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CONNECTIONS: May 8, 2024

Greetings, Church!

First I would like to thank our Youth for sharing their voices and helping to lead worship this past Sunday! Camille, Lily, and Max (three of our graduating seniors) offered reflections on how being part of our faith community has impacted their life and shaped their future. If you missed worship, I strongly encourage you to follow the link below and listen to their stories. Thank you to Maliha, Kevin, Zach, Xiang-Xiang and Chelsea for sharing their gifts and voices in worship as well!

It was a big weekend all around for our CYF Ministry, as Rev. Dr. Sheryl Johnson and her wife Kelly welcomed their daughter (a couple of weeks early) on Friday, May 3. Welcome to the world Andrea "Andie" Claire Johnson Colwell! Everyone is now home, happy, and recovering well. Please join me in continuing to hold Sheryl, Kelly, and Andie in prayer in this new season! Sheryl will be out of the office until Sunday, September 1. While she is on leave, I will be working with and supporting our CYF Committee, volunteers and staff as they continue to provide a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment for our children, youth, and their families.

This Sunday, we will mark the last Sunday of the fifty day celebration of the season of Eastertide. I'll offer a reflection on Psalm 1, we'll sing one more Easter favorite "In the Bulb There is a Flower," and our Joyful Noise choir will offer special music in worship in honor of Mother's Day. As I mentioned at the end of worship last week, we'll also be collecting diapers for LifeMoves. You can read more about what is needed further down in this email. Following worship, members of our Board of Directors will host Coffee Happy Hour and be available to answer any questions you might have regarding the 2024 Board Priorities or other things happening in the life of the church. I hope you will be able to join us in-person or online to celebrate the Risen Christ!

With hope and love,


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Weekly Update

On Sunday afternoon bout 45 congregants assembled in Kloss Hall, gathered around 8 round

tables with 6-8 people each. After sharing communion and listening to a summary of participant

comments from Sessions 1-3, people engaged in a series of small-group discussions and then

wrote individual Post-Its with their hopes for the future.

Reflecting on the previous sessions, participants overwhelmingly said that they were happy

about and grateful for the process, hopeful and encouraged about the future. “This opportunity

is a gift from God, ours to embrace” is one of several similar comments. Some participants

expressed continuing shock, grief, embarrassment and anger about disrespect and exclusion

experienced by some Latino/as in our church. Some said they felt called to greater personal

engagement across cultural differences.

Participants talked a good deal about what comes next. Some expressed a desire for more

discernment and, in particular, for more input from our Latino/a congregants. Many said we

need to reach greater clarity about our goal and about our plans for moving towards that goal,

and some noted that a process of change would take years. Many expressed a desire for

greater interaction between Latino/as and non-Latino/as.

Three predominant, related themes pointed toward vision and goals:

  • Live up to what we say: “Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
  • Move from inclusion to belonging.
  • Become a truly multi-cultural church, recognizing that we need to develop an understanding of what that means.

Several people commented that young folks - children, youth, young adults - need to be a key

part of the vision. By far the greatest number of suggestions for action had to do with interaction between Latino/a/x/es and non-Latino/a/x/es - e.g.,

Participate in Wednesday services

Hold fun social activities - e.g., game nights, talent shows, potlucks, picnics, music

Engage in conversation around tables, learn from each other

Participate together in service activities.

Others referred to the need to acknowledge wrongs done, engage in repentance, ask for

forgiveness, and clarify questions around membership so that it is not a source of division.

What comes next?

On Sunday, June 16, we will gather together for a Second Hour to share reflections on our four discernment sessions and to talk further about how we can heal, build relationships, and live into being one CCSM community.

In the meantime, I invite you to pray for the loving presence of the Holy Spirit as we

continue this process. Especially if you have not participated in the Nuevo Camino discernment

sessions, I invite you to send Álvaro and me an e-mail with your thoughts and suggestions

about CCSM’s vision for the Latino Ministry within CCSM, and about how you would like to

participate in this process as it moves forward.

Thank you,

Julie Phillips

Latino Ministry Committee Lead



CLICK HERE for reflections from our youth!


Wednesday, May 8

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

Thursday, May 9

  • 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 11

  • 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 12

  • 9:30 AM — Joyful Noise Kids' Choir, Community Room
  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Worship Service in person and online
  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM — Youth and Children's Programs
  • 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM — Coffee Hour in Buckham Room

Monday, May 13

  • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Monday Women's Group
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM — Burlingame Music Club, Kloss Hall
  • 7:15 PM - 8:45 PM — Spiritual Conversations (Zoom) (contact Chris Wuthmann, cewuthmann@gmail.com, for link)

Tuesday, May 14

  • 10:05 - 11:30 AM — Men’s Coffee Group, Food Court, Hillsdale Mall (contact Peter Held, paheld1417@gmail.com)
  • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM — Board of Directors Meeting, in person in the Buckham Room and on Zoom -- all are welcome to attend
  • 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM — Personnel Committee Meeting, Fireplace Room
  • 7:15 PM - 8:45 PM -— MSJ meeting on Zoom (contact Genel Morgan or Sharon Tobin if interested in joining MSJ)


Help a Mother Out

The mission of Help A Mother Out is to improve baby and family well being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. Diapers cost between $80 and $100 per month. That’s $2,850 to diaper one child with regular changes until potty training. Public assistance programs like food stamps don’t cover diapers. A family’s access to a reliable supply of clean diapers reduces the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, improves baby’s health and comfort and enables a baby’s participation in early care and education programs.


