Community UCC eNews
Aug. 27, 2020
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.

The Church and Office will remain closed for now.
Sunday Worship — Zoom and YouTube  

On Sunday, Aug. 30, Robin Carlson will deliver a sermon titled “Does It Have
To Be A Burning Bush?” based on Exodus 3:1-15.

See below for details of how we will "do church" for now.

NEW: Worship on YouTube will begin at 10:30 a.m. (not Facebook Live)
Instructions for Zoom worship

For upcoming worship services, we are doing Zoom videoconferencing meetings, so we can see each other's faces even as we are apart.

Links to the Zoom worships go out each Wednesday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line.

We will continue to provide 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. (We are switching from Facebook Live to YouTube to be accessible to more people.)
Community UCC will NOT reopen church, office for now

Despite our sense of loss and longing, we will keep our church building doors closed at this time out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well-being of members of our congregation and our staff. Read more about this decision on our website.
Don't miss your chance to get one (or two, or three . . .)
of these CUCC masks

Want a creative way to stay safe and help advertise our church? Get your eye-catching CUCC face masks here! Each mask is $10, with three options from which to choose...or get one of each.

Masks are lightweight, double-lined, and have adjustable, elastic bands that fit comfortably over the ears. Order forms were recently mailed to church families, but you also can order our masks by going to:

There are a limited number of masks so first come, first served. If you'd like to sponsor a face mask for someone else, please indicate the name of the person on your order form and include the price in your payment. 

You also can donate masks to Poverello House as part of the Missions and Social Justice Team's outreach to underserved folks. Indicate Poverello House on your order form.

The church will mail out all masks in mid-September. Since we must wear masks, let's make a positive statement for our church at the same time!
Adult Education

We are changing the day for Adult Education via Zoom. It is moving from 10 a.m. Mondays to 9 a.m. Sundays for the foreseeable future. Robin will send Zoom links. Here is the new schedule:

Women's Book Discussion Group begins Sept. 1

Beginning on Sept. 1, we will read and discus"The Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine" by Sue Monk Kidd. Meetings will continue to be via Zoom, at 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Robin will send out the Zoom links.

If you have never attended before and are interested in participating, contact Robin at For the first session, please read the Intro through "The Feminine Wound." Thanks to Lynn Samuelian for this book suggestion!

From Goodreads: "Sue Monk was a 'conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother' with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church.

"From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening. Retaining a meaningful connection "with the deep song of Christianity," she opens the door for traditional Christian women to discover a spirituality that speaks directly to them and provides inspiring wisdom for all who struggle to embrace their full humanity."

After we finish that book, we will take a week off then begin "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.
Save the Date! Homecoming Sunday will be Sept. 13

Homecoming Sunday (sometimes called Kick Off Sunday in the past) will be Sept. 13. Traditionally this is the service where we "return together" from the quieter summer, introduce our Sunday School teachers and welcome new members.

Things look a little different this year. Most of us haven't really gone anywhere in months, and we are still meeting virtually. But traditions are important! So our worship planning team is focusing on bringing some special guests to our Homecoming Sunday, and a special guest sermon.

We hope to see you all there!
Last Sunday, Robin Carlson delivered a guest sermon titled “The Helpers” based on Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalms 124; and Matthew 16:13-20.

Robin writes: "We live with a feeling of vulnerability today, and we're acutely aware from the nightly news how fragile our lives are and those of our neighbors. It feels that way in today's scripture (Exodus 1:8-2:10), but God had helpers — the midwives Puah and Siprah, the Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses’ mother and sister — putting their lives on the line. And just as there were helpers in the past, there are the helpers of today and there’ll be helpers for tomorrow, answering God’s call to end injustice for all of God’s people.” Click here to watch her sermon.
"A Space for Reflection" will contain quotes and poetry to contemplate and reflect upon as you move through your week. Take a moment to read the quote or poem, allow the words to wash over you. Then, see what word(s) spoke to you, what thought(s) came up for you and then you might journal those thoughts or just sit with them for a while.

