Community UCC eNews
Sept. 24, 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

On Sunday, Sept. 27, our music director EJ Hinojosa will deliver a guest sermon titled "Staying Focused" based on Philippians 2:1-13. See below for details of how we "do church" for now.

NEW: Worship on YouTube will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday evening worship is canceled until further notice (see note below about Robin).
Instructions for Zoom worship

For upcoming worship services, we are doing Zoom 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 (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. (We have switched from Facebook Live to YouTube to be accessible to more people.)
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.
Note about Robin from Pastor Julia 

Robin was discharged from the hospital earlier this week. She has follow-up medical appointments this week, and her test results will be available in a few weeks' time. She says she is feeling a little better. 

Please continue to keep her surrounded with your prayers and love. Possibly a handwritten note sent to her would be best at this time as she continues to limit her screen time. Robin expresses her deep gratitude for your continued prayers and positive thoughts.
Millennial/Xennial Happy Hour 

Grab your drink of choice and join us on Zoom. Let’s chat, laugh and just have a good time, social distancing style! 

Our first Happy Hour is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 2. Contact Felicia for more info: flearocha82@gmail.com
Next Church Council meeting

The next meeting of the church leadership council is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, via Zoom. All council meetings are open to the congregation. If you wish to attend a meeting, please reach out to Felicia at flearocha82@gmail.com and she will get you connected. 
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 lisamboyles12@gmail.com. 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.
CUCC will host local NAACP president

The Missions and Social Justice Team will host a Zoom conversation about racism with Leroy Candler, president of the Fresno chapter of the NAACP. The conversation is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.

Please join us as we learn more about systemic racism and what we can do as
individuals, and as a church, to move our community and nation toward equality
and social justice.

If you plan to attend, please email Elizabeth Davis-Russell, edavisrussell@comcast.net. We hope to see you on Oct. 12.

Masks still on sale; delivery in late September
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 only are 18 remaining.

The masks will arrive in Fresno at the end of September. Weather issues in Florida – where the masks are made – forced a delay from the original ETA of mid-September. The church will mail out the masks once they arrive.

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: https://tinyurl.com/cuccfacemaskorderform

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.

Since we must wear masks, let's make a positive statement for our church at the same time!
A Pivotal Moment
by Pastor Julia Penner-Zook

On Sept. 18 the local entrepreneurs at Bitwise Industries posted the following on Instagram: 

“‘Pivot.’ A word that the Bitwise team is all too familiar with. When shelter-in-place went down, our team stood up without any questions to pivot in the face of uncertainty."

What follows is a description of how a creative concept, Take Care, was set in motion by this forward-thinking enterprise, benefiting not only this community, but people in numerous other states during this critical time. It’s not that the growing Bitwise team lacks vision to fulfill its corporate mission and implement its extraordinary agenda; it’s that their visionary leadership knew this was the time to step up and “pivot.” This humanitarian initiative won Bitwise’s innovative team the International Stevie Award Silver Medal. Read about it on Instagram @bitwiseindustries. 

Pivot: to swivel abruptly; to prepare to move in a different direction. If we think of “pivoting” in basketball, it’s a move made in order to protect the ball and / or to find an open team-mate. Players always have the option of pivoting in the back of their minds.

The pandemic, along with multiple tumultuous upheavals in our society, has presented us as a church with an urgent need to “pivot.” To swivel abruptly with the intention of moving in a different direction; to make a strategic move to protect “the ball;” to find a team-mate to whom the ball could be passed.

Pivoting is critical whether we are a sports team, a company, or a faith community. It is ours to determine which move will protect what is most vital to our faith and the life of our church body, what the new direction will (continue to) be, and to whom the ball could potentially be passed.
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.

Upcoming Reading Assignments:
  • Sept 29: Initiation – A Guiding Feminine Myth
  • Oct. 6: Grounding – They Symbol Functions
  • Oct. 13: The Dawn of Feminine Spiritual Consciousness – The Dance of Dissidence
  • Oct. 20: Empowerment – The Story

Continue to keep Robin in our prayers.
Sept. 20 sermon by Pastor Julia

Last week Pastor Julia delivered a sermon titled “Places We Inhabit " inspired by Exodus 16:2-15. Julia writes: We can only imagine God within the experiences that we have. If we’ve never had freedom, we can’t imagine it. If our only experience has been abundance along with all that this entails, how do we deal with loss and uncertainty? God has self-introduced as “I Am Who I Am,” meaning, “I will be who you need me to be.” 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.

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver, "Animal Dreams"
Office hours for Pastor Julia
Julia wants to connect with folks even though she's not in the church office regularly. If you'd like to chat, please text or email her at j.penner.zook@gmail.com to set up a time. She is available Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday for appointments. She can talk by phone or Zoom, whatever works best for you.
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/.
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.
West Coast fire evacuations take toll on UCC churches, camps and their communities

As wind-whipped wildfires continue to take lives and destroy forests, homes and businesses on the West Coast of the United States, United Church of Christ congregations are in stages ranging from evacuation to recovery to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

In the two hardest-hit UCC Conferences – Central Pacific and Northern California-Nevada – several congregations and church camps await word on the fate of their buildings. Others, evacuated days or weeks ago, are ministering to families and communities that escaped damage or are returning to inspect it. Daytime skies range from smoky gray to eerie orange to black as night. Continue reading at UCC.com.
Robert Costa ‘returns’ to discuss 2020 election in virtual President’s Lecture Series

Robert Costa, a national political reporter with The Washington Post and moderator and managing editor for PBS’s “Washington Week,” said “Fresno, California is a hotspot on the political map this year.” Costa will be the featured speaker for a first-ever virtual version of the President’s Lecture Series at Fresno State, less than a month before the 2020 presidential election. The President’s Lecture with Costa is scheduled from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. It’s free to participate, by visiting Zoom at the time of the event. Read more at FresnoStateNews.com.
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 (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