News & Events


News & Events

We’ve revised our news and events section! The Calendar now features the regular online calendar listing. This page will offer special events and news articles.

9/1              First Tuesday Book Group
9/2              Day of Partnering (MSJ)
9/13            Homecoming (Road to Character series begins)
9/14             Monday Sitting Meditation with Penny resumes
9/16            Yoga with Kate on Wednesdays begins
9/18            God Talk interactive presentation
Music and Art
9/19            Beach Cleanup at Ryder Park
9/20            Affordable Housing Forum
9/23            Autumnal Equinox Labyrinth Walk
9/27            Home and Hope
9/27            Sukkot–Peninsula Temple Beth El
9/27            Deadline to submit Pick-A-Party

10/4             World Communion | Blessing of the Animals, San Mateo Park
10/18           Pick-A-Party Sunday
10/23          God Talk interactive presentation
10/24           NCNC-UCC Church Day
10/25           Pick-A-Party Second Chance
10/31           Halloween Organ Concert

Fill a Bag/Box– November
11/1               All Saints Day Kids Christmas Sale and Daylight Savings
11/8              Youth Fall Event
11/20           God Talk interactive presentation
11/22            Thanksgiving Sunday (Family Worship)
11/29            Forum on Human Trafficking (1st Sunday of Advent)

12/5             CCSM Holiday Party
12/6             Masterworks Chorale Concert
12/13          CCSM Christmas Concert
12/20         Franc D’Ambrosio Christmas Concert at CCSM
12/20          Christmas Pageant, Soup and Caroling
12/28-31    Peace Village (8:30 – 4:30)

Sunday, August 30, 2pm at CCSM
STREET REQUIEM, composed in 2014 by Dr Kathleen McGuire (former Bay Area conductor) with Australian collaborators Jonathon Welch AM and Andy Payne, is a highly accessible, uplifting, multicultural, multi-faith and secular work mourning those who have died innocent on the street as result of poverty, war, illness, violence, hate crime or homelessness.
In light of recent race-related violence in the US, this work is particularly timely. It should also speak strongly to the Bay Area’s LGBTIQ community, given the number of deaths we see on our streets each year as a result of hate crime. Our performances will raise public awareness as well as funds for a very worthy cause.
The performance will feature world-renowned opera superstar Frederica Von Stade and the chamber orchestra accompaniment will be provided by members of the Community Women’s Orchestra with Carl Pantle on the piano.
All proceeds from the California performances will benefit Singers of the Street (SOS). Founded by Kathleen McGuire in 2010 and now led by Ashley Moore, SOS is a San Francisco choir of singers at risk of homelessness. SOS, dedicated to raising voices for justice, healing and joy, will celebrate its 5th anniversary just a week after the concerts. SOS is a project of Welcome, a communal response to poverty.

December 28-31, 2015 (registration opens in early September)
Peace Village is a multi-faith peace camp for campers age 7-13. Campers learn from one another, from teen staff and adult instructors. Campers make friends and learn about other traditions while gaining skills in nonviolent conflict resolution and media literacy. Space is limited. If you’re interested in Peace Village for your child/ren get on the email list at: Registration will be open in early September. If you have questions, email If you’re interested in being a group leader, go to the above website and you’ll see what to do.
Accepting Applications for Teen/Young Adult Youth Leaders
The Peace Village Planning Team is in motion. Partner communities Peninsula Temple Beth El, the Muslim Children’s Garden School and CCSM are planning for an amazing winter Peace Village. At the intersection between 2015 and 2016, we will learn and practice ways to bring Peace and Light into the world, highlighted by many religious traditions!
If you are in high school or college and would like to participate in an amazing leadership opportunity, please follow the link to apply:  Any questions? Check with Bonnie: or 530-306-4793.

Make sure you plan to attend church on our annual Homecoming Sunday! The full choir will be back in church, the new sermon series The Road To Character begins, and we’re planning a big barbecue lunch to celebrate the start of a new church year. Enjoy festive music on the lawn, plus balloon animals for the kids. This is your chance to catch up with all the friends you’ve missed over the busy summer months, and meet some of the many new faces that are becoming regulars at CCSM.

