Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Easter Festivities and Eco-Friendly Egg Hunt!

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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Looking for a place to celebrate Easter? Looking to bring a friend this year? MPC’s Easter celebration is festive and fun for all ages, and we hope you will join us!

Our service begins at 10 AM with introductory music by the great Barrelhouse Jazz Band and the MPC choir. Our worship is celebratory and kid-friendly, musical and reflective and thought-provoking. The Rev. Ben Daniel will give a sermon, during which younger children are invited to go upstairs to hear the Easter story told by Talitha G. Phillips, our Coordinator for Children, Youth, and Family Life.  If there are any younger children or those who are here for the first time, they are welcome to have a parent accompany them upstairs for the story. The children return in time to have Communion with the rest of the congregation.

Our fellowship continues after the service! As the saints go marching in and the band entices you to dance, our youth group members (grades 7-12) finish their work hiding eggs for the little ones (under 6th grade) to find right after the service. Our egg hunt is eco-friendly… no plastic eggs or trinkets, just real (organic) hard-boiled eggs dyed naturally. Children can bring baskets or bonnets to hold their eggs, or take one of the fun baskets our youth crafted out of recycled materials. As soon as a child has found 5 eggs they can get a chocolate prize.

As we continue to celebrate in the courtyard while the children find eggs, there will be sparkling cider and strawberries served for all, coffee and other goodies available in the Family Room, and jazz continuing from the band.


2015 postcard


Plant Sale and Auction

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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Tomato plantWe are excitedly preparing for the Plant Sale and Auction (on April 18!), working to make this a great and successful event for MPC. Not only will this be a fun-filled event (and a fun team!), we will use our success at this event to help us discern the extent to which this could be an annual event that would help our budget each year. We hope you’ll join us, and help us establish a fun, festive, event that can easily be re-created year after year.

New: the Tomato List is here! Download Tomato Descriptions 2015 (PDF)

Learn more about the event and access the donation forms on the Plant Sale and Auction Page.

Tomato plant photo by Luke Addison


Amy Kittelstrom Author Talk

Friday, March 20th, 2015

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The Religion of Democracy Book CoverSunday, April 19th at 11:30am, historian Amy Kittelstrom will be at MPC discussing her new book The Religion of Democracy: Seven Liberals and the American Moral Tradition. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fascinating talk.

About the book:

Many Americans will tell you that they associate liberal thought and politics with secularism. When we argue over whether the nation’s founders meant to keep religion out of politics, the godless side is said to be liberal. But the role of religion in American politics has always been far more nuanced and complex than today’s debates would suggest. The Religion of Democracy is a history of religion’s role in the American liberal tradition through the eyes of seven transformative thinkers – John Adams, Mary Moody Emerson, William Ellery Channing, William James, Thomas Davidson, William Mackintire Salter, and Jane Addams. (source: Penguin Press)

Amy Kittelstrom Author PhotoAbout the author:

Amy Kittelstrom is an associate professor of history at Sonoma State University, specializing in nineteenth-century American thinkers and their sociopolitical context. She has published articles and reviews in the Journal of American History, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She received her Ph.D in history from Boston University and is a past fellow of the Center for Religion and American Life at Yale, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard, and the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton. (source: Penguin Press)

Please contact the church main office with questions. Hope to see you there!

Photo credit: William Clay Poe III


Youth Group Retreat Registration

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

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Now through March 29th, registration is open for this Spring’s youth group retreat at Tahoe!

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Fighting Racism and Sexism (and playing Quidditch)

This pdf form needs to be printed and mailed (scanning and emailing is OK) to MPC or brought directly to youth group.

spring retreat flierheadliner


ACMP Worldwide Play-In Weekend at MPC

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

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The *ACMP* Worldwide Play-In Weekend is a celebration of the joy of chamber music that occurs the first weekend in March each year. All welcome to enjoy this free event at Montclair Presbyterian Church located at 5701 Thornhill Drive in Oakland. For more details click here, ACMP 2015 Flyer (pdf).


2015 Women’s Spring Retreat

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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The one-day MPC Spring Women’s Retreat is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, on the topic of “Presence: Tending to What’s Real.” Spiritual Director Sheila Denton will guide us through a day of practice and reflection, blending her presentation with breath work, song, gentle movement, silence, small group sharing, and whole group “harvesting” of our learning. Cost: $40. Scholarships are available. Click here for more details, Spring Retreat 2015 flyer (pdf).


Pancake Brunch

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

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2014-03-02 11.48.58
This Sunday, Feb 8th, join us after Celebration (about 11:00 AM) for a gourmet brunch catered by the Youth Group members! Serving peace, love, and pancakes… and not just any pancakes, our special whole wheat, super-healthy, super-delicious pancakes, accompanied by herbed eggs, roasted veggies, and amazing fruit salad. You will have to taste it to believe it.
The youth group holds this fundraiser every year as a way to raise money for our Mission Trip and for scholarships fo2014-03-02 11.46.33-1r those who need financial help on the trip. Each year we travel to a different place to do service, learning, and fellowship. We alternate between more exotic far-away trips (last year’s Memphis trip for example!) and closer to home trips where we can integrate our learning more directly into our lives. This year we are traveling to Mendocino CA, helping to renovate and revamp the Mendocino Christian Camp there, and serving meals to the homeless while we learn about what it is like to be homeless in a rural setting.
How much does it cost? Well, it’s your donation, Money Walland you can choose any level of donation from $2 on up to $500. But you will want to choose your donation amount carefully, as each donation envelope has a prize inside!

