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Thursday, December 14, 2023

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A message from our Pastor and Teacher

December 17 ~ Third Sunday of Advent ~ Peace Sunday ~ "We Need a Little Peace on Earth"

Preparing the way for new beginnings and clearing a path after tough times is a classic theme in our faith narratives. It's a classic theme in our lives, too.  

Life can contain so many challenges. The Good News is that the Holy One is continually making a way for do-overs. We can find peace knowing this, especially when life doesn’t feel very peaceful. On Peace Sunday, we will explore what it means to be a gift of non-anxious presence for the ones who need it most.  

Sunday's Scripture:

Isaiah 40: 1-11, 2 Peter 1:45-53

Concerns / Prayers:

  • Lots of RUCC family and friends have COVID. (12/13)
  • Betty Jacobs, a founding member of RUCC, passed from life to Life. (12/7)
  • Beth Welsh's brother, Coyne ("Butch"), is hospitalized after being struck as a pedestrian by a drunk driver. (12/7)
  • Mark Janz's mother, Martini, had a stroke. Mark is traveling to be with her. (12/7)
  • Karen Walsh fell and broke her arm. (11/16)
  • Nancy Ternasky, this year's AFHS's featured artist, is experiencing serious health concerns. (11/16)
  • Jim Sommer’s surgery from knee replacement is slowly healing. Diana's second cataract surgery is scheduled for December 18th. (12/7)
  • Steve Arth continues in his recovery from a broken hip. (11/16)
  • We continue to hold in our prayers the people of Ukraine and the Middle East.

Ongoing Concerns:

Karen & Daniella

Jerry Andrews

Scott Ault

Dave, brother of Johanna Ballard

Carla Becerril

Bill Buchanan

Cousin of Rick Cruz

Janet Edwards

Norma Erickson

Samantha Sanchez-French's father

Katia Hage

Mary Lou Haney

Beki Hill

Harriet Holt, Beki Hill's mother

Jenny, Sister of Jules Rattray

Amber McGuigan

Cynthia McGuigan

Pastor Elaine's nephew Michael and brother Dan

Floyd Orr

Ryan and Evan Paul

Dick Ault's brother-in-law, Charles Proctor

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Maggie George and Maggie's siblings

Spencer, friend of Stacey Greene

Robert Silver

Arika Torres

Rosemary Tuohy

This Sunday is the last chance to order poinsettias

This Sunday will be the last Sunday to place your order. The list of dedications will appear in next week’s issue of The View. You will be able to take your poinsettia home after the Christmas Eve service if you wish.

Order form here
bunnies and clock

We need you!

If you plan to covenant for 2024, but haven't yet, the time is now!

Here are a few tips to help get it done:

  • If you want to make your financial pledge now, even while you continue to think about other aspects of the covenant book, you can do so directly in Realm, or by contacting Treasurer Stacey Greene at [email protected].
  • If you need a new booklet, there are extras in the church office, or you can access one online
  • If you have questions, Pastor Elaine, your shepherd leader, or board members are available to help.
  • If the covenant booklet feels daunting, you can just send an email to [email protected] and write in your own language whatever you wish to say. You can even make a covenant verbally by just speaking with Pastor Elaine.

The point is, please don't let the process or the paperwork be a barrier to covenanting with RUCC for 2024. We're better with you IN!

Advent Cookies at RUCC Dec 05 2023

Come join us during Advent to bake cookies and spread holiday cheer!

The first two Advent Cookie Baking events in December were very successful and fun! We were able to deliver LOTS of cookies!

Our final 2023 gathering will be in the church kitchen on Monday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m., to bake and bag cookies. The cookies will then be delivered to families in need.

We will open with a short Advent devotional, then get to baking while enjoying hot chocolate, holiday music and conversation with friends. Come for the whole morning or just pop in, whatever works at this busy time of year!

Questions? Email [email protected]

Racial Justice reflection of the week

Cases of clergy sexual abuse among African Americans are especially underreported, adding to the trauma of an already vulnerable population.