“You may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems all at once. But don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can
take on a life of its own.”
Pastor Julia Penner-Zook is on vacation through Aug. 30.
Office hours for Pastor Julia

Office hours for our pastor, Julia Penner-Zook, are Tuesday afternoons. If you'd like to chat with Julia by phone, please email her at to schedule a time. She would love to hear from you. Please Note: Julia will be on vacation from Aug. 21-30.

Sharon Powers, fourth from the left, in Nicaragua in 2005. Also pictured, from left, are Charlene Toews, Tim Tidyman-Jones, the Rev. Dave Schlicher, Michael Dillahunty, and Laurie Tidyman-Jones. Others on the trip but not pictured were Kristi Cole, Jenny Cole, and Mike Smith.
Walking more than three miles for water everyday
We all need hope.

CUCC member Sharon Powers has a way for all of us to provide some for people who need clean water for their children. More on that in a moment.

First some background: for many years, CUCC members have supported El Porvenir, a nonprofit dedicated to providing clean water to people living in the countryside of Nicaragua. (El Porvenir means The Future in Spanish.)

CUCC sent groups to Nicaragua five times beginning in 2003 to work alongside Nicaraguan communities building wells and lavenderos (places for people to bathe and wash clothes).
Other church members have financially supported El Porvenir through fundraisers and donations.

Now back to Sharon, who traveled to Nicaragua in 2003, 2005, and 2007 to work with El Porvenir. She’s on the nonprofit’s board of directors, and here’s her hopeful plan: Each day from Sept. 1-7, she plans to walk 3.7 miles in Fresno. (That’s a total of 25.9 miles.) 

She selected 3.7 miles because that’s the average distance rural women walk each day to a river or spring to get water for cooking and cleaning. Those women carry buckets to transport the precious water. “I’m walking so that others don’t have to,” Sharon says.
She would welcome financial support for El Porvenir, and every $100 she raises before Sept. 30 is eligible for a $100 match.

The money will help purchase supplies for building latrines, wells, water systems, and washing stations, as well as planting trees for watershed protection. It’s easy to contribute: click on on the link below to reach Sharon’s fundraiser page.

El Porvenir plans to host a virtual fiesta at 5 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, Sept. 17. It will feature a variety show that will be unlike anything done before by El Porvenir. For more information: contact Sharon 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 them to Robin at You can also submit prayer request via our web page at
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.
To an international audience, UCC leader describes emerging from viral ‘shadow of death’

The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson is still recovering from a coronavirus-induced journey through the biblical “valley of the shadow of death,” she told a Scottish festival audience in late August.

The United Church of Christ’s associate general minister also described her father’s sudden death from COVID and shared video of her April view through a car window as cemetery workers in hazmat suits interred his coffin – the only graveside farewell she and her siblings were allowed to give him as the pandemic raged in New York City. Continue reading at

Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

September Birthdays

7 Gretchen Choate
10 Jaidyn Ramirez and Serenity Shea
11  Mike R. Smith
12  Ann Scott
14  Elizabeth Davis-Russell, Keithie Earl, and Gary Walker
16  Rachel Van Patten
17  Sommer Earl
21 Janet Capella
25  Philip Dutton 
26  Phil Fullerton
27  Spencer Parks and Selena Wal

September Anniversaries

1 Jacque and Bob Garcia
3 – Sally and Doug Hoagland
4  Laurie and Tim Tidyman-Jones, and Michelle and Seth Tilley
Bryan Clark and Brian Isbell

Special anniversary: Marilyn Wall, our administrative assistant, celebrates 27 years with the church on Sept. 7. Congratulations, Marilyn!

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.
Upcoming Church Events

  • We will resume listing in-person events after things get back to normal. For now, events have either been cancelled, will be rescheduled or will be held virtually.
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). Please send your announcements to Marilyn at Lisa Boyles Bell (, 559.244.9502) is the volunteer communications liaison for our church. Lisa and Doug Hoagland ( alternate working on eNews. Send your announcements to both of them.

We've updated our Joyful Giving page to reflect the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations, especially needed in these critical and uncertain times.

The Church and Office will remain closed for the time being, due to COVID-19.

Phone: 559.435.2690