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.

Stay in touch this Advent season through daily prayer. Each day of Advent receive a brief prayer, written by Penny texted to your phone  at some random time (between 7am-7pm Pacific time). Let the surprise of it be part of the mystery. Let prayer enter in at unexpected moments and let it be an invitation to stop, to breathe, to experience the Holy in the moment.
To participate, text the word JOIN to 510-256-3366.  All are welcome!
More information:

December 7, February 1, March 7, April 4
6 – 8 pm, Buckham Room
On the first Monday night of the month for five months, we’ll gather for two hours to talk about the meaning of forgiveness—90 minutes to watch a film & 30 minutes for group discussion.
We’ll talk about developing forgiveness muscles and deepening our spiritual practice through wisdom and practices of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism readings, films, and personal reflections, and we’ll study the role of forgiveness and reconciliation in the wake of injustice on a larger and/or institutional scale.
We will: describe in our own words what forgiveness is and is not; explain how a grievance story is created; cite examples of how forgiveness promotes health and well-being; identify scriptures and practices regarding forgiveness; describe their progress in applying forgiveness in our own lives and ministries; and listen and support others on their journeys toward forgiveness. A book recommendation for this group is Forgive for Good by Dr. Fred Luskin.
Upcoming Films:
Monday, December 7: The Cats of Mirikitani (2006) 74 min. Documentary about a homeless Japanese artist imprisoned in an internment camp during WWII and what it takes for him to let go of anger and resentment.
Monday, February 1: Amish Grace (2010) 88 min. Documentary about the 2006 shootings at an Amish schoolhouse that depicts the difficulties and complexities of the spiritual practice of forgiveness.
Monday, March 7: Forgiving Dr Mengele (2006) 82 min. Documentary: Eva Mozes Kor and her twin sister, Miriam, the girls were able to survive Auschwitz; much of their family did not. Kor returns to Auschwitz on a quest to heal her wounds with an astonishing and controversial act of forgiveness.
Monday, April 4: A Man Named Pearl (2006) 78 min. Documentary about the life an African American man who turned obstacles into breathtakingly beautiful possibilities in a magical garden as well as his extraordinary life, both of which serve as inspirations to his family, his community, and the thousands of visitors who come to experience Pearl’s world each year.

20/30s at CCSM • Monday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Guadalajara Grill, 19 Laurie Meadows Dr., San Mateo
If you’re an adult under 40, you’re invited to join us for fellowship, dinner, and conversation!
Stay tuned for more ways to gather during Advent! Contact Joliene ( if you would like more information or would like to be added to our email list.

After church pick an ornament off the Adopt-A-Family tree on the loggia. On each ornament is the name of a gift requested by a needy neighbor. Bring the gift back to church, and Anne Fuller will bundle the presents for each family; Blanketeers adds a quilt for each family member. Deadline for bringing gifts to the office is December 18.
Tuesdays and Thursdays (and Wednesday, Dec. 16), join our hungry neighbors from Samaritan House who dine in Kloss Hall from 4:30 to 6:00pm. Volunteer at Sign up for the Dining Room.

MUSIC & ART • Friday, December 18  at noon
Pat Pepper’s home, 325 W. Bellevue Ave., SM
Carl Pantle will honor us with vocal solos of the Christmas season as well as piano renditions of carols. We’ll conclude with a carol sing-along. There will also be a cookie exchange. Bake 2 or 3 dozen of your holiday favorites (or purchase if you don’t bake). Guests and newcomers are most welcome.  Bring your own sandwich/salad; dessert and beverages are provided.  Please reserve your space by calling Zelta Adams, 650-341-1644.

LAS POSADAS • December 19, 5:30-9:00 pm at CCSM
Las Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish and it commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search to find shelter for the birth of Jesus. It is a re-enactment of their difficult journey. A journey, in keeping with Luke’s biblical story, where Mary and Joseph hear the words “No!…No room!” as they ask for a place to stay.
I love this celebration and creative re-enactment of Luke’s story because it always reminds me and encourages me to consider my own practice of hospitality. I believe Advent is an appropriate time to consider how we respond to newcomers in our midst.
So mark your calendars for the service of Las Posadas. It will be a great day of not only a communal and participatory liturgy, but a time to enjoy tamales, pan dulce, ponche, and a piñata for the kids. Finally, my mom, along with several women from the community, have already volunteered to make the tamales! For those who are interested in helping or learning how to make tamales, ALL are welcome to join the tamalada! It will be a great opportunity not only to meet my mom, but to develop relationships with our neighbors.
Details to come as we get closer to the day. Many blessings to all of you during this advent season.
—Jorge Perry Bautista

CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK with Franc D’Ambrosio
December 20 • 2pm at CCSM
CCSM is thrilled to welcome the legendary Franc D’Ambrosio—Broadway’s “Iron Man of the Mask”—to the Bay Area for a special engagement of his Christmas in New York to benefit Accademia Vocale Lorenzo Malfatti di Lucca and the programs of CCSM.
With over 2,300 performances, Franc held the title “World’s Longest Running Phantom of the Opera” for over a decade, and starred as Anthony Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather III. Franc co-founded the Accademia in Lucca (Italy) in honor of his teacher, Lorenzo Malfatti.
Appearing with Franc are Portland-based pianist Stephanie Lynne Smith and prospective Accademia student, contralto Jasmine Johnson, currently in studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
This event WILL SELL OUT. Only a limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. General admission is $35. You may purchase tickets at  or ask Pearly in the church office if you need help.

