A message from Pastor Ara

It has been my great joy to serve with others throughout the world during 34 years of pastoral ministry. I took my first trip to Armenia in 2003. I thought it would be my one trip, but here I am at trip No. 15.

This one is different: little work and a lot of celebration.

Usually, my group works on a house in the village of Lusaghbyur. We have finished 16 houses in a village destroyed by the earthquake of 1988. There were only four habitable structures remaining, out of 240+ after the ground stopped rolling.

My former congregation established a sister church relationship with a church in Gyumri. Over the years, we purchased chairs, refinished hardwood floors, equipped a computer lab, donated a projector, replaced lighting and purchased a piano.

We have started several businesses. We have purchased cars for pastors. We have encouraged several young people to go to college and pursue advanced degrees, in word and deed ($).

I have done weddings, baptisms, preached, celebrated communion. This trip I celebrate the fruit borne of over a decade of nurture.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, we dedicate a new sanctuary and community center in Gyumri. The following Sunday, we attend the wedding of a young woman we encouraged through college. I have known Anna since she was 8 years old. It will be a great party.

Finally, a bit of work, several Fresnans are sending the resources to buy a delivery van for Grand Hope, a ministry that takes donated goods from the capital to the border villages of Armenia.

Please pray for me and the 11 fellow travelers. See you on Sunday, Oct. 14, in worship at Robinson Park for our congregation’s second annual Blessing of the Animals (more details to come).

October birthdays and anniversaries

Each month we recognize the birthdays and anniversaries of our church members. Here are the ones for the month of October:

October Birthdays

1 — David Contreras, Jess Garcia

2  — Lauren Booker

3  — Adrian Ramirez, Nayele Wall

5  — Joe Mack

6  — Dena Reynolds

8  — Chad Hayden, Cristi Newport

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

Women’s Book group will discuss ‘The Sin of Certainty’ beginning Oct. 2

A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. 

The book is “The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than our ‘Correct’ Beliefs” by Peter Enns, author of “Let Your Life Speak,” “The Courage to Teach,” “Healing the Heart of Democracy.”  It is available on Amazon.

From Goodreads:

With compelling and often humorous stories from his own life, Bible scholar Peter Enns offers a fresh look at how Christian life truly works, answering questions that cannot be addressed by the idealized traditional doctrine of “once for all delivered to the saints.”

Enns offers a model of vibrant faith that views skepticism not as a loss of belief, but as an opportunity to deepen religious conviction with courage and confidence. This is not just an intellectual conviction, he contends, but a more profound kind of knowing that only true faith can provide.

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through Oct. 30.

Reading Assignment is:

  • Oct. 2 — Chapters 1 & 2
  • Oct. 9 — Chapters 3 & 4
  • Oct. 16 — Chapters 5 & 6 (through Falling Branches)
  • Oct. 23 — Chapters 6 (start at Meeting New People) & 7
  • Oct. 30 — Chapters 8 & 9

If you would like Marilyn to order a book for you, please call the church office or email her at office@communityucc.com.  The cost is $17.50.

Build a Bigger Table potluck, Neighbors in Need special offering

Oct. 7 is World Communion Sunday. For the potluck luncheon immediately following worship, bring dishes that relate to your background or culture. Fellowship will provide service items and drinks. There will be a sign-up sheet before then. ~ Patty Parks

Neighbors in Need is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. This year’s Neighbors in Need special offering will be take on Oct. 7.

Please come to our table and celebrate with us!

Each morning we are gifted with a new day
A new day of
Birds singing
Children laughing
Friends sharing

You are God’s beloved
You are an important part of God’s creation
Go and participate in this new day
This new day of possibilities!

~ From Robin Carlson, Commissioned Minister of Religious Education

Help serve lunch at Poverello House

The Missions and Social Justice team invites our congregation to join them to help prep and serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Poverello House. Children ages 7 and up are welcome to help.

The team hopes to make this a quarterly event. Contact Felicia Rocha for additional information.

There are times to move fast
and times to slow down.

Whatever the case is:

Work at a healthy pace.
Think things through.

You can make great decisions quickly.
And wise ones arrive when you are patient.

There’s a momentum in the swing of things!

I know you will find
the right pace for you.
You have a talent for that.

~ From Robin Carlson, Commissioned Minister of Religious Education