Thursday, January 18, 2018

Courageous Faith - our theme for Lent 2018

Rise to something new; add something that will deepen your spiritual life and relationship with God and others. Resist what causes you to stumble; focus on letting go of the sin or stumbling block that keeps you from fully connecting with God and others. Give up FEAR during Lent. Identify areas in your life where you allow fear instead of love/hope to guide you and give it up!

Memorial Service for Ann McLaughlin

Memorial Service for Anne McLaughlin
Please join us this Sunday afternoon, January 21, at 3:00pm in the sanctuary as we remember  and celebrate the life of beloved member, Rev. Ann McLaughlin, who died on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Ann was an ordained minister in the UCC and a Licensed Pastoral Counselor with Triangle Pastoral Counseling Center where she worked for over 20 years. Two of Ann's dear friends, Anne Pope and Rev. Nancy Callaham, will remember her through special music and words of remembrance. You will be blessed by their gifts! We hope you can join us for this special service and reception following in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.  

Forum - Sunday, January 21, 2018 - Michael Bowen (former CUCC Youth)

Forum - Sunday, January 21

9:30AM - Forum for youth and adults in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall led by Michael Bowen (former CUCC youth). Michael is currently a sophomore in engineering at North Carolina State University. He spends much of his time researching new semiconductors to make solar panels more affordable and more efficient. Come honor his hard work, and learn about his important research and efforts to care for the earth.

Lectionary for the Week of January 21, 2018

Lectionary for the Week of January 21, 2018 - Third Sunday after Epiphany
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:5-12; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

This Week's Opportunities

Sunday  01/21  
  9:00am   Nursery for newborns - 3-year-olds
  9:00am   TaizĂ© Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am   Forum - Michael Bowen - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  9:30am   Adult Bible Study - Bradow Room
10:30am  Worship Service - Sanctuary
10:45am  Children’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:45am  Youth Sunday School - Youth Room
11:45am  Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm  International Mission Trip Leaders Meeting - Hoffmann
  3:00pm   Covenant Community - Bradow Room
  3:00pm Memorial Service for Rev. Ann McLaughlin 
                 Wright Center Meal
Monday 01/22 
12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
Tuesday 01/23 
10:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
  6:30pm Sisters in Spirit - Home of Peg Hulslander
Wednesday 01/24  
    9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
   7:00pm Choir Practice - Sanctuary
Saturday 01/27  
    9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
   5:30pm Arts in Worship Sensory Supper - Fellowship Hall
   6:30pm Poetry Slam - Fellowship Hall
Sunday 01/28   
   9:00am Nursery for newborns - 3-year-olds
   9:00am TaizĂ© Worship – Sanctuary
   9:30am Youth Confirmation Class - Youth Room
   9:30am Adult Bible Study - Bradow Room
10:30am Worship Service - Sanctuary
10:45am Children’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:45am Youth Sunday School - Youth Room
11:45am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm CONGREGATIONAL MEETING  - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  3:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
  3:30pm Ordination for Joy Alford-Allridge - Sanctuary

All-Church Lenten Planning Meeting, Sunday, February 4, Noon

All-Church Lenten Planning: “Preparing ourselves and our church for the season of Lent”
Sunday, February 4 at 12:00pm - Hoffman Room

Join Pastor Jenny, the staff, the deacons and others from our community to think creatively about how to prepare ourselves to fully participate in the Lenten experience.  All are Welcome!

Loaves & Fishes

Loaves & Fishes Chili Sale

Sign-Up sheets for the LOAVES AND FISHES CHILI SALE are posted on the bulletin board in the hallway. All orders must be placed by this Sunday, Jan. 21.  Meat and veggie chili are available at $13/qt. LAF’s chili sale is very important for helping provide services for underprivileged kids in our area. PLEASE SUPPORT the LAF Chili Sale. Contact Nancy Stoddard at 919-571-9199 with questions.

