Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2019

Letter from our pastors

Dear Friends,

We have been with you now three months! Even though we knew ‘bridge pastor’ would be a short term assignment, we have felt your warm welcome and embrace of our ministry. It has not been without challenges, of course. We are learning to work together and get to know you, while recognizing what a fleeting time this may be. We have discovered your wonderful energy in bringing people together and your continued commitment to reach out to the community and beyond as followers of Jesus. In other words, you have helped us to feel a sense of belonging, even in and for a very short time! As we talk with people who are our guests in worship, or who stop by the office, or even who are long- time members, one common theme is the need to belong, to be a part of something greater than ourselves. What helps you feel that you belong? How have you experienced that at CUCC? Where would you like to encourage our congregation to grow in creating a place of belonging? At our November Wednesd…

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend

Set your clocks back when you go to bed Saturday night.  You have an extra hour for sleep before coming to worship this Sunday, November 3.

Empty a crawlspace so a family gets free insulation Nov. 16

Spend a few hours working with a team from CUCC and beyond to empty a crawlspace of a Raleigh home owner.  After we "preweatherize" the home, the family will receive a free weatherization from Resources for Seniors.  They will save on their electric bills and lower their carbon footprint.

This is a feel-terrific activity for people who like to serve with their hands.  We'll meet at the Raleigh home on Saturday, November 16, at 9:30AM and should be done in about an hour.  If you happen to have a truck, even better!

Contact Gary Smith for details.

- a project of CUCC's Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force

Thank you CROP walkers and sponsors!

On Oct. 27, thirteen CUCC members raised nearly $2500 to address food insecurity in our community and around the world.  Donations are still being accepted online

Merrilee Jacobson

See what you missed if you couldn't make it to CUCC on Sunday...

A story to make your heart happy

One of the joys of being CUCC's webmaster is that I see emails from CUCC's groups, formal and informal.  This one made me smile so much I asked permission to share excerpts.  On Oct. 27, Gabby represented the Oaxaca Team, telling the Do Justice Ministry what they have been doing since September 11 (yep, all of this in just 6 weeks)!  

Read, celebrate, and get involved. Jane Smith 
We want to share with you the actions we have taken in response to our Oaxaca Trip since our last meeting with you on September 11.

•Our travel team met on September 29 for a dinner and planning meeting.
•We decided to build two Ofrendas in October, one to remember our own loved ones, and one to remember those who have died in ICE detention.
•We found a place to share our Ofrenda to those who died in ICE detention. (A Latinx Dia de Los Muertos festival in Durham organized by Comite Popular Somos - a grassroots immigration justice group.)
•Do Justice members delivered the second …

Affordable housing for students – Nov. 13, 8:30 a.m.

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 Nov. 13 at Fountain of Raleigh, 9621 Six Forks Rd. 

The program will be presented by the BWEL Foundation and focused on the shortage of affordable housing for students.

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

CUCC is beginning a new Confirmation Class!

The group will be facilitated by Śānti Matthews and Bill Bryan, with support and participation from Rev. Carol Ripley-Moffitt (and also likely our next pastor).

This course will support youth as they:
·  acknowledge their faith journey
·  share in discussions and activities that will encourage their commitment to deep questions
·  deepen their personal relationship with each other and with God
·  grow their understanding of our Christian and UCC heritage
·  fully celebrate and claim their part in our church community.

We'll meet for about 12 Sunday classes (between November and April) two or three times a month (sometimes at 9:30 and sometimes at 10:30). We'll attend the UCC Winter Retreat in Blowing Rock January 17-20. We'll enjoy a chalice painting mini-retreat on a Sunday afternoon. Each youth will be supported as they create their own unique expression of faith. Confirmation will take place in worship in May or early June to celebrate the class and to confirm those who…

Pop Up to serve

Join hosts Dawn Koonce, Charles Coble and the Community Outreach Ministry at this week's Pop Up Gathering.  The Community Outreach Ministry connects CUCCers to opportunities to help in hands-on ways that make an immediate difference in the lives of those in our community and world.

