Hear what brought some of our CUMC members through our doors and keep them here:
On our first Sunday I was warmly greeted with, “Are you a Douglas Aircraft Engineer”? “No, I am a Ford Engineer” was my reply. (Those were the days when many H.B. residents were Douglas employees). The caring attitude for the people inside as well as outreach to those outside of the church impressed us. This church really practiced God’s love to all people. We knew that we had found our new church home.
That’s how we got here, but what kept us was getting involved. The more committees, small groups, etc. that we joined connected us with amazing people who have become lifelong friends. Our sons also grew up in CUMC, and their values were learned at a young age. We are so pleased that their families are involved in the churches they have joined.
God guided us to CUMC, and we are truly grateful for a wonderful life here at Community!
New husband and new home…oh, yeah, and a new cancer diagnosis. Life was wonderful and uncertain all at the same time. God had always been a part of my life, but after high school, church, not so much. Adjusting to a new environment and dealing with the chemotherapy, I knew there was something missing and was pretty sure I knew what it was, so, pre-Google, I let “my fingers do the walking” and found CUMC about 5 minutes away. PERFECT!
As soon as Bruce and I stepped onto the campus we were warmly welcomed. The service was the most spiritual and emotional experience I have ever had. We returned home knowing we had found our church home. It took us 3 or 4 years to become involved and, looking back, I’m sorry it took so long.
I am grateful for pastors who encouraged me to expand my faith through action and service; I am grateful for United Methodist Women, whose purpose is a template for my ministry; I am grateful for CUMC’s inclusive community, with whom I can share my joys and concerns and know that in agreement or argument, respect is present and judgment is absent; and, most of all, I am grateful for an all-knowing, forgiving God whose loving arms I feel surrounding me during my brightest moments and darkest hours, and all the time in between.
I have been a Methodist since I was in the 4th grade and began walking to church on my own. I became a “grateful” member of CUMC when I moved to Huntington Beach in1978. I have valued Sunday services from the sermons, music, and fellowship. My children and I have learned and grown from Sunday School and Bible study classes. There is a place for everyone’s talents at CUMC and I have been privileged as a clinical social worker to chair Church and Society which addresses areas of social need and justice. My faith has helped me to navigate through the many challenges in my life, and to stay hopeful.
Our first visit to CUMC was the first Sunday of Rev. David Rogne’s first Sunday in the pulpit as the pastor for CUMC. Later he performed our wedding. I was not a Methodist (I am still not a Methodist) so he married us outside the church.
I have grown to like CUMC for many reasons. The church and the Methodist structures are important and good. But the people of the congregation are great. Many have moved here from other parts of town. But people are from other parts of the state, even other states. Many have different religious backgrounds. They can participate in many people and family oriented activities. Sunday school – yes. And other social activities: picnics, church camps, lawn parties, BBQ’s – you name it. Music – the music is great: adult choir, youth choir, children’s choir, adult bell choir, youth bell choir
CUMC is full of people ideas of both worship and social activities. One of the first outside people activities in which we participated was called “Supper Club.” A group of four adult couples have dinner each month, over four months – a different host each time. It was (and is) a wonderful way to meet and get to know each other on a personal basis. CUMC is full of people and ideas for both worship and social activities. Go CUMC!
I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a variety of people who make our community the joyous place it is. The various committees and gathering groups bring us together to celebrate. The cross-generational energy in Moments With Children, Fall Festival, Vacation Bible School, Messy Church, and so many other events is life affirming.
The many approaches to growing and sustaining our community provide rich conversations as we discern the approach we will take today for the good of tomorrow. Committee meetings abound with ideas and genuine concern. This is a rich place, full of the very meaning of community. It is a privilege to participate!
When my husband and I moved our four children to California from Ohio we knew no one, nor had any friends or relatives here. It was like moving to a foreign country that spoke the same language. I went church shopping and did not feel at home or welcomed until we came to Community United Methodist Church. I am grateful that it was close by and that I met the members out and about in the community. It helped us feel part of the community. I grew up in church but liked the Methodist focus of helping others. And I am grateful that the church is traditional in service, like my old church, yet liberal in its service to others.
