NOVEMBER 19, 2023

10:30 AM




"Come, O Thankful People, Come"

"We Gather Together"

"Great is Your Faithfulness"

Sheet Music is here! Remember to click. Special Music links too!

"Old 100th "

"Praise and Thanksgiving"

We are so glad you are here!”

As we enter our church, as we live as members, as we experience important life-cycle events (falling in love, marrying, parenting, baptism, coming out, transitioning, etc.), words of welcome and support, understanding and love are what we all long for. This manifestation of God’s Extravagant Welcome and the justice and social witness that accompany it are the heart of what we hope to show our community and all who walk through the doors of Christ Congregational United Church of Christ.


November 17, 2023

Dear Congregation,

This Sunday we’ll come together after worship for a Pre-Thanksgiving

potluck. I do hope you’ll be able to be present to share in the meal and

to talk with those around the table about your holiday traditions and


Sunday’s worship service will focus on Thanksgiving also as we look

ahead to the holiday next week. The altar will be decorated with lovely

fall flowers, leaves, and pretty velvet pumpkin arrangements, thanks to

Rita Smith! We’ll sing the familiar Thanksgiving hymns and reflect on

the words of the Gospel lesson Luke 17:11-17 in which Jesus heals ten

lepers, but only one comes back to thank him. It seems to me that Jesus

appreciates being thanked, for he asks that grateful former leper,

“Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?”

“Don’t Forget to Say ‘Thank You’” is my sermon title. I believe we say

“Thank You” to God, not just with our lips, but with the way we each

live our one precious life. We’ll consider how we can be more

intentional about our thanks-living each day amid all the distractions of

today’s world.

Please know that I am thankful for each of you and for your call to be

your pastor. It is a privilege to be part of a church community that

intentionally works together to be faithful to God in Christ!

Thanksgiving blessings!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Candy

Pastor Candy and Lucy. Lucy did face painting at the Fall Harvest Festival! (Notice the cute butterfly she did!)

Bianca's You Better Bee-lieve It Corner

Join Us in Capturing the Spirit of Christmas! 

On Sunday, December 3rd, we're inviting everyone to share what Christmas means to them. We'll be capturing these heartfelt sentiments through pictures of people holding up signs that finish the sentence "To me, Christmas time means..."

Whether it's about family gatherings, spreading love, giving back, or cherished traditions, your unique perspective adds to the magic of this holiday season. Bring your enthusiasm and thoughts that Sunday, as we celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions behind this special time of year. Get ready to share your joy, memories, and beliefs with us on December 3rd. 

Stay tuned for more details! 

Fall Country Harvest Festival

Wow, what a blast we had at our Fall Country Harvest Festival!  A massive shoutout and THANK YOU to everyone who pitched in, played games, served treats, and made our event one for the books! Your energy and enthusiasm lit up the day, and we couldn't have done it without you. 

Psst... guess what? We've got some epic snapshots on the way!  Get ready to relive the fun and laughter through these fantastic photos. Keep those eyes peeled because soon you'll be tagged in some seriously awesome memories!

Food Pantry Donations:

Donating food to a food pantry or directly to those in need is a wonderful way to give back to the community and support those facing food insecurity. The effectiveness of these donations depends on the thought and care put into the process. Over time and through conversations that Miriam had with people receiving food at food banks, she learned valuable insights about what is and isn't helpful when donating food. Miriam shared her findings with us to help make a positive impact and ensure that our donations reach those who need them the most.

Insights to take into consideration when donating food:

1. Everyone donates Kraft Mac and Cheese in the box. They can rarely use it because it needs milk and butter which is hard to get from regular food banks. 

