Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekly Email - 17 APRIL 2015

From the Interim Pastor
We Welcome Rev. Dr. Kenneth Williams to our Pulpit this Sunday
A Message from the Caring Committee
Do You Enjoy Fellowship after Church?
A Note from the Youth
Church-Wide Outdoor Event & Camping: April 25-26!
Save the date!  Solar Celebration at Anderson Point Park - April 19
Earth Sabbath Celebration, Wednesday, April 22
Book Fundraiser – Book Sale May 1 - 3
Taizé Worship at Duke, April 24
Congregations for Social Justice – Faith & Practice Series
May Newsletter Deadline
Come One! Come All! CUCC Auction Party! – Saturday, April 18

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Can we talk about church?

from your interim pastor

Can we talk?

Last year my husband Ken and I moved to Durham from Rochester, NY.  We "retired" from full-time ministry and relocated to the land of Ken's birth.  

For the first time in a really long time we needed to look for a church.  This was not something either of us had done for a long times as we usually moved to town to serve a church.  We discovered that it isn't easy finding a new church.  We actually found our grocery store to be more welcoming.

(You can read about our experience on my Huffington Post blog:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-peg-nowling-williams/what-the-church-can-learn_1_b_6055106.html)

I think that Community UCC does a great job, but I'd like to hear your experiences, as well.  

What were you looking for when you came to Community UCC?

If you are new to our church or reading this as a seeker, would you mind sharing what you are seeking?

We can't be all things to all people, but we can learn from each other.  Use the comment button below to get in the conversation!  

Thanks and blessings,
Pastor Peg


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Transition Team is born

April 10, 2015
From the interim pastor

Dear Friends,
            I’m excited to share the good news with you that we have a Transition Team!  They are:
Shaleka Covington-Jones, Frank Gailor, Tim Jensen, Joan McAllister and Suzette Roach.
            Several months ago Geri Bowen and I asked the council members to suggest the names of those who were persons of wisdom, spiritual depth, and love for God’s people.  We also asked them to think in terms of the transition team being a microcosm of the congregation.  I think you will agree that these five individuals meet this criteria.
            Soon the team will gather for their first meeting and retreat to begin our time together.  I know you are interested in what the plan is for this intentional interim process.
            Here is a bit from the letter I sent to them:  “Let me share my vision for the Transition Team and what you might expect in commitments of time and energy.  Churches that take advantage of the interim period for intentional focus on issues of identity, mission, and renewal have found that the church is stronger and healthier as a result.  Our goal is to create a trusted and trusting leadership group to facilitate the interim process.  We hope to model for the congregation a team with diverse perspectives who value being with each other (sometimes even having fun!), can share with each other in a trusting and safe environment, and can work together to accomplish tasks that move the interim process forward in the congregation. 
You can read more in the link below, but let me share a bit from the United Church of Christ about interim ministry.  “The value of the interim time will be enhanced if the governing board develops clear goals and objectives to be achieved during this transition period. The specific goals your leaders identify can then be incorporated into the traditional developmental work of the transition process. Intentional interim pastors will customarily utilize their specialized training to assist the congregation in addressing five transition challenges:



Developmental Tasks of the Interim Period
·         Come to terms with our history…Isaiah 43 and Isaiah 44:21: 
o   uncovering, interpreting and understanding where we have been
o   knowing and telling our story
o   discerning how God has been present in the life of our church
o   connecting interpretation with motivation
·         Discerning our purpose and identity…I Peter 2:9-10:
o   stating who we are as the people of God
o   coming to a sense of self sharing our confession and receiving God’s assurance
o   accepting how we are like and unlike other congregations
o   understanding our unique challenges and opportunities
·         Leadership change and development…Acts 6: 
o   reviewing style and character of past leaders—lay and clergy
o   examining who has the “power” to make decisions and why
o   understanding shifts and transitions of leadership and power
o   identifying and supporting our gifts and strengths
o   developing new leadership agendas
·         Reaffirming denominational/community ties…I Cor 16 and Acts 15:
o   review relationships and responsibilities with and to the UCC
o   review relationships and responsibilities to local community
o   promote a greater sense of “connectedness” within the church
·         Committing to new leadership and new ministry…Romans 12:1-13:
o   challenge existing assumptions about ministry
o    express existing but unrealized expectations
o   struggle with limitations
o   develop a new vision for the future of our church.


            You will learn more about the process as we begin.  For now, please join me in thanking these dedicated people and pray for us as we move into this phase of our time together.