Black sexual abuse survivors have been nearly invisible. “Persons of color have suffered a long legacy of neglect and marginalization in the Catholic Church,” said the Rev. Bryan Massingale, a Black Catholic priest and Fordham University professor whose research has focused on the issue.”


“We need to correct the idea that all or most of the victims of this abuse have been white and male.”



From the Environmental Justice Team

Central Appalachia is ecologically important as a region of considerable biodiversity that is also likely to be resilient to the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, acid drainage from abandoned coal mines is a significant problem in the region, severely damaging numerous waterways. Local communities are responding with creative cleanup projects, including one being developed by Rural Action, a nonprofit that has created a company (True Pigments) which will clean up iron oxide/sulfuric acid polluted mine drainage and, in the process, produce pigments for use in products such as paints, bricks, and blush. As Michelle Shively MacIver, director of project development, says, “Clean water is a right for every person and every creature on the planet. Thinking about this through an environmental justice lens, there’s no reason people should have orange streams running through their backyard. It’s important we protect these areas, and that we can bring them back. We don’t know what it could mean for us in the future, so protecting it now is really critical.”


Source: “How to detox coal country,” Kate Morgan, Vox, 12/11/23:

Christmas Eve is coming soon

With December 24th falling on a Sunday this year, things will be a little different. We will celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent in the morning service at 10:30 a.m. followed by Fellowship Time. Then, we'll have a Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. (No tamales this year.)

Spread Holiday Cheer with Caring for Kin

For the month of December, we will continue collecting foods for the holidays, including both staples and special treats. This month, our donations will go to Redlands Family Services. Let's continue to share our holiday blessings with our neighbors in need!

FEASTINGS - December 17 at 2 p.m.

RUCC's Covenant Choir and Handbell Choir present the annual Christmas Concert in the Sanctuary, followed by refreshments in Covenant Hall. Rhymes With Orange will also be singing. All are invited to attend (a freewill offering will be accepted)! The choir is directed by Director of Music David Wells and accompanied by Associate Music Director Sophia Ohanian.


Night Shelters for Men and Women to open January 1: volunteers needed

The men’s shelter will be at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Community, 1205 Columbia Street, Redlands. The women’s shelter will be at the Center for Spiritual Living, 602 Church St, Redlands (pictured).

Two volunteers are needed for each shift. The first is from 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The second shift is from 1:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. To volunteer at the men’s shelter, contact Rick Ferguson at 909-362-2819. Volunteers for the women’s shelter should contact Jean Pagdilao at 909-312-9981.


The Christmas Fund

The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross is an annual UCC offering that expresses thanks to retired and active UCC pastors and lay church workers and their families, providing direct assistance to supplement pensions, medical insurance costs, and funds to meet emergency needs.


This year's Christmas Fund theme is "Grace Upon Grace," from John 1:16: "From Christ's fullness we have all received grace upon grace."

Join with others in the United Church of Christ to return "grace upon grace" to those who have given so much to each of us and to our churches. You can donate to "The Christmas Fund" by making a note on the comment line of your check. RUCC will receive the Christmas Fund offering on December 24.

The Rummage Sale is Back!!!! And We Need Volunteers!!!!

We will need volunteers before, during, and after the sale. The actual sale date is February 10, 2024. There are jobs you can do from home, there are jobs where you will mingle with the public, there are jobs that you won’t have to talk to anyone, and there are jobs that will make you tired and/or get you dirty! So, there is something for everyone! Here are some ways you can help:

Before the sale:

  • Being on the Rummage Sale Committee
  • Advertising—Putting up signs, getting articles on Facebook, etc.
  • Contacting organizations that will take our “leftovers”
  • Organizing the treasures that come in
  • Hanging clothes 
  • Providing boxes, bags, and hangers
  • Collecting your donations (no furniture, please)

During the sale:

  • Walking the floor
  • Re-organizing

After the sale:

  • Packing up
  • Providing a vehicle to take leftover treasures to designated places

If any of these jobs appeals to you, please let us know ASAP. We will start having organizational meetings in January. Thanks so much! Pam Dunn (909) 963-8305 Claudia Tolar (909) 725-1794 Kathie Blakley (909) 213-9469

The Angel Tree - love in action!

