Community UCC eNews
Sept. 2, 2021
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.

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Sunday worship

On Sunday, Sept. 5, the Rev. Norman Broadbent will deliver a guest sermon and lead us in celebrating Communion. His sermon is titled "Jesus and the Uppity (Ubantu) Woman" inspired by Mark 7:24-31

If you'll be worshipping online via livestream at, please remember to have some bread and juice ready for Communion.

At church, we are currently using individual wafer/juice packets as part of our COVID-19 safety protocols.

We are working to improve the audio quality so everyone can hear and understand our services. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday worship in person and on YouTube begins at 10:30 a.m.
You can contribute video segments for worship

These are strange times we're in. We continue to meet in person with strict COVID-19 protocols, but some people who would normally be in worship are choosing to participate by watching from home until we get past the current surge. We respect that choice.

If you fall in that category, you may have noticed there are still ways you can participate in worship, by providing speaking portions of the worship service via recorded video. If this appeals to you, and you would like to find out how you can participate in this way, reach out to Lisa Bell ( or Eileen White (559.251.3357 or on the Worship Planning team.
Covid update: remain vigilant for everyone's sake
As we continue to meet for in-person services, please remember the protocols aimed at guarding the health and safety of our members and friends. 

CUCC member Helmut Kloos – who has a Ph.D. in medical geography and many years of research experience in social epidemiology – has helped church leaders develop these responses to COVID-19:
  • Masks are required in the breezeway as well the sanctuary.
  • Social distancing should be observed inside and outside. 
  • Hand sanitizer is available.
  • Do not shake hands or hug. 

In addition, we ask anyone to self-quarantine (not attend church) if they experience symptoms associated with COVID-19:
  • Running nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell

The Delta variant now represents 94% of all COVID-19 infections in the United States. Infected people report about 90 less common
symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, nervous and hormonal systems as well as skin, ears, eyes, and other organs.

These symptoms include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, which were the most prevalent symptoms during the early stage of the pandemic. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, please inform Marilyn in the church office. 

We urge you to be vigilant because recent studies show that many vaccinated people experiencing the milder symptoms caused by the Delta variant erroneously associate them with allergy or the common cold or flu and thus fail to get tested for COVID-19,” Helmut says.

As we head into the cooler months, it will become important to differentiate between COVID-19 and the seasonal common cold/flu. Doing so will ensure that people potentially infected with the COVID-19 virus obtain tests and, if necessary, treatment, Helmut says.
Sunday school and nursery on hold

The Faith Education Team has made the difficult decision to suspend Sunday school until we determine – in light of the Delta variant – that it's safe to resume classes. Our nursery already made this move some weeks ago.

We appreciate the vigilance of the team and Robin to prioritize safety for children and teachers during the increased risk of the Delta variant. 

Sunday school teachers are needed for the fall. If you're interested, please contact Eileen White at
Thursday evening worship on Zoom

Thursday evening worship is at 7 p.m. on Zoom. If you have questions or would like a Zoom link, contact Robin at
Helping children learn to read better
Every Neighborhood Partnership – a faith-based organization in Fresno – is looking for folks interested in helping elementary school students improve their reading skills. ENP’s literacy mentors work with kids through their schools.

CUCC members Nancy Hoyt, Kathy Lukan and Doug Hoagland have volunteered in the recent past with students at Robinson Elementary School, located near the church.
Because of the pandemic, options vary at participating campuses:
  • Online mentoring. ENP staff can guide mentors through the technological steps to accomplish this.
  • In-person mentoring at school sites. This option is only open to folks who are vaccinated.

Interested? Please contact Felicia Rocha, or 559.284.9921
Adult Education

Adult Education continues at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, via Zoom. The group will discuss Chapter 6.

The group is reading "Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do About It" by David Zahl. These times of learning and discussion are valuable, and we encourage everyone to consider joining in. Please contact Robin at for more details.
Women's Book Discussion Group resumes Sept. 14

The Women’s Book Discussion Group will resume at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, via Zoom. The group will be reading "Dusk Night Dawn, On Revival and Courage" by Anne Lamott.

