Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2008

Hunger No More

David Beckmann, president of the national hunger advocacy group, Bread for the World, is the keynote speaker at a January 27 & 28 conference in Raleigh. CUCC has long been a member of BFW and many of you have signed the annual Offering of Letters.
The conference includes
interfaith worship,
excellent workshops
which will give us opportunities to meet like-minded Wake Countians and learn about pieces of the puzzle to end hunger around the world.
For those of you with a passion to bring justice for those most harmed by climate change, note the breakout session on hunger and climate change to be led by Dr. William Chameided, Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (Durham, NC).

The Social Justice Ministry hopes you will join us at Hunger No More. Register online. To carpool, contact Gary & Jane, Grady, or Cy & Carolyn.

Advent Schedule of Events

Have a yen to sing a Christmas carol? Want to try your hand at making Chrismons? Seeking to refresh your spirit through meditation or rehearing the story? These Advent Events might be what you seek.

If one of these dates or times is contrary to what you read in the bulletin, believe the bulletin!


The Forum Committee announces these interesting Forum programs for December:

Dec. 7 – Brad Thompson, "How NC turned Blue: Review of 2008 Elections"
Dec. 14 – Dr. Slater Newman, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights : 1948 - 2008"
Dec. 21 – Christmas Stories, read by Maria Riemann
Dec. 28 – "Therefore be it resolved" - Review of 2008 and Resolutions for the New Year (Story Circle led by Cynthia Ball)

FORUM: November 30

Sunday, November 30, 2008, 9:15 to 10:15 am

"Experiences of a White Student at a Black University"
Rev. Herbert Schafale

On Sunday, Forum welcomes retired UCC minister, Rev. Herbert Schafele. Rev. Schafele was the only white student at Fisk University in the 1950's and will share those enlightening experiences.

Our Youngest Member

Anna Belle Burkhardt, born to Heather and Chris Burkhardt at at 7:07 PM on November 21. Twenty one inches long and 8 lb. 15 oz. Both Mom and daughter are doing great.

Virtual Marketplace Now in Progress

This year the Wider Outreach Committee has planned a "Virtual Marketplace of Meaningful Gifts." We have a Marketplace web site that allows you to allocate your gifts for Christmas 2008. Once you've made your allocation, the church office will have the information it needs to split your check (which you can mail to the CUCC office or drop in the colleciton plate between now and Christmas) among the various organizations. If you wish to send gift cards to those in whose honor you make contributions, gift cards will be available at the back of the sanctuary during December.

Southern Human Rights Organizers' Conference

FRI – SUN 12/12 to 12/14 -- 7th Bi-Annual Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Conference, Radisson Hotel Research Triangle Park, 150 Park Drive, RTP

THE GOAL OF SHROC VlI is to solidify the Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Network (SHRON) and continue to build broad southern-based coalitions to combat human rights violations in the southern region and forge an agenda for social change.

Pre-Registration DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 24, 2008
FEES $25.00 (or $10.00 for Disabled/Student/Limited Income)

Direct actions will be planned and participants will show their support for local human rights struggles. Plenaries and workshops will feature the voices of those who suffer daily indignities and are involved in making a difference. Workers, environmental justice activists, faith leaders and labor leaders will tell their stories. Youth activists will deliberate during the youth summit. They will let all participants know the importance of youth participation in this movem…

Vandy's Mom attends church

On November 16 we were happy to see Vandy's mother (Ida) at church. She participated in the entire service and pronounced it to be much to her liking.

Pastor and Granddaughter


"The Termination and Prevention of War"
Dr. Keith Otterbein

This Sunday, Dr. Keith Otterbein, professor emeritus of anthropology at University at Buffalo, New York, will discuss his writings. Dr. Otterbein has written several books on the causes of war and has just completed a book with a chapter on the prevention of war.

NC's Budget Shortfall

Chris Fitzsimon from NC Policy Watch discusses the challenges facing the Legislature as the NC budget shortfall is estimated to reach $3 billion.

"....There are two ways to balance the budget. Lawmakers can make up the shortfall entirely though budget cuts, regardless of the implications for state services and the people who need them, or use a combination of thoughtful cuts and tax increases that protects programs that serve the most vulnerable people in the state.

The anti-government crowd refuses to even discuss raising any taxes, which means at least a ten percent reduction in state spending if the shortfall is $2 billion, much less the three billion that Mejia says could happen. Education, human services, and criminal justice spending accounts for 90 percent of the state's $21 billion budget, which means the majority of budget cuts would come from those services...."

For more go to the Fitzsimon File.

Restraining Our Own Excesses

Many of us have been enjoying the afterglow of an election that hopefully marks the end of certain types of excess, apathy, and incompetence. But before we (as a nation) start lurching down another road with different potholes, we might do well to put together a list of campaign promises that deserve to be broken. Froma Harrop (in today's N&O) has a suggestion that ought to be at the top of our list. I first heard of the "Employee Free Choice Act" at a CUCC congregational meeting a year or two ago. I don't recall whether the Social Action Committee actually did anything in support of this proposed legislation, but if so then I suggest it's time that we revisit this issue. Some of the people who are now coming to power in Washington are folks that we helped put there. So if they follow through on this sort of nonsense, the blame falls squarely on us.

