Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2007

A Wonderful Dog

My family once got a dog for Christmas and it was our pet for the next 18 years. Think about this option if you've been wondering if you should get your family a similar pet. My brother in Birmingham Alabama got married earlier this summer (it was about time, they only dated for 20 years). Unfortunately she married him and not his 7 year old dog, Luna. This is a 45 pound lab mix, female, crate trained, sweet personality, up to date on all her vet work, and needing a home. My other brother in Nashville is currently keeping her, but this is just a foster arrangement. I thought I had someone lined up for the holiday and they've had second thoughts. So, if you are interested in a dog and don't want to go through the house breaking of a puppy, get in touch. I have pictures if you want me to send them.
Bill Lamb

Another Christmas and a brand new year

This is my last week of work before a well-anticipated vacation and I wanted to send each of you a warm holiday greeting before I take off. This has been a hard year for many of us, an exciting year for many of us, a frustrating year for many of us, and a combination for all of us. As we enter this holiday time with the demands of consumerism, heart-tugging reminders of how our lives are not perfect, pure joy for the true message of the season, and feelings of discouragement with every edition of the morning news, it is hard to remain centered and to remember who we are and what we are about. I urge you, therefore, to take some time to be centered, away from all the demands and bustle of family, work, church, and life, in whatever way works for you. For me it is an annual trek to Wilmington to walk the labyrinth at the Church of the Servant New Year's eve, or trips to the Well of Mercy retreat center just north of Statesville in the spring, or to sit on the porch at our old family…

Budget Increase - Paul's Question

At today's congregational meeting, Paul asked what percentage increase this year's proposed budget represents compared to last year's approved budget.

Assuming 2007 appproved budget: $235,154
2008 proposed budget: $241,905 (includes additional $500 in line 404)

Percent increase: 2.9%

(FYI: 2006 approved budget: $228, 327 which makes the % increase in 2007 : 3.0%

A Letter from the Moderator

15 November 2007
Dear Fellow CUCC Members and Friends,

At the congregational meeting on 2 December 2007, the congregation will be asked to endorse the signing of a letter of re-commitment to the support of RICH Park Apartments.

The facts to consider in this decision are these:
CUCC is one of five Raleigh churches that established the Raleigh Inter-Church Housing Corporation (RICH) to create and implement the RICH Park Apartments forty years ago and contributed $500 to that effort;RICH Park was one of many similar non-profit developments in the nation that received financial support from the federal department of housing and urban development (HUD);In July 2008 HUD will terminate the program under which RICH Park and many other non-profit low income housing projects received financial support;Also in July 2008 RICH Park will have the obligation to pay the mortgage that HUD holds on the property. To make this payment, RICH Park will take out a new mortga…


All is well! I had my new version of mammograms (ow) which showed that the scar tissue is reducing, the tissue is normal, and I'm not due for another one for 6 months. Blow bubbles for me!
Joan McAllister

Update from Joan

All my first anniversaries have passed now. I will be seeing my surgeon and getting an ultrasound on Monday to make sure all is well. It is strange because the surgery leave (duh) scar tissue which feels like (!!) a tumor! So I have no idea what things are supposed to feel like, and hope to get some clear information Monday.Recently I have been dealing with issues that may be side effects or outgrowths of the cancer treatment. Most recently, I have been diagnosed with asthma. I was absolutely positive that it was allergies, but unlike my entire family, I tested negative for all the suspicious substances- dust, mold, cat dander, grasses, leaves, etc. etc. etc. yet still have asthma. My allergist says that radiation therapy can cause that sometimes. I'm hoping that it will resolve over time- in the meantime I'm using an inhaler as necessary. The other side effect, which I mentioned a few months ago, is the neuropathy related to using Taxol in chemo- since it has been so…

need help with move

Catherine Fairbanks, who has been attending our church for about 2 years, is moving this weekend and needs help with the move. She is moving from Wake Forest to North Raleigh. If any of you could help, please call her at 562.8469.

Youth Thank CUCC at Open Basement

What a difference 6 months of hard work by the youth
and the support of the congregation
can make!

Congratulations, Abby, Andy, Anna, Carson, Jackson, Rachel, Zack!

Youth Group Schedule.

Sept. 30 Journey in class; for more info, contact Pastor Steve; Friends in worship; everybody collect donations for Walk for Hope after worship
Oct. 7 Journey and Friends in worship for World Communion Sunday; everybody collect donations for Walk for Hope after worship
Oct. 14 Journey and Friends Walk for Hope
Oct. 21 Journey and Friends work with Suzette to prepare the Pilgrim House Open House

Pilgrim House Open House Oct. 21

You are cordially invited to

Fellowship Time

Sunday, October 21

after 10:30 am worship.