Over 22 years ago my mom came to visit me and wanted to attend church on the Sunday she would be in town. I informed her there was a Methodist church “down on Heil.” I was not doing the church thing those days so she went that Sunday and informed me that, “There are good things going on there and you should check it out some time.” So I eventually made my way over to the church on Heil.
CUMC has been a place where I have felt loved and cared for. It has been a place where I have been given many opportunities to be God’s hands both in the community and on our campus. It has been a place where I have been able to travel in my faith journey freely. CUMC has been a place where I was able to find solid ground when my life got very wobbly. The Holy Spirit moved through many of you during that time and for that I feel blessed and grateful. CUMC has also been a place where my children were loved, nurtured and yes, sometimes tolerated.
So my mother was right and I am thankful that she found this church.
- Welcomed by Leona Falk on the first Sunday we attended.
- We were given a tour of the campus by Bill Fugard.
- Uplifting sermons by Jan Wiley and now, Ginny Wheeler.
- Outstanding music
- No rules about what to wear (clothes, perfume, etc.).
- A palatable stewardship campaign.
- Emphasis on Christ.
- Compassionate at times of hospitalization and death.
It began by enrolling my children, Marianne and Adam in the best preschool! It’s finishing as CUMC’s Memorial Hostess. In between, CUMC ‘s many opportunities allowed me to teach my children how volunteering enriches your life. Over the decades, I’ve served on many committees including Worship and Music and have completed innumerable duties. I’ve gained invaluable knowledge by volunteering in the office, directing Acolytes and operating multi-media. This has also given me confidence and forced an introvert to become an extrovert (a good thing!) Better yet, I’ve made many wonderful friendships, especially in the Music Department. I could fill a book on all of my treasured memories. CUMC has enriched every aspect of my life. For that…I thank God.
We joined CUMC in 1997 and knew quickly we’d found our spiritual home in Huntington Beach. It is a place we can set aside day to day challenges, worship among friends, and get a chance to quietly reflect on things that are more important to us. Without this home it would be very easy to be consumed by day to day stresses. Beyond the spiritual nourishment we’ve gained , the fabulous CUMC Preschool helped get our kids launched into the world. And to top it off we’ve had some pretty darn good pastors to boot!
– Krista Bilderbach
It all started on Sunday morning in 1997, when a I walked into CUMC at 10:30. The congregation was full of people of different ages and hair colors – always a good sign. I thought this might be a good place.
Fast forward many years and I have found fun: work mission trips, youth group!, learning: Bible studies, personal stories of other attendees, fellowship: supper club, scrapbooking Fridays, support (pretty much everyone everyday) and spiritual: worship on Sunday’s, Messy Church, tithing, youth group, friendships. I have supported the administration of CUMC through serving on various committees and participating in services.
CUMC is a place to be involved in so many ways and so many days. I am grateful for all of the opportunities to participate in the ministries of the United Methodist Church, both locally, nationally, and globally. Locally: through such programs as Work-as-Worship Sundays, fall festival, food closet, shower ministry and Southwest Community Center, nationally: through work missions, and disaster recovery, globally: through donations to UMCOR, work team, and sponsorships in Africa and missions support.
Each year brings a new way that I am strengthened and blessed by my association and membership with this congregation of the UMC. I’ll see you Sunday morning!
In the years I’ve been a member I’ve been surrounded by people who remember me with a smiling hello no matter how long a current absence has been. I’ve moved my Mother from the east coast and had several surgeries – for the surgeries I’ve had pastoral visits, phone calls and dinners sent in. Been stopped in Church and had calls asking how Mom is doing. The Lord is alive within this Church – I’m never alone.
The sermons I take home with me I love the music. This church has an incredible variety of groups – just beautiful.
Thank you, all, for the love and care.
