United Church of the Valley
A Partnership Church
United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ

A Progressive Christian Community

An Open & Affirming Congregation

May 2024

Our Sunday service is live and on our Zoom channel. The recording of the service will be available online later that day on Facebook, YouTube and on our Website.

Look for the following as you scroll down

  • Worship for May
  • A Just Peace Church
  • Amplify - Mama Bears
  • Message from UCC
  • English/Spanish Classes
  • Music News
  • Emily's Space
  • News from Nicaragua
  • Congregational Care
  • News from our conference
  • Pilgrim Pines

From the Pulpit in May 2024

May 5th - Rev. Jennifer Zechlin

May 12th - Sandy Selby (Mother's day)

May 19th - Rev. Dr. Fred Schaeffer (Pentecost)

May 26th - Rev. Stephanie Toon (Memorial Day)

Liturgical Seasons

What a great joy it has been to participate in the PAAM pulpit exchange. Helen Lee Ortega from UCV had agreed to be the person representing our church in the exchange, so, because we wanted to hear her speak too, she shared her message and story on April 14. And, what a powerful one it was! Helen was to speak at the Los Angeles Filipino-American UCC church on April 28, the day of the pulpit exchange but, unfortunately, she had a serious gallbladder episode and wasn’t able to be there in person. However, we were able to send a video of her message. On the 28th , UCV welcomed Rev. John Varga to our pulpit. His message reminded us of the gifts of diversity and, at the same time, unity that are exemplified in our UCC churches and celebrated on PAAM (Pacific Islander Asian American Ministry) Sunday. His message also was one of hope within these chaotic times that, indeed, God is still speaking. At least for me, it was a great experience to participate in the pulpit exchange. I’m already

looking forward to next year.

As we begin May, we are still in the liturgical season of Eastertide with the liturgical color of white. That all changes on Pentecost Sunday, May 19. Pentecost is the day that we celebrate the Spirit that, according to the bible, descended on the people in a mighty wind and great tongues of fire— hence the liturgical color of red. Hopefully we can feel the Spirit moving! The story of Pentecost describes how groups of people, all speaking different languages, could suddenly understand one another. Which, of

course, ties into the message from PAAM Sunday, that, though we are all different, we are all tied together because we are all branches from the same life-giving stem.

And, on the last Sunday of May, we enter into the season of Pentecost, also known as Common Time, with a liturgical color or green. The season of Pentecost is a long one, continuing all the way until the new church year, which begins with Advent.

What UCV will Become in 2024

A Just Peace Church

A couple of years ago, UCV agreed that we wanted to go through the process of being able to be designated as a “Just Peace” church. The process is somewhat similar to that of becoming “Open and Affirming.” There is a time of study and then the congregation votes to proclaim a public identity as a justice-doing, peace-seeking church. This is the time to rekindle our determination to seek this designation. If you are interested in learning more about or want to participate in this process, talk to Deb Hudson.

An Accessibility to All Church

Accessibility to All (A2A) is about becoming attitudinally welcoming to people with disabilities and mental health issues as well as working to make our buildings physically and programmatically accessible to persons with disability. We are working through the process involved outlined by UCC to acquire this designation.

Churches for Middle East Peace marks 40th anniversary: Words and deeds prevail at advocacy summit

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of more than 30 national churches and organizations, including the United Church of Christ, marked a milestone in its collective pursuit of peace, celebrating its 40th anniversary at the annual Advocacy Summit held early April in Washington D.C.

“CMEP has truly had a remarkable history as it has worked across both aisles in Congress and in churches to faithfully witness for peace and justice in the Middle East,” said Michael Neuroth, director of UCC’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy.

The celebratory champagne, though, wasn’t flowing freely as this year’s gathering carried the burgeoning weight of the ongoing crisis in Gaza. According to the Rev. Dr. Peter Makari, global relations minister for the Middle East and Europe for Global Ministries, the CMEP Summit, scheduled months before the escalation of violence in the Middle East, was “originally imagined to highlight the four decades of witness of churches through Churches for Middle East Peace.” But the present moment was much more pressing.

“The situation in Gaza and Israel/Palestine that prevails is more evidence why the churches need to continue to be as involved as we have been,” said Makari.

