Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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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Taizé prayer

Thursday, May 12th, 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, May 18th 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



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.


Nathaniel Philbrick Author Talk

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

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On Wednesday, May 25th at 7pm, bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick will be at MPC to discuss his new book Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. Philbrick is the author of several groundbreaking histories, including The Heart of the Sea (which was recently made into a movie by Ron Howard). We hope you can join us for what is sure to be a thought-provoking and fascinating talk.

About Valiant Ambition

valiant-ambition-coverValiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters. (source:

About Nathaniel Philbrick

Nat-Philbrick-credit-Ellen-Warner-croppedIn 2000, he published the New York Times bestseller, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, followed by SEA OF GLORY, winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society, and MAYFLOWER, finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the “Today Show,” “The Morning Show,” “Dateline,” PBS’s “American Experience,” CSPAN and NPR. (source:

Parking info and directions info are available on MPC’s parking and directions page. Hope to see you there!

Author photo by Ellen Warner


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