2017 December Chimes





Unit ed Church of Christ 276 F Street

Chula Vista, CA 91910 Phone: 619-422-9263

communit ycong@sbcgloba l.net



Youth & Young



Men ‘s Breakfast

37:15AM Fellow- 4 5 6 7 8 9


FOVWomen’s Group Meet


8:15AM Worship Service

10AM Worship 11AM Fellowship 11: 15 Pressure Relief Session 11 :30AM Search Committee


Boy Scouts Laubach/ESL 7PM

FOY Youth Group


Qui lters 5PM

American Youth Meet

10AM Mission Board Prep

10:30AM Staff Meeting

2PM Social Re- sponsibility

6PM Liaison Meet


Bible Study

11AM Tower Party 6PM

Youth & Young Adult Meet 7PM

Choir Practice

10 11 12 13 14 15 16
7:15AMFellowship 8:15AM Worship Service

9AM C.E Board 10AMWorship 11AMFellowship 11:30AM Church Boards Meet


Boy Scouts 7PM

FOV Youth Group


Quilters 5PM

American Youth Meet

10:30 Women ‘s Fellowship

6PM Quilt Guild


Bible Study 11:15 Staff Meet- ing


Choir Practice


Youth & Young Adult Fellowship


Healing Touch

17 18 19 20 21 22 23
7:15AMFellowship 8:15AM Worship 9AM C.E Board 10AMWorship 11AMFellowship 11:30AM Church Council 6:30PM

Boy Scouts 7PM

FOVYouth Group


Quilters 5PM

American Youth Meet


Staff Meeting


Bible Study 6PM

Youth & Young

Adult Meet 7PM

Choir Practice

24 25 26 27 28 29 30
11AM Worship



Fellowship Potluck

Office Closed 9AM

Quilters 5PM

American Youth Meet


Staff Meeting


Bible Study 7PM

Choir Practice


Youth & Young Adult Fellowship


11AM Worship




I        Return Addres s Requested                        I         Sun                                                                  Mon                         Tue                                                                                   Wed                         Thu                                                                                   Fri                         Sat

















CHIMES Newsletter published monthly by

Comm unity Congregational Church

276 F St reet,

Chula Vista, CA 91910

www.chulavistachurch .com


Interim Minister Rev. Dr. Sharon Graff

Associate for Senior Ministry Rev. Victoria Freiheit Minister of Visitation Pastor JamesD on ah oo

Parish Visitor Erika Dennis

Associate for Church Program Development

Amber Ashford Choir Director James Easley Organist   Lionel Jasmin

Healing Touch Pract itioner Val Jean Zieber Parish Nurse

Luz Barrera Memorial Service and Wedding

Coordinat or Sylvia Campbell Custodian

Pelito Capistr ano Preschool Director Kim Appleget


Community Congregational Church (UCC)

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey… you are welcome here!”




























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Date 8:15 AM Greeter s/ Ushe rs 8:15 AM Readers
1 2/ 3/ 2017 Judy & Jerr y May Jerry  May
1 2/ 10/ 2017 Sy lv ia Cam pbe ll Caro l Bl ack
1 2/17/ 2017 Norma & Frank Brain ar d Norma Brain ard
1 2/ 24/ 2017 Ch rist m as Eve One Service  
1 2/ 31/ 2017 New Years Eve One Service  



Sunday Greeters, Ushers and Readers        I

:from the Search Committee to the Congre9ation



























10:00 AM Readers
12/ 3/ 201 7 Sylvia Cam pbell
12/ 10/ 2017 Kyle Lim bo
12/17/ 201 7 Belen Hebreo
12/ 24/ 2017 Er i k a Dennis
12/ 31/ 2017 Ester Banayo


Sund a M orning
Sche dule

1st Service

7:30AM Fell owship 8:15AM Worship


2nd Service 10:00AM Worship 11:00AM Fellowship


SundaY’. School




I   I     Inside Th is I ssu e:

