Thursday, March 26, 2015

One Great Hour of Sharing - Easter Offering

What is One Great Hour of Sharing? OGHS is a Christian offering to empower, provide water, supply food, and give relief from disasters. The UCC in partnership with eight other denominations have been collecting this offering for almost seven decades.  Together, they raise about $12 million each year.

How are the offerings used? The UCC responds to development, disaster, and refugee needs in 138 countries, and provides disaster relief and immigration assistance in the United States. More than 60% of the UCC's offering targets international development initiatives, including annual support for missionaries. Currently there are 7 OGHS supported missionaries and 2 Global Mission Interns working in disaster relief, health care, education, and agricultural development. The offering funds disaster preparedness and response, and disaster related volunteer initiatives in the U.S. as well. Nearly one-third of the UCC's offering is shared through Church World Service to support refugee, disaster, development, and advocacy programs.

The UCC lists several examples of how the funds are used. Here are two:

  • Empowerment.  OGHS funds go to micro-Credit organizations such as ECLOF International, Oiko Credit, and Freedom from Hunger.
  • Disaster Relief. OGHS funds go to the International Emergency Relief Fund, which enables UCC Disaster Ministries to support emergency relief efforts, long-term rehabilitation, advocacy and sustainability efforts.


How much of funds collected go to direct use? On average, of every dollar given to OGHS, 91 cents is used directly for mission programming; 5 cents for interpretation materials and 4 cents for administrative. Most administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission National Basic Support and endowment funds.

Still curious? Both the One Great Hour of Sharing organization and the UCC have plenty of information.

When you come to church on Easter Sunday, please give generously to One Great Hour of Sharing. 

Palm Sunday and Basketball

From the intentional interim pastor
March 26, 2015

            If you lived in Indiana today, you would be reading about the 25th anniversary of a high school basketball game where over 41,000 people came to watch a senior in high school play.  His name is Damon Bailey and he and his school from Bedford were in Indianapolis to play in Indiana’s state championship*.  I was one of those fans.
            We Hoosiers came to hear about Damon when he was in the 8th grade and Indiana University coach Bobby Knight started talking about him.  In 1990 Damon joined the IU basketball team as a freshman and we loved him even more.  That was a fun four years.
            In 1994 the NBA draft was in Indianapolis and I was there when Damon was drafted in the 44th round by the Indiana Pacers.  The place went wild.  However, Damon was a better high school and college player than he was a professional one and didn’t make the team.  Today he is the assistant coach of Butler University’s women’s basketball team.  We had higher dreams for him, but all is well and we are proud of this local boy “who did good.”  What a difference 25 years makes.
            What does this story have to do with Palm Sunday? 
            The palms have been delivered to the church.  On Sunday we will gather in the courtyard and enter the sanctuary together waving the palm branches celebrating Palm Sunday – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
            Palm Sunday is the day that brings us into Holy Week.  I love that, for a little while, people waved the branches and celebrated.  However, they also waited for Jesus to start throwing candy, and when he didn’t their enthusiasm waned. Things changed drastically.  The people lining the streets to watch the parade went home.
            In the Gospel of Luke 19:28-44, Jesus rode into Jerusalem, but when he saw the city, he wept for what was yet to come.
            What a difference a week made. 
            Damon played for the largest crowd ever gathered for a high school basketball game. He didn’t become the greatest basketball player of all time, but he went on to be a happy, healthy young man who contributes to our world.
            Jesus stepped out in faith to follow God’s bidding.  He spent three years with the disciples and the people who were interested in hearing what he had to say.  Because he didn’t do all that the people expected him to do, things changed drastically, and history was altered for everyone.
            I hope you will join us on Sunday for Palm Sunday, and the other Holy Week events we have planned.  It is an opportunity to re-experience the life of Jesus, to be part of the crowd and walk with him on his journey to the cross.

Prayers for the journey,
Pastor Peg



* In those days Indiana didn’t have a class system for the state championships.  Little schools played big schools – hence, the movie “Hoosiers” where a small school won the whole thing.  True story, except instead of it being Hickory, Indiana, the town was Milan.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Church-Wide Outdoor Event

April 25-26: SATURDAY/SUNDAY CHURCH-WIDE OUTDOOR EVENT AND CAMPING! Join in the fun! Our only agenda this year is to share good food, sing lots of campfire songs, take a beautiful nature walk, and simply rest and relax together!

We will again be at Camp Lapihio at Umstead Park April 25 at 3:00PM to April 26 at noon! Arrive Saturday afternoon for a hike or some singing and games, or evening for dinner and a camp fire with more songs, and stay the night if you like cabin camping. We'll also have Sunday breakfast and morning prayers, and you can still make it to church for worship if you'd like!

If you are coming for the evening only, please bring: 
  • a side dish to share with dinner 
  • a camp chair (optional) 
  • a copy of Rise Up Singing (if you have one)  
  • If you are spending the night, please bring: 
  • a side dish to share with dinner 
  • a camp chair (optional) 
  • socks & comfortable shoes for walking/playing 
  • clothes in layers (it may get cool at night) 
  • a sleeping bag 
  • pillow 
  • bug spray 
  • a flashlight 
  • toiletries and towel (there are showers this year)  
  • necessary medications 
  • your own lunch for Saturday if you plan to stay
Can't wait to see everyone!
-- Santi


Youth Lock-In and Parents' Night Out

April 10: YOUTH LOCK/IN and PARENTS NIGHT OUT FOR CUCC CHILDREN! (Youth will provide childcare for CUCC Children ages 3-10 from 6-9 PM and then CUCC Youth will continue with games, a movie, and an overnight lock-in.)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Photos from the Lenten Meditation Walk

