Community UCC eNews
February 20, 2020
Community UCC is an inclusive and progressive Christian Church doing social justice, environmental faithfulness, interfaith collaboration and and spiritual formation to help ourselves and others grow in faith, hope and love.

Sunday Sermon and Potluck!  

Sunday, Feb. 23, Pastor Ara will deliver a sermon on abundance, titled “A Miracle of Gigantic Proportion,” based on the scripture Luke 19: 1-10.

After worship, we will gather in Hayden Hall for “A POT-LUCK LUNCHEON OF EXTRAVAGANT PROPORTIONS.” Please bring a large portion of a very favorite food-comfort, delicious, a dish that evokes beautiful memories. We will share, eating more than we should and sharing any remainder for anyone to take home.

Worship Service Each Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
NOTE: We broadcast our Sunday Worship service on Facebook Live beginning at 10:30 a.m. We want to make service accessible to members or friends who can't be with us on Sunday mornings. The camera captures the front of the Sanctuary and the first couple of rows of seats.
Black History Month Worship

We have four very different worship services planned for the celebration of Black History month at Community UCC.

  • Feb. 23: Emulating Zacchaeus - The Call to the Church on Stewardship of Our Abundance with those who have been denied.

After worship on Feb. 23, we will gather in Hayden Hall for “A POT-LUCK LUNCHEON OF EXTRAVAGANT PROPORTIONS.” Please bring a large portion of a very favorite food-comfort, delicious, a dish that evokes beautiful memories. We will share, eating more than we should and sharing any remainder for any one to take home.

Finally, we will have a movie night at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 , in the Sanctuary. We will view “ The Long Shadow, ” a documentary that connects the racial injustice of today with brutally dehumanizing institutions of slavery and Jim Crow. The movie will be followed by a reception in Hayden Hall for discussion inspired by the movie. Donation welcome, but not required.
Fundraiser: Gifting Tree!

The Missions and Social Justice Team delights in offering you “The Gifting Tree,” filled with various gift cards with a value over $400.

Tickets are $10 each, 6 for $50, or 13 for $100. Drawing will be held on March 15 .

Cards on the tree include the following:
  • $60 - Perfect Balance Yoga
  • $50 - Southwest Airlines
  • $80 - Curves gym two-month membership
  • $50 - Olive Garden
  • Two $25 gift cards to Alla's Mediterranean Restaurant
  • $25 - Amazon
  • $25 - Regal Cinemas
  • Two $10 Starbucks gift cards
  • $20 - Target
  • $20 - Panera
  • $20 - R&G Threading Bar
Living the Questions 2.0

Below are the upcoming topics (subject to change) and theme for February and March.

Feb.  23 Debunking the Rapture

March 1 Reclaiming the World
March 8 A Kingdom without Walls
March 15 Social Justice: Realizing God’s Vision
March 22 Incarnation: Divinely Human
March 29 Prayer: Intimacy with God
Interfaith Scholar Weekend
Feb. 21-23

As part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, one of his grandsons, Rajmohan Gandhi, will be the speaker for the 2020 Interfaith Scholar Weekend event Feb. 21-23 . For more information and to register, see the website .
Ash Wednesday is Feb. 26

Ashes To Go will be available in the church parking lot from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service will be at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

This year we will also offer glitter ash. Glitter+Ash is an inherently queer sign of Christian belief, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration. Glitter+Ash exquisitely captures the relationship between death and new life. We do not live in fear of ash of death we place it on our foreheads for the world to see.

We know that fear will rise, cramping our hearts. We also know that God specifically calls us not to project that fear onto the Other, the alien, the stranger in our midst. God insists that we look for the spark of life, of hope, in ourselves and one another. This Ash Wednesday, we will make that spark easier to see. We will stand witness to the gritty, glittery, scandalous hope that exists in the very marrow of our tradition.
The Women's book for February is "Holy Envy, Finding God in the Faith of Others" by Barbara Brown Taylor. We study at 6 p.m. Tuesdays in the Conference Room.

Upcoming reading assignments:
  • Feb. 25 — Ch. 12 and Epilogue

Our next book, during Lent, will be " Death of Jesus for Progressive Christians " by Donald Schmidt.

