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Showing posts from February, 2016

Been wanting to assist refugees but not sure how to help?

Lutheran Services Carolinas is holding orientation meetings for prospective volunteers the first Thursday of every month.  The next meeting is March 3 at 6PM.  LSC is located on Hutton Street close to Blue Ridge Cinemas off Blue Ridge Road.

If people want to volunteer after that session there is a lengthy volunteer info form and volunteers will need to pay for their own background check ($10).

For more information, contact Joan McAllister.

Learn about gerrymandering in NC

Thursday, March 17, 7PM, Hoffmann Room

How much is gerrymandering the "problem behind the problem" of our current political, moral and economic upheavals in NC?  What's being done about it?  Join CUCC's Economic Justice Task Force in an expanded discussion and exploration of the issue with Jane Pinsky of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform.

- Submitted by Economic Justice Task Force

Photo spiritual journey at Raulston Arboretum

Last weekend our spiritual journey into the community was a dog walk led by Santi and Nina.  They were glad to welcome other walkers!

This week's community journey?  A photo journey led by Suzette Roach.  Sat., March 5, 11 to noon at the JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Road in Raleigh.  Directions

This arboretum is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of landscape plants in the southeast.  Bring your camera (or your phone camera) and enjoy this contemplative journey.  You will be encouraged and inspired to really look closely, capture the beauty around you, and contemplate the wonder of God's creation.

A concrete way to help people hurt by the transition from fossil to renewable fuels

CUCC friends Bill and Rosemary Pate continue to organize adults-only long weekends to make homes warmer, safer and dryer in Appalachia.   They are expert organizers, wonderful project crew leaders, and delightful people to spend time with.  If the youth's Mission Moment about their week-long ASP trip intrigued you, but you don't have a full week to spare, consider the long-weekend ASP trip with the Pate's.  As with the youth trip, you don't have to have construction skills to be a useful part of the team.

From Bill and Rosemary:
"Christ The King Lutheran Church (Cary) is sending Appalachia Service Project volunteers to Guyan Valley West Virginia to make homes "warmer, safer, drier" on  April 14-17, 2016.  We are hoping to have enough volunteers to work on 5 houses. The Guyan Valley area has recently been hit by many layoffs by the mining companies.  As you know the need for housing repairs is great.  The good news is that Appalachia in the Spring is beaut…

Rescheduled - workshop led by General Minister of the UCC

United Church of Chapel Hill has invited us to attend a workshop on racial justice to be led by the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, the UCC's General Minister and President. (Rescheduled from January; Rev. Dorhauer's father passed away that week.)

If you are interested in attending, and didn't previously register, please call  the office at 919-942-3540.
Jane Smith and Joan McAllister plan to carpool.  If you would like to carpool, contact either of them.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
United Church of Chapel Hill
The cost for the workshop, including lunch, is $15 per person.


9 am to 12 pm - Morning teaching on racial justice with Reverend Dr. John Dorhauer - with a mid-morning break.

Lunch 12pm - Afternoon discussion with Dr. Kenneth R. Janken, UNC professor, Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, and Director, UNC Center for the Study of the American South, and author of a new book on the Wilmington 10 — to be published on January 4 — who will speak about the…

What you can do: Hunger, advocacy training, and voting

Adrienne Little from CUCC's Social Justice Ministry passes along these ways to connect to work in the community as compiled by Congregations for Social Justice.
1 -  Bread for the World Annual North Carolina Convention from Patrick O'Neill and  Steve Hickle <>       March 19, 2016, 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.      Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC
2 -  FCNL Advocacy Team Launch Workshop from Vernie Davis   < > Please join us in forming a legislative advocacy team in the Triangle. FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation) is providing Training  next Monday  evening (Feb 29,  6:30-9:30 PM ) at Raleigh Friends Meeting (625 Tower St, Raleigh). Please feel free to invite or bring others.
FCNL, which lobbies for peace and justice issues, is currently focused on addressing mass  incarceration. 
Snacks and light refreshments will be available starting at 6:00.
Parking is on the street after  5:00 PM. Ple…

Where does my money go for OGHS?

