Friday, March 24, 2017

Lenten Pastoral Reflection

      This week as we continue in the footsteps of Jesus' Lenten journey, we encounter a man who taught us that seeing means more than visually connecting with what is before our eyes.  Sometimes, truly seeing, means letting go of our sight that we might give birth to what is just below the surface, to what is being born again from the inside out. 

     Henri Nouwen, so beautifully calls this kind of intimate sight, "seeing God for others".

     He writes, "The experience of the fullness of time, during which God is so present, so real, so tangibly near that we can hardly believe that everyone does not see God as we do, is given to us to deepen our lives of prayer and strengthen our lives together. Having experienced God in the fullness of time, we have a lifelong desire to be with God and to proclaim to others the God we experienced.

     Peter, years after the death of Jesus, claims his Mount Tabor experience as the source for his witness. He says: "When we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not repeating cleverly invented myths; no, we had seen his majesty with our own eyes… when we were with him on the holy mountain" (2 Peter 1:16-18). Seeing God in the most intimate moments of our lives is seeing God for others." – Henri Nouwen
     God of our intimate moments, draw us close this week that we might
see You "in" and "for" others. Amen

                                                          - Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas    

Lectionary for the Week of March 26, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of March 26, 2017 - Fourth Sunday in Lent:
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 - Violet
One Great Hour of Sharing

An Invitation from West Raleigh Presbyterian Church

Concert & Psalms Art Exhibit Opening
April 2, 2017
West Raleigh Presbyterian Church
27 Horne St., Raleigh
Worship & Concert ~ 4 PM
Featuring FolkPsalm with Charles Pettee
BBQ Supper ~ 5 PM
Views of the Psalms Art Exhibit Opening
featuring NEW Psalms-based Musical Offerings ~ 5:30

The neighboring congregations and community are welcome to this FREE event!  Join us on “Marathon Sunday” for a late-afternoon music and art extravaganza!  We begin outdoors in the courtyard for a worship-centered concert featuring Charles Pettee and members of FolkPsalm:  Fiddlin’ Al McCanless, Robbie Link, and Terry Allebaugh.  A BBQ supper follows in the Fellowship Hall along with the opening of our new exhibit, “Views of the Psalms.”  Come enjoy more live music focused on the Psalms written and performed by members of West Raleigh.

Call for Artists in our Neighboring Congregations:  Artists are invited to create and contribute any work of art which responds to the poetry and prayers of the Psalms.   Deliver your creations to West Raleigh following worship this Sunday or by Tuesday, March 28.  See to download Artist Registration and Artist Statement forms. Contact the church office at 919-828-5468 or with questions.    

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): We hope you have had a change to check out the information collected to on CSA and "produce box" vendors available in Raleigh.  Participating in these provide  opportunities to decrease fossil fuel consumption by eating local, fresh, healthy food!  Please see the link for details.  We invite you to try one of these, or pair up and try with another person.  If you are able to "test" one of these, please let us know! Please contact Maria Mayorga or Jane Smith.

Glenaire 5K

COM invites you to join us in the Glenaire 5K (and 1 mile option) run/walk to support the Glenaire Foundation, which provides financial aid to residents with the crippling costs associated with aging.  April 1, 9am in Cary,  There is an incentive (monetary) for the church that has the largest group.  When you register, please select the team "CUCC" (#745).  Please encourage your child to find a "buddy" of a different generation to walk with!

Climate Change Efforts Happening at CUCC

The “United Church of Christ News” published a wonderful article on the climate change efforts happening at CUCC and Congregational Church in Cumberland this week.  The article is entitled “Two UCC churches named ‘Cool Congregations’ for creation care projects”.  You can read it here
CUCC created the Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force (JCC) because the Church has a unique role in action and education on climate change.  According to the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Risks (from climate change) are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development”.   This increased risk to the “least of these” demands that we must engage.  Forms of engagement will come from where our hearts call us, and hands-on action to help individuals, and advocacy to change systems in favor of the disadvantaged are both important.  In addition, loving conversations with those of faith who have not yet learned of climate change’s impact on the poor are also critical to enable them to find their heart’s calling and to engage as well. 

We would love for you to “engage” with the JCC.  If you’re interested, speak with any of us: Judy and Paul Kiel, Jason Myers, Maria Mayorga, Lena Gallitano, Marty Lamb, John and Adrienne Little, Grady McCallie, Jim Smith, Deb and Todd Lipman, Skip Stoddard, Ron Howell or Jane and Gary Smith.
 April 4, 7-9 PM, The Sonja Hanes Stone Center, UNC

Likened to the Rachel Carson for our day, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author, ecologist, and cancer survivor brings together her research on environmental toxins and cancer and personal story in an event co-sponsored by regional environmental groups and Breast Cancer Action.

Bio details:

CUCC Family Fun Auction - April 22, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Last Sunday Jason Myers kicked off  our annual CUCC Family Fun Auction, April 22, from 6:30pm - 9:30pm, with a ministry moment from the Stewardship Ministry. 2017 auction donation forms were distributed in church and extras remain in the back of the sanctuary. Did you know you can let us know of an auction item or event you'd like to contribute to the cause from the comfort of your home? You can fill out the Online Submission Form in a jiffy. No muss; no fuss. Now's the time to get the creative juices flowing. Popular auction items from the past have been yard rocks from Skip, birding hikes from Lena, plants and game nights from Mac and Peg, baked goods from Joan, weekends at the Lake from Carol, mystery boxes from Geraldine and babysitting from lots of folks. Let's get this event rolling! Think of what you might contribute and let us know on-line or hard copy. Then come to the event. It's loads of fun.

Bring A Food Bag Item To Youth Led Worship On April 2

Our Youth Led Worship will be on April 2. Please join us as we explore the question: What if everyone had enough? The Youth ask you to please bring a food bag item, or an entire food bag, on April 2, and help Urban Ministries Food Pantry provide our neighbors with enough food to eat this month. Please place your food contributions in the shopping cart in the narthex outside the Sanctuary. A bank to collect monetary contributions will also be in the grocery cart. A food bag costs about $20 to fill, and anything you can give is appreciated!

Each food bag contains:
1 lb. rice      
1 lb. grits    
1 lb. dried beans,
1 jar peanut butter       
2 cans tomatoes 
1 can carrots,                    
2 qts. dried milk 
2 cans or jars of applesauce 
2 boxes of mac & cheese
2 cans of navy, pinto, or kidney beans (NO GREEN BEANS).

Urban Ministries adds assorted meats, fresh veggies, canned foods, and other staples – enough to feed the household for a week. Thank you for supporting this important and vital

Easter Lilies in Memory of a Loved One

Purchase your Easter Lilies in Memory of a loved one. Cost is $10.00 per plant. Place your orders either at the office, with Carol Kepler or Binks Mew by Friday, April 7.   You can leave your check in the collection plate with 'lilies' in the memo line.  After the Easter service you may take your lilies home or they will be distributed to shut-in's."