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Showing posts from May, 2018

Pastor's Letter

Surely God Was In This Place
by Talitha Arnold, May 29, 2018
"Surely God is in this place and I did not know it!" - Genesis 28:16

Jacob could probably be forgiven for not knowing that God was in the desert where he'd spent the night with only a stone for a pillow. The harsh landscape around him matched the landscape of his own life. He was on the run from his older brother Esau whom he'd tricked out of both his birthright and also their father's blessing. Not surprisingly, Esau was out for his brother's blood.

So Jacob escaped to the wilderness. That night he dreamt of a ladder that stretched to the heavens, filled with angels going up and down. Nothing in the landscape around him pointed to the possibility of such an amazing vision. No wonder he woke from sleep and proclaimed, "Surely God was in this place and I did not know it!"

Moreover, Jacob could have easily proclaimed "Surely God is in me, and I did not know it!" A conniver and a cheat, …

Outdoor work day – June 2

Our beautiful church grounds could use some extra care, so an outdoor work day has been scheduled for Saturday, June 2 from 8am-12pm.  There will be projects for all ages and skill levels.  To keep us fueled, we’ll have Krispy Kreme doughnuts, muffins, fruit, juice and coffee.

Please join us for an hour or two that morning for fresh air, exercise, comaraderie and the chance to brag about the difference you made!

Please bring your favorite work gloves and pruning tools. Wheelbarrows and blowers would also be appreciated.

For more information, contact Property Ministry co-chairs Merrilee Jacobson (919-274-4539) or Skip Stoddard (919-827-2346).

Important Business at Congregational Meeting - June 3

Please plan to attend the CUCC congregational meeting after worship and fellowship on Sunday, June 3rd. The hour-long meeting will include several key items of business and a discussion of how, as a welcoming congregation, Community UCC can support immigrants and engage with immigration policy.

Draft minutes of January Congregational Meeting

Your voice matters, so please protect the time on your calendar and plan to attend; we'll keep the meeting crisp and lively!

BYC Summer Camp Deadline is Sunday, June 3

Attention Parents and Youth: BYC Summer Camp Registration has begun! Camp Dates this year are Sunday, July 1 - Friday, July 6. Final payment due by Sunday, June 10. SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE! Śānti Matthews is collecting all forms and payments. Contact her at educational.cucc@gmail.comfor the necessary forms.
We will have a newcomer orientation and meeting on June 10, right after worship. DON'T MISS THIS AMAZING SPIRITUAL SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCE!

BYC is a phenomenal church camp experience in the NC mountains with like-minded churches from all over the country. Śānti has participated in curriculum planning and leadership at this camp for 14 years, and CUCC youth have attended for the past 8 years.  The camp is open to our current 6th graders (this summer's rising 7th graders) through this years' high school graduates.
The cost this year is $360 per camper. (this fee covers all camp meals and lodging, and travel there and back and is well worth it!) Scholarships are available. Don&#…

Fellowship & Worship Opportunities for the Week of June 3, 2018

Sunday06/03 9:00amNursery provided 9:00amTaizé Worship – Sanctuary 9:30amAdult Monday Morning Bible Study - Bradow Room 9:30amEconomic Justice Task Force Meeting - Library 9:30amWebsite Discussion - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 10:30amWorshipService with Communion - Sanctuary 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Room 10:45amNo Youth Sunday School - Youth Stay in Service on First Sunday 11:45amFellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 12:00pmCONGREGATIONAL MEETING - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 4:00pmCovenant Community - Bradow Room                 Food Bags Due
12:15pmMonday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room Tuesday06/05
9:30amOffice Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House

CUCC on Twitter

Did you know CUCC is on Twitter?  Community UCC  @RaleighCUCC

Our CUCC Twitter moderator is Cathy Marshall.

- submitted (with our thanks to Cathy) by Jane Smith of the Communications Committee

Fellowship & Worship Opportunities for the Week of May 27, 2018

Sunday 05/27     
9:00am Nursery provided 9:00amTaizé Worship – Sanctuary 9:30amChoir Practice - Sanctuary 9:30amAdult Monday Morning Bible Study - Bradow Room 10:30amWorshipService - Sanctuary 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Room 10:45amYouth Sunday School - Youth Room 11:45amFellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm Religious Education Ministry Meeting - Hoffmann Room 12:00pmSocial Justice Ministry Meeting - Bradow Room 4:00pmCovenant Community - Bradow Room Monday05/28Church Office Closed - Memorial Day 12:15pmMonday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room Tuesday05/29   9:30amOffice Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House 6:30pmSisters in Spirit (SIS) - Merrilee Jacobson’s home Wednesday 05/30

Pastor’s Letter

The first time we took Sage, a colicky infant who never slept more than an hour at a time, to the beach we were amazed at the impact of the crashing waves, the ebb and flow of the rising tide to calm and heal our sweet and anxious boy. I would strap him into the baby carrier and walk and walk and walk. I could have walked for miles then, so desperate for hands that could heal, a song that could soothe, an embrace that could lull my sweet unsettled baby to sleep. This great mystery of a sea that I had both feared and yet was hungry to understand as a child myself, was now offering the deepest knowing that one can ever find or receive; that love is present in many forms, and just as the tides of our life rise and fall the ever-present mystery of God’s healing love is as sure as the waters that crash upon the shore, one wave at a time.
We were back at this same beach, the one Sage calls “his” just a week ago. It is with gratitude for the mystery of life and its complexities that I return …

Santi Matthews on Vacation from May 22 - May 28

Santi Matthews will be taking vacation from May 22 - May 28. She will be back in the office on Tuesday, May 29, and will catch up on email correspondence at that time. Please direct youth and family pastoral care concerns directly to Pastor Jenny during this time. Santi is grateful for the opportunity to have this time of rest and renewal.

