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Showing posts from 2019

In this week's CUCC Weekly eNews...

CUCC Calendar  Descriptions are in the details of each event

Care in times of emergency during the holidays
A new baby in your family in 2019? Deadline January 2
Yearly reports due January 7
2020 Stewardship Campaign Update

Upcoming events at CUCC
Schedule changes for New Year’s week
Beginning at the beginning   Genesis study starts January 5
Life & Faith gathers January 7
Upcoming Youth Events

Deadline to submit information for the January 8 eNews or Sunday Announcements is Tuesday, January 7, 9AM.  Send to, including the name and contact information of someone at CUCC who can answer questions about your event.

Care in times of emergency during the holidays

As we celebrate Christmas and the new year, our staff will be away from the office. If you have an emergency care need, please call these people.

December 22 - 29 
Pastor Tony Hoshaw (773) 655-6638

December 30 - January 4
Jim Smith    (919) 302-6874
Robert Parish    (919) 616-1606
Marty Lamb    (919) 819-4084
Joan McAllister     (919) 612-5523

Due to Holiday plans and travel, some of the Deacons may not be available the whole time.

A new baby in your family in 2019?

As is our Epiphany tradition, we will be celebrating the birth of any babies born to anyone in our families, next Sunday, January 5. 

Please submit a photo, date of birth, and full name as well as your relationship to the child (grandfather, aunt, cousin, dad) to Śānti at by 9 AM Thursday, January 2.

Yearly reports due January 7

All ministries, committees, task forces, officers, and pastors - please email your 2019 yearly report to Jane Smith NO LATER THAN midnight, January 7.

Our bylaws require us to report at the January congregational meeting on what we have accomplished on the congregation's behalf, and time is set aside at that meeting for the congregation to ask questions about that work.  In order to give them time to read the reports before the meeting, we upload the reports onto our website two weeks before the meeting.

If you have questions, contact Jane Smith

Not sure what to include?  You can see a copy of the 2018 reports on our website.

Thank you.

2020 Stewardship Campaign Update

The Stewardship Ministry is concerned that we haven’t received a 2020 pledge from many of you. At this time, we’ve received just over 50 pledges. Last year, we had almost 100 pledges. Similarly, in order to do everything that we discussed in the fall congregational meeting with the draft budget, we will need about $70,000 more in pledges for 2020. We have faith that our community will step up, but we need each of you to do your part. Please communicate your 2020 pledge ASAP; there are several ways to do so:

Bring your pledges to worship and place them in the offering plate. (A simple, clear hand-written note is fine.)Fill out this Google Form.Tell Bill Lamb, Jeanne Ledbetter, or Jason Myers what you are pledging, in person, over the phone, or by email. Their contact information is in Breeze.Mail the pledge card or simple note to the Church Office at 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Pledges of financial support make up the more than 85% of our annual budget, account for more than a q…

Schedule changes for New Year's Week

Children and youth will join their families in worship on Sunday, December 29.  There is no Sunday School or confirmation.

These groups are taking off New Year's week and will meet again at their next gathering.
Monday Lunch Group  - MLG welcomes you to join them when they return on January 6 for an Epiphany party.

Beginning at the beginning - Genesis study starts January 5

Join others as we read Genesis and discuss together what we find there.

Sunday morning Bible study is open to anyone; come as often as you are able.  We read the text together, so there is no "homework" unless something intrigues you and you want to do some research to share with the group.  The study is being convened by Bill Lamb.

Sundays, 9:15-10:15AM, in the Hoffmann room

For more information, contact Bill Lamb

Life & Faith gathers January 7

Let's tell baptism stories.  The Sunday after we meet is the festival of the baptism of Jesus.  Here are some questions to get us started:

What do you know about your baptism?  Have you participated in someone else's baptism that caused you to understand your life in a new way?  The UCC's Weekly Seeds for this week suggests reflecting on this text from Lao Tzu, 6th century B.C.E.  "Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it."  What might this quotation say about your life? Life & Faith is a monthly gathering of whoever shows up.  Why not drop in?
Tuesday, January 7 Wilson's Eatery, 1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604 Arrive at 6:30 PM if you want to order dinner; discussion runs from 7-8PM
Read more about Life &…

Upcoming Youth Events

Dear youth and families! Thank you for all your prayers, cards, meals, cards, etc! I am feeling excellent and have recovered quickly with no further treatment required! 2020 here we come!

