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Showing posts from September, 2017

A Note from the Pastor

Dear Friends,
As I sat and listened this week to the world around me, watched in silence, played in leaves turned green to gold, and then listened again to the beating heart of the Earth beneath my feet, I was moved to tears. As if my heart were breaking wide open, the experience of knowing that we are called to more than we are, that our charge in "binding up the brokenhearted" still leaves a hole too vast for our combined efforts to fill. 
It is in these moments that I turn to the wisdom of the wisest among us, our children. 
One of my former youth, Sophie Steiner, who lost her life to cancer her junior year of high school wrote this poem that I share with you now. You can read more about Be Loud! Sophie here: beloudsophie.org 
Spirit is leading the way, Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas
BUT YOU AND I ARE REALLY JUST THE SAME December 10, 2016, byBe Loud! Sophie
I would get on a bus
A bus for Human Rights
So that every person
Can live with no
Abuse or violence
So that girls can
Live with no
Harm

Lectionary for the Week of October 1, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of October 1, 2017
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 or Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 World Communion Sunday | Neighbors in Need (NIN) Offering

Neighbors in Need Offering - October 1

Community UCC has traditionally supported one church-wide mission offering in the spring and another one in the fall. The fall offering, Neighbors in Need (NIN), will be collected October 1.
Neighbors in Need is a UCC mission offering that targets needs near to home by supporting ministries of justice and compassion in the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries(JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Here are just a three examples of grant recipients: Mano en Mano is the “go-to” agency in Downeast Maine for Latino/Latina, immigrant, and farmwork…

THIS WEEK’S OPPORTUNITIES

Sunday10/01    9:00amTaizé Worship – Sanctuary 9:30amAnimate Faith - Hoffmann Room 9:30amSeven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally - Fellowship Hall 9:30amYouth Confirmation Class - Youth Room 10:30amWorshipService - World Communion Sunday - Sanctuary - Neighbors in Need Offering Collected Today 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms 10:45amNo Youth Sunday School Today 12:00pmCUCC Social Justice Groups Gathering - Bradow Room 12:00pmCommunity Low Income HousingBd Meeting -Hoffmann Rm 12:00pmMemorial Garden Committee Meeting - Library 4:00pmCovenant Community - Bradow Room FOOD BAGS DUE THIS SUNDAY

CUCC Justice Groups Meeting

Please join participants in CUCC Justice Groups this Sunday, October 1, at 12:00pm in the Bradow Room to share information about what individuals and groups are doing, to suggest new initiatives and to explore ways we can support each other in our efforts.  Everyone is welcome.

CUCC Youth Mission Trip to Nicaragua

Hi CUCC Families of Youth,

Below is information on our 2018 Nicaragua Trip. Halfway down this post is detailed registration information.

Flyer for mission trip

CUCC Youth Mission Trip to Nicaragua: June 14-23, 2018  It has been a dream for our CUCC Youth Program to include an International Mission Trip, and now it’s happening!

Who’s going?: We will be taking 24 youth and adults. Registration information is on the other side of this flier, and will soon be available on our website.

Where are we going?: Ciudad Sandino, one of the most densely populated and underprivileged cities in Nicaragua. We’ll be hosted by the CDCA (Center for Development in Central America).

What do we hope to do?: We hope to make new friends in a ministry of accompaniment, and help the CDCA in their efforts to support health and alleviate poverty for the people of Ciudad Sandino.

How do we hope to grow?: We pray that this trip brings our youth group closer together, broadens our perspectives, challenges and expands our c…

Allyship: Sept. 24 recap, Oct. 1 homework

Good morning everyone!  Below is your weekly recap of the Allyship Series, and some questions to begin thinking about in the coming week.

