Monday, June 27, 2016

Being better citizens

On my way to church I stopped in at CVS and got to talking to the clerk, probably 21, about carrying cash. He didn't see a need for it, which led me to ask if he had traveled abroad. He didn't know what "abroad" meant, and it turns out he didn't know anything about the vote in the UK last week. I am not sure he knew what UK and the European Union means, or what a pound is, for that matter. I'm betting he won't vote in November either.

I think it is very important for our young people to know about the world in which they live.  Parents, grandparents, friends, how about engaging our young people over a meal?  No lecture or homework assignments, but just conversations about what is happening.  Where do they want to travel?  Do they know where those countries are?  Where have you traveled?

And once you start talking about other countries, you can talk about other religions.  And food.  And what is happening in those countries.

What ideas do you have for engaging our young people in conversation?  Let's do our part to help them be better citizens of the world.

prayers for the journey,

Huge meeting of Retirees Group on June 20

Thanks to Susan Maleszweski and others who contributed to a large and energetic meeting of the Retirees Group on June 20. Click the photo below to view large versions of all photos from this event.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dorothy Owen (1923-2016)

Dorothy Owen passed away on June 16 in Wilkesboro. She was the wife of the late Guy Owen who was author of the acclaimed novel Ballad of the Flim Flam Man. Dorothy's obituary includes multiple references to Community UCC. Two of them read as follows:
  • "The couple caught one of Dylan Thomas' last public readings on one date and later married at the Community Church, a breakaway congregation set up to allow integration when segregation still lingered here in the fifties."
  • "For a time Guy Owen taught at Stetson but after his first novel was hired by NCSU. He had written The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man at her family homeplace in Wilkes County in the interim while on leave. She typed all his novels as no one else could decipher his handwriting. Settling in Raleigh, she eventually took a job as secretary to the local UCC church, later moving on to acquire a NC Craft Shop with a friend, enjoying the folk art of our state. After Guy Owen's untimely death in 1981, she chose to relocate back to her home county of Wilkes in 1986."
A YouTube video (below) is linked to from the obituary. In the video you'll see Dorothy with a number of well known people, including North Carolina's legendary Doc Watson.

The full obituary can be viewed here ...

There are numerous photos of Dorothy and Guy Owen to be found in the 100th Anniversary Scrapbook assembled in 1981. (Just search for "Owen" in the file listing for the Scrapbook.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekly News - June 24

The online calendar is always available and is always up-to-date.
Deadlines to submit articles to the church office (
  • Weekly Newsletter email - TUESDAY by NOON.
  • Sunday bulletin - TUESDAY by NOON.

Order Your CUCC T-Shirts by July 31

The CUCC youth have designed colorful t-shirts, and believe us, you don't want to be the only church member without one! Please order yours by filling out the form found on the table at the back of the sanctuary; leave it in the basket there or place it in the box on Śānti's office door in the Pilgrim House. Extras will be ordered, but to ensure that you get your size, please order your shirts by July 31! Shirts will be ready for pick-up by August 28. Payment is due when shirts are picked-up. Please do not pay in advance!

Donations for Refugee Children

Incoming refugee children need new underwear, socks, flip flops and gently used shoes (All sizes, boys and girls)  If you would like to donate any of these items, please place them in the marked box in the Robing Room at church (Last room on the left before the Narthex) and I will take them to Lutheran Services Carolinas.  If you will attach your contact information I will provide donation forms for your taxes.  Thanks!  Joan McAllister

Dinner, Learning, and Activities for Everyone

Exploring the Refugee Crisis
Wednesday, August 3 and Wednesday, August 10
Dinner is Provided: 6:00 p.m.
Program: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Childcare will also be provided, including programming for children,
and separate activities for youth.

Wave after wave of people keep coming into the US. They’re fleeing war, persecution or hardship, and trying to reach safety and the promise of a better life. What is life like for these refugee individuals and families, what are their needs, and how can we help? This summer and fall, the Religious Education Ministry will offer opportunities to listen, learn, and respond together. Join us for these two Wednesday nights this August as we begin this journey of understanding and compassion.

Three opportunities do justice work

Adrienne Little sent these invitations for your consideration.  Adrienne represents CUCC's Social Justice Ministry at Congregations for Social Justice meetings.