Month at a Glance                1

Greeters, Ushers & Readers 2 Mission Board        3

Memor ials                          8

Visitation Minister               5

Information              4, 8, &9 Just A Thought                    6

Rev. Frei h eit                        7

Nu r s-ery Provided                  Rev. Dr. Graff                    10

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Witfi tfie comy[etion of tfie CCCCV yrofi[e, our con­ gregation              fias now                   advanced to tfie next stage  of our  cfiurcfi’s interimyeriocl You may                   fiave noticed a co[orfu[yoster disy[ayed in ‘Brad[ey J-fa[[ Tfie sec­ retary of tfie Searcfi Committee wi[[ cfieck off eacfi of tfie eigfit steys of tfie searcfi yrocess individua[[y, as it is comy[etecl Our committee         fias been y[edged to strict confidentiafity. Tfiis is ahso[ute[y neces­ sary because we  are deafing witfi                   fiigfi{y sensitive information entrusted to us by ayyficants seeking a ca[[ Tfiis work requires sufficient  time for inten­ sive study resu[ting in tfie best decisions yossih[e.

We  reafize tfiat at times tfiose of you wfio are wait­ ing for tfiese decisions may       fee[ a hit “out of tfie [ooy.” P[ease know tfiat you can ask any    of tfie Searcfi Committee for an uydate at any time. We assure  you tfiat we are a[[ sti[[ one congregation and we wou[d       fike to ask for everybody’s yrayers and good tfiougfits, wfiicfi are needed to bring tfiis searcfi to tfie conc[usion tfiat wi[[ he a h[essing for


In Cfiristian Love,

Erika J-{. Dennis, Searcfi Committee Communicator


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“…the truly contemplative life [is lived by] people living extremely busy lives

and yet prayer is the undercurrent of whatever they are doing… [it is] entirely unselfconscious

life full of dance and celebration… not at all pious or solemn,

a life lived close to God just as it [is] close to neighborhood and the natural world.”

-From The Celtic Way of Prayer, by Esther De Waal


We are embarking upon one of the busiest, most hectic times in the calendar year-the season from Thanksgiving through Christmas and into the New Year. Yet, each of us, in one way or another, wants to slow down so we can enjoy family, friends, and the holidays. How to do that?


The ancient Celtic Christians may have a path to help us! And it’s called living the “contemplative” life. Stay with me, here…


I used to think “contemplative” meant a lot of silence and retreating from the normal routine, with large doses of formal prayers, and precious little connection to the natural world. However, over the past many years, I’ve learned (and experienced!) differently.


The description above, from Esther De Waal, suggests that our spiritual peace is inher­ ently connected to the business-the busyness-of our daily living. Prayer is an activity not relegated to one day a week or to established times each day. Prayer is the language of our days and of our nights, the language that enables us to complete our tasks; prayer is the lan­ guage through which we are attentive to the presence of the Divine with us in each and every moment; prayer connects us to one another and to the world in which we live.


Such is the contemplative life. It is and can be a life that moves with us as we live and serve and love. Sure, it is great to get away on retreat from time to time. But such is not nec­ essary in order to live a contemplative life. One only needs to take a breath…a very deep breath…and breathe in the Divine…then exhale…deeply…thoughtfully…prayerfully… and open your eyes to the shimmering trees and the brilliant flowers and the clouds in motion and yes, even, the dirty dishes in the sink…in the truly contemplative life, there is no place where God is not present.





Pfease ‘Bring :New, 11.nwrayyeaToys :for





Blessed to be on this journey with you,



Rev. Dr. Sharon R. Graff, Interim Minister

The ‘Drum is in the :Narthex





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Please call the church office and ask for Pastor Jim Donahoo, at 619- 422-9263, if you have a prayer request. Our Prayer Chain Ministry is available for you, a friend, an a cqua intance, or a loved one.


Blessings from your Church Family






‘The Decem6er 13th Eusiness Meeting starts at 10:30 .JLM in Eradiey J{a[[ ‘The “‘Thank Offering” was co[[ecter£ in Novem6er. ‘The Program wi[[ 6e at [[:oo .JLM, afso in 13rar£[ey J{a[[ ‘The CCCCV

Pre-Schoo[ wi[[ 6e yresenting their Christmas Program for us. .Jlt Noon, a caterer£ [unch is server£. Cost is $10.00. Reservations for [unch can 6e mar£e 6y ca[fing Xay       Rouse at 1-(619)-421-3826, 6y

:frir£ay. Dec. 8th, anr£ cance[[ations neer£ to 6e mar£e 6y Sunr£ay, Dec. 10th.

