Community UCC eNews
January 2, 2020
Community UCC is an inclusive and progressive Christian Church doing social justice, environmental faithfulness, interfaith collaboration and and spiritual formation to help ourselves and others grow in faith, hope and love.

Sunday Sermon  

Sunday, Jan. 5, Pastor Ara will deliver a sermon titled "Pursuing the Mystery of Faith," based on Matthew 2:1-12. This Sunday's worship will be a Super Sunday with the Celebration of both Sacraments Communion and the Baptism of Eleanor Claire Hinojosa

Worship Service Each Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
NOTE: We broadcast our Sunday Worship service on Facebook Live beginning at 10:30 a.m. We want to make service accessible to members or friends who can't be with us on Sunday mornings. The camera captures the front of the Sanctuary and the first couple of rows of seats.
For this recurring feature in eNews, Doug Hoagland, a longtime Fresno Bee reporter, interviews members of our congregation so we can get to know each other better. New profiles run at least once a month. To read previous Meet Our Members profiles,  visit our website .

Jacque and Bob Garcia, members since 2000 and 2008 respectively

Tell us about yourselves:
Jacque: I was born in Chicago and grew up in Whittier. I started college at Arizona State University, where I discovered I was a protester. It was 1969, and the Vietnam War was still on. I finished my bachelor’s degree and got my master’s degree at Cal State Fullerton. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and taught at Southern Oregon State College. I moved to Fresno in 1980, working for several nonprofits, including more than 20 years as executive director at Comprehensive Youth Services. It provides mental health counseling and other social services. Bob and I both retired in 2014.

Bob: I was born and raised in Fresno (McLane Class of 1966). After high school, I attended Fresno City College and then was drafted. When I got out of the Army, I went to Fresno State and graduated in 1974. I worked in banking for 15 years and then owned a microwave store for five years. After I sold that business, I worked for the Small Business Administration and then served for 26 years as executive director of Cen Cal Business Financial Group, which specializes in small business loans. I have a son and twin daughters from my first marriage, and I have four grandchildren.

How did you two meet?
Jacque: Bob was chairman of the board at the Family Service Center, where I was executive director before going to Comprehensive Youth Services. We’ve been married for 20 years.

What brought you to Community UCC?
Jacque: I was raised in a Congregational church, but I stopped going after high school. There were other things to do in college. When Bob and I got married, I wanted a religious service, and Walt Perry at Fresno Metro Ministry officiated at our wedding. I asked him about a church to attend, and he said College Community Congregational (which became Community UCC) was the most progressive church in Fresno. Good to know, I said, and it was close to the house. So I started attending.

Bob: I was raised Catholic but didn’t go to church for many years. Jacque surprised me when she started going to church after we got married. Eventually, I started coming, and I brought the grandchildren with me. Everyone was so welcoming, and my grandson, Micah, enjoyed it so much. We became part of the church family.

What church activities have you been involved in?
Jacque: I’ve served as moderator and on trustees and also on the Pastoral Relations and Christian Education teams. I also chaired the search committee for the interim pastor when Dave Schlicher left. I’m currently on the Buildings and Grounds Team, and Bob and I are both on Deacons.

Bob: I’m also on the Finance Team.

What do you find special or different about Community UCC?
Bob: All these older people are firebrands. There are people who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. I love it. Also, the church is open and affirming to everybody, and I take that to heart. I have some conservative friends, and you don’t hear that from them.

Jacque: I feel intellectually inspired and challenged by the sermons. I like that we learn something, and things aren’t presented as simply black and white.

What’s your vision for the church?
Bob: I think Community has so much potential with its message. I want to see more people in the congregation and a bigger youth program. I don’t know why there’s not more vitality. That scares me.

Jacque: I feel the same way. I don’t know why the message doesn’t resonate with more people.

What’s something about you that might surprise people?
Jacque: When I was in graduate school, I taught nursery school and drove their little school bus.

Bob: I used to ditch class in high school.

How would classmates in high school describe you?
Jacque: I was on the fringe, and I hung out with an eclectic group of kids who were involved in theater.

Bob: I was not a good student, and I got into trouble. My classmates would be surprised that I got a degree and a good job, and I could retire.

What are your favorite movies?
Bob: I have movies I can watch over and over again – “Casablanca,” “Hoosiers” and “Citizen Kane.”

