Community UCC eNews
Nov. 12, 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.

Virtual worship for now. 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

On Sunday, Nov. 15, CUCC member Chad Hayden will give a sermon titled “Hearing the Holy Spirit Like Little Children." See below for how we "do church" now.
Worship on YouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday evening worship is canceled until further notice.
Instructions for Zoom worship

For now, we will continue to provide 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 worships go out each Wednesday in a separate email just to church members. Look for "Zoom links" in that email subject line.
Saturday in the park with Tower String Quartet

Our music director EJ Hinojosa has arranged an opportunity for CUCC members and friends to enjoy – in person – the sounds of the Tower String Quartet, a Fresno group.

  • When: 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 (Saturday). Folks can begin arriving at 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Robinson Park – next to the church
  • How: Bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on. 
  • Program: Selections will include classical music by Mozart and Haydn as well as American classics by Richard Rodgers and Harold Arlen. The Tower String Quartet will play other selections, as well.
  • Really important: Everyone must wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance from those outside their family. This is for your protection as well as other folks in our church family. (We’ll have monitors to ensure everyone’s safety.)
  • One more thing: The church’s bathrooms or other facilities will not be open.
LAST CHANCE: Aloha, folks! Check out this quilt!

A Hawaiian-themed award-winning quilt – featuring floral designs and depictions of classic beach scenes – is the centerpiece of a raffle put together by the Finance Team. Proceeds will go to the church’s general fund.

Seventy postcard-size rectangles depicting tropical flowers fill one side of the 60-inch by 66-inch quilt. The other side is a montage of Woodie station wagons from the 1960s, palm trees, beach shacks, and surf boards. The quilt will fit a twin bed or can serve as a topper for full and queen size beds.

Local quilter Becci Zaninovich donated the quilt for the raffle. Becci won a second-place ribbon at the Big Fresno Fair for the quilt.

In addition to the quilt, the Finance Team is including a bottle of Malibu Caribbean Rum, dry roasted macadamia nuts, a Coastal Cocktail Mixer collection in a cardboard Woodie, and Air Wick's Hawaii Essential Oils with electric diffuser.

Tickets are $10 each and the drawing will be held on Sunday, Nov. 15.
Adult Education

Adult Education via Zoom is at 9 a.m. Sundays. Ann Scott will send Zoom links to those who have been participating. Here is the schedule:

Sunday, Nov. 15: Continue study of "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
Be part of this year's Hanging of the Greens on Dec. 6

Hanging of the Greens is another annual tradition of our church. On a Sunday in early December, we dedicate a service to the decorating of our church Sanctuary for the Advent/Christmas season, decorating our Christmas tree, and bringing in wreaths of greens and poinsettia plants placed in honor of loved ones.

Like so many things this year, we have to find a new way to honor that tradition. That’s where you can help!

Like our recent “Words from the Congregation” sermon, we would like to have members share their personal traditions of how you decorate your home for the holidays. It could be a story about your tree, a treasured ornament, your own Advent candle, a special creche, a handmade item passed down from generations, or some other memory of how you made the Advent/Christmas season special in your family.

If you would like to participate, you can help in one of two ways:

1) Record a brief horizontal video (no more than 3 minutes) of yourself telling your personal “Hanging of the Greens” story. You can do this with a smartphone, either recording video in selfie mode or have someone take it of you. Email, text or AirDrop (via iPhone) the finished video to Lisa (she can arrange contactless housecalls to locals for AirDrop, and talk you through the process).

2) If you find doing the recording yourself too daunting, you can schedule a short Zoom meeting with Lisa or Doug to tell your story, and one of them can record it. 

If you have two or three photos to supplement your story, either from this year, if you are an early decorator, or years past, those can be woven into your story by Lisa. Just get your photos to Lisa along with your video. 

Lisa will need to have your videos and photos no later than Nov. 25 — the day before Thanksgiving — to allow time to edit the project together for the Hanging of the Greens service on Dec. 6. 
 Women's Book Discussion Group

The Women's Book Discussion Group will continue reading Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17,

As we enter what can be a busy time of year for many, we will shorten our meetings a little for this book study, meeting from 6-7 p.m. each week, instead of 90 minutes. Discussions will be led by members of the group, as Robin continues to heal. Pastor Julia will send out the Zoom link each week to participants.

If you have never attended before and are interested in participating, contact Pastor Julia to be added to the email list.
Deadline to pre-register for Journey Into Advent is today (Nov. 12)

Robin has prepared an evening of meditation and journaling that will help usher us into this time of waiting and reflection. This will be a Zoom event from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Please pre-register by Nov. 12 so Marilyn can send you a reflective journal. Email: or 559-435-2690.
Special offering for
Naomi's House

Missions and Social Justice has selected Naomi's House in Fresno as the recipient of the special offering on Sunday, Nov 15. In addition to the special offering, we are asking members of the congregation to please donate personal items for the women of Naomi’s House.

