Take Highway 13 southbound, exit at Joaquin Miller/Lincoln, left over 13, left on Mountain to return through Montclair Village, take a right on Thornhill. Note: Park Blvd. will be closed to through traffic past Estates due to runners crossing at Trafalgar at the top of Park Blvd.

From north of Shepherd Canyon:
Come down Shepherd Canyon or Snake, take a right on Mountain through Montclair Village, and take a right on Thornhill.

For full marathon details and complete city detours:

(Runner photo credit: The Q Speaks)


FAITH TRIO at the food bank – Feb 12, 8:20am

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

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Join the Faith Trio at Alameda County Food Bank and help to alleviate hunger in Alameda County – Friday, February 12, 2016; 8:20am – 11:30am.

The Faith Trio, an alliance of Montclair Presbyterian Church, Kehilla Community Synagogue, and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, is organizing an interfaith volunteer project against hunger in Oakland. Everyone is invited to join in. Children age 10 or older are welcome to volunteer. We will volunteer for three hours doing tasks such as bagging fruit or boxing food for distribution. This is an enjoyable volunteer activity and the facility is clean and pleasant, very well organized with a dedicated and capable staff.

Location: ACCFB 7900 Edgewater Dr, Oakland, CA
Phone: (510) 635-3663
Food bank website:

Volunteers to wear comfortable warm clothes and closed-toed shoes. Please arrive at 8:20 am to register and get oriented.

We have participated in similar interfaith volunteer activities in the past. On Dec. 31, 2015 we got a great turnout of 35 volunteers from the participating congregations of the Faith Trio plus St. Johns Episcopal Church and Temple Sinai. Attached is a picture from the event. We have also participated in similar volunteer interfaith events on other occasions.

Ali Sheikholeslami of the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California writes: “As you know these are difficult times for the people of all faiths that are witnessing the horrific massacres of innocent people around the world and the demonization of one another, by those who claim that they are defending us and our religion. I believe one of the best ways to combat these actions is to join together to do good for the needy.”

If you would like to volunteer or have any questions, please contact Peggy Alter at (510) 338-6650 or


Inter-Generational Bible Study

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

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lent palm frond

I hope many of you will consider joining us for Inter-Generational Bible Study. It will be held on Wednesday nights through Lent, combining dinner, simple candlelit song, and lively discussion for all ages as we go through the last chapters of the book of Mark. We hope you can join for Ash Wednesday, then the four-week Bible Study series beginning 2/17, plus the Taize service that follows (3/16) and the Maundy Thursday service (3/24) for a total of seven weeks of Lent, but we certainly also understand if you have to miss some of them. You are welcome, even if you can only attend once!

Bring your brain, booted up, and plenty of questions. We begin with dinner and then will move to the sanctuary for study in a more solemn environment. You are welcome to bring food, make a monetary donation, or to help clean up, but those are not required – we want to make sure this is available to everyone, including those who must squeeze it in between work and family obligations. No strings attached!


Dates: 2/17, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9 (Taize on 3/16, Maundy Thursday on 3/24).
Times: 6 PM dinner, 7-7:45 study
Readings: from the gospel of Mark, excerpts of chapters 10, 12, 13 and 14.
RSVP: talk to Rev. Talitha Phillips, or use this link.


Spring 2016 Women’s Retreat

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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Registration begins this coming Sunday, February 7, and continues every Sunday this month in the Family Room for the one-day Spring Women’s Retreat, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, with the theme of “Yesterday’s Journey, Tomorrow’s Path: Whose Footprints ARE Those in the Sand?”

The retreat will feature Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler, who earned a Master of Divinity degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Spiritual Direction. Dolores and Retreat Co-chairs will guide us through a day of sharing our lives through life mapping, sacred listening and conversing, singing, labyrinth walking, and being nourished body and soul.

Download the Women’s Retreat Spring 2016 Flyer (PDF)

Cost: $40. Scholarships are available. Come to the registration table for more information, or contact Women’s Retreat co-chairs Eloise Gilland, Jean Gregory, Melinda Maxwell-Smith or the administrative assistant at MPC, Shane Brodie (


Ash Wednesday – Feb 10th

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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Ash_weds_feb3_candle-in-the-handsPlease note that our Ash Wednesday observance will incorporate this month’s Taizé meditation service February 10, 7:00-8:00pm in the Sanctuary. The theme will be “In Times of Need.” Prepare for the Lenten season with an inward journey in a candlelit space accompanied by music, meditative singing, readings, prayer, and silence. For child care (available upon request), contact the church office by February 5.


