April birthdays and anniversaries

Each month we recognize the birthdays and anniversaries of our church members. These are the ones for the month of April.


1 — Sharon Powers

2 — Elise LeBeau

4 — Sierra LeBeau

5 — Megan Fazio, Don Simone

9 — Niki Ruffin, Angie Ryska

10 — Nancy Tackitt

11 — Everette Newport

12 — Cheryl Bartley

14 — Stephanie Carroll

17 — Katharine Chaffin

21 — Lee Virag

24 — EJ Hinojosa

25 — Jake Tilley


3 — Steve & Marie Edwards

14 — Rose & Ivan Rowe

16 — Jeff & Cheryl Jones

Jazz Cafe coming to CUCC April 14!

7 p.m. Saturday, April 14
Hayden Hall

Get ready for some straight-away jazz featuring EJ Hinojosa, Michael Bonner, David Heckman and other featured artists. Planning is underway for this event.

The menu will include Nancy Pressley’s secret family recipe for “Tasty Burgers” (vegan too), along with potato salad and other sides, ice cream sundaes, wine and beer for sale, live music, silent auction, bicycle raffle, art auction and a lot of fun. Tickets are $15 each.

So mark your calendars for this church “fun-(d)raiser.” Proceeds go to our church operation funds.

If you would like to help us with this event please contact EJ Hinojosa at ejhinojosa@hotmail.com or Ruben Fernandez atrubenmark@comcast.net.

‘Gather at the Table’ is next up for Women’s Book group, starting April 17

The next Aramaic Jesus book study will be at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24. 

51BrMjg5HeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17. 

The book is “Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and the Son of the Slave Trade” by Thomas Norman DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan.  It is available on Amazon.

This study will be led by group members.

From Goodreads:

Two people — a black woman and a white man — confront the legacy of slavery and racism head-on.

“We embarked on this journey because we believe America must overcome the racial barriers that divide us, the barriers that drive us to strike out at one another out of ignorance and fear. To do nothing is unacceptable.”

Sharon Leslie Morgan, a black woman from Chicago’s South Side avoids white people; they scare her. Despite her trepidation, Morgan, a descendant of slaves on both sides of her family, began a journey toward racial reconciliation with Thomas Norman DeWolf, a white man from rural Oregon who descends from the largest slave-trading dynasty in US history.

Over a three-year period, the pair traveled thousands of miles, both overseas and through twenty-seven states, visiting ancestral towns, courthouses, cemeteries, plantations, antebellum mansions, and historic sites. They spent time with one another’s families and friends and engaged in deep conversations about how the lingering trauma of slavery shaped their lives.

“Gather at the Table” is the chronicle of DeWolf and Morgan’s journey. Arduous and at times uncomfortable, it lays bare the unhealed wounds of slavery.

As DeWolf and Morgan demonstrate, before we can overcome racism we must first acknowledge and understand the damage inherited from the past — which invariably involves confronting painful truths.

The result is a revelatory testament to the possibilities that open up when people commit to truth, justice, and reconciliation. DeWolf and Morgan offer readers an inspiring vision and a powerful model for healing individuals and communities.

Join us on Easter Sunday for sunrise or traditional service!

This is a time of celebration of New Life as the sun rises in the east and lights the world with its brilliance and hope.

For our special Sunrise Easter Service, we gather on the south patio of Community UCC Church at 6:30 a.m., warmed by the fire pit, to share the story and joy of Jesus’s New Life that has touched our lives in so many significant ways.

Come join us in the crisp air of the early morning to become part of this inspiring story.  The service will be followed by a light breakfast and fellowship with new friends and old.  It is a soul-nourishing experience!

  • Sunrise Easter Service, 6:30 a.m. on the patio just south of Henry Hayden Hall
  • Traditional Service, 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary

Contact Community UCC at 559-435-2690, or office@communityucc.com, or Annie Van Patten at 209.902.2033. Community UCC is located at 5550 N. Fresno St., between Bullard and Barstow avenues in Fresno.

Enter to win Disney basket raffle!

We are raffling off FOUR Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland (valued at $628)! The drawing for this Disney basket will be held at church on Sunday, April 8.

If you’d like to purchase a raffle ticket for $25, please contact Carol Kilburn at carolkilburn559@gmail.com or the church office 559.435.2690.

This raffle is a fundraiser for Community United Church of Christ, but the raffle is open to anyone. Winner does NOT have to be present to win.


