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News for June 13, 2023

This Sunday, June 18: In-person serviceThis Sunday, June 18, our guest preacher will be Rev. Larry George, better known to us as Sabrina's grandfather. Larry is a retired United Methodist pastor who has served churches in Massachusetts and California. He has also spent much time in Palestine and Israel over the last 34 years; his particular passion is furthering "people-to-people" and intercultural/interfaith relationships.

Larry's going to be talking about the Biblical character of Jonah, so he's given us some homework. Please find a few minutes before Sunday to read the Book of Jonah. It's only a few pages.

The Giving Sunday offering for June is for the UCC's Strengthen the Church.

Recent sermons

Check out our YouTube page to see recent sermons. Go to our archive of slides to see bulletins and slides used during recent services.

Wednesday Discussion Group this week

On Wednesday, June 14, at 7pm we'll continue our discussion of the "clobber passages", those verses pulled out of context from the Bible and used against the LGBTQ community. Next up is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, found in Genesis 18-19. It's a pretty horrific tale, and worth understanding what it's really about. Everyone (not just new members) is welcome to the conversation.

Summer sermon series: "Pick a Poet"

In the spirit of the summer sermon series "August on Broadway" (2021) and "Favorite Children's Books" (2022), this summer's sermon theme is "Pick a Poet". Choose a Sunday and come tell us about a favorite poet of yours. Why do their writings resonate with you? Share a few of your favorite examples and what touched you about them. Rumi and D. H. Lawrence are spoken for, and we might need to do Emily Dickinson twice. Consider this:

Poetry and worship seem made for each other. There we are, gathered to share our understanding of a power-that-is-beyond-understanding, and we are convinced that more words will make it clearer. Along comes the poet, with a striking image and very few words, and all of a sudden we get a glimpse we didn’t have before. Thomas Hardy famously wrote, “If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.

Talk to Marilyn Garrison or Polly to get on the preaching calendar.

Upcoming services and events

• Weds discussion group: June 14 (7 pm), Zoom

We're continuing with the list of "clobber passages", those Bible verses used against the LGBTQ+ community. On the 14th, we'll look at Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. What is it actually about? How else has it been interpreted? All are welcome to the conversation.

• Taize service: Fri, July 7 (7:30 pm) at church. Also available on Zoom. Note that it's a week earlier than the usual "second Friday."

• Worship & Arts: Sun, July 9 after church. Come help us plan the summer.

• Book Group: Sun, July 9 (7 pm), Zoom. Reading the novel “Our Missing Hearts” by Celeste Ng

• Church Camp. July 14-16 at Monte Toyon along with Belmont UCC and others.

• Women’s retreat: Sep 1-3, Pacific Grove

Contact Polly Moore for details.

• Men’s retreat: Sep 22–24, Pacific Grove

Contact Roy Gesley for details.

Links and resources

• Juneteenth is this coming Monday, June 19. As part of that observance, the national office of the UCC is hosting a webinar "Celebrating Juneteenth: Practicing Antiracism from Emancipation to Freedom" this Thursday, June 15, 12:30-1:30 PDT. Register here. It's free.

Schola Cantorum, a South Bay chorus, is again sponsoring a series of Summer Sings. For six Monday evenings in July and August, you get a chance to sing through everybody's favorite classical music masterpieces. They provide scores and everyone is welcome.

Delighted to report that Sagrada in Oakland has new owners and is not closing after all! Mary and Carlo Busby, the founders, were literally in the midst of a giant close-out sale when interested people appeared. The store is reopening this Saturday at 11.

Quote of the week

"If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough." -- Oprah Winfrey

Weekly events

• Meditation group: Wednesdays at 7:30 am

In person at the church building

• Sunday worship: 10 am

In person or on Zoom — see the newsletter or this site for updates

Image: Jonah and the Whale by Salvador Dali, 1975


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