You can find previous weeks’ worship packets here. You can email to request to be added to the weekly email list to receive these in your inbox.

If you have pastoral requests or concerns please email

With grace

CCLJ Staff



Hello CCLJ Family (and Friends far and wide):

We are still very much a functioning, living, breathing church. This is evidence of that. We are doing something that has never been done in the history of our church.

Below you will find a Weekly worship kit. During these weeks of at home worship we will be reflecting on what this means. Can we be significant staying at home? What does it mean to contend with illness? With an infirm world? Can we change the world from our own homes? Let’s explore these questions together by looking to the past and looking to our sacred scriptures.

Please open the at home worship guide below by clicking on it. It should open with ease. Start on page one and read through the guide.  There are four audio files that you will see below as well. Don’t listen to the audio files until the guide instructs you to. They are listed clearly as “Audio File 1,” “Audio File 2,” “Audio File 3,” and “Audio File 4.” This is to make this as simple as possible. Keep the guide open as you work through the worship guide so that you can easily access the audio files when necessary.  When instructed by the guide to listen to an audio file, simply click on the audio file that the guide instructs you to.

Also, please read all the way through the worship guide. Your staff put in an incredible amount of time in getting this together for you. There is a fun homework assignment too. We ask that you to send us a photo. This can be a selfie of you at home today, or a photo of the place you choose to worship, or a photo of something that is currently inspiring you. When we come back together we will use these photos in a special way.

With grace,

Rev. Tim Seery, Minister

Dr. Nina Gilbert, Music Director

Bronwyn Allen-Kaeser, Office Manager, Soloist


January 16th, 2022

Hi everyone! Our theme of 2022 is “Putting the Pieces Back Together” and we are almost 1/12th of the way through the year. And I can tell you, we are indeed working on this with grace, persistence, and faith. It is as if we are working on a giant jigsaw puzzle together but we don’t know what the image is yet. Sort of like when you stumble before your eyes can adjust as you enter a dark room and suddenly your pupils widen to let more light in and the dark becomes not so scary and not so mysterious anymore.

Speaking of darkness, one of our puzzle pieces is a book study that will begin in February right before Lent. We will be reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s “Learning to Walk in the Dark.” If you are interested in joining us on Zoom to read this together please let me know! We can even arrange to purchase the book and mail it to you! You don’t need to live locally to read with us. We hope that a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds will be able to join us. The announcement about this group is attached to this email. Please feel free to share widely with your friends and family.

And… speaking of Lent we are going to be unveiling Lenten spirituality boxes that will help us go deeper this Lent. The idea behind this is to connect our two communities: in person and virtual. We will be all on the same journey no matter where we are. Also, you do not need to be local to participate. You can receive a Lenten box mailed to you that will have a variety of activities and surprises that will guide us through the season. If you’d like to receive one and you are not a local friend or member of the church please email us your address!

You will also find attached to this email the text of my message from last week. If you’d like any sermon manuscripts of mine you are most welcome to them. Just contact Bronwyn or myself.

In the realm of music we have an offering from Nina this week from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He died at 37 years old of pneumonia aggravated by financial stress… If any of you are interested in learning more about this composer of color living in nineteenth century Britain check out this BBC feature on him after you have a chance to appreciate Nina’s offerings:


And of course, how could we not love Bronwyn’s rendition of “There is a Balm in Gilead” It might just be the balm our collective hearts need just in this very moment. Here is some information about the musical selections attached to this email:

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, “Pilgrim’s Song” (I’m a poor wayfarin’ stranger), No. 20 fromTwenty-FourNegro Melodies, Op. 59, 1905

Coleridge-Taylor, “Steal Away,” Op. 59, No. 23

Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)’s mother named him for the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His father was a well-educated and well-traveled administrator in West Africa, a member of the Sierra Leone Creole community of free Black people who migrated first to Nova Scotia and then to Sierra Leone around the turn of the 19th century.

Coleridge-Taylor’s contacts and influences included composers Edward Elgar and Charles Villiers Stanford, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, activist scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, and President Theodore Roosevelt. His best-known work is the cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. His Twenty-Four Negro Melodies include tunes from North America, the West Indies, and South, West, and Southeast Africa.

These two selections seem to take contrasting approaches to their tunes: “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” amplifies the meanings of the words, while “Steal Away” is based more on patterns of melody and rhythm.

There is a Balm in Gilead
Traditional Spiritual

And lastly, the first announcement about our 2022 Annual Meeting! This is a part of our congregational heritage of making decisions as a local independent church community. It is what locates us in the tradition of our Pilgrim forebears. Usually our Annual Meeting is the weekend before Super Bowl Sunday. However, these are not “usual” times and the past years have been quite “unusual.” We also have now for the first time a hybrid church. Half of us come in person and half stay home. We also have members who have continued to stay members but now live across state and national borders!

