Connections: March 13, 2023
Dear Beloved Community at CCSM,
Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for worship yesterday, whether in-person or online. It was a lovely service with beautiful music, reflections, prayers, and a wonderful sermon by Rev. Deborah Lee, UCC Minister and Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. 

Rev. Lee preached about border crossing as a primary spiritual practice of our faith, following in the way of Jesus. And she reminded us that not all border crossings are the same - some of us cross out of choice, for pleasure, leisure, adventure, and fun. Others cross out of necessity, to save their lives and those of their families. And then there are of course many situations that are somewhere in between. 

I just began the powerful Netflix series Stateless where some of the stories are of that most difficult form of border crossing - those images came to my mind as I juxtaposed my own experiences. I have received such a profound welcome in my times of travel and experiences of moving. Rev. Lee's words challenged me to think about what I can do to extend that deep spiritual hospitality to others. 

One way we can all do this is to get involved in the work of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. They are continuously advocating for migrants: supporting the movement to close immigrant detention centers and keeping a close eye on the changing legislation affecting migrants. Just this past week they celebrated the end of a contract between ICE and the Yuba County Detention Center. This advocacy has an impact.

In this season of Lent where we remember experiences of travel, wilderness, and journey let us remember our own stories and commit to traveling alongside all of our siblings in this global time of great upheaval.

May we also tend to our own hearts and the beloved spirits of everyone in our CCSM community in this time of challenge and change. May we continue to hold the light for one another and walk one another home.

Upcoming Sermons

March 19 - Rev. Melissa Douaire - "Are We Blind?"
March 26 - Rev. Melissa Douaire - "The Last Miracle"
April 2 - Rev. Sheryl Johnson & Children - Palm Sunday
April 9 - EASTER - Rev. Melissa Douaire - "Endings & Beginnings; Faith Wins"
We are using the SALT PROJECT for Lent this year. We have two Lenten Devotionals; one for adults (click HERE) and another for families (click HERE). We will be using the Matisse art throughout Lent as part of this. You can view more of that HERE for adults, and HERE for families.
Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts about these materials. 
Rev. Melissa
Click on the video above for Sunday's worship service,
or click HERE for Rev. Deborah Lee's wonderful sermon.
Youth and Family Events
contact Rev. Sheryl with any questions,

Saturday, March 18-Sunday, March 19 -Youth Retreat in Orinda! Our local UCC partners are again collaborating to offer Confirmation classes. However, this retreat is open to all youth in grades 8-12, even those who have already been confirmed (or who are not interested in confirmation). This retreat is a chance for highschoolers to learn more about progressive Christian faith, play games, and connect with other youth. Please let me know asap if you might be interested in Confirmation this year (or just the retreat) and I will share more information. 
Sunday, April 2: 10:30am - Special Palm Sunday service featuring the donkey. All are welcome - kids will also participate in a palm parade today and sing in the worship service. 
Sunday, April 2: 11:45am - Family Play Date! We will gather after the service for lunch, community-building, and board games. Please bring a favorite or two from your house. Please let me know if you can make it so I can plan numbers for lunch - and please let me know about any dietary needs. 
Sunday, April 9: 10:30am - Special Easter service with special activities for kids during the service and an egg hunt afterward! 
Sunday, April 30 - 4-7pm - High School Multifaith Park Cleanup and BBQ. Meet youth from other San Mateo-area faith communities to do a service project, eat dinner, and build community. All highschoolers are welcome. More details to come! 
June 9-13 - High school youth service learning trip to Los Angeles with other Bay Area UCC youth.
July/August 2023 - Summer camp sessions at Camp Tamarack! Please check the website to learn more and to see which week is open to your age group, registration should be open soon. Please let Sheryl know if you are interested for help with carpooling, assistance with fees, etc. 
Evening Gathering for Prayer
Sunday nights starting March 12th
7:00-8:00 PM in the Fireplace Room
(hosted by Kibbie Ruth)
Join us every Sunday night for contemplative time together and spiritual start to the next week. This is an open gathering, so all are welcome to come once or every week. In addition to being a conversation with God, prayer is one way to be in touch with our inner selves, and be present with and to one another.
Sunday, March 19 after church in Kloss Hall
all are welcome
A Spiritual Life Ministries team, led by Chris Wuthmann, is working on a Healing and Reconciliation process for the congregation to explore and discuss feelings and questions about our recent hard and troubling experiences at CCSM and to build a bridge of reconciliation among each other to restore and renew the promises of our work and future together as a church. This first gathering is being considered as STEP 0 on our continued path toward healing.
For anyone who would like to join online, there will be a Zoom link provided in the Saturday email.
As was announced at the Jan. 8 service, the Senior Minister position has been posted on the UCC website, and we have begun to receive applications. To read an update from the Search Committee and to see a summary of the posting, click HERE or type in
Scholarships for high school seniors and graduate students

The Youth Ministry at CCSM is pleased to support high school seniors and graduate students with scholarships for the 2023-24 school year thanks to the generosity of CCSM members.

High school seniors and graduate students who are active members of CCSM are encouraged to apply for scholarship support. Information about the scholarships and application packets are available at the following links: for the graduate packet, go to, or for the undergraduate packet, go to Applications with supporting documents and letters of recommendations are due by April 15, 2023.  

