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Showing posts from February, 2017

The children go fishing

Last week the children learned about Jesus calling the disciples, "fishers of men." Today we had a guest who told us about "Loaves and Fishes."  The fish we created last week were very appropriate today.

UCC-sponsors Lenten "Church in Society" Town Halls

The Southern Conference of the UCC is offering opportunities for us to talk with others in the denomination about "the issues of today and try to minimize the idea of us vs. them."  Events are being held throughout the conference, with several nearby (March 13 in Cary, March 31 in Holly Springs).  [If you would like to carpool with Jane Smith on March 31, email her at]

From the Town Hall announcement:

The prophet Isaiah shares with us the question to ponder, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yolk, to set the oppressed free and break every yolk? (Isa 58:6-7)

As we begin to observe this season of repentance and reflection during Lent, let us use this time for prayer and preparation by engaging ourselves in reflective questions and answers. From Asheville to Virginia Beach and everywhere in between, "Town Hall Meetings" will be held in churches throughout the Southern …

The Lives of Others - March 3 Lenten film

A week from today is Ash Wednesday. Two days later on Friday, March 3 this year's Lenten Film series opens with "The Lives of Others". This German film debuted at CUCC in the Lenten Film Series of 2009 and has not been shown since. It was scheduled as the lead-off film last year, but that showing was cancelled because of an ice storm.

The film provides a strong statement about redemption and reconciliation. In the 2007 Academy Awards, it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film for 2007.

The film will be shown in the Fellowship Hall starting at 7 PM and runtime is 137 minutes. So with a short break the film will end around 9:30 PM. We'll follow with a brief discussion of the film for those who are interested.

Popcorn will be provided. Feel free to bring other snacks to share if you like. The room will be open by 6:40, so come early to pick a good seat, grab some popcorn, and perhaps help set up chairs. Years past have demonstrated that a good bit of socializing goes on at th…

Purchase your Lenten study book now

There are two Lenten offerings that will be using a book to guide the group’s time together. If you are interested in being part of either of the offerings listed below you may want to purchase your own book to supplement your experience. (Note: you are also welcome to participate without doing so)

Sundays, 9:30am
Coffee & Conversation using the book “Grounded: Finding God in the World, a Spiritual Revolution” by Diana Butler Bass, facilitated by Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas  Order your book from Amazon  or Quail Ridge Books

March 20 and 27, April 3 and 10: 
A meat-loving omnivore’s book discussion about eating vegetarian/vegan. Gary Smith will lead a book study on “The Restore-Our-Planet Diet: Food Choices, Our Environment, and Our Health”. by Patricia Tallman, PhD.  Order your book  from Amazon or Quail Ridge Books

Hearing to support Habitat and documentary

Adrienne Little, our Social Justice Ministry's liaison to Congregations for Social Justice, commends these community events to you.

1 -  Please attend Town of Cary public hearing on February 23! from Rachel Zeitler
        Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 6:30pm. Arrive at 6pm to get a seat.
        Council Chambers at Cary Town Hall
        316 Academy Street
        Cary, NC 27513

Habitat Wake requests rezoning to add affordable housing in Cary
Habitat Wake is seeking to build 15 affordable homes in Cary off of Trimble Avenue. These would be a mix of single family detached houses and townhome units.
The surrounding neighbors have voiced concerns about the project and are planning to oppose rezoning of the land at a Town Council hearing on February 23rd.

We want to demonstrate to Council that there are also residents of Cary who support this affordable housing development. If you live in Cary, please help us pack the house at the hearing! At one point, we'll ask Cary residents in suppo…

Journey with us this Lenten season

Ash Wednesday, March 1 - Sunday, April 9 (Palm Sunday) 
What is Lent? The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengten,” which simply means “spring” — when the days lengthen and new life springs forth. It is a time in which we reflect upon and 'admit' our mortality that then frees us to relinquish all that keeps us from relying on God.

At CUCC we invite all ages to journey with us on the way. Please read through the CUCC 2017 Lenten Guide, and join us when you are able.

Updates to CUCC 2017 Lenten Guide
If we get more details about any of the events in the guide, we will post them here.

Update on March 17 Lenten Film:  Les Innocentes

Update on children's Sunday School schedule:  During Lent, children (like the adults) have Sunday School from 9:30 to 10:20.  Parent's pick up their children at 10:20 for worship.  After the Children's Message, the children leave (as usual) for special Lenten activities.  Schedule

Update on ordering books for Lenten studies:  Here a 

Settled Stardust

Settled Stardust Feb. 14, 2017
People who think Ash Wednesday is for Catholics who forgot that they were living in the 21st Century totally don’t get it. I mean, there is part of me that knows that getting dirty and exposing my dirt is sorta taboo, but I think that makes it all the more necessary.
Whilst society is doing our best just to tread the hellacious waters of absolute chaos at the unraveling of our common shared life as we know it, our ashen-poached heritage, the settled Stardust that has speckled our fragile bones with a wrinkled-radiance, and freckle-faced beauty, is screaming out to be remembered.
That we might know from which we have come, and make known that which we are, and receive that which we will all be, dust to dust, as an invitation to bless and be blessed.
If anything this untold story is refreshing, casting each one, of many colors, shades and flavors within the kaleidoscope of our shared humanity, in the image of one another, bone for bone, breath for breath, comp…

Out of the Silence...

