UPDATE: The Thursday evening book study has been canceled. The Women’s Book Club Discussion will continue at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Modified original post: Community UCC will study “Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual,” by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka, a Unitarian Universalist theologian, journalist, and congregational consultant. Dr. Thandeka will be the guest speaker at the Interfaith Scholar Weekend, March 1-3.
She was given the Xhosa name Thandeka, which means “beloved,” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984. She is the founder of Affect Theology, which investigates the links between religion and emotions using insights from affective neuroscience.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:
“’Love Beyond Belief’ is a hope-filled book reminding us in historical and contemporary terms that we are loved always, even when we feel lost and alone.”
“Love Beyond Belief” is available on Amazon: “Using insights from the brain science of emotions, “Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness” narrates two millennia of lost-and-found stories about love beyond belief as the access point to the heart and soul of spiritual life. Many of today’s “spiritual but not religious” people — one in four U.S. adults — have found the access point to spiritual experience that Western Christianity lost: unconditional love. “Love Beyond Belief” tracks the history of this lost emotion.”
Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through Feb. 26.
Books are also available on Amazon for $24 (paperback) and for $9.99 (Kindle).
The following is a bibliography of recommended reading for Black History Month. There are two copies of each title available for us provided by the Faith Education team.
- “Why We Can’t Wait” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The Souls of Black Folk” by W. E. B. DuBois
- “Tears We Cannot Stop” by Michael Eric Dyson
- “The Grace of Silence” by Michele Norris
- “White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism” by Robin Diangelo
- “The Lonely African” by Colin M. Turnbull
- “Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home” by Anita Hill
- “Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal” by Andrew Hacker
Filmography (from 2018)
Here are some recommended films available through your streaming service or in theaters is Fresno. 2018 was quite a year for movies directed, written and performed by people of color.
- Black Panther
- Sorry to Bother You
- The Hate U Give
- If Beale Street Could Talk
(from 2017 and earlier)
- Get Out
- Straight Outta Compton
- Boyz in the Hood
- Purple Rain
- Do the Right Thing
- 4 School Girls
Since Pastor Ara started as our Interim Pastor in September, we are now ready for the next step — selecting a search committee to embark on the process of looking for our next settled pastor.
At Sunday’s mid-year congregational meeting (Jan. 27), a quorum of our congregation approved a slate of members for that committee:
- Nancy Pressley
- Amy Kilburn
- Chad Hayden
- Linda Baird
- Vicky Wall
- Bonita Earl
- Sean Carlson
The goal is to include a diverse group that represents different aspects of our congregation — longtime and newer members, younger and more mature, and diverse in other ways as well.
The search committee will now begin the process of considering candidates “authorized to circulate a ministerial profile within the United Church of Christ.” Additional information about how the search process works within our congregation can be found in Article X, Sections 3 and 4 of our Church By-Laws.
Our previous moderator Nancy Pressley wrote about the transition process last year, after Pastor Chris announced that he would be leaving to take a call at another congregation:
“Change and transition have always been a part of the life of our church. Please take a look at the timeline below that has been prepared for the 60th Anniversary Celebration as a way of seeing the transitions that have occurred since our church was formed 60 years ago. In our church’s history, we have had 10 settled pastors and six interim pastors” [now seven with Pastor Ara].
We appreciate the deliberation and prayerful consideration that this search committee will invest into choosing our next pastoral candidate. The process is confidential, and will happen on God’s timeline, not ours.
Each month we recognize the birthdays and anniversaries of our church members. Here are the ones for the month of February:
7 — Michelle Williams
10 — John Comegys, Bonita Earl, Tiffany Horton, Beryl Weinschenk
12 — Alexandra FitzGibbon
14 — Cathie Moseley
15 — Christian Fazio
16 — Bob Garcia, Ruben Fernandez
17 — Rose Rowe
19 — Charlene Toews
22 — Vhuso Sukuta
26 — Cheryl Jones
27 — Anne Simone