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Showing posts from March, 2020

CUCC building closure extended, your role at Virtual CUCC - a letter from Megan & Council

March 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

In the interest of caring for ourselves and our community, at our meeting on March 26. 2020, CUCC Council voted to continue our building closure through May 15, 2020. As the situation with COVID-19 unfolds, we have the flexibility to change this date as needed. Council feels that the best course of action is to follow the public school closure timeline. Our facilities will remain closed to both congregants and community until further notice. We will continue our ministry in our virtual space and through a new definition of community in the coming days and weeks.

Council discussed multiple opportunities for all of us to “be the church.”  Consider the following  suggestions:

Care for the building: Merrilee is spearheading  “cabin fever” worktimes She has a list of projects that can be conquered by individuals or families and can be a great break from being home while helping your church family in a safe way.

Be a financial steward: We still have bills to pay a…

European CUCCers drop into first CUCC Cafe

What a delight to see Deb and Todd Lipman who appeared in Zoom for our first CUCC Cafe! We were able to catch up on their Alpine adventures and exchange family news.  They inspired us to reach out to distant CUCC folks to invite them to join us, too.

Why don't you drop in at the CUCC Cafe to say hello?  Each weekday from 1-2PM, a genial host will greet you.  No agenda.

(Remember to check for what is behind you before you turn on your camera!)

This is a public gathering and anyone is welcome who comes in a spirit of friendship.

For more information, contact Bill Lamb, host scheduler and all-around CUCC Cafe fount of knowledge. william.e.lamb@gmail.com

Find the Zoom Meeting information for that day on the CUCC Online Calendar.

Need help with Zoom?

The CUCC ZOOM Help Desk is ready to take your calls so you can join us at worship this Sunday morning.

Use Breeze to look up the phone numbers of these delightful ZOOM wizards.

Thursday, April 2, 7-8 PM     Lei Covington
Thursday, April 2, 8-10 PM     Bill Gretsch
By appointment   Bill Lamb
By appointment  Lavon Page

Palm Sunday Virtual Worship April 5

Both Taizé  and All-ages Worship will be livestreamed for Palm Sunday.  The Zoom Meeting IDs will be posted on our website and emailed to you on Saturday so you can print your Order of Worship (with hymns) in advance.

Taizé Worship
9:00-9:30AM

All-ages Worship
10:30-11:30AM
Followed by fellowship in the Zoom worship space
11:30-noon

Bring your palm - homemade or a leaf from your garden to Virtual Worship. (See Santi's video below on how to make your palm leaf.) Pastor Carol is preaching.   (Instead of sharing communion today, we will celebrate it on Easter Sunday, April 12.)

First Sunday Food Bag is today.  Why not make your financial gift to Urban Ministries Food Pantry AND to CUCC during the offering?

Need help with Zoom?
Talk to the CUCC Zoom Help Desk.

FAQs about privacy
At CUCC we welcome everyone to worship, whether in a sanctuary or online. We will not be recording the service and putting it online for later viewing.You decide whether to turn on your camera (camera icon, bottom le…

Do Justice working on ways to serve during pandemic

If you would like to participate in this conference call, contact Gary Smith smithgk@mindspring.com

Anyone can bring their ideas and energy to this monthly advocacy planning meeting. Do Justice Ministry researches injustice and provides ways for CUCC's people to be involved in systems change.  Do Justice enfolds our commitment to economic justice.  Current projects are a central location for CUCCers to post ways to help in the community and bail bond reform and immigration (especially sanctuary).  If there is an injustice about which you are passionate, bring it to this group and work on it together.

For more information about Do Justice Ministry, contact co-chairs Gary Smith smithgk@mindspring.com or Mike Soboeiro msoboeiro@yahoo.com.

Life & Faith - Lenten Check In

What we believe and how we live day-to-day are intersecting in totally new ways these days.  Who knew a major spiritual practice for Lent would end up being staying connected during social distancing?

We’ll gather via ZOOM on Tuesday, April 7, from 7-8PM.  I’ll be there to be time keeper and keep the conversation rolling.  As always, friends are welcome.

If you have not yet used Zoom, allow yourself some time before the meeting to either follow the instructions if you use the url to join,  or get the Zoom Cloud Meetings app for your phone. 

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/568713636
Zoom Meeting ID  568-713-636
Telephone  1-646-558-8656

Helpful hint… if you are eating while we meet, put your computer or phone at least 2 feet from your mouth or we will hear every crunch and yum.

