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Connections: April 10, 2024

Greetings, Church-

I was thrilled to see so many of you at our first discernment session this past Sunday! Rev. Álvaro, Julien Phillips, and our Latino Ministry Committee have been preparing for these sessions for several months, and their hard work and dedication were visible in the rich conversation, sharing, and reflection that took place. I hope that even if you were unable to attend last Sunday, you can join us for Session 2 this Sunday following worship in Kloss Hall. (Happy Coffee Hour will take place in the Buckham Room) Keep reading for information about this Sunday's session, a recap from session 1, and a summary of our survey results.

As many of you are aware, Clare Naegle, one of the matriarchs of CCSM passed away last Friday, April 6, just a few weeks short of her 106th birthday. We'll be holding a Memorial Service for Clare next month and will send out a notice with those details once they are finalized. I had the opportunity to speak with Clare's children, Marilyn and Richard, this afternoon and Richard shared a story that I wanted to pass along to you. When Richard turned 70, he asked Clare for her advice about aging. She said,

"Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I say is 'I'm glad I'm alive;' the second thing I say is 'good morning Change, what do you have in store for me today?

And whatever it is I will manage it."

What a beautiful way to greet the morning and approach each day.

I hope you can join us this Sunday as we continue our celebration of Eastertide with another resurrection story, this time from Luke 24:26-44, where Jesus surprises the Disciples on the beach and you guessed it, they shared a meal together.

Until then, may God refresh you and remind you of the loveliness found in today.

With gratitude and hope,


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Weekly Update

Thank you to Julien Phillips for summarizing this past week's session!


We had a great start to our discernment process this past Sunday! Fifty-two congregants participated in-person, with an additional 10 attempting to participate online (we had a few technical glitches we are ironing out for this Sunday). Rev. Álvaro presented a sketch of CCSM’s history of multi-cultural involvement that began with a Japanese congregation at the church in the 1930s. People felt pride in CCSM’s efforts, but some also expressed sadness and embarrassment for the repeated tendency to maintain separateness and not embrace everyone as part of ‘us.’


Several participants expressed surprise at Álvaro’s mention of Latinos’ experiences of disrespect and exclusion at CCSM, but many also expressed shame and embarrassment, along with a desire to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Many participants expressed great appreciation for the Latino Ministry and for the spiritual quality of Wednesday evening services. A few made comments that implied less enthusiasm for the Ministry. An oft-expressed hope was for CCSM to learn how to live up to its values more fully.


We've included links below to materials from Session 1, along with the results of our survey. Next Sunday from 12-1:30 we will hold our second session, entitled Crossing Divides. We encourage you to participate, even if you were not able to come to the first session.


This week's session: Crossing Divides

Our journey is the living account of our response to God's call to be a multicultural church that presents the life-giving and transforming Gospel of Jesus in a progressive, relevant and active way to all people without exception in San Mateo County. It is a human story of many people with many experiences that deserve to be revisited, analyzed.


In this session, participants will have the opportunity to:

  •  Reflect on the walls we put up that divide people in faith communities and become obstacles to the development of the church's mission.
  • Recognize the individual role of each person in the deconstruction of prejudices and the construction of an inclusive and equitable community coexistence.


We hope you can join us this Sunday in Kloss Hall!


Discernment Covenant
Latino Ministry 2023 Annual Report
CCSM's Multicultural History
Survey Responses

Upcoming Dates

April 14, 28 and May 5

 Kloss Hall

12pm-1:30pm, Lunch Provided

While an RSVP is not required,

we invite you to RSVP at the link below to help us with meal planning.


Childcare will be available.

Please RSVP at the link below to help us properly staff each session.


If you are unable to join us in person, we will have a Zoom option available, follow the link below. Email Mike Harris with questions.


If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact me, Rev. Álvaro, or Julien Phillips, our Latino Ministry team lead.



CLICK HERE for Rev. Jessica's sermon, 

“Here's My Heart"




POSY POSSE is moving into its fifth year of outreach to the CCSM community. We make small arrangements using flowers from our gardens and deliver them to bring joy, solace, and connection. If you would like to learn more, please join us for a potluck luncheon in the CCSM Memorial Garden on Monday, April 22nd. For information prior to April 22nd, call Susan Lake Long at 650.576.4092.


Monday, April 15 - CCSM Scholarship Deadline for anyone attending university next year.

Sunday, April 21 - CCSM Earth Sunday! Youth will lead some special eco-justice activities for kids during the service time. After church, youth are invited to join Rev. Sheryl after church for lunch and to start working on leadership for Youth Sunday (May 5)! 

Email Sheryl to Learn More


Are you or do you know any children or youth who are passionate about the environment and enjoy making art? The National UCC is holding its 2nd "Vote for Climate Hope" art contest. Kids will be participating on Sundays and Wednesdays as part of our CCSM programming, but kids/youth are also welcome to participate on their own.

Please click here for more information, or speak to Rev. Sheryl. The deadline is April 16!



The next Board of Directors meeting will be Tuesday, April 16 at 6:30pm in the Buckham Room (or on Zoom at tinyurl.com/CCSM-Boardmtg). Click the button below for the Agenda.


