Community UCC eNews
Oct. 15, 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, Oct. 18, Pastor Julia Penner-Zook will deliver a sermon titled "Smooth Talker" based on Matthew 22:15-22.

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.
Informational meeting for new members this Sunday

Whether you found us on the web, heard about us from a friend or noticed us because you live in the neighborhood, we are happy to have you here. 

If you have questions about the church and its ministry, please contact our church office (by phone at 559.435.2690 or email at, and our administrative assistant, Marilyn, will connect you with someone who can help you learn more about our church.

Our next informational meeting for potential new members will be held at noon this Sunday, Oct. 18, right after worship. 

At this meeting, we'll respond to your questions, talk about our church history and vision, and outline how members can contribute to the life of our congregation. The new member meeting is organized by the Extravagant Welcome Team which is currently organized by Donna Wright.

Following participation at this meeting (which will be held virtually this time), all who wish to become more closely connected with the congregation will have the opportunity to become members at a service later this fall.
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 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 this month 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.
Join in to help Get Out
the Vote

Would you like to encourage new voters or infrequent voters to go to the polls in the upcoming election? Please join members of the Missions and Social Justice Team in participating in a phone bank organized by Faith in the Valley. 

  • The dates: Oct.21 and 28.
  • Time: 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Phone bankers will not ask voters to support or oppose any candidate or proposition. The goal is to encourage people to exercise their right to vote.

If you're interested, please contact Elizabeth Davis-Russell at or 559.862.6914.
Remembering those we miss on All Saints' Day

We will honor All Saints' Day together during our worship on Sunday, Nov. 1.
The Christian celebration of All Saints' Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and the living.

During that service we will remember those in our lives who have passed. To help us prepare for this special remembrance, you can participate in the following ways:

  • Send a horizontal photo — either a memory with you and your loved one or a picture you take of a special shrine (like the photo above, remembering Lisa's brother) — and the name of your loved one to Lisa Bell, at Lisa will combine these photos and names into a slideshow that we will play during our worship on Nov. 1. Deadline for submissions is Monday, Oct. 26.
  • If you need special assistance with this, feel free to reach out to Lisa before Friday, Oct. 16 — 559.244.9502.

We hope you will join us for this meaningful worship experience.
Helping feed the children of Fresno

CUCC members and friends have an opportunity in November to help distribute food at Fresno Unified schools.

The date is Friday, Nov. 13. The time commitment is 2:30 to 5 p.m. Some members of the Missions and Social Justice Team are signed up for Nov. 13.

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, organizers say.

If you have questions or want to volunteer, please contact Elizabeth Davis-Russell at or 559.862.6914
star light, star bright
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook

I’m fine —
glass is shattering
all is dark
no one home. 

I don’t know —
revelation too profound
to acknowledge;
utterly bereft.

Maybe tomorrow —
or tomorrow, or
next week, next month
not at all. 

Hidden cacophony
spatters the wall
of the soul
as spray paint — 
graffiti’d wall

Hollow words
clang idly,
endlessly, as
irony dangles
from crimson
From crumpled ball of humanity
comes the cry:
is there a God? 
is there one 
who cares
in the rubble when
all alone,
hope only a puff
of smoke far

Moon hangs his head low,
sun hides her face behind clouds,
branches drop leaves,
refusing cold’s blast,
gray fog drapes long
tendrils over barren landscapes.

Winter cannot endure forever;
clouds part after dropping their torrents;
new life forces through warming soil;
night will pass — it always does. 
seek the smallest seed, 
the outstretched hand,
one bird’s trill,
faintest of smiles,
one more breath —
small signs that God 
the steadfast one
holding the stars.

Photo credit: Patrick Tomasso via (open source)
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 new schedule:

Women's Book Discussion Group

Sharon will lead next week's Women's Book Discussion Group while Robin is dealing with a medical issue. Pastor Julia will send out the Zoom link to participants.

Upcoming Reading Assignments
  • Oct. 20: Empowerment – The Story

Continue to keep Robin in our prayers.
Oct. 11 sermon by EJ Hinojosa

Last week musical director EJ Hinojosa delivered a sermon inspired by Matthew 17: 14-20. Click here to watch his sermon.
"A Space for Reflection" will contain quotes and poetry to contemplate and reflect upon as you move through your week. Take a moment to read the quote or poem, allow the words to wash over you. Then, see what word(s) spoke to you, what thought(s) came up for you and then you might journal those thoughts or just sit with them for a while.

"When there is hope
In the heart,
A smile can be found
On the face."
~Sri Chinmoy,
Indian spiritual leader
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.

Marilyn will be out of the office on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Office hours for Pastor Julia

Pastor Julia will be in the office Tuesday mornings. If you’d like to meet her in person — masked and keeping a 6-foot distance — please let her or Marilyn know. 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
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
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.
Sacred Ally Quilts visibly underscore anti-racism work in New Hampshire

Nine United Church of Christ congregations in New Hampshire have collaborated to create a project to “prove that racism is not the only reality.” Through a series of quilts that display the last words of George Floyd, they offer a visible symbol, a graphic reminder, of the need for racial justice.

“Immortalizing these tragic words, centers this expression of allyship on the words of a Black man,” said the Rev. Mark Koyama, pastor of the United Church of Jaffrey, which initiated the Sacred Ally Quilt Project. “The white man who killed Mr. Floyd did not listen to these words, but we do. We listen attentively. In response, we create. In response, we remember. In response, we are changed.” Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

October Birthdays

1 David Contreras and Jess Garcia
2 Lauren Booker
3 Adrian Ramirez and Nayele Wall
5 Joe Mack
6 Dena Reynolds
8 Cristi Newport and Chad Hayden
12 Sarah LeBeau
25 Nancy Pressley and Dru Ramirez
27 Debra Westhaver-Church
28 Nanete Maki-Dearsan and Boone Watkins
31 Lynn Samuelian, Maddie Kilburn, and Claire and William Knapp

October Anniversaries

2 Lynn Samuelian and Ruben Fernandez
6 Charlene Toews and Michael Dillahunty
8 Annie and Jack Van Patten
26 Kelli and Alan Chaffin

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
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