Congregational Church
of Almaden Valley
United Church of Christ
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50th Anniversary History

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Jump to 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010.

 

Year-by-Year History

1965

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers became our first pastor on August 1, 1965

Moderator

Stan Yumen - Head of the Sponsoring Committee

Notable Events

  • Almaden Valley United Church of Christ began in spring 1965 when a small group of families met in each other's homes. 
  • Northern California Conference of UCC recruited a sponsoring committee, drawn from Santa Clara County UCC churches, to form a new UCC congregation in the Valley. Several members of that committee eventually became AVUCC members, including Dale Weishaupt and Stan and Ethel Yumen.
 

1966

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers

Moderator

Dale Weishaupt

Notable Events

  • May 1966, the church was 80 members strong
  • We moved into the Prune Shed on May 1, 1966 and thus began meeting in aformer fruit drying facility located near Crown Blvd. and Almaden Road.
  • “Blest Be The Tie That Binds” was sung, and we began the tradition of holding hands while singing it together.
 

1967

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers

Moderator

William Whisler

Notable Events

  • AVUCC became a member in full standing in the SC Association of the Northern California Conference. Now we are considered a church and not a mission.
  • Began to use lay persons in services – but only men and youth. Women came later.  
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1968

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers

Moderator

Roland Bell

Notable Events

  • Shared the Prune Shed with the Episcopal Church in Almaden.
  • A Joint Venture agreement was drawn up for 2 years.
  • In November, we had our first Joint Venture service.  
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1969

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers

Moderator

Paul Wormeli

Notable Events

  •   Our present church building was completed!
  • ECA moved in to share the building with us, and the Joint Venture Churches of Almaden was born.
  • Started having problems with the pastor, which were creating divisions in the congregation.
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1970

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers

Moderator

Don Lucas

Notable Events

  • Service times for both congregations was set.
  • AVUCC’s softball teams received trophy for being the “hardest trying”!
  • Rev. Frank Jaggers resigns, effective no later than September 1971.
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1971

Pastor

Rev. Frank Jaggers until mid-1971

Part Time interim pastors: Rev. Robert Edwards and Rev. John Carroll

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Geoffrey Van Loucks

Notable Events

  • Final JV agreement and bylaws were ratified between the two churches.
  • In interim, lay people preached, visited the sick, etc. Part time pastors simply preached on Sunday. Lay people became their own ministers.
  • Choir got new robes.  
  •  
 

1972

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Bruce Hutchins

Notable Events

  • This was a year of many social “firsts”….
    • First Ice Cream Social was held in the summer

    • First Christmas Progressive Dinner was held in December
    • First Luau sponsored by the Couple’s Club
  • JV finally approved by church's national offices
  • Wednesday School as supplement to Sunday School began.
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1973

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Bruce Bush

Notable Events

  • JV picnic and special worship service at Mt. Madonna State Park
  • Fred Hemeon drew a lithograph of the church, and it because our “official” picture.
  • ECA’s founding vicar, Fr. John Buenz, leaves. Fa. Mike Creighton replaces him in August.  
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1974

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Mary Lou Doodokyan

Notable Events

  • Second set of stairs into the sanctuary was built
  • First woman moderator
  • “Layperson” was substituted for “Layman” in JV Bylaws.
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1975

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Dave Harris

Notable Events

  • Decision by congregation to keep service at 9:00 AM.
  • Improvements made on grounds and parking lot
  • Ministry of Membership – minister to each other constantly
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1976

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Cal Tewart

Notable Events

  • AVUCC held a 10th birthday party!
  • Worship attendees wrote a commitment on paper; papers were burned, and their ashes were placed in a hole where a blossoming cherry tree was planted.
  • Heifer Project became an organization of significance to AVUCC.  Rev. Jack helped take a planeload of animals to South Korea.  The congregation raised money for them to stop in Japan and Hawaii on the way home.
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1977

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Bill Allfrey

Notable Events

  • AVUCC explored having women ushers.
  • AVUCC supported the first west coast chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
  • Rev. Jack’s “Thought for the Week” were collected and put in a book.  All proceeds went to Habitat for Humanity.
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1978

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Dave Eastis

Notable Events

  • 12 members of AVUCC formed Habitat West of Habitat of Humanity.
  • First annual AVUCC Christmas Caroling party.   Held at the home of Roger and Mary Bemis 
  •  
 

1979

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Bob Thomas

Notable Events

  • Building Committee formed to talk about more space.
  • ECA achieved Parish status.
  • Children’s choir, directed by Debbie Bemis, was started.
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1980

