Community UCC eNews
June 3, 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 (but not much longer!).
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 on Sunday, June 6, when Pastor Julia will deliver a sermon titled "Okay, Fine" inspired by 1 Samuel 8:4-20. Julia says, "This is a narrative that depicts what happens when people (or a nation) place(s) a demand. In this case, Yahweh gives in to the national leaders’ demand, but issues a strong warning. It’s timely and hits close to home."

See below for how we "do church" now.
Sunday worship onYouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
Instructions for Zoom worship

We will 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 worship services go out each Wednesday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line. If you would like to receive the Zoom links to participate in the Sunday service in a more interactive way, please contact the church office or let Lisa know.
Thursday evening worship

A more intimate evening worship takes place at 7 p.m. Thursdays on Zoom. if you have questions or would like a Zoom link, contact Robin at
Important: Reopening scheduled for July 4!

We will begin in-person worship with an outdoor service on July 4 at the church. The following Sunday, July 11, services will resume in the Sanctuary.

Because the July 4 service will be outdoors, we will not live-stream the service to YouTube nor will it be live on Zoom. An outdoor service presents technological challenges beyond the capabilities of our equipment. And taking a one-week break from the technical aspects of broadcasting will allow us all to enjoy seeing each other for the first time in almost 16 months.

The following Sunday – July 11 – services will resume in the sanctuary. The Council has decided on these protocols for indoor services:
  • Masks will be required.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Social distancing will be maintained. (Families, of course, can sit together.)
  • Fellowship after church will take place in the breezeway. We expect to serve coffee and water in paper cups.

Beginning on July 11, worship services will ONLY be on YouTube (, NOT on Zoom, using our new camera system. We are still working out details; more updates will be available in the coming weeks. 

We look forward to seeing you all in person soon!
June fund-raising raffle — Win a Desert Beauty basket

Just in time for the blazing summer heat, the Worship Team and Communications have prepared a wonderful succulent basket for the June fundraiser filled with goodies to help you keep cool. The basket contains:

  • Garden tools and gloves
  • Potting soil
  • Three medium pots containing a variety of plants
  • Ten small pots with individual plants
  • A book entitled The Beginner's Guide to Succulent Gardening
  • Notecards with original watercolor paintings of succulents done by Nancy Pressley
  • A refreshing bottle of Fresno State Albariño white wine
  • A $20 gift card for Ampersand ice cream

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. We will do the drawing on July 4, our first in-person gathering back at the church campus!

UPDATE on the painting raffle: Nancy Pressley was the winner of the raffle for May— Lisa's watercolor painting of the church.
Women's Book Discussion Group

On June 8, the Women's Book Discussion Group will begin a new book: "Mother Goose Meets A Woman Called Wisdom: A Short Course in the Art of Self-Determination" by Linda Hollies. She retells classic fairy tales with a decidedly spiritual – and autobiographical – spin.

If you have questions or need a Zoom link, please contact Robin at
Annual Meeting set for June 27

Our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, June 27, immediately after worship. This meeting will be held on Zoom. Please mark your calendars to join us!
All-Church Family Camp scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5

Annie and Jack Van Patten express their enthusiasm for – and love of – Family Camp in the video below. Annie can be reached at 209.902.2033 or
Are We Being Heard?
By Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
Over the years I’ve observed a variety of parenting methods; I’ve used a few myself. I’ve observed parents who negotiate, those who are angry and speak mostly in raised voices (dare I say, scream?), and those who buckle to the incessant whims of their children. 

I know there isn’t only one communication style that fits all situations. I have found, however, that while shouting may serve to release the parent’s frustration (or give some illusion of control), it merely projects frenzy onto the recipient. Calm communication — even dropping the voice when the child seems to need a forceful exertion of power — tends to elicit more cooperative responses.

This is a skill to be learned both on the part of the parent and the child. I would need a behavioral scientist or psychologist to explain what happens to produce this result, but I see the end product: hearing, responding, positive action, with dignity intact. 

As a faith community, we wonder how to communicate most effectively. How will we be heard? What kind of medium will communicate the message of love, justice, and embrace that we feel so passionate about? How can we keep from merely adding to the din of voices vying for an audience? 
Photo Credit: Vincent van Zalinge @vincentvanzalinge via (open source)

Just as is the case with business marketing, we look for a niche. In a culture — including the wider church culture — in which there are more loud, aggressively forceful exchanges than clear, calm communication, could it be that a calming message is counter-cultural and more effective? Noise, excessive talking, anger and aggression, along with constant activity, cause mental, emotional, even physical fatigue. A calming presence allows us to relax, drop our defenses, and therefore, truly puts us into a place where we can hear what is being said. 

Being relevant communicators isn’t merely connected with what we say, but how we speak. If it’s true for relating to children; it’s worth considering how we communicate with our fellow-citizens within and surrounding our faith community. 
Adult Education will resume in August

Adult Education will resume in August with details about time and place. The group will begin discussing "Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do about It" by David Zahl.

If you'd like to be informed when this discussion will resume, watch for updates in eNews or contact Robin at
On Sunday, May 30, Robin delivered a sermon titled "Can You Teach Yet Not Understand?" inspired by John 3:3-15. Click on the triangle above to watch and hear the sermon.
Marilyn's office hours at church

Marilyn is in the office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Please be sure to call ahead (559.435.2690) and remember to wear a mask if you need to come to the office.
Contacting Pastor Julia at church

Pastor Julia will be in the office Thursday mornings and can be reached by phone, text, e-mail or Facetime other days of the week as well. 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 it to Pastor Julia at You can also submit prayer requests via our web page at
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.
Kansas church dances its way back to in-person worship

Returning to church in person will be like a dance: a little awkward at first, but fun once you get the feel of it.

Members of Colonial Church in Prairie Village, a United Church of Christ congregation near Kansas City, dance to the global hit “Jerusalema” on Pentecost Sunday.

That was the theory at Colonial Church in Prairie Village, Kan., this spring. And it proved true. People there literally did dance through the up-and-down emotions of getting back together after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members practiced the globally popular “Jerusalema” dance all spring — then celebrated on Pentecost Sunday with a video camera rolling. Now they’re challenging others to do likewise. Continue reading at
June Birthdays and Anniversaries
June Birthdays

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 and Ron Vivian
24 Jazmyn Wall

June Anniversaries

13 Diana and Helmut Kloos
18 Sharon Powers and Mike Smith
19 — Lisa and Randy Bell
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). Send your announcements to both Lisa Boyles Bell and Doug Hoagland. Doug is now the primary newsletter designer, but Doug and Lisa collaborate on its production. 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
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