United Church of the Valley
A Partnership Church
United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ

A Progressive Christian Community

An Open & Affirming Congregation

February 2024

Our Sunday service is live and on our Zoom channel. The recording of the service will be available online later that day on Facebook, YouTube and on our Website.

From the Pulpit in February 2024

Feb. 4th - Rev. Jennifer Zechlin

Feb.11th - Rev. Stephanie Toon

Feb. 14th - Ash Wednesday (and Valentine’s Day)—no services at UCV

Feb. 18th - Lee Eddy

Feb 25th - Darcie Dunlop

Liturgical Seasons

We begin February still in the Epiphany Season, so the liturgical color is green. Ash Wednesday this year falls on February 14, Valentine’s Day. How awkward! For those of you planning to give up chocolate, this year’s calendar is not at all compatible. UCV will not have an Ash Wednesday service and there will no imposing of ashes. As we move into Lent the liturgical color changes to purple.

There is a long-standing tradition in many churches of fasting during Lent. An article on the UCC (United Church of Christ website) suggests that some Protestant denominations are finding new meaning to this practice by linking fasting, abstention

and prayer to social causes and highlights various ways that the concept of fasting is being lived out among Christians in the new millennium. Perhaps you and your family might find one or more of these ideas helpful for your spiritual practice. For example over 4000 people have joined in an Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast in an effort to reduce energy consumption and fight global warming. So, some may want to “give up” some social media time or perhaps turn off the TV— not just to sacrifice but to help the

environment. In the United Kingdom, the Christian Vegetarian Association (who knew?!) is aiming to revive the ancient Christian practice of foregoing meat during Lent, as a practice of self-denial and also to learn how vegetarian diets improve health, enhance animal welfare and reduce strain on the environment. Another idea is aimed at reminding us of the obsessions that are rampant in a culture as materialistic as ours. Maybe create a plan to curb those daily trips to Starbucks or the Amazon website. All of these suggestions, and others you may think of, all tie right into our congregation’s study to learn what is involved in becoming a Just Peace church. Rev. Jen Zechlin and Lee Eddy will be the advocates who will be shepherding us in this process watch for more information from them. We will also be considering the various aspects of just peace during our services each Sunday during Lent.

What UCV will Become in 2024

A Just Peace Church

A couple of years ago, UCV agreed that we wanted to go thru the process of being able to be designated as a “Just Peace” church. The process is somewhat similar to the that of becoming “Open and Affirming.” There is a time of study and then the congregation votes to proclaim a public identity as a justice-doing, peace-seeking church. This may be the time to rekindle our determination to seek this designation. If you are interested in learning more about or want to participate in this process, talk to Deb Hudson.

An Accessibility to All Church

Accessibility to All (A2A) is about becoming attitudinally welcoming to people with disabilities and mental health issues as well as working to make our buildings physically and programmatically accessible to persons with disability. There is a process involved outlined by UCC that we will work through to acquire this designation.

The History of Random Acts of Kindness Day -

February 17th

 The Random Acts of Kindness movement started more than 40 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1982 Berkeley writer and activist Anne Herbert published the first known account of “Practice Random Acts of

Kindness and Acts of Senseless Beauty” in a CoEvolution Quarterly. After her article appeared, the kindness movement began to spread in surrounding communities.


Fast forward to 1991 when a local woman noticed the phrase scrawled across a warehouse wall in her neighborhood. She shared the phrase with her husband, a then 7th grade teacher, who decided to share it with

his students. One of the kids happened to be the daughter of a San Francisco Chronicle columnist, who then wrote about Anne Herbert and the phrase. The article was picked up nationally by Reader’s Digest and later reprinted by the editors of Conari Press, a small press in Berkeley, California.


Inspired by the phrase and the people involved in the movement, the editors at Conari Press published a book highlighting stories of kindness. The book, aptly titled Random Acts of Kindness, was published in February 1993 and was immediately embraced by hundreds of thousands who helped continue the movement. Readers of the book and admirers of the phrase began creating local “Random Acts of Kindness Days” in mid 1993 (30 years ago!).


In February of 1995, the first national Random Acts of Kindness Day took place with participants coast to coast. As a gift to many grassroots organizations, Conari Press funded and facilitated the kickoff year.


Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) was created in 1995 in the Bay Area to facilitate future celebrations, always taking place in February during Valentine’s Day week. RAK was purchased soon after by

a private foundation and moved to Denver, Colorado where it is located today.


