Baking bread in Lent

On Sunday, March 10, congregation members baked dozens of loaves of bread. Some of the loaves tantalized us with their comforting aroma during worship as bread machine timers punctuated the service.

Each participating baker took one loaf home, one loaf to give to someone within 24 hours. Dozens of loaves will remain refrigerated/frozen at the church for Week 2’s activity and for communion throughout the Lenten season and Holy Week.

Thanks to all who participated!

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Tubman University builds chairs with gifts from Community UCC

During a Mission Moment earlier this year, Elizabeth Davis-Russell, on behalf of the Mission and Social Justice Team, made an appeal for funds to acquire classroom chairs for Tubman University, which is expanding its enrollment.

The congregation raised $1,030, which was sent to Tubman University. Instead of purchasing ready-made chairs, the university administration used its established Wood Technology program to have chairs made, thus expanding the number of chairs it could acquire. Below are pictures of the work being done, making 50 chairs.

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Coming of Age Celebration: CUCC’s Annual Party for Community

Coming April 27!!   Our biggest fundraiser of the year!!!!!  It’s been 21 years since CUCC voted to become an Open and Affirming church – this is cause for celebration and a reason to bring back our Party for Community!!

There will be a festive atmosphere with dinner, entertainment, and the chance to bid on silent auction items and to sign up for parties, events and services scheduled for later in the year.

Tickets for the party will be priced at just $25/person with wine and beer available for purchase.  A percentage of the profit will be used for local and global missions.

Start thinking now of an event you could offer or help sponsor – how about a dinner party, tea, wine-tasting, winery tour, riverside picnic, evening at the opera or Philharmonic, brunch, spa experience, class or outdoor activity?   

Be creative. We want to provide a year full of congregating possibilities, chances to have fun and get to know each other. Each event offered will have a limited number of participants at a set price per person. You’ll be able to buy an individual spot at an event or you can purchase all the reservations and invite your friends!!

Offering an event at the April 27 fundraiser is a wonderful way to share your talents and treasure with your church family.

We also need silent auction items. We’re looking for high-value items worth over $50 or items that can be combined to create a unique offering.  

Do you have something special that needs a new home? Do you have contacts in the community you can ask for gift certificates and donations?

A donation letter to give community vendors is available in the Narthax and the church office. Silent Auction donations can be dropped off at the church office.  Any donation not used for the party will be offered at an upcoming raffle.

If you have questions or want to commit to offering an event ☺ talk to Sue Hipp ( or 435-7153) or Nancy Pressley ( or 312-8621).

Put April 27 on your calendar and plan to come and Party for Community with your CUCC friends.  We promise you an evening of fun and the chance to participate in A Year of Congregating Opportunities.

Sue Hipp and Nancy Pressley – Event and Silent Auction Coordinators


Family bingo night March 16

The Faith Education Team will host a Bingo night fundraiser from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, in Hayden Hall. Tickets are: $5 for ages 5-11, $10 for ages 12 and up, $25/household, free for ages 4 and under.

Ticket price includes dinner (grilled cheese, soup and dessert) and bingo prizes. Contact anyone in Faith Education for more details. A portion of the proceeds will go to Marjaree Mason Center to purchase snacks and art supplies for children there.

Karri Jones or Eileen White can answer questions.

Spring has Sprung!!! Enter to win a bursting garden basket

Our March Raffle will be a Gardening Basket chock full of gardening related items that are sure to encourage and inspire your green thumb. $1 raffle tickets will be sold at church on March 3 and March 10 — the winning raffle ticket will be announced after church on March 10.