This fall's Pop Up Gatherings are each Sunday morning before worship from 10am - 10:20 am, starting in the narthex. Get a coffee and donut and follow a pastor and/or lay leader as we pop up in a different spot around our church building. We’ll get to know various aspects of what makes CUCC CUCC. New friends and long time members will learn what’s going on with our ministries, committees, and task forces, share some history, and do a little visioning for the future. Show up a bit early, connect with your Community, learn and share!

Bring a photo for CUCC's Ofrenda

Everyone is invited to bring a photo of a deceased family member, friend, or family pet to add to our personal Ofrenda by Friday, November 1.

CUCC Youth have been expanding their knowledge of the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)  and specifically, learning about the Mexican memorials called Ofrendas. They have built two Ofrendas in our fellowship hall. One helps us remember our own loved ones, and one remembers those who have died in ICE detention.

All are invited to experience a true Dia de Los Muertos celebration by joining a Latinx festival at 2000 Avondale Dr. in Durham on Saturday, November 2 from 6-8PM. This event is sponsored by Comite Popular Somos, a grassroots immigration justice group. Our Ofrenda to those who have died in ICE detention will be on display alongside many other memorials and Ofrendas.

Questions? Want to carpool? Contact Śānti Matthews at

Visit to the Gregg Museum of Art and Design

Gregg Museum of Art and Design
1903 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
Tuesday, November 19, 1-2PM
(optional lunch at 11:45AM at Neomonde Deli on Beryl Rd.)

CUCC adults and friends who are available during the day are invited to tour the free exhibits at this small but beautifully curated museum. The current exhibits include the show Southbound—Photographs of and about the New South, a joint mega-exhibition that seeks to reveal the South through the lenses of fifty-five contemporary photographers.
Optionally, please consider going to lunch before at 11:45 at Neomonde Deli on Beryl Road.

To get a ride from the church to Neomonde and the museum, or for more information, please contact Śānti Matthews at or 919-961-8814.

Pop Up this week: Arts in Worship

How do the arts enhance our worship at CUCC?  Marty Lamb and the Arts in Worship Committee host this Pop Up Gathering (Sunday, October 20, 10-10:20AM).

What are Pop Up Gatherings?  Sunday morning before worship join one pastor and/or lay leader to get to know various aspects of CUCC: our ministries, committees, and task forces, history, and then do a little visioning for the future.  Show up at 10am - 10:20 in the narthex (vestibule), get a coffee and donut and follow us as we pop up somewhere in the building to explore a bit of what makes us CUCC.

Offering of Letters October 20

Stop by the table in the narthex this Sunday to sign a postcard for our members of Congress.  October 20 is Bread for the World Sunday, a nonpartisan organization that works to eliminate hunger in the US and other countries.  Dawn Koonce will be there to tell you about this year's focus for our offering.  This year's theme is Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrows.

For more information, contact Dawn, co-chair of the Community Outreach Ministry

This Sunday, bring your ideas for adult spiritual formation

Dear friends, it has already been two whole months since we gathered with other CUCC adults to talk about the many places and ways we, as adults, are nurturing our faith and deepening our connections. On August 25, we shared memories of experiences at Community UCC where we felt delight. As Advent approaches let's review that list again (below) and listen for ways Spirit is nudging us to nurture our faith and deepen our connections during this upcoming season of "faithful waiting".

List of Events
Lenten Forest Bathing
Parker Palmer Study
Habitat Building
Pre-Weatherization Projects
Sharing workshop w/1st Congregational
Living the Questions
Quiet Beach Retreat
Outdoor Fellowship
Oaxaca Events
Living the Questions
Sunday Morning Bible Study (Exodus)
Taped lectures from Great Teachers
Tai Chi
Faith to Focus
Lenten study at Jo Lemons house

List of Qualities
Warmth and acceptance
In nature
Retreat away from church
Small group
Fun and pla…

Blessing of the Animals - Oct. 20

Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 20, 2017
4:00pm - Church Grounds

All animals welcome.  Bring your pets in their appropriate carriers or on a leash to receive a blessing from Pastor Carol and Pastor Tony. This has become a tradition for us and all pets are welcome.  This is a very special time to recognize God's creatures who bring us so much joy.

