Community UCC eNews
July 23, 2020
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.

The Church and Office will remain closed for now.
Sunday Worship — Zoom and Facebook Live  

On Sunday, July 26 , our music director EJ Hinojosa will deliver a sermon titled “Blessed Assurance” based on Romans 8:26-39.

EJ writes: "It's hard times for spiritual people right now, especially empathetic ones. Those of us who most desperately yearn for human unity and kindness may find themselves in a constant state of heartache or anxiety. It doesn't help that the world tends to punish those who are most able to feel pain — whether physical or emotional.

"Jesus empowers us to lean into the pain, knowing that the yearning we feel is enough to sustain us. Hardship is natural for those who are sensitive to the ebbing and flowing of the world. Only the oblivious are immune — "ignorance is bliss", as they say. God calls us to double-down, dig deep and place our trust in him." 

Worship on Facebook Live will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Instructions for Zoom worship

For upcoming worship services, we are doing Zoom videoconferencing meetings, so we can see each other's faces even as we are apart.

Links to the Zoom worships go out each Wednesday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line.

Lisa will continue to provide Facebook Live on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., by capturing her computer screen during the Zoom worship.
Community UCC will NOT reopen church, office for now

The past few months in this pandemic have shown us that the Church is neither a building nor defined by in-person meetings; it is people! We miss being and worshiping together; we miss welcoming new people into our worship; we miss joining together in fellowship, sharing life’s joys and sorrows. But despite our sense of loss and longing, we will keep our church building doors closed at this time out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and safety of all members of our congregation and our staff. Read more about this decision on our website.
By Pastor Julia Penner-Zook

It’s interesting how language evolves; in the past months new words and short phrases have become common-place in our language. For example, shelter-in-place was once used almost exclusively to urge people to stay where they were without leaving the building, because a natural disaster was approaching, or there had been an accident such as a chemical leak, or there was a threat of violence. 

The term, s ocial distancing was already used in the 19th century, but its usage defined class, race, and issues of social standing exclusively. The journalism outlet, Mother Jones, states social distancing was first used as a medical and safety descriptor in 2006, offering a politically correct way of saying “quarantine.” The CDC as well as psychologists have registered concern with this term, suggesting physical distancing may be more accurate: encouraging the population to remain socially engaged while maintaining physical distance. 

Alone Togethe r, the name of a very short-lived comedy series from a few years ago, are words that have taken on a new meaning during the past months of self-isolation. There’s even a website, designed to support people who are navigating this crisis alone. 
I’m drawn to the concept of alone together, not only because I was gifted a bracelet with this inscription at the outset of the pandemic. There are times we have to be alone, but we are always connected; we can be together. 

We’ve tried to express this practically at CUCC over these months as we reach out to one another by phone, text, or e-mail. This connection is vital in letting us know we may be alone, but we are always united. Together. 

Knowing we are together, though alone, is vital to our well-being and spiritual and mental health. We all need to know that there is someone—at least one other person—who is there for us, whether physically present or connected emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

Possibly the most haunting Scriptural image we have of isolation is Jesus at the time of his death. We are given the impression that he was surrounded only by the brutal enforcers of the regime’s sentence. 

However the Gospels paint another, often overlooked, picture. One person is consistently and unmistakably there! It’s Mary Magdalene. Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest, writer, and mystic writes, “What if, instead of emphasizing that Jesus died alone and rejected, we reinforced that one stood by him and did not leave?”

Language evolves; language shapes reality.  

If we were to remind ourselves of this small shift in focus in this scriptural narrative, turning this loving connection over and over in our minds, allowing its meaning to sink into our souls, it would be revolutionary! 

One makes all the difference. 

One person! 
One community!
One hope! 
" A Space for Reflection" will contain quotes and poetry to contemplate and reflect upon as you move through your week. Take a moment to read the quote or poem, allow the words to wash over you. Then, see what word(s) spoke to you, what thought(s) came up for you and then you might journal those thoughts or just sit with them for a while.
“If you have to choose
between being kind and
being right, choose 
being kind and you will
always be right.”
Last chance! — Homemade bread, jam and Starbucks raffle!

