Monday, August 21, 2017

Save the date - Welcoming Sunday

Mark your calendar for worship and an extended fellowship time afterwards on Sunday, September 10, as we gather for Welcoming Sunday.  More details coming soon!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

From Pastor Jenny

Dear Community UCC Family, 

     Seven months ago I began dreaming with you about where Spirit was calling us: calling us to listen, to move and breathe, to shift and make new, to curate and procure spaces--both physical and metaphorical--so that we could extend God's extravagant, inclusive, abundant welcome to the least of these, and those least likely to enter our doors. 
     This weekend marks two very important moments for us in our life together as friends, family and people of a shared and particular story committed to that extravagant welcome. Tomorrow, I will participate in a retreat with a few of you who serve our congregation in leadership, telling our stories and in making room that others might enter in. I am beyond hopeful, giddy really, at the opportunities that await us as we listen deeper, move closer and work to widen the door through which all might come to know and feel God's love.
     Last weekend we celebrated as Alex, Diane, Autumn and Charles joined in fellowship and in covenant with CUCC, pledging to love and be loved, and to add their own lights of hope and faithfulness to a light already shining in this place. Several months ago, JM invited us to re-imagine what making room looks like, what the realm of God calls us to in our efforts to love and be loved. There is an ever growing list of others who are eager to join us in our work to bring a just, peaceful, and emboldened witness to Raleigh, to North Carolina, and to God's people and her created world.
     As we continue bearing witness to this call, we will gather on Sunday for worship services at 9:00am, 10:30am, and then again at 4:00pm. Don't blink twice or you'll be a Baptist before you know it! As is customary in our tradition once a new pastor has been called to the local church, the Association, in our case, the Eastern North Carolina Association, installs the new pastor in a ritual of blessing and covenant celebrated within a worship service. This day, in your history, marks "the next faithful step" in our
communal life together. You have faithfully discerned your gifts, as well as your desires and call as a community of people committed to one another and to loving and serving others. It has been to my great fortune that the call of Spirit brought us together in the place where hopes and dreams are formed, and love is watered and grown. Thus, I could not be more thankful to share in this moment with you!
     It seems only appropriate to be together for this occasion at this particular time in history. Every day I begin with the thought that I am part of something much greater than myself, which allows me to breathe a little deeper, and sit a little longer, especially on days filled with so much pain and turmoil.
     This something is a love that draws me close, that fills me with peace and a longing to be the most honest reflection of that love that I can be; and I am compelled to share it with others. I believe this Love to be of our Creator, of the divine, that each one of us bears; whether we choose to listen to, or dismiss it, this Love pursues us with a gentle, unassuming light that neither coerces nor condemns us. This love, however, weeps when we do, and yearns as we do for the day when each of her beautiful ones is drawn close, is made whole, and begets wholeness.
     As we gather together in LOVE, as Spirit calls us forth, my prayer is that we shall be made whole as one body, covenanting together for the long journey ahead, neither being dismayed by the brokenness of this fractured world or forgetting or "erasing" our history, but choosing instead to fix our gaze on the love which propels us onward. I pray we will choose love--remembering as Jesus taught and lived that,
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”
Spirit is leading the way,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

Installation - August 20

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas preaching at a pulpit
On August 20, 2017 Community United Church of Christ will celebrate the Installation of its newest Pastor, Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas, who began her ministry at CUCC on January 1, 2017. In the United Church of Christ the “Installation is the liturgical celebration of the covenantal relationship among an ordained minister; the local church; and the Association.”

At a time such as this when even the ground beneath our feet seems to shift and burn with the tides, we as a nation are more hungry than ever for a word of HOPE. It has been said that religion in
the West is failing...dying, and that the political landscape of our time will siphon off what is left of organized religion. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., who said, “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war,” we remember that it is not for religion that we must organize, but peace.

As we continue in the stead of the many who have gone before us, including Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, the late Madiba (Nelson Mandela) and the Mother of prayer and servanthood, Mother Theresa, as well as our own modern day prophets such as Rev. Dr. William Barber, we gather in one Spirit, in covenant with all of Creation, towards a new religious ecology; called to love and serve that all might experience the love of God.

As a faith community who takes seriously the call to witness to and for the breadth of God’s extravagant and inclusive love Community United Church of Christ hosts this celebration in partnership with our community and invites you: local neighbors, friends and families of all faiths and manifestations of the Spirit to join us for this joyous occasion.

Please join us on Sunday, August 20 at 4:00pm 
for a Service of Installation and Reception 
for Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas
Community United Church of Christ 
814 Dixie Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607

Parking Request for the Installation Service

right turn only road sign
Remember to TURN RIGHT
when exiting the Wade Avenue
parking lot!   Stay safe.
CUCC family, please park in the Wade Avenue lot or on the street.

We anticipate many visitors and would like them to be able to use the Dixie Trail parking lot.

CUCC drivers needing a handicap parking spot or have trouble walking are welcome to use either parking lot.

There will be a drop off zone along the curb by Pilgrim House in case you prefer to drop off your car-full and then park on the street.

Church-Wide Work Day - Saturday, August 26.

