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Showing posts from August, 2016

The Ethiopian Refugees are here!

The two Ethiopian refugees moved into their apartment on Method Road the evening of August 31. The slide show below shows the process of setting up the apartment for them and helping them move in. All this took place during the period August 29-31. Thanks to all those who took part in the planning sessions, gathering items and furniture, preparing the apartment, moving furniture in, and greeting the mother and daughter when they arrived. (The man in the photos is the translator who helped introduce the newcomers to their new apartment.)

See the following post at the church website for more information:

Śānti's Dad

Śānti's Dad, Curtis Fitzgerald died on Sunday, August 28th, at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh.  He was 89 years old.   Obituary

In these days, please pray for his wife Carolyn Billings, his daughter Śānti and her husband Matt, son Ted and his wife Pat, and son Greg and his wife Mary.

A memorial service celebrating Curtis' life will be held on Saturday, September 10, at 11:00am in the sanctuary at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.  The family will receive friends at a reception in Finlator Hall following the service.

Ending Gerrymandering

When is the last time you looked at a congressional district map from North Carolina that seemed to have reasonably shaped congressional districts? Here's the one put together in a common effort led by Common Cause and Duke University that demonstrates it's not impossible to put together a reasonable looking map that's truly nonpartisan.

At last Sunday's dialog among justice groups in the church, one of the major topics of discussion was the unfortunate consequences of blatant Gerrymandering as long practiced in North Carolina by both political parties.

Fortunately, a reform effort is underway and is achieving some actual bipartisan support. See the complete article in the Raleigh N&0 from August 30.

Walk with CUCC at the NC Pride Parade - Sept. 24

SAVE THE DATE:  NC PRIDE, Saturday, September 24, 2016
Save the date and join fellow CUCCers at this year’s NC Pride Parade and Festival.  We will once again have a presence at PRIDE and will be marching in the parade.  It is a fun and affirming event for those who participate in the parade and for those who come to cheer on the marchers.  
We would love for you to join us in the parade and to also volunteer at our table.  For volunteer times and opportunities, please contact Joan McAllister. 
The Parade begins at 1:00pm.  CUCC members, who wish to march in the Parade, please meet up at 12:30 at the CUCC table. 
For additional information about the PRIDE event

Help people vote + 3 ways to make new justice friends

Adrienne Little, who represents CUCC at Congregations for Social Justice, sends these 4 notices from organizations in our community.  Talk to Adrienne if you want more information.

1 - Volunteer opportunities at an urgent time for voters in Wake County from Barbara Smalley-McMahan

This coming weekend marks the anniversaries of the death of Emmet Till and the 1963 March on Washington DC with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The weekend also comes at the end of a disturbing week where according to a letter sent out yesterday by Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy NC.
“Dallas Woodhouse, Executive Director of NC Republican Party sent explicit instructions to Republicans who hold the majority on all 100 county boards to ’make party line changes to early voting.’  He explicitly told them to close Early Voting sites on Sunday, remove them from college campuses and open more in Republican areas, according to his email obtained by the Raleigh News & Observer.”  

The Board of Elections in R…

Planning for Welcoming Sunday

Is your group planning something for Welcoming Sunday (Sept. 11) that requires table space or an activity area? If so, we need to know about it so that we can coordinate space indoors and out and plan for table placement. There's a simple form available that allows your group to tell us what you need. If you'll do this, we'll be sure to have what you need already in place when you arrive for Welcoming Sunday.

Form to request table or space:
-- Lavon Page for the WFG Ministry

Add your name to the PFLAG ad in The INDY

Every September during NC Pride week, PFLAG Triangle publishes an ad in Indy Week listing individuals, faith communities, organizations, and businesses supporting our LGBTQ family and friends. The ad is supported by donations and is the main fundraiser for financing PFLAG Triangle’s work in this community. The text of the ad reads:

   We the undersigned affirm the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people. We condemn acts of bigotry and hatred. We join PFLAG in celebrating the lives of those we love and admire; acceptance and love … family values for a lifetime.