Prayers for the journey,
Pastor Peg


Almost Easter musing

From the interim pastor

            Writing for this particular newsletter is harder than most months.  I’m writing this on Monday.  Yesterday was Palm Sunday and in a few hours we will gather for a Healing Service.  On Thursday we will celebrate Maundy Thursday at St. Paul’s and our sanctuary will be open on Friday from 12 pm – 3 pm for reflection.
            Then on Sunday we will gather together to celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus. 
            If the newsletter was coming out on next Monday, I’d have no trouble at all.  Easter would have already been here and we would have already sung “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”
            HOWEVER, we are caught in the middle on this month’s newsletter.  In order for you to have it before the first of the month, we are BEFORE Easter, not AFTER.  We are caught in the middle.
            I think the disciples understood being caught in the middle. They lived as good Jewish men and women.  They followed the laws of Moses and the Torah, and then Jesus showed up and took them on an unexpected journey which eventually led to Christianity.  Confusing, isn’t it?
            This must be a strange time of the year for those who don’t have a history with the church.  The word “lent” isn’t easily understood, and it starts with people wearing dirt on the foreheads and ends with children hunting colored eggs.  We give up chocolate, eat hot cross buns, wave palm branches and eventually talk about Jesus, a man, dying and coming back to life.  Yes, this is a confusing time of the year.
            It is also a confusing time of the year for those who are deeply involved in the church.  We aren’t in totally agreement about the events – how they occurred or even if they occurred.  Yet, it is a glorious time to talk about who Jesus was and how he comes to life in us today.
            I believe that Easter is about celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and celebrating how the faith of the disciples deepened from the experience.      My invitation to you is to walk this week as if you were there with the disciples.  Read the scriptures.  Ponder what was happening and then continue to read after Easter when life got even more confusing for them.   Join us for Maundy Thursday service at St. Paul’s.  Spend some time in the sanctuary on Good Friday or set aside some time elsewhere.  Then let’s come back together on Easter morning and celebrate.   

Prayers for the journey,
Pastor Peg

            

King Awards Ceremony now online

The King Awards worship service of April 12 has now been archived ...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Selfishness vs. selflessness - topic at Life & Faith, Tues., Apr. 14

Sam Woodrum has proposed our topic for conversation this Tuesday at Life & Faith in Downtown Raleigh:  selfishness vs. selflessness.  He asked us to watch an Invisibilia video before we come.  Watch the "mirror touch story" which starts at about 6:00 minutes.

Sam wrote:  

I'd be interested to talk about selfishness vs. selflessness.  In the past I've tended to think that the more selfless and empathetic you can be the better (the more Christ-like, so the speak) but this story seems to be an example of extreme empathy, to the point that it is crippling... seems to enforce the idea that a balance between the two is best rather than just always pushing towards on side of that spectrum.

If you don't have time to watch the story, come anyway!

Life & Faith in Downtown Raleigh – 2nd Tuesday of every Month Tuesday, 7:00pm, April 14, Tyler’s Tap Room. This is a Dutch treat discussion group. New people are welcomed enthusiastically - those who come set the topic for the night as we ponder how to connect what we believe to what we do.  Look for our red comma.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Weekly Email - 10 APRIL 2015

From the Interim Pastor
Parents’ Night Out (Childcare for CUCC Children) and Lock-In For Youth – April 10th
April 12 Worship Service – Cy & Carolyn King Award Presentation
Church-Wide Outdoor Event & Camping: April 25-26!
Life& Faith in Downtown Raleigh
Sisters in Spirit (SIS) – Thursday, April 16, 6:00pm
Save the date!  Solar Celebration at Anderson Point Park - April 19
A Decluttering Opportunity – Book Sale May 1 - 3
ART, FUN, FOOD, PICNICS, HIKES, ETC.
Congregations for Social Justice – Faith & Practice Series

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A De-cluttering Opportunity – Book Sale May 1 - 3

CUCC has been invited to join the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh in sponsoring their ANNUAL BOOK SALE on Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3.  Please bring books that you would like to donate and drop them in the boxes in the hallway by the coat racks.  CUCC will receive the proceeds from any books we sell.

Plan to come to the sale which begins Friday morning, May 1st. On Sunday, May 3, all remaining books will be half price. If you would like to help with the book sale or would like more information, contact Peg Hulslander.

Cy & Carolyn King Award at April 12 worship

The Social Justice Ministry will provide the worship service next Sunday, April 12, for the Cy and Carolyn King Peace and Justice Award.  Join us as we are reminded how our spiritual focus and our social justice actions go hand in hand.  The recipients of the awards this year are Collins Kilburn and Leo and Judy Occhetti-Klohr. The King Award is named after Cy and Carolyn King who were long time members of the church and avid social activists.  Please plan to join us for this special service.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

CUCC PARENTS, do you need a NIGHT OUT?

CUCC Youth can help you! Youth are providing childcare for CUCC CHILDREN AGES 3 and up on Friday, April 10: 6-9 PM! YOUR KIDS WILL BE FED AND CARED FOR WELL, while you go out for a nice quiet evening! This is a fundraiser for summer youth church camp. We are hoping that every youth who wants to go to camp will be able to. Suggested donation is $20 per family. Please email Śānti ASAP at forsanti@aol.com to register. Youth will then stay beyond 9:00 for a LOCK-IN with games, a movie, and an overnight lock-in.

- Submitted by Śānti Matthews and the youth