Maybe you have a friend with a special pet?  Invite them to join you.

This blessing is sponsored by the children of CUCC.  For more information, contact Anne Bailey Zschau, Children's Education Coordinator.

CD release & Love Wins benefit concert at CUCC - Oct. 25

Enjoy the music of Raleigh singer/songwriter Bett Padgett and friends at her CD release concert at CUCC.  The concert is also a benefit for Love Wins Community Engagement Center where our Robert Parrish is a minister.

Friday, October 25, 7:30PM
Sanctuary of Community United Church of Christ
814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh
Suggested donation:  $10, at the door

Love Wins CDC provides day shelter, hot meals and peer support for people experiencing homelessness in Raleigh.

Listen to some of Bett's music here.

The Community Outreach Ministry of CUCC is honored to host this musical event in support of a local charity partner.  If you have questions, contact Robert Parrish (

Bring a photo of a deceased family member, friend or pet for our Ofrenda

CUCC Youth have been expanding their knowledge of the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos and specifically, learning about the Mexican memorials called Ofrendas.

The youth group will build two Ofrendas this year: one will be in our fellowship hall from October 20-November 5. All in our congregation are invited to bring a photo of a deceased family member, friend, or family pet to add to our Ofrenda. Simply add your photo before Friday, November 1 to participate in this beautiful tradition of re-membering with loved ones.

The other Ofrenda we are building is a memorial to all those who have died in ICE detention this year; it will be on display in Durham on Nov. 1-2 as part of an exhibit and celebration by Comité Popular Somos.

- submitted by Śānti  Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator

Welcome to our new members

On Sunday, October 13, welcomed into membership Stephanie Ray, Mary Alice Connor, and Cindy Stammers.  Introduce yourself to them and invite them to join you at an upcoming CUCC event.

Walk for Hope Photos

Life & Faith - new date for November

Our November/December  gatherings for Life & Faith will follow an unusual schedule.
November:  November 19, 6:30pm to order food, conversation runs 7-8 pm, Wilson’s Eatery
December:  No gathering
January:  January 7 (back to the usual first Tuesday)

Here is our proposed question for our November 19 gathering; it stems from a family conversation around the lunch table between Bill, Gary and me.  This question was inspired by Bill’s reading of this article in The Atlantic.

With more of us working irregular schedules, it has become harder to plan for relationship time.  How do you have regular family dinners, or plan an evening with friends, or visit your aging parents if you have no idea when the boss will call you in for work or for an “emergency” project which requires long hours?  Our unpredictable schedules also impact our ability to build in regular time for spiritual growth and the relationships that strengthen our faith.  Are irregular work schedules getting in your way of havin…

Changes for Cathy Marshall

Cathy Marshall, our long-time Office Manager, has resigned as of October 10, 2019. We are grateful for her service these past seven years.

The Moderating Team and Personnel Committee are working with staff to ensure office coverage.

Ellen Beidler (Moderator) and Geri Bowen (Personnel)

It's the hammer of justice...

This week's pop up is brought to you by host Gary Smith, Mike Soboeiro and the Do Justice Ministry.  Find out about their newest projects.  Meet in the narthex at 10AM to grab your coffee and donuts and see where Do Justice leads you.

Pop Up Gatherings - 20 minutes of cool stuff you didn't know.

Children and youth at work and play this weekend

This past weekend was a busy one for our children and youth.

The Children's Choir practiced during Sunday School.

After worship, their parents joined them for a fall hot dog cookout around the fire pit.  The cookout was a gift to the children from Anne Pope.
Meanwhile, the youth traveled to the beach for their annual fall retreat weekend.