. Don’t fo1•get to visit 010• Cluu•ch’s ve1·y olvn website. .




.       :r 1·yMay is 010• new Web Maste1• anti wonl,I a111n·ecia

  • 11icttu·es that n·e taken cltu•ing ch1u·ch events to be sent

tobin1so that he can u11loacl the1n to the ‘lvebsite.

Send to: (ge1•alcl.111ay@procligy.net)



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,- – – – :E:L:LI:Y  ::R:P      S –  –  –  –                          7





All-Church Worship Service and Christmas Lunch Party- Sunday, December 24th -11:00am                                                                                                                                                                      I

All are invited to share in ONE special worship service on 12/24, beginning at 11:00am in the Sanctuary,

I                                                             I


and featuring our congregation’s children and youth! You can expect a high energy, memorable retelling of the Christmas Story! Following will be a POTLUCK LUNCH and Christmas Party. Games, Christmas caroling, and other holiday fun… done by 1:00pm…a great day to bring a friend!

IAll-Church Worship Service –       Sunday, December 31st-11:00am                      I

Once again, for the holiday, we’ll gather in ONE worship service in the Sanctuary, beginning at 11:00am.

I             Please take note of these two special holiday worship times!                                         I

L   –      –      –      ————–









Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11


THOUGHT: If you can’t fin,/ the spirit of the holidays in your heart, you'[[ never find it under a tree.                                                       -Michael Holbrook           


s usual, the sanctuary was packed for the annual Christmas pageant presented

by the children. There was the flurry of activity and last-minute adjustments as costumes were arranged and rearranged, while frantic adults scurried around looking for the gifts of the Magi and the shepherds’ crooks. At last, all was ready.

The innkeepers played their parts well, faidy yelling, “There is no room for you at this inn.” Finally, of course, one kind innkeeper added, “Well, there is hay in our stable. Perhaps you can take shelter there.”

As Mary and Joseph shuffled off to the stable, in wandered the sheep looking lost.

Finally the shepherds managed to gather them on one side of the chancel as they wiggled and pointed to the “stable,” which had not only Mary and Joseph but also a small cradle with a good-sized rag doll baby Jesus.

Then a commotion as angels floated down the aisle with paper wings askew as the youth choir sang out “Angels We Have Heard on High.” They were soon followed by the majestic wise people: two grade 6 boys and one girl, presenting their gifts solemnly to the baby Jesus.

All the children then tu1ned to the congregation and began singing the traditional Christmas carols, just as they had rehearsed, except for one boy standing by the cradle who picked up the baby Jesus and began swinging him back and forth, as though he was dancing on air in time to the music.

One could only imagine what the child’s mother – the choir director- was saying to hitn. But the congregation clearly heard his response, which came just as the singing stopped: “But Jesus was so happy he wanted to sing and dance too.”

– Mela nie Silva



Prayer: God ofus all, may we so live our lives that Jesus will want to dance with joy. Amen.

Pages                                                                           Page 5




                JUST A THOUGHT                                RE\(. \IICTORIA FREIHEIT




By Ei-ili.a De11nis

In the month of December, choices of tours through central and northern Europe are limited and dependent on weather conditions. Skiing enthusiasts can find a great variety of ski slopes within easy reach by train. For the sun-lovers, the answer is a southern country with balmy breezes. Non-athletic traditionalists, however, may concentrate on the Christmas markets found in many European cities. Usually, these markets are open air, with display tables set up under large umbrellas in a town square. There is something magical about seeing the vast ar­ ray of 01naments and decorations after sun-down, bathed in warm, soft lighting. However, the illusion of warmth is quickly dispelled by the icy breeze turning noses red and fingertips un­ comfortably cold even in warm gloves. This kind of tour might be too challenging for coastal Calif01nians who prefer to find Christmas spirit in a warm store. So, let us relax and take an mmchair tour of a well-known place in Germany, the Lueneburger Heide, which may be on the travel agenda for 2018.


