Forming and Nurturing Our Faith Continuing to Learn and Grow – For All Ages
Faith Formation Resources for the beginning weeks of the new year. Fun projects you can do at home for the entire Family! Click the buttons below to print yours.
Remember: The little ones feel “Quarantine Fatigue” too! It’s important to keep them engaged and provide outlets for their creativity. We know parents everywhere must be chomping at the bit for schools to be back in session and regular activities return to pre-Covid schedules. We hope this series of activities provides some quality time for your family during this holiday season!
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to look at our various ministries and adapt them to the realities of the time. We have had a longstanding relationship with The Samaritan Center in Simi Valley and have been active participants in their Community Dinner program. Gathering for meals at our church property posed a health risk, but we wanted to continue to serve the community during the current public health crisis.
Every month, the $65 we would have used to provide a Community Dinner is designated for the Center along with any new donations we receive for the Community Dinner Fund that month. A volunteer offered to be a buyer for items that The Samaritan Center need and have difficulty locating.
UCC Simi Valley was extremely blessed to be active participants in the very first Simi Valley Pride Festival on June 26, 2020. We have long been a voice for upholding the dignity and value of LGBTQ+ community, and it is amazing to see equality, love and affirmation emerge in this community.
Pride Day Prayer
Dear Holy One, we are all bonded as one. We know that you see us as one. We know that you love us as one. Help society recognize that you love all. Continue to pave these roads so that those roads traveled in the future are smoother. Ever-loving one, please guide us. Your Word says that you are love and where there is love there can only be peace. We thank you for the love that you have brought us today. We thank you for the love that you will bring us tomorrow. Amen.
“We cannot be silent as one more black person is murdered unjustly, and the nation erupts with both anger and deep sorrow. We are called to recognize once again systemic racism, especially in law enforcement, by evoking the names of murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn.; Ahmaud Arbery in Glenn County, Ga; Breionna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.; Eric Garner in New York City; and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. … We cannot remain silent. God calls all of us to speak out. As Christians, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. God created and loves people of every color. And yet we create economic, political, and social barriers that oppress African Americans in every sector from housing and education to healthcare and criminal justice. The COVID-19 pandemic magnifies these disparities. We know that black and brown people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This moment calls us all together to speak up, stand up and show up.“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29). This is our time to show our solidarity with all who live at the margins of our country because of their identities. We are called now to build a strong anti-racist commitment in our church so that we can show that Black Lives Matter in the kingdom of God. It is time to see ourselves as God sees us. Jesus is risen and alive in each one of us. May we use that strength to be agents of change.”
Anti-Racism Resources Document to Share with Family and Friends
This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.
This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation. By and for those in our communities who can’t be in the streets, we offer a list of concrete ways that we are in the movement, and that we are supporting liberation every day
According to the NY Times: “The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.”
In 2016 the United Church of Christ spent a full year examining its purpose, vision and mission. The phrase that came out of the discussion was “a just world for all.” This simple phrase encompasses both a compassionate, Christ-like theology and worldview and is instructive on how to focus our energies as individuals and as a church body.
Purpose: To love our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and our neighbor as ourselves.
Vision: United in Christ’s love, a just world for all.
Mission: United in Spirit, inspired by God’s grace we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
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.
Families & 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.
FFLUID will resume in-person support meetings in August. We are examining how to include our online guests while maintaining the confidentiality of our participants. Please see contact info below if would like to participate online.
Meetings are held from 7:00 until 8:30 pm on the 3rd Thursday of every month.
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.
We observe Holy Week and celebrate Easter Sunday together “in the midst” this year while practicing “holy distancing” out of concern for the health of our community. Through these virtual services, we continue to stay connected during this important season in the life of the church.
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Fourth Sunday in the Season of Creation Sunday, September 26, 2021 in which We Soar to the Sky Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:1-6 Worship & Reflection : Rev. Stacy L. Thomas Liturgist: Colleen Briner-Schmidt Tech Team: Brian Thulin and Sean Baker Music: Erik Halseth, Carla Ritter Deacon of the Day: Ann Smith
On Sunday we soar to the skies and celebrate with all the glorious works of art that dance in that vast, mysterious enormity, some visible to us from Earth, others only visible with the help of telescopes and space exploration. The psalmist declares that the sky proclaims the glory and presence of God.The sky offers us a small window into the creativity of God and the impossible beauty of heaven.
With our feet planted in the soil, we will gaze up at the stars and consider the magnitude and magnificence of the ever-expanding universe.
Erik Halseth and Carla Ritter will lead us in music and song as John Paton and Joan Thompson enjoy a weekend away.
Let’s spend some time together in Worship and in Fellowship, whether you join us in person or on Zoom!
~ Toward Embracing Abundant Life, Love, and Hope Together,
Worship begins at 10:00 AM.
Here is the Zoom Information:
Topic: Sunday Morning Worship Gathering in the Midst
Time: Sundays 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)