Community UCC eNews
Jan. 7, 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. 10. Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver a sermon titled "A Different Sound," based on Mark 1: 4-11.

See below for how we "do church" now.
Sunday worship onYouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
Special Fellowship Time Jan. 10

We will have a Fellowship Time this Sunday after the 10:30 a.m.worship service. You can participate simply by staying on Zoom after the service concludes.

The Fellowship Time will give us a chance to visit with one another.
Thanks to Patty Parks and Bonita Earl of the Fellowship Team for leading us in this opportunity.

See you Sunday after the service.
Thursday evening worship service moves to Mondays

Thursday evening worship services have moved to 7 p.m. Mondays.  For more information please contact Robin at faithgrowth@communityucc.com.
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.
Join discussion on race with acclaimed writer
CUCC members and friends can participate next week in a discussion about systemic racism with acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The University of California at Santa Barbara will host a virtual discussion with Coates at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The session costs $10 for the general public. If you can’t attend on Jan. 12, you can view it up to a week later. The New York Times has called Coates “one of the most influential black intellectuals of his generation.”
 
To sign up, click here. Click on the “I’m Interested” button. It will take you to a box: "Login To UC Santa Barbara."
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: cac.org. A Zoom link will be made available.
Acts of Courage
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
In an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC on Jan. 3, Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, recounted statements made by the President of the United States during an hour-long phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2.

In addition to underscoring the criminal nature of the statements, Mr. Schiff applauded Mr. Raffensperger for his courageous act of resistance, steadfastly upholding the legitimacy of the election in his state.

Mr. Schiff went on to say that this was one of many courageous acts shown across the country by people who refused to be intimidated, showing strength in the face of powerful demands. These are “heroic stories in the face of this assault on our democracy,” he said. 

In an op-ed for CNN, political consultant and analyst David Axelrod wrote that this courageous act “may well have doomed [M.r Raffensperger’s] own political future.”
 
Courageous acts tend not to be neutral; we see them spring up in tense environments when people choose to place conscience and the well-being of the common good ahead of personal gain.

We recognize this quality when we see it, applaud it, and admire those who exhibit it. And yet courage should never be the exclusive domain of a select few; this is a participation event with a compelling invitation to everyone.
Photo credit: Andreas Wagner via unsplash.com (open source)

Whenever we rouse ourselves out of our comfort zones, acting as members of the human race, not as lone rangers primarily focused on conquering new frontiers, we are in. 
 
This may once have gone without saying, but it doesn’t any longer. We are observing a population splintering into individualistic bunkers, making a cohesive movement forward increasingly difficult.
 
Yet courage crops up repeatedly, as was the case with Mr. Raffensperger. It is happening across the country and around the globe. Courage comes in many forms:

Courage to resist;
courage to be seen and heard;
courage to keep going;
courage to learn;
courage to change;
courage to stand up
for one who is maligned;
courage to let go;
courage to speak in hostile
environments. 
 
Courage requires sacrifice, comes with risks and may cost us everything. That’s a high price tag. Is it worth it? We cannot answer this until we have looked squarely into the face of cowardice and found it wanting. 
Save the Date:
Congregational Meeting

The next Congregational Meeting will be Sunday, Jan. 17, immediately following worship. This meeting will not be broadcast over any other streaming platform, so simply stay on Zoom after service to attend. We will need a quorum of our church membership to vote on the budget for the next six months. See you there! 
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 zomad2020@gmail.com if you're interested.
The group is reading and discussing "Inspired" by Rachel Held Evans. On Jan. 12, the group will work with the first two sections, ending on page 28. A Zoom link will be sent out on Monday. 
 Women's Book Discussion Group

The Women's Book Discussion Group will begin a new book at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 — "Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic — and Beyond" by Matthew Fox.

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she "sheltered in place" and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, "Showings," which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature's goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.

Please read the foreword, introduction and Chapter 1 for our first discussion via Zoom on Jan 19. Contact Robin if you are interested in learning more.
Jan. 3 sermon: "How It Started"

Last Sunday Pastor Julia delivered a sermon focusing on the first verses of the Gospel of John John 1:1-18 where Jesus the Christ is introduced. Click here to watch the sermon.
Office hours at the 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. 4. 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 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 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.


When he interviewed as a candidate at Enfield Congregational United Church of Christ last year, the Rev. Greg Gray was, he said, “very open about my recovery.”.

Since calling him as pastor last winter, the congregation has made fighting addiction its latest ministry in this northern Connecticut town. Gray’s personal knowledge of recovery, plus a generous bequest from a longtime member, are making it possible.

The church is offering up to $500 to help any Enfield resident enter a verified recovery program at a halfway house, sober house, detox center, rehab hospital or similar institution. Continue reading at UCC.com.
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 (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