You may be listed as an individual (or individuals in one household) only or you may add your listing as part of a faith community, denomination, business, or organization. A faith community, organization, or business may choose to be listed by itself without an individual’s name. If you wish to donate and be listed in this 2016 ad, please provide your name as you wish it to appear and if you want to be lis…

Welcoming Sunday - Sept. 11

What is Welcoming Sunday?  A staff-led worship service on the theme of "peace," followed by a fun-filled gathering with food, games, and activities for all ages, sponsored by Welcoming, Fellowship & Growth!

Grilled chicken sandwiches, beef hot dogs, veggie burgers, watermelon juice pops, and s'mores provided! Bring a cold side dish for 6-8 people; please label if it is vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan.

Some of the activities planned...

Play games on the lawn, blow bubbles, play checkers and board gamesPrepare for our unknown new pastor:  (1) Get your light-hearted photo taken for our informal directory for the pastor and (2) put your home on our map.Choose a question for a candidate for CUCC's own (completely nonpartisan) voter information guideDecorate a footprint to honor someone living with mental illness that the walkers can remember on the Walk for HopePack a toiletries bag for a refugee familySign a card for each of our college-age young adultsPick up and pay…

Celebrate with Ruth

All adult members of CUCC are invited to Ruth Klemmer's 90th Birthday Party at the Glenaire Retirement Community in Cary on Saturday, August 27th.  Come anytime between 2:30pm and 4:00pm. The Decatur Street Dixieland Band will be playing until 4:30pm. NO presents please.  Birthday cards are welcome at the Auditorium door. Ruth & Ed's daughter Karen Klemmer Brown will be the MC for the event.

Are we open to that?

A shared thought from the UCC Daily Devotional of Aug. 20 ...
It's pretty easy for Christians, and maybe especially liberal Protestants, to say, "Look at those uptight, narrow-minded Pharisees. Thank God, we're not like them! Thank God, we know that human needs like hunger, healing or help in crisis are more important than religious ritual or observance."

It is easy, in other words, to be smug about our open-mindedness, and to congratulate ourselves on our more flexible and magnanimous, and certainly not hidebound, faith.

But what if Jesus' point was not less, but actually more, demanding? This story concludes with his tense, not entirely clear statement, "Christ is lord of the sabbath."

It's the kind of statement that creates a moment of truth: what is God doing right now? What does God require of me, of us, right at this moment? We are in the presence of the living Christ, what now?  

Often we too are stuck in familiar arguments, predictable conflic…

Are you new to CUCC? Join us for lunch.

Newcomers' Luncheon in CUCC's Library
Sunday, September 18, 12pm – 2pm

Calling all Newcomers!  If you are a newcomer to CUCC or to the UCC (or consider yourself a newcomer), we invite you to a Newcomers' Luncheon in the Hoffmann Room on Sunday, September 18, noon to 2pm.  We will provide lunch, drinks, and conversation and, hopefully, answer your questions about the church or the denomination.

Please RSVP to the church office ( or 919-809-8850) by Sunday, September 11.

What are CUCC's justice groups doing and how can I join in?

PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION.  Everyone is invited to a meeting at CUCC on Sunday, August 28, from 12:00 to 1:00 in the Hoffman Room to share information about what groups* and individuals are doing.  This is an opportunity to keep in touch with each other and to stay informed about what is happening.  It is also a good time to explore ways to collaborate and support each other in our activities and concerns and to suggest new initiatives and projects.

* CUCC's justice groups so far:  Community Outreach Ministry, Economic Justice Task Force, Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force, Open and Affirming Task Force, Social Justice Ministry, Youth Group, and our just-starting welcome to refugees resettling in our area.