• Sept 14: Prologue and Chapter 1            
• Sept 21: Chapters 2 and 3                   
• Sept 28: Robin on Vacation
• Oct. 5: Chapters 4 and 5
• Oct. 12: Chapters 6 and 7
• Oct. 19: Chapters 8 and 9; Coda: Big Heart  
If you have questions or would like to receive a Zoom link, please contact Robin at
John Donaldson memorial service

A memorial service for John Donaldson is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Hope Lutheran Church, 364 E. Barstow Ave., Fresno. John's family says attendees will need to be vaccinated and that masks will be provided.
Save the date: CUCC Olympian will lead Journey Into Advent Nov. 20

Jaime Komer – who grew up at CUCC and became an All-American and Olympic water polo athlete – will lead Journey Into Advent on Nov. 20. Jaime is the daughter of Sue and Spence Hipp.

She will help us address a number of important questions:

  • How do we bring more light into our life while honoring hardships and feelings we might carry?
  • How can we prepare for the birth of new possibilities and creation?

In an interactive experience, she will help us develop a practical and compassionate toolkit for navigating these questions.

Jaime now works as Chief Transition Guide at ACT (Athlete Career Transition), helping Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes in their difficult transitions beyond sports. She has a master’s degree in health and wellness coaching, and she’s spent more than a decade in the health, well-being, and transition field.
Marilyn's office hours

Marilyn is in the office Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Friday, she is on call at home from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pastor Julia on vacation

Pastor Julia is on vacation until Saturday, Sept. 11.

On Sept. 12 – Kick Off Sunday – Kyle Carlson, Robin's son and chief of assets at Break the Barriers, will share how the ministry there pivoted and continued during the pandemic. We will receive a special offering for Break the Barriers that Sunday.

If you need assistance in Julia's absence, please contact Robin Carlson at, Felicia Rocha at, or Doug Hoagland at
Don't miss Break the Barriers' auction
Break the Barriers is conducting an online silent auction. It opened Aug. 27 and continues until 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. Click here for auction details and items.

The organization is well known in Fresno-Clovis, but as a reminder here’s a description from its website: Break the Barriers was founded by Steve and Deby Hergenrader in 1984. Both wanted to create a place where people of all abilities, ages, and ethnicities could come together to participate in sports and performing arts.

Today, Break the Barriers has over 28 programs that include performing arts, gymnastics, martial arts, archery, aquatics, health and fitness, Veterans Program, Buddy Program, inner-city outreach, and a neurological recovery program.
Kyle Carlson of Break the Barriers

A team of performers called the Barrier Breakers travel on outreach trips to promote inclusion in the Central Valley and countries around the world.

Kyle Carlson (Robin's son) grew up at CUCC and is chief of assets at Break the Barriers.
Gary Walker teaching Osher class at Fresno State

CUCC member Gary Walker will present “The Evolution of American Political Parties: 1789-1989” in November through Fresno State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Gary’s presentations will be in person at Fresno State and online on Zoom from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, Nov. 3, 10 and 17. Cost is $30.

The Osher catalog describes Gary’s course this way:

“This course will start with a review of how Washington’s Federalist Party became Whigs, and eventually, Republicans, while Jefferson’s Democratic Republicans became Democrats under Andrew Jackson. We will follow with the analysis of the era of Republican domination, with only two Democrats elected President over this 65-year period and we will finish with a look at a more liberal Democratic Party, with five presidents, and a more conservative Republican Party, with four. Third parties will also be discussed, including Know-Nothings in the 19th Century, and in the 20th Century, Progressive and Socialist parties.” 

To register click here.
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 leader marches on to protect voting rights

Our Faith, Our Vote in the United Church of Christ isn’t just about participating in the election cycle. It’s also about taking action to protect that right to vote.

That’s why, on the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, the director of the UCC advocacy office in D.C. marched in the streets of the nation’s capital on Aug. 28. Continue reading at
September Birthdays and Anniversaries
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
1 — Jacque and Bob Garcia
3 — Sally and Doug Hoagland
 Laurie and Tim Tidyman-Jones; Michelle and Seth Tilley
9   Bryan Clark and Brian Isbell

Work Anniversary
7 Marilyn Wall 28 years
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.
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). Send your announcements to both Lisa Boyles Bell and Doug Hoagland. Doug is now the primary newsletter designer, but Doug and Lisa collaborate on its production. 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.

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