Upcoming meetings:
  • March 3 — Session 1
  • March 10 Session 2
  • March 24 Session 3
  • March 31 Session 4
  • April 7 Session 5
Dear CUCC Congregation,

The Search Team continues to review ministerial profiles, faithfully seeking the right person to fill our settled pastor position. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we deliberate.
Linda Baird, Sean Carlson, Bonita Earl, Chad Hayden,
Amy Kilburn, Nancy Pressley, Aravis Rocha and Vicky Wall
Saturday Morning Breakfast Group
Saturday, March 7
Conference Room
Breakfast at 8:45 a.m.,
talk begins at 9 a.m.

  • On March 7, Gary Walker will talk about "The Life and Legacies of Leonardo da Vinci.”

  • On April 4, Nancy Pressley will discuss Focus Forward, a program to aid troubled youth.

  • For May 2, Dr. Al Evans has invited Dr. Nataliia Kasianenko, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Fresno State, who is a native of the Ukraine. Her research focuses on comparative politics and international relations, with an emphasis on nationalism, identity politics, and human rights in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. 
Men's Book Study Group

The men's book study group, led by facilitators Rod Zook and Chad Hayden, has finished its study of "Naked Spirituality." The group will take about a month off, then will restart with a new book. Watch for news in the coming weeks.

In each week's eNews, we include a news article from our larger denomination, United Church of Christ , to show the faithful work being done in other places.
UCC officers: Our Faith, Our Vote, Our Voice matters

The 2020 election cycle is stirring strong interest and concern across the United States and around the world. In these difficult and challenging times, this is not surprising. There is much at stake as we head to the voting booth this November.

Divisive, mean-spirited rhetoric dominates the airwaves and the public dialogue. Thoughtful, respectful, constructive exchange across differences on the key issues of the day is becoming more difficult to achieve. This is precisely why our voice and efforts as people of faith are needed. We can play a unique role in this election cycle by encouraging respectful, informed dialogue that builds community and a hope-filled vision of the future that includes all people.

In these tumultuous times, it can be tempting to withdraw and disengage from what feels like a polarizing, divisive process. We can lose heart and hope. Yet, grounded in our faith, we can renew our vision and take up the hard work of restoring community and lifting up a vision of the common good. Continue reading at the website .
Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all who are celebrating this month!

February Birthdays
2 — Rod Zook
4 — Diana Kloos, Dwayne Ruffin
7 — Michelle Williams
10 — Bonita Earl, John Comegys, Beryl Weinschenk
12 — Alexandra FitzGibbon
14 — Cathie Moseley
15 — Christian Fazio
16 — Ruben Fernandez, Bob Garcia
17 — Rose Rowe
19 — Charlene Toews
22 — Vhuso Sukuta
26 — Cheryl Jones
27 — Anne Simone

February Anniversaries
No anniversaries in February.

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.
The Big Read 'Citizen: An American Lyric'
Through April 25

The Fresno County Public Library system has several activities and events planned over the next couple of months around The Big Read of the award-winning "Citizen: An American Lyric," by Claudine Rankine, including an author talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Fresno City College . The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Jamaican-born and raised in the Bronx, Claudia Rankine is an award-winning poet whose works depict the outside and inside perspectives of American culture.  Citizen: An American Lyric  won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and was the first work of poetry to become a  New York Times  best seller for multiple weeks on the paperback nonfiction list.

Upcoming Church Events

  • Thursday Evening Worship weekly at 7 p.m., we hold a weekly contemplative, interactive, spirit-filled worship service in the Sanctuary
  • Sundays at 9 a.m. Adult Education in the Conference Room
  • Feb. 14-22 Pastor Ara on vacation. Please contact Robin Carlson with any emergencies
  • Feb. 26 ASH Wednesday (see article above)
  • March 1 Recycling Sunday, first Sunday of the month
  • March 7 Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, 8:45 a.m., Conference Room (see article above)

Keep up to date with our Church's online calendar!
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 (, 559.244.9502) is the eNews editor and communications liaison for our church.
We've updated our Joyful Giving page to reflect the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations.

Phone: 559.435.2690