Sunday, December 24: Christmas Eve Service at 5:00PM Enjoy a lovely service including Las Posadas (a Mexican celebration of welcoming the Christ Child).

Sunday December 29: No Youth or Children's Sunday School.

Sunday, January 5: Next Confirmation Class will be at 10:30AM.

Confirmation Retreat is in Blowing Rock, January  17-20!

Advent Love,
Śānti Matthews

In this week’s CUCC Weekly eNews

Welcome!  The people of CUCC invite you to participate in our life together.

CUCC Calendar of Events      See details in each event

Care in times of emergency during the holidays
2020 Stewardship Campaign Update

Online conversations
Sharing signs of Love - Advent Week 4 conversation

Upcoming events at CUCC
Las posadas Christmas Eve worship for all ages    December 24
Christmas Eve offering - The Christmas Fund
These regular events are on hiatus Christmas week
Upcoming Youth Events

Celebrating with each other
Angel tree gifts delivered

Deadline to submit information for the January 8 eNews or Sunday Announcements is Tuesday, January 7, 9AM.  Send to, including the name and contact information of someone at CUCC who can answer questions about your event.

Sharing signs of Love

Let us share the signs of Advent Faithful Waiting with those far and wide who follow our Facebook page.  This week starting December 22 post your signs of Love.  Not a Facebook user?  Send your contribution to Jane who will post for you.

Share a piece of music, an artwork or photograph, a saying, a verse of scripture, something someone said to you.

Let us be Love as we wait faithfully together - in person or virtually.

Jane Smith, CUCC's webmaster

Las Posadas Christmas eve worship for all ages

Join us on this Holy Night as we wander together from inn to inn, through scripture, song, and prayer.  As a continuation of our Oaxaca journey, we'll draw close to the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas (The Inns). We will remember the journey Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and wait faithfully for the Christ Child.  Music features Mike Schafale on hammered dulcimer, Monty Smith on guitar, and the Chancel Choir.  This is a family-friendly service full of carols, candlelight, and love!

Christmas Eve offering - The Christmas Fund

At the Christmas Eve worship service we will collect a special offering for The Christmas Fun.

The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund is a Special Mission Offering that congregations have been supporting for over 100 years.  The offering is administered through the United Church Board of Ministerial Assistance, the charitable arm of the Pension Boards.  Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties.  Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Supplementation of Small Annuities, Supplementation of Health Premiums, Emergency Grants, and/or Christmas "Thank You" Gift Checks.

You may make your check to Community UCC, with Christmas Fund on the memo line. Or use the envelope which will be in the worship bulletin on Christmas eve.

Angel Tree gifts delivered

Thank you to all who bought a coat or shoes for the child of a refugee in detention or who has been deported.  We were able to give 25 gifts.  This project builds on what we learned from our Oaxaca trip and was sponsored by CUCC's youth.

What's in this week's eNews?

CUCC Calendar  Descriptions are in the details of each event

Deadline for Sunday Announcements & CUCC Weekly eNews for Christmas week December 22
Care in times of emergency during the holidays
Garden pathway fundraising goal is near!

Online conversations
Sharing signs of Joy - Advent Week 3 conversation

Upcoming events at CUCC
This Sunday at CUCC  December 22
These regular events are on hiatus Christmas week
Christmas caroling at Morningside    December 22
RSVP for Young Adult Reunion Lunch  December 22
Advent Meditation Series - final Sunday  December 22
Las posadas Christmas Eve worship for all ages    December 24

Celebrating with each other
Congratulations to Katherine Manus
Photo Album: A Tale of Two Christmas Parties
Listen:  Joy Has Dawned - the Christmas cantata
Photo: Youth serve dinner at Helen Wright Center for Women

Deadline to submit information for the CUCC Weekly eNews or Sunday Announcements is Sunday, December 22, 6PM.  This is for Sunday Announcements in the worship bulle…

Garden pathway fundraising goal is near!

