Community UCC eNews
May 27, 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 on Sunday, May 30, when Robin Carlson will deliver a sermon titled "Can You Teach Yet Not Understand?" inspired by John 3:3-15. 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 have a date!

July 4th. Outdoors. At CUCC. An in-person Sunday service for the first time in more than 16 months. Masks will be optional.

The following Sunday – July 11 – services will resume in the sanctuary. The Council has decided on these protocols for inside 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.
John Donaldson: 'Renaissance Man'

John passed away on Sunday, May 23, at age 95. He had been a member of CUCC since 1956.

His friend, Phil Fullerton, wrote a beautiful tribute describing John as "the ultimate Renaissance Man." He was "skilled and interested in a broad myriad of subjects and interests. Noted for his dapper bow ties, he has been a prominent figure at Fresno State, the Fresno political scene, and in the local music world," Phil wrote.

John, who earned a Ph.D. from Yale University, taught physics at Fresno State for 35 years. He was twice elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors in the 1970s and was a strong voice for openness and good government.

John led the choir at CUCC for many years, and he sang bass in the Fresno Community Chorus for 61 years. He also was an athlete – winning a national title in the discus while at Rice University and later earning AAU All-American honors in volleyball.

Pastor Julia wrote: "John is a legend! However, despite his enormous accomplishments, he was a humble, soft-spoken man who was a friend to everyone. Having come to know John only in the past years, I experienced him as one who embodied the kindness, grace, forgiveness, and acceptance we speak of at the church. His life spoke loudly, and he will be greatly missed."
Last chance: Win a painting of our church

A drawing to select the winner of the May raffle will be held during the May 30 worship service. Tickets are still available.

Inspired by Roger Wall's photo, Lisa Bell has painted a stunning picture of our church and is donating it for this raffle. This watercolor painting is 10.5 inches by 13.5 inches and will fit in a matte with an 11-by-14 opening.

If the raffle winner prefers, Lisa has offered a commissioned watercolor piece up to the same size. Samples of some of Lisa's other artwork can be seen here. If the winner chooses this second option, Lisa will donate the church painting to Community UCC.

Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. You can still buy them by sending a check to the church or going online at Givelify. In either case, please designate the money is for the May painting raffle.
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
. . . From Pastor Julia

Pastor Julia writes this introduction for the video below:

"How do you define 'strong'? As we hope to be able to live life differently in the coming months, here’s an opportunity to build strength in a new way."
Women's Book Discussion Group concludes one book, starting another June 8

The women's group concludes its discussion of "Blessed Are the Crazy" by Sarah Griffith Lund at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, on Zoom.

On June 8, the 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
Adult Education taking a week off

Adult Education will not meet Monday, May 31. It will resume in June with details about time and place in next week's eNews.

He writes: "At the heart of our current moment lies a universal yearning not to be happy or respected so much as enough – what religions call 'righteous.' To fill the void left by religion, we look to all sorts of everyday activities – from eating and parenting to dating and voting – for the identity, purpose, and meaning once provided on Sunday morning. In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out."

If you'd like to join in the discussion. please contact Robin at
On Pentecost Sunday, May 23, Pastor Julia delivered a sermon titled "Something Had To Die For A Renaissance" inspired by Ezekiel 37: 1-14. 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
Youth camps at Camp Tam 2021

Here are dates for youth camps at Camp Tam this summer:
  • July 18-24 – Junior Camp (children entering fourth to sixth grades)
  • July 25-31 – Junior High Camp (youth entering seventh to ninth grades)
  • August 1-7 – Senior High Camp (youth entering 10th grade through 2021 high school graduates)

Click here for registration details.
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.
Georgia law not stopping faith coalition from fighting for voters’ rights

The right to vote — and laws affecting it — are a hot topic in many U.S. states.

Georgia is one of them. There, United Church of Christ members are in the middle of efforts to protect that right.

After visibly stepping out in recent months on voting rights and other justice issues, they’re now organizing others to act — with special attention to what churches can do.

There is “quite a variety of faith justice groups in our new coalition,” said the Rev. Joyce Myers-Brown, a member of Central Congregational UCC. “And that is exciting.”
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month

May Birthdays
29 Maria Contreras
31 Donna Wright

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 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
Follow us on social media: