Community UCC eNews
Nov. 5, 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. 8, our music director EJ Hinojosa will give a guest sermon titled "Arriving" based on Joshua 3:9-17. 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 (bit.ly/cuccyoutube) 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.

Details:
  • When: 4 p.m. on Nov. 7 (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.)
  • A big IF: We’re looking forward to the Tower Quartet performance on Saturday. If the in-person event needs to be cancelled due to rain, we will provide a Zoom link to share it virtually instead. If weather prohibits the event, please check the private CUCC FB page on Saturday for the link.
  • One more thing: The church’s bathrooms or other facilities will not be open

In the meantime, we can thank EJ for his efforts and giving us something to look forward to.
Aloha, folks at CUCC! 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. 8: 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 to tell your story, and she 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. 
Join the discussion about fighting racism

The Missions and Social Justice Team invites CUCC members and friends to join in another important conversation about systemic racism. The goal is to learn what we can do – as individuals and a church – to address this deep-seated problem.

  • When: 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9
  • Who: Our guest will be be Reza Nekumanesh, executive director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.
  • Where: Zoom. If you wish to attend, please email Felicia Rocha – flearocha82@gmail.com. She will send you a Zoom invitation.

Hope to see you on Nov. 9.
 Women's Book Discussion Group

The Women's Book Discussion Group will start a new book study at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, reading Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." For the first week, which will be led by Sharon Powers, please read the first six chapters of the book.

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.
Pre-register for Journey Into Advent

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: office@communityucc.com or 559-435-2690.
Helping feed the children of Fresno

CUCC members and friends have an opportunity in November to help distribute food at Cooper Middle School in Fresno Unified from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. Some members of the Missions and Social Justice Team are signed up to help on that date.

Every Neighborhood Partnership – a faith-based nonprofit in Fresno – has organized churches and organizations to help with this effort. Distributions are drive-by so there is limited contact.

If you have questions or want to volunteer, please contact Elizabeth Davis-Russell at edavisrussell@comcast.net or 559.862.6914
On Oct. 26, CUCC members helped distribute food at Hidalgo Elementary School in Fresno Unified. They are, from left, Thomas Russell, Felicia Rocha, Kathy Lukan, and Elizabeth Davis-Russell. Not pictured: Doug Hoagland
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.
Regardless of Outcome
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
As I watch election results in my living room, knowing most of you are doing the same, I know we feel uncertain. We are weary of hearing projections and trying to wrap our minds around pundits’ predictions. Ultimately it may be a while until we know who our next president will be and who will represent us in the Senate and Congress. And it may be even longer until we learn what forces have been at play in the electoral apparatus. 

One thing we do know: regardless of who will inhabit the Oval Office and the seats of the two houses as of January, 2021, we must be more resolved than ever. We have work to do. This nation is fractured; there is animosity and mistrust; there is racism and structural oppression; people’s lives are not being honored as sacred. 

We will need to be clear on who we are and why we are. Though this has always been a focus of CUCC, we will need to re-address this to find who we are now and who we need to be moving forward. 

Our work will need to consist of: 
  • Healing wounds.
  • Affirming worth and value.
  • Taking the leadership in reaching out to people.
  • Doubling down on compassion, grace, and humanity in a hostile environment.
  • Looking out for others with even more intentionality.
  • Becoming vocal and more bold without ever resorting to being rude, brash, or demeaning. 
Photo Credit: Katie Moum via unsplash.com


Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 are our foundation for this work.

This work will take time! It will require faith, trusting implicitly that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” to quote the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Change happens, but it takes much time.

Take heart, my friends. We are in this together. The wait for the outcome of this election (if it as not been officially called by the time you read this) cannot compare with the generations that have gone before — centuries during which people have worked and been forced to wait for justice. Our faith requires nothing less. 
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 j.penner.zook@gmail.com
Nov. 1 sermon: 'They Went Through Some Stuff'

Pastor Julia's sermon last Sunday is called “They Went Through Some Stuff.” Julia writes: "In keeping with our observance of All Saints Day, a time in which we remember those who've gone before us, the sermon will also draw our attention to our ancestors — that ‘cloud of witnesses,’ as they are mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. 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  j.penner.zook@gmail.com. You can also submit prayer request via our web page at communityucc-fresno.org/worship/prayer-requests/.
Welcome to the world, baby girl!

From Kathy Lundberg: On Sept. 28, Annie Lundberg Weldon, her husband, Kristian, and 4-year-old Karter welcomed baby sister Elliott Kathleen Weldon in Nashville, TN.

Annie is the daughter of Kathy and Bruce Lundberg and grand-daughter of Betty Lundberg.
Jesus, UCC and mental health

CUCC member Janet Capella invites others to join her in virtually attending an important event sponsored by the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network.

  • What: UCC Congregations for Mental Health Fall 2020 Webinar
  • When: Nov. 13 and 14 (Friday and Saturday)
  • Information: mhn-ucc.org or Janet (janetplanet83@gmail.com)

Janet says: “In March 2019, UCC friends and I attended a national workshop in the Bay area about our churches ministering to people with mental health issues. Since then, CUCC has started the process of becoming a WISE congregation. WISE stands for our churches being Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged. The webinar on Nov. 13 and 14 is a chance for us to learn more about showing the love of Christ so healing can continue for our sisters and brothers who have mental health issues.”
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.
Pandemic lends poignancy to churchwide All Saints service, held online

For 11 minutes, the service went quiet, save for gentle background music. Dozens of names appeared, scrolling slowly past the image of a burning candle. Dozens more poured in – live, from many time zones – via the webinar platform Zoom.

It was the central moment of the United Church of Christ’s All Saints worship service Sunday, Nov. 1. For those in the United States Eastern Time Zone, it was evening. For those joining online from places like Hilo, Hawaii, Vancouver, B.C., McKinleyville, Calif., Rio Rancho, N.M., and South Holland, Ill., autumn daylight added to the light of candles on screen and in participants’ homes. Continue reading at UCC.com.
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 (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 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 office@communityucc.com. Lisa Boyles Bell (lisamboyles12@gmail.com, 559.244.9502) is the volunteer communications liaison for our church.

Lisa and Doug Hoagland (doughoagland@att.net) alternate working on eNews. Send your announcements to both of them. Emails: lisamboyles12@gmail.com and doughoagland@att.net
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.

Due to COVID-19, worship will remain virtual for now. Limited office hours have resumed.

Phone: 559.435.2690
Email: office@communityucc.com