Both groups meet in the Hillsdale Mall food court.

Join whenever you can for a time of connecting.

MEN’S GROUP: Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

Contact Peter Held for more info, paheld1417@gmail.com

WOMEN’S GROUP: Thursdays from 10:15 to 11:30 am.

Contact Carole Melis, clmcomm1@gmail.com, or

Linda Skromme, linda.skromme@gmail.com.


SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2pm - 4:30pm

Join us in Kloss Hall for a baby shower for Rev. Sheryl and her wife Kelly as they prepare to become parents in May. Many of their baby items have already been filled, so we will collect gifts for Baby Girl's college fund. (More on that as the shower approaches). We are looking for additional hands to help set up for the event and provide treats for the afternoon. Contact Sue Bullis, if you can help. 

MUSIC AND ART, Friday, April 19, Noon, Buckham Room

We’ll gather for our annual luncheon meeting. This tasty event is a potluck, so please bring a salad, main dish, sandwiches, or a dessert. Beverages will be provided. There will be a very brief business meeting and then lots of fun conversations. We need to know how many tables to set up, so please RSVP promptly to donaldgharper@yahoo.com or 650-553-1800. Please indicate what dish you will bring. Looking forward to seeing you!


Saturday, April 20, 10am - 2pm at CCSM

CCSM’S Environmental Justice Ministry is hosting an Interfaith Earth Weekend event both in person and on Zoom. The Zoom call will be hosted by UCC National Environmental Ministry and will feature climate activist, Bill McKibben giving the Jim Antal lecture, followed by Q&A and a panel discussion with the co-founders of the International Monitor Formosa Alliance, a non-profit organization based in the U.S. whose mission is to seek financial compensation for victims of toxic spills.

A vegetarian lunch will be served at CCSM, followed by small group discussions on the climate actions church communities can and are already taking to address creation care.

There is no cost to participate, but we do ask everyone to register so we have enough lunches for all participants.


Schedule a free energy audit on your home with your local utility.

IT’S SCHOLARSHIP TIME! April 15 Deadline!

CCSM Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of CCSM members, the Scholarship Committee is pleased to support students of CCSM families with undergraduate and graduate scholarships for 2024-25.

Information and application packets are available at tinyurl.com/2024-Schol-HS and tinyurl.com/2024-Bullis-Undergrad-Grad and are due April 15.

Contact Warren Long or Sheryl Johnson if you have any questions.


CCSM Council of Ministries

Email COM@CCSM-UCC.org to connect to any ministry!

Kay Harris, Council of Ministries Lead

Jim Schwandt, Building and Grounds

Kim Rey, Troy Grabow, Children, Youth and Families

Melodie Lew, Congregational Care

Sandy McNabb, Connect and Celebrate                       

Gary H. White, Environmental Justice

Alison Schwandt, Engagement/Communications 

Julien Phillips, Latino/a Ministry       

Pam Ridlehuber, Liturgical Arts

Sue Bell, Katie Bylander, Music        

Genel Morgan. Sharon Tobin, Service and Justice

Dave Olsen, Spiritual Life/Adult Ed.

Ivan Raikov, Stewardship

Email Kay Harris to get connected to a Ministry Lead anytime!

CCSM Committee Chairs

Chris Yeh, Endowment

Martha Bronitsky, Finance

Frank Garritano, Leadership and Governance

Chris Wuthmann, Pastoral Relations

Dave Goulden, Personnel

Phil Lind, Historian

Click HERE for CCSM's Governance Manual, and HERE for CCSM's Bylaws


Weekly on Wednesdays  • 9:30-10:00am on Zoom

In light of the recent events in Gaza, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories, we are invited to join Churches for Middle East Peace, an ecumenical partner of the United Church of Christ's Global Ministries, to join others across the world in praying weekly for peace. Registration is free, but required to receive the Zoom Link. 


Make a Gift

You can also make a financial gift to help with humanitarian aid for people in Gaza, Palestine, and Israel through the United Church of Christ’s Wider Church Ministries HERE.

Call for a Ceasefire

 Send a pre-written message to your elected officials through UCC’s “Just Peace Church” program HERE calling for a ceasefire and encouraging Congress to take immediate action for de-escalation in Israel and Gaza, and support steps towards a lasting peace.



The "Blessing Box" outside of the entrance of CCSM is a project of the Ministry of Service and Justice, responding to the need for families in our neighborhood to access food and an expression of our call to be the "hands, feet, and face of God" in our community.

  • The container will be in the narthex to collect the following food items:
  • canned, dried and boxed
  • no fresh food please
  • donations must be full UNOPENED containers
  • no fruits, vegetables, or bread

  • We also collect individually wrapped plasticware!

Thank you for your continuing generosity!

Regular CCSM Office Hours:

9:00am - 4:00pm

Monday - Thursday

Scan this QR code or go to ccsm-ucc.org/give

to make a donation or pledge to CCSM.

Don't forget to ask your employer if they have a charitable donation matching program to make your pledge go farther.

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225 Tilton Ave. • San Mateo, CA • 94401