How about some treats during the quarantine? The July CUCC raffle will feature:

  • Nancy Pressley's delicious homemade ciabatta bread or bagels
  • The Kilburns' homemade boysenberry jam
  • Ghiradelli hot chocolate from Sharon Powers-Smith
  • Starbucks instant coffee
  • Two beautiful mugs

There will be TWO raffle baskets to bring these delectable comfort into your life during this stressful time — one with bagels, one with bread.  Buy your tickets now through Givelify (remember to put "July Raffle" in the message) or mail a check to the church.

Tickets are $5 each or three for $10. However you give, make sure you note that your money should go to the July Raffle.

Drawing will be held during Announcements on Sunday, July 26. Good Luck!!!
Pitman and Tidyman scholarships available

CUCC annually offers two scholarships: the Martha and Paul Pitman Scholarship and the Phyllis A. Tidyman Scholarship.

The Pitman Scholarship Fund – established in 1998 – supports the theological education of students preparing for ordained ministry and “in care” of the church.
Graduate students or re-entry students returning to school after a two-year absence are eligible if a seminary student doesn’t apply.

The Tidyman Scholarship Fund – established in 1999 by the Tidyman family –provides scholarships for church members.

The Pitmans and Mrs. Tidyman were longtime church members.

Completed applications are due in the church office by July 31.
In case you missed it, last Sunday Pastor Julia Penner-Zook delivered a sermon titled “Is Hope Delusional or Disruptive?” based on Romans 5:1-5. From Julia: "Our everyday lives often challenge us to the core. Do we lose hope, believing that having hope is unrealistic, given our time in history?" Click here to watch her sermon .
Adult Education

We are doing an Adult Education study at 10 a.m. Mondays via Zoom. July 27: Richard Rohr's "The Wisdom Pattern."

Contact Ann Scott if you need a link to the Zoom meeting.
Office hours for Pastor Julia

Office hours for our Pastor, Julia Penner-Zook, are  Tuesday afternoons . If you'd like to chat with Julia by phone, please email her at  to schedule a time. She would love to hear from you. 
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 (Robin is on vacation the next few weeks).

Helping all CUCC members attend online services

Some members of CUCC cannot access our Thursday and Sunday online services because they don’t have a necessary device.

At the same time, some of us may have phones, tablets or computers we are no longer using. If you have one that someone could borrow, please email Marilyn Wall at  or leave a message on the church phone, 559.435.2690.

We’ll compile a list of available devices, and details will follow on distribution.
Help will be available to erase personal information from a borrowed device.
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.
UCC officers mourn Rep. John Lewis, the Rev. C.T. Vivian, civil right giants

Executives of the United Church of Christ grieved the loss of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, celebrated the life of the civil rights icon, patriot and long-time Georgia congressman and said they hope to lift up his legacy in the days to come.

They also marked the passing of the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Both men, colleagues of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died Friday, July 17. 

Lewis , who died at 80 of pancreatic cancer, became a key figure in the civil rights movement, involved in some of the most pivotal moments for racial equality in U.S. history. He fought injustice through “good trouble, necessary trouble,” organizing nonviolent sit-ins and protests as he came of age in the Jim Crow South. He continued to fight for the marginalized and the oppressed during more than three decades in Washington, D.C. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

July Birthdays
1 Kyrie Oneal
 Erin Hinojosa and Mike Powers-Smith
10 Janice Shorgo
11   Kristen White-Barrett
16   Marge Kelly
19  Bobbie Vivian
21  Amy Richardson
22  Bryan Clark
23  Maggie Dutton
28  Jack Jackson, and, Devin and Deshawn Ruffin
29  June Supersad
30  Susan Chavez and Carolyn Evans
31  Al Evans  

July Anniversaries
– Stacy and Tony Fazio
21  Bobbie and Ron Vivian
31  Elizabeth Davis-Russell and Thomas Russell

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.
Upcoming Church Events

  • We will resume listing in-person events after things get back to normal. For now, events have either been cancelled, will be rescheduled or will be held virtually.
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 for newsletters from June to August.

We've updated our Joyful Giving page to reflect the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations, especially needed in these critical and uncertain times.

The Church and Office will remain closed for the time being, due to COVID-19.

Phone: 559.435.2690