Community UCC eNews
November 21, 2019
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  

On Sunday, Nov. 24, Julia Penner-Zook will deliver her titled " While it Was Yet Dark, " the conclusion of this year's Journey Into Advent presentation.

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.
You can purchase a poinsettia for $10 in memory of or in honor of a loved one. The poinsettias will decorate the Sanctuary until the Christmas Eve service.

Order forms will be available in the Sunday bulletin or you can call Marilyn at 559.435.2690 to place an order.
Living the Questions 2.0 returns

Living the Questions resumed beginning Sunday, Nov. 3 . Below are the upcoming calendars (subject to change) and themes for November and December.

Theme: INVITATION TO JOURNEY 

Nov. 24 Stories of Creation
Dec. 1 Lives of Jesus
Dec. 8 No LTQ, Hanging of the Greens
Dec. 15 A Passion for Christ: Paul the Apostle
Dec. 22 Out into the World: Challenges Facing Progressive Christians
Dec. 29 No LTQ
Men's Book Study Group

Facilitators Rod Zook and Chad Hayden lead a men's book study group from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 1 on the book "Naked Spirituality" by Brian McLaren. Now reading Chapters 12 and 13.
Music: Holiday Happenings at Community UCC

Announcing: The Community UCC Choir Advent Program! We’d love for you to join the choir for a short stint this Holiday Season!

Here’s the time commitment: Rehearsals from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and Dec. 20 . Performances on Dec. 8 (Hanging of the Greens), Dec. 20 (Christmas Program), and Dec. 22 (Last Sunday before Christmas).

Rehearsals are in the church Sanctuary, and they’re lots of fun! If you’re interested in joining us for a short stint, please contact EJ Hinojosa at  ejhinojosa@hotmail.com  or by phone at 559.303.8658.

No long-term commitments, and ALL SKILL LEVELS ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN !
THIS WEEKEND: Journey into Advent: "While it Was Yet Dark"
Nov. 22-24
Join us for Journey into Advent, our annual deeper exploration into our faith as we enter the Advent season of our spiritual calendar.

As we witness the encroaching darkness in our social, political, and spiritual environments, we can welcome the darkest time of the calendar year (the Winter Solstice) as a time to ponder new territory, which can be discovered "While It Was Yet Dark."

This year’s featured speaker, Julia Penner-Zook , member of Community United Church of Christ and member in discernment for ordination with the UCC, will collaborate with a musician and a photographer, inviting us to encounter the darkness from an entirely different angle. Collaborating with Julia are Jenny Regehr and Stacey Rhoades. 

"While It Was Yet Dark" — a collaboration
  • 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 in the CUCC Sanctuary: we will gather for an inspiring evening of poetry, music, and photography, introducing three biblical women, each of whom experienced the Divine within profound darkness. (Drinks and snacks follow.)
  • 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 23 in Hayden Hall and the Sanctuary: after a light breakfast, we will offer an interactive morning to consider how various mediums (music, visual, writing) can provide tools for us to encounter the Divine in the darkness or the desert of the Advent season.
  • 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 24 in the Sanctuary: worship with Julia as she continues to lead us in our Journey into Advent. Special music by Jenny Regehr; photography by Stacey Rhoades to underscore elements of worship .

*Childcare is provided on all 3 days.

Cost is $25 per person for this event. Full and partial scholarships available upon request. Or if you are able, please fund a scholarship. To register or for more information, call Marilyn in the Church Office at 559.435.2690 . More information about the presenters and videos can be found on our homepage .
Fellowship Bake Sale

Fellowship will have a bake sale in Hayden Hall on Nov. 24 following worship service. Donations of baked goods are welcomed! Contact Bonita Earl or Patty Parks if you would like to donate something for the sale.
Raffle tickets available for two Christmas quilts 

Two Christmas quilts made by local quilter Becci Zaninovich especially for our church will be raffled off separately on Sunday, Dec. 1 . Raffle tickets will be available each Sunday in November and in the church office for $10 each.