Neuroth added that the “CMEP is pressuring our government weekly, if not daily, to end the current violence and bring about a permanent ceasefire and ultimately a just peace.”

Pastoral Care Ministry

Even though we don’t have a paid pastor at UCV, we have a number of lay pastors who want to be there for you as you travel down life’s sometimes difficult road. Please contact Sandy Selby at (502) 930-2199 to receive a confidential referral. 

Our Peace Pole has been refreshed and relocated, it now sits in front of the United Church of the Valley building, a totem of peace and hope for all people. A place to come and sit and reflect on life.

Thanks Ruth, Sherian and everyone who made this happen.

English (and Spanish) Classes

We’re so glad to have Luis, Casandra and Donna, the refugee family from Ecuador) back with us as well as Arlene who is also staying with the Martinez family. For the past few weeks we’ve been having fun teaching them English and having them teach some of us Spanish. If you’d like to participate either as a tutor or as a Spanish-learner, talk to me or send me an email (lbradley93168@gmail.com).

Music News

A big thanks to our singers and ringers for providing special music during Lent and on Easter Sunday. If you’d like to join us and try your hand at ringing—and/or singing, please talk to Lynne!

Emily’s Space is forming a team of leaders, which includes five (5) positions. These positions will be a 4-month term with the option of serving 2-terms in one position consecutively. This format was developed to promote a long-term program as well as address weekly needs without overtaxing any one individual. Volunteers are still encouraged and can contact our Secretaries Margaret Ozolins at mozolins@earthlink.net or Tricia Ortega at geoeng214@gmail.com


Student-wise we currently have five (5) student leaders, who participate with weekly planning and logistics. They also rotate leadership and “buddy-position” in the weekly activities.


Emily's Space Leaders would like to invite anyone interested to attend our meetings. If you have anything you would like to get on our agenda for open discussion, please email Margaret Ozolins at mozolins@earthlink.net or Tricia Ortega at geoeng214@gmail.com by April 15th for our next meeting held on April 17th at 6:30-7:30.


We are excited about this new phase for Emily’s Space and look forward to life-long inclusion of all individuals in our society!

Meet the Team


Communication Specialist


Event Planners

Logistic Coordinator



Volunteer (Co-Volunteers)

Helen Ortega (she/her)

Rachel Dennis (she/her) & Kristi Clinton (she/her)

Adriana Toon (she/her) & Margaret Ozolin (she/her)

Tricia Ortega (either)

Margaret Ozolin (she/her) mozolins@earthlink.net

& Tricia Ortega (either) geoeng214@gmail.com

Wyatt Bertel (he/him)

Position Descriptions

Communication Specialist: Social Media/Website/Branding- manage Instagram, build maintain website, answer messages/emails/google phone number, manage forms of communication for volunteers and attendees.

Development/Fundraising: find grants, explore becoming a non-profit, organize fundraisers (bake sales/ restaurant nights, etc).

Event Planner: plan first hour, with second hour for hanging out. Meet with youth to plan out calendar for weekly meeting/events/programming, and communicate with Logistics Coordinator and Communications Specialist to communicate what each week will be.

Logistics Coordinator: coordinate chaperones & meal donations; maintain list of fully cleared volunteers; meets with Event Planners for weekly coordination.

Secretary: meeting records, correspondence, paperwork, keep up to date contact list of volunteers and attendees, representative to with UCV (attends council meetings).

Treasurer: keep track of donations, expenses, provide receipts to donations.

News from Nicaragua

A couple of Just Hope leaders, Kathy and David recently spent a week in Chacraseca. They report that while things are still precarious, there are a few reasons to hope. When the Cultural Center was repossessed by the local government group, so was the Stitching Hope center. The ladies that were working with Stitching Hope were each given a sewing machine but all the rest of the materials and machinery were confiscated. However, the ladies are resilient and determined. They now meet in the house of one of the women and continue sewing. They have made graduation outfits,

band uniforms, school uniforms and a variety of other items that they have been able to sell to help support themselves. The report from Kathy and David indicated a couple of critical areas where help is needed. First, the shelves in the local clinic are bare—they have no medicine to dispense. There is still a doctor that is seeing patients, but if he prescribes medicine, there is none. The dentist, who served Chacraseca for years, was forced to leave the country. When I was in Chacraseca I remember seeing the very long lines of parents and children waiting in the dirt for their turn to see the doctor. Some came on horseback and others walked long distances. This sight was repeated daily. The clinic serves the entire 8000 people in this 49 square mile community. The other dire need is for backpacks for students. School is free in Nicaragua, but if students don’t have funds for supplies, school uniform and shoes, they can’t come to

school. Since we are currently not raising money to build a house or latrine or funds to support the music program, I wonder if we might be willing to make a short-term commitment to support one of these two desperately needed programs. It sounds like $200/month would put medicine back on the shelves. Please talk to me if you are interested in contributing (or raising funds to support) either of these programs.