2. Boxed milk is a treasure, as kids need it for cereal which they also get a lot of. 

3. Everyone donates pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles.

4. They cannot eat all the awesome canned veggies and soup unless you put a can opener in too or buy pop tops.

5. Oil is a luxury but needed for Rice a-Roni which they also get a lot of. 

6. Spices or salt and pepper would be a real Christmas gift. 

7. Tea bags and coffee make them feel like you care. 

8. Sugar and flour are treats. 

9. They fawn over fresh produce donated by farmers and grocery stores. 

10. Seeds are cool in Spring and Summer because growing can be easy for some. 

11. They rarely get fresh meat. 

12. Tuna and crackers make a good lunch. 

13. Hamburger Helper goes nowhere without ground beef. 

14. They get lots of peanut butter and jelly but usually not sandwich bread. 

15. Butter or margarine is nice too. 

16. Eggs are a real commodity. 

17. Cake mixes and frosting makes birthday cakes and family time/dinners special.

18. Dishwashing detergent is very expensive and is always appreciated. 

19. Feminine hygiene products are a luxury and women will cry over that.

20. Everyone loves Stove Top Stuffing.

21.Please check expiration dates.

Just a few pictures from the Fall Harvest Festival. More coming soon!!!


The Glow Advent Devotional is out of stock if you wish to buy it in print. However, the digital (PDF) version is still available for $3. 

The Stewardship cards have been sent out, they have arrived a little glossier than we would have liked, so we recommend that people fill them out with permanent marker of a ballpoint pen. If anyone needs help with this, they can please let me know. 


Food and Financial Donations are being accepted as our Thanksgiving giving. It will serve our two guardian ad litem families, as well as the pantries at Southridge Senior High School, Mark Krumich, Pantry and SOS.

Find Us, Like us, Follow Us, and Share Us

on Social Media!

Facebook  Twitter  TikTok  YouTube  Instagram

Facebook: Christ Congregational United Church of Christ

Twitter/X: @CCC_UCC

TikTok: @CCC_UCC

YouTube: ChristCongregational-UCC

Instagram: @christcongregationalucc


Joan Hansen, Maggie McDowell, Carol McCreary, the family and friends of Mary Ellen Prather, Mary and Frank Tirb, Bradley Everhardt, Julio Balcells, Jessica Nodarse, Mark, Julie Henkel, Merly Alonso, Bianca and Nina Sarmento and the friends and family of J.J Newby Ketzle and Sarah Wiley, Stone Coram and the family and friends of Brenda Best, Aberas Jober and Leslie Perichak, Paul LeGrand and Cathryn Tagmeyer, Briane Garrison and Theresa Grambell, Vincent Andrews and family, Rodger and Esther and Carol and sons, Brad and Amelia's cousin Dan and Ed Kretchmer.

For Pastoral Care Needs, please call Pastor Candy directly at 925-640-9289 or you may call and leave a message with the Church Office, 305-235-9381.

Calling all members of the Fair Food Nation! Take action to demand justice for farmworkers by contacting Kroger and demanding the grocery giant join the Fair Food Program!


Earlier this year, Kroger – who has long resisted the call from farmworkers and consumers to join the award-winning Fair Food Program to prevent human rights abuses – was identified by the Department of Labor as a purchaser of watermelons harvested by modern-day slaves in the latest federal slavery prosecution to come out of Florida, US v. Moreno.


While harvesting watermelons and other produce, these workers in Kroger’s own supply chain were trapped in dilapidated housing surrounded by barbed wire, forced into a deep pit of illegal debt, and threatened with physical harm to themselves or their families if they attempted to leave. Yet, Kroger remains steadfast in its silence.


This Thanksgiving season, we are calling on allies to let Kroger know that now is the time to champion the only proven solution to systemic forced labor in agriculture, the Fair Food Program. Take action in any of the five ways below!


1. Deliver a letter to your local Kroger


If you shop at or live near a Kroger store, we invite you to print out our letter here and hand it to the manager of that store. Consider forming a delegation with family and friends to deliver the letter, and be sure to take pictures to send to us at!