Feb. 8, 2017
If you were in worship on Sunday you heard some of my personal story, bits and pieces of a past still alive in the present. I shared about an experience I had while on a mission trip, as a teenager, to the Philippines with a fundamentalist evangelical Christian group when I was “silenced” for being a woman, and was told that I was “not to speak at all”.
Last night during another intense debate where Democratic Senators held the floor for 24 hours, this time protesting the nomination of Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General after having just endured the election of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass) stood up in protest and read a letter from the late Coretta Scott King, written in 1986, in protest to Jeff Sessions nomination to the judgeship. Not only was Warren rebuked, but in a brief telephone interview with MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," a program watched loyally by many Warren devotees…

Town Hall meeting on redistricting reform

Town Hall Topic:  Redistricting Reform in NC           
Flyer with details

Panel:  Jane Pinsky, Common Cause, and Mitch Kokai, John Locke Foundation

They expect a tremendous turn-out, so pre-register by emailing

CUCC has sponsored a number of educational events on the effect of gerrymandered districts on our legislative process.  We have an opportunity to learn more about current redistricting efforts in NC at a nonpartisan Town Hall sponsored by our own Cynthia Ball.  Cynthia serves as representative to the NC House from District 49.

February 23
Beth Meyer Synagogue
504 Newton Road
Registration 6:30PM
Town Hall 7:00PM

Wonder if you are in district 49?  Use the Board of Elections Public Voter Search to find your district.

Radical Welcome: Living with the Other

Adrienne Little, CUCC's representative to Congregations for Social Justice, extends this invitation on their behalf.

2017 Jack Crum Conference from HENRY C JARRETT
         March 25, 2017
         Jarvis United Methodist Church
         510 S Washington St,
         Greenville, NC 27858

Click HERE for registration fees and details.

Theme - Radical Welcome: Living with the Other

Workshops/Speakers (Working Titles only; Subject to Change)
   First Americans: Rev. Terry Hunt (confirmed), possibly with Gary Locklear .
   Immigrant Rights: Jose Luis Villasenor, Apex UMC Fiesta Cristiana. Ernesto Barigurette
   Islamophobia: Manzoor Cheema.
   Homeless & Helpless. This workshop will be offered by:
            – Greenville Shelter Director Bob Williams
            – Trillium (Managed Care Organization) Local Office Director Keith Ledgeworth
            – Both NAMI Chapter Leaders-Christine Spencer and Millie Hagler
            – Rev. David W. Girod, ACT Case Manager for over 4 years, currently In-R…

Sharing God's love

On Sunday, Feb. 11, the children of CUCC went all out to share God's love in a special Valentine's Day celebration.  Ms. Susan, Ms. Ann, and Ms. Anne helped them bake cookies, make strawberry roses, and create beautiful cards.

Loaves and Fishes Comes to CUCC - Feb. 26

Loaves and Fishes (LAF), an organization with deep roots to our church, will participate with us in the service, Forum, Sunday school and a chili lunch on Sunday, February 26.  They will describe their history, mission and programs that empower low-income K-12 youth and their families to overcome challenges in order to achieve healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Loaves and Fishes was started in 1982 by Betty Anne Ford and Nancy Newell, two members of CUCC, as an after-school program for children living in subsidized housing in downtown Raleigh.  Today, LAF serves 53 children from 31 families.  LAF’s mission is accomplished  through out-of-school programming such as homework assistance, mentoring providing healthy snacks to supplement frequently inadequate nutrition, life skills and workplace readiness training, exercise, field trips and other experiential learning activities.

The schedule for the Sunday’s activities:

Forum: 9:30am - 10:15am - Joe Burmester, Executive Director, will talk…

Raleigh’s History through the Lens of Race

The CUCC group that is now studying the UCC White Privilege curriculum invites you to the following events in our area…

Oberlin Cemetery Clean-Up - Saturday, February 18

 Please help with a cleanup of historic Oberlin Cemetery on Saturday, February 18 from 9:00am to Noon. Oberlin Cemetery  served as a final resting place for people who by law could not be buried anywhere else. There are believed to be over 600 graves there, some still marked by gravestones marking the burials of freed black doctors, lawyers, artisans, teachers, ministers, and even a Buffalo Soldier, truly heroes of Raleigh and this country as well. Walking through the grounds is like turning through the pages of Raleigh history. The Friends of Oberlin Village recognize that if this cemetery is not preserved, a significant section of history will be forever lost. The cemetery is located at 1014 Oberlin Road (behind the InterAct of Wake County building).