Summary of Sunday discussion 9/24
This week, we looked at our first step toward becoming a better ally, which is:

Step 1: Educate yourself on the realities of poverty (or other oppressions)
An ally should try to learn as much as possible directly from members of communities that have experienced poverty, allowing them to speak in their own words rather than only through economically privileged "experts." At the same time, an ally takes responsibility for her own learning and does not passively wait to be "educated" by people living in poverty.

We noted a certain tension or paradox in this instruction.  In the first place, since part of oppression is the silencing of people, it is important to let people speak for themselves.  In that vein, I shared a poem and some stories from my mentor Julia Dinsmore.  Here's the YouTube link for…

Walk or donate to CROP Walk - October 22

This is your chance to be a hunger fighter. To show the world you care.

CROP Hunger Walks help children and families worldwide – including here in the U.S. – to have food for today, while building for a better tomorrow. CROP Hunger Walkers, volunteers and sponsors put their caring into action, raising funds to help end hunger and poverty at home and around the world.

I'm walking in the Greater Triangle Area CROP Hunger Walk and I'd like to invite you to join my team – Team Community United Church of Christ. Just go to our CUCC's team page , then click the big blue "Register" button.

Or, you can donate on the same page.

Together we can be part of the solution!

Sincerely,
Maria Mayorga (for Community Outreach Ministry)

Walk Details
Walk starts at the Court of the Carolinas at NCSU
Registration 1:00 PM
Walk starts at 3:00 PM

Wanted: Shoe Collectors and Driver

Do you have old athletic shoes needing a good home?  CUCC's JCC* is looking for one or more people to collect shoes and someone else to drive them to either Mebane or Smithfield.

We thank Geri Bowen for telling us about the Nike Grind shoe project.  Nike grinds old, worn out athletic shoes to make pellets and transform them into all kinds of athletic products.  This is a great way to keep old shoes out of the landfill.

If this sounds like an enjoyable, short-term project for you, contact Jane Smith.  She will put you in touch with others at CUCC who have shown an interest.  Together you can plan your collection and delivery strategy.  The Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force can provide advice (if you want to it)  about how to do things successfully at CUCC  (PR, storage).  Design the project with your own style and schedule.

Do NOT bring your shoes to CUCC now.  Shoe collectors first, then shoes!

- submitted by Jane Smith for the Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force*
smithjeg@…

Polls are now open for Raleigh and Cary

What do candidates for Raleigh mayor and city council have to say about climate change and helping our neighbors with the fewest financial resources to adapt?  The City of Raleigh will hold elections for mayor and city council on Tuesday, October 10.  

You can read answers to a question posed to candidates by CUCC's  Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force HERE.

THIS WEEK’S OPPORTUNITIES

Sunday9/24 9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary 9:00amYouth Deadline to sign up for International Mission Trip 9:30amChoir Practice - Sanctuary 9:30amAnimate Faith - Hoffmann Room 9:30amSeven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally - Fellowship Hall 9:30amYouth Confirmation Class - Youth Room 10:30amWorshipService - Sanctuary - Ruth Pardue, guest musician 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms 10:45amYouth Sunday School - Youth Room
   11:45am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 12:00pmStewardship Ministry Meeting - Library 12:00pmSocial Justice Ministry Meeting - Bradow Room 4:00pmCovenant Community - Bradow Room Monday9/25

A note from the Pastor

Dear Friends, 
"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."   ~Psalm 118:24 
There are days that pass that feel as though they never began; starts and stops, interruptions and interruptions to the interruptions and then wondering what had been interrupted in the first place. 
For these days, I give thanks, but I don't always get there on my own.
Sometimes, at the outset I can forget what my life is to be about and I set my mind to working, to making progress, to accomplishing tasks and goals, to following the usual routines. Then, I am graciously distracted by a new beginning. The sun peers effortlessly through the sheer curtain hanging from my window and because I have decided to look up and to let the light in, I can begin again. 
This time, from the inside out I am guided by a love that sees beyond the task, through the paper, beneath the words, and from the light I am beckoned to come along on the journey-- rather than stumbling or barreling …