; charset=UTF-8" /> A Day of Celebration for Irvine United Congregational Church : Connecting Voices
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A Day of Celebration for Irvine United Congregational Church

by  Cindy O’Dell

An inspiring sermon from the Rev. Dr. Paul Tellstrom.


Irvine United Congregational Church (IUCC) dedicated its new office and meeting space on Sunday, September 9, 2018 with stirring music; an inspiring sermon from the Rev. Dr. Paul Tellström, Senior Pastor; and a congratulatory pep talk from the Rev. Dr. Felix C. Villanueva, Conference Minister for the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

The dedication marked the culmination of a multiyear capital campaign that raised the majority of the funding for 2,900 square-foot addition to the campus. The building, an extension attached to the exiting sanctuary, adds new office spaces, three flexible-space meeting rooms, an expanded patio and a more private pastor’s patio.

Villanueva reminded the congregation and visitors that the work the new building represents is just beginning. The ultimate goal, he said, is to use the new space to further all that IUCC represents as an open and affirming, just peace, global mission and creation justice church

A congratulatory pep talk from the Rev. Dr. Felix Villanueva

“Our goal has always been to both better serve our congregation and our community. The completion of this first phase of our master plan provides much needed meeting space and allows us to expand our child care center into our former office space,” said Tellström.

“Supported by strengthened facilities, we can grow in community significance through strong programs and service to our region,” said Anne Rosse, who helped guide both the capital campaign and the building process as a member of the congregation.

“IUCC has been blessed to work with domusstudio architecture, a San Diego-based firm with extensive experience in designing religious and educational facilities. Also based in San Diego, our contractor, Wieland Corp., brought a wealth of building expertise to this project,” said Rosse.

As a Creation Justice congregation, IUCC members were particularly interested in both design and construction practices that would help promote sustainability. That included the addition of drought-tolerant plants, high-efficient LED lighting, soil stabilization and runoff control.

“Alice Walker once said, ‘Wake up and smell the possibility.’ We have been inspired by and grateful for the legacy left to us by those who came before us at IUCC. Now we are embarking on the creation of another legacy not only for the next generation of people who share in our Progressive Christian values, but for the city of Irvine itself. We are here, we are a strong voice in the faith community, and we matter,” said Tellström.

“Our IUCC campus is here for us because those who gathered here some decades ago envisioned, and provided for, the progressive community of faith that nourishes us today.  We feel their touch.  Our success is a fulfillment of their vision. Today we are proud to see IUCC stand proudly as a place of sanctuary, a place of social action, and a place above all where all are welcome,” said Renae Boyum, IUCC moderator.

The worship service that preceded the dedication also included the return of the Chancel Choir with Dr. Christopher Peterson, the new Director of Music and the dedication of a new mezuzah by Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagogue. The synagogue and IUCC shared the Alton Parkway campus until 2004 and continue to hold joint Thanksgiving services.

IUCC is at 4915 Alton Parkway Irvine, California. Additional information is available by calling the church office 949-733-0220.

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