Don’t miss ‘The Compassion’ concert

The Pacific Artist Series presents “The Compassion,” composed by EJ Hinojosa, the music director for Community UCC. “The Compassion” is a musical meditation on the universal nature of Jesus’ humanity and the role it plays in the unfolding of the Passion story.

“The Compassion” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Holy Tuesday, March 27, at Community United Church of Christ.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors

For more information, visit https://www.fresno.edu/arts/music/pacific-artist-series

Henry H. Hayden: Great-grandfather, Civil Rights advocate, pastor, university chaplain

From left, Pastors Chris Breedlove and Henry Hayden
Henry Hayden’s daughter Deirdre Hayden Clausen shared with us her father’s obituary, which ran in the Claremont Courier:
The Rev. Henry Hayden, of Claremont’s Pilgrim Place, died after a brief illness on Feb. 17, 2018, at the age of 99.

He led a distinguished life both as a parish minister and university chaplain, his family shared. Ordained as a Protestant minister with the Congregational Church (now the United Church of Christ), Rev. Hayden served God and his fellow man with dedication and distinction for over 70 years. He was active throughout his life, filling it with art, music, family, ministry, friendships and a passion for social justice and inclusion.

Rev. Hayden was born October 9, 1918, in West Hartford, Connecticut, to William Hoyt Hayden and Bernice Leah Hayden (King). He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, graduating cum laude in 1939, and receiving the college’s Van Zile Prize for original poetry. In 1944 he received his bachelor of divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. In 1966 he earned his doctor of divinity from the same institution.

While on staff at Plymouth Church in Syracuse, New York, Rev. Hayden met his beloved wife, Betty Jane. They were married August 20, 1942. Following Rev. Hayden’s graduation from PSR in 1944, the couple moved to Guerneville, California, where he became pastor at the Community Congregational Church. While serving this parish he was instrumental in persuading the state conference to buy and develop a large tract of land as Camp Cazadero, now a noteworthy church camp of the UCC.

Rev. Hayden served as pastor at College Community Congregational Church in Fresno, California, from 1956 to 1970, and then the Community United Church of Christ in San Carlos, California, until 1984. Prior to his parish ministry in Fresno, Rev. Hayden also served as the Protestant chaplain at the University of New Mexico and the University of New Hampshire.

Rev. Hayden focused his faith and ministry on areas of social justice, believing that Christ’s message was as much political as it was spiritual, his family related. He openly spoke from the pulpit against the government’s policy of relocating Japanese-Americans to internment camps during WWII; he met with and spoke to Dr. Martin Luther King when he came to California to lend support to Proposition 4, which was one of the first “fair housing” acts to pass the California legislature; he walked a portion of the route from Delano to Sacramento with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers on behalf of migrant workers’ rights; and, in 1972 he worked to support the ordination of the first openly gay individual in a “mainstream” American denomination.

Rev. Hayden retired in 1984. In his retirement sermon that year, he noted the struggle to advance racial equality, inclusion and social justice “has continued for all the years of my ministry, and I have tried never to speak without calling attention to these, and often it has been unpopular among some and even dangerous among others.” After retiring, Rev. Hayden served interim ministries in Kapaau, Hawaii; Arlington, Massachusetts; and Los Altos, California. In later years he gave monthly sermons at Pilgrim Place and returned often to Community UCC in Fresno to reiterate his message. The Social Hall at Community UCC was dedicated in his name on one of those visits.

Rev. Hayden remained active until just a few days before his death; corresponding regularly with a wide circle of friends and colleagues, creating and cheerfully sharing thousands of watercolor paintings, and keeping in constant loving contact with his children and extended family.

Rev. Hayden was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty Jane.

He is survived by his children, David (Robin) of Duncan, South Carolina, Deirdre (Larry) of Beaverton, Oregon, and Jeremy (Nicky) of North Royalton, Ohio; seven grandchildren, Lisa Carey, Emily (Benson), Jeff and Andrew Clausen, Blaire (Bartish), Max and Dylan Hayden; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews, all who loved him dearly. Moreover, he is survived by the positive messages of faith he instilled in the minds of all who knew him.

An interfaith memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at Decker Hall, Pilgrim Place, 625 Mayflower Rd., Claremont.

Donations in memory of Rev. Hayden may be made to Pilgrim Place at pilgrimplace.org, or by check mailed to Pilgrim Place, 625 Mayflower Rd., Claremont, CA 91711.