You can deliver the letter to any of the following locations: Kroger, Baker’s, City Market, Copps, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Jay C Food Store, King Soopers, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, Pick ’n Save, Owen’s, QFC, Ralphs, Roundy’s, Ruler, and Smith’s Food and Drug.


2. Call Kroger


Click-to-call using this link or dial 1-800-576-4377. To speak with a service representative, press 8 then 3 after listening to the menu options. Once they are on the line, follow our script below or speak from the heart to let them know that it’s time for Kroger to join the Fair Food Program!


3. Start a live chat with Kroger and copy/paste script


Click “Launch Live Chat” at 


You can skip the menu options by typing “speak to human” into the chat until the automated service connects you with an agent. You do not have to provide your name or email address. You can press “skip” on all options about which department and issue you wish to direct your chat. Kroger’s automated service will then connect you with a live agent. You may have to wait a few minutes before connecting with one, but keep the tab open and stay online! Once you are connected to someone, simply share the Fair Food Nation’s message (below) into the chat! You can stay online to respond to the agent, or you can simply exit the tab.


4. Email Kroger


Click-to-email using this link or write an email to with the suggested title: “It’s time for Kroger to join the Fair Food Program” and include your message for the body of the email. You may copy/paste our suggested script below and personalize it as you see fit.


5. Share our Instagram post and tag Kroger! @krogerco 


Join us on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), and LinkedIn to demand that Kroger join the Fair Food Program. You can re-post from the CIW or comment directly on Kroger’s posts!






As a customer at Kroger, I am deeply troubled by your corporation’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program, especially in light of publicized findings of modern-day slavery in Kroger’s supply chain. In this case, workers were trapped in dilapidated housing surrounded by barbed wire, forced into a deep pit of illegal debt, and threatened with physical harm to themselves or their families if they attempted to leave. Kroger sold watermelons that these workers were forced to pick in its stores to unsuspecting consumers like me.


Fortunately, there is a proven solution to forced labor in agriculture that Kroger has refused to join for ten years — the Fair Food Program. Under this program, the market strength of large buyers of produce helps enforce workers’ human rights and safety, protecting them against abuses such as sexual violence, wage theft, dangerous working conditions, and retaliation for speaking up for their rights. Kroger currently lags behind its competitors like Ahold, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods who have all joined the Fair Food Program.


Clearly, there is a human rights crisis happening in Kroger’s supply chain. Now is the time for Kroger to take responsibility for the farmworkers who make your profits possible and protect their basic rights by joining the Fair Food Program.


Thank you for your consideration. I sincerely hope Kroger will do the right thing.

Middle East Conflict

The war in Israel/Palestine declared on October 7, has claimed thousands of lives, and tens of thousands of people have been injured. Approximately one million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced, still within Gaza, as there is nowhere to go. Half are in emergency shelters set up by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). It is increasingly difficult for Gazan Palestinians to find safe space, as even hospitals and a church have sustained damage, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Food, water, fuel, and electricity have been cut off, and supplies are running out. 

Convoys of trucks carrying humanitarian relief await the opportunity to bring much-needed relief into Gaza from Egypt, but the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been damaged by rocket strikes. Other entrances, controlled by Israel, remain closed and the threat of an Israeli ground invasion threatens more lives and livelihoods in the coming days and weeks.

With ecumenical partners, the UCC has offered a public witness that has been unequivocal:

— Condemnation of the violence of Hamas and Israel’s use of force against Palestinians in Gaza

— A call for a cease-fire

— The allowance of the provision of humanitarian aid for Palestinians and an end to collective punishment

— The guarantee of and respect for safe spaces for people to find shelter

— Support for robust diplomatic efforts to resolve the core issues

The UCC is learning from Palestinian Christian partners how they are attempting to respond to the needs of the people of Gaza, even amid steady bombardments.

— In times of calm, the Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) operates medical clinics and trauma therapy classes in Gaza.

— Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, an Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem institution, normally offers a critical and courageous ministry of health care provision (often free of charge) in the most trying circumstances. It has sustained damage in two incidents in the first week and a half. Yet, staff remain committed to their calling to provide care and hope, “delivered in a spirit of love and service.” 

— Other partners, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the YMCA of East Jerusalem, and the YWCA of Palestine, are preparing to respond to the needs of Palestinians.

— These partners and others, bilaterally and through ACT Alliance, are preparing to address immediate and longer-term responses such as food and nutrition needs, physical and psychosocial health care, shelter and rehabilitation, and direct assistance.

Frequent updates are posted here.

“The work of our partners in Palestine, and specifically in Gaza, is inspiring, especially as they cope with conditions and access that are extremely limited. Having visited Gaza, I know the dedication and commitment of our partners’ staffs to serve the whole community and offer a witness of care and service. We mourn the loss of life and pray for the end to violence,” said Peter Makari, who currently serves as Transitional Executive for Wider Church Ministries, and Global Relations Minister for the Middle East and Europe in Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ. “We must walk in solidarity with them in this time of war, accompanying them now and in the future as the impact of this war will be lasting.”

Please advocate for a cease-fire, access for humanitarian assistance, and for the core issues to be addressed.

At the same time, we invite your financial support to undergird the work of our partners with whom we have had a long-standing relationship. Your gifts will make an impact and a difference on those suffering so greatly during these days of lamentation and suffering.

The two actions go hand-in-hand. Thank you for your generosity.

You can also mail a check made payable to the United Church of Christ, PO BOX 71957 Cleveland, OH 44194.

Please be sure to note “Middle East Support” in your check's memo section.


Contact Your Legislators

  • Register to pray for Peace in the Middle East.

Register Here

  • Read the letter that was sent to congress.

Read letter

*** Voter's Registration***

Voter registration has started on September 17th. Please be sure to verify your registration and if you are not registered please get registered.

Registration and Verification can be done by clicking the image below:

On December 12, the Miami Dade County Board of County Commissioners (MDC BCC) will be voting on whether to extend the lease agreement for a 67-acre theme park, hotel and retail development misleadingly dubbed “Miami Wilds.” The development site is located adjacent to and on Zoo Miami property — land that is considered vital to endangered species and the largest and most biodiverse fragment of critically endangered Pine Rocklands outside of Everglades National Park. 

ATTEND the MDC BCC meeting on December 12 and voice your opposition to the proposed Miami Wilds development! The meeting begins at 9:30am at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center (address: 111 NW 1st St, Miami, FL 33132, 2nd floor Commission Chambers). We recommend that you arrive no later than 8:45am and bring your ID for check-in. 


Sunshine Connection
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Global Ministries offers a weekly prayer for one of our global mission partners. This week's prayer is with Timor. To read their mission moment, please click the Global Ministries IMAGE. Below is this week's prayer, united we pray.

Heavenly Lord, we thank you for your endless love and mercy to us as your people. By your love and mercy, we are continually redeemed. Lord, we pray that you continue to bless the country of Timor-Leste and bless its political leaders to make the right decisions for the well-being and prosperity of its people. Lord, we pray that you continue to give wisdom and guidance to the politicians to carry out the goals and vision of the country. We also pray that you put passion and love within the hearts of public servants representing the government, so that they may serve the people with a loving heart and willingness to do work sincerely.

We especially pray for the work and ministry of FUSONA (Fundasaun Sosial Naroman, the diaconal ministry of the Protestant Church in East Timor), which has served the people in rural areas for many years now. Lord, we pray that you continue to bless, guide, and direct the work of FUSONA in carrying out its vision and mission for the rural communities that need your helping hand through FUSONA. We also pray that you continue to bless our brothers and sisters who wholeheartedly support this ministry so generously. Let all the work be done for your glory. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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The Rev. Candace Thomas | Pastor

Graham Bryan | Moderator & President

Jay Harragin | Music Director

Tracy Williams | Editor