A quiet, important moment

If you were worshipping at 10:30 on Sunday morning, October 6, you might not have noticed a milestone in the life of our bridge co-pastor, Tony Hoshaw.  Recently Tony received status as a Licensed Minister, to serve in and through our congregation, authorized by the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ.  This means that he can serve in all the roles of an ordained pastor while he is our bridge co-pastor.   This Sunday he blessed the bread for the first time as a minister of the UCC.
Next step for Tony:  In a year, with God's leading the way, Tony will be eligible for ordination in the United Church of Christ.

What a joy to have Tony as one of our bridge co-pastors and to share in this important moment - for him, for us, and for the Church Universal.

You can read more about the different kinds of pastoral ministry in the United Church of Christ here.

Meet the author - Oct. 22

You’re Invited by St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle to hear author Stephen Jurovics on Creation Care and the Bible Tuesday, October 22, 7:00-9:00 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church along with the Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle, is hosting a program on faith and climate care on Tuesday, October 22 from 7-9 pm in the Founders’ room at 11401 Leesville Road in Raleigh.

Stephen Jurovics, author of “Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change,” will speak about the deep connection between both Old and New Testament teachings and environmental justice in today’s world. He will offer ideas about how people of faith can become inspired to take action. Afterwards there will be opportunities for working together in interfaith action teams to become agents of change.

CUCC's Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force is a member of Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle so we are one of many congregations co-hosting this…

Final 2019 church work day – Saturday, Nov. 9, 8am-noon

The final church work day of 2019 will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 8am – noon.  There will be indoor and outdoor projects for all ages and skill levels.

To keep us fueled, we’ll have Krispy Kreme doughnuts, muffins, fruit, juice and coffee.

Most supplies will be provided, but outdoor workers are welcome to bring their favorite work gloves and pruning tools. Wheel barrels and blowers would also be appreciated.

For more information, please contact Property Ministry Chairperson Merrilee Jacobson at 919-274-4539.

We’re Vermicomposting at CUCC!!!!!

On September 29th, Jamie Ramsey led our children in the fine points of setting up a worm bin so we can add vermicomposting to our green practices at CUCC. Jamie has been vermicomposting with red wigglers for over 20 years and gave us some from her home to get us started. Bill Lamb made the worm bin from two 18-gallon, plastic bins. Worms can turn vegetable and paper products into incredibly rich compost the children can spread on our garden plot.
Red wiggler worms are practically vegans. Their diet consists mostly of vegetables and fruits, no meat, dairy or anything greasy. Healthy human foods are generally healthy for red wigglers too, but there are some important differences. Here’s an infographic from The Squirm Firm with some do’s and don’ts:

Jamie worked with the children to create their own poster of good and bad foods for worms.

Our worm bin is situated right next to the recycling bin outside the kitchen window. Worms can eat up to half their weight in food scraps a day, but fo…


Sunday 10/06         9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary 9:30amBand Practice - Sanctuary 10:00amPopup Gathering - Narthex (Vestibule) 10:30amWorshipService - World Communion Sunday 10:45amChildren’s Sunday School - Sunday School Room 10:45amYouth Stay in Worship Service 11:45amFellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall 12:00pmCaring Committee - Pilgrim House 2:00pmHot Dog Cookout for Children and Parents

Welcoming New Member Sunday, October 13, 2019

Welcoming New Members Sunday, October 13 We will be welcoming new members Sunday, October 13, during the 10:30am worship service.If you are interested in joining CUCC, please contact Carol or Tony and let them know.

Pastoral Search Committee Update

Pastoral Search Committee Update Over the last several weeks the pastoral search committee has received and reviewed dozens of ministerial profiles from candidates across the country. Through much deliberation the committee has narrowed the field to several candidates and soon will begin the interview process. We are tremendously excited about each of these faith leaders, and we really look forward to learning more about each of them. As always, please know we deeply appreciate your support and patience as we wade deeper into this process. Your prayers lift us up and inspire us to follow God's call wherever it leads! - Submitted by Paul Atkinson, Chair of the Pastoral Search Committee
A Dancing Flame pottery oil lamp sits on the communion table to remind the congregation to pray for the search committee and for the new pastor being drawn to us. We will give the oil lamp to our settled pastor once the call is answered. The lamp was made by June Keener Wink, an accomplished potter and…

Neighbors in Need offering collected Oct. 6

Neighbors in Need (NIN), a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ, supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.