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Bob Green

Notable Events

  • JV helped start the Almaden Valley Youth Counseling Service (AVYCS)
  • Both churches made the decision to hire a JV Youth Coordinator – Carolyn Weir
  • JV sponsored the Luu family from Vietnam.
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1981

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Don Jones

Notable Events

  • 15th Anniversary party was held at St. Edwards Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Jack invited to preach in Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
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1982

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Moderator

Don Jones

Choir director:  Bonnie Rogers    
Christian Ed Director:  Wanda Seydel    
JV Youth Coordinator:
  Carolyn Weir

Notable Events

  • Don Jones elected to a second term as moderator.
  • JV garage sale benefitted Habitat West
  • Pretzel and Tea booth at the Almaden Valley Wine and Art Festival was started and continued for many years.
  • JV 10 year celebration!
  • JV purchased new organ for the sanctuary
 

1983

Pastor

Rev. Jack Takayanagi 1971 - 1983

Rev. Char Burch, Interim

Moderator

Bob Dando

Choir director:  Bonnie Rogers    
Christian Ed Director:  Wanda Seydel    
JV Youth Coordinator:  Carolyn Weir

Notable Events 

  • Our interim minister was a woman!  A first for our church!
  • Youth Group members worked with Los Ninos in Tijuana.  They worked with children, and later, some walked from Santa Barbara to Tijuana for a fund raiser for Los Ninos.
  • Began to raise money for building addition, which included choir loft addition.
  • Octoberfest!
  • Autoharp purchased for Celebration Children’s Choir
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1984

Pastor

Rev. Char Burch, Interim

Rev. Michael Jackson mid 1984 until 1986

Moderator

Bert Hardcastle

Choir director:  Bonnie Rogers    
Christian Ed Director:  Wanda Seydel, until September
JV Youth Coordinator:  Carolyn Weir, until September - then Nancy Romer

Notable Events

  • Raised money to help Geoff Van Loucks as part of Conference Delegation to Russia.
  • Started having problems with the new pastor, which were creating division among members.
  • JV Square Dance  
  •   
 

1985

Pastor

Rev. Michael Jackson

Moderator

Pat Dando

Choir director:  Bonnie Rogers    
Christian Ed Director:                   
JV Youth Coordinator:

Notable Events

  • Survey to membership regarding the ministry and church needs
  • Rev. Michael Jackson resigns.
  • “Beyond War” meetings held at church
  • Helped start Habitat For Humanity home building projects.
  • Building addition completed
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1986

Pastor

Rev. Michael Jackson

Rev. Virginia Bergfalk, Interim

Moderator

Dennis Widman

Notable Events

  • Ground breaking for the new addition…. Bonds sold
  • AVUCC hired a paid choir director for the first time.
  • AVUCC hired a Sunday School/Christian Ed Director for youth.
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1987

Pastor

Rev. Virginia Bergfalk, Interim

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Dolores Van Loucks

Notable Events

  • Assembled a Policies and Procedures Manual for Council
  • JV Women’s Guild with TLC began
  • Caring Ministry served its first meal at Julian Street Inn.
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1988

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Bruce Bush

Music director:   Marilyn Keever
Christian Ed Director:   Annita Livingstone       
JV Youth Coordinator:  Nancy Romer

Notable Events

  • Congregational production of “Our Town”, directed by Alma Helms, was presented in the sanctuary.  Rev Win Gould played the Stage Manager.
  • First pictorial directory was put together.
  • JV Handbell Choir was formed.
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1989

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Dave Harris

Music director:  Marilyn Keever  
Christian Ed Director:  Carolyn Dingman and Jan Basakar
JV Youth Coordinator:  Nancy Romer

Notable Events

  • Meg Self taken “In Care” by Conference and Association as she prepares for the ministry
  • Loma Prieta earthquake…  AVUCC raised $4,963 for earthquake relief.
  • Budget Booster Auction held at AVUCC
  • AVUCC Square Dance 
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1990

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Meg Self

Music director:  Marilyn Keever
Christian Ed Director:  Jan Wolski and Janey Sanders
JV Youth Coordinator:  Nancy Romer

Notable Events

  • Carla Gerber completed a special Walk for Habitat for Humanity’s blitz-building in San Diego/Tijuana.   
  • “Bell” put up in front of the church
  • “What do you know about the UCC?” classes held at church
  • Dedication of new handbells purchased (3 more octaves) with concert by the JV Ringers
  • Family choir formed for a one time summer performance
  • AVUCC celebrates 25 years!
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1991

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Dave Skilling

Music director:  Marilyn Keever  
Christian Ed Director:  Karen Lemes      
JV Youth Coordinator:
  Ginger Redman