Thanks to many generous donations, CUCC is very close to having enough money to install a paved walkway in the Meditation Memorial Garden.  If you’d like to contribute to this effort, donation forms are on the bulletin board in the hallway.  For a donation of $100, the donor can request an engraved paver with up to three lines of type.  This is a wonderful way to remember a loved one, give thanks for a special occasion or memorialize a favorite Bible verse.  Smaller donations are also very welcome.  Printable form for your engraving request

If you have questions about the pathway, please contact Merrilee Jacobson at 919-274-4539 or

Sharing signs of Joy

Let us share the signs of Advent Faithful Waiting with those far and wide who follow our Facebook page.  This week starting December 15 post your signs of Joy.  Not a Facebook user?  Send your contribution to Jane who will post for you.

Share a piece of music, an artwork or photograph, a saying, a verse of scripture, something someone said to you.

Let us be Joy as we wait faithfully together - in person or virtually.

Jane Smith, CUCC's webmaster

This Sunday at CUCC

December 22

  9:00 am     Taizé Service
  9:30 am     Falling Upward study
10:30 am     Worship and Sunday School for children & youth
                      Sermon: A Scandalous Birth
      Noon     Do Justice Ministry meeting (open to anyone)
      Noon     Stewardship Ministry meeting
      Noon     Christmas caroling at Morningside
  5:00 pm     A Practice of Meditation for Advent

Christmas caroling at Morningside December 22

Gather immediately after 10:30 worship in the Fellowship Hall.  Just before noon we will walk across the street together to Morningside to sing Christmas carols and spread cheer.  Carolers of all ages are welcome; children, please bring a parent.  Song sheets are provided to jog your memory for the words.

If you have questions, contact Anne Moorman-Smith, CUCC's Choir Director,

RSVP for Young Adult Reunion Lunch December 22

Young adults of CUCC, many back from college or far-flung jobs, will gather for lunch at Mellow Mushroom (601 W. Peace Street) after worship December 22.  Or meet us there at 12:30.

RSVP to Śānti Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator,

Advent Meditation Series

Sundays, December 1, 8, 15, 22
5-6PM, Sanctuary
All are welcome (you do not have to have any other connection to CUCC to attend).

If you need childcare in order to attend, contact Śānti Matthews by Tuesday, November 26.

This group will be facilitated by Daniel Day, husband of CUCC member Julie Robertson. You do not need to have had any prior experience with meditation. Bring a meditation pillow if you have one and want to bring it.  You may prefer to sit on the floor or in a chair as you meditate, whichever you prefer.  Come to one or all sessions.

Daniel has been a practitioner of meditation in Yogic, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions. It has been the constant undercurrent of his life and inner discovery of Self ever since.

Join us as we leave the frantic world behind for a little while and enter into the wonder of Faithful Waiting through the spiritual practice of meditation.  We will follow the themes of Advent focusing one week at a time on Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love.


Congratulations to Katherine Manus

Katherine Manus graduated on December 14 from Western Carolina University, where she majored in communications.  Katherine plans to return to the Triangle where she intends to begin her career.

Katherine grew up at CUCC and is the daughter of Roger Manus.

Photo album: A Tale of Two Christmas Parties

Check out the photos from our two Christmas parties this week:  the retirees party and the adult party.  Thank you to Susan Maleszweski and Susan Atkinson, respectively, and their crews of cooks, decorators, and entertainers.  It was a joy being together.

Listen: Joy Has Dawned - the Christmas cantata

Thank you to the combined Susie Allen and Youth choirs, their directors Anne Moorman-Smith and Chelsea Huber, pianist Doug Barrick, and narrators Paul Atkinson and Rev. Carol Ripley-Moffitt.

Here are some photos as the ensemble polished their gift to us prior to the worship service.

Listen to the cantata here  (Thank you, Lavon Page, for recording the cantata.)

Photo: Youth serve dinner at Helen Wright Center for Women

CUCC's youth group served dinner in two shifts for the women staying at the Helen Wright Center for Women. 
A special thanks to Paul Kiel for organizing the youth and their adult support team.

If you would be interested in helping to cook or serve the meal on one future third Sunday, contact Dawn Koonce or  Charles Coble

CUCC Calendar of Events

The people of Community United Church of Christ invite you to participate in our life together. This calendar includes the events of the congregation and of community groups we welcome to our buildings.