This basket is bursting with garden and decorative items:


  • $20 gift card to Gazebo Gardens
  • Knee Pad
  • 4 Pair of Gardening Gloves
  • Hose Nozzle
  • Jobe Plant Food Spikes
  • Good Dirt Liquid Plant Food
  • Hand Sprayer
  • 2 Solar Lights
  • Gardening Tools
  • $5 Target Gift Card
  • Miracle Gro Potting Mix
  • Assorted Seeds
  • 18” Plastic Pot


  • Flowered Hand Towel
  • Hummingbird Feeder
  • Spring Garden Coloring Book
  • 3 Garden Gnomes
  • Frog Sun Catcher
  • Owl Pot Hugger
  • Lounging Frog
  • 3 Garden Stepping Stones
  • Butterfly Stakes
  • Never Stop Growing Sign
  • Metal Trowel Door Knocker
  • Wisteria and Morning Glory Mugs

Basket items have been donated by the Personnel, Pastoral Relations and Charitable Gifts Teams

On the Threshold of Lent

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, March 6. Ashes to Go (drive-thru imposition of ashes) will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot. Then in the evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. we will have a brief service of Ashes and Communion. We will cycle through the Service four times in this hour. All are welcome at any time with the cycle.

The central portion of our Lenten Season this year will be our LENTEN SERVICE SUNDAYS.

Each Sunday of Lent, beginning on March 10, we will have a light lunch and then engage in an activity that will build up the body and spirit of our congregation. The first step is gathering the resources for the season. Therefore…

Needs for Lenten Service Sundays

Week 1, March 10:

Bread-baking machines, experienced bread bakers

Beginning around 9 a.m. by preparing the dough, we will bake dozens of loaves of bread. Each participating baker will take one loaf home, one loaf to give to someone within 24 hours. Dozens of loaves will remain refrigerated/frozen at the church for Week 2’s activity and for communion throughout the Lenten season and Holy Week.

Week 2, March 17:

4 cases of 36 (500 ml) bottles of water; peanut butter, jelly, jam, or preserves; cans of tuna; travel size hand sanitizer; Ziploc bags- sandwich and gallon size; socks

Going to G Street to distribute after making sandwiches with the bread we baked last Sunday.

Week 3, March 24:

What music/song(s) address your spirit? Please forward song title and artist of music you associate with refuge, inspiration, celebration, and/or meditation to EJ Hinojosa prior to March 15. Send to We will be enriched by the varied and myriad music we will experience on this afternoon.

Week 4, March 31:

Laundry detergent pods; dryer sheets; money to purchase laundry cards; Ziploc quart size bags.

We will offer a free wash and dry at various laundromats throughout Fresno for Lent.

Week 5, April 7:

All Church Work afternoon!

We will have all sorts of tasks appropriate for every person in our congregation as we prepare our buildings and grounds for Palm Sunday and Easter. Specific information will be available by March 15.

There will be a Lenten study at Roger and Vicky Wall’s home (5139 N. Poplar) on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., beginning on March 13. We will be studying five pastoral psalms that inform the theme for Lenten worship:

BUSY and Missing the Beautiful

A full Lenten and Holy Week schedule will be available on the website, eNews and on paper at the church next week at this time.

Blaze Pizza Fundraiser March 7

The Blaze Pizza at River Park (185 Paseo Del Centro) will host a fundraiser for Community UCC from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 7. Our church will receive 20 percent of proceeds during that time.

Pick up a flyer from church or save this image below to your phone. The flyer (or image on your phone) must be presented when you order. Let’s break bread together and raise some money for our church! Contact Patty Parks if you have questions.

(Donation amount excludes proceeds from tax and gift card purchases. Valid for dine-in and take-out only. Not valid for online orders. Alcoholic beverages excluded. Event proceeds void if flyers are distributed in or near restaurant.)

UCC Flyer-001

Recommended reading and viewing for Black History Month

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)

  • Green Book

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.

  • Blackkklansman
  • Black Panther
  • Blindspotting
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • The Hate U Give
  • If Beale Street Could Talk

(from 2017 and earlier)

  • Get Out
  • Fruitvale
  • Fences
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Barbershop
  • Boyz in the Hood
  • Purple Rain
  • Do the Right Thing
  • 4 School Girls