Community UCC eNews
April 15, 2021
Community UCC is an inclusive and progressive Christian Church doing social justice, environmental faithfulness, interfaith collaboration and spiritual formation to help ourselves and others grow in faith, hope and love.

COVID Status: Virtual worship. Limited office hours.
See below.

SO MUCH GOOD NEWS! — If it says "[Message clipped]" at the bottom of your eNews, that means you're not seeing everything. Click the link next to that to view the entire newsletter.
Sunday worship — Zoom and YouTube (

Join us for worship on Sunday, April 18. Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver a sermon titled "Peace on a Roller Coaster" inspired by portions of Luke 24.

Julia writes: "This is a time of uncertainty and fear but also of hope and anticipation. In the course of 24 hours we may feel extreme emotions ranging from panic to overwhelming joy. How do we navigate these challenges in a healthy way? I hope you'll join us for the sermon on Zoom or YouTube." 

See below for how we "do church" now.
Sunday worship onYouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
Instructions for Zoom worship

We will provide the Zoom worship live on our YouTube channel ( on Sundays at 10:35 a.m. Doors "open" around 10:15-10:20 for a few minutes of fellowship before worship begins.

Links to the Zoom worship services go out each Wednesday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line. If you would like to receive the Zoom links to participate in the Sunday service in a more interactive way, please contact the church office or let Lisa know.
Thursday evening worship

Evening worship has resumed at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Zoom. If you have questions or would like a Zoom link, contact Robin at
A great opportunity to expand your tech skills and help CUCC!

Do you have an interest in video/technology and want to help with filming services at CUCC?

We're looking for volunteers to be trained on the new video equipment purchased through the Lights Camera Action! capital campaign. The equipment has been ordered and will be installed in the coming weeks.

Please contact Felicia Rocha for more information. or
Another chance to keep xeriscape looking good this Saturday
Another work party is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 17, to weed the xeriscape.
Please bring a hoe, gloves and sun protection gear. If you don't have a hoe, we have some at church. We also have a wheelbarrow. 
Pictured above are those who turned out for the work party on April 10. From left: David Rocha, Doug Hoagland, Thomas Russell, Rod Zook and Helmut Kloos, who is leading the effort to spruce up church grounds. Not pictured is Jeff Jones, who took the photo.
Props to David who worked an overnight shift at Valley Children's and then came out to weed the xeriscape. Thanks, David!
Stewardship Campaign 2021: "Beloved, Love"

This year's Stewardship Campaign – "Beloved, Love" – kicked off last Sunday and will culminate on Stewardship Sunday, May 2. Each week will feature a different theme and different speaker.

This week Sarah Fey will speak about Love of Neighbor. Here is the lineup in the coming weeks:
  • April 25 – Love of Creation, featuring Alex Madrid.
  • May 2 – Love In action, featuring Gary Walker. Doug Hoagland will give the sermon that day.

Community UCC conducts a Stewardship drive each spring asking church members and supporters what they will bring to the mission of the church. Folks complete a financial Pledge Card plus a Time and Talent Sheet for the following fiscal year, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Letters from the church went out this week with the forms. Please return them to the church by May 2 or fill them out online. Here are links for the Pledge Card and Time and Talent Sheet.
Faith Education Team raffles Game Night Basket

The Faith Education Team is selling tickets to win a Game Night Basket with puzzles, games, movies and more.

Tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20. A drawing will be held at the May 2 worship service to select a winner. (The original date was April 25.)

You can buy tickets through Givelify or by sending a check to the church. Please designate this is for the Faith Education basket.
... From Pastor Julia

Pastor Julia offers her weekly message in both video and print this week. Click on the triangle above to watch Julia deliver her original poem, "We Are Held."
We Are Held
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
Springtime is smooth, vibrant, fresh, beautiful,
filling us with the joy we feel
when we see a loved one’s face, 
hear a giggle, 
delight in a baby’s first syllabic coos.
hearts burst with pride—
we are okay.

The same heart that laughs with infant babbles,
reveling in the gift of promise,
shatters at the news of violence,
the brazen and irrevocable decision of 
one to deny another’s baby 
the very breath of life, 
forcing swift, unprovoked death.

We feel like a yo-yo,
like a dummy strapped involuntarily into 
a roller coaster seat—a ride without an operator, 
destined to keep climbing and plummeting,
swerving and heaving forever—
we are not okay.

Life is jagged, unpredictable, jolting and revolting,
swinging from pleasure to an 
inability to measure the depth of despair,
forgetting that light and dark,
day and night,
make up our entire existence:
one has no meaning without the other.
in the light we dare to dream,
then shudder as agony drapes
its grief over our bodies and souls
sensing—knowing—threats that have
always been there, and always will be.

we are not okay as individuals:
not in our communities, not in families
and not in our churches.
the searing pain and loss tear at us
like a beast of prey
and we feel devoured. 


together as people in relationship,
beating hearts passionate about justice,
resolute beings becoming two, then three
soon a multitude across neighborhoods,
reaching beyond every border and barrier
to be ONE humanity that breathes in unison;
together in our wailing lament and shouts of exultation,
in our vigils and in our protests,
in our bending and swaying together from 
light to darkness and to light again. 
one growing, glowing flame—
beacon of resurrection and life.
we are held; we are okay.