Bring a sense of humor and forgiveness as I fumble along with technology that is new to me.  It will be wonderful to see your smiling faces!

Jane Smith  smithjeg@mindspring.com

What is Life & Faith?
Life…

Make your palm for Palm Sunday worship

On Sunday during 10:30 worship, Śānti  showed us how to make our own palms to bring to this week's Palm Sunday service.

Here are quick instructions.

Draw a large oval leaf from a piece of paper - construction or any paper.  You get a bigger leaf if you draw it diagonally across the paper.

Cut out the leaf.

Fold the leaf in half along the stem line.

Make small accordion folds diagonally across the leaf, beginning at the stem and working toward the tip.

Unfold the leaf.  If you want, you may also cut between the crinkle fold lines to make a shaggy leafed palm.

Idea from Amanda: Try a worship journal

Does anyone else write notes during the worship service?  I have done this for many years.  My notes help me remember to look up a song I want to hear again, look up a book or author that was mentioned during the service, remember something I want to think about from the sermon, or just lets me express a thought or feeling.  I used to write these on pew bulletins but now that we are in a phase of virtual church, I’ve decided to keep a notebook for this purpose.  Last Sunday I wrote a note to remember to make a palm for next week (demonstrated by Śānti during the Children’s Talk) and to remember to go outside today (prompted by Tony’s Six Questions).  I would love to know if anyone else keeps notes like this or intends to try it out. Rather than pulling me away from the service, taking brief notes makes me feel more present.

Amanda Jost, a member of the CUCC Virtual Worship team

First Sunday Food Bag $

The Urban Ministries food pantry is continuing to serve our neighbors with food bags.  However, they request we make online ($) donations instead of bringing a bag of food - for the safety of the recipients, the UM staff, and the donors.

Donate here
For more information, contact Joe Retzer.

RSVP by April 2 for Tables for 6

RESERVATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Last week's intimate dinners for 6 via Zoom were a success so, by popular demand, we are scheduling another round.

We have two "Tables" planned for next week -  both dinners - spread throughout the week.  Sign up for one that suits you before Thursday night, April 2.  By email we'll send you directions for how you can "join" your table using Zoom.  Bring your food to your computer and settle in for an hour of friendship and conversation with five others from CUCC.  Please sign up with a spirit of adventure - you know how technology can be....

Sign up for a Table for 6 here  (reservations are now closed) There are TWO pages to the sign up process - don't forget to go to the bottom to submit the second one.

Here's a repeat of the previous description:
When my dad lived in Maryland, Gary and I would join him for dinner every so often, him in Maryland and us in Raleigh.  We'd fill our plates, pour a glass of wine (sometim…

6 ?s from Pastor Tony's sermon

During his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Tony offered us time to consider some of the Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine by Brooke Anderson.  Thanks to the magic of the Chat box and your requests, the CUCC Virtual Worship team shares the link with you for your use this week.

Here is the text of Pastor Tony's sermon, "A Place to Stand."

Holy Saturday Meditation April 11

Religious Education Ministry is working with Daniel Day to provide a Holy Saturday meditation experience. This may be a collaborative conversation and group meditation as a Zoom meeting, it may be a pre-recorded meditation, or it may be a conference call format. Either way, next week's CUCC Weekly eNews will give you all the details you’ll need in order to practice the spiritual discipline of meditation on Holy Saturday, April 11.

How to join Taizé and all-ages worship March 29

Both our Taizé and all–ages worship services will be livestreamed using Zoom.  We invite you to join us wherever you are. Bring a spirit of flexibility and curiosity as we learn together to worship live yet not in person.

Taizé Worship 9:00-9:30AM Join Zoom Meeting  https://zoom.us/j/472877526
Meeting ID  472877526
All-ages Worship 10:30-11:30AM followed by fellowship on Facebook 11:30-noon
Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/129468798
Meeting ID  129468798
PRINT Order of Worship
PRINT CUCC Virtual Hymnal
Invite your friends and far-flung family Think about people with whom you would enjoy worshipping, and invite them to join you.  Do you know people who might be reluctant to walk into a church building, but are spiritual seekers?  This is a low-risk opportunity for them to worship with us.  Forward this invitation to them with your personal invitation.

Some notes for those attending Taizé Worship When you arrive at worship, your video and audio will be on, and you can greet others as…

This week's opportunities to be "together" virtually

New opportunities keep popping up every day, so keep checking the CUCC Online Calendar.  Everything you need to know about joining these events is found in the description on the calendar.  If you like to have a printed calendar for the week, print this post (after you click READ MORE to show all of the events).