HEAR, WRITE, SHARE—new discussion group forming
Hear, Write, Share is an opportunity for you to respond to a series of sermons Penny will be giving based on David Brooks’ The Road to Character. More details about this ongoing discussion group will be available in September. Dorothy Kogl, facilitator,

Wednesday, Sept 2, Day of Partnering (San Mateo Main Library)
Saturday, Sept 19, Beach Clean-up (Ryder Park)
Sunday, Sept 20, Affordable Housing Forum (Buckham Room)
Sunday, Sept 27, Home and Hope arrives (Kloss Hall)
Let’s Collaborate!
At the Day of Partnering event, find out about a myriad of local services related to mental health, drugs and alcohol, youth, elderly, immigration, and education. Be part of the CCSM team exploring what neighborhood needs are being addressed—and where the gaps are. Because this is a special invitation-only event, please let us know of your interest ( or 650-580-1797). Wednesday, September 2, 8:30-Noon, San Mateo Main Library
Let’s Make Trash Extinct!
Join the largest volunteer event on the planet! (It’s true—and could include YOU.) Our beaches need a pick-me-up. So young and old, come to Ryder Park September 19 and clean up the beach from 9am to noon. Please let Kibbie know you are coming so she can register you ( or 650-580-1797). Should we picnic together afterwards?
Let’s Think!
San Mateo County’s housing crisis isn’t just a news headline. Precious members of CCSM have been forced to leave the area because of cost or evictions by new apartment owners. Join the affordable housing conversation after church September 20. Featured speakers and discussion leaders include Don Horsley, SM Cnty Supervisor, Josh Hugg, Exec. Director of the Housing Leadership Council of SM County, and Jennifer Martinez, Executive Director of PIA/SFOP.
Let’s Pitch In!
Help pitch the tents, feed families, sleep-over, or play with the children. Starting Sunday, September 27, Home and Hope (a rotating housing shelter for families) returns to Kloss Hall for a week. Contact Donna Lindsay, to help out.

Tuesday, September 1, 7:30-9:00pm • Fireplace Room
You still have time to add the book Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden to your summer reading list! Read about Lydia, who grew up in an orphanage and is finding her way as a translator in the Navy Shipyard in Boston. As she struggles to make ends meet, she is pursued by Alexander Banebridge, who engages her as a translator and also leads her down many adventurous and dangerous paths.
Please bring your opinion of the book to our group. We are a diverse group of people who LOVE TO READ! Each discussion is lively and thought-provoking. You are welcome to join us this time or any time. October’s selection will be The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson and November’s book is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
Please contact Susan Stoehr to be added to the email list ( or Betsy Woodward for questions. (

HOMEWORK CENTRAL begins September 8!
If you are searching for a meaningful volunteer opportunity, there are some students in North Central San Mateo who are looking for you! They are hoping you will assist them with their homework, become a friend, and learn about their lives. These 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students are struggling academically but they really want to succeed. With your patient help, they can! What does it mean? You commit to coming once a week for two hours. You sit down with 2-3 students and help them complete their homework… math, reading, spelling and maybe a little science sprinkled in there. You will become attached to your new friends and they will become attached to you.
So why not share an afternoon a week with a few students and lend your skills to some younger folks? On Tuesday, September 8, Homework Central begins its 17th year of tutoring 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from four San Mateo schools. Tutoring occurs from 3-5pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday or 1-3pm on Wednesday (their minimum day). There are four sites: Martin Luther King Center, Unitarian Universalists church, Sunnybrae School, and San Mateo Park School. Each site is unique and wonderful. Please join us. It will become your favorite day of the week! Please talk to Betsy Woodward, 650-571-9359, Lani Leydig or Holly Miner if you wish to tutor.

Resumes Monday, September 14, 12:30pm
Come sit in silence in the upstairs library with experienced and beginner meditators. Sit in a chair or bring your own cushion. Penny leads a brief reflection, then we meditate together. A nice group comes out each week.

Starting Wed., September 16, 9:30-11:00am, Buckham Room
Returning this fall is our very popular yoga class with CCSM member and yoga teacher Kate Joyce. This spiritual practice is a gentle class for people with wide-ranging physical abilities/limitations to participate fully. The class will also incorporate the week’s scripture reading(s) and sermon topic. Come join Kate on Wednesday mornings!
Class is free but optional donations directly to Kate are welcomed.

Friday, September 18 • Noon • Buckham Room
The Music and Art group will resume its monthly meetings on September 18 at noon in the Buckham Room. Carl Pantle, Music Director, will present this first program. Bring your own sandwich/salad; dessert and drinks are provided. Newcomers and guests are most welcome. Be sure to reserve your place at the table by calling Zelta Adams, 650-341-1644 or Pat Pepper, 650-343-4286.