©️ Julia Penner-Zook 2021
Women's Book Discussion Group resumes April 27

A new six-week book discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 27 on Zoom. The book: "Blessed Are the Crazy" by Sarah Griffith Lund.

If you have questions or need a Zoom link, please contact Robin at
Book study on mental health challenges Sunday, April 18

A new book study group discussing "Blessed Are The Crazy" by Sarah Griffith Lund will meet at noon on Sunday, April 18. Please read Chapter 4.

This is part of CUCC's preparation for becoming a WISE — Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged — congregation to all persons who experience mental health challenges. WISE is an initiative of the United Church of Christ.

If you have questions or want to receive Zoom links for the study, please contact Kathy Lukan at or Elizabeth Davis-Russell at
Adult Education meets Mondays

Adult Education meets from 9-10 a.m. Mondays.

On April 19, the group will begin a six-week video discussion, exploring "How the Bible Actually Works" by Peter Enns.

A Zoom link will be made available. Contact Robin at if you're interested.
On April 11, Pastor Julia delivered a sermon titled "C'est quoi?" ("Seriously?") inspired by John 20: 19-31. Click on the triangle above to watch and hear the sermon.
Marilyn's office hours at church

Marilyn is in the office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Please be sure to call ahead (559.435.2690) and remember to wear a mask if you need to come to the office.
Contacting Pastor Julia at church

Pastor Julia will be in the office Thursday morning and can be reached by phone, text, e-mail or Facetime other days of the week as well. E-mail her at
If you have a prayer (of joy, for healing, gratitude, love) for someone or someplace that you would like lifted up during worship on Sunday mornings, please send it to Pastor Julia at You can also submit prayer requests via our web page at
Rod Zook leads poetry discussion

Rod Zook invites you to join him and a colleague at the Woodward Park Library for a final one-hour discussion at 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 17, of some of the poetry by Joy Harjo. Harjo is the U.S. Poet Laureate and the focus of this year’s nationwide BigRead.

This Facebook link will take you to a brief video introduction to the discussion.
This link will take you to a website for registration. 
Elizabeth Davis-Russell speaks on "Mental Health Matters"

Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell will speak from 2 to 2:50 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, via Zoom at a mental health awareness seminar.

The event is sponsored by the Fresno chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a national service organization of African-American women. Elizabeth is president of the local chapter.

The Zoom meeting ID is 874 1624 7547. The Passcode is AKA1908.
Join in Earth Day 2021 celebration

Earth Day is next Thursday, April 22. Janet Capella directs our attention to a Facebook page that has information about local events. Here is the link.
In each week's eNews, we include a news article from our larger denomination, the United Church of Christ, to show the faithful work being done in other places.
California collaboration will build tiny homes for families displaced by fires

Four families in California who lost much to wildfires will soon be moving into new homes, thanks to a collaborative effort by the churches of the United Church of Christ Northern California Nevada Conference.

First Congregational Church of Oroville came up with the idea. The Conference helped support it. Together, with the financial gifts of other generous members and congregations, they’ve donated more than $31,000 for the construction of tiny houses.

Pastor Andrew McHenry said his congregation, meeting virtually since March of 2020, decided to help fire victims last summer after a grass fire took out three homes near the church. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month

April Birthdays

1 Sharon Powers
2 Elise LeBeau
4 Sierra LeBeau
5  Megan Fazio
7 David Wall
9  Niki Ruffin
10 Nancy Tackitt
11 Everette Newport
16  Abbie Kilburn
17 Katharine Chaffin
21 Leland Virag
24  EJ Hinojosa
25  Jake Tilley

April Anniversaries

2 Carol and Henry Phillips
3  Marie and Steve Edwards
16 Cheryl and Jeff Jones

Did we overlook someone's birthday or anniversary for this month? Please let Marilyn ( and Lisa ( know so we can get you in next week. We never intend to leave anyone out.
eNews deadline is 10 a.m. Wednesdays

CUCC eNews is a weekly publication distributed every Thursday. Deadline for submitting announcements is 10 a.m. Wednesdays (and earlier is appreciated). Send your announcements to both Lisa Boyles Bell and Doug Hoagland. Doug is now the primary newsletter designer, but Doug and Lisa collaborate on its production. Emails: and
Our Joyful Giving page reflects the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations, especially needed in these critical and uncertain times.

Due to COVID-19, worship will remain virtual for now. Limited office hours have resumed.

Phone: 559.435.2690
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