The Youth Group will host the grand unveiling of the Youth Room.

Come for snacks and conversation (and to find out why JK is painting sideways). The youth will be stationed at the 3 shallow, wide-tread steps to help anyone who needs a hand.

The Youth invite anyone from CUCC to schedule a time of private retreat or a group meeting in this comfortable and cozy space. We're calling it "The Youth Room," but it is available whenever it isn't full of youth!

Hold Nov. 4, 4pm, for Educational Sampler Potluck (ESP)

All CUCCers are invited to a rollicking supper-time feast of food and semi-seminars for our Justice in a Changing Climate initiative. Teens and adults will choose from a smorgasbord of videos, briefings, book discussions, and happenings. Children will play their way through "green justice" activities; a nursery will be provided for the under-3 set. If you can, bring locally grown food to the potluck, because the biggest contribution we can make to slowing climate change is by driving fewer vehicles miles. Tell us where your food came from. Dozens of helpers are needed for small tasks; call Jane Smith to volunteer.

The Saga of Your Food Bag

I just served my first week bagging food at the UM food pantry . Here is what I learned. Remember, I’m new on the job so an experienced volunteer could tell you the mistakes I made! I hope I did my trainers proud.

Your Bag Arrives
Marge drives your bag from church to the loading dock at the new Urban Ministries building on Capital Boulevard. The bags are logged in and placed on a side table – packed just as you prepared them. Imagine a climate-controlled room which is a cross between a clerestory-lit warehouse and our Vaughan Fellowship Hall. Everything is very well organized and very, very clean.

First, a digression… Who can get a food bag?
People in need of food, medical care, and other assistance call ahead to make an appointment for an interview. The interview space is a large, sunlit area off of a lovely garden; there are a playroom for small children and many comfortable chairs for the adults. A staff person or volunteer interviews the person, keeping careful record of the many doc…

Painting Done!

Next steps: floor, chalkboard wall, and furniture painting! Sept. 16: Journey goes with Toni to Dix Hill for a photojournalism field trip.
Friends help Jane with 100,000 for Peace Ministry Moment during worship Next workday - Sept. 23 - Taize' + chair painting Help wanted: An adult who likes to paint chairs to join us Sept. 23.

Youth Minister Position Still Open

Do you know anyone who might be interested in serving as CUCC's new part-time Youth Minister? The job description can also be found on the CUCC website and the youth bulletin board in the hall opposite the kitchen.

Thanks to CUCC for supporting this exciting growth in the youth program.

Part-time Youth Minister
This person should be theologically grounded in a progressive Christianity that welcomes diversity of thought and cultural heritage, is tolerant of differences, is Open and Affirming, and works to practice Just Peace.This is a part time position. We anticipate an average of 10 hours per week.Formal seminary training is not a requirement, though theological sophistication is expected (…Inclusive language and an inclusive theology from a Christian perspective.). This person should view Christian youth education as a significant part of their personal mission, enjoy working with people, communicate well, have demonstrated ability to relate very well with middle school and high sc…

Youth Group Calendar

Sunday, September 2 Celebrate communion and welcome Pastor Steve and Marcy during the 10:30 worship service. No church school or Pilgrim House work today.

Sunday, September 9 Pilgrim House Workday. Start with worship at Taize' at 9:00. Stop for the Welcome Back Sunday potluck after worship. Dress to paint! Bring a brush if you have one.


In a soothing and ultra-clean white,
the bathroom and trim are done.

The "little room" has a first coat.

The gunmetal gray paint lurking mysteriously in the can of blue paint has been replaced. Next workday - finish the "little room" and put a first coat of blue in the "big room." (For photos of the painters at work, check the youth bulletin board opposite the kitchen.)
Adults who enjoy painting are needed to help the youth September 9, after Taize' to noon. Call Jane Smith.

Hi Everybody!

Hello! I am fine. Just wanted to touch base with all you wonderful folks to let you know how things are going.

