Community UCC eNews
May 28, 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.
 Pentecost Sunday Sermon — Zoom and Facebook Live (not at church, for now)  

On Pentecost, Sunday, May 31 , Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver her sermon titled “ Comfort for the Uncomforted, ” based on Acts 2:1-21. Remember to wear red , which represents the fire of the Holy Spirit.

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 meetings, 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.
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.
The Strength of a Few
By Pastor Julia Penner-Zook

On May 21 Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg @TheRaDR tweeted:

“Hidden righteous person — one of 36 righteous people on earth at all times whose role in life is to justify the purpose of humankind in the eyes of God. We don’t know who they are.”

Curious, I searched for background. Those steeped in Torah studies will know that within Jewish legend there is a strong belief that every generation is saved by 36 righteous people. This understanding rests on various Hebrew texts, including some from our Christian wisdom and prophetic literature. If you’d like more details, feel free to look into it, or call on those in our community who are well versed in Jewish teachings.

Discussing the basis for this belief doesn’t need to dominate our discussion on this platform. Here is what caught my attention: At a time of global catastrophe we look for people to blame. We can readily identify those we think should be dealt with quickly so that our equilibrium can be restored.

Thinking about 36 righteous persons invites us to the opposite: we can be grateful for those who continue to live justly, humbly despite horrific world conditions; we can pray to be counted among those who live justly. 

When we are tempted to circle the wagons — wrapping our coats about us tightly in defense of our way — we do well to draw the circle wider instead! It’s an opportunity to listen to our kin from other faith expressions. We can breathe deeply and consider other perspectives. An abundance of blessing and grace surrounds us. 

Undoubtedly many of us have seen last Sunday’s New York Times front page listing names, ages, locations, and short details from the lives of 1,000 of the now 100,000+ COVID-19 victims. It is a somber sight, paralleling monuments such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “... There’s a little bit of a fatigue with the data,” says Simone Landon, assistant editor of the graphics desk for the NYT, speaking of the coronavirus crisis.

Indeed we are fatigued! While we dare not divert our attention away from this colossal tragedy for long, we must take restorative breaks. Pondering how we can become one of the “36 righteous persons” is a welcome relief. 

What catches your attention when you think about the impact a small number of ordinary, obscure people, committed to righteousness (justice), can have on an out-of-control world stage? I would love to hear. E-mail me at
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:
Congregational Meeting is June 14

Our annual congregational meeting will take place virtually right after worship on Sunday, June 14 . Either stay on the Zoom worship meeting after church ends, or join the Facebook Live broadcast within the private group for church members.

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.
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.
Living the Questions

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

  • June 1: 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.

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
The COVID-19 pandemic
An overview, with a focus on the emergence of different epidemics in diverse contexts. 
From Helmut Kloos: The following is is a summary of an article about the COVID-19 pandemic, based on a draft I am currently preparing with Professor Wim van Damme and other colleagues in Belgium and UK. I will submit the article to be reprinted on CUCC Facebook page after it has been published.

Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, COVID-19 disease has spread to all countries of the world. In every country the COVID-19 pandemic follows different trajectories, and takes variable shapes and forms.

This paper summarizes the natural history and variability in COVID-19 epidemics in different countries and socioeconomic contexts. This variety of trajectories is little described, analyzed, and understood, especially outside the intensively researched hot spots in the US, Europe and China.

The paper begins with a brief timeline of COVID-19, followed by a review of contextual factors thought to influence transmission of the virus SARS-CoV-2. It then briefly compares COVID-19 epidemics with other emerging respiratory diseases.

We also briefly compare COVID-19 with influenza, measles, and other coronavirus diseases and then proceed to discuss various preventive measures aimed at slowing or halting transmission of the virus in the absence of an effective vaccine. Remaining critical unknowns and uncertainties about COVID-19 are pointed out throughout the text.

The paper ends with a view to potential future scenarios. Besides informing about the variability of the COVID-19 pandemic in different parts of the world, the upcoming article may help to dispel misinformation about the nature and unfolding of this disease.
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.
Death of Ahmaud Arbery to be subject of national UCC Zoom event May 31

With racial tensions escalating in a U.S. presidential election year, a prominent United Church of Christ pastor who has described the death of jogger Ahmaud Arbery as a lynching will join panelists in a national online conversation on Sunday, May 31, about how Christians "can be actively involved in dismantling racism."

The event, to be held on the webinar platform Zoom at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, will include a 22-minute  cinematic sermon , "The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery." Its preacher, the Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Chicago's  Trinity UCC , will be one of the panelists. Continue reading at to obtain link to register.
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 ( ) 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 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 . Lisa Boyles (, 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