Jacque: I like “Body Heat” and “The Third Man.” We also like to go to New York to see Broadway shows. I love walking the streets of New York and being part of the mass of humanity.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Group
Saturday, Jan. 4 , Conference Room
Breakfast at 8:45 a.m., talk begins at 9 a.m.

On Jan. 4, Elizabeth Davis-Russell will discuss "What does it mean to be a progressive Christian Church?" This presentation will explore what CUCC is doing, and poses the question, "What else can CUCC do to confront some of the challenges of today's world?” Lee and Virginia Virag will provide breakfast in January. 

Phil Fullerton will present on Feb. 1, speaking on "Eight Years in Provence."
Another Small Step to a Just Peace

From Pastor Ara: As a Just Peace congregation in the United Church of Christ, we of Community have taken two great leaps toward an environmental justice and peace in installing a solar system long ago and xeriscaping more recently. Yet, we knew there was more we could do as a congregation and as individuals within Community. Today we announce one new thing and remind us of three smalls steps offered in 2019.

A beautiful new CUCC reusable shopping bag (pictured) can be yours for $5 beginning Sunday, Jan. 5, at the church. Get a couple for yourself and several for family, friends and neighbors.

TP and K-Cup
Not a new series to binge watch, but low impact bamboo toilet paper from a
company that reinvests 50% of its profit is building clean water systems throughout the United States and the world. 9 rolls available as a gift from the church. The K cup is reusable. Fill with coffee and be alert for worship, work or play. Seven remain as a gift from E.J. And the pastor (Now that’s a series I would binge watch.)

Last, but most significant: Dishwashing sign ups!
We are committed to using the Church’s China and flatware at all fellowship events, rather than disposable products. But we need two people to sign up each Sunday to wash what is used during Fellowship Hour after worship. The sign up sheet is in the narthex at the Welcome Table.
Men's Book Study Group

The men's book study group, led by facilitators Rod Zook and Chad Hayden, will resume their study of "Naked Spirituality" by Brian McLaren at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6 , in Room 1. The group is beginning Section 3 and will include Chapter 16 in discussions.
The Women's book for January will be "Holy Envy, Finding God in the Faith of Others" by Barbara Brown Taylor. We will begin our study at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 14 , in the Conference Room. If you would like to order a book they are $19. Please let Robin or Marilyn know. 

Reading assignments:
Jan. 14 - Intro and Ch. 1
Jan. 21 - Ch. 2 and 3
Jan. 28 - Ch. 4 and 5
Feb. 4 - Ch. 6 and 7
Feb. 11 - Ch. 8 and 9
Feb. 18 - Ch. 10 and 11
Feb. 25 - Ch. 12 and Epilogue
Living the Questions 2.0

Below are the upcoming calendars (subject to change) and themes for January.


Jan. 5 No LTQ
Jan. 12 Out into the World: Challenges Facing Progressive Christians
In each week's eNews, we include a news article from our larger denomination, United Church of Christ , to show the faithful work being done in other places.
Into the Mystic: Top Ten Resolutions for 2020

Happy New Year! In this edition of the podcast "Into the Mystic," hear what the Rev. John Dorhauer's Top 10 list of hopeful resolutions are for the world in 2020. Dorhauer is the general minister and president of the United Church of Christ. Continue reading at the website .
Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all who are celebrating this month!

January Birthdays
2 Theodore Dutton
4 Lonna Walker
5 Stacy Fazio, Paige Newport
6 Mike Mighaccio
11 Kellin Chaffin, Nancy Parks
15 Jeff Jones
16 Helen Winkel
17 Joseph LeBeau, Patty Parks
19 Joel Van Patten
21 Betty Lundberg
24 Sue Hipp
25 Ben Parks
29 Carter Reynolds
31 Roger Wall
January Anniversaries
No anniversaries in January.

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.

Upcoming Church Events

  • Thursday Evening Worship - weekly at 7 p.m., we hold a weekly contemplative, interactive, spirit-filled worship service in the Sanctuary
  • Jan. 4 - Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, 8:45 a.m., Conference Room (see article above)
  • Jan. 5 - Recycling Sunday, first Sunday of the month
  • Sundays at 9 a.m. - Adult Education in the Conference Room

Keep up to date with our Church's online calendar!
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 .
Phone: 559.435.2690