Congregational Care

Prayers and Concerns for:

  • Edna
  • Laurie for her son Jason who is having treatments for cancer.
  • Laurie
  • Ruth and Sherian


  • Kristi's husband has a new job.
  • Sandy--enjoy your vacation this month.
  • The Martinez family-all are home and William is recovering and ambulating again. Nice to see them back at church.
  • Xsalai is graduating from high school.
  • Amos had completed his program to be an electrician.
  • Emily's space--We are building it. May the youth feel welcomed to come to this space.
  • Becky and Tom celebrated their 30th anniversary this past month.
  • We will be sending Xsalai and Bella to Pilgrim Pines this summer. Thank you all for supporting the Pilgrim Pines campership fund. Hopefully John will be able to attend camp at Loch Leven (our DOC camp)
  • Some of our congregation attended the Opera in which Ruth Dunlap had a solo part and a group part. This was at CSU Long Beach. What a good time we had watching our talented girl.

Southern Association News

Donna and Kristi attended the Southern Association meeting for the Ordination of Monica Bradley at the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church of San Diego on April 27th.

Conference News

  Senior High service project for youth groups and leaders for a week of team building and service projects will be June 17-21 at Pilgrim Pines Camp. Infor of conference web site  scncucc.org. Annual meeting registration is now on the web site at scncucc.org. It will be in person at Chapman College in the city of Orange and on the website scncucc.org. This will be on June 7th and 8th. Find out about what is happening in our conference and meet our new conference minister the Rev. Rachael Pryor. Her installation will be soon.  Donna will be one of the delegates form our church to attend this meeting. We can have one more delegate. Any questions --ask Donna.

Western Regional Youth Event

This event is for middle and high school students. It will be held at Cal State University Long Beach on June 23-27. There is a need for volunteers, work shop leaders, churches to do fund raisers and supplies. Go to https://www.wryeucc.org/contact for information. We have participated in this event before and it is a great event for our young people in our conference.

Camp registration is happening now at Pilgrim Pines and Loch

Leven. Early registration is until May 15th. Campership funds are available until May 15th. Donna participated in the fundraiser for the campership fund. She swam 170 lengths of the pool. Thank you to all who sponsored this event.  Over 900 dollars was raised for camp. Please send your pledge to the church at VENMO@UCVchurch.org. Then find Deb Hudson. Checks can be mailed to the church. Please put swim for camp on the Venmo or check. Donna attended work day at camp this past month. She helped weed and plant poppy seeds on the hill side by the Health Center.  Hopefully the Health Center will be completed in May and there will be a dedication ceremony on June 1st. Watch for more information later in May. Sad news, the current director will be leaving camp at the end of May. She needs to be spending more time with her family. Go on line to register for camp and to find out what else is going on at camp.  pilgrimpinescamp.org or dicpswr.org/camp. This is the Loch Leven camp site. This camp is also in the San Bernardino mountains not to far from Pilgrim Pines Camp. 


If you have questions about camp, ask Donna.                                                            

UCV is now offering a change in our name badges. We are offering to put your requested pronouns (below your name). If this is a replacement name badge, there will be a charge of $12.00 otherwise there is no cost for your 1st one. If you are a member and don't have a name badge or want a replacement just let Deb Hudson know.

