Community UCC eNews
Sept. 10, 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.
Sunday Worship — Zoom and YouTube  .

Join us Sunday as we take a closer look. See below for details of how we will "do church" for now.

NEW: Worship on YouTube will begin at 10:30 a.m. (not Facebook Live)
Instructions for Zoom worship

For upcoming worship services, we are doing Zoom videoconferencing meetings, so we can see each other's faces even as we are apart because of COVID-19.

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.

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. (We are switching from Facebook Live to YouTube to be accessible to more people.)
Homecoming Sunday Sept. 13: a special time

Please join us as we celebrate a very special Homecoming Sunday on Sept. 13.

We have a wonderful lineup of guest appearances by members and former members from near and far.

Rev. Norman Broadbent will deliver the sermon, while Rev. Gail McDougle will read scripture.

We will receive greetings from Maggie and Phil Dutton, Shelia and Arville Earl, Charlene Toews, Susan Chavez, Sierra LeBeau, and Devon Wright.

Homecoming Sunday (sometimes called Kick Off Sunday in the past) is traditionally the service where we "return together" from the quieter summer, introduce our Sunday School teachers, and welcome new members.

Things look a little different this year. Most of us haven't really gone anywhere in months, and we are still meeting virtually. But traditions are important! So our worship planning team focused on bringing our special guests to our Homecoming Sunday.

We hope to see you all there!

We are truly blessed to have the ability to connect via Zoom and YouTube.
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.
Don't miss your chance to get one (or two, or three ...)
of these CUCC masks

Want a creative way to stay safe and help advertise our church? Get your eye-catching CUCC face masks here! Each mask is $10, with three options from which to choose...or get one of each. We will continue selling the masks until we sell all that we ordered (and prepaid for). There are about 20 remaining.

Masks are lightweight, double-lined, and have adjustable, elastic bands that fit comfortably over the ears. Order forms were recently mailed to church families, but you also can order our masks by going to:

If you'd like to sponsor a face mask for someone else, please indicate the name of the person on your order form and include the price in your payment. 

You also can donate masks to Poverello House as part of the Missions and Social Justice Team's outreach to underserved folks. Indicate Poverello House on your order form.

The church will mail out all masks in mid-September. Since we must wear masks, let's make a positive statement for our church at the same time!
As We Pray
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook
It seems we are being presented with more simultaneously occurring challenges all the time; one at a time would be plenty.
In addition to staying vigilant in the midst of pandemic fatigue,
we are doing all we can to ensure a change in the direction of this country;
we work to support our black and brown siblings, demanding justice and peace;
we look for ways to respond to the fallout from a quaking economy;
we do our best in the responsibilities of work, relationships, and community;
and now we are also weighed down by devastating destruction in the wake of an ever-encroaching fire. 

We cry out: it’s too much!

As followers of Christ we know we will always be carried — by one another and by God. When words fail us, simple outbursts become our daily mantra — our prayers. 
Be near to those from whom we are separated, oh God. 
Be our anchor when we flounder at sea. 
Protect your beloved children when they are targeted.
Empower our bodies, giving us health in this precarious time.  
Watch over us as we pray sleep will not continually elude us. 
We need stability; our minds are overloaded, 
We need you with us; we are so alone.
Be attuned to us when we pray; we don’t understand.
Remind us of our inherent value even in our frailty.
Thank you that you do not judge us in our distress and fear.
May we be people who care, and give us helpers in our need.
Give us discernment beyond our natural ability.
We need strength to face unrelenting challenges. 
Photo Credit: Simon Berger via (open source)

We need your comfort in our great loss. 
Meet us in these times of devastation.
Thank you that because of resurrection anything is possible.

Adult Education

We are changing the day for Adult Education via Zoom. It is moving from 10 a.m. Mondays to 9 a.m. Sundays for the foreseeable future. Robin will send Zoom links. Here is the new schedule:

Women's Book Discussion Group

We are reading and discussing "The Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine" by Sue Monk Kidd. Meetings will continue to be via Zoom, at 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Robin will send out the Zoom links.

