We are a multigenerational, social justice-oriented community of joyful, imperfect people who welcome absolutely everybody with hospitality, openness and acceptance.

Program Committees

Montclair Presbyterian Church is blessed with strong and vital lay leadership.  We come from many walks of life and with different educations, talents, and abilities.  Our committee structure is broad and reflects the diverse interests and commitments this church family has both for its own well-being and our concern for and responsibility to our local community and world.  Please read and learn more about us and see if there is a place you might like to participate or form a new group to fulfill needs unmet.  Come and visit, come and share in our spirited life together.

Jump to: Education; Mission/Social JusticeChurch Life


Adult Education Committee: We offer classes to the church family covering such topics as the Bible and theology, spiritual and personal growth, cultural and social concerns.  Contact Margaretha Derasary or Linda Benson. Click here for classes

Children & Youth Education Committee: We coordinate ongoing and special programs for children and youth including Sunday morning classes (Godly Play) for preschool through grade 6, nursery for infants and toddlers, and Sunday evening junior/senior high youth group.  We offer Godly Play training for our teachers and welcome adults and teens from throughout the church to teach and assist on Sunday mornings. We collaborate with other committees to include children in music and drama, to integrate children and adults in a variety of activities, to offer support/education regarding parenting concerns, and to make sure that child care is available for all meetings and events. We work to welcome and integrate new families into the life of the church. The committee meets approximately six times a year and is a particularly good place for new church members with children to connect with the church.  Contact Suzanne Jones & Marilee Niemi.

Mission/Social Justice

Community Concerns Committee: The Community Connection Committee has been working closely with Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a long standing community action group composed of many diverse member congregations and schools working together on a variety of local issues including education, health, immigration, housing, and safety. MPC is now a member of OCO. We are busy working on our one-on-one conversations within our own congregation to listen to members of our spiritual community, to understand their joys and worries, hopes and dreams, to build solidarity, and to form alliances in working on social justice issues. If you are interested in joining this committed group of people, contact Betsy King.

Faith Trio: The Faith Trio consists of three congregations in Oakland, California, historically linked to each other as representatives of the three Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They are the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC), the Kehilla Community Synagogue and Montclair Presbyterian Church.  For more information, visit the Social Justice page or contact Jean Mudge.

Global Concerns: We work to support local, church sponsored efforts in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to build just and caring societies.  Bolivia is one of our major focus areas, as we are active participants in the Joining Hands Project there. Our activities include adult education classes, cross-cultural study tours, Sunday brunch speakers, the annual Fiesta Fantastica, and our monthly committee meetings.  Jean Norris, Chairperson.

Peacemakers: Our work is to empower the church family to grapple with basic issues of peace, justice and security. To that end, we create special educational events for deeper reflection on such issues and work on behalf of viable alternatives.

We have focused on issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and have hosted speakers and sent delegates to Palestine and Israel to witness the problems firsthand. Our Adult Education courses on the teachings of nonviolent leaders such a Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King have led us to want to learn how to apply these principles in our own lives as well as to help create a world that is more just and peaceful. Hence our training in the ENGAGE Program, a nonviolent approach to living, with Pace e Bene. As we deepen our understanding and our skills in the area of peacemaking, we advocate nonviolent action relevant to our concerns. An example of our political actions to promote diplomacy instead of war is our work in support of Not My Priorities, a national campaign to reduce military spending.

We work with other denominational and peacemaking groups such as the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, the American Friends Service Committee and the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center. Contact Anita Aragon Kreplin for more information.

EARTH CARE: Formerly SPLASH, and before that the Eco-Stewards Committee, we are interested in environmental issues such as water quality, climate change and renewable energy. We support individual actions in these areas and we work for policy changes that move the world towards sustainability. We developed a proposal that led to the installation of solar panels on the church and we installed the church’s first rain barrel. For more information, contact Sari Kulberg or Art Paull.

Spiritual Activists: We are an outgrowth of the 2005 Conference of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and we support this national interfaith organization’s vision for a new society.  Our central goal is to change our culture of materialism and violence to one of generosity, compassion and cooperation.  We sponsor events and classes and promote political advocacy to bring about public policy changes.  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.   For more information, contact Eloise Gilland.

Social Justice Steering Committee: Social Justice at MPC is focused on concerns and action rather than on committees. The guiding framework is the Global Vision Statement developed primarily by Peacemakers, Community Connections, Global Concerns, and Spiritual Activists, as well as Adult Education and Drama. The Steering Committee provides coordination.    For more information, visit the Social Justice page or contact Anita Aragon Kreplin.

Church Life:

Art Gang: The Art Gang has three goals:  to do art, to teach and learn, and to evaluate/ consult/ resource the church on visual arts concerns.  Add to these, nurturing the artist in all of us, supporting church family endeavors, and addressing a need for play, re-creation, relaxation, insight and community. Read more here… Tom Debley & Gregg Schwinn, Co-chairpersons

Family Life: The mission of the FAMILY LIFE COMMITTEE is to create a wide variety of opportunities for MPC Family Members and Friends of the Family to get together to get to know one another better and develop the bonds of friendship. The larger committee is made of three satellite committees: Hospitality, which provides beverages and snacks for after church Family Hour and hosts various parties and meals throughout the year; Big Events, which organizes the major events of MPC @ Tahoe, the bi-annual Yule Feast, and the twice yearly women’s retreats; and Small Groups, which creates classes and activities each fall and spring for MPC folk to get to know one another through mutual interests. Please click here for the most recent Small Groups Catalog.  Contact Gretchen Garlinghouse.

Story Tellers:  In 1997, a “Writing Your Life Story” Adult Education class evoked strong interest and subsequent classes involving nearly 100 participants.  A committee was formed in October, 1998, to initiate and expand other writing activities.  The intention is to provide opportunities for all members.  Our objective is to facilitate a variety of writing activities with continuity and focus.  We encourage the sharing of experiences through the Life Story classes, Open Mike nights, and the Monday writing group.  We also present an annual Works in Progress program and publish an anthology of collected original writings by members and friends.  Contact Jean Gregory.

Welcome and Membership Committee:  We create programs to welcome newcomers to our church family and supervise programs to prepare those interested in exploring formal membership.  We help facilitate involvement within the church family for new members and provide a welcoming, inviting presence at Sunday celebrations and events. Contact Bill Neely (Membership), Debbie Fallehy (Welcome).

Montclair Presbyterian Church Choir: The choir with music is to enhance the musical life of the congregation.  Together, we make friends and we make wonderful music.  Our repertoire is diverse, from classical to contemporary, as well as music from other cultures. We are people of varying musical abilities who love to sing and be part of the worship experience of MPC.  Together we learn and grow and let our spirits soar.  There are no auditions for our choir, just invitations and lots of fun and support.  We welcome you and are waiting for you to join us. Contacts: Kim Rankin, Choir Director and Marcia Roy, Associate in Music and Organist.

MPC Men’s Group: fellowship of men gathering for good talk, service, and mutual support. We meet once a month; members take turns hosting meetings at their home. For more information, please see Rev. Ben.

Tech Working Group: The Technology Working Group (TWG) was formed in 2009 to enhance communications and outreach at Montclair Presbyterian Church. Initiatives include the MPC Website including the online Directory, Calendar, and Contact archive as well as Facebook pages. The Group also provides tech support for the MPC website.  For more information, contact Steve McKiernan or Brad Hestir.

Phone numbers and email are in the online Directory

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