Community UCC eNews
Feb. 4, 2021
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.


COVID Status: Virtual worship. Limited office hours. See below.

SO MUCH GOOD NEWS! — If it says "[Message clipped]" at the bottom of your eNews, that means you're not seeing everything. Click the link next to that to view the entire newsletter.
Communion Sunday —
Zoom and YouTube

Join us for worship this Sunday, Feb. 7. We will begin Black History Month by highlighting some of the art, music, and poetry written by siblings of our larger Black national community. A Readers' Theater piece – "Plain and Simple: Not So Fast" – will be performed. It is based on Jeremiah 22: 3-5, and Matthew 25: 34-40. Readers will be Erin Hinojosa, Chad Hayden, DayJu Ramirez, Thomas Russell, and Rod Zook. See below for how we "do church" now.

The first Sunday of each month is Communion Sunday, so please have some bread and a small glass of wine or juice prepared, so we may celebrate Holy Communion together virtually. See below for how we "do church" now.
Sunday worship onYouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
Instructions for Zoom worship

For now, we will continue to provide the Zoom worship live on our YouTube channel (bit.ly/cuccyoutube) on Sundays at 10:35 a.m. Doors "open" around 10:15-10:20 for a few minutes of fellowship before worship begins.

Links to the Zoom worships go out each Friday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line.
Evening worship service on Mondays

Thursday evening worship services via Zoom have moved to 7 p.m. Mondays. If you have questions or would appreciate a Zoom link, contact Robin at faithgrowth@communityucc.com.
Week 2 update on our campaign progress!

Since launching our campaign two weeks ago, we have raised $2,850 — 19% of the way toward our goal! Thank you to all who have donated!

If you would like to donate, you can give to our capital campaign through Givelify or send a check to the church. In either case, please designate that it’s for the capital campaign in the memo field. We will continue to provide regular updates as we progress toward our goal.

Questions and answers about our capital campaign
We’ve kicked off a campaign – “Lights, Camera, Action!” – to raise money for two capital projects at church. Here’s what you need to know:

What are the goals of the campaign?

A camera system for the sanctuary and updated exterior lighting.

Why do we need cameras?

To improve our services via Zoom and YouTube. The new system will allow viewers to see the pulpit, the musicians, and people in the congregation.

Does that mean we won’t have services at the church when the pandemic ends?

No. We will return to the sanctuary for Sunday services when it’s safe to do so.

So why then continue to have services on Zoom?

Several reasons:
• Some members may not be physically able to come to the church. Or some may be out of the geographic area.
• New people may find us via our YouTube broadcasts and want to join our Zoom worships, which are
more interactive than just watching the stream on YouTube. Several
have found us this way since we began sheltering in place, and now they are regulars with us on Sundays.
• We’ll be able to do more on social media to attract new members.

Why is social media important?

It’s the way many people – especially younger people – communicate and gather information.

Why not return to the camera we used before the pandemic?

That camera was an iPhone mounted on a small platform. Its range is limited.

What will change with the exterior lighting?

We’ll install new light fixtures with energy-efficient LED light bulbs and better timers. That will save money in the long run and provide better lighting. The change also is in keeping with our commitment to protect the environment.

How much money do we need?

We need to raise $15,000 to implement these goals.
Growing Together! – Restoring Faith, Justice, Creation

Our church is one of 40 churches in 11 denominations from across the country participating in a new national pilot program called Growing Together! This program engages churches on the journey of restoring faith, justice, and creation.

