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

A Progressive Christian Community
A Just Peace Congregation

September 2023

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.

Yep, I'm that kind of girl...

Unless you live in a cave, you have heard of the label “Christian Right”. The “Christian” Right has a billion-dollar messaging empire that would make Joseph Goebbels envious. They have nationwide radio networks, worldwide television networks, publishers, mega-churches, political pundits, best-selling authors, media personalities, celebrity pastors, a vast number of wealthy donors, Political Action Committees and on and on. The Christian Coalition (one of the largest PACs) produces “non-partisan” Voter’s Guide that it distributes to churches nationwide. The guides are anything but “non-partisan”. The “Christian” Right has an agenda, a ton of money, and they’re continuously seeking the power to impose their vision of the country via public policy.

Wait, wait… take a breath! Let me be CRYSTAL clear – “Christian Right” is NOT me. And for more good news, did you know there is an online group called TCL? The Christian LEFT. The Christian Left is a term used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice. Lefties like to focus on behaviors that Jesus focused on while he was here in body – things like hypocrisy, organized oppression, exorbitant greed, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, selfishness, abuse of power, violence, etc.

The most common viewpoint that might be described as “left wing” is social justice, or care for the poor and the oppressed. Supporters of this might encourage universal health care (YES!) welfare provision and revision (YES!), subsidized education (YES!), foreign aid (YES!), and Affirmative Action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged (YES!).

The Left stands for social justice, renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publicly mandated prayer). We often hearken towards pacifism in opposition to laws advancing militarism.

Like many others, I’ve felt a bit alone out there. I’ve heard “You can’t be a Christian and a Liberal.” Conservative Christians have turned their backs on one of the central tenets of the Bible, the one about Jesus saying “Love God and love your neighbor as you do yourself.” And who is our neighbor? Jesus taught us it was a stranger… A stranger of a foreign belief system, who stopped to help another stranger beat up and left for dead on the roadside while religious types passed him by.

We are part of the Body of Christ. We’re Christians. We’re Liberal. We make no apologies. In fact, Jesus’ ways were “liberal.” That’s why he was killed. As soon as the temple incident happened and Jesus meddled in the business of the moneychangers, a target was placed on his back. We’re not waiting for some earthly leader to come and make everything alright – that person already came. We are part of the Body of Christ. We will not “be quiet”. We’re Christians. We’re Liberals. Get used to it.

It wasn’t just Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection that matter. It was his life too! The life he lived is a huge part of the deal. Not only is what Jesus said the Word of God, but what Jesus DID is also the Word of God. If we look closely, we see that Jesus made room for those cut off from the rest of society. He put a name and face on all who had been forgotten or pushed aside. That’s what Social Justice means.

“The Christian Left” – left hate behind, left prejudice, left callous attitudes, and followed Jesus as HE left the 99 in the fold, to find the one was lost, ignored, excluded, overlooked, abandoned, uncared for – all “the least of these.”

Another Christian Lefty, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Professor of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, put it this way in her article “A Voice from the Christian Left

“Many on the Christian Right are fond of posing the question WWJD? What would Jesus do? I’d like to remind them what Jesus DID do: He cared for the poor. He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery. He prayed alone. He commanded us to love our enemies. He preached peace. He ate, drank, and lived with “tax collectors and sinners” – the lowlifes and outcasts of his day., while reserving his condemnation for the religious leaders who, from a place of privilege, imposed their legalism and literalism on the people they were responsible for leading… The Gospels make some pretty clear indications about what Jesus would and wouldn’t do.

Whatever Jesus would do, given what he did do, and has promised he will do, I don’t think it looks much like what the insulated, self-congratulatory Fox News fans on the “Christian Right” are doing.”

Unfortunately, in this country today, we have a sort of spiritual revival of people who don’t want to practice love, grace, or compassion, but would rather try to bury people under legalistic demands they themselves are not capable of keeping.

Many folks tell the Lefties to keep up the great work in the name of Christian Charity. But charity is only part of the message. The danger here is allowing it to become about charity only, rather than social justice as well. Charity tries to fix up people so that the system will work better. Justice tries to fix up the system so people will work better. We agree that a charitable attitude is important, but it does not address the root of the problem, a system that sets up obstacles and barriers that make it nearly impossible for people to break the cycle of poverty, or the cycle of victimization, or marginalization, or the cycle of… Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. The system will never be perfect here on earth because it is developed and run by very fallible humans. Charity will always be required, but that’s no excuse to not advocate for The System to be just for all. When it is, the need for charity decreases. The two are inextricably enmeshed.

“Sometimes I would like to ask why God allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it. But I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.” ~~ Anonymous


I have found my tribe 😊!!

