Community UCC eNews
Jan. 21, 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.
Sunday Worship — Zoom and YouTube

Join us for worship this Sunday, Jan. 24. Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver a sermon titled "Yes, but . . ." based on Matthew 5: 38-42 and Luke 19: 1-10. See below for how we "do church" now.
Sunday worship onYouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
Evening worship service now Mondays

Thursday evening worship services via Zoom have moved to 7 p.m. MondaysFor more information please contact Robin at
Instructions for Zoom worship

For now, we will continue to provide the Zoom worship live on our YouTube channel ( 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.
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.

How can I donate?

You can donate through Givelify or send a check to the church. In either case, please designate it’s for the capital campaign in the memo field. We will provide regular updates as we progress toward our goal.
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 and she will send you the link.
Let's talk: next virtual fellowship Jan. 24

Our Sunday Fellowship Time following the morning worship service will resume Sunday, Jan. 24. Our Fellowship Team extends a warm invitation to everyone to come and chat. This is an opportunity to catch up with friends! Simply stay on Zoom and our hosts will take care of the rest.
NEW day for Adult Education

Adult Education now 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: A Zoom link will be made available. Contact Robin at if you're interested.
 Women's Book Discussion Group

The Women's Book Discussion Group will continue with a new book at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 — "Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic — and Beyond" by Matthew Fox.

Please read Chapters 2 and 3 for our discussion via Zoom on Jan 26. Contact Robin if you are interested in learning more.
Incremental Change 
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
Have you noticed that we have a little more sunlight each day? Unless you have a very structured schedule which puts you in touch with how light it is at any given time of day, it’s hardly noticeable. According to my calculations, we have 24 more minutes of sunshine today, one month after the winter solstice, than we did on Dec. 21. 

I assure you we’ll be very aware of how much daylight hours have increased by the time we reach June. But on a day-to-day basis, the difference is minuscule.

This realization reminds me of how many changes I’ve experienced over the course of these months of isolation. Even the things I didn’t consciously invite into my routine have somehow taken hold.

Things like different eating and exercise patterns; when, how frequently, and from which sources I get my information; and realizing that things that had never been an issue, suddenly are. While some of these discoveries are unpleasant, there are those that are not. I’ve learned new things; I've participated in groups (virtual) that I would never have been aware of; I've determined to look into the face of this time of restriction and loss to see possibility. 

I’ve also learned that we have a propensity to some level of addiction: it could be what we ingest (food/drink), what we consume (virtually), the vehemence with which we defend strongly-held beliefs, or the distressing way in which we (as a culture) have embraced the ethos of the day — selfishness, self-centeredness, ugliness (to use the words of Eddie Glaude).
Photo Credit: Arindam Saha via (open source) 

What holds us hostage begins to exact a toll rather than offer the relief we’d hoped for.

At any time we can re-evaluate and reimagine. When I think about the slow and steady changes in daylight minutes which become hours, it reminds me that small changes in behavior and attitude can have the same steady impact for us. 

It begins with awareness — paying attention. Then comes the hurdle of taking action; it initially seems pointless because our attempts seem so insignificant! Over time, however, the changes are as noticeable as the lengthening of daylight hours. Never underestimate the power of incremental change. If you find that hard to believe, think back to where you were one year ago. What story do you want January 21, 2022 to tell? 
Men's Book Discussion Group

The Men's Book Study has resumed virtually via Zoom from 7-8 p.m.on Tuesdays after a hiatus due to COVID. Please contact Rod Zook at if you're interested.
The group is reading and discussing "Inspired" by Rachel Held Evans. On Jan. 26, the group will work with pages 59-79. A Zoom link will be sent out on Monday. 
Jan. 17 sermon: "Engage, Learn, Take Action, Lead –
Where Are You Called?"

Last Sunday Robin delivered a guest sermon titled "Engage, Learn, Take Action, Lead – Where Are You Called?" based on 1 Samuel 3: 1-10, (11-20). Click here to watch the sermon.
Marilyn resumes office hours at church

Marilyn’s office days and hours will be back to Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning on Jan. 25. Please be sure to call ahead (559.435.2690) and remember to wear a mask if you need to come to the office.

 Carol and Virginia also will be back in the office next week. Checks received between Jan. 13-25 will be deposited on Jan. 25. Annual donation statements for income tax purposes will be mailed on the Jan. 25.
Pastor Julia suspends office hours

Pastor Julia will suspend in-person office hours for the next few weeks because of county regulations regarding COVID. She would love to hear from you by phone call, text, FaceTime or Zoom. E-mail her at
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 You can also submit prayer requests via our web page at
Sign up to be notified when it's your turn for the COVID-19 vaccine

If you live in Fresno County and want to be notified when you're eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, click here to fill out this form. Fresno County officials will notify you when the COVID-19 vaccine is made available in your applicable tier or when the vaccine is made available to the general public.

Also, Helmut shared new findings that more than half of coronavirus cases are spread by asymptomatic carriers, a new CDC model shows. Click here to read more, in the JAMA Network Open.
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.
Urgency, persistence mark UCC King Day observances

The holiday has never come at a time so filled with tumult and hope.
As United Church of Christ leaders mark the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., that fact is not lost on them.

Worship services, socially distanced service projects and UCC speakers at civic events are among this year’s observances. Urgency and persistence are two of their common themes. And the events are going ahead — before, on and after the Jan. 18 holiday — even as:

— Congress impeaches a president for inviting and inciting a white mob that vandalized the U.S. Capitol and walked away. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

January Birthdays

1 Henry Phillips
2 Theodore Dutton
4 Lonna Walker
5 Stacy Fazio, Paige Newport
6 Mike Mighaccio
11 Kellin Chaffin, Nancy Parks
15 Jeff Jones
16 Helen Winkel
17 Joseph LeBeau, Patty Parks
19 Joel Van Patten
21 Betty Lundberg
24 Sue Hipp
25 Ben Parks
29 Carter Reynolds
31 Roger Wall

January Anniversaries

3 — Erin and EJ Hinojosa

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.
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 Bell (, 559.244.9502) is the volunteer communications liaison for our church.

Lisa and Doug Hoagland ( alternate working on eNews. Send your announcements to both of them. Emails: and
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