On March 6, CUCC will collect the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, lives are literally changed daily. Your support provides clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and so much more.   In 2014, the OGHS offering was $2.2 million. An additional $1.4 million was given to the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries in support of specific disaster relief efforts.

What is One Great Hour of Sharing? One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Churches Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation.  OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.�…

Opportunity for Children to Help at Food Bank

(information submitted by Gray Woodard)

Children ages 5 to 11 will have an opportunity to participate in a hands-on community outreach activity at Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC on April 9 from 2-4.  They will be participation in an age-appropriate food sorting project. A parent or responsible adult must accompany each child.

To sign up to participate, email Gray Woodard at or call her at 919-417-5411. CUCC can have only 15 people attend this activity on this day, so if you decide to be a part of this outreach, please make it a priority to attend.

Video narrative about the church

Several months ago I started planning a video narrative about the church. The goal was not to provide a history of the church, nor was it to create a promotional video for the church. I simply wanted to share some of what I know and appreciate about the church in the form of a "Ken Burns style" video narrative.

Thanks to those who have viewed any of the earlier drafts and made suggestions. The video has now grown to 71 minutes, and I think I'd better close the door on it before it gets any longer. It's a long and complex road because CUCC has so many pieces in its family tree. There have been great achievements and an extraordinary cast of characters as well as significant bumps in the road.

The video is in four separate parts split roughly as follows ...

Part 1 (12 min.) - early church historyPart 2 (16 min.) - mid 20th century periodPart 3 (20 min.) - 1960s through 1980sPart 4 (23 min.) - last 25 years
In any case, I'm now making it known that the video exists. It&…


Weather cancellation:  Monday, Feb. 15 - Monday Lunch Group

The office is closed to honor President's Day, Monday, February 15.

Phones not working:  We are having trouble with the phones lines at the church.  As of 5:00PM Friday, February 12,  the phones were not working.  If you cannot get through on the phone lines, please email the church office and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.

February 11, 2016 Weekly Newsletter

February 11, 2016 Weekly Newsletter

The online calendar is always available and is always up-to-date.

Old newsletters and recent weekly news can be found in these two archives:
Newsletters and Weekly Email from 2016Newsletters from 1970-2015
Deadlines to submit articles to the church office (
Weekly News email - TUESDAY by NOON.Sunday bulletin - TUESDAY by NOON.Newsletter - WEDNESDAY following the Church Council meeting by 2:00 PM.  (The Church Council meets the 3rd Monday of the month, so the deadline is the Wednesday following the third Monday of the month.  Check the calendar.)

Photos from HKonJ march

Photos by Śānti Matthews

Save the Date: Care for Creation Retreat

4th Annual Church-Wide Outdoor Event and Camp-Out
Saturday, April 30, 2013 at 3PM - Sunday, May 1 at 11:30AM
Umstead Park


experiential afternoon prayer stations creative expression games cookout campfire with songs and stories camping in cabins morning prayers in the park  
Come one, come all for some or all of our time.
If you don't want to camp, come for the evening!
Or bring a side dish and come for activities and dinner!

Questions? Contact Śānti Matthews (919)961-8814 or

February 4, 2016 Weekly News

February 4, 2016 Weekly News

The online calendar is always available and is always up-to-date.

Old newsletters and recent weekly news can be found in these two archives:
Newsletters and Weekly Email from 2016Newsletters from 1970-2015
Deadlines to submit articles to the church office (
Weekly News email - TUESDAY by NOON.Sunday bulletin - TUESDAY by NOON.Newsletter - WEDNESDAY following the Church Council meeting by 2:00 PM.  (The Church Council meets the 3rd Monday of the month, so the deadline is the Wednesday following the third Monday of the month.  Check the calendar.)

The community invites you to work for justice...

Adrienne Little of CUCC's Social Justice Ministry sends along these opportunities to work for justice that were compiled by Congregations for Social Justice.  Adrienne represents SJM at their meetings.