Doug and I have both been involved in the Methodist church since we were toddlers in Iowa and Minnesota; in Sunday School and MYF as youths. We met as adults in California and bonded over our mutual backgrounds in the Methodist church. We were married at CUMC and our two sons were baptized in the church. Over the years, we have had many great memories as a result of our participation in youth education programs, Habitat for Humanity, UMW and Mission U, work teams, adult and youth music ministry, sound system team, the liturgist program, various committees, and Stephen Ministry leadership. Our involvement at CUMC has given us rewarding opportunities to serve others in meaningful ways and has enriched our lives. We are grateful for our experiences here at CUMC and are thankful for the caring people we have met over the years.
I have been beyond blessed to call Community UMC my church home and where I have the pleasure of serving in ministry for the past 13 years. This church family has allowed me to grow into the person that God has been calling me to be, that I never thought I would become, and continues to challenge me to be. I have been blessed and honored to be a part of church families during times of blessings and crisis and have learned so much about God’s love and grace in the process. There are so many people in this church that live out their faith in remarkable ways and I feel blessed to be able to call them part of my church family. Community UMC is a place where one can grow, serve, and try new things and if you fall there is someone to help you up. It is a place where people love you for who you are, a beloved child of God. It is place where you can be challenged, uplifted and inspired to grow into the person that God is calling you to be.
I don’t want to miss the hug of the minister after worship service on Sundays for I know it is a means of God’s blessings to me for the week. It makes me feel assured of His unfathomable love.
As I go about in the community I feel more loving and persistent in sharing God’s wonderful love for all.
It is hard to put into words how much CUMC has positively influenced my life. Since I moved away for college and have actively looked for a faith community on my own, I’ve realized what a unique, special church CUMC is. At CUMC I am a part of a family where everyone loves and cares for each other. I can’t think of another place that is so openly caring and supportive of their community. CUMC has given me so many opportunities to expand my faith and understanding of how to live a Christian life. Through Sunday school, choirs, youth group, mission trips, church camp and Sunday services I have gained experience and knowledge that has shaped who I am today. As a young adult, I look forward to continuing to learn about God and my faith as well as finding new ways to be active in the church community. I’m grateful for the foundation that CUMC has given me.
I found CUMC at a crucial time in my life when I had already lost a brother and my mother, and was searching for spiritual reconnection. CUMC proved to be that fortuitous crossroads that brought not only a sense of peace and further understanding of my spiritual questions, but it also became a nurturing home in which to raise our young family. Our boys have the gift of childhood memories growing up in this church, going on youth work team trips, serving others, experiencing such great support from a community like ours and building a strong foundation for their own spiritual beliefs.
Neal and I have always tried to be open-minded and well-rounded in our individual and shared beliefs and interests, and CUMC has been no different. We have grown and learned so much during our 25 years at CUMC, have recognized that service to others has taught us more about ourselves than anything else we’ve done in our lives. Our involvement on work teams, the SHIP program, the Food Closet, volunteering for youth projects, various committees and workshops have brought us so much fulfillment, knowing we’ve hopefully helped those in need or made a difference in others’ lives. CUMC has graciously provided that avenue for growth by instilling in us a sense of community and service, and for that we are grateful.
After visiting several churches in this area I came to Community and knew this was home. I was invited to a circle the day I joined. Until then, I had not realized how wonderful and important it is to have loving women friends.
I found my best friend at Community, too.
I have been grateful for this church community for a very long time. As a young adult I looked up to members like Jean and Chet Peters, as they welcomed Eric and me sitting in their pew. I looked up to Trudy Roe and Sue Johnson as I saw how devoted they were/are to their families as well as the time they spent in service to others. I enjoy being part of a group of families who get to raise our children in a place where love is a priority.
Now, I am the middle-aged member who enjoys having my mind expanded by the ideas and lessons that we get to learn about each week. I love being part of a community where we strive for justice and equality in this world. I am grateful to be in this community where members go out and try to help those who are suffering in our world.
I truly feel blessed being a part of this church family.
- GRATEFUL for a comfortable church. We had been attending another HB church, but decided to try CUMC in January 2014 and felt immediately “home.” It is hard to explain, other than it all felt comfortable. Jan Wiley was in her last few months here, although she did not realize it yet. Jan knew my brother and made us feel quite welcome from the start.
- GRATEFUL for a church with such caring and competent staff and lay people. Everywhere one probes, you find strong (overworked) lay people and staff running well-developed programs that they care passionately about.
