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CONNECTIONS: May 22, 2024

Greetings, Church!

What a Spirit filled Pentecost celebration we shared on Sunday! Our Liturgical Arts Ministry captured the scripture beautifully with the "tongues of fire" dancing above our heads in the Sanctuary, and it was a gift to have a variety of voices and languages lead worship. Whether you were wearing red in the sanctuary, or worshiping from home, your spirit was felt!

On Sunday I posed the questions: "How is God's Spirit being unleashed today? Where is she calling us? How can we listen and continue Jesus' movement of healing and restoration? As we collectively pay attention to where the Spirit might be leading us a faith community, we'd like to share something that has been bubbling up: a potential new ministry opportunity with our long time community partner, Samaritan House.

A little history, Samaritan House is the largest truck-to-table food distributor in San Mateo County. They provide Mobile Meals, a food pantry, school snacks and summer lunches. Additionally, they used to serve meals in a more restaurant/dining room style in the Masonic Lodge across the street from our Christian Education building. When COVID shut down indoor dining, neighbors received meals in boxes out of the back of the Samaritan House delivery truck. By the time it was safe to eat inside again, the Masons had decided to sell their building. So, the boxed meals continue to be handed out rain or shine, across the street from our CE Building, with no shelter for those in line or a place to sit to enjoy their meals.

Several months ago, the Samaritan House staff approached CCSM members (volunteering at SH) about the possibility of the meal service picking back up again at CCSM. Samaritan House staff shared that this would be an opportunity for those who might need it the most to find connection, conversation, and support in a dignified way- around tables, breaking bread together.

Over the past few months, the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, and Social Justice Ministry have been exploring this potential partnership. As part of the proposed arrangement, we are considering allowing Samaritan House to use Kloss Hall to provide meals five nights a week. The Board believes this not only aligns with our values of service and compassion, but it would also strengthen our commitments to social justice and community outreach.

To provide more details and gather your valuable feedback, we invite you to attend a special “Second Hour” (following worship) on Sunday, June 2nd. We are honored to have La Trice Taylor, Senior Director of Samaritan House join us for this presentation. This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the potential impact of this partnership, how you can get involved, and to share your thoughts and opinions. Your input is crucial as we consider this important decision, and we look forward to hearing from you.

We hope you can join us for this special Second Hour as we continue to work together to live into our Guiding Principle of being God's hands and feet and face in our North Central neighborhood and beyond.

With hope and gratitude,

Rev. Jessica & Don Ruthroff, Board Moderator

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Did you miss worship?


CLICK HERE for Rev. Jessica Vacketta's sermon, "Pentecost Party"


Wednesday, May 22

  • 7:15 - 8:45 PM — Bilingual Worship & Potluck and Celebrating our Scholarship Recipients, Kloss Hall
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM — Chancel Choir Rehearsal, Sanctuary

Thursday, May 23

  • 10:15 - 11:30 AM — Women’s Coffee Group, Food Court, Hillsdale Mall (contact linda.skromme@gmail.com)
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM — Carillon Bells Rehearsal, Choir Room

Saturday, May 25

  • 8:30 - 10:30 AM — CC Riders Weekly Bike Ride (contact Peter Held for more info)
  • 10:30 AM — Coffee with CC Riders, Village Hub in Woodside (3154 Woodside Road)

Sunday, May 26

  • 9:30 AM — Joyful Noise Kids' Choir, Community Room
  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Worship Service in person and online - Celebrating our Scholarship Recipients!
  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Youth and Children's Programs
  • 11:45 AM — Open Cathedral Sandwich Making, Kitchen


  • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Monday Women's Group
  • 7:15 PM - 8:45 PM — Spiritual Conversations on Zoom (contact Chris Wuthmann, cewuthmann@gmail.com)

Tuesday, May 28

  • 10:00 - 11:30 AM — Men’s Coffee Group, Food Court, Hillsdale Mall (contact Peter Held, paheld1417@gmail.com)
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM — Logos Method Sound Journey, Kloss Hall


Swords to Plowshares

War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Swords to Plowshares' mission is to support veterans as they navigate the challenges of post-military life, and to prevent and end veteran homelessness through wrap-around care and informed advocacy.