From the Pastor

From the Pastor

Written by Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues for the United Church of Christ

"When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy." (Matthew: 2:10)

       The start of a new calendar year is a threshold, a moment to acknowledge the passing of time. It is natural to look back and take stock of the past twelve months. For many, (far too many) 2017 was challenging. Personally many experienced job loss or change, health scares, the passing of loved ones, strained relationships and other life challenges.
       As a nation, we grappled with our growing opioid epidemic. Natural disasters devastated Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. We began to publicly face the reality of widespread sexual harassment and violence against women. We struggled with the existential threat of nuclear war and consequences of "America First" foreign policy. U.S. policy changed dramatically as our leaders withdrew from the Paris climate accord, shut the door to immigrants and refugees, and altered our tax system to disproportionately benefit corporations and the wealthy.

And then there were the tweets. The TWEETS! It is not hard to see why so many people were eager to say good-bye to 2017.

       And yet, this past year was not all pain and darkness. It was also a year of empowerment and advocacy. We began the year with the Women's March and ended it reflecting on the power of the #MeToo movement. Allies stood shoulder-to-shoulder to confront white supremacy in Charlottesville and in cities across the country. Confederate statues tumbled, a trans-woman was elected to the Virginia legislature, and young immigrants flooded Capitol Hill chanting "No hate, no fear!" Advocates organized across intersecting issues of injustice like never before, and engaged in advocacy and direct action in record numbers. "Resistance" became more than a partisan position, and instead was a call to action against unjust structures and traditions.
       In spite of all the challenges, we found examples of hope. They were sometimes distant, and often unexpected, but we could feel it. In this season of Epiphany I am eager to find these bright spots of encouragement.
       In the year to come, knowing the mix of challenges and opportunity that await us, let us strive to follow the example of the Magi in the book of Matthew, who followed a Star with joy and expectation, even in the face of fear, threats, and jealousy from King Herod. Like the Magi, let us take risks and choose to resist empire for the sake of hope. Let us stick together and uplift one another when we grow weary. Let us look for those moments to be "overwhelmed with joy" (Matthew 2:10), especially in the darkest of nights.

Sisters In Spirit (SIS)

Sisters in Spirit will be meeting at Peg Hulslander's house (2830 Barmettler Street) on Tuesday, January 23, at 6:30 PM  for potluck and surprises. This is open to women of the church to explore, so consider joining in.

Here's the SIS calendar for 2017/2018.

Sensory Supper and Poetry Slam - January 27

Sensory Supper:  A Spiritual Journey through the Senses 
Provided by Arts in Worship
Saturday, January 27, 5:30-6:30PM
Vaughan Fellowship Hall
All are Welcome!

We can become so preoccupied with our thoughts that we think we ARE our thoughts, but we are not. Let’s turn down the volume on our thoughts, and open up awareness of our senses. As you bring an open heart and creative imagination, to our spiritual journey through the senses, you may discover there is more abundance in your life, and more possibilities for peace! A dinner of chili and sandwiches will be provided. (Veggie and meat options available for both.)


Poetry Slam: Sharing our Favorite Poems
Provided by CUCC Youth and the Stewardship Committee
Saturday, January 27, 6:30-8:00PM
Vaughan Fellowship Hall
All are Welcome!

Are you a poet and know it?
Do you love the written word—meaningful or absurd?
Can you read or recite a line, roughly or refined?
Poetry Slams are high fashion, if you’ve a theatrical passion.
For a time well spent, don’t miss this event!
Join in the fun and compassion.

Dessert, coffee, and hot chocolate provided.
Contact Santi at 919-961-8814 or to read, recite, or attend.

Ordination of Joy Alford Allridge

Let us join in celebration as we witness the ordination into pastoral ministry of our own Joy Alford Allridge.

Sunday, January 28, 3:30PM
CUCC’s sanctuary
814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh

Reception to follow.

In November, CUCC called Joy into covenantal ministry as pastor to Prism, our emerging congregation in Wake Forest.  The people of Prism accepted our offer of Joy’s services as their pastor.  Together we will celebrate Joy’s ordination by the Eastern NC Association of the United Church of Christ.

If you would be willing to bring light refreshments to the reception or help with set up or clean up, please contact Jane Smith OR sign up using SignUpGenius.

Much to discuss - congregational meeting January 28, noon

Read reports before the meeting
Mark your calendar for noon, January 28 (Sunday) for our "first congregational meeting" of 2018.  We have some important items to discuss together, and some reading for you to do prior to coming to the meeting.  If you have questions for clarification, I hope you will contact the recommended person before the meeting so that our time together can be efficient.