Thursday, March 26
CUCC ZOOM Help Desk   7-8PM and 8:15-10PM

Saturday, March 28
CUCC ZOOM Help Desk    10 - noon

Sunday, March 29
Taizé worship   9AM
Do Justice Ministry  9AM
Entering the Passion  9:30AM
All-ages worship and fellowship   10:30AM
Healing Conversations  12:15PM
Youth Group   2PM

Monday, March 30
News from Monday Lunch Group  noon
CUCC Café   1PM

Tuesday, March 31
CUCC Café   1PM

Wednesday, April 1
CUCC Café   1PM

Thursday, April 2
CUCC Café   1PM

Other important news in this edition

You are not alone
Composting – an excuse to get out of the house
We love our procrastinators – from your Breeze admins
New round of Tables for 6
A devotional for our collective study
Spiritual practices to …

CUCC Worships Live Sunday, March 29

Both our Taizé and all – ages worship services will be livestreamed this week using ZOOM.  We invite you to join us wherever you are.  These opportunities are open to anyone, so invite your friends and far-flung family to worship with you.  Bring a spirit of flexibility and curiosity as we learn together to worship live and not in person
Taizé Worship 9:30-10:00AM
All- ages Worship 10:30-11:30AM followed by fellows.
hip on Facebook 11:30-noon
On Saturday, we’ll provide the ZOOM urls and meeting ID for each worship service in an email to the congregation and on our website.

If you have privacy concerns…
At CUCC we welcome everyone to worship, whether in a sanctuary or online. There are ways you can reduce your public exposure; in gathered worship, people do that by sitting in the back or not wearing a nametag.  For online worship, here are some options we can take together.
-We will not be recording the service and putting it online for later viewing.
-The worship service will begin with …

Need help with ZOOM?

The CUCC ZOOM Help Desk is ready to take your calls so you can join us at worship this Sunday morning.

Use Breeze to look up the phone numbers of these delightful ZOOM wizards.

Thursday, March 26, 7-8 PM  Lei Covington
Thursday, March 26, 8:15-10 PM     Bill Gretsch
Saturday, March 28, 10-noon     Bill Lamb 
By appointment  Lavon Page

Do Justice continues planning March 29

After a fruitful conversation last week, Do Justice Ministry is meeting again this Sunday, March 29, 9-10AM. We will continue planning ways for CUCC to serve the community in the coming days and  support of one another.

If you have ideas or energy to work on them, join the conversation.  Contact Gary Smith (a co-chair) at smithgk@mindspring.com to get the phone number for this conference call.

Entering the Passion discussion open to new participants

The Sunday morning Bible Study has been engaged in a Lenten study of Amy Jill Levine’s  Entering The Passion of Jesus. With cancellation of church activity, we got interrupted at Session 3, Teachings: Risking Challenge but we’d like to resume virtually for the next four Sundays at our usual time at 9:30 a.m.

It IS NOT necessary for you to have purchased the book or to have participated before now to join in. Have a Bible of your choice available when you login to the study. On April 22nd we will doing both Sessions 3 & 4 to catch up. If you are going to join in, please let me know via email @ William.e.lamb@gmail.com. , so I can add you to my list of those receiving regular messages from me.

Each Session has a short video by Levine that sets up the discussion. I can share that on-line with those connecting. Particularly for those who don’t have the book, here are the core biblical verses you can read up on before each session:
March 22
Session 3, Teachings: Risking Challenge
Mark …

News from Monday Lunch Group

Through wise consultation three options have been decided upon to continue our Monday lunch group for the foreseeable future. I think that you will find that there are flexible choices for everyone:

For those who wish, we will begin meeting via Zoom on Mondays. The start time will be 12:00 noon, our usual time. Contact Lavon Page to get the Zoom meeting ID and url.Continue to use the prayer book on your own as a meditation for Lent.Participate in a prayer chain which will soon be developed.  Of course you can participate in one or all the above. My hope is that these options will be a source of strength for you during this time and beyond.

- submitted by Robert Parrish

CUCC Cafe begins March 30

Drop in at the new CUCC Cafe to say hello and catch up on news.  Each weekday the week of March 30 to April 3, 1-2PM, a genial host will greet you.  No agenda.

(Remember to check behind you before you turn on your camera!)

This is a public gathering and anyone is welcome.

