The Age of Coronavirus

Written by Dale Buchanan

I recently attended my first meeting via Zoom. I mention this because until very recently I had never heard of Zoom and when I heard about it I dismissed it as something I would never do. I have been a lifelong avoider of meetings of any sort. I certainly was not going to ZOOM. But then along came our present pandemic and I found my self sitting ill at ease in front of a lap-top. 

It is certainly true that the only constant is change. I attended this meeting more than a little skeptical. I came away encouraged and hopeful. As the Food Pantry Group checked in it became obvious that it was a changed world and that new methods and new systems were going to be required as we serve food to the less fortunate in our community.

This post is designed to announce that  Free Food Friday is tentatively scheduled to happen on Saturday, August 22nd. Thus the first change.

Other changes are inevitable as we go forward. Hand in hand with the Saturday distribution is a recognition that the food pantry is a mission of the church and there is a need for volunteers.

More information will be available soon. In the meantime remember that Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” and pray about donating an hour or so once a month.


By Gayle Thornton

At Big Red Church we are doing an awesome job in Outreach and growing in ways to help in our community. But we have another challenge—Inreach! Inreach is a word I just made up to talk about the needs within our church community.

At the Big Red Church, we are family. And family takes care of each other as best it can. Sometimes someone among us is ill or has surgery and needs some meals. Or sometimes a shut-in has a hankering for a favorite to-go meal that is easy to pick up and deliver. (I know a lady like that!)

Sometimes someone in our church family needs a ride to church, to a doctor’s appointment, or to the grocery store. Giving a ride means that not only do you help them out, but you get the pleasure of getting to know them better. In the past few months Dale Buchanan and I have enjoyed getting to know one of our dear members much better as we transported her back and forth from Kerman to her chemo treatments.

How can you help? Church Life is putting together a list of folks who are available from time to time to take a meal to someone and another list of folks who could give a lift to someone who needs a ride. Would you like to be on one of these lists? Could you help out once in a while?

Please give prayerful consideration to how you might bless someone with a meal or a ride and be blessed yourself. Contact Church Life if you are interested.

Gayle Thornton


By Robbyn Mosley, Vice Moderator

Many of you are already aware of the numbers of Tricker-Treaters and their families who attended the Neighborhood Halloween Party. Eight hundred hot dogs were donated by our congregation, of which about 600 were served Wednesday evening and another 100 were warmed and served the next day to homeless folks near the Poverello House.

That, however, is not the only success of the event. In our New Beginnings process, we discussed how our congregation, in the past, has accepted challenges requiring planning, manning, and funding to achieve a successful outcome. The numbers of hot dogs served Wednesday night was not different from previous years, but this year our volunteers numbered at least thirty-three instead of less than ten, yielding much less stress. Through the use of a new program installed by our Director of Facilities and Technologies, the various tasks were listed along with time slots so a member would be able to fill in a few bits of information, check the box of the desired task on-line in a simple sign-up process and receive an E-Mail reminder two days before the event. We are still learning of this new tool’s uses but it should prove effective in organizing much of what we attempt in the future.

The following items can be considered successes to our efforts:

  • An event that benefited our surrounding community
  • Proper planning and a choice in tasks which enlisted more of our congregation in the effort
  • Advertising and organizing through electronic tools which added to the attendance and the donation of supplies and time
  • A slide show running throughout the evening which provided attendees information about who we are as a group of Christians, activities in which we are involved, and, other events that might be of interest to those in attendance
  • A Safe and Welcoming facility – open to all

Hopefully, what we are learning will lead to new avenues of mission in serving our community.

Robbyn Mosley

Vice Moderator  

Leaps of Faith Sometimes Come Out of the Blue

From Kim Williams, 
Director of Facilities, Communication, and Technology
(and enthusiast of all things vintage)

Great vintage finds are all over the shop.

Pat Morales, our FCCF Facilities Caretaker, wedding Coordinator, Event Genius, and all around amazing human being, has taken a gigantic leap of faith and has opened Out of the Blue Thrift Store. The thrift shop is located in the corner lot at Echo and Weldon.

“I called it Out of the Blue, because that’s where it came from—out of the blue!”

Morales is no stranger to business ownership, having owned and operated two pizza parlors, and a coffee shop that was located in the space that Ampersand now occupies. She says that when she saw the building was for lease, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to turn a neighborhood eyesore into a place where folks can find new treasures.

In a fly-by-the-seat-of-her pants move, she opened her doors yesterday and says that she had 15 customers by the end of the day—and this without any promotion, simply a sign saying “Now Open.” 

Art by Kirk Cruz

She plans on using her perfectly situated spot, next door to Fresno Art Hub and across the street from A Sense of Place Art Gallery to participate in Art Hop. Out of the Blue will be hosting local artist (and member of our congregation) Kirk Cruz showing his intricate and unique sharpie-marker art pieces tonight during Art Hop from 5pm–8pm.

If you’d like to support both Pat and Kirk, please drop by 2004 N Van Ness Blvd tonight. Congrats to Pat Morales on your new venture, and thank you for loving our neighborhood so much that you wanted to become a business owner here too.