Notable Events

  • Portions of “Godspell” performed during special worship service in June.
  • Automatic sprinkler system put in (JV)
  • Wine Tasting and Gourmet Appetizer party
  • Family Pasta and Bingo Night
  • Mystery Dinner
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1992

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Dottie Allfrey

Music director:  Marilyn Keever
Christian Ed Director:  Karen Lemes      
JV Youth Coordinator:
  Ginger Redman

Notable Events

  • Handbells play concert at St. Joseph Cathedral 
  • Carol Haywood recommended for “In Care” to Committee on Ministry
  • First study design team set up to discuss Open and Affirming (ONA)
  • “Joy, Inc.” performs in worship on Palm Sunday
  • Church office remodeled (JV)
  •   
 

1993

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Dave Pullen

Music director:  
Christian Ed Director:  Karen Lemes until summer  then Carolyn Dingman 
JV Youth Coordinator:  Ginger Redman

Notable Events

  • AVUCC received Mayor’s commendation for efforts to place a Homework Center at Steinbeck MS.
  • SCRIP fundraising program begun
  • St Patricks Dinner and Bunco Night
  • “Wednesday Night Live” series begun
  • “Heart of a Butterfly”, written by Win Gould, performed during worship service 
  •   
 

1994

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Bob Elo

Music Director:  Matthew Dirst, hired by JV, begins in September      
Christian Ed Director:  Carolyn Dingman                       
JV Youth Coordinator:  Ginger Redman

Notable Events

  • Wine and Cheese event at church
  • Fundraising dinner with Shanachie World Folk Singers at chruch
  • New freezer bought for pantry (JV)
  • “Walking in the Light”, written by Win Gould, performed during worship service
  • Church decides to take no position on Open and Affirming
  • UCC and ECA library merge to become JV library
  • Family Whale Watching trip
  • ECA and UCC vote to hire music director for both churches, creating JV Music Director position
  •   
 

1995

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould
1987 - 1997

Moderator

Tom Rose

Choir director:  Matthew Dirst     
Christian Ed Director:  Carolyn Dingman                       
JV Youth Coordinator:  Ginger Redman

Notable Events

  • Purchased the New Century Hymnals
  • Mystery Dinner performed at church as a fundraiser. 
  • JV develops Rose Garden on perimeter of overflow parking lot.
  • AVUCC celebrated 30 years!
  • JV Ringers performs at Christmas in the Park 
  •   
 

1996

Pastor

Rev. Win Gould until August  then Seminary Intern, Vicki Kreiger

Moderator

Dick Galanis

JV music director:  Matthew Dirst until August then Margaret Kvamme
Christian Ed Director:  June Schubert    
JV Youth Coordinator
:  Ginger Redman, until June 

Notable Events

  • Dedication of the Rose Garden
  • New playground equipment was installed outside
  • Margaret Kvamme was hired as new JV organist/choir director 
  • Ginger Redman, JV Youth Coordinator, resigns in June. 
  •   
 

1997

Pastor

Rev. Alfred Williams, Interim

Moderator

Jack Sardegna

JV Music Director:  Margaret Kvamme
JV Christian Ed Director:  June Schubert
JV Youth Coordinator:

Notable Events

  • Gazebo built out in the Rose Garden by Dave Pullen
  • Handbell choir was started once again
  • Joint Venture Christian Ed program began 
  • Murder Mystery dinner at church 
  •   
 

1998

Pastor

Rev. Al Williams, Interim

Moderator

Ross Williams

 

Notable Events

  • “I See Sunshine”, words and music by Rev. Al Willimas, was performed in the sanctuary. 
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1999

Pastor

Rev. Al Williams, Interim until mid-1999


Rev. Julianne Stokstad 1999 until 2004

Moderator

Mary Lou Doodokyan

 

Notable Events

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2000

Pastor

Rev. Julianne Stokstad

Moderator

Sandy Baldwin

Notable Events

  • JV and Holy Spirit Church support the Atah Akue family who fled from Togo to Benin
  • New organ purchased and special concerts were planned.
  • 35th anniversary party was a huge success 
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2001

Pastor

Rev. Julianne Stokstad

Moderator

Bruce Bush

 

Notable Events 

  • Almaden Adventures in the Arts was started and brought music from other sources to AVUCC
  • Church library was revamped
  • JV building committee continues to meet
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2002

Pastor

Rev. Julianne Stokstad

Moderator

Ross Hemeon

 

Notable Events 

  • “Dancing Before God”, writings by Pastor Julianne and illustrations by Rosse Hemeon, was published.  Proceeds went towards the new Chalice Hymnals.
  • Opera “Dido and Aeneas” was performed.
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2003

Pastor

Rev. Julianne Stokstad

Moderator

Marcia Bush

 