The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a small nonprofit that invests resources into making kindness the norm. We are rooted in the belief that all people can connect through kindness and we follow a simple

framework for everything we do.


Inspire > Empower > Act > Reflect > Share

Pastoral Care Ministry

Even though we don’t have a paid pastor at UCV, we have a number of lay pastors who want to be there for you as you travel down life’s sometimes difficult road. Please contact Sandy Selby at (502) 930-2199 to receive a confidential referral. 

Our Peace Pole has been refreshed and relocated, it now sits in front of the United Church of the Valley building, a totem of peace and hope for all people. A place to come and sit and reflect on life.

Thanks Ruth, Sherian and everyone who made this happen.

English (and Spanish) Classes

It was great to see our friends from Ecuador back in church last week. Both mom and dad will be looking for work so talk to Irene if you can help. Irene says that there is another family who also is interested in English lessons so we’re planning to begin classes this Sunday after church. I know there are some folks in our congregation who would like to learn Spanish (or want an opportunity to improve their skills in conversation and comprehension) I’m still thinking about how we can have some activities to accomplish both English and Spanish learning. The easiest time to schedule is probably after church on Sundays so, for starters, we’ll meet this Sunday. If you’d be interested in helping tutor (we do it cooperatively so no preparation is needed) OR trying to build your Spanish skills, talk to me on Sunday, or better yet, please send me an email [email protected]) so I can better know how to plan.

Music News

The choir has taken a little break in January, but hopefully we’ll be able to share some special music during the month. Watch for emails about rehearsals for both choir and bells.

Emily's Space is up and running and providing a safe space for our youth!

There has been a lot of support from the community who is purchasing things off the wish list. If you would like to help you can find the list at Emily"s Space Wish List . Its been amazing to see the students connect, laugh, have fun and find support in a safe space. A very special "thanks!" goes out to UCV for allowing us space.

Rachel Dennis

News from Nicaragua

There’s not much news from Chacraseca right now. The school “summer break” is December and January so schools are just coming back into session. Abimael’s music school is again open. He sent pictures of 4 smiling kids from Chacraseca who had received funds from Just Hope to cover their transportation into Leon where the school is located. Two long-time travelers with Just Hope who have brought groups to Chacraseca are going to Nicaragua toward the end of February to have a first-hand look at how things are going there and to check in with all the friends we’ve gotten to know and worked with. They will report back to the Just Hope board when they return so hopefully we’ll have a little better picture of conditions and what we may be able to do to help.

UCV is now offering a change in our name badges. We are offering to put your requested pronouns (below your name). If this is a replacement name badge, there will be a charge of $12.00 otherwise there is no cost for your 1st one. If you are a member and don't have a name badge or want a replacement just let Deb Hudson know.

Farm Workers of Deluz

The farm workers and their families can use your help with just obtaining the basics. Please help if you can. You can see a full list of the most needed items and how to help with a check or Venmo donation by clicking the link below. This is an ongoing need in this area and your help would be appreciated. A UCV regular visitor, Becky Sulzmann, is one of the coordinators for this effort will be our 'point person' for this campaign. Her contact information is:

Becky Sulzmann


[email protected]

45002 Corte Zorita 

Temecula, Ca. 92592

For More Information

This Makes a Powerful Statement

**Available Now**

These bumper stickers are available. UCV is selling them for $5.00 each. The proceeds (after cost) will go to UCV's General Fund. Thank you Sherian for finding these and getting them ordered. If anyone has a suggestion for fund raising please let us know. Be sure and talk to Sherian and see if it's a possibility. Be aware that if you suggest it, you will need to spearhead and organize the marketing. Deb Hudson is available to help with getting the word out.

2024 Church Council

Sherian Spencer


Rick Hayden

Vice Moderator

Darcie Dunlop


Lynne Bradley


Sandy Selby


Rev. Jen Zechlin

Christian Education

Irene Martinez

Congregational Life

Lorian Dunlop


All services will be live and on Zoom beginning at 10am every Sunday. The live service will be recorded and available on the UCV website, Facebook and YouTube later in the day.
 Need Space for your Recovery Meeting?

