We live in a time when the things we believe are tested by the society in which we live. During a global pandemic, racial tension and economic hardship the faith we have cannot be theoretical. Our faith must guide us through these challenging times and light within us a candle of hope and a will to share that hope with others. During the month of August, our congregants get a turn to “preach!” Everyone will give their take on the theme of “Church and Society.”
How Faith Informs Our Politics with Cindy Speakman
Heroes of Nonviolence with John Paton
Finding God in culturewith David Birchman
Race, Racism, and Racial Issues in the Church with Carla Ritter
Finding Joy and Hope in the Midst of a Pandemic with Rev. Susan Brecht
The Poor Peoples’ Campaign is a national call for moral revival and social justice. There will be a digital gathering on June 20 at 10 am and 6 pm Eastern standard time and 6/21/20 at 6 pm Eastern standard time.
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 Eileen Kelly for some socializing, and casual conversation.
Pastor Stacy is hosting Get-Togethers in the Midst on Friday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Bring your favorite beverage and settle on the sofa for connection and conversation. No agenda, no schedule.
Dearest Beloved Community of UCC Simi, I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude, joy, and amazing love out-poured from each and every one of you! The Installation, Intermission, and Reception were absolutely beautiful. Even as I write this, I am welling up with tears – good tears. The service went smoothly, the bagpiper was wonderful – and so much fun! What a treat that she played “Star Wars Fanfare” as we recessed – so awesome! Joan, thank you so much for not giving up and for finding Chrisy, the Surf City Piper. John, you and the Choir outdid yourselves with your glorious singing combined with Joan’s and David’s musical gifts! I heard so many compliments – it filled me with immense joy and pride, because I know how hard you worked. It was just beautiful – I hope you take a moment to watch the video that will be in this week’s issue of The Grapevine. To all of the Deacons, the Transition Team, Mutual Ministry, and the Search Committee – a huge thank you for all of your hard work, dedication, excitement, and planning as well – your involvement every step of the way made for a perfect day/evening. Your insight, ideas, questions, and suggestions combined with your hopes and inspiration truly infused the service with every good thing. I know that the majority of the work you accomplished was mostly behind the scenes, so I want to recognize everyone for all they did. Ann, thank you so much for acquiring the Guest Book – it’s beautiful! (It’s in my office, so if anyone didn’t have an opportunity to sign it on Sunday, please see me, because I want you to sign it). To everyone who participated in the service, whether “up front” or behind the scenes, thank you! You all helped to make it so special and rewarding. To Cindy and Rev. Susan, thank you for taking all of the photos and the videos of our terrific choir singing their hearts out! Photos and video will be on the website for all to view.
To Carla, the Kitchen Elves (Jedis?) and everyone who helped with the Reception, from making, buying, and bringing food, and beverages, to setting out and arranging the food and beverages, to transforming the Sanctuary into the Dining Room – setting up tables and chairs, decorating the tables and the space, getting everything organized and ready for the Intermission on the Patio, and cleaning up afterward – a huge thank you is in order! Carla, for the Star Wars Welcome banners and delicious Star Wars cake – the Force is strong with you! All of the food was scrumptious!! “Thank you” seems so inadequate to say. I am truly grateful for everything.
Carla et al – Thank you for the stunning green stole – I can’t wait to wear it during Ordinary Time (after Pentecost)! It reminds me of Hawaii, and is blessed with the love of UCC Simi, which I felt as you placed it over my shoulders. Joan – Thank you for the fantastic Star Wars potholders! What a fabulous gift. They will have a high honor in our new house. I hope you are willing to replace them when they become stained and worn from usage, because we will be using them every day. Susan – Thank you for the gift of your stoles. What a treasure to receive them, as Elijah received the mantel from Elisha. I’m looking forward to wearing them with honor. Cindy – Thank you for the Star Wars stole and communion set! The time will soon come when everyone will be able to see them displayed and in full use/force <giggle>.
If I forgot anyone, I apologize in advance. It was definitely a whirlwind experience!
All of you worked together in concert to make a fantastic experience and event even better than what I could have imagined! Cindy is right – we are truly blessed that God has brought us all together. I know that what we have here is extra special, and that it is only just beginning! I love – and echo – what Carla said – that all of you working together, united for a common purpose, bringing your best selves in a loving and helpful way, reconfirms what is in her heart – that we are ready and able to do great things!
UCC Simi is a remarkable, wonderful, glorious community of faith! I have a good feeling about this!
My deepest gratitude to each and every one of you! I love you all and, in case I haven’t told you enough, I am – we are – beyond thrilled to be here! We are truly one community, united in serving and loving God, and bringing the Good News of God’s love and extravagant welcome to the City of Simi Valley!
Peace and Grace, Beloved Ones!
~ Rev. Stacy
Photos from Installation
Thank you for all the wonderful photos from the touching Installation service. Enjoy!
The Rev. Stacy L. Thomas will be installed as the settled minister at the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley, 370 Royal Ave., on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4:00 p.m. This service represents the mutual commitment between Rev. Thomas and the congregation as she accepts the call to serve the church and community.
Rev. Thomas graduated from Claremont School of Theology in May 2011 with a Master of Divinity, and has worked primarily in hospice as a Spiritual Care Counselor, Bereavement Counselor, and Volunteer Coordinator. In Rev. Thomas’s own words, “I love God and am passionate about helping others navigate their own personal spiritual journeys, both individually and communally. I am excited about what God will do, and where God will lead us! I love the United Church of Christ, and wholeheartedly believe in our messages: “God is still speaking,” and “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, You Are Welcome Here!” At UCC in Simi Valley, we strive to live out the teachings of Jesus through loving and serving our neighbors and our commitment to peace and social justice.
“I have been married to the love of my life since 2006, and became a step-mom to her amazing son. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in hospice for 10 years. We support one another wholeheartedly in all of our endeavors. Our family is excited about relocating to the Simi Valley area very soon, and meeting our new neighbors and making new friends here!”
The Northern Association of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, and the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley, invite you to celebrate the Installation of the Rev. Stacy L. Thomas as Pastor.
Sunday, February 23, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.
Simi Valley United Church of Christ.
370 Royal Avenue, Simi, California
Clergy are invited to dress or robe, according to their tradition, and arrive by 3:30 pm to process.
The liturgical color is red.
Reception to follow after the service.
Please RSVP by February 9th, including any dietary restrictions, by calling (805)526-6001or contact us here.