I may have found out what is wrong with my artificial knee, and found out a lot that is not wrong with it. It is in great shape mechanically. The artificial joint is solidly in place and shows no signs of wear or deterioration. The bones are strong. There is no infection nor inflammation. So why, you may ask does it hurt periodically? Well, my orthopedic surgeon isn't positive either, but thinks it may be peripheral neuropathy as a side effect from the chemo. It's funny that just knowing that the knee joint is fine despite the pain causes it to hurt less. He has suggested that I take Neurontin to see if that helps with the nerve pain- so far it just makes me sleep like death and get weary earlier in the day, even though I only take one pill at night. I can tell you I will NOT be taking it during the day! I probably will discontinue it since not only does it…

Pilgrim House Basement Repairs Done!

Trim done? Check!

Shelves installed? Check !

Workroom cleaned? Check !

Half wall braced? Check!

Lunch ready? Check! Check! Check! Painting begins August 26 (Taize' followed by work)

ASP Team Heads Out

Ron Howell, Anna Roach-Howell, Abby and Gary Smith, Sam and Jack Alcorn, and Austin Osborne-Newman left for their ASP week in West Virginia this morning. They are part of a 37 person team from Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Apex. Let's keep all of them and the families they'll be serving in our prayers this week.

What do the youth know that you don't?

The Pilgrim House workday July 15 wasn't all that bad.

To see Rachel's photos of the progress we're making, check the Children & Youth bulletin board across the hall from the kitchen.
Abby is leading the group in the design & decorating part of the process for her International Baccalaureate project at Broughton High School. The group's decision on colors? The green of an ivy leaf for the main room, the sky blue/navy blue of a cross for the small room, and clean white for the bathroom.

A few more adult carpentry hands for our August workday would help us speed things along so we can begin painting. If you have a few hours to spare Aug. 5 after Taize', let Jane know.

Justice for whom?

We describe ourselves as a "peace and justice" congregation, but the recent murder of Jenna Nielsen and her 8-month old fetus throws an uncomfortable spotlight on our hypocrisy. Jenna's family is correctly pointing out that it is folks like us who are responsible for the N.C. law that prohibits murder of the fetus being classified as anything other than assault. That law may or may not be useful as part of the political moat that the pro choice lobby has built to protect Roe v. Wade, but is it "justice"?

I've known many a pro choice mother who by the 5th month or so had bonded so strongly to her baby that nothing in the world would convince her that baby wasn't already part of the family. In one case the mother was wrestling with troublesome medical reports that the fetus may have some abnormalities, and I recall the mother concluding "handicaps can be dealt with" and letting nature take its course (and having a healthy baby).

When a mother has …

Hair Grow Bingo

JoAnn Newman won the Hair Grow Bingo by choosing the exact date my crown hair would be an inch long, July 15. It was also her birthday! So congratulations to JoAnn and happy birthday too!
Joan McAllister

Encountering the Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault

Session Five:Kenosis:The Path of Self-Emptying Love In past sessions, we have seen how Jesus is a master of the art of metanoia, going into the larger mind, or, in other words, a radical change of consciousness that sustains unlimited love.The parable of the vineyard in Matthew 20 can be seen as a litmus test on where you are on in terms of this consciousness, binary operating system or non-dual thinking.In essence, Jesus is holding up a mirror. How do you understand the story?How do you shift your consciousness?What is the path?What is the way?This session concerns praxis—the practice, the things you do that bring about the metanoia consciousness.Not all wisdom paths have the same methodology.Jesus is typical of the wisdom tradition in terms of the center or goal but the way he gets there is very different from other traditions’ paths.Jesus’ path was radical in his time and still is today.One of the problems with modern Western Christianity is that we have not seen how different J…

Interested in a Weekday Prayer Group?

I'm hungry for a weekly time to sit in prayer with others. Perhaps a little time to share prayer requests & to read the notes in the CUCC prayer jar, then silent and spoken prayers as the Spirit moves? Sometime after Aug. 27, one hour max, between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm on a weekday, location negotiable. Interested? Every week or every other week? Try it for the fall and then revaluate?

In defense of American troops remaining in Iraq

I listened intently to the sermon on sunday about the war in Iraq.The sermon was excellent and it really did make me think.It helped make me realize it is time for me to write down my thoughts on this war.I’ve not been outspoken in my position in part because I have seen my fellow left wingers go from divided about Iraq to united against it.I tend to vocalize more what unites me with people rather than what divides us.And Iraq can be divisive.Nevertheless, here goes.Human rights as the center of foreign policyI am a believer in human rights as a pillar of good foreign policy.This is not to say I am a pacifist.Just as standing up to a bully may require violence, so does aggressively defending human beings from the brutality of dictatorships.When a murderer gets into power, I believe that doing nothing is actively protecting their power.Here are examples of major human rights violations in this century.What is the Christian thing to do when faced with them?How do we act knowing we are …

Hair growth

Hi all- update on the hair growth- as of Sunday (8 July) it was just shy of 7/8"- so I am figuring that another week to 10 days will be it. The pot stands at $64. Good luck to all!! Joan McAllister

Greetings from Cape Cod

Greetings from Cape Cod!