- GRATEFUL for a musical church. We love the wide range of music that is (for us) the “centerpiece” of worship…It is wide ranging, and full of surprises. Many types of music, differing groups, all ages, etc…even a barbershop quartet and a Dixieland band. I wish I played a sax!
- GRATEFUL for an outreach oriented church that lives beyond its own campus. For such a small congregation, we are grateful for CUMC’s wide-ranging set of outwardly focused activities that help the greater good. This ranges from Messy Church, to Pre-school, to youth and adult mission teams, to Ginny being on the trustees of Claremont School of Theology training the next generation of ministers, to shower ministry, to food pantry ministry…and the list goes on and on. Such a wide and diverse set of contributions!
- GRATEFUL for the almost “regular” surprise of discovering how other members are involved in ministry beyond our CUMC outreach activities. Our members pop up everywhere, giving of their time and resources to community charitable efforts.
- GRATEFUL for getting engaged. Our previous church had allowed us to quietly attend and not be otherwise involved. We did not realize what we were missing. Not so with CUMC. Ginny quickly encouraged us to get involved, finding things we could do that fit into our “life situation.” We are grateful for being able to contribute to something bigger than our personal lives.
- GRATEFUL for friendships. It’s interesting how many acquaintances at CUMC slowly develop into friendships.
- GRATEFUL for Jim Jones…without whose tenacity we would not have sat down and figured this out! I think I will go to church Sunday!
It is hard to imagine my life without CUMC. The experiences and the relationships I’ve formed with so many people working in the spirit of faith have transformed my life in many ways. I am grateful for all the learning and leadership opportunities that have helped me grow spiritually and in my confidence to share my faith with others. I am grateful for the opportunities to live out that faith through work at the Food Closet, the Preschool, Messy Church, and a LOT of committee work.
While learning and volunteering opportunities are available outside of the church, without the faith component I’m not sure the experiences would be as meaningful or transforming. I’m proud and grateful to belong to a church that is concerned with social justice and education, that serves others so generously and gives opportunities for it’s members to grow, learn, serve, and share God’s love with everyone.
I may be most grateful to CUMC for providing a place of love and support for my children. Throughout their lives they have been loved and accepted for who they are; not just in their accomplishments or contributions, but simply because they are a part of this church community. What a gift!
When we are at church, it feels like home.
How is CUMC helping to nudge me along on my faith journey? Hmmm … I think that participating weekly in our Shower Ministry has shown me that being God’s hands and feet and doing God’s work in this time and place doesn’t have to involve a huge amount of time and energy …. it can be a simple as listening quietly to the stories of how our guests came to be in their present circumstances … and it is a good reality check gratefully reminding me that much of what I take for granted is often denied or unavailable to many others in our community.
In 1980, my daughter, Kristi, (who was 3) and I started attending CUMC. I appreciate so much the Christian education program and children’s music programs that kept my daughter eager to attend church each Sunday. I personally have learned about the teachings of Jesus from each of the many ministers that we have had here at CUMC. I also really enjoy and learn from the Wednesday evening book studies. CUMC has also given me opportunities to serve the homeless and to teach Sunday School. I also have met many terrific people here at church. I even met my excellent husband, Howard, at the coffee table at CUMC. I am thankful to CUMC for being an outstanding support to me in raising my daughter, giving me opportunities to serve and learn, and helping me to live a Christian life.
What am I thankful for? I am grateful that I am a member of CUMC. For over two decades, I have worked as a volunteer. With so many other volunteers, we are able to show what our church is all about. We are not just a building, as the saying goes, we are the church, you, I and our staff personnel.
One of Matthew’s scripture readings asked us to take care of our brothers and sisters who are needy, hungry, sick, and poor. We at CUMC are trying to do that. We have several outreach programs: Food Closet, Missions, and the Ship program just to mention a few.
Together we have raised money for the malaria nets. It is so great that people in foreign countries are able to receive some help from this harmful disease. Two of my relatives were affected by the illness and I am grateful for being a part of a large cause to help protect others.
