Beyond the Comma: Conversation with author Bob Chase

Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm Irvine United Congregational Church 4915 Alton Parkway, Irvine CA 92604 Additional information at Rev. Robert Chase will host a conversation on the ways “God Is Still Speaking” in our time, including excerpts from his new book, Beyond the Comma, at 12:15 pm on Sunday, Febuary 11th at Irvine United Congregational Church.

In his book, Chase builds on the image of the comma, a mark of punctuation that separates everything that comes before, from all that is to follow, and applies it to the life journey. Some of life's "commas" are intentionally planned like a sabbatical or the birth of a child; and some are imposed by forces beyond our control such as a devastating diagnosis or a natural disaster. The author challenges the reader to be attentive to these shifts in our lives and to navigate the multi-layered "intersections" that such moments reveal. Chase contends that as we engage these moments creatively, we become more fully human.

Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Zealot comments: "Chase has written nothing less than a manifesto for how to live a reflective, active life in the modern world." Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean of the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College, adds, "a clear and clarion call for building a just and compassionate society...this book raises all the crucial questions and answers with bold exclamation points!"

After serving for ten years as founding director of Intersections International, a permanent, multi-faith initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, Chase retired in May of 2017 to devote his full-time efforts to writing and public speaking. He was director of the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communications and instrumental in developing the God Is Still Speaking campaign. He is also an award-winning film and video producer with more than 100 titles to his credit.

Signed books will be available for sale: cash, checks and credit cards accepted. For more information please go to

New Testament scholar speaking at Irvine

Irvine United Congregational Church is excited to announce that we will be hosting Prof. Amy-Jill Levine, noted New Testament scholar and in-demand speaker, on March 9, 2018!
I know it’s early, and holiday planning takes priority. But I hope you’ll begin to make this information available to your members, so you and they can be sure to “save the date.”
More information will come after Jan. 1st, as well as being publicized on our website,, and through an “Event” on our Facebook page.
Prof. Levine will also be speaking at Chapman University for Founders Day on March 10, and we are grateful for their cooperation in making her presence possible.
I’ve heard Prof. Levine speak, and you simply won’t want to miss her! Make plans now for a weekend with Amy-Jill Levine, filled with insight and humor.
I look forward to seeing you!
Steve Swope


The Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries (UCCDM) is accepting submissions of written daily devotionals in our campaign to raise awareness and educate through stories by people living with disabilities and those who care for and about them. The devotionals are to be stories, preferably taken from life experiences, meant to illuminate as well as inspire through a Bible scripture that relates in some way. Lay people and clergy are welcome to participate. Writers may submit as many stories as they like. Please note that not all submissions will be used. Content will be reviewed and determined appropriate for print and sharing by the UCCDM Board of Directors. In making a submission you are granting UCCDM permission to publish your devotional as well as share it with our United Church of Christ partners.


(Adapted from the UCC Still Speaking Writer’s Group Daily Devotionals Guidelines)

Use the devotional to illuminate how your experience with disability informs your personal theology or spiritual experience. These devotionals are meant to be an evangelism tool that helps foster greater understanding of and compassion for people living with disability, so it is important that we write them in a welcoming and supportive tone. Although not all readers may be members of the United Church of Christ, the devotionals may also serve to highlight the importance of wide-ranging inclusion in churches of the UCC.

The Title. Your title is your first opportunity to capture the reader’s attention. Titles should be chosen for relatability and potential to keep the reader reading.

Do not assume the reader has access to an open Bible while reading. The short Bible excerpt may be all the scripture the reader has to go by. Keep it simple.

Have a sharp focus. Be concise but thorough in telling the story. Concentrate on one theme.

Write for understanding by lay people, and include clergy. And not the other way around. Your work may be read by people with varying reading and comprehension levels so please do not use words or acronyms that you need a seminary degree to understand. You do not want to frustrate and ultimately lose a reader.

Devotionals are not propaganda. Do not promote programs or agendas. People turn to devotional pieces to be inspired, possibly provoked into thought or action, and ultimately drawn closer to God.

Be timely. If your story refers to a specific date or season be sure to submit it in plenty of time to be edited.

Please proofread your own work. Before submitting your work, please proofread for clarity and typos. We are all volunteers wanting to offer the highest quality product we can to our readers.


The United Church Christ and Disabilities Ministries are committed to the usage of inclusive language with respect to God and people. For more information please refer to

Length: No more than 500 words, INCLUDING date, title, your name, scripture, story, prayer.
Title: Must have one.
Format tips: (please put everything in the order stated above)
  • Minimum of 12 point type for everything.
  • Use italics for emphasis and book titles.
  • Use quotation marks around scripture.
  • Scripture citation goes after the verse.
Submissions should be sent to

Wanted: Your Pilgrim Pines Story

Do you have wonderful memories of Summer Camp? Funny stories of your adventures there? Did you discover new depths of faith? Set new goals? Make special friends? Share a never to be forgotten moment? Learn something new and exciting?

Whatever your highlight moment or moments, Connecting Voices, the e-magazine of the Southern California Nevada Conference (SCNC) of the UCC, wants to hear your story! We’re planning a series of articles and mini-articles the share the story of our beloved Pilgrim Pines. Articles may be a paragraph or two or as long as you need to tell the tale and share the wonder.

Send to: Mary Domb Mikkelson, Senior Editor, Connecting Voices, or 4558 Aragon Drive, San Diego, CA 92115.

Questions? Please call 619-265-2698. Photos (ones taken at camp would be great) also wanted (all identifiable people shown must be willing to sign releases for use of the photos). Hoping to hear from you soon!

Does your church have an event, or concern that you would like the rest of the Association to know about? Please submit as a WORD file. Email