Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Taizé prayer

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

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Taizé prayer, a form of meditation that is relatively new to MPC but draws on rich years of tradition elsewhere, now takes place monthly. Our next service is Wednesday, August 10th at 7 PM.
If you are in search of spiritual refreshment in the midst of your busy life, come to our Taize service for candlelight, simple music, Scripture reading and silence. If your busy life is so full that you think you don’t have time for it… you probably can benefit from it more than anyone!
Taizé offers an opportunity to become aware of an inviting reverent space and to find the quiet place within. The Taizé monastery was founded just after WWII in France, with a mission of reconciliation. The simple songs created by the monks offer a way for people of many nations and languages to pray together. They allow us to drop down from the busyness of our heads into the stillness of our hearts, and there to encounter the Holy. The prayer service is simple, communal, and anonymous – you won’t be asked to introduce yourself or join any committees. All are welcome.

For child care (available upon request), contact the church office, one week in advance.

Our central goal is to change our culture of materialism and violence to one of generosity, compassion, and cooperation. We believe that to heal and transform our world, we must work from a larger framework of meaning and purpose, with spiritual consciousness undergirding our efforts. – from the Spiritual Activists Mission Statement.

photo by Shawn Carpenter


Pastor’s Bible Study

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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If you ever you have wanted to learn more about the Bible—not just as a document used to excuse bad behavior, but as an ancient, many-layered, sometimes beautiful, sometimes awful text made holy by centuries of the faithful who have found comfort, hope and inspiration in its pages, then the Pastor’s Bible Study is for you. Join us on Wednesdays at noon in the Thornhill Room.



Bible Study


MPC Support Groups

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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Grief Group Our church has two monthly support groups: one called Grief and Spirituality, the other Sickness and Health.

Grief and Spirituality: Many of us have lost loved ones in the past year or more, and rather than keeping our grief to ourselves it is healthy to share it with others who can relate. In this group we gather, having a little time for “checking in” about how things are going, and then we practice a meditation called Lectio Divina (divine reading). Using a bible passage, prayer, or poem, we read it slowly and have time to respond in silence, and then share our responses with one another.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, no matter how large or small your grief may be, whether recent or long-ago or ongoing, you are welcome to join us. We meet 3-4:30 PM, on the second Monday of the month, in the Thornhill Room. August 8 is the next meeting.

Sickness and Health: Many of us are dealing with changing circumstances due to our own illness or the illness of a family member. Come to this group to talk about how your own illness, or that of a family member, is affecting your life today. Those who are ill and those who are caregivers can share together, listen to one another, and pray for one another – so that we don’t have to face our troubles alone. This group meets on the second Wednesday of the month; August 10 is the next meeting. Also at 3 PM in the Thornhill Room, usually done by around 4 PM.

Talk to Rev. Talitha with any questions about either group, or just come.

Photo credit: Timothy Faust, creative commons license.


Sharing Ramadan

Monday, June 13th, 2016

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Sharing Ramadan with your Muslim Friends and Neighbors

People of all faiths are invited for Iftar or fast-breaking dinner to celebrate Ramadan.                                                                                                                                      Sat. June 18, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., Islamic Cultural Center of Northern Calif.,                                                                                                                           1433 Madison St. Oakland CA 94612 – 510-832-7600 –

Program: Lectures by interfaith leaders and Dr. Hamid Mavani, Q&A session, prayer, and dinner
Please RSVP by June 17 – email to

Questions???  Email Betsy King


Ramadan celebration


This Sunday: Brahms’ Schicksalslied

Monday, May 16th, 2016

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shicksalsleid-graphicThis Sunday (June 5th) at 10:00 am, the MPC Choir will present their spring major choral work: a performance of Schicksalslied by Johannes Brahms. Also known as The Song of Destiny, it is considered by many to be his finest choral work. The choir will be joined by members of the Exeter String Quartet, including MPC’s own Rich Larsen. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a beautiful and stirring musical performance.