As as church that believes in inclusion we need to make our annual meeting accessible to every member. Which is why we will hold an Annual Meeting on Zoom on March 6, 2021. Why is this you ask? First, a quorum of our membership must attend for it to be valid. With how many members live far away and how many are homebound it is not possible to attain that quorum in person at this point. Second, our bylaws stipulate that the annual meeting needs to be announced “from the pulpit” 3 times. Additionally, your intrepid church staff need to chase down over half a dozen people to get reports for our 2021 Annual Report and historical archive and this takes some finagling. We thought we’d do this meeting during one of our “virtual weeks” by having a live Zoom worship service before the meeting. In order to comply with our “announce 3 weeks in advance” rule we thought about February 20th however our music director Nina Gilbert is the music director for The SpongeBob Musical and February 20th is the closing day. If you want to see this show and support community theater in San Diego you can by visiting The show runs January 28 – February 20, 2022 Thursday-Saturday @ 7pm, Sunday @ 2pm.

The SpongeBob Musical

So, get your coffee and cookies together, sit on your balcony or your porch and join us on March 6 at 10:30 am for Zoom worship followed by an Annual Meeting.

It is an exciting time to be the church and it is an adventure to be together on the journey.

With grace,

Rev. Tim





Last Week’s Message


The Audio file for my message for Sunday, January 23.



February 13, 2022

Dear CCLJ,Our worship connection includes several components today: first as we lift up the voices of black artists and composers this Black History Month we do so with the music of Nathaniel Dett and the art of Sister Gertrude Morgan, who was featured in my in-person worship sermon last week. In case you weren’t here I have attached the text copy of my message from last week. You can also tune into to the entire recorded experience on our Facebook page here:


UCCLJ Facebook

We will always live stream and archive our services on this page, so go check it out!

This week I learned about a song by a group of women folk-rock singers called The Roaches. The song is called “Jesus Shaves.” I love it. I encourage you to take a listen to it before you click on my message above. The link to the song is down below and the lyrics are included as well.“Jesus Shaves”

Jesus shaves, joins corporate America
Get’s laid off, grows his beard back
Stays up late, sees a TV commercial
About being a welder, makes a phone call

Jesus shaves, goes on an interview
Does real well, he’s got a way with people
Two years on he’s still an apprentice
But not for long, it’s graduation

Jesus shaves, put’s his best suit on
Get’s a certificate, makes it official
Now he’s a welder, wears a big helmet
And twice a week now, Jesus shaves

Blessed are the ones, who make peace
Blessed are the ones, who scrape by
Blessed are the ones living holy lives
And here’s to the rest of us who try

Jesus shaves on Sunday morning
Decides to go fishing after going to church
It’s wintertime, so he walks on water
Digs a whole in the ice and fishes for perch

Jesus shaves the scales off the fishes
Has a few fillets and a couple of brewskies
Thinks about the girl, Magdalena, in payroll
Decides that he’s gonna ask her out for dinner

Jesus shaves for work on Monday
Goes to the office, gathers his courage
He’s still don’t know just how he’s gonna ask her
Walks over to her desk and sees a picture of her boyfriend

Blessed are the ones, who make peace
Blessed are the ones, who scrape by
Blessed are the ones living holy lives
And here’s to the rest of us who try

She says hello, how are you this morning?
He asks if she knows if it’ll snow or rain
She notices him looking at the picture on her desktop
She says it’s her cousin who’s passed away

He say’s that’s great, she looks at him funny
He says he didn’t mean that, she says it’s okay
And then she smiles and they both start laughing
And that’s when he knows it’s his lucky day

Jesus shaves, smiling in the mirror
Magdalena is saying that they gotta hurry
They’ll be late for work and the school bus is coming
But their daughter likes watching as Jesus shaves

Blessed are the ones, who make peace
Blessed are the ones, who scrape by
Blessed are the ones living holy lives
And here’s to the rest of us who try.

Also, the worship PDF includes our announcements about our Zoom book group as well as our Lent Boxes–both exciting things beginning at the end of this month as we head into the season of Lent. There is still time to sign up you, your friends, or your extended family. Just shoot me an email and I can add you to the list!

With grace,

Rev. Tim


Last Weeks Sermon
1:30:22 Sermon




February 6 Worship Kit PDF
FEB 6, 2022 PDF 

This Weeks Message February 6, 2022


Christ Be Our Light


I Am The True Vine


As His Own Soul



Dear Fellow Sojourners,
Here is our every-other-week worship connection for February 27, 2022. In this email you will find a few important announcements and other helpful things to help connect you to the spark of the Divine this week. Attached to this email you will find:

1. You will find a recording of this week’s Gospel reading
2. My reflection
3. A text copy of the sermon from in-person worship last week. Feel free to read again or share!
4. Three musical selections from Nina and Bronwyn
5. An info sheet about the music and some notes from Nina
6. A graphic that contains the dates for our book study of “How to Walk in the Dark.”
7. A photo of the goodies inside the Lent kits that were mailed on Friday and should be arriving to your mailboxes soon!
First, there is still time to sign up to read the book with us. I will send the Zoom link out the week before we begin. Feel free to join us for one, two, three or all sessions. You can also just drop in to listen or spend time online with familiar faces.

Secondly, many of you will be receiving Lent boxes. They were mailed this week. If you don’t receive one this week or you have someone in your circle of friends or family who would like to participate with us please let me know. This is an open invitation to join as one church body and incorporate small daily spiritual practices into our lives during the 40 days of Lent.

We will be back in our sanctuary for worship on February 27 at 10:30 am and the following week, March 6, we will worship on Zoom and hold our annual meeting!

May you have a week filled with the holiness of the ordinary and the joys of daily living!

With grace,

Rev. Tim