Notable Events

  •  St. Patrick’s Dinner and Auction
  • John Leslie was hired as the JV organist/choir director
  • Alternative Christmas supported Habitat for Humanity, Friends Outside, Heifer Project, The Giving Tree, Sacred Heart Community Service, Santa Maria Urban Mission, and African Team Ministries 
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2004

Pastor

Rev. Julianne Stokstad until April

Interim Pastor beginning May: Rev. Paul Smith-Telfer

Moderator

Dick Specht

 

Notable Events

  • “South Pacific” performed in sanctuary – first musical put on by both congregations under the direction of John Leslie, music director 
  • Tabard Theatre uses sanctuary for their 2004-2005 season of shows
  • New carpeting installed in sanctuary
 

2005

Pastor

Interim Pastor: Rev. Paul Smith-Telfer

Rev. Kevin Smith called in mid-2005 until 2011

Moderator

Melanie Click Weiner

 

Notable Events

  • “Fiddler on the Roof” performed in sanctuary by both congregations 
  •  “I DO! I DO!” performed in the sanctuary by John Leslie and Gwen Hacker (please note CHANGE from 2007 as reported previously)
  • “A Little Bit of Italy” dinner at church
  • Youth Group mission trip to Montana
  • 40th Anniversary of AVUCC!  
 

2006

Pastor

Rev. Kevin Smith

Moderator

Steve Coutinho

 

Notable Events

  • “Anything Goes” performed in the fellowship hall by both congregations (note change in location from what was previously reported)
  • Fire Suppression classes taught by SJ Prepared! – attended by members of both churches
  • “A Taste of New Orleans” fundraiser dinner
 

2007

Pastor

Rev. Kevin Smith

Moderator

Kelly Yaminishi

 

Notable Events

  • “Well Did You Evah? – A Cole Porter Review” performed in the sanctuary by both congregations (note change of musical from what was previously reported) 
  • FM Sound System installed in sanctuary 
  • “Irish Fare and Frivolity” fundraising dinner
  • Relay for Life team from CCAV established to support American Cancer Society
 

2008

Pastor

Rev. Kevin Smith

Moderator

Melanie Click (currently Melanie Weiner)

 

Notable Events

  • “The Sound of Music”, our last musical, performed in the sanctuary by both congregations and directed by John Leslie. 
  • AVUCC votes to become Open and Affirming in October. 
  • New alter table, designed by Dennis Moran, is set up in sanctuary.
  • JV Music director, John Leslie resigns.  Asa Stern hired as new JV music director
 

2009

Pastor

Rev. Kevin Smith

Moderator

Chuck Smith

 

Notable Events

  • “Connection Circles” begun at AVUCC
  • Congregation is struggling after the ONA vote, as many members chose to leave – but we are slowly starting to rebuild ourselves and re-establish our covenant with each other.
  • “Phun Stuff” established and officially set up throughout the year.
 

2010

Pastor

Rev. Kevin Smith until December 2010

Moderator

Sue Scaff

 

Notable Events

  • Name officially changed from AVUCC to CCAV-UCC.  Now Congregational Church of Almaden Valley, UCC
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2011

Pastor

Interim Pastor: Rev. Rodney Yee

Moderator

Kathryn McAbee

 

Notable Events

  • CCAV shifts to part time pastoral leadership
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2012

Pastor

Rev. Rodney Yee, Interim Pastor

Rev. Dr. Ann Michele Rogers Brigham begins service on December 1, 2012

Moderator

Kathryn McAbee

 

Notable Events

  • JV Music director, Asa Stern resigns.  Dr. Kristal Kim hired as JV Music Director.
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2013

Pastor

Rev. Dr. Ann Michele Rogers Brigham

Moderator

Connie Moore

 

Notable Events

  • Christian Ed/Youth Center upgraded 
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2014

Pastor

Rev. Dr. Ann Michele Rogers Brigham

Moderator

Connie Moore

 

Notable Events

 

2015

Pastor

Rev. Dr. Ann Michele Rogers Brigham

Moderator

Debbie Bemis

 

Notable Events

  • Headlight Polishing clinic continues
  • 50th Aniversary of CCAV! 
  • New flooring put in fellowship hall, kitchen, and choir room.
  • Pastor Jaegan Lee establishes Korean church in JV church building
  • InnVision Homelessness Conference hosted by JV churches
  •   
 

 

 

 


The Congregational Church of Almaden Valley,
United Church of Christ
6581 Camden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95120-1908
(408) 268-0243, Fax (408) 268-4207
© 2017 The Congregational Church of Almaden Valley,
San Jose, California


 

 

Congregational Church of Almaden Valley - 50th Anniverary

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