The Congregational Church has been supportive of education through our denominational history. In fact, many of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions such as Harvard and Yale Universities and Bowdoin College were founded by the Congregational Church. CCSM follows in that important tradition of helping to educate our younger generation with scholarship aid. 

Please contact Warren Long,, or Sheryl Johnson, if you have any questions. 
Feeling a little unsettled with changes at CCSM? Pick-A-Parties are a great way to reconnect with CCSM members, whether it’s enjoying the outdoors, learning something new, or just relaxing with old and new friends. There are still openings for the following parties: Huddart Park Hike (4/8 8:30-1 pm); High Tea (4/22 11 am); Book Lovers’ Luncheon (5/20 11am-2pm); Cooks and Bakers Zoom party (date/time tbd). And stay tuned for the Carolands tour, which looks like it's shaping up for this summer! 

To sign up for any of these parties, contact Diane Kalliam, 415.279.1359.

Service of Healing Prayers and Song in the style of TAIZE

Friday, March 17 at 7PM

Fireplace Room

Join us for a peaceful, quiet, reflective contemplative practice.
NOW WHAT? Spiritual Conversations book for discussion
How can we connect with people with whom we have significant differences? How can we be peacemakers and contribute to a kinder society? The book Now What? How to Move Forward When We’re Divided (About Basically Everything) by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silver can help us become careful listeners, show mutual respect, and develop a deeper understanding of the Other.
Spiritual Conversations meets every other week on Monday evenings, from 6:30-8:00pm (NOTE NEW TIME) via Zoom. Our next discussion will be March 13. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Chris Wuthmann at or Chase Montara at
MUSIC & ART: March 17
with Angela Kraft Cross
We’ll gather at noon on March 17 in the Buckham Room for our fellowship lunch. Remember—it’s BYOL: Bring Your Own Lunch—beverages are provided and co-hostesses provide dessert. 
We are thrilled to have our own Angela Kraft Cross as our performer, introducing original music from her new CD, Passages on the Journey, which was recorded at the Methuen Memorial Hall in Methuen, Mass. featuring the 1863 Walcker organ which was intended to be the organ for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 
On 2/27 Angela flew to Boston to play at Busch Hall on the Harvard campus on Thursday on E. Power Biggs’ organ!!! We all enjoyed her 13 year old student, Andrew, play the prelude on 2/26. That’s the really up-to-date info on our wonderful organist. I hope all members and guests will please RSVP to Susan Duty, or 650-533-6830, so we can reserve a space at the table for you. We will, of course, move in to the sanctuary for the organ performance. 
We hope that you have been enjoying the goodies during coffee hour. A few generous families have stepped up to help Linda Fenn with coffee hour during the past few months, and we’d like to continue hosting coffee hour; however, she needs families or individuals who can help with this on-going project.

Coffee hour is a lot to ask for one person (Lin) to do alone on a weekly basis (she already does the planning, organizing, and provides some recurring back up supplies). The greater the number of people who can help, the smaller the task is for each person.

It involves set-up, ensuring the trays stay filled, and then clean up—about an hour each Sunday both to organize prior to service and clean up afterward. While more hands make less work, any amount of help will be great, and everyone will appreciate having coffee hour continue.

If you can help out once a quarter (or more frequently if you would like), please email or call Lin Fenn ( or Melodie Lew (; 650.573.9765). Thank you in advance!

Click HERE for the latest PINE TREE Newsletter!
The "Blessing Box" outside of the entrance of CCSM is a project of the Ministry of Service and Justice, responding to the need for families in our neighborhood to access food and an expression of our call to be the "hands, feet, and face of God" in our community. The container will be in the narthex to collect food (canned, dried and boxed, no fresh food please! donations must be full UNOPENED containers, no fruits, vegetables, or bread) on any Sunday of the month. Thank you for your continuing generosity!
Solar Project-related information:
From 3/20 - 3/24, the side walk from the parking lot into Little Wonders preschool will be blocked. There will be access into the ramp door to Kloss.
From 3/27 - 4/7, the entire middle row and the entire row of parking spaces closest to Ellsworth Ave. will be fenced off. There will be an opening through which you can drive for school drop off, but the only parking spaces will be in the row nearest to S. San Mateo Drive. This will impact Sunday parking-remember we have an overflow lot on the corner of S. San Mateo and Tilton. 
From 4/10 - 4/14, the entire middle row will be fenced off and entirely inaccessible. 
From 4/14 - 4/21, there will be a fenced off area that includes the space where Chase usually parks, the spaces to the right and left of that space, and capturing also the first six spaces in the middle row. This will impact Sunday parking- remember we have an overflow lot on the corner of S. San Mateo and Tilton.
From 4/17 - 4/19, all of the power to the church will be shut off. The church office will be closed. The Fire Alarm system will not be operational during this time. 
Pray for Ukraine Every Tuesday at 7:30pm

CCSM held a powerful live Prayer Ritual for Ukraine on March 6th. We have decided to premier this ritual ONLINE every Tuesday until the war ends. We hope you will join us online weekly to continue our prayers and heal our hearts. These are challenging times and this offering is a way to bring our community together and magnify our prayers.

Please share this link with your friends and family so we can extend this offering to as many people as possible.

Link for Prayer Ritual on YouTube:


...that from 3/20 - 3/24, the side walk from the parking lot into Little Wonders preschool will be blocked. There will still be access into the ramp door to Kloss.

225 Tilton Ave. • San Mateo, CA • 94401
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