Community UCC eNews
May 21, 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 be closed until the City of Fresno's "Shelter in Place" advisory is lifted.
Sunday Sermon — Zoom and Facebook Live (not at church, for now)  

On Sunday, May 24 , Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver her first sermon as our new minister. It will be titled “ From Roller Coaster to Continuo, ” based on Psalm 62. 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 will do a Zoom meeting, so we can see each other's faces even as we are apart. Zoom is a videoconferencing interface available for video and audio conferencing, chat, webinars and more.

Links to the Zoom worships will 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.

NEW: If you are using Zoom for worship, you should have received an email about updating to Zoom 5.0, which has enhanced security features . After May 30, 2020, all Zoom users on older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings. Check your email for this communication from Zoom.
Final call for pledge cards for Stewardship Campaign 2020

Although this year's Stewardship Campaign concluded with Stewardship Sunday, May 17, you still have two more days to get your pledge card in to be entered in a drawing for two gift cards at the beginning of worship Sunday . Names will be entered from Pledge Cards received by Saturday, May 23.

Pledge cards can be submitted by mail, by dropping them in the mail slot at the church, or by completion online (links below) and the church website .  

Our annual Stewardship drive each spring, in which we ask church members and supporters what they will bring to the mission of the church, is crucial to allow us to develop a realistic budget for the upcoming fiscal year, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

If you want to print out and mail in your forms, here are links to do so:

NEW: Or you can submit your answers online via these links to Google Forms:
May Hope be our Action 

I find these days, weeks, and months to be more and more disorienting as time passes! Nothing seems familiar: not my routines; not the unusual sensations I feel; not my thought patterns; not the gnawing loneliness that creeps in masquerading as exhaustion.

Not even how my clothes fit!  

Indeed, the confusion, anxiety, and inescapable questions of “how long?” and “what now?” seem to be our daily (and nightly) tormentors. 

While we have no roadmap, and are truly making the road by walking (a concept explored by author and theologian Brian McLaren), we do have a Companion; an undaunted Navigator; One who empathizes and sustains at every turn. 

If you’re feeling that one emotion collides with another, one question cannot even be verbalized before three more appear, you may find yourself reflected in the lines of the poem below! 
***

when 

your writer’s
pen fills page after
endless page
of traceless 
nothingness;

the music of your
symphony is 
indistinguishable
from yesterday’s
slumber;

the dances that
ignite your soul
show up as statues 
pressed up
against next winter’s 
firewood;

the poems that
rock your 
lullabies are
locked forever
in literary birth
canals;

the oils you 
lavish upon
expanses
of gleaming
white remain
invisible

then 
be still—
this is your winter.
dormancy of the soul.
seeming death,
yet newness is 
brooding,
incubating
in solitude,
shrouded,
enduring isolation,
awaiting resurrection. 

exchange 
your music for
paints, 
write with
haunting melodies, 
bend, sway,
leap upon 
barren canvas.

fear no new sound.
acclimate to
fragrances that frolic.
embrace what seems foreign.
taste the brave journey.

endure. 
stay. 
believe.
turn to your left
then to your right.
there are other 
sojourners beside
you.

i am one of them.
we are all here.

may hope be our action—
love our fuel. 
“I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” — Jesus the Christ (Matthew 28:20; Common English Bible)
Congregational Meeting is June 14

Team leaders,

Your team reports are due via email to Marilyn by TODAY, to give her time to prepare them for the annual report for members of our congregation. This year's annual congregational meeting will be held via Zoom immediately following worship on Sunday, June 14.

In addition to discussion of the annual reports, the congregational meeting is where we will take action on the proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
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
The 2020 grads of Community UCC!

Rod Zook made a slide show of all the graduates we celebrated last Sunday in worship. If you missed it, or even if you want to watch it again, you can see it here.
Reprinted from a Pastoral Update from Big Red: Grace Odell [a former member of our congregation along with her husband, Garner] passed away in the peaceful early hours of May 15. She was at home, where she had been in hospice care and with her two daughters, Nancy and Paula.
Garner remains hospitalized while recovering from a stroke two weeks ago. Grace and Garner had recently been able to see each other and communicate over a video chat.
Though we grieve and mourn, we do so while thanking God for the full, abundant life she lived for 96 years, for all of the love and joy she enjoyed and shared with everyone around her, and for the time we got to share with her as her church family. Through our sadness, we also give thanks that for Grace all pain and suffering have finished, and that it is in God's care that she now rests.
Living the Questions

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

  • May 25: Embracing Mystery

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).
Women's Book Discussion Group to start new book

Women's Book Group will start their next book "The Time Is Now" by Joan Chittister at 6 p.m. June 2 with Zoom.For the first meeting, please read the Introduction and the first 3 chapters.

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.
Should Churches Return to Worship in Their Sanctuaries?

As the country debates how, when, and under what circumstances life might return to normal, leaders in every setting of the church are deliberating about returning to their sanctuaries for worship.

As leaders in the United Church of Christ, we want to send a clear and strong message to congregations who are considering going back to meeting in person: We urge you to wait until ALL safety concerns have been addressed. We want to offer what guidance we can about issues you should consider in your deliberations. Continue reading at UCC.com.
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

May Birthdays

1 Wendy Thompson
3 Sarah Fey, Thomas Russell
6 Benjamin Kloos
7 Louise Andrews, Bill Dailey, Mirth Lundal
8 Adriana Wall
11 Gail McDougle
15 Marty Mulvihill
16 Hayden Shea
17 Lynn Samuelian, Victoria Wall
19 Marilyn Wall
21 Tom Carroll, Promila Mahtab
22 Robin Carlson, Karri Jones    
24 Sib White
25 Spence Hipp
29 Maria Contreras
31 Donna Wright
NO May Anniversaries

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.
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 be closed until the City of Fresno's "Shelter in Place" advisory is lifted.

Phone: 559.435.2690 
Email: office@communityucc.com