For more information, contact Bill Lamb, host scheduler and all-around CUCC Cafe fount of knowledge. william.e.lamb@gmail.com

ZOOM url
https://zoom.us/j/623899873
ZOOM Meeting ID 
623-899-873

You are not alone

The pastors and deacons are here to receive your phone call and email.  If you have a specific need or want to talk, please let us know. 

The best way to reach them is by email, which Pastors Tony and Carol are checking regularly.   They check the office phone less frequently.

Pastor Carol  PastorCarol.cucc@gmail.com
Pastor Tony   PastorTony.cucc@gmail.com
Office 919-809-8850

Composting - an excuse to get out of the house

Add CUCC's outdoor compost bin to your list of places you can visit where you are unlikely to run into anyone else!

CUCC is still composting, having arranged an every-other-week pick up from our partner CompostNow.  That means those pizza boxes from the local restaurant you are supporting, and the scraps from the food you are now cooking during those long days at home now have a productive place to go!  Here's their list of what can be composted.

If you notice that the outside compost bin is getting full, contact Gary Smith smithgk@mindspring.com.  If we increase our composting, we can always go back to weekly pick up, keeping more local folks employed.

We love our procrastinators - from Your Breeze admins

If you have not yet taken the time to sign into or explore Breeze, now is the time!


Breeze is our password-protected online database.  Are there people you miss seeing?  Give them a call or send an email; their contact info is in Breeze.  Want to show some love to our amazing staff by paying their salaries, and provide funds for our service in the community?  Donate within Breeze using the Give Now button (or go to Donate/ Pledge on our website).  Forgotten if you made your last pledge donation?  You can check that in your Breeze profile.

If you need to be reminded of your user name, or want help with using Breeze, contact the office office.cucc@gmail.com.

A devotional for our collective study

Dear friends,

I hope this email finds you healthy and of positive spirit. During this incredibly challenging time, the deacons and I hope to send regular emails to all congregants at our church. Each of these emails will reference a devotional for our collective study.

Here is a really neat meditation, A Jar of Oil by Rachel Hackenberg, which reminds us to do the best we can during this awful pandemic. May we strive to understand the myriad ways God is calling us throughout this crisis. May we remain unified, loving, passionate and compassionate during this difficult time!

Peace be with you,

Paul Atkinson
Chair, Deacons Ministry

[A note from Jane Smith: Want to discuss this devotional with others?  Bring it up at a CUCC Cafe or Life and Faith (April 7) or on our Facebook page - all open to anyone, anywhere.]

Spiritual practices to disarm fear and uncertainty, and to sustain hope

Adrienne Little shares this resource from Congregations for Social Justice where she represents CUCC in a collaborative effort for justice in our community.

Spiritual practices to disarm fear and uncertainty, use while taking preventative measures, handle social distancing and quarantine, be present with illness, and sustain hope.
Click HERE for the article from Spirituality & Practice.

CSJ's JustBeer and April 8 CSJ Meeting have been cancelled. 😞  But we have not given up. ☺  Our plans include:
    -- May 13 - Stephan Whitley, ONE Wake @ Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
    -- June 10 - Marcus Bass, Advance Carolina - location to be announced.
Advance North Carolina (“Advance Carolina”) is a statewide, independent, Black-led, 501c (4) organization with a mission to build political and economic power in Black communities and institutions in North Carolina.

Virtual Worship March 22, 11AM

We welcome you to join us online for worship at 11:00 am this Sunday.

We have pre-recorded the worship service.  While the service is available online all week, many of us will worship “together” at 11:00 am Sunday morning. 

Access the Worship Video and hymns (starting at 11:00 am) HERE
Access the printable Order of Worship HERE

We encourage you to DO worship. During the service, we will tell you about actions you can take to draw us closer together. Stand to sing the hymns and sing out loud, speak the responses (in bold type).  Remember that you can pause the video if it is taking you a bit longer than we imagined it would.  We’re still learning! 

You may want to bring some of these things to your worship area, or open these links on your computer.  You will be invited to:
Read the Announcements while you wait for our gathered starting time HERELight a candleCheck in (“sign the caring roll”) by emailing the office at office.cucc@gmail.com.  Let us know you are connecting, request info…

This week's opportunities to be "together" virtually

New opportunities keep popping up every day, so keep checking the CUCC Online Calendar.  Everything you need to know about joining these events is found in the description on the calendar.  If you like to have a printed calendar, print this post (after you click READ MORE).