Play Schicksalslied: click here

About Schicksalslied

From the San Francisco Choral Society website:

…[F]ollowing his successful Ein Deutsches Requiem, Brahms found some of [Friedrich] Hölderlin‘s poetry in a friend’s library and read “Hyperions Schicksalslied.” In walks along the beach near his friend’s home, Brahms began to sketch his Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), opus 54. After struggling with the ending, he set the secular cantata aside, not to be finished until three years later. […] As with every work that survived Brahms’ fireplace, Schicksalslied is a masterpiece, portraying the brush between spiritually blinded, self-doomed mortals and the Elysian spirits. With woodwinds and strings, “[t]he introduction rises to a peak of longing, then sinks for the entrance of the altos declaiming . . . the unreachable bliss of the gods . . . . After the full choir enters, the verses unfold like a hymn. [T]he middle section plummets to earth, and human fate” then “sinks to an exhausted whisper . . . . [L]eaving the chorus tacet for the entire last section, [Brahms] reorchestrated the haunting first phrases . . . .” The cantata ends with instrumental music alone, “its ruthless beauty the only solace he knew now.” The ending adagio, which restates the C-minor prelude in an ethereal C major, consciously changes the meaning of the poem from resignation to resolution. Brahms couldn’t bring himself to do otherwise. (summary by Carol Talbeck)

More information is available on Wikipedia.


This Spot is Brought to You by the Upcoming Youth Pasta Dinner!

Friday, May 13th, 2016

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Don’t miss this fun fundraiser on Saturday, May 21st, 6-8 PM in the Family Room, as the Youth Group raise funds for their trip to Chicago. Featuring excellent food, fancy waiters, mocktails, and Karaoke entertainment!

2016 yes we are doing this poster



Friday, May 13th, 2016

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

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This Sunday, May 15th, is Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the birth of the early church. We celebrate the story of how the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and how they transformed from followers into leaders, beginning to share the good news with people of every nation and language. One fun thing about Pentecost is that we celebrate it with the liturgical color red – for joy, and for the fire-like presence of the Spirit. The sanctuary will be decked out in red, and we invite you to join in this festive celebration by wearing red as well, or by receiving a red ribbon at the door when you enter. See you Sunday!


MPC is proud to host the OEBGMC concert

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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Pride and Joy The East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus and two special guests will hold their benefit concert here at MPC on May 14th and 15th. Come listen to their “Pride and Joy”, and be a part of contributing to great causes!

“Pride & Joy” brings a vast array of repertoire from George Frederic Handel and Stephen Paulus to The Pointer Sisters and even Santana. Our program includes two sumptuous pieces by the late Dave Brubeck, and a new work by Jack Curtis Dubowsky. We are also honored to premiere a new piece by world-renowned composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Ms. Frank is one of the foremost American composers and has crafted this work specifically for OEBGMC.

We are thrilled to have two guest groups share the stage with OEBGMC. The Berkeley Community Chamber Singers, currently under the direction of Derek Tam, is a small a cappella ensemble of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. The Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco (LGCSF), established over 35 years ago, is one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ choruses in the nation, and the oldest to chorus to outwardly use both “gay” and “lesbian” in its name.



Peggy Orenstein “Girls & Sex” Author Talk

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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Girls and Sex coverOn Thursday, May 12th at 7pm, author Peggy Orenstein will be at MPC discussing her latest book Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. This book, based on interviews with a wide range of girls and young women, is a challenging and honest examination of the sexual landscape faced by these girls in their teen and college years. We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a thought-provoking and fascinating talk.

About Girls & Sex

A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world. (source: HarperCollins Publishers)

About Peggy Orenstein

Peggy OrensteinPeggy Orenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy, Flux, and Schoolgirls. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, she has been published in USA Today, Parenting, Salon, the New Yorker, and other publications, and has contributed commentary to NPR’s All Things Considered. She lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter. (source: HarperCollins Publishers)

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.