Sunday, December 20, we’ll meet in the Buckham Room after church for a quick but delicious soup lunch (or mac and cheese.) We’ll divide up into groups and off we’ll go to visit some of our CCSM members, singing songs of the season. We should be back in the parking lot by around 1:45 pm. (just in time for the concert if you are planning to attend!)

Stop by the loggia on your way to coffee hour on Sunday, December 20, and pick up a poinsettia to take to one of our members who can’t make it to church regularly. We’ll supply the name and address, and we ask members of the congregation to re-connect with someone you haven’t seen in awhile, or better yet, meet someone new. The board showing the “CCSM Neighborhoods” will be set up nearby, so you can spread some holiday cheer to a neighbor!

The magic of a familiar story retold by our children. The sparkly eyes and (askew) wings of angels. A donkey carrying (and maybe accidentally dropping) the precious mother and child. The Innkeeper who can’t decide if there is room. The stable animals bearing creaturely witness (by baaing and braying) to the birth of hope and peace in newborn baby, Jesus. Joseph, the unlikely, adoring father standing by (or somewhere in the vicinity). The Three Kings (or Two Kings, if someone can’t make it) guided by a beckoning star (which gets lost before finding the manger). The shepherds frolicking (or racing) down the hillside to see this infant who promises to light hearts with love. The miracle of the unfolding Christmas Pageant, just like the miracle of Christmas, is not in what should be, but in what is. As much as we try to rehearse our lives and structure them around a particular dream or plan, we often end up surprised by what actually happens. Why not embody that spirit of surprise and joy at what is, rather than what should be, in our Christmas Pageant this year?
We have such a rich tradition of Christmas Pageants at CCSM. Trying something new, especially when it means “letting go” is really challenging. But, at the suggestion of one of our parents and the inspiration of several Children’s Ministers who have experienced the beauty of an unrehearsed pageant, here’s what we’ll do, at least for this year. All children (ages 3-12) who want to participate—get to participate. Just sign your child up here: Christmas Pageant Sign Up or let Bonnie know. There will be no formal rehearsals to try to fit into your schedule ahead of time. The whole pageant community—kids, parents/grandparents/responsible adults and our pastors—will gather at CCSM on  the Pageant Day, December 20, at 8:30am, to help our actors get into costume and run through the story once before worship starts. Older kids who want speaking parts will be given the script ahead of time—all the other actors will enjoy the surprise of taking an important role chosen for him/her. The whole congregation will get to sigh in wonder as we let go of “perfect” and allow the gifts in the Christmas story to open up to us in unexpected ways.
With questions, to help iron the beautiful costumes Robin Truffa made, or to help with the set, staging and blocking, please contact Bonnie, She will be extremely grateful for your help. Plus, it will be lots of fun!

Each Sunday in Advent, the very beginning of our worship service is enriched by four children who stand with candles in a living wreath. We light one more candle each week in expectation of coming hope, love, joy and peace. On Christmas Eve, we add the Christ candle.
It would be lovely to see your child in the wreath. There is no age requirement, just the willingness and ability to hold a candle for a few minutes and say one sentence into the microphone. Please let Bonnie know,, when your child will be able to participate.

PEACE VILLAGE: A Wandering Star
We are reminded during the Advent journey that important moments happen in the fullness of time. Apparently, a winter Peace Village is not the right time. Last week, the Peace Village Planning Team, comprised of faith leaders from CCSM, PTBE, Muslim Children’s Garden School and the Yaseen Foundation, decided to move our Peace Village into July. We found that it is very difficult for our high school teens and our children to add another scheduled program during the winter break—a time needed for rest and renewal in the middle of their busy school lives.
The commitment to creating the best Peace Village ever is strong and vibrant. So, watch for it, San Mateo—Peace Village is coming in July. More details and an open registration opportunity will be coming soon.
Please contact Bonnie with your questions or thoughts,

Mondays, 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.

CCSM’s EPIPHANY PARTY, Friday January 8
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Suggested Donation $25
Heavy Appetizers
Ornament Exchange
Bring a wrapped ornament to exchange (No more than $5)

Celebrate our hero of freedom and justice by helping the less fortunate in the county. Over twenty-five projects to choose from including ones at North Shoreview School.
Family-friendly with children 5 and up welcome at most projects. An opportunity to work side by side with those of other faith and cultures! Save the date—start the new year with kindness. More info to come.

January 31, 11:45am, Buckham Room
Led by Steve Davis with Bonnie Rambob
Child predators. Cyberbullies. Sexting. School shootings. Fear. Fear. Fear. We are being buried in news that our children aren’t safe and that we must be right there to protect them. The result:
• Kids afraid and unable to make basic decisions when they leave home.
• Helicopter parents.
• Deserted neighborhoods where no one plays outside.
• Adults afraid or forbidden to be part of the lives of children.
• Fear of the police and child protective services.
It doesn’t have to be this way. It didn’t used to be this way.
There is a movement that is taking on the fear. Pushing back against restricting parent rights and treating our youth like babies. It is the Free Range Kids movement.
Come join a discussion about Free Range Kids. Parents, youth, kids, single adults and anyone else is welcome.
P.S. – by any and all measures we are all safer today than we were ever before.

Experience the challenges of our neighbors across the border. Spend Friday with former CCSM minister Jerri Handy at Las Memorias (a shelter for deportees from the US who are HIV positive). On Saturday help a sister church build a house for a needy family in Tijuana. And Sunday travel with the border patrol between the walls and then stroll through Chicano Park in San Diego. Room for only seven—so sign up soon. Estimated cost about $600, including flights. Email for details.

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.