James Calhoun, Director of Music/Worship Leader
I am thankful to God for the Community UMC family and for the way that you have warmly received me and my family over these past four months. Hard to believe it’s only been four months, but I feel right at home here, which at times surprises me, but I’m grateful. I’m one of those people who believes that life’s encounters are no accident, but by design.
I can’t even recall where I saw the job posting, but there it was, Community UMC was searching for a full time Director of Music/Worship Leader. The deadline was March 1, and after much procrastination on my part, and as the deadline loomed, a close friend encouraged me to apply. And the rest is history. In retrospect it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I believe God brought me to CUMC “for such a time as this” just as He did with Queen Esther. I am delighted and thankful to have a place where I can share with the people of God the vast variety gifts that He has blessed me with, a congregation that strives to do the things Jesus asked of His followers, “feed the poor, clothe the naked, care for the sick and dying, and visit those that are imprisoned.” I look forward to being a partner in ministry with Rev. Ginny and the entire staff at CUMC to see what God has in store for this phenomenal family of faith. I am grateful to be here with you for “the best is yet to come.”
Being a part of a community of believers has become as essential to my spiritual wellness as water is to my health. Though I haven’t been a long time member at CUMC, I have experienced a loving welcome and have made many new friends. What I look for in a worshiping community is a place where you can share your joys, sorrows, and concerns, be lifted in prayer and feel the outpouring abundance of God’s love. A place where people can come together in worship and support each other as we travel on our faith journey, regardless of the path we might take, and choose to see the Christ in each other. Through the messages of God’s Word, the music, and fellowship I have been blessed and am grateful to be a part of CUMC.
As a military family with 3 very young children in the early 70’s, our family was assigned to Southern California and we knew not one person in this area. CUMC became our “village” and extended family. Our children grew up in this church and all 3 were married here. Although, another military assignment took us to Tennessee for 5 years, when we returned in 1982, our first Sunday back in town found us at CUMC. We remain in “gratitude” for the continued love over the many, many years!!
I joined CUMC in 1972 and met my wife Kathie in 1984. We married in 1990 and continued supporting the Church with our attendance and financial support until we retired. After retirement we started supporting the church with our personal services. I have made many friends through Community United Methodist and now my life revolves around family and commitments to the church. CUMC is an important part of my life and I hope to continue my support as long as possible.
This quotation from Matthew 25:35, 40 summarizes succinctly my family’s experience at CUMC when we settled in Huntington Beach in 1985-86. We had been looking for a church family ever since we arrived in the United States after living through more than thirteen years of civil warfare in Lebanon and it was the hand of God that led us to the church on Heil. We found there a congregation that embraced us from day one and gave us a place of comfort and restoration.
CUMC was not only a place of worship, but also a venue for spiritual growth through a variety of church activities: classes, prayer, meetings, men’s and women’s groups, and choirs, among other programs. It was the perfect place to raise a family through song, praise, and outreach.
Last but not least, CUMC was a fountain of love and fellowship given freely to young and old. This is where we met people who shared our values, who gave of their talent and time and who opened their hearts and minds welcoming all who came. For that, my family and I are truly grateful.
One of the many positive influences the church has facilitated has been my “family time.” Our family dedicates Sunday mornings to church and time spent together. Without CUMC I would miss the warm and inviting environment, an environment that embraces both adults and children. I would miss Ginny’s vibrant energy. My boys would miss Cherub Choir and Messy Church. My boys look forward to seeing Dave and Sonia weekly.
I am most grateful to the church and its members. They have been instrumental in helping me educate my children. God, Jesus, and heaven can be an extremely difficult subject matter to teach.
All members are ministers of CUMC.
The ministry is broad and appreciated by me.
Christian Education serves all age groups.
Christian Service is continual and varied.
Christian inspiration provides worship, prayer, music.
CUMC provides an opportunity for all to give.
We can be grateful 30 days and every day of the year for CUMC.
Ron Gagliano and Alicia Adams
Ron – During the few months before my wife, Alicia’s, retirement, I researched the churches near our home. We were seeking one to have a good traditional church music program and to be socially and theologically liberal. I found that in Community UMC. Alicia and I have thrived in and grown with its programs and are forming bonds with friends very much like we had at our former church, Mesa Verde.