Church - Wide Work Day
Saturday, August 26, 2017, 9:00am - Noon

Whether you have only one hour or can stay all three, bring your energy to the workday.  Jobs for all ages.  We've got inside and outside tasks to do, so this is rain or shine.  (ex. sanitizing toys, washing windows, removing pine straw from roof).

Tools you might bring:  water-proof gloves, bucket, newspaper, rake, gardening gloves, pruning shears.  Don't have any of those - come anyway.  We'll have

Lectionary for the Week of August 20, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of August 20, 2017 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67;
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28

This Week's Opportunities

Sunday 8/20
  9:00am      TaizĂ© Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am       Newcomer’s Coffee - Library
10:30am      Worship Service - Sanctuary
10:45am      Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
10:45am      Youth Church School - Youth Room
11:45am      Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
     4:00pm      Covenant Community - Bradow Room
     4:00pm      Service of Installation & Reception for Rev. Shultz-Thomas
Monday 8/21        
12:15pm      Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
Tuesday 8/22        
10:30am      Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
10:30am      Retirees’ Luncheon - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Wednesday 8/23    
  9:30am       Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Saturday 8/26        
  9:00am       Church-Wide Work Day - CUCC
  9:30am       Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
Sunday 8/27  
  9:00am       TaizĂ© Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am       Choir Practice - Sanctuary
  9:30am       Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
  9:30am       Sunday School Parent Information Meeting - S.S. Classroom
10:30am      Worship Service - Sanctuary
10:45am      Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
10:45am      Youth Church School - Youth Room
11:45am      Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm      Social Justice Ministry Meeting - Bradow Room
12:00pm      Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
  4:00pm      Covenant Community - Bradow Room

Youth Ministries - Upcoming Events

Youth Ministries
This will be a stellar year for CUCC Youth!  So many activities and events to look forward to - too many to list here; they are all listed on the CUCC website (  But here are a few highlights:

September 10: Beginning September 10, the Youth Group will meet every 2nd Sunday (We will skip Oct. & Jan. due to lock-ins)
September 17: Church School begins.  Confirmation class begins.
September 19: Peace Picnic 5:30-6:30pm at Loaves & Fishes
September 22: Parent Youth Kick-Off Meeting, 5:30-6:30pm, VFH
September 22 - 24: Youth Beach Retreat Weekend
October 8: Walk for Hope
October 15: Blessing of the Animals
October 21: Octoberfest (Church-wide)
October 22: CROP Walk, 3:00pm, Broughton HS
October 27-28:  Youth Lock-In

Sunday School Parent Information Meeting

Sunday School Parent Information Meeting

An informational meeting for parents and Sunday School volunteers will be held at 9:30 AM on
August 27, in the elementary classroom. Parents and volunteers please plan to attend to learn
about our Sunday School rotation and how the preschool and elementary classes will interact.
Use the link here to print Sunday School registration forms or pick them up in the elementary
classroom.  A registration form is needed for each child.

Sunday School News - Fall 2017

Children are welcome at CUCC!  On Sunday mornings we offer childcare and Sunday School classes.

The nursery is available from 9:00 AM until the conclusion of our worship service.  Children from birth through children turning 3 after August 31 attend the nursery.

Our preschool class is for children who turn 3 by August 31 through Kindergartners.

First graders through fifth graders attend our elementary class. Sixth graders move to the youth program.

Preschoolers, elementary children and youth participate in our worship service with their family and move from worship to Sunday School following the “Children’s Message” in the service. Parents pick up nursery, preschool and elementary children in their classrooms following worship.

An informational meeting for parents and Sunday School volunteers will be held at 9:30 AM on August 27 in the elementary classroom. Parents and volunteers please plan to attend to learn about our Sunday School rotation and how the preschool and elementary classes will interact.

Use the link here to print Sunday School registration forms or pick them up in the elementary classroom. A registration form is needed for each child.

Welcoming Sunday at CUCC is September 10. Please join us for a morning of worship, fellowship, fun and games for all ages as we end the summer schedule.  Everyone is welcome!!!

Special dates to remember for our children:
August 27:  9:30AM - Informational meeting for parents and volunteers.

September 10: Welcoming Sunday

September 17: Fall Sunday School Begins

September 17: Bible presentation during worship. Third graders and children who have not previously received a Bible will receive their Bibles during the “Children’s Message.”

October 15: 4:00 PM - The Blessing of the Animals in the courtyard. All pets are welcome and will receive a blessing from Pastor Jenny. In case of rain we will meet in the fellowship hall.

October 22: Cooking with Ms. Susan M. During Sunday School, we will begin preparing and freezing our treats for the following Sunday when we provide snacks for fellowship.

October 29: Cooking with Ms. Susan. Children provide snacks for fellowship. Parents assist with clean up.

November 26: Children and youth make ornaments for the church Christmas tree. Begin assigning roles and costumes for the Christmas Pageant.

December 3: Pageant Practice, role and costume assignment continues. – 5:00pm - Family Advent Workshop in the fellowship hall. Join us for crafts, fun, and a pizza dinner. All ages are welcome! Please bring a plate of cookies to share.

December 10: Christmas Pageant. All children and youth are welcome to participate. Visitors, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, nieces, nephews, etc. are all welcome. We have plenty of costumes.

December 17: Preschool and elementary children meet together and share the Christmas story.

December 24: No Sunday School

December 31: No Sunday School