Community UCC eNews
Nov. 25, 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. 29, Pastor Julia will give a sermon titled “She Knew," based on Luke 1:39-55.

Julia writes: This is the first Sunday of Advent, and the worship planning team has special services planned during this meaningful time in the life of our congregation. You won’t want to miss them!

On Dec. 6, we will celebrate Hanging of the Greens (see announcement below for details), and we also will receive and welcome new members during that worship service.

If you’ve been part of our (Zoom) services and find you feel “at home” with us, we invite you to consider becoming a member of Community UCC. Several weeks ago Donna Wright, along with a number of others from our church community, hosted a get-to-know-you Zoom event.

If you’re still undecided or couldn’t make it and would like information, please reach out to Donna at or Pastor Julia at

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.
Office closed Thursday/Friday for Thanksgiving

The church office will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving and the day after, Nov. 26-27.
Celebration of Life for Georgeann Mason

We will gather and remember the life of Georgeann Mason at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, in Robinson Park, right next to the church. We surround Georgeann's wife, Marge Kelly, with our love and prayers.

Like the Tower Quartet event, those who attend must wear masks, maintain social distancing and bring their own chairs.

A service had been planned in March for Georgeann, who passed away on Feb. 29, but it had to be postponed due to COVID-19 precautions and the statewide shelter-in-place order.
Extra! Extra!
Read all about it
this Friday!

Please check your inboxes this Friday (Nov. 27) for a special edition of eNews with details about our Advent projects this year.

We have the opportunity to continue our outreach to the community in ways that can brighten Christmas for children, teens and adults.

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is traditionally a frenzy of shopping activity. We can make it a day to consider the needs and wishes of others as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
Be part of Hanging of the Greens on Dec. 6

We have a change of plans for our Dec. 6 Hanging of the Greens service. We are withdrawing our request for videos of your Christmas tradition. Instead, we are asking instead for volunteers, adults or children, to read during worship that day. We will tell the meaning of our Hanging of the Greens traditions and will use photos of those things that you might have in your homes. Examples would be wreaths, angels, or Christmas trees.

Please contact Nancy Pressley no later than Monday, Nov. 30, for more details and if you would like to participate. Nancy's email is
Adult Education

Adult Education is discussing the Richard Rohr daily meditations and summary from 9-10 a.m. Sundays via Zoom. Please register for the meditations at the Center for Action and Contemplation: For Nov. 29, please read the daily meditations from Nov. 22-27 and summary from Nov. 28.  
 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, Dec. 1.

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 Robin to be added to the email list.
An Advent journal for you

If you would like the journal Robin prepared for the Journey Into Advent event, please let Marilyn know. It contains the same meditations and journaling prompts we followed at last Friday night’s event.

If you can pick the journal up at the office, that would be preferable; if you can’t, please don’t hesitate to ask Marilyn to email one to you. 
Did you know?
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
It goes without saying that this Thanksgiving will be unlike any we have experienced.

While some will undoubtedly gather as families/extended families, many will choose a more careful approach: being concerned for the well-being of all American and global citizens during this coronavirus crisis.

Every season is an invitation, including this season of muted celebrations. Since being thoughtful and intentional is a choice, I invite you to choose to adopt new Thanksgiving traditions this year.

Here are some suggestions, complete with links, for your consideration.

Did you know:

• That November is National Native American Heritage month?

• That Thanksgiving Day is a National Day of Mourning for some Native American tribes, grieving those who died by genocide at the hands of many who came to colonize this nation? 

• That Native Americans, people who think about the health and well-being of an entire community in a holistic way, are some of the hardest hit in this pandemic? Some statistics show a rate of infection as three to one when compared with the Caucasian population. 

• That Native Americans have a poverty rate of 25.4%, which is higher than any other ethnic community in the US? According
to 2018 Census findings, the Black population follows with a 20.8% poverty rate, Hispanics 17.6%, Caucasians 8.1%.

• That there are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes in the US? You can see a listing here

“When we know better, we do better,” Dr. Maya Angelou has taught us. If you would like to “do better” this Thanksgiving, becoming more mindful of people who are often designated “the other,” or not acknowledged at all, here are some ideas:You can ... 

• Learn more about our current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, and purchase her books here

• Follow one Native leader on social media. I recommend @kaitlincurtice on Instagram.

• Determine to purchase from Inspired Natives, not from native inspired retailers. If you love Native American art, be sure you purchase in a way that truly benefits indigenous communities. 

• Cook one Native American dish for your Thanksgiving feast this year. Meet Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef, who can inspire your culinary endeavors. 

• Read the book our Mission and Social Justice team recommends: "An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! 
Bobbie Von Martin, a Fresno indigenous artist 
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 see note above regarding closure Thanksgiving week), 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 Wednesday 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. 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. 22 sermon: 'An Old, Old Resumé: I Will from the I AM'

Last Sunday, Pastor Julia delivered a sermon called “An Old, Old Resumé: I Will from the I AM,” based on Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24. 6. 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
Break the Barriers is excited to share its first ever, live streamed version of A Nutcracker Like No Other with the Fresno community – showcasing adapted choreography to provide an inclusive experience for all of our performing artists.

Bring your whole family together to watch a magical holiday production from the comfort of your own home. This production will feature our professional ballerinas, aerialists, and International Performing Team.

When you buy an access code, you are helping Break the Barriers keep its doors open and continue to bring joy to people in our community. Join us for one of our two showtimes!
Purchasing Instructions

  • Click the “Purchase Access Code” button shown below. You will then be redirected to Eventbrite.
  • Select which showtime you want (please note: when you go to Eventbrite, you will see the word “tickets.” Don’t worry! “Tickets” are the same as “access code”).
  • Choose if you want to only purchase the access code or purchase both the access code and link to download the video after the show.
  • After you have completed your purchase, you will be emailed your access code and livestream instructions.

If you have questions, email
Advent Calendar

Progressive Christian pastor and author Molly Phinney Baskette, senior minister at First Church Berkeley UCC and a former speaker at our church when we discussed her book "Real Good Church," has created an "alternative advent" calendar (preview below). Click here if you would like a downloadable version.
n 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.
Florida church’s free parking for beachgoers is now a federal religious freedom case

If people park at your church to walk to a nearby beach, can you invite them to donate toward your youth group’s mission trip?

A federal lawsuit seeks to answer that and other legal questions for Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church, United Church of Christ, St. Pete Beach, Fla.

Situated one city block from a popular beach, the church has been letting the public park for free in its lot for years. Sometimes church teenagers are there to hand out informational fliers and invite donations. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

November Birthdays

27 — Jordan Ruffin
30 — Carol Kilburn

December Birthdays
 Steve Edwards
 Miles Barrett
7 Jessica Swan
8 Curtis Richardson
16 Amy Kilburn and Matt Horton
17 Barbara Kilburn, Pearl Supersad, and Kyle Carlson
18 Ed Sanchez
26 Julia Penner-Zook and Tim Tidyman-Jones
28 Seth Tilley
31 Allen Church and Noah Ruffin

December Anniversaries

10 Marilyn and David Wall

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