From the Pulpit in September 2023

Sept.. 3rd - Dr. Sharon Graff

Sept.. 10th - Rev. Fred Schaeffer

Sept.. 17th - Rev. Stephanie Toon

Sept. 24th - Sandy Selby

Liturgical Seasons

Yes, we’re still in the LONG liturgical season of Pentecost for another three months so the liturgical color is still green. Sept. 3, Dr. Graff will help us observe the ecumenical Seasons of Creation. During the month of September, followers of Christ from around the globe share a common call to care for creation. The month-long celebration culminates on Oct. 1. Watch for more information later this month, but it likely will include a Blessing of Animals.

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. 

Masks are Optional

View Larger Image
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.

Christian Education

Creation Spirituality

Young Angel's Parent-Participation Kid's Class

In the Classroom (Zoom is also an option)

following the main Worship Service

The Parent-Participation Children's class will meet in the classroom following the main service. During Lent we will explore our litany themes, hear stories of Jesus' time in the wilderness, and enjoy songs, games, crafts, and more.

Emily's House is now Emily's Space

Emily’s Space leaders continue to meet monthly to plan the kick off event and weekly programming. I am happy to announce that our leadership team has grown. We now have Student Leaders representing four local high schools as well as a diverse set of fourteen adult leaders who are working on completing their Live Scan Fingerprinting and Volunteer Mandatory Report Training.

It was decided to push back the kick-off date to October 10 in order to allow time for the students to get back to school and have their Club Rush weeks. Per the students request, the time of the program will change to 5:30-7:30pm. We are looking for youth resources for a resource table as well as gift cards to various food, shopping and fun places for raffle prizes for the students. 

As I attend School Board meetings and protests and meet students in the valley I can tell you that there is an excitement for Emily’s Space to open, especially in todays climate. Please contact Rachel at racheldennismail@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts of love and support. - Rachel


For more information or comments please contact Deb Hudson admin@ucvchurch.org.

Subject: Emily’s Space

Some Random Ruminations from Lynne Bradley…

Coming back from a wonderful two weeks of travel, I can’t resist sharing a few experiences and thoughts. I travelled with a dear friend from England who I have known for 51 years! I’ve seen her then young children grow up, have their own children who are now grown up, working adults. What a blessing to have “bonus” families both in England and Czech Rep. 


Our first week was on a boat that, for 130 years, has delivered mail and cargo to remote towns and outposts all along the western coastline of Norway. Our boat was a brand new (2 year old) vessel designed to accommodate about 340 travelers making the 7 (or 12) day journey from Bergen all the way to the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe as well as port to port passengers. It was partially powered by two 43 ton batteries, setting a standard for eco-friendly travel. The scenery was phenomenal, becoming increasingly desolate the farther north we went. Seeing little tiny villages appear in the midst of rugged terrain is a testament to strength and determination. These outposts, far above the Artic Circle, provide fish for much of the world. Fortunately, the Gulf Stream mediates the winter climate, However, the disturbing news I learned is that there is concern that within the next 5 to 10 years (!) the Gulf Stream may be compromised. In a month when we are called to Honor and protect our Earth, I am reminded of the incredible beauty, vastness and variety in creation.  

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



45002 Corte Zorita 

Temecula, Ca. 92592

For More Information

Great News

After over a year of sporadic conversations, Sherian Spencer has been able to secure a relationship with the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation. For the time being, they will be meeting at UCV on the 2nd & 4th Sundays from 1pm – 2pm in our Library. They know that the 4th Sunday is when UCV celebrates the month’s Birthdays with a Potluck, and they asked if they could possibly be included in this fellowship. Of course,

our council gladly said of course.

I know at the last Council meeting everyone was excited about joining with UU in some of their community involvements and issues. Sherian has already reached out and is discussing some possibilities. They have great plans for their future and are excited to be offered such a welcoming community as UCV. We hope you’ll join us in a big welcome to this small but faith filled congregation.

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

Here is a snapshot of an organization making a difference

As Executive Director of Spinal Network, a nonprofit organization that provides programs' and resources to the spinal cord injury community, it is a pleasure to share a little bit about who we are and what we do. Our vision statement provides a nice snapshot.

Spinal Network creates pathways to success through events, assistive technology loans, peer mentoring and support, and other impactful programs that promote community integration, participation, and independence. Our sponsors and partners, all of whom share this vision, collaborate with Spinal Network by providing resources and supporting its programs to achieve its goals.

