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CONNECTIONS: July 3, 2024

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Greetings, Church! 

The Fourth of July has always been one of those holidays with a mix of emotions. While I love to gather with friends and family for BBQ's, parades, and pool parties, I do so knowing that the ideas of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" hasn't, and isn't, a reality for all. As we celebrate our nation's independence and freedom, and honor the generations who fought for a more perfect union, we must also acknowledge and remember that the land we stand on was taken from Indigenous peoples and built by enslaved peoples. We can celebrate the strides made in expanding voting rights, dismantling discriminatory laws, and promoting equality, while also pausing to acknowledge the pain suffered by many to get there-- and there is more work to be done.

As I've watched the events of the past week unfold, I've asked myself, "Do the words on lady liberty still ring true?" It's not the first, and I'm sure it won't be the last time that question has been raised. And with hope, I say YES. Why? Because there are still millions of people working towards a more inclusive future, rooted in healing, reconciliation, and true freedom for all. The church must be part of this work. Not by demanding that the Ten Commandments be taught in schools, or forcing our beliefs on others. The separation of church and state stands solidly in biblical teaching, and is a fundamental principle promised in the Constitution of the United States. No, the church, in her prophetic mission, should question any agenda that protects the privilege of some at the expense of others (Walter Brueggemann) as it is contrary to the commandment to love.

So, what can we do as people of faith? We can work together to build bridges of understanding and celebrate our diverse tapestry of experiences and cultures. We can model what it looks like to care for our neighbors. We can explore and discuss what reparations might look like for our community. We can advocate for policies that promote equality and basic human needs like healthcare, housing, education, food, clean air and water. Above all, we can meet others from a place of love and peace.

On this day of reflection and celebration, let's recommit ourselves to the unfinished work of justice for all. Happy Fourth, my friends!

With hope, gratitude, and love,


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Did you miss worship?


CLICK HERE for Rev. Jessica's sermon, "Seen and Healed"


Wednesday, July 3

  • 7:15 - 8:45 PM — Bilingual Worship and Potluck, Kloss Hall
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM — Chancel Choir rehearsal, Sanctuary


Saturday, July 6

  • 8:30 - 10:30 AM — CC Riders Weekly Bike Ride (contact Peter Held, paheld1417@gmail.com)
  • 10:30 AM — Coffee with CC Riders, Village Hub in Woodside (3154 Woodside Road)

Sunday, July 7

  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Worship Service in person and online
  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Youth and Children's Programs, Memorial Garden
  • 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM — Coffee Hour, Kloss Hall
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM — Family Fiesta and BBQ Potluck with Latino Ministry, Lawn and Kloss Hall

Monday, July 8

  • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Monday Women's Group, Fireplace Room
  • 7:00 - 8:00 PM — Samaritan House Q&A on Zoom, tinyurl.com/Sam-House-Zoom

Tuesday, July 9

  • 10:00 - 11:30 AM — Men’s Coffee Group, Food Court, Hillsdale Mall (contact Peter Held, paheld1417@gmail.com)

Wednesday, July 10

  • 7:15 - 8:45 PM — Bilingual Worship and Potluck, Kloss Hall

New Worship Series Begins SUNDAY

July 7, 14, & 21

If you’ve ever been traveling, there’s nothing like finding a place that feels a little like home, is there? A little kindness, someone making the extra effort for you- it all ends up feeling like a pretty special gift. There’s a reason spiritual folks are sometimes called “sojourners:” our faith lives are like a long trip. Our community can be that place on someone’s journey where, when they arrive, they encounter that kindness and extra effort that makes them feel a little more at home. 

For the next three weeks, we’ll focus on hospitality through a biblical lens and look at our own practices of welcome: What touches and intentions can widen and deepen our hospitality? What are we doing well? What can we improve? How can we become that place that feels a little like home to travelers along life’s way?

We’ll dive a little deeper into this series beyond worship at a Thursday evening Zoom Gathering from 5:30-6:30pm on July 11, 18, & 25, when we will reflect on questions as part of a “Hospitality Audit.”



National Juneteenth Museum

Make a Gift

As the epicenter for the preservation of Juneteenth history, the National Juneteenth Museum will be a collaborative space to foster conversations on the global significance of freedom and the celebration of Juneteenth worldwide.

The National Juneteenth Museum connects the stories of freedom of the enslaved to modern-day liberation in daily pursuit of equity and justice. The museum is expected to open to the public in 2026.