Saturday, March 21
Table for 6 - dinner

Sunday, March 22
Entering the Passion
Virtual worship and Fellowship?
Healing Conversations
Youth Group
Do Justice Ministry
Table for 6 - dinner

Tuesday, March 24
Table for 6 - dinner

Wednesday, March 25
Tables for 6 - breakfast and lunch
Confirmation Class
Stewardship Ministry Check In

Other important news in this edition
March SIS is cancelled
Service we can do now - families and individuals
What will you donate to the CUCC Annual Auction?
CUCC Movie Fellowship Group
Update on Lenten Spiritual Practice Saturdays

Deadline to submit information for the eNews or Sunday Announcements is Tuesday, 9AM.  Send to office.cucc@gmail.com and to smithjeg@mindspring.com (yes, both places), including the…

Tables for 6 - sign up here by March 19

When my dad lived in Maryland, Gary and I would join him for dinner every so often, him in Maryland and us in Raleigh.  We'd fill our plates, pour a glass of wine (sometimes Dad would light candles and put on jazz!), and gather around our respective computers.  Whether we used Skype or Facetime, fairly quickly we would forget we were not in the same room, sharing stories of our week, laughing, and having deeper conversations.

In this COVID-19 time when face-to-face conversation is not advised, let's use the magic of online meeting tools to gather in small groups for fellowship.  Let's chase away loneliness with friendship and share a meal as Jesus often did with those who followed him.

Our experiment starts this week.  We have five "Tables" planned for next week - a breakfast, a lunch, and three dinners - spread throughout the week.  Sign up for one that suits you before this Thursday night, March 19.  By email we'll send you directions for how you can "…

Virtual Worship March 22

This Friday or Saturday we will post details about this Sunday's Virtual Worship.  Details will be posted here and, if you receive the CUCC Weekly eNews email, you will also receive an email notification about Virtual Worship.  If you have not yet subscribed to the eNews and would like to be notified, contact the office at office.cucc@gmail.com.

As last week, the worship service will be recorded and be available late Sunday morning. 

For those who would like to worship "together," we will designate a time for Virtual Church.  Thanks to your suggestions, we will include new ways for you to engage more fully while worshipping.

We are also considering a ZOOM fellowship half hour after worship; if you think that is a good idea and would attend, please let Jane Smith know this week. smithjeg@mindspring.com


Do Justice is meeting virtually March 22

If you would like to participate in the March meeting, contact Gary Smith smithgk@mindspring.com.  He will tell you how they are meeting virtually and what time they are meeting.

Do Justice Ministry mobilizes CUCCers to advocate for systems change.  Current ongoing projects include immigration and cash bail bond reform, but more is on the table for discussion.

Service we can do now - families and individuals

The marvelous thing about the million jobs needed to keep CUCC's grounds and buildings safe and welcoming is that we can work alone or in family groups.  Don't let cabin fever and weeks off from school get you down; sign up for one of these jobs by contacting Merrilee Jacobson mkjacobson123@gmail.com.  She will provide you with supplies and instructions.

Cut down two trees at south end of Wade Ave. parking lot and move Pastor Cally’s tree to that area

Mulch area around Pastor Jenny’s tree

Touch up paint on ceiling of VFH along window wall (parking lot side)

Paint library, now that cracks have been sealed / seal crack in drywall in ceiling and paint

Stain roof of jungle gym and playhouse as well as condenser enclosure

Clean out drains in Dixie Trail parking lot (by grapevine), outside of boiler room and outside of “front door” to FH

Fill gap at top of dishwasher in kitchen

Clean gutters that don’t have LeafGuard coverings

Move pine straw to pathways

Pick up limbs and pine cones

CUCC Movie Fellowship Group

For those who have access at home to streaming movies, the link below provides a long list of movies shown at CUCC from 2009 to 2020. Most of these are well worth seeing again.

https://sites.google.com/view/movies-2020/earlier-films

Many of these are currently available via Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime. And many of those which are not available via Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription are available for $4 streaming rentals from Amazon, Google movies, or Apple.

Best wishes and blessings to everyone until we can meet together again and enjoy the best offerings from the world of film.

Lavon Page

Update on Lenten Spiritual practice Saturdays

Both the Enneagram and Better Angels worships will be postponed at least until May.  We are looking into doing the forest bathing as an online offering (March 28).

- Śānti  Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator education.cucc@gmail.com

Virtual Church - Worship tomorrow!