Spinal Network works to integrate individuals with spinal cord injuries back into their community through participation in programs that are held in their community. It is a great way to deconstruct the stereotypes that have followed this group around for decades. I know this because I'm a part of this group, this community. Therein lies my passion, to make things better for the next group of SCI survivors. There is too much to share in such a short space, so if you get a minute or two, visit the Spinal Network website, there is a great video of our most recent Adaptive Sports, Recreation, and Resource Fair. By learning more about this community of individuals, you get to help dispel the myths, to educate those who simply don't know and might be afraid to ask.

Spinal Network Website

Lunch Bunch is Back

September 6th

Join us for food, fun and fellowship immediately after church at:

Location to be determined

September 6th

Music News

A big thank you goes to all who helped provide music this summer, especially juggling vacations, injuries and other conflicts. Hopefully, we can now settle down to a more regular choir and, hopefully, handbell schedule for the fall and even look toward preparing some special music for Advent and Christmas. If you’d like to join us, please let me know!

**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.

2023 Church Council

Sherian Spencer


Rick Hayden

Vice Moderator

Darcie Dunlop


Lynne Bradley


Keira Eddy


Rev. Jen Zechlin

Christian Education

Sandy Selby

Congregational Life

Lorian Dunlop


Nicaragua Update

There isn’t any real news to share from Nicaragua. The Microcredit Women’s project is continuing the legal process to become a recognized and official Nicaraguan non-profit The local attorneys are hopeful that things might be able to be completed within three months. Since one of the goals of JustHope has always been to create self-sustainable programs, this actually is very good news! The future of the music program remains in limbo. Hopefully there will be some options to move forward soon.

A Gracious Invitation from Jerry Hawkins

September Pool Party will be on the 30th at noon.

I am extending an invitation to you all. Those of you who visited the open house saw the big pool we have.  I am inviting all of you to come and make use of the pool at your leisure.  With summer coming I am sure it can become a great relief for you all.  I hardly ever leave the house so it is wide open season for you guys and especially your kids. I only ask that at least one adult is present.  The pool is 4.5 feet deep at the shallow end. If someone can't swim I can teach you in three hours.  Feel free to come by anytime including in the evenings for those who work during the week days. 

30217 Corte Plata Temecula

951 225 8000 



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

September Potluck on the 24th!

We will celebrate birthdays on August Sunday, September 24th, immediately after church. Bring whatever you want to share - no sign-ups required. If we end up with all desserts, so be it! Come enjoy hanging out and meet some old and new friends!

In May we constructed and delivered 10 full size quilts to the House of Ukraine in San Diego. These quilts were yellow and blue, Ukrainian flag colors. The recipients will feel our love!

Casserole Sunday is Here

Casserole Sunday on Sept.17th. Please support this mission where we at UCV provide meals for transitional residents in Lake Elsinore in the Anchor facility.

Bring your dishes on Sunday to worship and Edna will deliver them. Plan to provide a meal for 12 adults

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:



(3.5% fee)

Venmo: @ucvchurch (free)

Please email any joys & concerns you would like read aloud to Sherian Spencer at sherianspencer@gmail.com. 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.
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:

  • Edna for pain relief.
  • Lorian for healing after her fall.
  • Fred's wife Ceci.
  • Sherian and Ruth

UCV News

We will be having a Christmas boutique fundraiser. Everyone needs to help to have this be successful. We will need craft makers and craft buyers. Please price all of your items. We will need help setting up tables. We will start the boutique the 1st week of November and finish it during the 1st week of December. Invite your friends. Edna will be selling raffle tickets for a beautiful lap quilt.

Apple Pie Day and family camp wil be the weekend of October 6-8th. See flyer in this newsletter. You can go for the weekend or just for Apple Pie Day on Saturday October 7th. Cost for lunch and apple pie is $25 for adults and $15 for children under 10 years old.  

There will be several fund raiser going on. One is a Radical Roof fundraiser and the other one is a ticket sale for prize drawings which helps with the campership fund.  

 Pilgrim Pines has a Mission Project. They are collecting slightly used coats, jackets, and sweatshirts for the coat closet for the Yucaipa area schools. Collection date is the Apple Pie day weekend. You may start leaving such items at church now. Donna will take them to camp in Oct.

Need a vacation place to go to. Pilgrim Pines has a self-contianed 3 bedroom house called Cottage Inn available for rent. Check the Pilgrim Pines web site at pilgrimpinescamp.org for information.

See Donna about any camp information.

September Birthdays

  • John Preble - 5th
  • Marie Orillion - 12th
  • Danielle Turner - 12th
  • Allison Wolfe - 18th
  • Lorian Dunlop - 20th
  • Sherian Spencer - 20th
  • Celeste Preble - 21st
  • Karen Banks - 22nd
  • Carol Wyatt - 24th
  • Andrew Wolfe - 28th
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 moderator@ucvchurch.org 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 admin@ucvchurch.org
41685 Date St. Murrieta

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