Steve & I have just arrived here following a wonderful week camping in Acadia National Park. The weather was delightfully cool - a lovely change from the heat of NC in July! We were with old friends and did a lot of fabulous hikes, took a sailboat ride, and spent one day biking on the carriage road system that crisscrosses the lovely scenery of this glorious place. Birding was excellent here as well and Steve was especially excited by the spottings of a pair of immature Bard owls, a pair of loons, and an immature eagle.

Prior to leaving for Acadia, Steve spent several days at the Synod in Hartford and was quite inspired by the experience. He especially liked listening to Bill Moyer speak, as well as Barack Obama. He also got to spend a day there with his former mentor, Pastor Win Nelson, and his wife and was very grateful to have the time to do that.

We will be here on the Cape now for the next two weeks. While we are here we will be visiting with some folks …

The Wisdom of Jesus -- Session 4

Encountering the Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia BourgeaultSession 4:The Path of MetanoiaWhat does repentance mean?Bourgeault posits that it means “to move beyond the mind” to see the world from a perspective of wholeness, instead of the conventional “reality” of separation, difference, and selfishness (AKA the binary operating system).In fact, the heart of the message of Jesus concerns getting into the larger, unitive mind.How do we do it? What is it all about?What does it look like?In this session, we experience the familiar teachings of Jesus through the lens of Wisdom teachings about inner transformation.The Beatitudes.These are the most densely packed teachings of Jesus.They are nine little sayings that summarize his teaching in a nutshell.Bourgeault presents a Wisdom interpretation of the first seven Beatitudes.Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.From a Wisdom perspective, this means, “blessed are those with an inner attitude of receptivity to the spirit,…

The Wisdom of Jesus -- June 24

Notes on Encountering the Wisdom Jesus--June 24
Session Three:The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You What did Jesus actually teach?How often do you consider the teachings as a whole?Over familiarity with Jesus in our culture may get in the way of appreciating Jesus’ teaching.One Texas theologian remembers Sunday School teaching:Jesus is nice and he wants us to be nice too. Bourgeault recommends the book:Putting on the Mind of Christ: The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality, Jim Marion (Charlottesville, Va.:Hampton Roads, 2000).Title is direct quote from St. Paul.The tendency to relate to Jesus through belief is characteristic of Western Christianity.But it was not necessarily the emphasis of the early church.Moreover, relating to Jesus through beliefs is not necessarily the only way for us today.The central challenge that Jesus offered was finding a new way of seeing the world and in “right practice.” How do we put on the mind of Christ?Marion notices that Jesus repeatedly describes his …

Calling All CUCC Youth: Your Design Ideas, Please

Over the next two weeks (by July 15!), please call, email or send to Jane sketches of your ideas for painting the Youth Room.

Here is what you have to decide. 1) Bathroom color 2) Main room color & trim 3) Decorations for the half wall 4) Small room color Favored colors so far - red, lime green, light blue, a color from the half wall (NOT TOO MUCH WHITE)
Debate: Do you keep the crosses and add to them OR does each youth group decorate the half wall in a new way?
June 24 workday The ceiling is almost done and we made a good start on drywalling the new doorway.

From the Archives ...

Mary Pruneau has turned up a bundle of old newspaper clippings that paint a dramatic picture of an era that is growing faint in the memories of even our most senior members. I'm just starting to work through this, but in particular I want to share some photos from a full page spread in the Raleigh Times (afternoon companion paper for N&O) from February 17, 1951. The text on the page states that the Institute of Religion is in its "twelfth year", which would put the startup as having been in 1939. Take a look at our past ...

Notes for the Adult Christian Education Summer Experience

Notes on Encountering the Wisdom JesusAudio Course by Cynthia BourgeaultSession One:Jesus as a recognition event(June 10)Our task is meeting Jesus through insight, not hindsight.This series presents a new take on Jesus, as Wisdom master.What do we believe about Jesus?In Western Christianity, we tend to focus on who he was, what he did.For example, from the Nicene Creed:We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.Through him all things were made.For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again in glory t…