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News for November 28, 2023


This Sunday, Dec 3: In-person service at 10am

This Sunday, December 3, is the beginning of Advent. Our guest preacher will be Rev. Terri Echelbarger, former pastor of Many Journeys MCC and now Co-Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Mateo. The first Sunday of Advent is about Hope. Communion will be celebrated.


Instant Choir rehearses at 8:45am.


There will be a Congregational Meeting after worship to vote on the budget for 2024. If you can't be there in person, be sure to submit your absentee ballot to David Wartman.


The Giving Sunday offering for December is for the UCC's Christmas Fund, helping active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ.

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.

Starting in Sept 2023, recordings of our Taize services are also on the YouTube page.


Sabrina's cybersecurity talk is now posted. This is worth watching even if you heard her give it.


Due to a technical glitch, Polly's sermon on Black Madonnas didn't get recorded. In lieu of the video, you can read the text and see the pictures here.


"Deck the Halls" this Friday at 6pm

Come help decorate the church for Christmas! We put up the tree, hang the garlands, set up the creche, haul the banners up from the basement, and generally get the church ready for the season. Potluck soup supper, so bring something to share. Put on your Santa hat and come have fun!


Christmas surprise for Jim M.

Karen and Jane are assembling a Christmas goody bag for Jim Mathews. Jim is bedridden now, on hospice, but still recognizes visitors and is happy to see people. For years his beautiful tenor voice graced our singing, especially at Christmas. If you'd like to contribute a small item to the surprise, get it to Karen or Jane by Dec 10.


Musical Advent calendar sign-up

Tell Polly if you want to be on the list for the musical Advent calendar. It means a piece of Christmas music will arrive in your email inbox every morning of Advent, starting this Sunday. The most unusual selection this year is the exquisite Estonian prayer Heliseb väljadel (Ave Maria).


Advent activities calendar

Mark your calendars -- all the pre-Covid pre-Christmas traditions are returning this year!

  • Fri, Dec 1 -- "Deck the Halls" soup supper, 6pm. Come help decorate the church for Christmas (hang the garlands, put up the tree, get out the Advent banners etc). Bring a little something to share for a potluck soup supper.

  • Sun, Dec 3 -- First Sunday in Advent, Rev. Terri Echelbarger preaching. Instant choir rehearses at 8:45. Congregational meeting after worship.

  • Fri, Dec 8 -- Advent Taize service, 7:30 pm. Christmas-season chants by candlelight, Hilary Lewis on viola.

  • Sat, Dec 9 -- Christmas Smorgy, 6pm. We all get dressed up in our party clothes, the tables are decorated, the church is decorated (see "Deck the Halls" above), and family and friends are welcome to come too. See Marilyn G. if you want to contribute to the after-dinner talent/no-talent show.

  • Sun, Dec 10 -- Second Sunday in Advent, Rev. Polly Moore preaching. Instant choir rehearses at 8:45.

  • Tues, Dec 12 -- Caroling in the neighborhood, 6 pm. We sing for about an hour, then retreat to the church for hot cider and cookies. Friends and family welcome.

  • Sun, Dec 17 -- Third Sunday in Advent. Pepe Doyle will talk about Joy. Instant Choir rehearses at 8:45.

  • Sun, Dec 24 -- Fourth Sunday in Advent and Christmas Eve. No morning service. Christmas Eve candlelight service of lessons and carols at 8pm.



Upcoming services and events

• Congregational Meeting: Sun, Dec 3 after worship. The annual meeting to vote on next year's budget.

• Advent Taize service: Nov 10 (7:30 pm), in-person and on Zoom. A contemplative time of chant and prayer.

• Weds discussion group:Jan 10 (7 pm), Zoom

"Basic Bible Stories", meeting the main characters of the Old Testament. After the holidays, we'll move on to the story of Solomon.

• Book Group: Sun, Jan 28 (7 pm), Zoom Al Hasse is still going to lead the Book Group! The next discussion won't be until after their move and the holidays, which will give you plenty of time to prepare your arguments, pro and con, on Sam Harris' "Free Will".


Links and resources

Songstress Tammi Brown, who has graced our worship with her music more than once, is battling cancer. If you are moved to help, friends have set up a GoFundMe page.

Masterworks Chorale sings two Christmas concerts: Sat, Dec 16 at 4pm for kids and families and Sun, Dec 17 at 4pm for our usual more adult audience. Both concerts are at CCSM (the downtown church) and both are followed by a Cookie Extravaganza.


Quote of the week

"If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours." -- Dolly Parton


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. Terri Echelbarger

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