Unions' Creepy Push Against Secret Ballot by Froma Harrop

(Addendum following a bit of research: Yep, a bit o…

YES WE CAN! Steve Halsted's sermon November 9, 2008

On Tuesday of this past week, the eyes of the world were watching as the American people tallied their votes to see who would be the next President of the United States of America.

The question on many minds seemed to be: Can the racial prejudices of the past be set aside in sufficient numbers to elect, for the very first time, a candidate of African-American descent? History was on the line and all eyes seemed to be watching! It reminded me of the first Presidential election that I was keenly aware of as a young child - going back to 1960. At that time history was also in the making and the question on many minds was this: Can the religious prejudices of the past be set aside in sufficient numbers to elect for the very first time a candidate of Roman Catholic heritage?

John F. Kennedy was the candidate, history was on the line, and the eyes of the world were watching!

And the resounding answer given by the American people in both these historic elections was:

Yes, we can!
Yes, we can!

Called to Serve

Just a short message---our church needs several new deacons. Please see Shannon Core, Bill Lamb or me if you would like to serve.
Thank you.
Jeanne Ledbetter

Pastor Nsumbu Puati

I heard from Nsumbu this week via e-mail. I have posted his email below.

I have received your e-mail and thank you very much for your kindness.Your poem came in time because I need words of comfort in this hardship time. My wife and childreen are very thankful too. We decided to keep that poem forever. Keep us in your prays. May God bless you, the USA , the New President and CUCC. Again thank you and greet evrybody. I miss you.
Pastor Nsumbu

May we continue to pray that they will have strength and feel God's presence and love. Peace, Jeanne

Training on Immigration Reform

Chris Liu Beers, our Forum speaker on November 2, invites us to a training workshop hosted by Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR):

"Media and Message Training on Immigration for Faith Leaders"

Friday, November 14, 1:00 to 4:00pm
NC Council of Churches
The Methodist Building
1307 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh
(in the Cabinet Conference Room)

The training is designed for faith leaders who are interested in becoming advocates and champions for welcoming immigrants in their communities.

Topics to be covered:
* story of the CCIR campaign and media successes
* how to speak with a clear and consistent message on immigration reform
* how to interact with media and address immigration from the faith perspective
* how to provide a coordinated faith response to immigration raids and punitive state and local ordinances
* formation of a Rapid Response Task Force in NC

RSVP to by Nov. 10 if you'd like to attend.

FORUM: Sunday, November 16


Forum welcomes Dr. Keith Otterbein, professor emeritus of anthropology, University at Buffalo, New York. Dr. Otterbein, a friend of CUCC member Peg Hulslander, has written several books on the causes of war and has just completed a book with a chapter on the prevention of war.

Forum: November 9

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Immigration Injustices"
Irene Godinez, Advocacy Director of El Pueblo

This Sunday, the Forum welcomes Irene Godinez, the Advocacy Director of El Pueblo. As a follow-up to last Sunday's presentation by Chris Liu Beers, she will discuss the "immigration injustices" occurring now in NC. El Pueblo is a North Carolina non-profit statewide advocacy and public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the Latino Community.

Irene Godínez is a native North Carolinian of proud Mexican heritage. Growing up in Durham in an immigrant household, as a first-generation US American, gave her a unique perspective on race relations, economic disparities and a desire to pursue social justice.

New grandchild for Steve and Marcy Halsted

Avery Ella Black was born at 4:35 pm on October 31, 2008.
She weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce and measured 21 inches long.
Birth went very smoothly.
She is loved by her parents and grandparents!

Turkey Dinner Nov. 8 and Mary Pickering Concert Nov. 14

On November 8, there will be a turkey dinner and square dance and on November 14 Mary Pickering will offer a concert. There will be no fees for these events, but a basket will be passed for love offerings. The Mary Pickering Concert will be held in the sanctuary 7:30-9:00 PM. The turkey dinner will be in the evening in the Fellowship Hall, with final details to be announced soon.

Save the Congo

Here's a story of interest about the Congo:

Mining for minerals fuels Congo conflict.

And a message forwarded by Kambale Musavuli, our speaker on October 19:


Dear friends,

Congo is once again at war: a militia group loyal to Laurent Nkunda who is wanted by the UN for war crimes and crimes against humanity but supported by the Kigali government; and the Congolese Army, have been raining heavy artilleries on each other for 2 months; and, as usual, senior citizen, women and children have been caught in between.

Thus far 200 000 have been displaced; schools, hospitals and churches looted and blown up and civilian death is estimated at around 180 000 (since August 28th alone).

The World Superpowers remain unwilling to act; the existing domestic mechanisms for the protection of civilians have totally collapsed; and the UN forces on the ground are ill equipped to decisively deter perpetrators.

But in-spite of this, we can still effect the situation…