Deadline to submit information for the CUCC Weekly eNews or Sunday Announcements in the worship bulletin is Tuesday morning, 9AM.  Send to, including the name and contact information of someone at CUCC who can answer questions about your event.

Update from the Pastoral Search Committee

The Pastoral Search Committee thanks the church for your continued prayers as we seek a new pastor. We have been blessed with very strong candidates whom we believe will make a great fit for our church as we look towards the future.  We have completed second interviews with four candidates - each having unique gifts that would both comfort and challenge our community in different ways. We are currently scheduling a time and place where the Search Committee can hear these candidates preach and spend more time with them and their families. These visits will occur in January and we hope to finalize the call soon after.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue to discern our church's needs and the candidates discern their own call in ministry.

Letter from Pastor Tony

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

While you are enjoying a fantastic performance by the CUCC adult and youth choirs this coming Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent (a Sunday of joy!), I will be attending a conference in Las Vegas about entrepreneurship. I depart Thursday evening, and I will return to the office on Tuesday, December 17th. When I first attended this conference last year, I went with my nose high in the air. What, I thought, do I have to learn from ordinary people transformed by something called “the entrepreneurial spirit”? Surprise! I had a lot to learn!

The conference was focused mostly on financial education, and I was shocked by how much what we are taught about how to manage our money really only benefits corporations and big banks. Apart from learning some financial management facts and skills that apply well to both small businesses and churches, I was especially surprised by the central focus of the conference: identifying and working through fear.

Every evening, aroun…

Angel tree still has tags - gifts due December 17

Our youth group, in partnership with Comite Popular Somos Raleigh, are sponsoring this year's Angel Tree.  We invite you to gift a coat or pair of shoes to children in a single parent home where a parent has been deported or is in detention. 

Choose a poinsettia tag on which you will find the child's name, age, and coat or shoe size.  Suggested maximum cost is $40.  Please bring New winter coats or shoes, wrapped (if possible) to the Angel Tree Table or the Bradow Youth Room before Wednesday, December 17.  The name tag should be taped on the outside of the package.

If you prefer to contribute money, please make your check to CUCC and write "Angel Tree" on the memo line.

For questions, contact Śānti  Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator:

Sermon+ for Christmas pageant (and links to photos and the video)

Thank you to CUCC's children and their special helpers (youth, Anne Bailey, Julie, Maria, and Lavon) for last Sundays pageant.  Here are some photos and a link to the recording.  You'll also find a Sermon+ follow up question reflecting on Mike and Julie's "Canticle of the Turning" at the end of the photo essay.

Sermon+ is an occasional series in which our preachers pose a follow-up question to their sermon for your consideration.  You can join in community conversation via our Facebook page, Community United Church of Christ.  Or you can ponder on your own.

A letter from Śānti

My wild ride through 2019 continues. I will have a GYN surgery this Thursday, December 5. I had thought it would be in January, but a surgical appointment opened, and I seized it. I will need some recovery time but fully expect to enjoy the Advent season with family and anticipate returning to my ENTHUSIASTIC self in January.

I pray that you all will wait faithfully in Spirit and enjoy this season fully. Rest in the life of our church and in God’s peace, hope, joy, and love.

Your positive energy and prayers are appreciated, and your love gives me strength.

Love to you all,
Śānti  Matthews
Youth and Adult Education Coordinator

Have the flu?

Stay home, take care of yourself, and let us know if you need anything by calling the office (Tuesday-Thursday before noon) or emailing Pastor Carol or Pastor Tony.  If you hear that anyone has the flu, let the office know.  Here's a more complete description of CUCC's commitment to taking care of each other during flu season, including up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control.

Singing carols at CUCC December 7

Kick off the Advent season this Friday at 7pm!  We’ll gather around the piano in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall and sing our favorite carols after enjoying wonderful food and beverages.

RSVPs would be appreciated so Anne Moorman-Smith and Doug Barrick, our hosts, know how much food to prepare.  If you don’t make a decision until the last minute, you’re welcome to join us as well!

This item was originally offered at the CUCC Auction, but there is room for more people to attend.

Contact info for Anne and Doug is on Breeze.