SIS (Sisters In Spirit) returns this September 20 for another season of sharing, sisterhood and exploration of spirituality and consciousness (among other topics). We do this through the examination of the works of contemporary authors, writers and thought-leaders. This fall we will examine the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Dates for meeting are: 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 11/29 and 12/13 (last meeting we will enjoy early holiday celebration together, such as over brunch or other festive activity—TBD).
Meeting location is 2nd floor library, time noon-1:30pm. Feel free to bring bag lunch. For more information, contact Rebecca at: or (650) 483-0756. Please join us!

The meditation group will once again gather weekly from September 6 through December 20 on alternate Sundays, from 12:10 to 1:00 p.m. Look for the specific dates in the church bulletin each Sunday. The meeting will take place in the Church Library on the second floor, alongside the Choir room. Instructions will be provided. The sitting will be 20 minutes and a 30-minute DVD on Mindfulness will be played. All are welcome. For information, contact Bob Jarmusz, (650) 787-8324 or

GOD TALK: Progressive Christianity in Conversation with Process Theology
Friday, September 18, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Friday, October 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Friday, November 20, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Join Penny and Bonnie for a series of interactive presentations on viewing the core tenets of the Christian faith through the lenses of Progressive Christianity and Process Theology. For example, how does each lens understand Jesus and his role in the world? How does each lens view the Cosmos? If you wonder about if or how Christianity might meet the existential and pragmatic challenges of our moment in history, come let us explore this evolving Christian religious tradition together. Each evening begins with a Safeway Potluck (pick something, anything up from the store before you come). Childcare available.

Wednesday September 23, 8 pm
Join Penny and Annlee as they lead a ritual on the evening of the Autumnal Equinox. At this equinox, day and night are approximately  equal in length. The evening will focus on balancing light and darkness in our lives. An evening of introspection, community, and walking the beautiful labyrinth in moonlight in our sacred memorial garden. Please rsvp to

CELEBRATE SUKKOT at Peninsula Temple Beth El
Sunday, September 27, 5 p.m.
1700 Alameda des Pulgas, San Mateo
CCSM is invited to join PTBE’s Interfaith Friendship Committee (IFC) as they celebrate the fall harvest holiday of Sukkot. Each year the IFC celebrates one night of the eight-night holiday by inviting interfaith friends to join in for a festive potluck meal, to share in fellowship and honor the bounty of the season. This year a few UCC friends and friends from the Pacifica Institute have been invited to join in the Sukkah. It’s a wonderful night of good food, interesting conversations, and inevitably some good music.
Sukkot is the holiday and the Sukkah is the structure in which we dwell (i.e. You are invited to join in the Sukkah for the celebration of Sukkot). Technically, Sukkot is the plural form of Sukkah, which translates to “booths” or the impermanent structures that the Israelites would build to dwell in during the long days of the harvest.

A garden party? A barbeque? A clambake? A musical soiree? What type of Pick-A-Party will you host this year?
CCSM’s 17th annual “Pick-A-Party” fundraiser, set for October 18th, is officially underway! To offer a party, think of something you enjoy doing and then build a party or activity around your idea. While dinner parties are popular, there are many wonderful ways to throw a party.
• Submit your party offering online at or via paper form after worship or at the office. The deadline to submit a party is Sunday, September 27th, although we prefer parties be submitted early if possible.
• We will distribute the list of parties on October 11th so you can decide in advance which parties you wish to purchase.
October 18th is Pick-A-Party Sunday. Parties will be offered for purchase in Kloss Hall at 9:45 am.
Pick-A-Party is a great way to enjoy the fellowship of CCSM members and friends while supporting our church financially.
Questions? Contact us at or 650-571-7563 (Carol) or 650-346-6114 (Jennifer).

People who grieve well, live well.
A new grief support group will start in late September. If you have lost a loved one, whether recently or some time ago, this group is designed for you. Together, group members will share their sorrow, gain new resources to develop resiliency, and experience a caring and compassionate community. Rev. Dr. Janet K. Bower, a pastoral counselor at CCSM, will facilitate. Please contact her at the church office or to register or for more information. Group size is limited; pre-registration is required.

Our Wise and Wonderful Seniors will be gathering again soon. If you are over 55 and wish to be a part of the fellowship and fun, upcoming events will begin in late September. Contact Janet Bower at the church office or if you would like to know more.

In January and February, over 250 church members and friends participated in our online survey conducted by our Organization Design Task Force.  Click CCSM Survey to see the results.