The Ministry of Service and Justice is collecting diapers (sizes 5-7), Pull-ups, and baby wipes to donate to LifeMoves THIS SUNDAY, May 12, which is Mothers' Day.

As you all know, these essential baby supplies are expensive and in constant demand. This is an excellent way to honor the mothers in our lives. There will be bins in the Narthex where you can drop off your donations.

Thank you all in advance for your continuing generosity.


The Monday Women's Group meets (generally) on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from 11:00am to 12:30 pm in the Fireplace Room. Come join other women for a time of conversation and reflection. Contact Siew Kang, internationalchoir@gmail.com, or Melodie Lew, boygie.m2000@yahoo.com for more details.

Next meeting: Monday, May 13.


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. Congratulations to these scholars who have been active in our church community, their school community and their local communities! We wish them success in their educational pursuits and for serving as God’s hands, faces, hearts and minds in the world.

Thanks especially to Sue Bullis whose generosity and commitment to education helps fund our youth scholarships, and to other CCSM members who have contributed to scholarship funding and for their support of our youth programs.  



As mentioned during the recent Earth Sunday worship service, the Environmental Justice (EJ) Ministry has created a CCSM Pledge on Creation Care & the Climate Emergency. The Pledge is a statement of CCSM's ongoing commitment to environmental justice. It outlines both our environmental values and the actions CCSM members are taking to help CCSM play its part in addressing climate change. The Pledge has already been vetted by the church board and ministry leads.

The next step is for church members themselves to read and review the document. Once you have done so, please feel free to email Gary H. White (gwhite2711@gmail.com) with any questions and/or comments you might have about the pledge. At the completion of this process, the EJ Ministry will apply to UCC on behalf of CCSM for us to become officially recognized as an Environmental Justice Church.

To read the pledge, click on this link:



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

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, May 12 - Mother's Day! Joyful Noise will be singing during the service to celebrate the special day.

Sunday, May 19 - 10:30am - 60 Minutes conversation for youth on the topic of Mental Health Awareness.

Sunday, May 19 - Family playdate after church! Meet at Casanova Park at noon with a picnic lunch (please bring your own lunch!) and then join the Ebneter family for a kickball game. There are also several great play structures in this park! Feel free to bring other activities like scooters, balls, bubbles, chalk, etc. Stay as long as you'd like!  

Sunday, May 26 - Memorial Hike for Kyle Neil - postponed: Hike will be rescheduled in the future.

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!).


June 23-27 Western Regional Youth Event: Join other UCC youth from across the Western US for service, learning, community, and time at Disneyland! We hope to have a great contingent from both Sunday and Wednesday services. Middle and high school youth are both welcome! 

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. 


The Burlingame Music Club is having its Season-ending celebratory May Tea Meeting on Monday, May 13, from 1:00 - 3:00PM in Kloss Hall. Nine BMC Young Musicians’ Competition winners for Strings and Piano will play their winning programs for us, and their talent is OUTSTANDING!! Competition prizes will be given to the students, and we'll present the new 2024-2025 Officers. Hors d’oeurvres and cake too! All are welcome.


Our program will feature Emily Beach, guitarist / vocalist.

As usual, it’s BYOL (lunch) with beverages and dessert provided. Guests, friends, and new members welcome!

Be sure to RSVP to Don Harper, donaldgharper@yahoo.com or 650-553-1800.


Join us after worship on May 19 for our Third Annual Pie Social. It's easy: 

  1. Make or buy a pie and bring it to Kloss Hall before service on May 19
  2. Buy raffle tickets in Kloss Hall after service (3 for $5, 15 for $20) to win one of those delicious pies
  3. Enjoy coffee/tea and pie while you socialize with guests and members
  4. Take the pie you won home, or deliver it to someone who couldn't attend this event! 

Don't do pie? Come anyway; there will be other coffee hour food and great company!

Questions? Contact:

Sandy McNabb, sandra.j.mcnabb@gmail.com 650.678.5650

Michele Merfeld Hale, kaymerf@yahoo.com 206.612.6182

or Diane Kalliam, dkalliam@gmail.com 415.279.1359

(And please consider volunteering that day to help organize and distribute winning pies.) 

See the flyer HERE in both English and Spanish!


Register for the next Logos Method Sound Journey in Kloss Hall

Monday, May 20th, 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


All are welcome to attend the next Board meeting, either in person or on ZOOM, on Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 - 8:00 pm.

Ditch the plastic. Say NO to single-use water bottles and disposable packaging.

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