Thanks to Zoom, we continue to uphold the tradition of Men’s Breakfast without leaving our homes. We eat just what we want, and at the same time we have a lively conversation about shopping and streaming, car care and Covid-19. We hope for others to join us on the next second Tuesday of the month.
Women’s Gathering “In The Midst”
10:00 am – 12:00 noon, second Saturday of the month
The theme of these gatherings is “Getting to Know You.” The women in our congregation share updates and friendship.
Family & Friends Living United In Diversity (FFLUID) is dedicated to offering “streams” of unconditional love, heartfelt support and quality resources to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their families and friends. Our monthly support meetings give our members a safe space to discuss the unique challenges LGBTQIA+ persons face when forming friendships, seeking housing and employment, finding healthcare and navigating complicated family relationships.
During the Covid-19 Crisis
FFLUID will continue to meet virtually via Facebook Messenger. from 7:00 until 8:30 pm on the 3rd Thursday of every month.
For information on attending the Virtual Support Group please reach out to FFLUID on Facebook or you can contact our facilitator, Shirley HERE.
For more information about FFLUID please visit ffluid.org.
“Finding Jesus at the Border” is a book that speaks to us about those who crossed borders, legally or illegally, to become our neighbors, our grocers, our gardeners, our doctors. And about the borders that we must cross to support them as they live out their dreams of becoming Americans. Prof. Julia Lambert Fogg of Cal Lutheran writes about CLUE-VC, Adelanto, and the dilemmas that we face when we work for a more just world.
This 2020 book will touch your heart and raise questions that we will want to talk over with each other. Rev. Stacy and I will co-lead a conversation group that will meet three times a month. We will start out with Zoom, meeting at 7 pm on Tuesdays: May 12, 19, 26; June 9, 16, 23; and July 14 and 21.
Please consider using your Amazon Smile account to order, so that the church receives a little donation. The book is available in paperback and in Kindle e-book format.
From Baker Publishing Group:
Immigration is an issue of major concern within the Christian community. As Christians, how should we respond to the current crisis?
Interweaving biblical narratives of border crossing and recent stories of immigrants at the US-Mexico border, this accessibly written book invites Christians to reconsider the plight of their neighbors and respond with compassion to the present immigration crisis. Julia Lambert Fogg, a pastor and New Testament scholar who is actively serving immigrant families in Southern California, interprets well-known biblical stories in a fresh way and puts a human face on the immigration debate.
Fogg argues that Christians must step out of their comfort zones and learn to cross social, ethnic, and religious borders–just as Jesus did–to become the body of Christ in the world. She encourages readers to welcome Christ by embracing DREAMers, the undocumented, asylum seekers, and immigrants, and she inspires Christians to advocate for immigrant justice in their communities.
1. Walk This Way: Approaching the Border
2. Fleeing without Papers: Matthew 2:1-23
3. Vantage Points and Borders–Where We Stand Affects How We See: Mark 12:41-44
4. Challenging Border Wall Mentalities: Ruth and Mark 7:24-30
5. Letters from Behind Prison Walls: Philippians 1:12-30
6. Seeking Asylum at the US Border: Philippians 2:5-11
7. Standing before ICE: John 11:1-34
8. Where Do We Go from Here? Border Crossing as Praxis: John 1:1-5, 14
We’re excited to read and discuss this insightful, engaging book with you! Stay tuned to find out the exact dates and times we will be meeting in the Midst for our first Book Study of 2020.
Check out Baker Publishing Group’s website to learn more about Rev. Dr. Julia Lambert Fogg – click on the link above and scroll down the page to “The Author” (near the bottom of the page, after the Endorsements, which we encourage you to read as well).
For more information, or to join in on this study, please Contact Us.
Christian Education is still happening here at UCC-Simi Valley. Awesome School in the Midst is for little ones through Grade 6. Parents are welcome to participate as well. We are meeting via Zoom every Sunday at 12 noon. We are happy to share the link with you; just send us a message requesting an invitation to join us for Awesome School. You can email Rev. Stacy Thomas at RevStacy@uccsimi.org or email@example.com for an invitation. We have an active youth group for grades 7 through 12. We will provide updates to Zoom get-togethers and chats as they are scheduled.
Every week, our Youth Minister, Daniel DuBay, will create and post a video incorporating his current lesson. Most videos will be for all children and youth, but sometimes there will be a special video just for youth (these videos will be specially indicated). Videos will be posted on our church’s Facebook page (facebook.com/UCCSimi) by Sunday morning. Be sure to “like” and “follow” us so you can see what we’re up to and be alerted to updates! In addition, we will have the videos on our YouTube channel:
Awesome School In The Midst
Youth Gathering In The Midst
Daniel’s videos and Zoom Christian Education lessons invite engaging discussions of critical questions which aim to connect Scripture with what is happening in our communities, locally and globally, both currently and historically. The Lessons include check-in time, prayer, Scripture readings, and discussions. Children and youth are encouraged to share what’s on their minds and offer one another support. In a loving, gentle, kind, hope-filled and faithful environment, children and youth learn important values and fruits of the Spirit, such as empathy, hospitality, generosity, honesty, compassion, respect, courage, creativity, humor, forgiveness, kindness, patience, peace, and love. We are tremendously proud of our commitment to children and teens, and desire for them to build relationships with one another as well as with the entire congregation and with our community neighbors.