 The philosophy of the organization is that it recognizes that veteran homelessness, instability, institutional racism, and systemic oppression are interrelated and require an integrated network of support.  



THE CCSM SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE of the Children, Youth and Family Ministry is pleased to award scholarships for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year to several youth, to be presented during the May 26 (Sunday) and May 22 (Wednesday) services. Graduating high school recipients are Camille Grant, Lily Mathews, Aleksa Bamaca Diaz and Kimberly Lopez. Current college students are Ashley Lopez, Emelin Perez and Ana Bamaca. Be sure to be there to congratulate our youth!


One year ago the Environmental Justice Ministry led CCSM in a nationwide UCC postcard drive promoting more aggressive EPA actions on climate change. The drive, led by EJ’s Anne Galli, resulted in 105 postcards being written and sent from CCSM to UCC as part of the 2,000 postcards submitted to the EPA. 
Since that drive, the EPA has responded with the announcement of numerous progressive actions that will further protect the environment and promote human health. Among them are the following:
  • A new rule on methane to prevent the equivalent of a billion tons of carbon emissions.
  • Stricter standards for power plant operation and the transportation sector. 
  • Funds to research and a rule to regulate dangerous PFAs in drinking water. 
  • Deployment of $1 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to expedite Superfund cleanup activities. 
  • Stronger standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. 
We thank those environmentally conscious CCSM members who wrote and submitted their impactful postcards.

Gary H. White

Climate Reality Leader - Climate Reality Project

To read CCSM's climate pledge, click on this link: tinyurl.com/CCSM-Climate-Pledge


CYF now has its own Google calendar... click HERE!

THIS SUNDAY, May 26, 11:45am - Sandwich Making for Open Cathedral, Kitchen

Most Sundays! 9:45am - Joyful Noise Kids’ Music Program led by Julie Berk. Come learn special songs, play instruments, and share periodically during the Sunday church service. Youth assistance is welcome!

Sunday, June 2 - CCSM Summer Kids' Program Begins! Starting this Sunday (and continuing all summer long), kids of all ages will gather with Elaine and Lily in the Memorial Garden for activities and stories related to spirituality, care for the Earth, and community service. Youth "camp counselor" volunteers are welcome - this is a fun way to earn volunteer hours for school (no need to commit to being there every week!).

July 2024 - UCC Camp Tamarack Sessions. Please mark your calendar! Senior High: July 14-20, Junior High: July 21-27, Junior (4th-6th grade): July 28-August 3

July 26-28, 2024 - Possible youth cabin weekend at Mike and Lee Mullery's place in the mountains. Spend the weekend connecting with Spirit in nature and deepening friendships. 


CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse) provides safety, support and healing for individuals who experience abuse in an intimate relationship and educates the community to break the cycle of domestic violence.

CCSM has supported CORA in the past with our plate offerings. MSJ would like to share information in THIS LINK with the congregation about asking our assembly people to protect funding for domestic violence services such as CORA.


May 28, 7pm • Kloss Hall

Register for the next Logos Method Sound Journey in Kloss Hall

Tuesday, May 28th, 7 - 8:30pm

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience deep peace, open channels to your intuition and tune up your nervous system. Participants report: Better night sleep, clarity of mind, profoundly peaceful and so much more.

Tickets are for sale at: tinyurl.com/Logos-Events


It's time for the annual CCSM PicnicKick off your summer by joining the CCSM picnic in San Mateo’s Central Park. CCSM will supply the hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks; you supply the side dishes as noted below:

A-I: Dessert

J-R: Salad/fruit/veggies

S-Z: Side dishes (e.g. beans, rice, pasta)

See details on the flyer in both English and Spanish (click HERE) and available in Kloss Hall during coffee hours. Please RSVP to Sandy McNabb so we have enough burgers and hot dogs for all.

Use less heat in the winter and less air conditioning in the summer to save energy.



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!

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

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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