Before the service there will be a soup supper – an occasional MPC tradition – lets you feed your body before you feed your soul at the Ash Wednesday service. Come at 6 for dinner, stay for the service at 7.


Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver Author Talk

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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On Friday, March 18th at 7pm, authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver will be at MPC discussing their latest collaboration Here’s Hank: You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw. The book, the newest in the Here’s Hank series, describes the further adventures of an elementary school student with reading difficulties, much the same as the young Henry Winkler. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a heartfelt, funny, and fascinating talk.

About Here’s Hank

Henry Winkler’s inspiration to write with Lin Oliver was his own childhood experiences. He struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia, and faced a school and home environment that wasn’t supportive or sympathetic. As an adult, he wanted to write about a kid with the same problem, but who ends up having a much better time growing up because of understanding friends, family, and teachers — and Hank Zipzer was born. The first series of books featured Hank as a 12-year-old; the second “Here’s Hank” series covers his adventures in second grade.  In Here’s Hank: You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw, Hank finds himself in a cooking competition with his perfectionist cousin, and they discover that they have much more in common than they realize. Read more about the book on the Penguin Books website.

About Henry Winkler

Author Henry WinklerHenry Winkler is an actor, producer, and director, and he speaks publicly all over the world. In addition, he has a star on Hollywood Boulevard, was presented with the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England, and the jacket he wore as the Fonz hangs in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. But if you asked him what he was proudest of, he would say, “Writing the Hank Zipzer books with my partner, Lin Oliver.” He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacey. They have three children named Jed, Zoe, and Max, and two dogs named Monty and Charlotte. Charlotte catches a ball so well that she could definitely play outfield for the New York Mets. (source: Penguin Books)

About Lin Oliver

Author Lin OliverLin Oliver is a writer and producer of movies, books, and television series for children and families. She has written more than twenty-five novels for children, and one hundred episodes of television. She is cofounder and executive director of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and international organization of twenty thousand authors and illustrators of children’s books. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Alan. They have three sons named Theo, Ollie, and Cole. She loves tuna melts, curious kids, any sport that involves a racket, and children’s book writers everywhere.
(source: Penguin Books)

Parking will be available in the lot at nearby Thornhill Elementary School (see below); more parking info and directions info are available on MPC’s parking and directions page.


No Coal Coalition Teach-in – Sun. Jan 31 at 1-2 pm in the Family Room

Friday, January 29th, 2016

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Oakland_Coal_main_750(Photo credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

PLEASE ATTEND: This Sunday, January 31, 1 to 2 PM in the Montclair Presbyterian Church Family Room. (Please note the room change – this Sunday’s Storyteller Brunch may run long, so we have changed the venue.)

This event is a Teach-In on the proposed coal terminal in Oakland. Rev. Mary Gilmore of the No Coal in Oakland Coalition will present. Co-sponsored by Earth Care (formerly SPLASH) and California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL).

News articles and activist webpages:

Sunflower Alliance – Oakland fossil fuel resistance.

EcoWatch – No to coal exports in Oakland.

Sierra Club – Fight for coal free Oakland.

CIPL – Oakland faith leaders organize to reject proposed coal export.

East Bay Express article – Opposition grows against proposed coal exports from Oakland Army Base Project

Wall Street Journal article – Oakland coal terminal become political flashpoint.

SF Chronicle article – Coal-shipping plan divides Oakland over health, jobs issues

Contra Costa Time article – Can Oakland stop the coal trains?




Ally Condie Author Talk

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

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AllyCondie_credit-Erin-Summerill-smallOn Friday, April 1st at 7pm, meet author Allie Condie as she presents her latest book Summerlost. Ms. Condie is best known for Matched, a dystopian teen trilogy that became an international bestseller. This new work, set in present day at a summer theater festival, is a young adult novel about grief, loss, mysteries and friendship. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a heartfelt and fascinating talk.

About Ally Condie

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages.

About Summerlost

It’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. (Source:

Parking will be available in the lot at nearby Thornhill Elementary School (see below); more parking info and directions info are available on MPC’s parking and directions page.

Photo credit: Erin Summerill