Christmas Pageant this Sunday!

Our children help us remember the whole story of the nativity of Jesus as we faithfully wait.

Youth Christmas Party December 8

We'll gather after the Christmas pageant in the New Youth Room (Bradow Room).  No gifts, just fun and deliciousness!  Get ready for this year's Christmas Quiz with spectacular prizes.

Questions?  Contact Śānti  Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator,

Adult Christmas Party December 14

Adult Christmas Party December 14 @ 6pm

Fill your cup with good cheer and join the chorus of friends welcoming the season. CUCC’s annual adult Christmas party brings us all together in the spirit of joy!

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and homemade egg nog. Bett Padgett plays guitar, Doug Barrick leads us in carols and be ready for some surprises too.

RSVP if you’d like childcare to be arranged.  Please let us know the number and ages of children who will be coming.  Otherwise, just bring your self and your sense of Christmas wonder.

Sharing signs of Hope

Let us share the signs of Advent Faithful Waiting with those far and wide who follow our Facebook page.  This week starting December 8 post your signs of Hope.  Not a Facebook user?  Send your contribution to Jane who will post for you.

Share a piece of music, an artwork or photograph, a saying, a verse of scripture, something someone said to you.

Let us be Hope as we wait faithfully together - in person or virtually.

Jane Smith, CUCC's webmaster

Fourth Eagle Scout project completed

CUCC has been fortunate to work with four Eagle Scout candidates this year who have made wonderful improvements to our property.  Over the summer, the candidates and their troop members built a new children’s garden enclosure and tool box, added a cross and handrail to the fire pit area, installed a set of dowels in the middle sanctuary closet to better store the paraments, stained the children’s jungle gym, installed a new split rail fence along the southern property line.

The most recent and final Eagle Scout project of 2019 is the renewed landscaping of the church grounds along Dixie Trail.  Eagle Scout candidate Chase McDonald and members of Troop 100 planted over 130 junipers and “blue zingers” to beautify that area.  Many thanks to Nancy Stoddard, who spent hours digging out dead plants and weeds to prepare the area, as well as her assistants Mac Hulslander and Skip Stoddard.

- Submitted by Merrilee Jacobson, chair of the Property Ministry

Chinese Lantern Festival photo album

Our youth and a smattering of parents enjoyed the Chinese Lantern Festival.

Celebrating with Mike Cline

Congratulations to CUCCer Mike Cline who achieved a childhood dream - being published in the Texas Almanac.  As a child Mike poured over each year's edition, examining the facts about Texas and its counties and communities.  Somewhere out there is a child reading “Texas Population: Still Growing & Increasingly Diverse,” the article Mike co-authored for this year's edition.  Thank you, Mike, for helping the people of Texas better understand the state they love and prepare for its future together.

Here's what the Texas Almanac 2020-2021 promo information says about Mike's article:

"Everyone knows Texas is a big state, but we continue to grow, sometimes in unexpected ways. Learn more about population growth, shifts, and trends, and where we might be by 2050 in this feature, written by Steve H. Murdock, Ph.D., a former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, and Michael Cline, Ph.D., former Associate Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas."

If you h…

You are invited to attend the December CSJ meetings

Congregations for Social Justice (CSJ) is a coalition of faith communities committed to advocating for public policies that create a better Raleigh for all people. Bill Gretsch, Adrienne Little and Merrilee Jacobson are CSJ members, so you’ll see a familiar face or two at the meetings!  We hope you’ll join us at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 at Millbrook Baptist Church (1519 E. Millbrook Rd.) for a program about the challenges facing our Latinx brothers and sisters. The speaker will be Moises Serrano from El Pueblo.

The CSJ Affordable Housing Committee will meet on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Robertson Hill Community Room, 1725 Poole Rd.

For more information on CSJ, please contact Adrienne Little (919-781-0829) or Merrilee Jacobson (919-274-4539).

4 Advent Service Projects - 4 ways to bring your gifts to the Christ child

Angel Tree:  
Throughout Advent Throughout Advent, bring gifts to share with children whose parents are in ICE detention or have been deported.  Take a tag from our angel tree; white poinsettias are for new shoes, tags with red poinsettias are for new coats.  $40 maximum per purchase.  The tag will tell you the child's name, age and size.  Bring the gift wrapped, if possible, with the poinsettia tag taped on the outside before Wednesday, December 17.  Or, if you prefer, write a check to CUCC with Angel Tree on the memo line. This project is a continuation of our Oaxaca journey.

