Who We Are
Our five-window art glass installation in the chancel is designed by the world-renowned glass artist Gordon Huether of Napa, California.
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. 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 part of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and support its “God is Still Speaking” Campaign. Since 2002, we have been 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.
CCSM's Guiding Principles
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.
Staff & Leadership
Rev. Jessica Vacketta, Senior Minister
She enjoys being "Aunt Jess" to Lily, Penny, and Theo who live in Livermore, and she looks forward to many adventures in the Bay Area with her California family (which also includes her sister, Leslie, and brother-in-law Greg). Jessica loves deviled eggs, holiday cups, and discovering new restaurants. If she's not at the church, you can probably find her at a local coffee shop or walking around downtown San Mateo listening to a podcast.
Rev. Dr. Sheryl Johnson
Minister to Children, Youth and Families
Sheryl Johnson (she/her) was born on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations, Treaty 1 territory, in what is colonially known as Winnipeg, Canada. She grew up and was ordained in the United Church of Canada and holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an M.Div and Master's of Pastoral Studies (MPS) from Emmanuel College, Toronto. Sheryl served as an intern with People's Action Forum (Zambia) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and served in ministry with several Canadian congregations. She and her spouse, Kelly Colwell, moved to the Bay Area in 2016 to pursue PhDs at Graduate Theological Union; Sheryl earned hers in 2020.
Director of Operations
& Graphic Design
Webmaster & Technical Support
Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon, Minister Emerita, Retired
Currently, Penny works as a consultant at the intersection of affordable housing and faith communities.