Help us craft the Soundtrack of Summer: share your favorite hymn!

We're excited to celebrate summer by singing some of our community's favorite hymns. To help us create a joyful and meaningful experience, we'd love to hear from you! Submit your favorite song below, and take a moment to tell us why you love it. 



Hosted by Rev. Álvaro & Latino Ministries

Join us for a party on the lawn on Sunday, July 7th, at 5:30pm! Rev. Álvaro will be firing up the grill and the music of Rosa Los Santos will keep the party going. This is an event where we hope many of our neighbors can join us, and it is a great opportunity to invite a friend to meet our CCSM family. If you can help greet, bring a side dish, or clean-up, email Rev. Jessica or sign-up at church in Kloss Hall on Sunday or Wednesday.

Samaritan House Follow-Up Q & A

As we continue to explore a potential new partnership of table ministry with Samaritan House, we have heard from several of you that are very excited, but still have questions—and we are working on those answers! Please join us for a Q & A session on Monday where we will do our best to answer your questions.

If you know your question in advance, please email jessica@ccsm-ucc.org to help us have relevant information for the session.



July 26-28, 2024 - Cabin Weekend for High School Youth

All incoming 9th graders through recent graduates are welcome to join Rev. Jessica, Michele, and Mike for a weekend retreat at Mike and Lee Mullery's cabin on the South Yuba River in Penn Valley!

We’ll have opportunities for swimming in the river, hiking, stargazing, playing cornhole, and relaxing in the cabin. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak up breathtaking views as we connect with God and each other. Email Michele Cinq Mars for more information. The cabin is adjacent to the South Yuba River State Park.


Plastics Recycling Second Hour, July 21

In concert with the launching of the CCSM Precious Plastics Recycling Project, the CCSM Environment Justice Ministry and Youth Group co-present a special in-person Second Hour program on Sunday July 21 after worship service in the Buckham Room. The program will feature a slide presentation and group discussion on the history of plastics, the explosive growth of plastics pollution, and what can be done to help solve the problem.

We hope you can join us to learn more about this vexing problem.

New Ministry Partnership with Peninsula Precious Plastics

My name is Zach Floresca and I am a member of the Youth Group and the Environmental Justice Ministry at CCSM. We’re excited to announce a new and innovative recycling program at CCSM, called the Precious Plastics Project or P3. The program will enable the church and its members to turn hard-to-recycle plastics into new, usable products. The local P3 group in San Carlos has agreed to partner with CCSM and its members to collect the plastics and create new products.

So, if you’re interested in contributing to this program, here's what to do:

  • Sort and collect your plastic products, looking for the number inside the triangular recycling logo. P3 will only be able to use #2, #4, and #5 plastics:
  • #2's include milk jugs, cleaning product and detergent containers, shampoo bottles
  • #4's include plastic shopping bags, bread bags, snack bags, squeezable bottles and tubes
  • #5's include yogurt cups and tubs, margarine tubs, syrup bottles, plastic bottle caps, food containers and straws, plastic furniture
  • Remove any labels, wash and dry them.
  • Bring them to CCSM and place them in the P3 collection boxes in Kloss Hall, the hallway outside Kloss, or the Narthex.

Thank you for participating in P3!


Join CCSMers for a relaxed evening of music, food and fun each Thursday night from 6:00-8:00 pm in San Mateo's Central Park (note special time for July 4). This is a drop-in event, so look for fellow members once you arrive. Bring your own food and drink, or buy something from the vendors. A blanket or beach towel is a must, low camp chairs are a good idea. Bands performing are listed below.  Contact Mike Harris for more info, mypirocks@me.com

  • July 4 - noon - 2 pm - 4th of July in the Park celebration returns this year from 11 am – 2 pm, with live music running from Club 90 (Party) from 12-2 p.m.!
  • July 11 - Pop Fiction (Party Mix)
  • July 18 - Julio Bravo y su Orquesta Salsabor (Latin)
  • July 25 - Electric Rodeo (Country)
  • August 1 - Land of Confusion/TAKE 2 (Phil Collins Tribute & Genesis/Party Mix)
  • August 8 - Bud E. Luv Orchestra (Swing/Big Band/Party Mix)



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!

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!

Click Here for a Full List of Staff and Leadership

Regular Office Hours:

9:00am - 4:00pm

Monday - Thursday


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