There will be a separate raffle for each quilt so buy several tickets and put them all toward your favorite quilt or split them between the two. Sponsored by the Finance Team. Contact Sharon Powers for more information.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Group
Saturday, Dec. 7 , Conference Room
Breakfast at 8:45 a.m., talk begins at 9 a.m.

For Dec. 7, Michael Kunz will discuss "John Muir, Climate Change, and the Future of the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem.” Michael published a book titled " Muir's Temples; A Natural History of Sequoia Grove Plants," available on Amazon . The Hoaglands' will provide breakfast for this date.
Shop on  Smile.Amazon.com  and Amazon will donate money to Community UCC!  

Community UCC is now part of the AmazonSmile Foundation charitable organizations that can be supported while you shop at  Smile.Amazon.com . Register Community UCC as your charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the eligible purchase price to our church. How does it work?

  1. Log onto Smile.Amazon.com. Use your regular Amazon log in information. The online page will look exactly like your regular Amazon.com page and all your lists and history will be there. Prices will be the same. There is no difference between the Amazon.com and Smile.amazon.com sites except that the AmazonSmile Foundation will make charitable donations to your selected organization if you use smile.amazon.com for eligible purchases. 
  2. Select Community Ucc as your charitable foundation and be sure you pick the one in Fresno CA. The last two "c"s are lower case letters. If you can't find it by name, use our EIN:  94-6050078.
  3. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon, log on to Smile.Amazon.com.
  4. Phone shopping: Android has an app for AmazonSmile, but the iPhone does not. There are many suggestions online for how to set up a work-around on the iPhone if you shop from your phone.
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.
ONAs have more members, fewer closures than other UCC churches, study finds

( Editor's note: Community UCC became an Open and Affirming congregation in 1998, and celebrated 21 years since that decision with our Coming of Age Celebration earlier this year.)

Recent United Church of Christ studies show ONA congregations – those that are publicly  open and affirming  to LGBTQ people – are attracting, on average, more new members and are less likely to close than the UCC average.

"The results refute the 'urban legend' that UCC churches typically lose money and members when they vote to become ONA," said Andy Lang, executive director of the UCC  Open and Affirming Coalition .

The UCC  Center for Analytics, Research and Data  released the latest of two studies Nov. 14. Focusing on membership and church-closure statistics, it compared some 1,600 ONA congregations to those that have not declared themselves ONA. Continue reading at the UCC.com website.
Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all who are celebrating this month!

November Birthdays
4 Terry Cole
8 Meg Gallagher
9 Lisa Boyles
10 — Felicia Rocha
13 Shelia Earl
17 Laurie Labbitt
18 Margery Mulvihill, Vivienne Barrett, Sarah Hayden
19 Janice Perrigo
21 Doug Hoagland, Jack Wolfe
22 Tony Fazio
24 John Donaldson, Eileen White
27 Jordan Ruffin
30 Carol Kilburn

November Anniversaries
17 Laurie Labbitt and Ron Perry

Upcoming Church Events

  • Thursday Evening Worship - weekly at 7 p.m., we hold a weekly contemplative, interactive, spirit-filled worship service in the Sanctuary
  • Nov. 22-24 - Journey into Advent, with Julia Penner-Zook, theme is "While it Was Yet Dark"
  • Nov. 24 - Fellowship Bake Sale, donations welcomed!
  • Sundays at 9 a.m. - Adult Education in the Conference Room
  • Tuesdays - Women's Book Discussion Group, Conference Room, 6 p. m.
  • Tuesdays - Men's Book Study, Room 1, 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 28 & 29, Office closed (Thanksgiving)
  • Dec. 1 - Recycling Sunday, First Sundays of the month
  • Dec. 7 - Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, Michael Kunz will speak
  • Dec. 8 - Hanging of the Greens

Keep up to date with our Church's online calendar!
Early deadline Thanksgiving week,
Content due at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26; eNews will publish on Wednesday

 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 .
Phone: 559.435.2690 
Email: office@communityucc.com