Neighbor to Neighbor Christmas Celebration Desserts:  
Drop off at CUCC by December 4 If you can provide a dessert of 10 child-friendly, individual servings on December 5 for the N2N mentoring program, contact Dawn Koonce (co-chair, CUCC's Community Outreach Ministry) at  Label your treats "N2N" and put them on the kitchen counter or, in the refrigerator, if needed.  Pleas…

Your holiday food waste can become compost

According to Worldwatch Institute, the U.S. generates an extra five million tons of household waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.   This waste then either degrades to become the intense greenhouse gas methane in the landfill, or it sits there taking up space.

You can avoid both of these by bringing your food waste (meat and bones, too) to church. Put in the compost bin in the courtyard outside of the church kitchen, and then Compost Now will turn it into valuable organic soil.

So, if (snicker) you have food waste during the holiday season (or anytime) bring it to church!

Gary Smith for the Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force

Sermon+ reflecting on sermon for November 24

For this week's Sermon+, preacher Śānti Matthews offers these photos for your contemplation.  The motto of the United Church of Christ, is Jesus’ words, "That they may all be one." No matter our challenges, our hardships, our frailties, our mistakes, our ugly thoughts, our failures, our bickering, our difficulties, our differences…. the truth is, there is always more. We are all one. On this week following the Reign of Christ Sunday, can we remember to be gentle with each other and with ourselves? Can we remember that we are together in Christ?

Here is a link to her sermon text.

Sermon+ is an occasional series in which our preachers pose a follow-up question to their sermon for your consideration.  You can join in community conversation via our Facebook page, Community United Church of Christ.  Or you can ponder on your own.

Sharing signs of Advent as we wait faithfully together

So many people find the holidays to be difficult.  New to town.  Not being accepted by their church or family. Loss through distance or death of a loved one.  Faithful waiting can be easier if you know someone - even a stranger - is waiting with you.

Let us share the signs of Advent with those far and wide who follow our Facebook page.  We'll follow the themes of the candles on our Advent wreath.
December 1  Peace  THIS WEEK
December 8  Hope
December 15  Joy
December 22  Love

Each Sunday I will post a prompt with the Advent theme for the week on our Facebook page.  Either reply with your offering, or send it to me and I will post for you.  Share a piece of music, an artwork or photograph, a saying, a verse of scripture, something someone said to you.

Let us be Peace as we wait together - in person or virtually.

Jane Smith, CUCC's webmaster

Imagination + Design

Exciting things are happening as our rooms are reconfigured for new purposes!  Enjoy this photo essay of some of the work to date, and drop by the rooms on Sunday to take in the transformation.  How do you imagine using our new spaces to minister within and beyond CUCC?

Letter from Pastor Tony

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am (already) thinking about my New Year’s resolution! For the past several years, I have resolved to be thankful. There was a time in my life in which I failed to give thanks—and this even though I had everything to be thankful for. This year, I will continue to resolve to give thanks whenever it is true and right to do so, whenever and wherever I can give thanks.

As I will be attending the meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature on November 25th, I wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks for Community UCC. I have been inspired by so many of you: your willingness to take risks, eat and drink together, think both about your past and future, to work with two “bridge” pastors, to fight for the environment, affordable housing, bail bond reform, and so much more. I am thankful for all the ways in which so many of you have chosen to work with me as I learn to get comfortable in my own pastoral skin. I am a profe…

Order a book for Advent study for adults

Sundays, December 1, 8, 15, and 22
9:15-10:15AM Hoffmann Room

Need a book?  Books will be available in the fellowship hall after worship starting November 24.  If you would like to contribute to the cost, the books cost $20.  Also, three copies of the book are available through the Wake County Public Library.

Need childcare so you can attend? Contact Śānti Matthews by Tuesday, November 26.

Bill Lamb will lead a 4 week Advent study on Richard Rohr's book Falling Upward.  December 1 we will watch a video conversation with Richard Rohr to introduce the book.  The subsequent weeks will each focus on one third of the book which we hope you will read in advance (though come anyway if you don't finish the reading in time).