Sessions are held via Zoom at 4 p.m. (Pacific) and 7 p.m. (Pacific) on the second Thursday of each month. If you're interested in registering, please email Robin at faithgrowth@communityucc.com and she will send you the link.
Vulnerability — a Prayer
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
I am distracted; you are peace,
I am unnerved; you are focus.
My confidence flags; you are my renewal!
My power is limited; my strength is in you.
I have fear; you are my comfort.
When I am unsure, you are wisdom.
My body rebels; you soothe.
I am anxious; you are steady.
I am surrounded by unknown; you calm.
I am frazzled; you are my center.
I feel isolated; you are presence.
So I stand tall,
Walk resolutely,
Dream extravagantly,
Cast worry aside,
Smile without reason,
Think beyond myself,
Speak gratitude,
Continue to live in expectation.
I rest.
I hope.
I decide to trust.
I let go!
May it be so.
Photo Credit: Julia Penner-Zook
Adult Education meets Mondays

Adult Education meets on Mondays from 9-10 a.m. The group is discussing Richard Rohr’s daily meditations.
To get them, please register at the Center for Action and Contemplation: cac.org. A Zoom link will be made available. Contact Robin at faithgrowth@communityucc.com if you're interested.
Men's Book Discussion Group

The Men's Book Study – meeting virtually via Zoom from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday – will not meet Feb. 9. The study will resume Feb. 16 with a discussion of pages 115-140 in "Inspired" by Rachel Held Evans. Please contact Rod Zook at zomad2020@gmail.com if you're interested. A Zoom link will be sent out on Monday, Feb. 15. 
 Women's Book Discussion Group

The Women's Book Discussion Group will continue at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 with "Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic — and Beyond" by Matthew Fox.

Please read Chapters 5 and 6 for our next discussion via Zoom. Contact Robin if you are interested in learning more.
Virtual Ash Wednesday set for Feb. 17

We will have a Zoom Ash Wednesday service at 6 p.m. on Feb. 17. Please join Pastor Julia and Robin as we begin our Lenten journey with words, music, and a spiritual time of reflection. We will then virtually share in the imposition of ashes. A Zoom link for the service will be published in next week's eNews.
Lenten Series on lament scheduled

We are planning a four-part Lenten Series about the significance of lament. We spend little time thinking about the role lament plays in our lives, and how we come to healing. We will meet via Zoom on four consecutive Wednesdays from 6 to 7:15 p.m. beginning Feb. 24 and continuing through March 17. More details will be coming soon.
Jan. 31 sermon: 'Platitude or Attitude?'

Last Sunday Pastor Julia delivered a sermon titled "Platitude or Attitude?" based on Matthew 5: 1-12. Click here to watch the sermon.
Marilyn resumes office hours at church

Marilyn is in the office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Please be sure to call ahead (559.435.2690) and remember to wear a mask if you need to come to the office.
Pastor Julia on vacation next week

Pastor Julia will be on vacation Feb. 8-15. During this time, please reach out to Robin or Marilyn if needs arise. When she returns, she will be in the office Thursday morning and can be reached by phone, text, e-mail or Facetime other days of the week as well. E-mail her at j.penner.zook@gmail.com
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 Pastor Julia at  j.penner.zook@gmail.com. You can also submit prayer requests via our web page at communityucc-fresno.org/worship/prayer-requests/.
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.

Three fathers. Three churches.

In Oct. 2017, three men, undocumented immigrants, took sanctuary in United Church of Christ congregations. They forfeited freedom to stay with their families. They have been fighting for that right ever since.

They and 34 others now look to President Joe Biden to allow them to walk free.
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

February Birthdays

2 Rod Zook
4 Arthur Kilburn, 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

Did we overlook someone's birthday or anniversary for this month? Please let Marilyn (office@communityucc.com) and Lisa (lisamboyles12@gmail.com) know so we can get you in next week. We never intend to leave anyone out.
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 office@communityucc.com. Lisa Boyles Bell (lisamboyles12@gmail.com, 559.244.9502) is the volunteer communications liaison for our church.

Lisa and Doug Hoagland (doughoagland@att.net) alternate working on eNews. Send your announcements to both of them. Emails: lisamboyles12@gmail.com and doughoagland@att.net
Our Joyful Giving page reflects the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations, especially needed in these critical and uncertain times.

Due to COVID-19, worship will remain virtual for now. Limited office hours have resumed.

Phone: 559.435.2690
Email: office@communityucc.com