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CUCC Weekly eNews

Death of Ahmaud Arbery to be subject of national UCC Zoom event May 31

Join panelists in a national online conversation on Sunday, May 31, about how Christians "can be actively involved in dismantling racism."

The event, to be held on the webinar platform Zoom at 6 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. CDT), will include a 22-minute cinematic sermon, "The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery." Its preacher, the Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Chicago's Trinity UCC, will be one of the panelists.
Registration for this event can be found here:
Recent posts

Wear red for Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday is May 31. Our youth will help lead the service and you are invited to wear your favorite red shirt to symbolize the coming of the Holy Spirit and tongues of fire.

TODAY take two minutes to contact City Council on the Affordable Housing Bond

On June 2, the Raleigh City Council will be voting on a proposed $80 million affordable housing bond that will impact the city for five years if passed this November.  Congregations for Social Justice (CSJ), of which CUCC is a member, is concerned that the bond does not currently target residents who are most in need of affordable housing.  If you share their concerns, please take two minutes (literally!) to send the letter below via email to Mayor Baldwin, City Council members and their staffs. If you have questions about the bond, please contact CSJ members Adrienne Little (919-781-0829) or Merrilee Jacobson (919-274-4539).

Sample letter to be sent to and with a copy to

Dear Mayor Baldwin and Raleigh City Council members,

On June 2, please vote in favor of an affordable housing bond that targets our neighbors living at or below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI).

I am especially concerned about these ne…

Register for book study with Pastor Lacey

Join Pastor Lacey as we dive into Rachel Held Evans’ book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, Thursday evenings at 7-8pm from June 11th – July 9th on Zoom.

Register here.

Order a paperback book here (part of the registration form). Deadline is Friday, May 29.
Cost is about $15; your donation toward the cost would be appreciated.  You may donate here; choose "Give to Inspired Book Group."

If you would prefer an mp3 or Kindle version, you may order that online yourself.

“If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too.”

Questions?  Contact Julie Robertson (contact information is on Breeze)

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle collection

Hello dear CUCC friends.

Dawn and I have been considering community outreach opportunities that are compatible with social distancing requirements and address needs presented by the COVID-19 crisis. This crisis has accentuated food insecurity for many, and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle -- an organization CUCC supports annually -- has reached out to Raleigh, asking for help.

So, we invite you to contribute non-perishable food items, which we will deliver. Please drop them off at CUCC in a box or bag, in the parking lot on the Dixie Trail side, between 9am and noon on Tuesday June 2 or Tuesday June 9.

We also invite you to take a "selfie" with your donation or let us take a picture, and we'll create a photo montage of our collective contribution. If you take a selfie at home with your family, email it to Dawn or Charles (see below).

The Food Shuttle's website,, has more information but here are the basic parameters:

Please bring: Canned Vege…

Life & Faith celebrates Pentecost

We're celebrating Pentecost this month.  Let's unpack that story of disciples and tongues of fire in an upper room and the totally unexpected way it turned their lives upside down.  Have you had an experience that you would describe as the palpable presence of Spirit that ended up influencing your life choices? Whether it was tongues of fire or the sudden courage to do what you'd never imagine you could do or something else entirely, what did you feel and think and, most importantly, do after the "encounter"?  Now years (or days) later, how has that story influence other choices you face?

If you've never experienced anything you would call Spirit, you are welcome in the conversation, too. Sceptic or curious is fine. Listening with respect is what we do at Life & Faith, and that includes listening to you.

Life & Faith is an informal and fluid gathering for anyone who shows up. Bring a friend!  As we sip our beverages of choice, we swap stories and que…

In-person Retirees' Luncheons cancelled for 2020

It is unwise for us to gather in person for our quarterly program + luncheon events for retirees for the remainder of 2020.  Retirees' Luncheons for 2020 are cancelled.

If you have an idea for an event which we could do virtually (or from our cars or other inventive ideas), please contact the office.  Maybe you would like to be part of organizing it?  The office will pass along your idea and offer to help to whichever ministry comes closest to what you imagine.

 - Jane Smith for Jeanne Ledbetter and Susan Maleszweski

Let your smile be love

... or peace... or a blessing to those you greet.

The UCC is selling masks which allow you to do just that.  Proceeds from sales support the mission of the United Church of Christ and fund the National Setting’s ability to continue to respond to the ongoing needs of the church in these times of pandemic.