Food Drive in honor of Deah, Yusor & Razan - from Shadi Sadi
Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were murdered in Chapel Hill one year ago.  Demonstrate solidarity and love via this Food Drive.  All donations will go to the Food bank of Central and eastern NC.
        Final Drop-Off Day
        Saturday, February 20 - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
        Islamic Association of Raleigh
        808 Atwater St, Raleigh 27607

Jobs for Life - Breakfast of Champions - from Daniel Alexander
Jobs for Life - Breakfast of Champions  Purpose:  To continue to connect, inform, and build a local network of churches, ministries, and businesses that are preparing people to find and keep employment.  All are welcome for this fun breakfast.
       February 11th, 7-8:30AM
       Christ Baptist Church,…

Ash Wednesday: 2 worship options

Ash Wednesday begins a season of 40 days of reflection and fasting for some Christians, as an opportunity to strengthen one’s faith in preparation for Easter. For centuries, Christians have been marked with a cross of ashes on the forehead as a reminder of humanity’s mortality and an invitation to receive God's forgiveness.

2-3 PM in the Sanctuary - Imposition of Ashes

7PM in the Sanctuary - We begin Lent with our Ash Wednesday service.  We will gather at the back of the sanctuary as people of God seeking a time of confession  We will be reminded in the receiving of the ashes that in living and dying we belong to God.

Invite your friends...

Reading List for Congregational Meeting

This is the reading list provided by Moderator Geri Bowen for the Congregational Meeting to be held following 10:30 worship on February 7. These are being provided to you in lieu of the thousands of pages of printed material we used to distribute at congregational meetings. Please support Geri in her efforts to cut down on paper use. All these documents are permanently located on the church website and so will be available for reference throughout the year.

Annual Reports for Committees and Ministries for Year 2015
Arts in WorshipCaring CommitteeChurch CouncilCommunications CommitteeCommunity Church Low-Income Housing CorporationCommunity Outreach MinistryDeacons MinistryEconomic Justice Task ForceJustice in a Changing Climate Task ForceNominating CommitteeONA Task ForcePastor ReportProperty MinistryReligious Education MinistrySacraments and ChancelSaturday Morning Book GroupSisters in SpiritSocial Justice MinistryStewardship Ministry ReportSunday School Program (for Children)Transition…

Lenten Film Series

The Deacons are again planning a 5-week Lenten film series which begins on Feb. 19. The committee selecting the films consists of Geraldine Bryan, Jo Perry, and Betsy Towler from the Deacons Ministry along with Karen Withem and Lavon Page. All films will begin at 7 PM in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall. Popcorn will generally be available, and admission is free. Following the viewing of each film, a discussion period will be hosted by one of the selection committee members.

Feb. 19 - Nebraska
Recommended by: Geraldine Bryan
Year: 2013
Length: 115 minutes
Language: English
Cast:  Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb

One of our Lenten programs this year is a study of the Gospel of Mark. As the blog post announcing that series says, Mark's Gospel is a journey narrative.

The film Nebraska is a journey narrative of a strange sort. An old man is going on a journey to claim his "prize." There is much to be learned by this pursuit, and the film entertains as well as providing many lessons al…

Amy Jensen's mother

Miriam C. Sitler, the mother of Amy Jensen, passed away Monday night in Middlefield OH. Amy will be attending the funeral service this weekend and is planning to play a flute prelude "Shall We Gather at the River" at the service using the same arrangement of that old hymn that she used with Doug when they played the piece in 10:30 worship a few weeks ago at CUCC.

Obituary for Miriam C. Sitler

Sermon from Sunday, Jan. 31

Rev. Ken Williams as guest pastor spoke on Wilderness, On the Way to Mission.

Pre-weatherization surges in 2016

Maybe the cold weather has brought the phone calls, but we're getting steady requests to pre-weatherize homes.  One morning of work makes a huge impact in the energy costs of a low income homeowner.  This is the perfect volunteer opportunity for someone who is meeting-averse!

CUCC, Raleigh Friends Meeting, and NCIPL have been doing clean outs and repairs of homes in our area so that the homes can then be weatherized for free.  Our preparatory work leverages federal funds to pay for professionals to insulate the home or install a new HVAC system.  Most of our work is low-skill - moving boxes away from walls,  emptying an attic and hauling unwanted items to the landfill.  We have worked in Wake and Durham Counties so far.  Friends are welcome.  This is truly a community effort.

If you are interested in being notified by email about future workdays, contact Gary Smith.