Connections: January 16, 2023
“We are all one, and if we don’t know it, we will learn it the hard way.”
Bayard Rustin

Wishing you a meaningful day of reflection and insights into Civil Liberties in America on MLK day. 

Many of you may know about this resource, but as a newbie to the area, I did not know that Stanford has The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. Explore the offerings with this link:

Did you know that Martin Luther King’s birth name was Michael?
Did you know his mother was shot and killed at church?
Click here for 10 things you may not know about MLK.

The documentary I referenced about Bayard Rustin is called Brother Outsider by Nancy Kate, and the book I referred to was Lost Prophet, the life and times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio. Stay tuned, as many of you expressed an interest in further discussing Bayard Rustin. 

Looking ahead to Sunday, January 22, 2023:

  • Diane Kalliam will be preaching! She was the winning bid in the CCSM auction for the pulpit. I have heard it, and it is worth your while to hear her preach.

  • We will celebrate Lynnelle Bilsey’s 30th anniversary with CCSM! Be sure to thank her for gifts to the community for three decades! 

  • The Budget Forum will be held in the Buckham Room and also on Zoom after church at 11:45 am. (Click HERE for the Zoom link.)

Be kind yourselves and others; the world is a tender wound. 


Rev. Melissa
Budget Forum and Annual Meeting just around the corner!

Budget forum, January 22, 11:45 am
In person AND on Zoom. Click HERE for Zoom link.

Annual meeting, January 29, 11:45 am
In the Sanctuary and also on CCSM's Youtube/Facebook
Click on the video above for Sunday's worship service,
or click HERE for Rev. Melissa's sermon, Standing on Shoulders.
There are still spaces available for these great parties. Everyone is welcome to attend a true High Tea in Kloss Hall, deepen your spiritual practice with Chase's group, enjoy Angela's organ skills, hike Huddart Park, and sign up for many other fun experiences. Last chance to sign up after service this Sunday, Jan. 22. Bring your cash, checkbook (with "party" in the memo line), or be ready to pay by text at 73256 "party". You can review the party list here:, or hard copies will be available on Sunday. And if you've signed up but haven't paid yet, please bring it by on January 22 or make sure to get your payment into the church office soon.  

Questions? Contact Sandy McNabb, 650.678.5650
Michele Merfeld Hale, 206.612.6182 or
Diane Kalliam, 415.279.1359
Click HERE to read the latest edition of CCSM's newsletter, The Pine Tree!

Here are the headlines:
  • Y O U Are the Church
  • Budget Forum and Annual Meeting
  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Pick-A-Party Spaces Still Available
  • Board of Directors 2023 Meeting Schedule
  • Music Sparkled at CCSM
  • Music & Art: Karen Hutchinson on Jan. 20
  • Angela's Organ Academy Class in France
  • Blessing Box Contributions Any Sunday
  • From the Archives of CCSM: Buckham Room
  • Energy, Environmental Justice Report
  • Helping CCSM Members Stay Connected
  • MSJ Supports the Fremont Gun Buyback
  • The Gift of Open Cathedral
  • Joys and Concerns
  • Poinsettia Joy!
Youth and Family Events
All Sundays: Weekly Sunday kids' spiritual program at 10:45, led by Shannon (they/them) and Elaine (she/her) in the Community Room. Pre-K care is offered by Lily (she/her). Youth Group is led by Elijah (he/him) in the Fireplace Room. 
Friday, January 20: 7pm Youth Bowling at Bolero in Alameda. Our friends at local Bay Area UCC churches have invited us to join them for an evening of bowling! Please let Sheryl know if you are interested. 
Sunday, January 22: 10:45am - 60 Minutes conversation for youth led by Mike and Sheryl. Each month, high schoolers choose a discussion topic. This month our topic is the future of the church. After church on Jan 22nd, high school youth are invited to join Sheryl for lunch and social time and helping with 4th Sunday sandwiches for Open Cathedral. 
Sunday, February 5: 11:45amFamily Play Date! We will gather after the service for lunch, singing, community-building, and games. Please bring a favorite card/board game or two that you would like to play with others! 
Saturday, February 18-Monday, February 20Mid-winter youth camp for those in grades 7-12 in Palo Alto. Please contact Sheryl for more information and to sign up. 
Friday, March 17-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 Sheryl know asap if you’re interested in Confirmation this year (or just the retreat). 
CPR CLASS, Saturday, Feb 25, 9am-1pm
in the Buckham Room
With the cardiac arrest of Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills football player, seen by millions on national TV and his miracle recovery, the ability to perform life-saving CPR and the use of an AED has gained national notoriety. We have had two AEDs on the church grounds for years so we are prepared to deliver this critical treatment to someone in cardiac arrest. The other important part of saving a life is for as many people as possible to be able to administer CPR as well. Join us Feb. 25. Cost is $70 (make check to Life Support Services). Please contact Genel Morgan for questions and to reserve your spot.

Volunteer of the Week
— Matt Smith —
Matt Smith is a constant presence at CCSM, warmly greeting us at the doors of the sanctuary as a member of the usher team. He is also a published author! In the five-star rated book, WHAT'S NEXT, Matt is one of "28 health and wellness experts who weathered the challenges [of Covid] because they were focused on finding better ways to help people become healthy." Matt co-writes one of the chapters and said “We wrote our perspective on what happens next (after the pandemic). The mental health of the athletes, physical health and even spiritual health.”

Congratulations, Matt! We are glad part of your spiritual health routine includes CCSM.
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!
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:
225 Tilton Ave. • San Mateo, CA • 94401
Scan the QR code above or go to
to make a donation or pledge to CCSM.