1 - Raleigh Police Accountability Events from Ivanna Gonzalez
On June 29 at 6:30pm,  PACT and community members will honor the memory of Akiel Denkins with a balloon release, led by his mother, Rolanda, marking 4 months since his death. Then, after months of letters, presentations, demonstrations, and dialogue with City Council, the Human Relations Commission, and City staff, the City of Raleigh have committed to implementing written consent-to-search forms and regular reviews of police officer stop-and-search data broken down by race!

Come out to a community briefing to hear details of our community's victory from PACT leaders, a workshop on our rights with these changes from legal experts, and a discussion of how we'll keep working toward a Raleigh where police are accountable to the community!    June 30th, 6:30pm, Safety Club at 513 Branch St.

Then come out to the Municipal Building on  July 5th at 6:00pm to Speak Out and show that we will not rest until the police are no longer policing themselves!   Spanish interpretation will be available on June 30th and July 5th!

To get up-to-the-minute updates, join our rapid response text message system by texting JUSTICE to 864237.

July 15-16, 2016 / 8:30 am – 5:15 pm Friday and Saturday
This is Racial Equity Institute Anti-Racism training for youth - in grades 8-12
     “When power is invisible, racism thrives”
                 Let’s make power visible!
Contact Al for more information.

3 -  You are invited for  Congregations for Social Justice (CSJ) JustBeer
        Thursday, June 30 - 5:00 PM
        My Way Tavern
        522  St. Mary's St.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A small way to assist a refugee

Imagine:  You have grabbed your family and a few possessions and have fled your home and your country.  You have traveled by foot, by train, by dinghy, by any means you could buy and have escaped to freedom.  You have lived for years in a refugee camp, in tents, with others who have fled.  However, you had to maintain your guard to survive the crowding, illness and threats from others.  You are among those who have passed the screening exams to be accepted into the United States.  You imagine a better future for yourself and your family.  The airplane takes you from everything you have known- your profession, your credentials, your language, your neighborhood, your faith community- and you land at Raleigh Durham international airport.  You know that Americans have become increasingly suspicious of refugees, and  you don’t know what to expect.  The agency that is helping you lets you know that within six months you must be independent: employed, living in an apartment, assimilating into American culture.

What would it take for you to achieve independence?  The Refugee Resettlement programs of Raleigh, including Lutheran Family Services, rely on volunteers to supplement their staff to provide the services needed.

If you are among those who are willing to invest time to help refugees transition to independence, these are examples of opportunities:

Limited time commitment (one time commitment, very limited contact with the refugees)
Meeting family at the airport and providing their first meal in America, a meal that is familiar to their palates.
Purchasing groceries for families before they arrive.(You will be reimbursed; items to be purchased are specified)
Helping to set up the apartment with donated furniture and household items to be ready when the family arrives
Donate items needed by incoming refugees (household, cleaning supplies, toys for children, coats/jackets, new underwear and socks for children)

Moderate time commitment (ongoing or recurring contact with the family)
Accompany family to stores, doctors, work and teaching bus routes to familiarize them with local resources
Visit refugee family weekly and share experiences with them (their/your outings, holiday events, birthdays, etc.)
Help refugee family connect with familiar faith communities, ethnic grocers, etc.
Help family to learn and practice English

Significant time commitment
“Adopt” a family for their first six months, working with agency staff to help them assimilate into the culture while honoring and supporting their own culture.
Help a refugee student athlete to participate in sports by purchasing equipment, uniforms, etc.
These are a few examples of ways that you could be involved and offer real assistance to refugees coming to America.  You can get involved at any level and then increase or decrease your involvement as you feel called.
If any of these examples pull at your heart and spirit, please consider participating in a discussion about how we of CUCC want to get involved as a church or as a hub through which individuals both in and outside the church might work together.  Your skills and your heart are needed.  Please email Shirley Birt or Joan McAllister  with your questions.  Thank you!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Weekly News - June 17, 2016

The online calendar is always available and is always up-to-date.
Deadlines to submit articles to the church office (
  • Weekly Newsletter email - TUESDAY by NOON.
  • Sunday bulletin - TUESDAY by NOON.