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Thursday, April 25, 2024

~~~ Click here for this Sunday's bulletin ~~~

Bulletin available on Friday

It's Official!

Last Sunday, in a unanimous vote, the members of Redlands UCC called Rev. Joe Zarro to become the next Settled Pastor of the church. We are thrilled to welcome Joe, his partner Sara, and their children Nathan and Ellie to the RUCC family and the Redlands community.

The Zarros are returning to Southern California from Belmont, Massachusetts, where they’ve been for the last 10 years. They found a house to rent just up the street from the church, and will be moving once the school year ends. Rev. Joe’s first day on the job will be July 8, and his first Sunday preaching will be July 21.

Between now and then we will be blessed with the continued presence of Pastor Elaine Schoepf.

A message from our Pastor and Teacher

April 28, 2024 ~ Fifth Sunday of Easter ~ "The Glorious Tale of Lazarus the Plant"

My friend Paul Swensen was a plant killer. It wasn't something he wanted to be. He loved plants. But the fact of the matter was that any type of plant he was given, was doomed to end up first sad and shriveled, and then dead as a doornail.   


One day he had a flash of insight – a God Moment – suddenly he realized that just maybe he wasn't destined to be a plant killer – maybe that fact was all in his head! 

Sunday's Scripture:

John 11: 30-44

Concerns / Prayers:

  • Sue Hammond is home after a time in the hospital with heart conditions. 
  • Craig Wesson had a mild heart attack but has been able to be back in church.
  • Charlie Seek is back home and doing better following kidney surgery.  
  • Dianne Landeros' cousin Monty Montano passed from life to Life on 3/26/24.
  • Coralyn’s niece, Shannon, with 20 percent heart function after COVID. 
  • Judith Gregory requests prayers for her granddaughter Allyson and Allyson’s newborn baby Paisley. Judith is being tested for blood clots in her legs.
  • Jolene Barrow's brother Andrew will receive kidney surgery in April.  
  • We continue to hold in our prayers the people of Ukraine, the Middle East, and wherever war and violence prevail. 
  • Tom Medlicott recovering from a broken neck.  
  • Lori Glass is still having throat problems and has not yet received a referral to ENT to get a diagnosis. 
  • Rick and Georgia Sforza request prayers for the family, Rick’s mother passed.
  • Jayne Miller requests prayers for the healing of her husband Tom's wound.   
  • Marla and Richard Steffen and family.
  • Inez Diggs' son Shelton is recovering from rotator cuff surgery and her niece Kelly Graham was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Ongoing Concerns:

Karen & Daniella

Jerry Andrews

Stephen Arth

Scott Ault

Dave, brother of Johanna Ballard

Bill Buchanan

Denise Cain

Cousin of Rick Cruz

Janet Edwards

Norma Erickson

Rev. John Forney

Katia Hage

Mary Lou Haney

Beki Hill

Harriet Holt, Beki Hill's mother

Jules Rattray’s sister, Jenny

Amber McGuigan

Cynthia McGuigan

Don Don and Scott Mong

Floyd Orr

Ryan and Evan Paul

Julie Phillips

Jake Pomeroy

Dick Ault's Brother-in-law, Charles Proctor

Dan Schoepf, Michael Schoepf

Spencer, friend of Stacey Greene

Robert Silver

Rick Sforza's father Frank

Nancy Ternasky

Arika Torres

Beth Welsh

Creation Celebration 2024: The RUCC Family Nature Fair - April 27

It’s time to get ready for the 3rd Annual RUCC Family Nature Fair! Fun and games on the patio as we celebrate our natural world.


Date: Saturday April 27 Time: 10 a.m. to noon

Kids go from station to station, adding stickers to their Nature Passports. Here is just a partial list of fun stations we have planned for this year’s Fair:

  • Tumbling in the Garden with Joette and Foundations Gymnastics.
  • Sierra Club: Clean Transportation For All.
  • Go on a guided Nature Walk with Gretchen Andrews in our gardens.
  • Decorate your own small plant pots and then plant some seeds and seedlings. Take them home to watch them grow!
  • ...and More!

Please follow this link to RSVP and to learn all the fun details:

Pilgrim Pines Camperships available

RUCC has a generous Campership policy: all RUCC members automatically receive 50% off their tuition at Pilgrim Pines! 

The first session of the summer begins June 30, so use the button below to learn about all the programs scheduled at Pilgrim Pines this summer. Do it NOW. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy summer camp at Pilgrim Pines this summer!