One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of this 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 UCC 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. This year, special consideration will be given to projects focusing on serving our immigrant neighbors and communities.

CUCC will receive the NIN offering Sunday, October 6, 2019 as part of our World Communion Sunday observance.

NEW: Theology and Practice of Worship

Pastor Tony is offering a workshop on the Theology and Practice of Worship.  During our time together, we will join mind and heart to explore the meaning and significance of worship in the Christian tradition. This experience will be part serious study of the theology of worship and part practical training in leading worship on Sundays.

To participate, simply sign up by emailing Pastor Tony ( or by signing up on the form provided near the back of the sanctuary. Please sign up by  October 6th. Tony will then poll the group for the best days and times to meet.

Just want more practice leading worship? Or want to drop in when a topic sounds interesting? That's great! You can always join us just for those sessions -- but you will need to sign up to receive information about our meetings.

Sermon+ Biblical interpretation and what we can learn from animals about being human

On Sunday Pastor Tony gave all of us this homework assignment for the week: 
In the Bible find all the animals you can, OR look around you and observe the animals you discover this week.  What do they teach you about being human?

Email your observations to

In the sermon, Pastor Tony referenced his friend and colleague, Jared Beverly, creator of the youtube channel Furmeneutics, hosted by Katav the Bible-interpreting wolf.  Check out some of his videos.

Here is a link to Pastor Tony's sermon, How to Interpret the Bible.

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.

If I had a hammer....

October 6, 10-10:20, starting in the narthex
This week:  "If I had a hammer" - sponsored by the Property Ministry and hosted by Merrilee Jacobson.

Join us each Sunday morning before worship for 20 minutes; we'll gather in the narthex and explore from there.  Get a coffee and donut and follow a pastor and/or lay leader as we pop up in a different spot around our church building. We’ll get to know various aspects of what makes CUCC CUCC. New friends and long time members will learn what’s going on with our ministries, committees, and task forces, share some history, and do a little visioning for the future. Show up a bit early, connect with your Community, learn and share!

New church dishwasher

Last year, the church’s commercial dishwasher was facing major repairs with no guarantee that the unit would work for any length of time. Due to the high cost of replacing the unit, a decision was made to install a residential dishwasher instead. Thanks to a generous donation from a CUCC family, the new dishwasher is in place and ready to use! The electrician who installed the outlet for the dishwasher also upgraded the outlets along the window wall to GFIs to make the kitchen even safer.

If you have any questions about how to operate the dishwasher, please contact Welcoming & Fellowship chairperson Susan Atkinson (contact info in Breeze).

Wednesday Night Supper + Movie Night October 9

Joining us for dinner?  RSVP for dinner to by Monday, Oct 6.  Remember to include your children when you respond with
number in your partydietary preferencesIF you will bring a specific side dish or dessert.Wednesday, October 9 at CUCC Free 6PM  Pork, “Pork” and Lots of Sides 6:55  Bagdad Cafe Come for dinner, come for the movie or do both - your choice.
Details on dinner:  Two main dishes - Pork or "pork"
Smoked Pulled Pork by Chef Jeff Langenderfer (y’all this is sooo good)  OR
“Pork” - We're exploring delicious meatless options for those who wish to do so. (Thanks, Diana Koenning, for recommending No Evil brand BBQ from Whole Foods!)
Cole slaw and mac n cheese provided.
Optional:  you may bring a side dish or dessert, but it is not expected

Details on the movie:  Bagdad Cafe
Lavon Page is hosting the movie; no need to RSVP.  Read about Bagdad Cafe here

More about Wednesday Night Suppers
Our 2nd Wednesday of the month suppers are a time of fun and fell…