As part of this amazing faith community, YOU have made a real difference in the holidays for the four recipients of our Angel Tree Donations. The four groups include: Afghan refugees, Family Services "Adopt a Family," Village Elementary School, and Steps4Life.

Angel Tree donations totaled $7,240, which is slightly more than last year's giving. Your generosity is truly love in action!

Wider Ministries Co-Chairs Kathie Blakley and Carol Robb want to thank the wonderful people who administer RUCC's Scrip program who handled the recordkeeping, gift card ordering, and distribution of the gift cards.

A National UCC appeal: Help give humanitarian aid to people amid war in Gaza, Palestine and Israel

The United Church of Christ, through Wider Church Ministries, is issuing a special appeal Oct. 20 for humanitarian aid to people affected by the war in Israel and Palestine. As we continue to advocate for a cease fire, access for humanitarian assistance, and for the core issues to be addressed, we also invite your financial support to undergird the work of our partners with whom we have had a long-standing relationship. Your gifts will make an impact and a difference on those who are suffering so greatly during these days of lamentation and suffering. Learn more about this appeal.

RaiseRight makes your holiday shopping easier and helps RUCC at the same time!

You can still use RaiseRight for your holiday shopping with eGift Cards – eGift cards can be mailed directly to recipients through the RaiseRight website or app. Or have it sent to your email and print it for a recipient!  


eGift Card Bonuses! – Through December 18, there are rebate bonuses on many eGift Cards and reloads. Take advantage of these bonuses to make your holiday shopping earn more for RUCC. 


About RaiseRight: When you purchase gift cards through the RaiseRight program to pay for your day-to-day expenses or provide as gifts, RUCC receives a rebate that helps fund our missions. It’s an easy way to raise some money for RUCC. Hundreds of retailers participate, including grocery stores, gas stations, home improvement stores, department stores, online retailers, and many more. Please contact Jennifer and Pam at [email protected] if you need an enrollment link, need help setting up/accessing your online account or placing an order, have any questions, or want to learn more about the program. This video will give you an overview of how to get started:


Upcoming order dates for physical gift cards:

  • Order by Jan 15 – available for pick up Jan 21


  • December 17 - Feastings - 2 p.m.
  • December 18 - Cookie baking in the church kitchen at 9:30 a.m.
  • December 24 (Christmas Eve) - Fourth Sunday of Advent service 10:30 a.m.; Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols 5:30 p.m.
  • January 7, 2024 - Super Shepherd Sunday
  • January 14 - Book Group
  • January 21 - Wider Ministries Area organizational meeting
  • January 28 - Annual Congregational Meeting
  • February 10, 2024 - RUCC Rummage Sale

The church calendar is found at

Click on "calendar" in the red banner near the top of the page

This Week at Redlands United Church of Christ

Sunday, December 17 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

  • 9:15 a.m. Seekers
  • 9:30 a.m. - Kids' Zone
  • 10:30 a.m. - Worship service
  • 11:30 a.m.- Fellowship time
  • 2:00 p.m. - Feastings

Monday, December 18

  • Cookie baking in the church kitchen at 9 a.m.

Tuesday, December 19

Wednesday, December 20

Thursday, December 21

Friday, December 22

  • 7:00 p.m. Closed women's AA meeting

Saturday, December 23

Sunday, December 24 - 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve

  • 9:15 a.m. Seekers
  • 9:30 a.m. - Kids' Zone
  • 10:30 a.m. - Worship service
  • 11:30 a.m.- Fellowship time
  • 5:30 p.m. - Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols

RUCC Staff

Interim Pastor: Rev. Elaine Schoepf

Honorary Minister of Arts and Worship:  Rev. Erin Beardemphl

Music Director: David Wells

Associate Music Director: Sophia Ohanian

Children's Education Director: Susi Jacobsen

Director of Youth Ministries: Vacant

Office and Property Manager: Veronica Bermudez

Child Care: Joette Orman



Phone: 909-793-3520


Staff and Other Emails

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]