CUCC is collecting toiletries for refugee families

Looking for an easy way to get your toes wet helping refugees?  Community Outreach and the Youth are collecting toiletries to provide a "Welcome Bag" for Refugee Families to be filled and decorated on Welcoming Sunday Sept. 11 but we need the items to fill them!  A list of items that we will put in the bags are below:

Shampoo (without conditioner added)
Deodorant (non-scented)
Brush & Comb (especially picks and wide-toothed combs)
Razor  & Shaving Cream
Feminine Hygiene (pads only)
Nail Clippers
Grocery Store Gift Card ($25)

Please bring what you can! We are collecting items Aug. 15 through Sept. 11.  For questions, email Maria Mayorga.  To find out more please go to: Lutheran Services Carolinas Refugee Resettlement.

Find more ways to help CUCC welcome refugees at Refugee Friendship.

Save the date - Walk for Hope, Oct. 9

It may seem like a long way off, but October 9 will be here before you know it.

Join the youth of CUCC on our all-ages Walk for Hope team.  Funds raised by this nonprofit are used for mental health research.

Not up to walking?  You'll have opportunities this September after worship or online to make a donation sponsoring one of our walkers.

Watch this space for more details.

Death penalty, election protection, and jobs

Adrienne Little, CUCC's representative at Congregations for Social Justice, shares these three opportunities to work for change with others in the community.

1 - Memorial Prayer Service - 10th anniversary of no executions in N.C. - Thurs, Aug. 18 from Patrick O'Neill
       Memorial Prayer Service
       August 18 Thursday 7 P.M.
       Gather at Pullen Baptist Church 1800 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC
As we approach the 10th anniversary of NO EXECUTIONS in our state, it is important that we gather to commemorate this amazing achievement by calling on all people of Good Will to proclaim: "No More Executions EVER AGAIN in Our State!" North Carolina is the only Southern state to have gone a decade without an execution.

It is simply wonderful and almost unimaginable that we will be remembering 10 years of no executions in the Tar Heel state. August 18 is the 10th anniversary of Sammy Flippen's state-sanctioned execution. While Sammy died -- after he and his family proclai…

Thursday, Aug. 18: 10th anniversary of no executions

Memorial Prayer Service
August 18 Thursday 7 P.M.
Gather at Pullen Baptist Church 1800 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC
Directions and Parking Tips

Elizabeth Soboeiro of our congregation shares this announcement and invites you to join her at this prayer service.

Dear Abolitionists:

As we approach the 10th anniversary of NO EXECUTIONS in our state, it is important that we gather to commemorate this amazing achievement by calling on all people of Good Will to proclaim: "No More Executions EVER AGAIN in Our State!" North Carolina is the only Southern state to have gone a decade without an execution.

It is simply wonderful and almost unimaginable that we will be remembering 10 years of no executions in the Tar Heel state. August 18 is the 10th anniversary of Sammy Flippen's state-sanctioned execution. While Sammy died -- after he and his family proclaimed his innocence -- no one else has been executed in our names in a decade.

Please join us at Pullen Baptist-- in the same chapel where…

Church Work Day - Saturday, Aug. 27

Come one! Come all! to our church-wide work day on Saturday, August 27, 9:00am to noon.  There will be lots to do - inside and out - and there will be jobs and projects for all ages!  Come and help get our church and church grounds spruced up for our upcoming Welcoming Sunday (September 11). Bring your gloves (if you have them) and wear work clothes!

Busy on August 27?  You can still help. Ask Allan Beidler or Skip Stoddard for a job that you can do on your own time during August.  They can select a job that fits your time availability and skills.

Community UCC seeking full-time Pastor

Community United Church of Christ is delighted to officially launch its search for a full-time, settled pastor to join our Beloved Community.
Thanks to the thoughtful preparation by our Transition Team, led by our Intentional Interim Pastor, the Search Committee announced the position on August 9, 2016. Interested candidates can view the position opening and request the Church Profile through the UCC website. Anyone who would like to review the Church Profile can also read a hard copy in the church office or the church library.
Community UCC has a long history of involvement in social justice, peace and civil rights movements in Raleigh and beyond. We became an Open and Affirming congregation in 1989. After the retirement of our most recent settled Pastor, Steve Halsted, late in 2014, we began a year-long process to discern who God is calling us to be as a congregation, and how to search for our next settled Pastor. The Transition Team thoughtfully explored our history as a congregation…