If you have never attended before and are interested in participating, contact Robin at

From Goodreads: "Sue Monk was a 'conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother' with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church."

Upcoming Reading Assignments:
  • Sept 15: Initiation – A Guiding Feminine Myth
  • Sept 22: Grounding – They Symbol Functions
  • Sept 29: The Dawn of Feminine Spiritual Consciousness – The Dance of Dissidence
  • Oct 6: Empowerment – The Story

After we finish that book, we will take a week off then begin "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.
Last Sunday, Pastor Julia Penner-Zook delivered a sermon titled “Are We Bullies 
or Disrupters of Empire?” based on Acts 17:22-28.

Julia writes: "We find Paul, a messenger of Christ, speaking with people unfamiliar with the God he has come to love and trust. It's interesting to note what things he chooses to highlight in this conversation." Click here to watch her 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.

“What you are looking for is already in you…You already are everything you are seeking.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, spiritual leader
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 her at to schedule a time. She would love to hear from you.
Lending a hand to help feed Fresno children

Every Neighborhood Partnership, a faith-based nonprofit in Fresno, is looking for churches and organizations to help with food distribution this fall at Fresno elementary and middle schools.

Distributions are drive-by so there is limited contact, organizers say. Volunteers commit to three-hour afternoon shifts.

Ten to 15 volunteers serve on teams. If a congregation can’t provide that many people, those who do volunteer can be matched with other churches or groups.

Please contact Elizabeth Davis-Russell, chair of our Missions and Social Justice Team, for more information and to sign up. She can be reached at or (559) 862-6914. She would like to hear from interested folks by Monday, Sept. 14.
Don't be counted out: Complete your Census forms
The Missions and Social Justice Team wants to remind church members and friends about the importance of completing their census forms.

In April, the Trump administration asked Congress to push back the deadline for Census reporting, but the administration has since withdrawn the extension request and instead pushed up the deadline.

The U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on Sept. 30, a month sooner than previously announced, according to National Public Radio.
That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone, and by mail.

Critics of that decision say that rushing the Census is politically motivated and will result in massive undercounting of Black, indigenous and people of color communities as well as people with disabilities, rural communities and young children.

Census data determines the number of congressional seats in each state as well as the flow of funding for schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

People can complete the census online or on paper forms.
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 Robin at You can also submit prayer request via our web page at
Gary Walker will lecture at Fresno State

CUCC member Gary Walker will present four lectures in October through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Fresno State, which offers short-term classes for people 50 and older.

Gary’s series – entitled “Adventures in Genius” – will be held on Zoom from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on four Thursdays: Oct. 8, 15, 22 and 29.

His first lecture will focus on Leonardo da Vinci and Voltaire, followed in successive weeks with presentations on Napoleon and Charles Dickens; Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain; and Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

You can register at

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Gary at or (559) 207-1780.
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.
Words of a 12-year-old, emphasis on voting impress UCC participants in DC rally

Amid the dozens of distinguished speakers who addressed a march and rally in the nation’s capital Friday, Aug. 28, it was a 12-year-old who caught the ear of two United Church of Christ ministers who were participating – one in person, the other online.

That speaker was Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She spoke from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network. Sharpton had issued a call to the event during the funeral for George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police officers May 25. Continue reading at
Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating this month!

September Birthdays
7 Gretchen Choate
10 Jaidyn Ramirez and Serenity Shea
11  Mike R. Smith
12  Ann Scott
14  Elizabeth Davis-Russell, Keithie Earl, and Gary Walker
16  Rachel Van Patten
17  Sommer Earl
21 Janet Capella
25  Philip Dutton 
26  Phil Fullerton
27  Spencer Parks and Selena Wall

September Anniversaries
1 Jacque and Bob Garcia
3 – Sally and Doug Hoagland
4  Laurie and Tim Tidyman-Jones, and Michelle and Seth Tilley
Bryan Clark and Brian Isbell

Special anniversary: Marilyn Wall, our administrative assistant, celebrated 27 years with the church on Sept. 7. Congratulations, Marilyn!

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.

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