You might be lucky enough to win some
- cookies or homemade jam
- hand-made art from youth group members
- jewelry
- Mardi Gras masks and party noisemakers
- or even a reserved parking spot and pew space for you on Easter Sunday!

See you at the Brunch!


Wes Moore Book Talk at MPC

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

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Wes-Moore-author-photoSaturday, January 17th at 7pm, New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore will be at MPC discussing his new book The Work. A follow up to his bestselling book The Other Wes Moore, The Work continues a remarkable quest to find a meaningful life. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fascinating evening.

From the Publisher

The Other Wes Moore ends when Wes heads off to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. But what happens next? He had to figure out the answer to the question: What is your work? More than finding a job, he had to find the work he was meant to do. THE OTHER WES MOORE was about surviving childhood. THE WORK is about how to come alive as an adult.

From the streets of Baltimore and the Bronx, to being an American student at Oxford University after 9/11; a combat officer in Afghanistan during the most intense years of fighting; a White House Fellow during the tumult of the late Bush years; an Obama organizer during that historic campaign; a Wall Street banker at the cusp of the financial crisis; and finally, back home to Baltimore, working to revitalize the troubled city of his own youth; Wes Moore has been at the center of many defining moments in our country’s recent history.

THE WORK urges us to ask ourselves:

  • If  money weren’t a factor, what would you be inspired to do?
  • When was the last time you had fun at work?
  • If you were as successful as you could possibly imagine, what would you do to give back?
  • Have you ever thought of the impact you could have rather than the profit you could make?
  • Who do you most admire at your job and why? Are they efficient, kind, successful, or busy? Are they funny, stressed, happy, or supportive?
  • Do you feel fearless at work?
  • When was the last time you were courageous?

Wes Moore The Work book cover THE WORK is the story of how one young man traced a path through the world to discover the meaning of his life and how he found that meaning in service. He tells stories about his adventures and the lessons he learned about how to create a life that matters from the people he met along the way—from the brave Afghan translator who taught him about what it means to find your fight to the resilient students in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina who taught him the meaning of grit to his late grandfather, who offered him the lessons of grace in service.  He also tells the stories of other remarkable changemakers who’ve found deep meaning in their work—from Daniel Lubetzy, the founder of KIND to Esther Benjamin, a former director of the Peace Corps.  What their lessons, as well as his own experiences, reveal is that our truest work happens when our personal talents and ambitions meet the needs of the world around us.  It’s at that point of intersection—between our gifts and our broken world—that we find the work of our lives, the work that lasts.

Wes Moore on MSNBC, 1/12/15

About Wes Moore

Wes Moore is an Army combat veteran, national bestselling author, and social entrepreneur. His first book, The Other Wes Moore, became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller as a story that conveys the importance of individual decisions as well as community support. He is also the host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and Executive Producer and host of “Coming Back with Wes Moore” on PBS.

Getting Here

Street parking is available behind the church on Grisborne Avenue, further down Thornhill Avenue next to Thornhill Elementary School, or on nearby Mountain Blvd. More parking and directions information is available on MPC’s parking and directions page.


Away in a Garage: an Oakland Pageant

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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O come ye, O come ye, to a nativity scene entirely free of thee’s and thou’s, therefore’s and wherefore’s (you can get your fill of those when Pastor Ben recites the King James Version on Christmas Eve).

On Sunday, December 14th, at the 10 AM Celebration, join us for an Oakland pageant! There you will see the migrants María and José seeking a safe place to stay in the busy and inhospitable streets of Oakland, the warm-hearted family who gives them a place to stay in the garage, the night shift janitors receiving the good news, and the Magi wandering around among highway overpasses and back alleyways. Special appearances as well by Our Local Sports Team and some very friendly young mice.
The children and youth of the church have worked hard to put this pageant together and we can’t wait for you to see it!
The script was written by Talitha G Phillips, our Coordinator for Children, Youth, & Family Life, and is available to lend to other churches by request.

(with apologies to their original author, the lyrics that follow are meant to be sung to the tune of “once in royal David’s city”)

Once in Oakland, west of the highways,
was an unheated backyard shed
where a mother laid a baby
in a laundry basket for a bed
Mary was that mother mild
Jesus Christ, her little child

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord on high
and his dwelling was a garage
and only mice were there to hear him cry
With the poor, oppressed, and lowly
lived on earth our Savior holy



MPC on NBC: please watch

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

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“Sanctuary for Immigrants Comes Back to the Bay Area”

The Rev. Ben Daniel and our colleagues at St. John Presbyterian in Berkeley appear in this segment of investigative reporting on immigrants and refugee families living in the Bay Area, as part of the larger Sanctuary Movement.

After a spike of immigration from Central America, the “Sanctuary” Movement is coming back to the Bay Area churches that helped to start it. Stephen Stock reports in a story that aired on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
ben on nbc