Farm Workers of Deluz

The farm workers and their families can use your help with just obtaining the basics. Please help if you can. You can see a full list of the most needed items and how to help with a check or Venmo donation by clicking the link below. This is an ongoing need in this area and your help would be appreciated. A UCV regular visitor, Becky Sulzmann, is one of the coordinators for this effort will be our 'point person' for this campaign. Her contact information is:

Becky Sulzmann



45002 Corte Zorita 

Temecula, Ca. 92592

For More Information

This Makes a Powerful Statement

**Available Now**

These bumper stickers are available. UCV is selling them for $5.00 each. The proceeds (after cost) will go to UCV's General Fund. Thank you Sherian for finding these and getting them ordered. If anyone has a suggestion for fund raising please let us know. Be sure and talk to Sherian and see if it's a possibility. Be aware that if you suggest it, you will need to spearhead and organize the marketing. Deb Hudson is available to help with getting the word out.

2024 Church Council

Sherian Spencer


Rick Hayden

Vice Moderator

Darcie Dunlop


Lynne Bradley


Sandy Selby


Rev. Jen Zechlin

Christian Education

Irene Martinez

Congregational Life

Lorian Dunlop


All services will be live and on Zoom beginning at 10am every Sunday. The live service will be recorded and available on the UCV website, Facebook and YouTube later in the day.
 Need Space for your Recovery Meeting?

3 Sizes of Rooms Available·     

3 Sizes of Rooms Available
  •  Room A: up to 6 people (top)
  •  Library: 7 – 15 people (middle)
  •  Sanctuary: 16 – 50 people (bottom)

Storage available for Recovery brochures and supplies (limited)

Coffee Pot and supplies available for use in Kitchen

TV screens available in Library and Sanctuary for presentations

Donations (please contact us for pricing):

**½ off first month’s cost while you establish your meeting
(During Covid we ask that all CDC guidelines are followed regarding masks, cleaning and chair spacing)

Who We Are… United Church of the Valley is a small United Church of Christ / Disciples of Christ located in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley. No matter where you are on your journey, you are welcome here.
United church of the valley
41685 Date Street, Suite 100
Murrieta, CA 92562
Website: ucvchurch.org
Phone: 951.698.1520
T'ai Chi with Paul Dallas
Bringing our tithes and offerings to God is an important spiritual practice that cultivates gratitude and generosity. While we cannot physically pass the offering plate, we can continue to bring our gifts to God through online or mail-in donations. 
To send a check, please use:
United Church of the Valley
P.O. Box 1312
Murrieta, CA 92564

Or donate online:



(3.5% fee)

Venmo: @ucvchurch (free)

Please email any joys & concerns you would like read aloud to Sherian Spencer at sherianspencer@gmail.com. You can also send confidential prayer requests. Just indicate as such and let Sandy know if you want it shared with any of the other spiritual counselors.
Submit Prayer Request
You can find our Sermons, past and present, on our YouTube channel (click the video) as well as our website (click the button).
Sermons on our Website

May Birthdays

  • Lynne Bradley - 17th
  • Kathy Linsley - 25th
Online Fellowship at UCV
Services will be live and on Zoom at 10am on Sundays. The live service will be recorded and available on the UCV website, Facebook and YouTube later in the day.

Even fellowship can be online, thanks to the innovative minds at Zoom! Join us for Sunday Service live and on zoom beginning at 10am. UCV has its own Zoom meeting room at https://zoom.us/j/9516981520

You can join from your Zoom app using meeting number 9516981520 

Or you can join by phone:

One tap mobile

+16699006833,9516981520# US (San Jose)

or dial 


and then enter 


You can start your own online fellowship, too! Just email Sandy Selby at moderator@ucvchurch.org to get on the meeting schedule. 

Sunday Service - Live and on Zoom, 10AM

Book Club - We are meeting online every Sunday at 9am Zoom Meeting Room

UCV Council Meeting - 1st Sunday of the month 11:15am Zoom Meeting Room

AA Meeting - Every Monday 7pm

Women's Al-Anon Meeting - Every Wednesday 5:30pm

Men's AA Meeting - Every Wednesday 7pm

OA - 12 Step Program - Thursday 6:30pm - 7:30pm

A Big Book Study - Every Friday 7pm

C.O.D.A.Meeting - Every Sunday 5:30pm (Currently still on Zoom)

The Community House is located at

41685 Date Street, Murrieta 92562

Submit a Prayer Request
Submit a Prayer Request
Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities
United Church of the Valley is a Partnership Church
United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ
951-698-1520 admin@ucvchurch.org
41685 Date St. Murrieta

Follow Us on Social Media, click the icons below

TikTok  Facebook  Instagram