Who We Are
Founded in 1864 when San Mateo was a little village of 400 people, CCSM has grown and evolved with this dynamic region. We’re inspired by our 150-year history as we focus on what it means to be a spiritual community here and now in the 21st century.
We are part of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and support its “God is Still Speaking” Campaign.
We are a Congregational Church which means we are our own independent, self-governing body with an active lay leadership team and high volunteerism among our members. While independent, we maintain fellowship with other UCC churches.
Our vision is to be a strong voice for Progressive Christianity on the San Francisco Peninsula and beyond, to build a beloved community and to lead in championing social justice for all.
We are an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation. This is a UCC designation which means that we affirm the full inclusion of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions into CCSM’s life and ministry.
To get a sense of our essentials, we offer our guiding principles that are intended to describe the spirit and nature of our congregation as well as Progressive Christianity. We seek to hold ourselves accountable to live them in community together.
We are a Spiritual Community
We welcome the full participation of believers, agnostics, and skeptics from all faith traditions. We are all at different places on our spiritual journeys, and we come together to support each other as we seek connection with God through ritual, artistic expression, nature, study, and fellowship.
We are Christian
We follow Jesus’s example as a way of life and a way of love. Following Jesus is rooted in our identity as Christians, and we cherish our tradition’s sacred book, the Bible, for its spiritual wisdom contained in symbol, metaphor, and history. We also explore other faith traditions and learn from other sacred texts as we seek to answer Jesus’ call to love.
We are God’s Hands, Feet and Face
We work together to feed the hungry, care for the sick, house the homeless, and advocate for a more just society. We do this knowing that God has no hands but our hands, no feet but our feet and no face but our face.
We are Inclusive
We celebrate Jesus’ teachings of radical equality and the differences among us including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, age, and mental and physical disabilities. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
We are Open Minded
We recognize the inherent worth of each of us, and we listen to different points of view in order to learn and grow. We strive to practice empathy and compassion, and we seek to understand one another.
We are Evolving
We experience faith as a quest, not a set of absolute truths. We welcome change, seek transformation, and explore new ways of being faithful because we know that God is still speaking.
A gift from the past. A promise for the future.
Rev. Melissa Douaire, Interim Senior Pastor
Administration & Operations
Children & Youth
Our campus is comprised of multiple buildings: our Sanctuary, Loggia building (office and meeting rooms), Kloss Hall, and our Betsy Woodward Christian Education building. We also have a Memorial Garden and central courtyard.
Housed on our campus is the Muslim Children’s Garden School, a preschool committed to teach and grow children through group learning, a sense of community, and Islamic values. Also on our campus is Little Wonders: A Parent-Child Center, a play-based, cooperative parent-child education center that teaches parents about child growth and development.
Learn more about how to hold your wedding or special event at CCSM.
Click HERE to view a slideshow of photos of CCSM's campus and facilities.
Our beautiful Sanctuary is fully accessible — with wheelchair and hearing-impaired accessibility aids – so that we can welcome everyone…wherever you are on life’s journey.
It’s designed in the classic Spanish colonial revival style with a bell tower and carved, double wood main doors. The interior, which seats 400, has a long center aisle, an open chancel for flexibility and a balcony.
Its stunning visual focal point is a timeless five-window art glass installation designed by the world-renowned glass artist Gordon Huether of Napa, California. Our windows serve as the backdrop for our worship and special events.
During our services and special concerts, our Sanctuary reverberates from the magnificent tones of our Casavant Frères pipe organ, considered by many to be one the best pipe organs in the state of California.
Columbarium and Wall of Remembrance in our Memorial Garden: Beauty, Renewal, and Remembrance
“We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” Hebrews 12:1
Our Memorial Garden is our open-air sanctuary. In this sacred space, we honor the cycle of CCSM’s spiritual community — the connections from those who have gone before and those who will come after.
It is designed for meditation and prayer and is comprised of our Labyrinth, Columbarium, and Wall of Remembrance.
Walk our Labyrinth and experience the simultaneity of the past and present; of the body and the soul; of the physical and the spiritual. The journey is one foot after another, and it is a path to the holy place inside us.
As a congregation, we are connected to those who have gone before us. The Columbarium is a sacred space designed as a granite wall for the permanent placement of cremated remains in an urn within individual niches. Each niche has enough space for two urns and each has a granite faceplate covering that can be engraved. The Columbarium allows members and friends of CCSM or their relatives to be interned in a place that has spiritual significance for them. The Memorial Garden is a restful and beautiful place that is open for private prayer and contemplation.
The price of $4,000 per niche includes initial interment of one or two urns and plate engraving, as well as care in perpetuity.
Wall of Remembrance
For those whose remains are elsewhere, but whose lives are remembered by those here at CCSM, there is the naming opportunity to permanently engrave your loved ones’ names on a beautiful granite wall. Naming holds power. A physical place, where a name can be seen and felt, can offer a sense of permanence and comfort to loved ones who remain. An etched name can be an act of honoring, of relating through memory.
The price of $800 covers the engraving.
To learn more about memorializing a loved one, obtaining a niche for interment of a loved one’s remains, or to reserve space for your future use, please email Chase Montara, Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-343-3694.
We support these through our plate offerings every Sunday, and through our volunteerism.
Each organization is linked to a member of the congregation.
Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS) (Latino cultural arts and social services)
Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition
CALL Primrose (community services, central San Mateo County)
Camp Cazadero Scholarships
Charitable Assistance Discretion Fund
Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA)
Foster the Bay
Help a Mother Out
Home and Hope (emergency family shelter)
Homework Central (tutoring, San Mateo)
Intercommunal Pre-school (low income preschool, San Mateo)
LGBTQ+ Pride Center of San Mateo
NAACP - San Mateo Chapter
Zimbabwe Mother of Peace
Nepal Youth Foundation
Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County (protecting the rights of those in long-term care)
Pacific School of Religion
Peace Village (an interfaith peace education camp)
Peninsula Food Runners (food redistribution, San Mateo County)
Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center
Peninsula Multifaith Coalition
Puenta de la Costa Sur (community services, South Coast)
Rebuild South Sudan (working to build a school and support peace education in South Sudan)
Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley
Samaritan House Sanctuary Church
San Francisco Night Ministry (outreach to homeless)
Swords to Plowshares
UCC: Neighbors in Need (supporting ministries of justice and compassion in the US)
UCC: One Great Hour of Sharing (disaster, refugee/immigration, and development ministries offering)
UCC: Strengthen the Church (building the future of the United Church of Christ)
UCC: The Christmas Fund (supporting low-income retired church employees and clergy)