Also: it is very important that you contact before registering your child on the Pilgrim Pines website: we need to complete the campership paperwork here before you register with Pilgrim Pines.

Pilgrim Pines

Caring for Kin -

Just ONE MORE WEEK (April 28) to bring in your donations for dogs and cats while they are waiting to find loving homes.

Thank you for your generosity. The Yucaipa Animal Placement Society (YAPS), the Benevolent Animal Rescue Committee (BARC), and the Redlands Animal Shelter have asked for the following donations:....

Food for dogs and cats

Beds and bedding





Towels & blankets - used but clean

Grooming items

Dish soap

ALSO …. If you are interested in adopting a pet, you may wish to take a look at the websites for these organizations to see some of the animals who need homes.

Munch and Muse, Tuesday, April 30

The RUCC “Munch & Muse” (M&M) Group will meet this coming Tuesday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the church, in or around Covenant Hall.

Everyone is invited to bring a sack lunch and join in with munching and musing!

Annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on May 2

Each year, the Redlands Area Interfaith Council (RAIC) organizes the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast to coincide with the National Day of Prayer. This year's Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 2 at 7 a.m. at the Orton Center, University of Redlands, 1250 E. Brockton Ave, Redlands. This is not a political event; rather it is a way of appreciating the rich religious diversity in our community. RUCC is one of many religious institutions that make up RAIC.

The program will feature music and speakers from a variety of different faith traditions in Redlands. Tickets are $20 per person. Make your check payable to RAIC. Reservations should be made before April 28.

Download the flyer here to make your reservation.

Quarterly Gathering - Sunday, May 5

We will gather in Covenant Hall following the 10:30 service for the quarterly report from each of the Areas and Officers. Here's your chance to be well-informed about what our church is doing!


Getting comfortable with the tech at church - continues on Monday, May 6

Reminder: this class will be on hiatus April 29, and will resume on May 6.

This class is for everyone who would like help with all the technology here at RUCC. Led by Dan Abushanab, this course will help us all become more familiar with Teams, Forms, QR Codes, Screen sharing and more!

  • Week 3 (May 6): Scheduling and hosting meetings in Teams and using the room systems available at the church.
  • Week 4 (May 13): More advanced tools. Gathering content in Forms, making a QR code, adding new tabs to channels
Classes meet in the Founders Room starting at 6 p.m. (Note the earlier start time)

Blood Drive - May 15

Our Second Annual RUCC Blood Drive will be in Covenant Hall on May 15th. The need for all blood types is acute right now. Last year we had a larger-than-expected number of donations and I hope this year we can do even better.

It helps if you can make an appointment—see the attached flyer for how to do that—but walk-ins are always welcome. 

If you have any questions, ask me at church or call me. Thanks for your support!

  —Kerry Dunn

Wider Ministries seeks your input about donations by May 19

If you know a worthwhile charitable organization to which the church should consider giving a donation, RUCC Wider Ministries wants to hear from you! There were many outstanding groups represented at last month’s Caring Fair. Wider Ministries donations must go outside of RUCC to other deserving groups. Donation criteria are 1) Designation as a 501 (c ) (3) charitable organization 2) Support for the mission and values of RUCC and 3) A relationship with RUCC in some way, such as participating in our recent Caring Fair, or being a group that a RUCC member is involved with. 

You can find donation suggestion forms by clicking HERE, or on the Wider Ministries Bulletin Board, where you can also find Thank You letters to RUCC from many of the organizations we help. Donation forms may be turned into Kathie Blakley (, Wider Ministries area leader, or to any member of the Wider Ministries group.

The deadline is May 19, which is the next Wider Ministries Quarterly Meeting.

Book Group Update - next meeting is June 2

Due to the Congregational Gathering on May 5, the Book Group willl not meet that day. The next group meeting is June 2. The revised schedule may be seen below.

REVISED RUCC Book Group Schedule 2024:

June 2Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan. Presenter: Toni Momberger


July 7The Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno Garcia. Presenter: Charletta Campfield 

August 4The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Presenter: Janet Chandler

Sept. 1: We Should Not Be Friends by Will Schwalbe. Presenter: Mark Leggett

Oct. 6The Splendid and the Vile by Eric Larson. Presenter: Judith Ashton

Nov. 3: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Presenter: Diana Sommer / tie-in with Heather King’s grant study

Dec. 1, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the US by Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz. Presenter: Nan Root.

Representative needed for SCNCUCC Annual Gathering, June 7-8.