This morning Sam and Joanna led the Lenten Meditation walk at Schenck Forest.
-- Photos by Jo Perry

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Email - 20 MAR 2015

From the Interim Pastor
New Office Hours and Phone Number
Semi-guided Walking Meditation – A Lenten Event
Sunday Morning Bible Study:  Experiencing the stories
Lenten Forum Series – Living the Questions
Friday Evening Film Series
Maundy Thursday Worship – April 2
Church Work Day – Saturday, March 28
Save the Date! Bread for the World is coming to Raleigh March 28
Healing Service, Monday, March 30, 12:45pm – Sanctuary
Fun-raiser for New Stove
CUCC Family Fun Auction Party – April 18

Seasons of Love

From the interim pastor

March 20, 2015

            I’m sure you have had songs playing over and over in your head.  You can’t get rid of it; it just stays until it goes away on its own.  The term is “worming.”  You hear a song and it “worms” its way into your head, and like a tape recorder it just keeps playing whether you want it to or not.
            A few days the song “Seasons of Love” wormed its way into my head.  The difference here is that I don’t remember the last time I heard the song.  Since then I have listened to it numerous times.  It is captivating and compelling for me.
            “Seasons of Love” comes from the musical “Rent.”  Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson[1] loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City's East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. (www.wikipedia.com)

            Some of the lyrics for “Seasons of Love” go like this:
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments, oh dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

You can listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj7LRuusFqo

            It reminds me that Jesus’ time with us on earth was limited.  Three years of ministry, each year having Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
            What an impact he made in those 1,576,800 minutes. 
            Today we are sixteen days away from celebrating the day we followers of Jesus call Easter.  It is the day we remember the resurrection.  Whether you believe in the bodily resurrection or not, it is a day of celebration.  He lives in so many ways.
            But in the meantime, the season of Lent…or the season of Love continues.  Let’s live and love well so that our time here on earth can be measured in love, too.

Prayers for the journey,

Pastor Peg

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Semi-guided walking meditation.

9 AM March 21 (THIS saturday) at the Schenck Forest

Description: This will be a semi-guided walking mediation, and involve 1.5 miles of moderate hiking.  Those that prefer less walking will have the option to join the group for the first and last 1/4 mile of the walk and sit in the covered picnic area in between.

Directions: From the NC Museum of Art take Reedy Creek Rd Northwest for exactly 1 mile (.3 miles past Edward Mill Rd.) and take a left on an unmarked dirt road.  Drive 100 yards and park on the right side of the road.  We will meet at the gate on the right.

Facilities are rustic.  Bring water and comfortable clothes.  There is a port-a-potty near the picnic area but no running water.

Submitted by Sam and Joanna Woodrum who will lead the walk

CUCC Family Fun Auction Party - April 18, 6:30PM

Sunset from the Kepler's lake house
(auctioned:  day at the lake)
The CUCC Family Fun Auction Party is coming up on Saturday, April 18, and we need you to help make it a success! The auction is an annual fundraiser for CUCC.  Would you consider donating an item to the auction?  Examples of past auction items include:
  • Garden plants
  • Weekends at the beach, lake or mountains 
  • Hand-made pottery, quilts, jewelry and original artwork
  • A morning of bird-watching & lunch                       
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Day trips to fun destinations.  A geology field trip or a hike at a state park
  • Pet-sitting, Babysitting, Yard work, Handyman, and Computer services
  • Brunches, lunches, dinners
  • Delicious homemade cakes, pies, jams, etc.
Stone Mountain
Auctioned:  camping trip
with Mike and Skip
Please contribute your time, talents or treasure to this wonderful annual event.  To make a pledge, call the office and let them know the item, the minimum bid, any conditions (date, maximum/minimum number of people, etc.), AND whether you will be attending the auction. Please enter your pledge of an auction item to the church office by Tuesday, April 14.  Get your pledge form here or at the church office, in the newsletter, or you can fill out a form after worship on Sunday, April 5 and 12.

Make plans to attend this great annual event. Social and silent auction begin at 6:30 pm; the bidding starts at 7:00 pm.  Drinks, snacks and child care will be provided. A great time is guaranteed!!  Thanks for your support, and see you at the auction!

TOP TEN REASONS TO GO TO THE AUCTION
10.  It’s a cheap date.  Just $5 to bid and you don’t even have to pay a babysitter – child care is included!
9.  Help raise important funds for CUCC and have fun doing it.
Lena's back yard
Auctioned:  birding and lunch
8.  Get fabulous prizes – from a weekend at the beach to handyman service at your house to original art and pottery – and it’s all for a good cause.
7.  You can enjoy a fine glass of wine (or two) at the same time.
6.  Did we mention that child care is provided?
5.  You might win a Mystery Box.
4.  You don’t have to be able to spell hors d’oeuvres to gobble them up.
3.  You can have a great time with friends and still be home by 9:30. 
2.  There are lots of cool experiences on offer – you could win a day learning about local geology, birding, or win a night at a sing-a-long and really get to know some of the folks you see in the pews every week.
1.  Folks will probably laugh hard enough that wine comes out their nose.  

DON’T MISS IT!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Youth Sunday 2015

Youth Sunday 2015 was held on March 15. The CUCC you led the entire worship service. The entire service (edited down to 34 minutes by eliminating long periods of silence and hymns) is available on video in the CUCC Archive. In addition, there are 4 short video clips of the musical selections performed by the Youth.