Join us as we explore the idea that our spiritual life is not static. You will come to a crisis in your life, and after the crisis, if you are open to it, you will enter a space of spiritual refreshment, peace and compassion that you could…

Sharing your Thanksgiving feast: revised list of foods for food bags

Is shopping for a bag of food for the Urban Ministries food pantry a meaningful part of your grocery shopping each month?  Then you need to know that Urban Ministries has changed which foods are priorities.  Some of our old favorites are no longer wanted, and new items are on the list.

Food bag shopping list

Want to support the food pantry, but the shopping isn't a treasured part of your routine?  Consider making a monthly donation so that Urban Ministries can purchase clients' top choices at 17cents/pound through the Food Bank of North Carolina.  Your dollar stretches farther with a financial donation.  $25 feeds one family for a week.

Joe Retzer takes the bags to Urban Ministries on the first Sunday of each month.

For more information, contact Dawn or Charles (their contact info is on Breeze).

Photos from our Turkey and Gratitude celebration

Mark your calendar for TUESDAY, January 21, when the winter/spring monthly supper series begins.  We'll be gathering monthly on third TUESDAYS to allow people with standing Wednesday commitments to enjoy the January - May series.

A bit shy about starting up a conversation with people you don't know?  Volunteer to help with clean up after one of the suppers.  Sudsy hands and a bit of jovial chaos build friendships.  Contact Susan Atkinson

Thank you to Welcoming and Fellowship Ministry for our fall series of monthly suppers.

"I can’t think of another group that would be more fun in a dusty crawl space."

So responds one of the community volunteers who lent a strong back to last Saturday's preweatherization of a home in Raleigh.

Low income homeowners in Wake County can receive a free weatherization of their home (insulation, a new energy efficient HVAC system, etc).  Imagine the importance of spending less for electricity to a pinched budget!  Some homeowners are unable to clean out their attic or crawlspace where the work will be done.  That's where the preweatherization team comes in.  Volunteers from many congregations come together for a few hours to remove items and, as the homeowner directs, take no longer wanted things to the landfill, recycling, and hazardous waste centers.  You'll get dirty, work alongside some genuinely kind people, and head home with a smile knowing that this home owner will have significantly lower electricity bills and you have tackled climate change.

If you would like to be notified of upcoming opportunities to pitch in, contact Gary Smith smi…

Sunday's Benediction

Several people requested that Pastor Carol share the benediction from Sunday's 10:30 worship.  Here it is.  If you decide to share this, please include the copyright at the end.

Blessing When The World is Ending
Jan Richardson

Look, the world
is always ending

the sun has come
crashing down.

it has gone
completely dark

it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.

it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.

it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.

it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing
means to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is here
simply because
there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you

"What we are doing at a congregational meeting is a spiritual practice."

If you were unable to attend Sunday's congregational meeting, here's what we discussed.

Moderator Ellen Beidler grounded us by reminding us of our freedom and responsibility to set the direction of CUCC (congregational polity) and of our connection to other congregations and settings of the United Church of Christ.

We affirmed the work of Do Justice on reforming the cash bail bond systems, and voted to support sending to the United Church of Christ a resolution to do this work more broadly.

Stewardship Ministry chair, Jason Myers, asked us to provide input on the proposed operating and reserve budgets for 2020 and to turn in our financial pledges soon.  We will vote on a final budget at the January congregational meeting.  If you would like a copy of the financial reports, contact the church office.

Nominating Committee chair, Sue Cottle, shared their work so far on a slate of officers and ministry members for 2020 (first draft) and asked us to volunteer if we haven't alre…

Next steps - educating neighbors and friends

Last Sunday in the Congregational Meeting CUCC officially called on the UCC to advocate and act to change unjust Cash Bail Bond Systems throughout the USA after a very supportive and constructive congregational discussion urging our continuing state and local pursuit through advocacy and collaborations.   Read the approved resolution

Talking Point Cards and "Reform Bail Bond" buttons were passed out to aid us to advocate for this cause, and more will be available by contacting Bill Gretsch or anyone on CUCC's Do Justice Ministry.