Heide is the Geiman name of a plant, as well as a large area in northetn Ge1many that is densely covered with these plants. In season we can find them in our local nurseries, 8-inch­ tall pot plants with small magenta flowers. Growing up in Germany I heard people talking about the Heide in the North and the very poor people living there in small settlements that could hardly be called villages. Buckwheat was the only grain that grew in the nutrient-poor quartz sand, and the fa1mers raised sheep for wool, meat and hides. Poets wrote sad, romantic poems about life in the Heide; songwriters set them to music, and to this day there are people who remember the lyrics and the tunes.

In 1921, the Geiman government took steps to preserve this highly unique area for future generations to enjoy, declaring four square miles a nature park. The entire heath is located be­ tween two major rivers. It extends for 55 miles in a south-easterly to north-westerly direction. It is now the largest single area of heathland in Central Europe. Most of the land is covered in Scotch heather and common heather, dotted with an occasional small group of juniper trees.

In the North, there are some stands of oak, birch and beech trees. The heather blooms from

early August to early September, covering the ground in vibrant  purple, turning  to  dark  blue at the far horizon. Words fail to describe the intensity  of the effect evoked by nature’s  artist1y. It has to be seen and absorbed by all senses.

Having traveled through large forests in Germany, tourists may wonder how the Heide, this oddly beautiful natural feature, ever developed. It is estimated that about 12,000 years ago Asian hunter-gatherers walked across the glaciers covering northern Asia to ice-covered northern Europe. Turning south, they found a vast sandy area with vegetation adequate to feed their sheep, and decided to settle down. Since sheep are browsers, they pick and choose among the plants, leaving some to grow undisturbed. One might say, they “groomed” the heather plants by eating vegetation that might have overgrown and killed them.

Since the 1950’s, the Heide has become a major tourist attraction. Several small towns around its periphery offer all the amenities tourists may want. There are rides and animal petting are­ as for the children, wild animal parks, horses for a ride on bridle paths, luxury hotels, as well as overnight stays in authentic farmhouses, and excellent restaurants. One might say, we owe it to the sheep and the far-sighted governments that the Heide now provides a better 1living for the indigenous farmers as well as recreation and relaxation for tourists.

Dear Ones: I recently took a test from a book called, “The Four Tendencies.” It is official: I don’t like to wait. You’ve heard that saying about people like me who pray,”Lord please give me patience, and I want it right now.” Therefore, Advent is not my favorite time of the year.

The church calendar has 4 Sundays before Christmas that are devoted to

waiting for  the birth of  our  Saviour,  Jesus.    Advent  means  arrival,  and 1 tho      se        4 Sundays are devoted to hearing prophecies from the Old

Testament about the coming Messiah. This year, the last Sunday of Advent is on Christmas Eve Day!


What is wrong with this picture? Is there anyone else out there who wishes we could just concentrate on Christmas beginning the day after Thanksgiving? Yes, I know the department stores do-they call it “Black Friday.” It’s an accounting term meaning they are out of “the red” (debt) and into “the black” (profit).

Starting the day after Thanksiving, I’d like to get my Christmas card list completed; put up the Manger Scene our family collected over the years; plan what gifts need to be purchased or made; decide which Christmas cookies to bake this year; find out when Handel’s Messiah will be performed; find out when our youth will go Christmas caroling so I can invite myself along; decorate the house and the front steps; and choose CD’s of my favorite secular and sacred Christmas music for the car.


While doing all these Christmas preparations, I feel a little guilty. I should be spending more time on Advent thoughts and scriptures-waiting. Like Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” or Psalm 25:5 “Thou art the God of my salvation, for thee I wait all the day long.” or Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”


How many years did the people of Israel wait for their Messiah? How many times did they read the sacred words, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Isaiah 9:6 They waited a long time.


I guess I can wait the 4 weeks of Advent. I can find hope in the prophetic scriptures that tell of his coming. I can be full of joy while waiting-for unlike those ancient people–who hoped, but did not know for sure–I do know for sure. They hoped for a Messiah, we know He came. “I know that my redeemer lives.”Job 19:25. He didn’t come in power and majesty, but in a lowly stable “for there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7


After long years of waiting, God incarnate allowed God’s self to be a helpless baby-but one who would grow up and teach us how to live, how to die and how to wait. Yours in Advent, Rev. Victoria Freiheit




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