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News for May 08, 2024

Dear Beloved Community, 

This Sunday we will be acknowledging Mother's Day in the church.

I have always approached this day with caution, for multiple reasons. Firstly, as a straight heterosexual male, I do not want to assume I have a complete understanding of women's experiences. I also know, from speaking with various women in my life, that not all women are called to be mothers, so I want to suggest that we are careful not to glorify women as mothers only when there are so many other aspects of what it means to be a woman. (At the end of the day, perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes that ignore the spectrum of sexuality and gender is never a good idea.) Finally, I acknowledge that not everyone has the same experiences with their mothers, and that this hallmark holiday called Mother's Days can and does trigger for some the feelings of sadness and pain for those who have lost mothers in so many different ways. 

So, this Sunday, I want to take the opportunity to honor and celebrate different women in the Bible, and focus on the multifaceted gifts that women bring to faith and the church. We will also have a moment for those that wish to share about your own experience with Mother’s Day, either to celebrate a mother or speak about someone who has mothered you in life. 

I look forward to seeing many of you this Sunday, and hope all of you are having a great week so far. 

Peace and blessings!


The Giving Sunday offering for May is for California Clubhouse. California Clubhouse, in San Carlos, is a social and vocational rehabilitation program in San Mateo County for individuals living with a mental illness.

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.

Recordings of our Taize services are also on the YouTube page.

Upcoming services and events

  • Book Group: Stan Tune

  • Borg Discussion GroupThurs, May 9 (7 pm) on Zoom. It’s not too late to join the conversation. We’re still on Ch. 2 of Marcus Borg’s “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.” Jorge will lead the discussion during Polly’s sabbatical.

  • Taize: Fri, May 10 (7:30 pm) Peter will lead our monthly Taize service. 

  • Annual Meeting: Sunday June 2nd. Please join after church for our annual meeting. Members will be voting on the proposed slate of new church officers.

  • San Mateo County Pride 2024!: Saturday, June 8th 11:00am-5:00pom. College Heights, along with the rest of the Peninsula UCC churches, have been confirmed to participate in the 2024 San Mateo County Pride Parade.

  • UCC Family Camp: July 19-21, Monte Toyon Retreat Center, Aptos. Save the date to join the Belmont UCC like last year. More info coming.

Links and resources

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the UCC Mental Health Network has sent worship resources as well as two videos to use during this time. May 19 is Mental Health Sunday this year, but any Sunday is a great day to focus on mental health!

Ethiopian Eunuch Below are two videos related to the Ethiopian eunuch, which I reflected on this past Sunday. The first video is from Salvatore Sapienza, who discusses the LGBTQ-affirming message of the Ethiopian eunuch in a 2021 sermon-excerpt video. He is the author of "Gay is a Gift" and the pastor of Douglas United Church of Christ in Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan.

The second video is a hymn about the Ethiopian eunuch. A variety of hymns have been written about this figure over the years. For example, Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal includes "The Angel Said to Phillip," written in 1922 by Harold T. Lewis. It is sung on video by the St. James Virtual Choir from St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, California. Unfortunately, it does not include the word "eunuch," referencing only the "Ethiope."

Quote of the week

“It is untrue that bravery can be measured by a lack of fear. It takes guts to tremble. It takes tremble to love.” - Andrea Gibson

Weekly events

• Meditation group: Wednesdays at 7:30 am

In person at the church building.

• Sunday worship: 10 am

In person at the church building.

Image: Rev. Jorge Bautista


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