Survey - What do you use on CUCC's website?

We don’t want to lose those parts of our website that are important to you!

"Keep this for me" website survey

This summer the Website Team will be challenging ourselves to reimagine what our website can be.  What if you could...

join an online discussion about Jenny's most recent sermon (also on the website)submit a prayer requestsing along with a recording of a piece the choir is practicingsubmit a letter for a delegation from CUCC to take to a legislatorwrite a note of encouragement to be be attached to a food bagjoin a live chat Bible or book studylisten to a podcast that inspired next week's sermonall from your hotel room or the airport or your "I've got the flu" couch?
As we explore ways our website can be our "front porch" in the community and for one another,  we want to keep what you use for yourself and for your work at CUCC.  Fill out the "Keep this for me" website survey before May 27.

Moderator’s Report on Council Actions, February – May 2018

The CUCC church council has had three busy meetings since the beginning of February.

At the February 19 meeting, Council reviewed church financials, and heard about Welcoming & Fellowship’s plans for offering an ‘extravagant welcome’ to new arrivals at CUCC. Council members received a briefing on how to use Breeze, our online church database; how to submit check requests; how to work effectively with the CUCC office; and how to share information though CUCC’s various communications channels. Council deferred a decision on repairs to the furnace in the Pilgrim House, but adopted a policy allowing Stewardship and Property to make emergency capital repairs.

At the March 19 meeting, Council reviewed church financials; checked in on ministries’ use of Breeze; and reappointed Louise Slate to serve as one of Council’s representatives on the Pastoral Relations Committee for a two year term (the other Council Representative on the PRC is Paul Atkinson, in the middle of his two year term). Co…

Discussion Group: "The church was born for this"?

What does it mean to be the church when creation itself is changing?  How do we build resilience into our relationships, our worship, our budget and our building?  As climate change shakes loose the structures of society, what openings will there be to create together new ways of justice?  What skills and stories should we be learning ourselves and teaching our children?

Rev. Jim Antal's new book "Climate Church, Climate World:  How People of Faith Must Work for Change"  will be the springboard for our discussion about how the church is transforming in an intersectional world.  Essentially a reality-based, hope-filled, idea book, each chapter has super short posts linked by a theme (discipleship, worship, prophetic preaching, living hope-filled lives, witnessing together) to help us think together into the future.  Climate change NOT your issue?  We especially need your perspective and life experience.

Join the discussion.  Each week I'll post a reading assignment and …

Did you suggest the private portal for contact info?

Dear Wonderful Survey Completer,
You made this suggestion for our website:  "Have a private portal for members only to get contact info for members."  You didn't include your name, so I hope you read this answer.

Your wish is our command.  CUCC has a password protected portal for contact information called Breeze.

You can create a user name and password, add your photo and keep your contact info updated. Begin by emailing Susan Atkinson at This lets us know you’d like to join CUCC on Breeze. We’ll send you an invitation, which is a link to create your user name and password. Once you’ve gained access, check out “Tags.” You can request to be added to any tagged group and even to have a tag created for your group at CUCC.

-submitted by Jane Smith, Communications Committee

Opportunities for the Week of May 20, 2018

Sunday 05/20     9:00am Nursery provided 9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary   9:30am  Adult Monday Morning Bible Study - Bradow Room 10:30am  WorshipService - Sanctuary - Confirmation Sunday 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Room 10:45am No Youth Sunday School - Youth stay for Confirmation Service 11:45am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 12:00pm International Mission Trip Meeting - Hoffmann room   4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room                 Wright Center Meal Monday 05/21  12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room   5:30pm Nicaragua Night (Sarah Junkin Woodard) - Fellowship Hall
Tuesday 05/22   9:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House Wednesday 05/23   9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Saturday 05/26  9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library Sunday 05/27 9:00am Nursery provided 9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary   9:30am Choir Practice - Sanctuary   9:30am Adult Monday Morning Bible Study - Bradow Room 1

From the Pastor

Who We Once Were By Emily C. Heath, reprinted from
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” - Psalm 139
Recently someone I respected and cared about did something pretty hurtful. In the aftermath I searched for reconciliation and resolution to no avail. It was a bewildering and painful time; one I'm still in somewhat.
What helped me was remembering a teaching I'd once read from Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh. I'm far from a Buddhist practitioner or scholar, but this one resonated with me. He was talking about forgiving those who hurt us and using the metaphorical example of a father and a wounded son. He asked the “sons,” who could be any of us, to remember who they were as fiv…