Community UCC eNews
October 24, 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, Oct. 27, Pastor Ara will deliver the sermon titled " What about Me? (Sure, there may be a brighter day coming, but my life stinks)."

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.
Help us be a JUST PEACE Church
Part of our congregation’s commitment to A JUST PEACE is better stewardship of our environment. One implication is using our church China and flatware regularly, particularly during Fellowship time following Sunday worship.

A sign-up sheet will circulate during worship so you may volunteer to wash and dry dishes after fellowship on a Sunday (using the great dishwasher and waiting for a quick drying time).
Calling All Writers!

Like last year, Community UCC will collaborate with the Big Red Church on an Advent and Christmas Devotional. If you would like to contribute a short meditation, contact Kim Williams in the Big Red Church Office ( office.fccfresno@gmail.com ), and she will get you signed up!
Men's Book Study Group

Facilitators Rod Zook & Chad Hayden are leading a men's book study group from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 1 on the book "Naked Spirituality" by Brian McLaren. Now reading Chapter 5.
Women's Book Discussion Group starting 'The Sparrow'

We will begin our next book discussion at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 , in the Conference Room. The book is "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell. We will read the Prologue and Chapters 1-4 for our first gathering. 

If you would like the office to order you a copy of the book please let me or Marilyn know ASAP. The books are $16. each.  
Rummage Sale/Boutique
at Community UCC

The rummage sale/boutique at Community UCC will return from  7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 , in the Church parking lot. Booth spaces are $20 each.

If you know a vendor who would like to display and sell their wares, let them know! Contact Donna Wright to reserve a space.

Come by that day to do a little holiday shopping!
Saturday Morning Breakfast Group
Saturday, Nov. 2 , Conference Room
Breakfast at 8:45 a.m., talk begins at 9 a.m.

Gary Walker will discuss " The U.S. Becomes an Imperial Power — 1846-1945: An analysis of the Mexican War, 1846-48; the Spanish-American War, 1898; World War l, 1917-18; and World War ll, 1941-45." Gary will discuss why we fought, the cost in dollars and manpower, the caliber of our civilian and military leaders, and the short and long-term ramifications of each conflict.  The Walkers will provide breakfast.
Beginning soon!
Thursday Evening Worship

Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 , we will hold a weekly contemplative, interactive, spirit-filled worship service in the Sanctuary.

Come worship with us!
At the Coming of Age event, a Tastee Burger feed was offered as a fundraiser. There were 40 spaces available and 18 folks signed up. The event will take place in Hayden Hall following church on Nov. 10 .

Tastee Burgers were a signature sandwich served at Nancy Pressley’s family’s restaurants in Nebraska. The meal will include side dishes, soft drinks, and dessert. The cost to attend is $15. The proceeds go to the CUCC operating budget.

Please contact Nancy Pressley (559.312.8621) or Vicky Wall (559.250.7544) if you would like to attend. RSVP's are requested by Thursday, Nov. 7.
FIRM's Senior Fridays

One of the community programs that the Missions and Social Justice Team is engaging in is FIRM’s Senior Fridays. This is targeted to seniors in FIRM’s programs who are primarily Hmong, Cambodian, and a mixture of other ethnic groups.

Missions and Social Justice has selected Friday, Nov. 15 , for its service. We need volunteers to engage in activities/games with the seniors and volunteers to donate items.
Items needed are:
  • Games (Bingo, etc.)
  • Food:
  • Chicken
  • Salads
  • Dinner rolls
  • Rice
  • Cookies
  • Lemonade

Please contact Elizabeth Davis-Russell (559.862.6914) or Susan Chavez (559.269.0838) to donate your service and /or food.
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.

Julia, a theologian and poet, has served in ministry and social services for over 30 years. She has lived and worked in Canada, the US, and Europe. She has an M.A. in Theology and works in areas of grief and loss, and professional and personal coaching. Julia’s prophetic poetry focuses on issues of social justice and spiritual wholeness. The desert, the darkness, and the divine provide the foundation for this weekend’s focus. 

Collaborating with Julia are Jenny Regehr and Stacey Rhoades. 

Jenny is a Canadian pianist, well-known for her solo recitals, duo and chamber music performances, and Lieder collaborations. Jenny served on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she was a senior piano instructor for 15 years. She continues to provide master classes and adjudicates competitions and festivals in Canada and overseas. 

Stacey, a licensed clinical professional counselor who has worked with active duty military members and their families in the US and overseas for the past 12 years, says she feels most at home behind her camera. In 2016 she traveled to all 50 states, photographing 36 National Parks. Her photography has gained her a significant social media following, and she has been a finalist in photography competitions.   

"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 .
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.
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.
Quarterly financial statements are available in the Narthex in the Sanctuary. Please make sure to pick yours up on Sunday.
CURRENT WORSHIP THEME: Coercion vs. Freedom

Our general worship focus for the fall will be Coercion vs. Freedom. We will be inspired by the minor prophets and the Pastoral epistles, as we struggle with the short term efficacy of coercion and threat, and the long view guided by a love ethic.

How do we mature as persons of faith and disciples of Christ? It is for freedom Christ set us free. How may we live this as fully and faithfully as possible? It captures and hopefully addresses our challenge of being an Open and Affirming congregation of welcoming each of us as we are. How to be our best self, individually and as a Body!
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.
UCC forgives millions in debt in Chicago, announces national effort

Almost 6,000 families on the South Side of Chicago have had their medical debt forgiven through a collaborative effort of local, conference and national bodies of the United Church of Christ and other partners. UCC leaders announced Oct. 20 that church donations have wiped out $5.3 million in medical debt for 5,888 Chicago families. They invited participation in a similar national effort being planned for Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Thanks to a campaign led by UCC  Justice and Local Church Ministries  and Chicago's  Trinity UCC , qualifying residents in three Chicago neighborhoods are now receiving letters telling them that their medical debt, averaging $907, has been forgiven. The Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC associate general minster for JLCM, and The Rev. Otis Moss III, Trinity's senior pastor, teamed up to initiate the project earlier this year and enlist other contributors inside and beyond the UCC. Continue reading at the UCC.com website.
Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all who are celebrating this month!

October Birthdays
1 — David Contreras, Jess Garcia
3  — Adrian Ramirez, Nayele Wall
5  — Joe Mack
6  — Dena Reynolds
8  — Cristi Newport, Chad Hayden
12  — Sarah LeBeau
18  — Hayden Shea
25  — Nancy Pressley, Dru Ramirez
27  — Debra Westhaver-Church
28  — Nanete Maki-Dearsan, Boone Watkins
31  — Pat Gebs, Claire & William Knapp

October Anniversaries
2  — Ruben Fernandez & Lynn Samuelian
6  — Charlene Toews & Michael Dillahunty
8  — Annie & Jack Van Patten
26  — Kelli & Alan Chaffin
Upcoming Church Events

  • Sundays at 9 a.m. - Adult Education in the Conference Room
  • Tuesdays - Men's Book Study, Room 1, 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 26 - Memorial Service for Margaret Fullerton, 11 a.m. at the Church. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to this church in her name.
  • Oct. 29 - Women's Book Discussion Group, Conference Room, 6 p. m.
  • Nov. 2 - Rummage Sale/Boutique, 7 a.m.- 1 p.m., watch for details
  • Nov. 2 - Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, Gary Walker will speak
  • Nov 15 - FIRM's Senior Fridays, see Elizabeth Davis-Russell
  • Nov. 22-24 - Journey into Advent, with Julia Penner-Zook, theme is "While it Was Yet Dark"

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 office@communityucc.com .
Phone: 559.435.2690 
Email: office@communityucc.com