With December 24th falling on a Sunday this year, things will be a little different. We will celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent in the morning service at 10:30 a.m. followed by Fellowship Time. Then, we'll have a Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. (No tamales this year.)
A message from our Pastor and Teacher
December 24 ~ 10:30 a.m. ~ Fourth Sunday of Advent ~ "Joseph's Choice" ~ In the morning service, we'll explore the strong, compassionate love of Joseph, and the tough choice he faced.
December 24 ~ 5:30 p.m."Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols" ~ Then at 5:30 p.m. we will celebrate the Holy Birth with the traditional lessons, carols and candles of Christmas Eve. Come and join us!
Charlie Seek will be getting an important test done on December 27. (12/21)
Karlene Cabrera, daughter of Jolene Barrow, has kidney and other health issues right now. Also, Jolene's brother Andrew Barrow was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. (12/21)
Lots of RUCC family and friends have COVID. (12/13)
Betty Jacobs, a founding member of RUCC, passed from life to Life. (12/7)
Beth Welsh's brother, Coyne ("Butch"), is hospitalized after being struck as a pedestrian by a drunk driver. (12/7)
Mark Janz's mother, Martini, had a stroke. Mark is traveling to be with her. (12/7)
Karen Walsh fell and broke her arm. (11/16)
Nancy Ternasky, this year's AFHS's featured artist, is experiencing serious health concerns. (11/16)
Jim Sommer’s surgery from knee replacement is slowly healing. Diana's second cataract surgery is scheduled for December 18th. (12/7)
Steve Arth continues in his recovery from a broken hip. (11/16)
We continue to hold in our prayers the people of Ukraine and the Middle East.
Karen & Daniella
Dave, brother of Johanna Ballard
Cousin of Rick Cruz
Samantha Sanchez-French's father
Mary Lou Haney
Harriet Holt, Beki Hill's mother
Jenny, Sister of Jules Rattray
Pastor Elaine's nephew Michael and brother Dan
Ryan and Evan Paul
Dick Ault's brother-in-law, Charles Proctor
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Maggie George and Maggie's siblings
Spencer, friend of Stacey Greene
These vacancies at RUCC need to be filled
Redlands United Church of Christ is seeking candidates for the positions of Youth Director and Nursery Care Worker. The job postings are on the RUCC website. If you know someone who would be a good match for either of these positions, please ask them to apply. We hope to have both positions filled by the first of the year. Thanks for helping us with these two important searches.
The National Black Nurses Association says a racist political and social environment in Florida has driven the group to relocate its annual conference from Florida to California.
“The passage of anti-Black policies and laws, which have taken a destructive position to erase and silence Black history, and restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools, together with the NAACP travel ban, and the recent senseless, racially motivated, hate-fueled murders of three innocent Black Americans in Jacksonville, Florida has created a hostile, dangerous environment in the state.”
The NBNA surveyed its members before deciding to relocate the conference and found that 84 percent said the conference should be moved.
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to think about recycling, especially recycling wrapping paper. Of course, gift givers could reduce the amount of wrapping paper they use in the first place, for example by using other sorts of paper that are clearly recyclable to wrap presents – think newspaper or old maps, for example. Second, carefully removed wrapping paper could be saved for reuse. Or a gift-giver could use cloth to wrap an item; or give it in a reusable bag. But chances are, many of us will still have wrapping paper to deal with, and, sad to say, not all wrapping paper is recyclable. Paper with non-paper additives, such as plastic, foil, and glitter, is probably not recyclable. If you aren’t sure about that shiny piece of wrapping paper, try tearing it, making a point to try tearing across shiny or metallic patterns. If it tears easily, it’s likely okay to put it in the recycle bin. You can also try scrunching the paper up; if it stays in a scrunched-up ball, that’s a good sign that it can be recycled.
For the month of December, we will continue collecting food items for the holidays, including both staples and special treats. This month, our donations will go to Redlands Family Services. Let's continue to share our holiday blessings with our neighbors in need!
Caring for Kin in January
Start gathering cold-weather clothes for donation in January. Jackets, hats, and gloves are especially needed, and they may be new or used, as long as they are clean and in good repair. Packages of new socks and new underwear are other items you may wish to donate. More information to come.
Updates from your Settled Pastor Search Committee
We are pleased to report that our call for a Settled Pastor now appears on the national UCC Ministry Opportunities website. Profiles are already coming in and we will begin our review and discussion of them shortly after the new year. We’re excited that the process is moving and moving so well.
Members of the Seach Committee include Sophia Beardemphl, Loring Fiske-Phillips, Keith Osajima (Chair), Samantha Sanchez-French, Dee Dee Seek, Diana Steele-Jones, Minori Tsukimoto, John Walsh, and Janet Wilson.
Night Shelters for Men and Women to open January 1: volunteers needed
The men’s shelter will be at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Community, 1205 Columbia Street, Redlands. The women’s shelter will be at the Center for Spiritual Living, 602 Church St, Redlands (pictured).
Two volunteers are needed for each shift. The first is from 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The second shift is from 1:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. To volunteer at the men’s shelter, contact Rick Ferguson at 909-362-2819. Volunteers for the women’s shelter should contact Jean Pagdilao at 909-312-9981.
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
The Christmas Fund
The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross is an annual UCC offering that expresses thanks to retired and active UCC pastors and lay church workers and their families, providing direct assistance to supplement pensions, medical insurance costs, and funds to meet emergency needs.
This year's Christmas Fund theme is "Grace Upon Grace," from John 1:16: "From Christ's fullness we have all received grace upon grace.