       We want to protect cultural artifacts and avoid pulling out ma…

Refugee Update

A big thanks this week to Santi Matthews in her support of Azeb and Tsegawit. Santi pitched in with a tremendous amount of help, from working with DSS and ESL courses to simply keeping their apartment warm and toasty. She's made a huge difference in their lives.

Azeb and Tsegawit continue to be part of our church community. They both joined the Youth Group for a large portion of the lock-in last Friday night. Tsegawit had an amazing time and Azeb enjoyed the company of other adults as well. 

Money and services are always an issue with new refugee families. If you would like to contribute toward CUCC's refugee efforts, please write a check to CUCC and put "refugee fund" in the memo line.

Carpool to creation justice conference

Carpool with Gary Smith to this inaugural event.  CUCC's Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force is a member of the UCC's Creation Justice Network which is sponsoring this event.

The Creation Justice Network of the United Church of Christ, Southern Conference, presents Creation Justice Pathways in North Carolina  co-sponsored by the NC Council of Churches
Where: Parkway United Church of Christ, Winston-Salem, 2151 Silas Creek Parkway

When: Friday, March 24 - Sunday, March 26

Register here - FREE!

Friday, 6:00 p.m.: Potluck supper, small-group discussion, and community building
Saturday, 9:00 a.m - 2:30: Presentations. 11:45-12:30: Lunch (free; donations welcome)
Sunday: 11:00 a.m: Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, worship leader


Marilynn Marsh-Robinson is the Partnerships and Alliances Manager of the US Climate and Energy Program of the Environmental Defense Fund. She serves on the NC Conservation Network board and the planning board of the NC Environmental Justice Network…

Lenten Film Series - 2017

At the urging of members of the Deacons Ministry, we will be presenting yet another Lenten film series during March of this year. All films will be shown in the church fellowship hall and will begin at 7 PM. Popcorn and other refreshments will generally be provided. Admission is free. During the previous two Lenten seasons attendance at the films has averaged around 20.

March 3: The Lives of Others

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. This film was scheduled to be our lead film in last year's Lenten series, but the showing was cancelled because of ice.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
Country: Germany
Language: German (English subtitles)
Release Date: 30 March 2007 (USA)
Runtime: 137 min

March 10: Tender Mercies

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wi…

Democracy for Sale - extra showing

Another showing of Democracy for Sale has been scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 8 at 7 PM at the James B Hunt Library on Centennial campus of NCSU. First come, first serve.

Thank you to everyone who came to the showing at CUCC on Tuesday night. A special thank you to the people who were so understanding when we had to turn you away.

More info: 

A salon: "People and the Environment" at the Smiths

You are cordially invited to a salon featuring a presentation by Marty Lamb, “Thinking ‘Green’ in the Hot, Hot Summer.”  I am honored to host Marty and look forward to the conversation among those assembled.  The salon will be held at my home on Monday, February 20 at 2PM. Light refreshments will be served.

In the summer of 2016, Marty and Bill Lamb attended the Chautauqua Institute week-long session, “People and the Environment.”  When Marty returned brimming with ideas and information, she and I began planning an informal opportunity when she could present some of what inspired her from the week.  Included in her presentation: what world religions have to say about the environment and its preservation.

Please RSVP to me at 919-787-6539.  My living room capacity is 12 people.

- submitted by Jane Smith

You gotta put one foot in front of the other...

Yesterday Anne Moorman-Smith taught us a song for our days and our marches.  Sing along...

You gotta put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.
Put!!!!   one foot in front of the other and lead with love.

Thank you, Melanie DeMore, for your song and Joan McAllister, for drawing it to our attention.

2 Learning Opportunities

Adrienne Little passes along these opportunities to join in the justice work of the community around us.  She is the Social Justice Ministry's contact to Congregations for Social Justice.

1 -  Sicha's Annual Interfaith Day of Learning - from Maxine Smith
         Monday, February 6, 2017 - 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
         You can do this AND the CSJ Dinner!
                Temple Beth Or
                5315 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh  27612
Join Sicha for a day of Interfaith learning on a topic both timely and timeless. In a community of Muslims, Christians, and Jews, share sacred stories from each tradition about love and its role in building a responsive and responsible community of fellow-travelers.
$50 registration includes lunch

2 -  Accepting Reservations through Monday, Jan 30 from Al Reberg
CSJ Annual Dinner Meeting
          Monday, February 6, 2017 – 6:00 PM
          Highland United Methodist Church - Bradley Hall
          1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh 27607
Our Guest Speaker will be David …

Updated Office Hours

CUCC Office hours are 9:00am - 1:00pm, Monday - Friday. If you need to contact the pastor at any time, contact Pastor Jenny at 859-361-4240.

For regular business after hours, call 919-809-8850 and leave a message or email the church office at