Alicia – As a relatively “new” member, there are numerous aspects of CUMC for which I am grateful and blessed. I will mention two: First, is the spirit of acceptance of all to our community which is the core of our expressions of faith to all of God’s people. Second, is the leadership provided by Rev. Ginny in this changing and difficult time for our community, country and world.
We are blessed as a congregation by her spiritual guidance and enriched as she provides administrative direction. May we always remember to love one another, coming together in God’s work for CUMC to be the best it can be for all.
Jim Van Houghten
I feel a “comfortable” relationship with God and our church family. Without a church like CUMC I would be missing this spiritual connection, which I feel is life nourishing and strengthening. I would most likely have a hollow feeling in by soul, and lack the drive necessary to face many of life’s challenges.
CUMC brings us in closer connection with our own family members and our extended family through our worship together and our many opportunities to “give back” through our service on committees, our offerings, and our fellowship in learning and sharing activities. I would miss that “connection” more than anything else. It wouldn’t exactly be similar to living on a desert island, without our CUMC relationships, but it would be close!
Most everyone has seen a movie or read a book about “time travel.” The time travelers make a big thing about being careful not to change anything in the past, because it can dramatically alter the future. Just think of all of the things that CUMC does in our local and greater community, for example, our Preschool, blood drives, food closet, shower program, lunches, bus passes and support for world-wide missionaries, to name just a few. Each one of those things affect a human life in many ways. Take just one away, and the future is probably changed for the worse. Keep doing these, and we may save lives and improve the world, not just our community.
I worship in my daily life by trusting in God and living my life as an example of His love through caring, support, joy and compassion. CUMC is the “spark” that keeps my daily living worship going.
I have been going to CUMC for as long as I can remember. I am the youngest with two older sisters and two parents. The Church, to me, is an important part of my life because my family is close to a number of other members. If I didn’t have the church, my life would be very different. If I didn’t have the church, I don’t know what I would be doing on Sunday. On Sundays I take part in the service in the morning, the Youth Bells in the afternoon and the Youth Gathering in the evening.
Some of the other things I do as a part of the church is the summer SSP youth mission trip (Sierra Service Project). SSP is a program where youth groups from many different places go to a work site for a week to work on different projects. This year was my first year at SSP and after the experience, I would definitely go again. We went to Spokane Washington, where we worked on a Spokane Indian Reservation. The work team I was assigned to built a deck for one of the homeowners on the Reservation.
I have also been going to Lazy W Ranch every summer since 2011. Lazy W is a campground in the mountains where you spend a week away from social media and any distractions in order to worship God. Lazy W has been a very meaningful experience. Every year I go to Lazy W and meet many new people as I worship God and have fun in doing it. If I ever leave the church, I know I will miss all of these activities, services, and events.
I’m grateful for the extended family I know through CUMC. The family I live with and grew up with are not the only people with whom I share a familial bond. I’ve developed loving relationships with many people across all boundaries by involvement with theUMW board and events, Miriam Circle, Book Club, Education Team, Scrip Team, Food & Fellowship groups, church picnics, harvest festivals, and simply sitting alongside others in corporate worship. It’s good to know people who care about you and hold you up in prayer. I’m grateful I don’t live my life in isolation, but rather have a very large “family” to call my own. Life is good! – Karen Nelson
Karen and John Kodrich
In the beginning…there were two main reasons for us coming to visit CUMC. We wanted a good preschool for our children. In those days the list was long to register; however, if you were a member of the church you would receive a higher priority.
We visited many local churches, but when we finally arrived at CUMC we felt like we belonged.
I shortly found that just attending a church was not the same as belonging. The only way to belong is to be involved. The way to be involved is to serve. Over the years my husband and I have served on many commissions. We have met so many wonderful people and now are blessed with many friends. We feel the presence of GOD in our life and the LOVE from the people we have met.
Life would be so different if we didn’t have our Faith, Friendship, and the Support of the community at CUMC. It is an extension of our “FAMILY.”
Remember, get involved and your life will grow in many different ways.