You can donate to "The Christmas Fund" by making a note on the comment line of your check or online from the drop-down menu in Realm.
The Rummage Sale is Back!!!! And We Need Volunteers!!!!
We will need volunteers before, during, and after the sale. The actual sale date is February 10, 2024. There are jobs you can do from home, there are jobs where you will mingle with the public, there are jobs that you won’t have to talk to anyone, and there are jobs that will make you tired and/or get you dirty! So, there is something for everyone! Here are some ways you can help:
Before the sale:
Being on the Rummage Sale Committee
Advertising—Putting up signs, getting articles on Facebook, etc.
Contacting organizations that will take our “leftovers”
Organizing the treasures that come in
Providing boxes, bags, and hangers
Collecting your donations (no furniture, please)
During the sale:
Walking the floor
After the sale:
Providing a vehicle to take leftover treasures to designated places
If any of these jobs appeals to you, please let us know ASAP. We will start having organizational meetings in January. Thanks so much! Pam Dunn (909) 963-8305 Claudia Tolar (909) 725-1794 Kathie Blakley (909) 213-9469
Holiday Office Hours
The Church Office will be closed December 25 - 26, and January 1.
Pastor Elaine will not be in the office January 1 - 3.
2023 Christmas Poinsettias
Paul & Sondra Hodson
Scott & Dondon Mong
The Norton-Brainerd Family
Paul & Sondra Hodson
Kerry & Pam Dunn
John& Karen Walsh
John and Karen Walsh
Steve & Mary Moore
David & Ruthemma Wells
Scott & Dondon Mong
Fred Freeman Family
Beth, Matthew, Emily Kolpien
In Honor of
Mara Dee Hodson
Barbie and Loring Fiske-Phillips
Barbara Mong, Claire Anne Smith
Doug, Michelle & Brad Beswick
In Memory of
Hugh, Irene, Richard & Gary Johnson
Richard Hodson & Connie Hodson
Jean Horner & Sheldon Emmer
Janie & Kelly Hurley
Christine Nicoloff & Dorothy Landeros
Edward & Mary Walsh
Betty, Teddy, Mac, & Greg Farrell
Robert Mong, Apolonia Cafe, Cristeta Perez
Ann Bigham Freeman
Herb Horstman & Pat Kaiser
Mom: Ruth Moses & Sister: Cyndi Kuran
Barry Kolpien & Ann Davis
Robert & Florence Rich & Jerry Greenfield
Thanks to all who responsibly recycled your various forms of e-waste at RUCC on Saturday, December 2nd. In flat screens alone, you kept over 2400 pounds of e-waste from ending up at the dump or sitting unused in your garage. The church will receive a check for almost $300 as our percentage of the profit from reusable materials. Good job!
If you were unable to participate in December, start preparing now for our next E-Waste Drop-Off on Saturday, February 10, the same day as the Rummage Sale.
If you have concerns about information stored on your old computer, please talk with Claudia Tolar about how the company we work with handles this issue.
The Youth Group invites younger children to attend a production of Finding Nemo, January 28, 2024
Kids grade 5 and under are invited to join the RUCC Youth Group in an outing to see our own Celeste Ellison perform next month in the Riverside Children’s Theater production of Finding Nemo! (Celeste is coming off her triumphant performance as King Herod in this year’s Christmas Pageant!)
Performance date and time: Sunday January 28, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.
Venue: King High School in Riverside.
The Youth Group will cover the cost for each child plus one parent/guardian per family. You need to reply to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12/26 to reserve your spot! This will be a super-fun outing, please join us!
A National UCC appeal: Help give humanitarian aid to people amid war in Gaza, Palestine and Israel
The United Church of Christ, through Wider Church Ministries, has issued a special appealfor humanitarian aid to people affected by the war in Israel and Palestine. As we continue to advocate for a cease fire, access for humanitarian assistance, and for the core issues to be addressed, we also invite your financial support to undergird the work of our partners with whom we have had a long-standing relationship. Your gifts will make an impact and a difference on those who are suffering so greatly during these days of lamentation and suffering. Learn more about this appeal.
RaiseRight makes your holiday shopping easier and helps RUCC at the same time!
You can still use RaiseRight for your holiday shopping with eGift Cards – eGift cards can be mailed directly to recipients through the RaiseRight website or app. Or have it sent to your email and print it for a recipient!
About RaiseRight: When you purchase gift cards through the RaiseRight program to pay for your day-to-day expenses or provide as gifts, RUCC receives a rebate that helps fund our missions. It’s an easy way to raise some money for RUCC. Hundreds of retailers participate, including grocery stores, gas stations, home improvement stores, department stores, online retailers, and many more. Please contact Jennifer and Pam at email@example.com if you need an enrollment link, need help setting up/accessing your online account or placing an order, have any questions, or want to learn more about the program. Watch this short video to learn more: https://youtu.be/BZNu-ftcPKo
Upcoming order dates for physical gift cards:
Order by Jan 15 – available for pick up Jan 21
Order by Feb 12 – available for pick up Feb 18
Order by Mar 11 – available for pick up Mar 17
UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER
December 24 - 10:30 a.m. - worship service: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24 - 5:30 p.m. - Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols.
December 25-26 - Church Office closed
January 1 - Church Office closed. In addition, Pastor Elaine will not be in the Office January 1-3.
January 7, 2024 - Super Shepherd Sunday
January 14 - Book Group
January 21 - Wider Ministries Area organizational meeting