The Southen California Nevada Conference of the UCC's Annual Gathering is on June 7-8 this year at Chapman University in Orange. We are entitled to 2 reps . We have one, John Walsh, but would like to send a second person. (If you can’t go both days, you could just do one) and the church pays registration fees, etc. it’s always a very good event.

Racial justice reflection of the week

Studies of the death penalty have long shown racial inequality in its application, but a new report has found the disparity extends inside the death chamber itself. In an analysis of the more than 1,400 lethal injection executions conducted in the U.S. since 1982, researchers for the nonprofit Reprieve reported that states made significantly more mistakes during the executions of Black people than they did with prisoners of other races.


Reprieve, which advocates against the death penalty, found that nationwide, half of the botched lethal injection executions were of Black people, though only a third of the prisoners executed were Black. The pattern was starkest in some Southern states. In Arkansas, Oklahoma and Georgia, three quarters or more of the botched lethal injection executions were of Black people, though they accounted only for a third or less of executions in those states.




From the Environmental Justice Team

Genesis 1:11-12: Then God said, “Let the earth produce fresh growth, let there be on the earth plants bearing seed, fruit-trees bearing fruit each with seed according to its kind.” So it was; the earth yielded fresh growth, plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees bearing fruit each with seed according to its kind; and God saw that it was good.


When we garden thoughtfully, we do God’s work.


Water is precious; we can conserve it by choosing plants wisely. Water-wise gardening information:


Native plants not only conserve water, but they also require less maintenance and provide support for wildlife, such as native pollinators. Information about gardening with native plants:


You don’t have to have a big yard to exercise your green thumb. Try growing native plants on your balcony or patio:

Western Regional Youth Event

Youth Group Labyrinth Sticker Fundraiser

Please help the Youth Group raise money for their big trip to the Western Regional Youth Event this summer! This event will bring together UCC Youth from the entire Western Region of the United States for fellowship, service projects, and worship.

Members of the RUCC Youth Group will be selling these beautiful Labyrinth Stickers after worship this Sunday April 28 for just $1 each.

If you can’t be in church in person this week, you can send an email to and let us know how many stickers you would like to purchase.

Here's what the manufacturer has to say about the stickers: "Our Labyrinth Stickers feature a labyrinth on a dark blue celestial background. Around the circle are instructions for using the labyrinth: 'Trace inward, release distractions. Pause in the center, receive peace. Trace outward, return renewed.'"

These make great stickers for water bottles and laptops or to place in a spot you'll see each day.


  • April 27 - 3rd Annual RUCC Family Nature Fair
  • May 2 - Mayor's Prayer Breakfast at U of R - (See article above)
  • May 4 - Sacred Saturday
  • May 5 - Quarterly Gathering in Covenant Hall
  • May 6, 13 - Getting comfortable with technology series of classes
  • May 7 - Y-Circus
  • May 15 - Blood Drive 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at RUCC. To make an appointment, call 1-800-879-4484, or visit
  • May 19 - Wider Ministries Quarterly Meeting to approve donations (see article above)
  • June 7-8 - Southern California Nevada Conference of the UCC Annual Gathering at Chapman University and on line - (See article above)
  • June 23 - 27 - Western Regional Youth Event

The church calendar is found at

Click on "calendar" in the red banner near the top of the page

This Week at Redlands United Church of Christ

Sunday, April 28 -

  • 9:20 a.m.- Seekers
  • 9:30 a.m. - Kids' Zone
  • 10:30 a.m. - Worship service
  • 11:30 a.m - Worship Service
  • 11:30 a.m. - Fellowship/Coffee Hour in Covenant Hall

Monday, April 29

  • Next tech class is May 6

Tuesday, April 30

  • Munch & Muse

Wednesday, May 1

  • 6:00 p.m. - Handbells Rehearsal
  • 7:00 p.m. - Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, May 2

Friday, May 3

Saturday May 4

  • Sacred Saturday

Sunday, May 5 - Quarterly Gathering

  • 9:20 a.m. - Seekers
  • 9:30 a.m. - Kids' Zone
  • 10:30 a.m. - Worship service & Communion
  • 11:30 a.m. Quarterly Gathering in Covenant Hall

RUCC Staff

Interim Pastor: Rev. Elaine Schoepf

Honorary Minister of Arts and Worship:  Rev. Erin Beardemphl

Music Director: David Wells

Associate Music Director: Sophia Ohanian

Children's Education Director: Susi Jacobsen

Director of Youth Ministries: Vacant

Office and Property Manager: Veronica Bermudez

Child Care: Caitlin Walsh



Phone: 909-793-3520


Staff and Other Emails,