Daniel also encourages any teenager with a prayer need to reach out to him. Teens can access the Prayer Request link via The Grapevine. We respect and value privacy, and consider it a priority. Prayer requests will remain private unless permission is granted to share with the congregation during Worship, so that all of us may pray with and for you.
Please contact Rev. Stacy Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to request our Zoom links.
While we follow “shelter in place” orders from public health and government officials, there can be a tendency to feel isolated. UCC Simi Valley is committed to finding ways to stay connected during this trying time. As a result we’ve introduced weekly virtual “Get-Togethers” via Zoom video conferencing. If you would like to participate, please request the access link through the form provided at the bottom of this page.
Wednesday evenings, from 7 :00 to 8:00 PM, grab a beer, glass of wine, or cup of coffee, and join Cindy Speakman for some socializing, and casual conversation.
Pastor Stacy is hosting Get-Togethers in the Midst on Friday afternoons from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Bring your favorite beverage and settle on the sofa for connection and conversation. No agenda, no schedule.
Calvin Smith is hosting Get-Togethers in the Midst on Saturday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Connect with others, make new friends, engage in fascinating conversations. Maybe even play a game!
Do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? Would you like to use your skills to create prayer shawls to bring peace, comfort, and warmth to sustain those in our community who need a mantle of safe haven in times of challenge? During this time of lock-down and isolation, your talents are especially desired. Completed shawls will be blessed by our faith community during Worship Gatherings and taken by one of our Deacons to anyone who requests them.
If you are interested in serving the community in this way please contact us here.
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, 50 days after the Easter event, when Jesus followers were huddled together in an upper room where they were waiting to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. I’m pretty sure they were’t quite sure what Jesus meant by that. But when it happened, filled with the Spirit, they left that room and began baptizing, healing and teaching, and the church was birthed. It didn’t resemble the church today, but then, the church today doesn’t resemble the church three months ago. How do we fill ourselves with the Spirit during this pandemic? How are we Being the Church during it? Where is God leading us? Join us this Sunday to look for answers and dream dreams.
I will be leading the service while Stacy is taking a well deserved vacation. Bring your coffee or OJ, your candle, and chat at 9:30. Worship will begin at 10:00. Until then stay safe and sane!
Worship Gathering In The Midst Access information
Join us at 9:30 AM for Coffee and Conversation.
Worship begins at 10:00 AM.
Here is the Zoom Information:
Topic: Sunday Morning Worship Gathering in the Midst
Time: May 31, 2020 09:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
While we practice physically distancing ourselves from others for everyone’s health and safety, we invite you to explore different ways of connecting socially, emotionally, and spiritually, with one another and with God. One option is to start reading the Daily Devotional provided by the United Church of Christ. Every day, a clergy person or lay leader in the UCC connects a verse of Scripture with a short devotion. In these challenging times, keeping your spirit connected with Spirit will help center you, calm you, redirect you, comfort you, motivate you, restore you, and deepen your faith. You may even want to make a phone “visit” with a church friend to read the devotion together and talk about it!
In anticipation of our Virtual Worship Gatherings beginning on Sunday, March 22, we are sending out this message to help you navigate the virtual meeting platform, called ZOOM, that we will be using. ZOOM is very easy to use, and anyone can join the meetings (Worship Gatherings, or any other meeting, such as Council, Deacons, Mutual Ministry, Transition Team, Beyonders, Women’s Gathering, or other small groups which we anticipate creating during this time).
First, you will receive an e-mail from the person “hosting” (creating, facilitating) the particular meeting.
Open your e-mail message, and read it to make sure you know the date and time of the specific meeting (for example, for Sunday Worship, the meeting date will be March 22, and the time will be 10:00 AM).
There will be a link for you to click on, taking you right into the ZOOM meeting. Alternatively, there will also be a list of phone numbers for you to use if you prefer to join the meeting by calling in. You will need to have the password handy, so that you can enter it, so that you join the right meeting.
Request Your Zoom Link !
The wonderful thing about using ZOOM is that you don’t need a computer or a smartphone, you can use your landline! Everyone will be able to participate.
Approximately at 9:50 AM, on Sunday morning, open your e-mail message with the invitation to Worship, and click on the provided link (or call in by using one of the provided phone numbers).
If you click on the link, you will automatically join the meeting.
If you call in, you will need to provide the given password.
I encourage you to start early, in case one of the phone numbers doesn’t work and you need to try a different one.
Likewise, sometimes it can take a little time to access ZOOM via computer or smartphone, and we want everyone to be able to join the meeting in a timely manner.
We’ll see you in Worship! Watch your e-mail inbox for up-to-date information, and please share it with those who do not have internet access or an e-mail address. Thank you in advance!
Remember, we are all in this together. Even though we may be scattered throughout the county, the state, the country, or the globe, we are still the Church, united together through our love, our compassion, our commitment, and our faith. We are still God’s family. Now, more than ever, we need one another, and we need God. God is always with us, connecting us heart to heart, spirit to spirit. Know that you may contact Rev. Stacy for pastoral care, support, and counseling to help you through this challenging wilderness of the unexpected. Council members are also available to provide their assistance. We ask for your continued patience as we continue to learn to be the Church in new, exciting ways. We are encouraged by the many ideas we have, and the many opportunities this forced physical distance will bring us all. To God be the glory, now and forever. Amen.
With Peace, Grace, Comfort, and Love in the Time of Coronavirus,