If you are interested, fill out this order form.  Deadline for ordering:  June 15. Pay for your mask here (select "Give to UCC face masks)
Keep yourself and loved ones safe during the COVID-19 pandemic with UCC face masks. Masks are constructed of two layers of lightweight moisture-wicking polyester fabric with elastic ear loops and a pocket for a removable filter (not included) to keep yourself as safe as possible from the virus. A HEPA filter would work well. Washable with filter removed. Hang to dry. Very stretchy and fits most with ease. These are non-medical grade masks.
We may have to wear masks, but we don't have to hide who we are. Be the church as we pray for rapid r…

May we never let go of the thread…

This email is a continuation of deacon outreach efforts in this time of COVID 19. Contained within this email is yet another devotional for our collective reflection, offered by our very own Marty Lamb.

Also, please remember that if you are in need of support or assistance, then please don’t hesitate to call or reach out to one of us. We are happy to receive your prayer requests. We are also able to contact pastors or church staff on your behalf, should you require their support. We will strive to help any way we can.  You can reach us through Breeze; look for the Deacons tag to find our names and contact information.

Thank you for being in community with us. May we remain unified, loving, passionate and compassionate during this difficult time. Peace be with you!

Paul Atkinson
Deacons Ministry Chair


“Psalms 16:8 and 9:

8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth…

Another gift from trees

The trees we planted Earth week will have an additional benefit in addressing climate change… reducing the need for air conditioning.  As the climate gets hotter, the need for AC increases, which uses more electricity which (if generated from fossil fuels), which causes the climate to get hotter.  Trees offer communities evaporative cooling, reducing the local temperature.

Thank you for your donations to plant trees and for trees you plant at home this year.

Read the science from Dr. Bill Schlesinger of the Nicholas School of the Environment, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

- submitted by Jane Smith for CUCC's Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force

In this week's eNews...

An Update from Church Council Congregational Meeting and COVID-19
New opportunities keep popping up every day, so keep checking the CUCC Online Calendar.   The calendar is up to date through June 7.

Thursday, May 21
CUCC Café – Śānti hosts
CUCC Book Club

Friday, May 22
CUCC Café – Bill hosts

Saturday, May 23

Sunday, May 24
Final day to submit names of graduates to office
Taizé worship and fellowship
Sunday Morning Bible Study - Acts
All-ages worship and fellowship
Do Justice Ministry
Youth Sunday School
Arts in Worship Committee

Monday, May 25
Monday Lunch Group

Tuesday, May 26 
Office staff meeting
CUCC Café – Bill hosts
Youth Choir
Carbon Neutral CUCC

Wednesday, May 27
CUCC Café  - Bill hosts

Thursday, May 28
CUCC Café  - Śānti hosts

Friday, May 29
CUCC Café  - Bill hosts

Current COVID-19 related needs in the community What you can do to help now Item 5 is new
Other important news in this edition Book study with Pastor Lacey
Saturday Meditation and Conversation Series Continues
Do justice from ho…

An Update from Church Council- Congregational Meeting and COVID-19

After thoughtful discussion, Council has voted to keep all CUCC grounds and buildings closed to all groups through at least June 7, 2020. You will receive additional information in the coming days regarding CUCC’s response to COVID-19. 

Please mark your calendar for a scheduled congregational meeting to be held on Sunday, June 7th, following worship on Zoom. Keep an eye out for information from Council prior to the meeting.
Megan Fackler Bretz

How can CUCC become carbon neutral? Help!

As you know, much of climate change comes from our fossil fuel use.  These fuels put CO2 (sometimes just called “carbon”) into the atmosphere.   To decrease climate change, we must decrease this carbon generation.

One of the 2020 goals of the Justice in a Changing Climate task force is “to seek a strategy for CUCC to become carbon neutral”, that is: a strategy to eliminate the carbon we put in the atmosphere.   (Our solar panels, composting and energy efficiency put us well on our way!)

Our first meeting to discuss and plan this strategy will be by Zoom on Tuesday, May 26, at 7:30 PM.

We would love to have broad congregational input into the strategy and implementation.

Please contact Gary Smith (Email: if you would like to participate in this first meeting.

God bless our work together
Gary Smith,
for the JCC

Saturday Meditation and Conversation Series Continues

In a Time of Uncertainty
Five consecutive Saturdays: May 30, June 6, 13, 20, 27
on Zoom

Are you new to meditation and want some gentle support and resources?
Do you already practice meditation and want to share your experiences?
Would you enjoy a small group meditation for a few weeks?

Consider joining one or all of the meetings in this contemplative series. Daniel Day, Buddhist and meditation practitioner will facilitate our Zoom gatherings as we explore together the Spiritual Practice of mindful meditation.

An invitation from Daniel: “Set aside this time as a gift to yourself. Before the meetings start, you might consider creating a space for yourself, choosing a quiet location and bringing in anything that enhances your senses: a meditation blanket or pillow, flowers, incense, a chime, a candle, crystals or rocks, an image of Jesus, or a holy figure, spiritual symbol, or a saying pertaining to any religion or practice that carries a special vibration and tunes you in to …