Community UCC eNews
June 18, 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 Sermon — Zoom and Facebook Live  

On Sunday, June 21 , Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver her sermon titled “ Those Family Members! ” based on Matthew 10:24-30. See below for details of how we will "do church" for now.

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, to ensure security. 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.
What Time Is It?
By Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
 
In this time of pandemic anxiety, social upheaval, and uncertainty, it's difficult to have the capacity we feel we need for successful daily navigation. I spoke with another UCC church leader (from another congregation) who admitted their response to the question, "How's it going?” has evolved from “Hanging in there,” to “Surviving." I appreciate the honesty! 

This is also a week in which I have been angered by what I consider to be an inappropriate statement from a prominent American white male church leader to the blight of slavery / ongoing racial injustice / white privilege. It’s my responsibility to choose my engagement based on the level of my understanding, the time I have to invest, and whether I am the one to respond. I must determine what is mine to give and what I cannot contribute right now

A recent conversation with a young mom again put me in touch with the blinding, tantalizing menu of social media options designed specifically for pre-teens, teens, and very young adults. Those who are called to parent and guide kids have a formidable task—one always begging the questions: keeping the end goal in mind, is this worth fighting over / for, and what’s critically necessary right now? 

What’s it time for right now? The wisdom writer of our scriptures states there is a time for every matter in our world. The list which follows sometimes confuses us because it contains both things we long for and things we dread. There is a time to dance and a time to mourn; a time to search and a time to lose; a time to tear apart and a time to repair. 

Though we tend to gravitate toward the one and despise the other, it’s our challenge to embrace what we delight in as well as what we recoil from, because the rich texture of this piece or art as a whole gives beauty to our lives on this earth. When we accept that we will never understand this, we can come to a measure of peace. 

What time is it? What does this time of physical distancing and social connection offer us that no other time has, will, or can? It may push us to the edge of survival; it may threaten to crush us under enormous weight; it may be a beacon to show us what’s possible. 

It's our goal to do more than "survive," to have bandwidth to contribute meaningfully to an important conversation, to be on top of all the demands various aspects of our lives throw at us. However, there are times we do well to simply let go of what we cannot change—what we cannot change right now ! Remarkably, the wisdom writer reminds us that God has made everything fitting in its time.
"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.
"Rock Me, Mercy"
By Yusef Komunyakaa

The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods
has gone dumb. It looks like rain
because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you’re hiding,
we know you can’t be everywhere at once.
Have you corralled all the pretty wild
horses? The memory of ants asleep
in daylilies, roses, holly, & larkspur.
The magpies gaze at us, still
waiting. River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is,
Mercy, please, rock me.

Yusef Komunyakaa’s poems are rooted in his experiences as an African American growing up in rural Louisiana and his service in the Vietnam War. Influenced by the jazz music he loves as well as by people’s everyday speech, his poetry has won a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1994.
And the winner is . . .

Congratulations to Armando Madrid, winner of The Gifting Tree.

The Gifting Tree featured gift cards valued at more than $400 and was a fundraiser sponsored by the Missions and Social Justice Team.

A drawing for The Tree was held during the worship service on June 14.

Tickets were sold in February and March, and the drawing was originally scheduled for March 15. The pandemic led to a postponement of the drawing.
For the Syrian children

The Soukis are the Syrian family our church has adopted, and their children would benefit from a couple items:

1) A 16-18-inch bicycle with training wheels for the youngest girl, Salwa.

2) A jungle gym or similar play structure the younger children could enjoy.

If you have either of these items or know someone who does, please contact Janet Capella. She can arrange for pick up.

Thank you.
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.
Pledges are still welcomed!

It's not too late to submit your pledges for this year's Stewardship Campaign  – Four Great Loves. In our annual stewardship drive each spring, we ask church members and supporters what they will bring to the mission of the church for the following fiscal year, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Pledges received from our members helps our Finance Team develop a realistic budget for the coming year.

You can submit your answers online via these links to Google Forms:
Living the Questions

We are doing Living the Questions study at 10 a.m. Mondays via Zoom.

  • June 22: A video followed by discussion guided by Roger Wall
  • June 29: Begin Richard Rohr's "The Wisdom Pattern." Read Chapter 1

Contact Robin if you need a link to the Zoom meeting (or check the email to church members that went out on Wednesday with Zoom links for this week).
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 or call Marilyn to have her set up a time for a call. Marilyn will organize this flow. If you have any questions, please contact Marilyn.
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  faithgrowth@communityucc.com.
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 praises Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ rights

The United Church of Christ is celebrating a landmark decision from the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, June 15, that protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination in the workplace. By a vote of 6-3, the justices ruled that an existing federal law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status.

The Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, executive for health and wholeness advocacy, is applauding this major victory for the LGBTQ+ community from a more conservative court than the one which upheld marriage equality in 2015. Continue reading at UCC.com.
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

June Birthdays
3 Penny Carroll
8 Clay Pressley
Virginia Virag
12 Sam Mahtab
13 Laurie Tidyman-Jones
16 Jacque Garcia
17 Sean Carlson
18 Annie Van Patten
22 Steve Reynolds, Ron Vivian
24 Jazmyn Wall

June Anniversaries
13 Helmut and Diana Kloos
18 Sharon Powers and Mike Smith

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.
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 remotely.
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 (lisamboyles12@gmail.com, 559.244.9502) is the eNews editor and communications liaison for our church.
To help keep us all connected over the summer, since we still won't be seeing each other in person for now, we have decided NOT to go to our usual every-other-week summer eNews schedule.

Instead, Doug and Lisa will alternate the eNews production. So just 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 
Email: office@communityucc.com