From our living room window in Fremont we can see a large portion of the panorama of the rolling hills stretching from the “Niles” hillside sign down to Mission Peak, Mount Allison and Monument Peak. It’s not a completely unobstructed view due to trees and neighboring houses, but pleasing enough to be able to enjoy the fresh green tinge that is beginning to appear and the brilliant glow of winter sunsets. The hills change day to day and month to month. Lush spring green to dry summer gold and back again seemingly quicker and quicker as the years fly by. The California oak woodland and chaparral of our East Bay Hills have provided habitat for native animals for eons, shelter and food for the indigenous people, and landmarks for Franciscan Missionaries. Ancient redwood forests on its slopes and in its canyons have provided lumber for the building of Oakland and beyond. Today dozens of public parks including those along our ridgeline provide endless recreational opportunities.
It must have seemed quite natural to our church leaders that the name Mission Hills United Church was applied to our 1988 outreach campaign. More than 11,500 phone calls resulted in nearly1000 interested respondents seeking a new church experience. On Sunday, March 20th of that year 75 people attended the first service of the new church on Mission Blvd. Our Church has evolved and adapted to our community since that time, hundreds of people have passed through our doors, and the new church was ultimately folded into UCH. Kristina Burnett, one of Mission Hills United Church founding members, will lead us at our January 27 Annual Congregational Meeting as we continue the process to make decisions about what lies ahead for UCH. Although we can’t predict what the future may bring, we can take a few moments to take in the beauty of our glorious hills. - Bill