3 Sizes of Rooms Available·     

3 Sizes of Rooms Available
  •  Room A: up to 6 people (top)
  •  Library: 7 – 15 people (middle)
  •  Sanctuary: 16 – 50 people (bottom)

Storage available for Recovery brochures and supplies (limited)

Coffee Pot and supplies available for use in Kitchen

TV screens available in Library and Sanctuary for presentations

Donations (please contact us for pricing):

**½ off first month’s cost while you establish your meeting
(During Covid we ask that all CDC guidelines are followed regarding masks, cleaning and chair spacing)

Who We Are… United Church of the Valley is a small United Church of Christ / Disciples of Christ located in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley. No matter where you are on your journey, you are welcome here.
United church of the valley
41685 Date Street, Suite 100
Murrieta, CA 92562
Website: ucvchurch.org
Phone: 951.698.1520
T'ai Chi with Paul Dallas
Bringing our tithes and offerings to God is an important spiritual practice that cultivates gratitude and generosity. While we cannot physically pass the offering plate, we can continue to bring our gifts to God through online or mail-in donations. 
To send a check, please use:
United Church of the Valley
P.O. Box 1312
Murrieta, CA 92564

Or donate online:


[email protected] 

(3.5% fee)

Venmo: @ucvchurch (free)

Please email any joys & concerns you would like read aloud to Sherian Spencer at [email protected]. You can also send confidential prayer requests. Just indicate as such and let Sandy know if you want it shared with any of the other spiritual counselors.
Submit Prayer Request
You can find our Sermons, past and present, on our YouTube channel (click the video) as well as our website (click the button).
Sermons on our Website
Congregational Care

Prayers and Concerns for:

  • Prayers and Concerns for Edna
  • Laurie and Neil for their son Jason
  • Donna
  • Kristi and her family
  • Ruth Dunlap as she is back at school. Send her lots of love.
  • Ceci for physical healing from her car accident


  • The Vega family has returned to Murrieta. They are staying with the Martinez family.
  • Xsolai has been accepted at the Channel Islands College in Santa Barbara for the fall semester.

Southern Association

Our annual meeting for our association in on February 25th at 3pm. on zoom. Call Donna for the zoom number just before the meeting. This is an exciting meeting. We are in a busy association. 

Mid-winter camp is this month--Feb. 17th-19th. Theme is Resilient "Though I Fall, I will Rise Again.  Micah 7:8. Register now at pilgrimpinescamp.org. Then go to upcoming events. 

This camp is for middle and high school students.

The new roof is completed on the craft lodge. Donna and a few other friends along with camp administrator Tracy spent a day cleaning the craft lodge so it will be ready for this year camp programs. This lodge is also used as a meeting space.

The kitchen has been cleaned and painted. The Health Center is being remodeled. The space between the office and the Health Center has been dug-out in order to make an assessable ramp from the parking lot to the office and the Health Center. The stair way to the Craft Lodge if being repaired.

The  RAISE THE ROOF fundraiser continues to help raise money for repairs to all the buildings that have leaky roofs.

Go to the camp website at pilgrimpinescamp.org and see what is happening at camp.

February Birthdays

  • Lois Aitcheson - 12th
  • Donna Richards - 13th
  • Connie French - 22nd
  • Isabelle Marx - 24th
  • Archie Aitcheson - 29th
Online Fellowship at UCV
Services will be live and on Zoom at 10am on Sundays. The live service will be recorded and available on the UCV website, Facebook and YouTube later in the day.

Even fellowship can be online, thanks to the innovative minds at Zoom! Join us for Sunday Service live and on zoom beginning at 10am. UCV has its own Zoom meeting room at https://zoom.us/j/9516981520

You can join from your Zoom app using meeting number 9516981520 

Or you can join by phone:

One tap mobile

+16699006833,9516981520# US (San Jose)

or dial 


and then enter 


You can start your own online fellowship, too! Just email Sandy Selby at [email protected] to get on the meeting schedule. 

Sunday Service - Live and on Zoom, 10AM

Book Club - We are meeting online every Sunday at 9am Zoom Meeting Room

UCV Council Meeting - 1st Sunday of the month 11:15am Zoom Meeting Room

AA Meeting - Every Monday 7pm

Women's Al-Anon Meeting - Every Wednesday 5:30pm

Men's AA Meeting - Every Wednesday 7pm

OA - 12 Step Program - Thursday 6:30pm - 7:30pm

A Big Book Study - Every Friday 7pm

C.O.D.A.Meeting - Every Sunday 5:30pm (Currently still on Zoom)

The Community House is located at

41685 Date Street, Murrieta 92562

Submit a Prayer Request
Submit a Prayer Request
Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities
United Church of the Valley is a Partnership Church
United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ
951-698-1520 [email protected]
41685 Date St. Murrieta

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