September Birthdays and Anniversaries

Birthdays for September

7 — Gretchen Choate
10 — Jaidyn Ramirez, Serenity Shea
11 — Sarah Hobson, Mike R. Smith
12 — Bobbie Wolfe
14 — Elizabeth Davis-Russell, Keithie Earl
16 — Rachel Van Patten
17 — Sommer Earl
21 — Janet Capella
25 — Philip Dutton
26 — Phil Fullerton
27 — Selena Wall
30 — Ruth Reynolds

Anniversaries in September

1 — Jacque & Bob Garcia
4 — Tim & Laurie Tidyman-Jones, Seth & Michelle Tilley9 — Bryan Clark & Brian Isbell

Church Anniversaries

7 — Marilyn Wall  (24 years!)

New class of confirmands begin nearly year-long exploration of faith


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A new class of confirmands had their first meeting with their mentors at a Confirmation luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 27. We will kick off our confirmation year on Sept. 10 during Kickoff Sunday. The confirmands – our church’s teen members – will be on a learning journey until Pentecost Sunday in May, when they decide if they would like to become members of the church.

Between now and May, they will participate in retreats, classes, work service projects, and interfaith opportunities throughout the year. Their mentors will walk with them on their journey.

More photos from Confirmation luncheon, of confirmands and their mentors.Confirmation-2796Confirmation-2797Confirmation-2811Confirmation-2813Confirmation-2818Confirmation-2823Confirmation-2827Confirmation-2831

Living the Questions — Painting the Stars

Image for Living the Questions -- Painting the Stars

“Living the Questions — Painting the Stars: Science, Religion, and an Evolving Faith” will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Kick-off Sunday, Sept. 10 in the Conference Room. Patrick Furlong will facilitate.

Living the Questions is a source of curriculum and media for both seekers and “church alumni/ae” convinced that Christianity still has relevance in the 21st century. “Living the Questions” can help people explore the future of Christianity and what a meaningful faith can look like in today’s world.

Topic for Sept. 10 – Toward Healing the Rift

“The overlapping domains of science, religion, and philosophy should be regarded as virtual rain forests of cross-pollinating ideas-precious reserves of endless fecund memes that are the raw ingredients of consciousness itself in all its diverse manifestations.  The mess science/religion/philosophy interface should be treasured as an incredibly fruitful cornucopia of creative ideas–a constantly coevolving cultural triple helix of interacting ideas and beliefs that is, by far, the most precious of all the Questions treasures yielded by our history of cultural evolution on Earth.”  –James Gardner

Upcoming Weekly DVD/Discussions for Painting the Stars

  • A Renaissance of Wonders
  • Getting Genesis Wrong
  • An Evolving Faith
  • Evolutionary Christianity
  • Imagining a Future
  • An Evolving Spirituality: Mysticism

Join the Choir!

Community UCC Choir

The Community UCC choir is ramping up again! We are seeking all members of our church who interested in singing — ages 8 to 108!

Rehearsals are from 7-8 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Aug. 30. Parents are welcome to hang out during rehearsal if their children want to sing! Better yet, parents are encouraged to sing in the choir with the children!

Join us for music, fun and fellowship! Additional information is available by contacting EJ at 559.303.8658 or by email at

New book chosen for Women’s Book group

Women's Book Club Discussion

The Women’s Book Discussion Group will read “Hallelujah Anyway” by Anne Lamott. Our first meeting to discuss this book will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the Conference Room, and we will gather each Tuesday evening through September.

“Mercy is radical kindness,” Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, “Hallelujah Anyway.” It’s the permission you give others — and yourself — to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult.

Hallelujah Anyway book cover by Anne LamottIn “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy,” Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by “facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves.”

It’s up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere — “within us and outside us, all around us” — and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it’s crucial, as “kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all.”

Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, “Hallelujah Anyway” is profound and caring, funny and wise — a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality.

The reading schedule for “Hallelujah Anyway” is:

  • Aug. 29 – Chapters 1 & 2
  • Sept. 5 – Chapters 3 & 4
  • Sept. 12 – Chapters 5 & 6
  • Sept. 19 – Chapters 7-9
Looking forward to our time together!

Experiential worship: Heartaches and Hope

Experiential worship service - The Hope of Fresno

~Video by Terry Cole

The Worship Planning Team put together a wonderful experiential worship service for Aug. 6, centering on the theme, “The Hope of Fresno.” Congregation members spent time during the service visiting various interactive stations. Thank you, Terry, for putting your beautiful photos together into this video.