Council will be firming up the agenda and the documents for you to read at our meeting next Monday.  I will post the agenda as well as additional documents for the congregation's consideration in next week's newsletter.

Meanwhile, here are some documents to get you started on your reading.

Topic:  Yearly reports
Every January the ministries and officers of CUCC submit reports on what they did in the previous year.  If you have been feeling disconnected from some of CUCC's work or if you are considering becoming involved in a new area of our ministry together, be sure to read these reports before the meeting.  Questions about the reports?  Ask the author of the report before the meeting.

Yearly Reports

Topic:  Amendments to our constitution and bylaws
At our November congregational meeting, Grady McCallie presented proposed changes to our constitution and bylaws.  Changes include:
- technical and similar small, non-substantive changes
- requested by specific ministries
- changes to conform to current practice
- changes to personnel and pastoral relations/ finalizing head of staff model
- finances.

Grady invited you to bring comments and suggestions to him, and some of you did.  Because our constitution and bylaws requires that proposed changes be presented to the congregation at least two weeks prior to a vote; Grady will present your suggestions as amendments to the primary motion.  I plan to include those amendments in next week's newsletter for your review, pending Council consideration this Monday.

Please review the November proposal and contact Grady if you would like clarification on any of the changes.

November proposal for amendments to the constitution
November proposal for amendments to the bylaws

Topic:  Approval of minutes of November 19, 2017, congregational meeting

Draft minutes

If you need a printed copy of these documents, or you hear of someone who doesn't use the internet and would like a copy, please contact the office.  

Respectfully submitted,
Jane EG Smith

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our confirmands on retreat

confirmands and adult leaders piled on couches at retreat center
Our Confirmation retreat couldn't have gone better! Five amazing talented girls became quick soul sisters. They encouraged each other, supported each other, and stood by each other, as 170 UCC youth and adults from 4 states, explored the concept of Imago Dei. We were made in the image of God, wonderfully made, and we are good and loved, not because of our beliefs or actions or relationships with others, but because of our relationship to the Divine. We read from Genesis and studied Hagar, Zaccheus, and Nicodemus.

On Sunday, our Confirmation Class met alone for a half day retreat and as we moved our exploration from self to community. We explored why and how we live in community with one another. We studied Titus and Acts, wrote our own collaborative statement of belief, created individual covenants, and shared in a blessing ritual.

Thanks to all who made this awesome spiritual retreat possible!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lost & Found Articles

Are you missing items that you thought you left at the church?  There is a basket next to the coat rack in the hallway across from the Robing Room.  Clothing items and lost umbrellas, etc, are placed in this basket.  Small items such as jewelry or lost keys are normally brought to the church office, but may also be found in this basket. 

Please check the basket and claim your items by February 15, 2018, or they will be donated to a local charity.  Keys and/or small items will be re-located to the church office. Thanks!

Our Own Tim Jensen invites you to a Vox Virorum Concert

Join us THIS SUNDAY for 
"The Universal Language of Arts"
Vox Virorum Men's Chorus explores the commonalities of musical expression
around the world with
"The Universal Language of Arts", featuring choral works in
Latin, Italian, Korean, Russian and Arabic.


Program highlights: 

"Kalinka"- a Russian folk song, "The Snow- Ball Tree"
"La Vergine degli Angeli"- by Giuseppi Verdi, from 'La Forza del Destino', featuring guest soloist Lesley Curtis
 "Arirang"-  a simple, lovely Korean folk song
"Make Them Hear You" - from the musical 'Ragtime'...
"Homeland" - a popular and rousing British piece, sung at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
"Zikr"- an Islamic chant that conjures images of Turkish whirling dervishes

Directed by Jeremy Nabors, accompanied by Deborah Coclanis
Guest soloist Lesley Curtis
Free Admission, $10 suggested donation​
3pm Sunday January 21, 2018
First Presbyterian Church  305 East Main Street Durham, NC 27701

Email for more info

Our debut CD, "The Music Before Me"
will be available at this concert

*New Member Auditions: January 30 and February 6*
​email us at