Naomi’s House was founded in 2002 with a grant from HUD with matching funds by Poverello House, which also provides security and other funds as needed. It is a shelter for single homeless women and can accommodate 24 women at a time.
Poverello House provides the basics such as meals, showers and clothing. The women can receive medical and dental care at Holy Cross.

Please donate items such as bath soap, tooth-brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, shoes, socks, and clothing for the women. You may take them to the Church’s Office between now and Nov. 30.
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
VOTE AS IF has been one of the most impactful video messages shared on the CUCC social media accounts recently. It was captivating, timely, and stirred something within people longing for justice. Here’s the link to the video and the text one more time: 

Your skin is not white
Your parents need medical care
Your friend is a missing indigenous woman
Your spouse is an immigrant
Your land is on fire
Your child is transgender
Your house is flooded
Your sister is a victim of gun violence
Your brother is gay
Your water is unsafe
Your daughter is a sexual assault survivor
Because our privilege has no place in an election.

Now that the election is history — or so we hope — we can exhale and congratulate ourselves that it worked! It paid off! We can relax. 
Or can we? 

On Nov. 9, Reza Nekumanesh, executive director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, spoke with us about racism in America. His message was equally timely; it stirred something deep within the souls of those who heard him. 

We are not people who live from election to election as if the correct ticket is our salvation. We are people of day-to-day faith, justice, and action. 

What if our daily call to faithfulness would read something like this: 
Your parents are immigrants of Arab descent
Your spouse was fired because of your marriage
Your daughter was harassed because of her hijab
Your house was graffitied after an election
Your son was punched for wearing a mask
Your sister was denied the position based on her name
Your uncle demeaned your fiancé at Thanksgiving dinner
You were pepper sprayed at a peaceful march
Your place of worship was bombed after a news report
Your mother died of COVID-19 because she did not get adequate care. 

Engaging in this kind of a daily exercise is based on the question, “What does it feel like to be you?” How does your life/our life as a congregation contribute to dismantling systems of injustice that we vote to rebuke? And then how do we imagine building systems that repair our world? 

Photo credit: Koshu Kunii via (open source)
Limited office hours have resumed

Marilyn is now in the office part of each week for limited office hours. Generally she will be there from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, but please call before stopping by (559.435.2690), both to ensure that she is there (her hours may be a little flexible) and to limit the number of people in the office at one time for social distancing. If you plan to stop by, please wear a mask or facial covering.
Office hours for Pastor Julia
Next week Pastor Julia will be in the office Tuesday morning. Please feel free to call or text her or Marilyn to let them know you'd like to come in -- masks and physical distancing are important. Of course, she’s still available for phone or Zoom appointments on Mondays and Wednesdays, so please don’t hesitate to text or e-mail her at
Nov. 8 guest sermon: 'Arriving'

Last Sunday, our music director EJ Hinojosa delivered a sermon titled "Arriving," based on Joshua 3:9-17. Click here to watch the sermon.
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 Pastor Julia at You can also submit prayer request via our web page at
Joy after sorority sister elected U.S. Vice President
Elizabeth Davis-Russell, longtime member of CUCC, was interviewed this week by Channel 30 Action News about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Both women are members of the national sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Elizabeth is president of the Fresno chapter. Click to see Elizabeth's interview.
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.
UCC members, church bodies abolish $26.2 million in medical debt for New Englanders and first responders

The United Church of Christ effort to abolish medical debt stands at $51.8 million with the latest buy announced in New England.

A collaborative effort by 122 United Church of Christ congregations, four Associations, and more than 100 households in the Southern New England Conference has abolished in $26.2 million in medical debt.

Two separate buys benefited families in seven states and first responders around the country. All will soon be receiving letters telling them that their medical debt has been forgiven. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

November Birthdays

— Terry Cole
— Meg Gallagher
— Lisa Boyles Bell
10— Felicia Rocha
13 — Shelia Earl
17 — Laurie Labbitt
18 — Margery Mulvihill, Vivienne Barrett, Sarah Hayden
19 — Janice Perrigo
21 — Doug Hoagland
22 — Tony Fazio
24 — John Donaldson, Eileen White
27 — Jordan Ruffin
30 — Carol Kilburn

November Anniversaries

— Myra and Tim Coble
17  Laurie Labbitt and Ron Perry

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 virtually.
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 Bell (, 559.244.9502) is the volunteer communications liaison for our church.

Lisa and Doug Hoagland ( alternate working on eNews. Send your announcements to both of them. 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